going back to work while breastfeeding

Heading back to work after maternity leave can be so hard for any mama. Maybe you thought it would be easy, only to discover you miss your baby so much. Or, you're frustrated because your milk supply is slowly decreasing every day away from your infant.

We asked #TeamMotherly to share their best tips for going back to work while breastfeeding. From keeping yourself hydrated to looking at pictures of your precious one, here's what they said:

"Pump and save a stash of milk in the freezer." —@yuliasol87

"Do not procrastinate and say, 'let me just finish this first.' Time flies! Make [pumping] a priority." —@ashbodash92

"Pump and hydrate! And then repeat!" —@kristensgreenishlife

"Buy a second pump and leave it at work!" —@eringreene

"Pump as often as you can at work to keep your supply up." —@liz_cntrrs


"Properly pack your pump bag!" —@monraqdanley

"Have a plan in place! Know where you can pump, store the milk, who your allies at work will be." —@mvantrood

"Set an alarm for your pumping time!" —@ekyn_amoy

"Don't' kill yourself trying to keep up if it's not working out… formula is not poison!" —@delloney

"Schedule your pumping time in your calendar and stick to them. People won't question it!" —@tessakmcaleer

"Nurse as much as possible when home with the baby, and pump every 3 hours at work." —@c00tn3y

"Buy a car adapter for the pump if your commute is long!" —@hannahschara

"Look at pics of your baby while pumping." —@bighairforpeace

"Give yourself grace! And patience!" —@maglebear

"Eat!" —@fly_safe_

"Let your baby try the bottle early so you're not stressing last minute!" —@katiehales3

"Stay calm… you can do this!" —@cwilke2407

"Leave the clothes you wore at night for your baby before going to work." —@judidah18

"Pump directly into bottles so you don't have to transfer precious milk from bags." —@alecciso

"Expect to forget parts at some point and have a backup plan." —@hspirabauer

"Make sure your boss knows how important pumping is to you." —@mrs.ruiz0626

"Do what is best for you!" —@amandaroot24

"Prep your pumping bag at night!" —@samanthaengleson

"Find other moms at work…it helps to share stories about your little loves together." —@jcparenteau

"Wear the pads. You will leak!" —@mrsjosephramirez

"Bring lots of snacks." —@mrsjenniferhunter

"Bring your baby's worn pajamas and sniff them while pumping." —@jackers314

"Don't give up when your supply is low—every day is different. Lactation cookies are the best!" —@lizzielockett

"Print out a do not disturb door handle sign for the room you'll be using." —@k.a.barthel

"Get a hands free pumping bra." —

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These challenges from Nike PLAYlist are exactly what my child needs to stay active

Plus a fall family bucket list to keep everyone moving all season long.

While it's hard to name anything that the pandemic hasn't affected, one thing that is constantly on my mind is how to keep my family active despite spending more time indoors. Normally, this time of year would be spent at dance and gymnastics lessons, meeting up with friends for games and field trips, and long afternoon playdates where we can all let off a little steam. Instead, we find ourselves inside more often than ever before—and facing down a long winter of a lot more of the same.

I started to search for an outlet that would get my girls moving safely while we social distance, but at first I didn't find a lot of solutions. Online videos either weren't terribly engaging for my active kids, or the messaging wasn't as positive around the power of movement as I would like. Then I found the Nike PLAYlist.

I always knew that Nike could get me moving, but I was so impressed to discover this simple resource for parents. PLAYlist is an episodic sports show on YouTube that's made for kids and designed to teach them the power of expressing themselves through movement. The enthusiastic kid hosts immediately captured my daughter's attention, and I love how the physical activity is organically incorporated in fun activities without ever being specifically called out as anything other than play. For example, this segment where the kids turn yoga into a game of Paper Scissors Rock? Totally genius. The challenges from #TheReplays even get my husband and me moving more when our daughter turns it into a friendly family competition. (Plus, I love the play-inspired sportswear made just for kids!)

My daughter loves the simple Shake Ups at the beginning of the episode and is usually hopping off the couch to jump, dance and play within seconds. One of her favorites is this Sock Flinger Shake Up activity from the Nike PLAYlist that's easy for me to get in on too. Even after we've put away the tablet, the show inspires her to create her own challenges throughout the day.

The best part? The episodes are all under 5 minutes, so they're easy to sprinkle throughout the day whenever we need to work out some wiggles (without adding a lot of screen time to our schedule).

Whether you're looking for simple alternatives to P.E. and sports or simply need fun ways to help your child burn off energy after a day of socially distanced school, Nike's PLAYlist is a fun, kid-friendly way to get everyone moving.

Need more movement inspiration for fall? Here are 5 ways my family is getting up and getting active this season:

1. Go apple picking.

Truly, it doesn't really feel like fall until we've picked our first apple. (Or had our first bite of apple cider donut!) Need to burn off that extra cinnamon-sugar energy? Declare a quick relay race up the orchard aisle—winner gets first to pick of apples at home.

To wear: These Printed Training Tights are perfect for when even a casual walk turns into a race (and they help my daughter scurry up a branch for the big apples).

2. Visit a pumpkin patch.

We love to pick up a few locally grown pumpkins to decorate or cook with each year. Challenge your child to a "strongman" contest and see who can lift the heaviest pumpkin while you're there.

To wear: Suit up your little one in comfort with this Baby Full Zip Coverall so you're ready for whatever adventures the day brings.

3. Have a nature scavenger hunt.

Scavenger hunts are one of my favorite ways to keep my daughter preoccupied all year long. We love to get outside and search for acorns, leaves and pinecones as part of our homeschool, but it's also just a great way to get her exercising those gross motor skills whenever the wiggles start to build up.

To wear: It's not truly fall until you break out a hoodie. This cozy Therma Elite Kids Hoodie features a mesh overlay to release heat while your child plays.

4. Have a touch-football game.

Tip for parents with very little kids: It doesn't have to last as long as a real football game. 😂 In fact, staging our own mini-games is one of our favorite ways to get everyone up and moving in between quarters during Sunday football, and I promise we all sleep better that night.

To wear: From impromptu games of tag to running through our favorite trails, these kids' Nike Air Zoom Speed running shoes are made to cover ground all season long.

5. Create an indoor obstacle course.

Pretending the floor is lava was just the beginning. See how elaborate your personal course can get, from jumping on the couch to rolling under the coffee table to hopping down the hallway on one foot.

To wear: These ready-for-any-activity Dri-FIT Tempo Shorts are perfect for crawling, hopping and racing—and cuddling up when it's time to rest.

This article was sponsored by Nike. Thank you for supporting the brands that supporting Motherly and mamas.

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