Christa: Hey guys, welcome to MomYalks with Christa. I hope you are all having a great week. I'm your host, Christa. We've got another exciting episode today. Kristen Sorondo from Orlando lactation is back today answering all your questions about pumping at work. We get a lot of questions in our Facebook group and on Instagram about tips for preparing for pumping out work, what I can ask for the laws around it, and so much more so stick around for that. It's a great interview. And then of course, stick around for the end for our new segment mom tails of the week. This is where we post different questions on social media and allow you to give your take on motherhood or share your funny stories that happened with your kids. It's becoming one of my favorite things to do so stick around for that. We've got some funny answers for you. Without further ado, here's our interview with Kristen Sorondo. All right. Welcome back. Kristen, I'm happy to have you back on.
Kristen: Thank you, Christa.
Christa: Just to get started, anyone that hasn't seen an episode with you before, can you tell us a little bit about you?
Kristen: I am Kristen Sorondo. I am a lactation consultant with Orlando lactation out of Orlando, Florida.
Christa: Awesome. And so, I know each month we're talking about different topics that will really help our breastfeeding, or new moms, and so much more different areas. So, today we're going to talk about pumping, actives, or pumping at work. We get a lot of questions about it from our moms. So, what can moms do to start preparing for breastfeeding at work? Like if they're about to go back to work after maternity leave? What tips would you offer them?
Kristen: Yeah, absolutely. When you guys are preparing to go back to work, you really want to kind of start preparing a little bit earlier than just say, a week or two, I'm getting ready to go back to work. So, if you are getting say 12 weeks off from work, and it's maybe around week six, week seven, then what you guys want to do is go ahead and start doing a little bit of humping so that way you can start a little freezer stash. By doing that, that will help you not be so stressed. When I go back to work and what I pumped today is what the only milk that I have to feed baby tomorrow. It's going to help just kind of decrease some of that stress. So making sure that you have your pump, you have like a pumping bag that you can take it to work, make sure that you've already communicated with work itself, your office, the people that you work with, when you are coming back to work that that's your plan so you kind of have all of that stuff taken care of. And then making sure that you've started already pumping to have a supply. But one of the biggest things too is don't wait until the last minute when you get ready to go back to work to try to introduce a bottle for the baby. Some babies are great and no matter what you do, as far as interventions, whether it be breast, bottle, pacifier, they'll take anything. However, other babies are super sensitive. They just want mom. And the longer that you wait to do that, sometimes it can cause some complications and then super stressful that now you're getting ready to go back to work and you have a baby that won't take a bottle. So, try to do that definitely early on to where maybe dad offer a bottle once a day, maybe once a week to kind of start. And then as it's getting closer and closer to going back to work, that maybe we're doing it weekly, every couple of days, just so you don't have that surprise when you go back to work that the baby won't take a bottle.
Christa: Awesome. And you mentioned preparing your team at work or your boss at work. So, what kind of like questions or things to do kind of look into with your team beforehand or preparing them?
Kristen: It really depends upon how big of a place that you work with. Do you work for a huge corporation that there's hundreds of employees? Or are you on a small office, whereas there's just a couple of you? if you have been with the company for a while and there's just a couple of you, you've probably already thought it before you went out on maternity leave. Okay, where am I going to pond? Does my office have a door to where I can have privacy? Is there somewhere here in this small building that we have that allows a space for me with some privacy? with a big company, you might not necessarily be aware because maybe your particular team or the people that you've worked with nobody's been pregnant. Nobody had a baby. So, you're not really sure what the company has to offer. And so kind of during pregnancy in general, making sure that if you know that you're planning on breastfeeding, you're going to definitely continue at least pumping and bottle feeding once you go back to work prior to going on maternity leave, what resources do they have available to you? if any, usually, if it's a bigger company, some of those things will already be in place. They might have a pumping room that they supply things for you, and might be in a different area that maybe you're not aware of. However, if you're with a small place, again, make sure that you are having that communication with the boss. When I come back, I plan on being able to still produce milk for my baby, my office doesn't really have the availability to do that. Maybe it's a shared space or something like that. What can we do to accommodate that, so that way you're having that talk prior to even going on maternity leave? So that way, you can kind of prepare and prep. And my biggest thing with moms is just have open communication and tell them what your wishes are, what you would like, what do they already have in place that's available, just to make it a little bit easier when you go back that you've already established that. So that's one less stressor that you have in your life when you get ready to go back to work.
