Monday, July 04, 2011


Breastfeeding at the beach!
I'm a breastfeeding mom who has not bought a can of formula since the birth of my now 9-month old baby.

I also happen to be a full-time working mom. I usually leave the house at 6 am to bring my older daughters to school and I normally arrive back home at 8 pm, what with the traffic and all. 

In my previous post, I discussed the preparations I made before going back to work. These pre-work preparations helped me ensure that I would still be able to breastfeed Basti even if I'm not with him for around 14 hours each working day.   

5) Pumping at Work. Except for emergency meetings, I usually know what my work schedule would be for the day. I know beforehand if I have an out-of-town hearing or an out-of-the-office meeting on a particular day. 

Here are the things that I normally do on an ordinary working day: 

  • I pump every 3-4 hours, schedule permitting. I pump upon arriving at the office, during lunchtime (I have a 2-hour lunch break), and before going back home. Note: Under the Expanded Breastfeeding Promotion Act of 2009, a female worker who is breastfeeding her baby or young child is entitled to lactation breaks. You may want to check my post on lactation periods here.
  • I'm fortunate to have my own room and a small conference table which I converted into my "pumping station". (This is why lactation station in the workplace is so important!)
  • While pumping, I don't think about work! During my first month of pumping at work, I did breathing exercises and imagined that I was holding my baby. But once I got the hang of it, I just breathe deeply  while reading the newspapers. (Well, you really need to take a deep breath when reading the papers!)    
  • I don't sterilize the flanges of my breast pump after every use. I just put them inside a lock n lock box and store them inside the freezer. (Five years ago and not knowing any better, I used to sterilize my flanges after every use. I swear, nakakapagod siya!

(I once pumped at the basement ladies' room of Shangrila EDSA. Why? Because I was too lazy to pump before leaving work thinking that I would be home within an hour or two. And then the unexpected happened. No, it's not the heavy traffic because that's to be expected.)

6) Storage Tips

I use BPA-free plastic bottles and cups in storing breastmilk.  BPA-free and pre-sterilized disposable plastic bags are used only as a back-up. There are a number of breastmilk bags that are locally available. The cheapest but effective brand that I found is Spectra at PhP200 per 30 bags. 

Milk that could be consumed by Basti within 6 days from expression are stored in the refrigerator (the guidelines say 8 days). I don't put them in the freezer because I read somewhere that "the antimicrobial properties of human milk are better preserved with refrigeration." 

For more information on milk storage guidelines, you may want to check this and this

Oh, and since I'm a little OC when it comes to expressing and storing breastmilk, I'm using a separate small refrigerator for my stash.

Those that can be consumed within 6 days are not placed in the freezer.

The 4 bottles containing 5-6 ounces of milk on the upper tray are for Basti's consumption within the day. These are on top of his 3 meals of semi-solid food now that he's 9 months old. I do direct breastfeeding once I'm home.

These are my reserves. This freezer has its own door.

7) That Extra Pump.

While the milk that I expressed in the office is more than sufficient to meet Basti's needs for the next day, I made a commitment to do an extra pump at night. Not only are they my reserves. These are the milk that I could share with moms who need breastmilk for their babies. In a country where there are only a handful (one hand lang yata) of breastmilk banks, moms do not have much choice but to ask for help from one another. (This is another reason why the IRR of the Expanded Breastfeeding Promotion Act of 2009 should be prioritized. In the said law, health institutions are encouraged to set up "milk banks for storage of breastmilk donated by mothers and which have undergone pasteurization.")

I'm not saying that breastfeeding while working is easy. It is not. It requires commitment and hard work on your part. 

But it certainly is possible!



  1. great post fritzie!! and it was great meeting you at the BW meet :D

  2. Thanks Jenny. It was nice to finally meet you. :)

  3. HI! Thanks for this post! I found it very helpful since i'm preparing myself to go back to work in a couple of months. I was worried at first as to how to pump and store milk for my baby but seeing how you were able to do it, convinced me that i can do it too!! Thanks again!

  4. It truly is a commitment to decide to exclusively breastfeed and at the same time go back to full-time work. I can certainly empathize with you since I also went back to work 3 months ago and am really thankful that I am still exclusively breastfeeding. My baby will be turning 5 months in a few days. I do hope I will be able to sustain feeding well past her first year. :)

    The biggest challenge for me are attending hearings since they can be really unpredictable time-wise. So far I have been able to manage them and I do hope that I continue to do so in the future. 

    I commend your dedication and thanks for sharing your success story. :)

  5. I agree with you that it's really more difficult when you have hearings. In my case, all of my hearings are in Batangas and they are usually held in the morning. This means that I have to leave my house by 5 am. There were times when my next pump was around 11 am na. Hay.

    With my second child (whom I breastfed for 2 years), I remember bringing her and the yaya with me on a 3-day strategic planning session held outside Metro Manila. I just went back to the hotel room during breaks to breastfeed her. :)



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