Today was TSIL's first day back from maternity leave. Coincidentally, one of my coworkers also returned from maternity leave today.
And really, this doesn't mean much to you, except it reminded me that I never shared my pumping at work/milk storage process. I feel like pumping in general is really not covered well. The whole process of how and when seemed like such a mystery to me. And after doing it twice, I'm far from an expert, but I definitely found a workable system.
In the mornings I would pack everything I needed for the day. In my wet bag I'd pack flanges and bottles. The great thing about a wet bag is that you can throw everything in it after you pump, put the whole bag in a refrigerator, and then not have to wash any of the pump parts. A wet bag is not necessary. With Thatkid I used a ziplock. But I personally prefer the wet bag because I could throw it in the wash and reuse it. I'm sure my coworkers also appreciated a cute little bag instead of seeing all my girl things too.
I also brought a little cooler with ice pack to store the milk after it was pumped. Really, this was most important for bringing them home, since I stored the pump milk in the cooler in the fridge.
Whenever I needed to pump at work, I'd grab my wet bag and cooler from the fridge and hook up.
After a pump session, I would combine the two bottles I pumped into one of the bottles.
The empty bottle and flanges would go back in the wet bag, and the full bottle would go into the cooler.
At the end of the day I'd take home a cooler full of milk. Monday through Thursday night I would use those bottles to fill up Thatbaby's bottles for the next day at daycare.
On Friday nights, I froze all the milk. This is where my milk trays came in handy! Each stick is 1 ounce.
And then the tray went in the freezer. Along with anything I pumped on Saturday and Sunday.
Once the sticks were frozen, I could turn the tray over and pop out each 1 ounce stick.
Then they'd get bagged, dated, and placed back in the freezer. I put 4 oz in each bag, because that's how much milk went in each of Thatbaby's bottles.
Sunday nights I'd grab a couple of bags and use them to fill Thatbaby's Monday bottles. I'd put the bottles in the fridge to defrost overnight. And Monday morning they were ready to go for daycare!
Like I said, it may not be a perfect system, but it was easy for me. It kept me from washing bottles and pump parts a million times a day. And it kept my freezer stash from getting too old, since they were rotated in every Monday. But of all the aspects of motherhood, pumping and making bottles was my least favorite part so far!