Christa: Great. And so, when it comes to the actual like going back and part and being in the office, a lot of moms talk about they see a dip in their supply, or they see or they just are in a more in a stressful situation? So, what tips can moms instill or take from you when it comes to actually the pumping part at work and to make sure their supply doesn't dip and all those other concerns?
Kristen: Yeah, and great question. And it's super normal. Think about it, you're back at work, and you're stressed about the baby, say maybe the baby's head daycare or an in home daycare that you're not really familiar with, usually you're stressed with time, I got to get back, I got a meeting, I got this. So, you're not really able to fully relax when you're at work. Maybe you work for a place that has a lot of people, and you're worried somebody's going to walk in or whatever. So, the environment usually is just way stressful than what you are at home. Maybe you're not really a pumper, but you're just having to pump at work. And maybe you don't have a great response with pumping. So, there's all of those things. So really, when you're when you're pumping at work, if you can, try to elicit the same feeding schedule as the baby. Usually I'll tell moms, obviously the company is probably not going to be okay every two hours that you're comfy, but maybe pumper feed the baby before you leave to go to work, once in the middle of the morning, maybe at lunchtime, in the afternoon, and then by the evening, you're headed home with the baby. So, when you're actually physically pumping at work, try to somewhat be a relaxed environment. If there's a lot of noise and things going on, that can actually hinder having a good letdown. So maybe put in headphones, listen to some calming music or FaceTime the baby. So, FaceTime, maybe a baby's with dad or with a family member, you guys can FaceTime. That will be super helpful, because you're seeing the baby, you're talking to them while you're pumping. And that might help be able to have let down a little bit easier for you to be able to have a good pumping session. But like I said, if it's noisy, maybe headphones, distracting, maybe look at a picture of the baby trying not to necessarily work something that's kind of more calming, just to help elicit a better response, and then trying to stay on a schedule. So, if the baby's feeding, like I said, about every two to three hours, then try to do somewhat that schedule while you're at work, but still be able to breastfeed when you get home. And then again, we're super busy at work, there’s lots of meetings, there's lots of things going on. If you have a physically demanding job, really make sure that you're trying to remember to hydrate. Hydration plays a huge part in milk production. if you're dehydrated, your milk is usually going to dip down because your body's going to take care of you first before it does other things like making milk so we want to make sure that we're still trying to incorporate that as much as possible. So the dips at work are normal and it's usually because a lot of those certain things, but then once you get back to work and you kind of establish a good habit tends to get a little bit better, but if you can do some of those interventions, right from the beginning, hopefully it won't be too much of a dip when you start to pump up.
Christa: Awesome, yeah, those are great tips. I love about listening to music and do things that kind of can calm you in those moments. And I mean, and you kind of mentioned like set it up with your boss or your team ahead of time that you need a private place. So, what about people that work in a place where maybe they're on their feet running around? There's not really a private place? I mean, how does that work? Is that laws? like laws around that other laws that they can look into? Or what can be kind of established ahead of time?
