Breastfeeding Support for the Single Mom
We’re sharing our top tips and practical advice to make breastfeeding (and mom life) easier
We see you, supermom. You’re juggling home and work and a baby on your own. We know you have the dedication and determination to conquer anything. But when mom life serves up challenges, we’ve got your back. Here are our best tips for saving time and money, maintaining a pumping schedule during those hectic workdays, and getting more sleep and a helping hand when you need it.
1. Make the most of your time
You have a lot on your plate and only 24 hours in a day. Good news: when you’re nursing, you don’t have to spend extra time preparing and cleaning bottles and pump parts. But when you are back to work or away from your baby, the right breast pump will make all the difference. You’ll want an efficient, effective pump that fits your single-mom lifestyle. A portable or battery-operated one could be a good option so you can easily pump on the go and multitask (a hands-free pumping bra is a must!). Play with suction strength, flange size and other factors to “empty” your breasts faster. If you need help, an IBCLC is a fantastic resource. Check your pump manual to see if you can clean parts in the top rack of the dishwasher, and consider getting a second set of parts so you can rotate sets and wash them all together.
2. Automate your life
On the mom-life front, save time by automating your life. Schedule automatic bill payments, order grocery pickup (some places offer it for free or a nominal fee, with a lower cost if paid monthly or annually), and set up store subscriptions to deliver the items you use every month (you can often get a discount this way). Get organized by doing tasks in batches—all emails at once, a few errands in a row. Ditch clutter to create a simplified space, cutting down on time spent looking for things or running upstairs and downstairs. And finally, create routines—like throwing in a load of laundry before your nighttime nursing session, then switching to the dryer after—so you don’t have to think too much about housework and can get it done more efficiently.
3. Stretch your budget
When you’re breastfeeding, you won’t have to spend much, if any, money on formula. You can also secure a breast pump for free through your insurance. Some plans also cover free replacement parts, so you won’t have to spend your hard-earned money on new pump accessories. Reach out to our team at The Lactation Network and we can take care of the whole process—from contacting your insurance to find out what’s covered to delivering your pump and parts to your door. To save money on baby gear and clothes, shop sales or your neighborhood buy/sell/trade groups and sell off your used baby items as your little one grows.
4. Maintain a pumping schedule at work
Your work is important—and so is maintaining your supply and pumping milk for your baby during the workday. Start by consulting HR to find out where you can pump, talking to your boss and setting expectations with your team. To help get everyone on the same page, block off pumping sessions on your calendar to avoid others scheduling meetings and conference calls during those times. Consider pumping on your commute (if you can do so safely) so you won’t have to pump as many times at work. Use a hands-free pumping bra to multitask, but if those emails and paperwork can wait, take a breather (you deserve it!). It’s OK to be flexible when you can but be sure to stand up for your rights. Our Workplace Bill of Rights is a helpful resource to help you get what you need as a breastfeeding working mom.
5. Get more sleep
When you’re in charge of all the middle-of-the-night wakeups, you need to maximize and prioritize sleep as much as possible. In the evening, get everything ready for the next morning—bottles, pump parts, lunch, outfit—so you can sleep as much as possible before you’re up and out the door. A soothing shower, good book or relaxing music or meditation is a great way to squeeze in a few minutes of self-care and wind down for bedtime. Make your bedroom (and the baby’s) an optimal environment for sleep with blackout curtains, white noise and a comfortable temperature. Set up a breastfeeding/pumping station in the nursery or on your nightstand with everything you need to quickly feed your little one in the middle of the night and then get back to bed.
6. Find help
You may be a single mom, but you are not alone. When you need help (as all moms do!), don’t be afraid to ask a friend, co-worker or neighbor to do something small that would be a huge help to you. Occasionally delegating a few tasks won’t be an imposition if you ask with kindness and show appreciation. For inexpensive childcare help, think about hiring a mother’s helper, like the middle schooler down the street, so you can get things done around the house. Or swap babysitting with another mom so you each get a couple hours for to-dos or self-care.
At The Lactation Network, we’re a team of moms who get it. Like you are, we’re balancing all the things, so we’re here to make your life easier. Contact us for your insurance-covered breast pump or ideas to conquer any mom-life challenges. We want to support you on your breastfeeding journey so you can keep rocking motherhood.