Kristen: This is we live in. Definitely an era that there's lots of internet information, Googling information, there's government policies, state policies, company policies, so make sure that you guys are looking into that. As far as mom's pumping at work, you are guaranteed a space other than a bathroom to be able to pump them provide milk for your baby and that is by law. So regardless of what state that you live in, that is required by law. Now do they have to pay you for that time that you're pumping? No, but they do have to provide you a clean and sanitary space outside of a bathroom, and at least 215-minute breaks a day. Again, just go online and Google search what state you live in, what company you live in to see if there are already policies in place. Even in the area that I work in, as far as nursing, we are on our feet all day. You are working. And it's super hard to set aside that time. So you just unfortunately, it's one of those things where you have to make the time, whether it be set an alarm to remind you haven't a co-worker, kind of take over your team or watch your phone or whatever it is, whatever area that you work in. So that way you can have that time. We are also in a great time where hands free pumps are all over the market. And so, when I had my first child, 20 years ago, that was not even an option. I mean, it was this huge box that you carried around, they're definitely becoming more and more discreet. And so, they have tones of different options. Ranging from super inexpensive, $60-$70, all up to hundreds of dollars. And that's great. I work in the nursing field, I work with a lot of surgeons. I got to be in the O R for six hours, during a surgery, I can't stop, right sterile field go out, come back in. So, they just actually would put on their wearable pump while they're in the O R, and just start at why they're in there. And when they're done and they take care of it. The great thing is those are available. I just actually went to an expo and the girl next to me, in the booth next to me was pumping for her child and she just went to the bathroom, put in, put on her wearable pump came back out worked for 30 minutes while she sat there and continue to talk to everybody, you would have never known that she even had it on. So, there's so many great opportunities now that companies are coming up with to make it a little bit easier and less stressful for moms.
Christa: Yeah, that's so cool. I love like hearing about the technology and we're seeing that at an Ilca show. I think a couple years ago, too that they had like the wearable ones. And they're showing it like on a mannequin and I was like, Oh, that's so cool. You don't even you wouldn't even know. Yeah, that's awesome. And then any other tips for moms listening that I know, this is common too, which is unfortunate. There are people that are given a hard time, or their boss maybe, or employee, or coworkers that aren't very nice to them about breastfeeding. So, any advice you have for moms listening, they're kind of going through a rough time with breastfeeding at work?
Kristen: Join support groups, especially Mommy Knows Best. I love RS and people can kind of put it on there, the situations that they're going through. And sometimes it's just not necessarily doing anything about it, but being able to just express your concerns have people kind of talk to you, but remember, this is your right, you are allowed to do it. There is nothing wrong with it. So just be an advocate for you and for your baby. Working companies, they have to do it and sometimes you might have some especially with if you work for like an all man company, say you're a female and industry that there's a lot of males working there. But most of the time they have wives. Their wives have breastfed. They're tend to be a little bit more sympathetic, but just have some type of support group whether it be on the internet, a local mommy group, a local breastfeeding group, that you can just kind of have somebody to vent to or maybe ask questions about. But if it does become an issue at work, legally you are allowed to so make sure that you bring it up to your boss. If people are kind of giving you problems and like I said they might be like, well, you're taking a break every three hours to go pot for 15 minutes, I don't get that. I've heard that and many different work environments. it's just the same thing is I take the company's benefits, and I don't say too, I get any perk from it. It's just all different. Like I said, they might not require to pay you during that time. That is your time to be able to take so just make sure you have a great support system, especially a spouse that's super supportive of breastfeeding is a lot of times just the right thing that you need to be able to come home and express yourself. And then if it gets to be too much, reach out to your leadership team and have them get involved.
Christa: Great. Yeah, that's great advice. A community and the support team, like group is so important. I was just talking to absolutely the last interview about that, too, that that support is really powerful. So great advice. Awesome. Well, thanks for coming back on and I just love doing these interviews because it covers like all the areas, different concerns you will have I see in the group all the time. And so, this was awesome.
Kristen: Thank you.
Christa: And for those two that have not seen an episode before, can you just say again, their company name, where they can find you, get in contact with you, and all that good stuff.
Kristen: Yeah, absolutely. So, I'm Kristen Sorondo, and I am a lactation consultant out of Orlando, Florida with Orlando, lactation.
Christa: Awesome. And we'll of course, put all the links in the in the show notes. So awesome. Well, thanks so much for again, for coming back on.
Kristen: All right. Thanks, Christa.
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