Pumping for the working moms!

posted 3 years ago in Parenting
Post # 3
Member
562 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2011

I’ve been pumping since returning to work in late July. I pump 3x/day.

Average output for a pumping session that replaces a nursing session is 2-4oz. I was typically producing more than that, but since Aunt Flow returned, my suppy has dropped. I’m still making enough to feed the kid while he’s at daycare for the most part, though I dip into my freezer stash sometimes.

Just store the milk in the fridge while you’re at work. When I get home, I sort the milk – I send a day’s worth of fresh milk to daycare, so that gets put in a glass bottle and put in the fridge. Extra milk is stored in 3-oz bags (that’s what his typical bottle is) and frozen.

Kellymom.com has wonderful resources for pumping moms.

Post # 5
Member
562 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2011

@eecuadrado:  Yes ma’am! 🙂

I wanted to add – make sure you tap into every resouce you possibly can for support when you’re establishing the breastfeeding relationship. It can be hard and discouraging and challenging. So very worth sticking it out, of course, but I don’t think I could have done it if I didn’t have La Leche League, my doula, and a great IBCLC at the local hospital to talk to. Not to mention friends who also breastfed. And my husband was incredibly supportive.

Post # 7
Member
509 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

I pumped 2-3x per day.  I bought a bag kit that contained icepacks so I would pump directly into bottles that attached to the pump, put the lid on them, and then pop them into my bag with the ice packs.  They stayed cold until I got home. 

Every time I pumped through the day, I would just add to the bottles that already had milk in them.  I was taking home about 10-12 ounces a day.

My pumping sessions never lasted more than 10 minutes though.  Most of your milk will come out very quickly and then just drip for the last few minutes.

Also, I made a little album of my baby’s pictures so that would help with letdown.  And if you had a stressful meeting or something happen at work, go into the pumping session as relaxed as possible or your milk won’t let down.  I would close my eyes and take some deep breaths.

I pumped for 18 months with my second and once I got into a routine, it was a piece of cake.  And something I looked forward to throughout the day.

Post # 9
Member
566 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

PP have good advice, but the one that I thought was important was WATER! You must drink a lot of water. It was hard coming back to work, but I made sure to continually sip my water. When I was rushed in the am and didn’t drink much, I definitely could see a difference in what I had pumped! Best of luck.

Post # 11
Member
5460 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

@eecuadrado:  This blog has SO MUCH INFO: http://exclusivepumpers.com/2013/03/

 

It is geared towards exclusive pumpers, but a lot of the tips and tricks apply to those who choose to pump while at work and nurse at home.

 

First, spend maternity leave establishing a supply, and when you feel up to it, beginning a freezer stash for baby when you first go back to work.

 

Hydrate, eat well, rest when you can.  

 

Here’s a run down of what I did:

 

I pumped into bottles during the day, and stored them directly in the fridge.  At the end of the day, I set up the following day’s bottles using what I pumped that day.

 

If I had extra, I froze it.  I decided to freeze in 4oz increments.  Some people do more, some less, some do a combination.  I loved the Target brand breast milk storage bags… cheap, durable, and easy to thaw.  I liked to freeze the bags flat overnight and then stack the flat bags in a taller freezer bag for easy storage.  I labeled everything so I would know to thaw them in order.

 

If you do end up with a significant oversupply, you’ll want to look into getting a chest freezer.  Frozen BM is good for 3-6 months in a fridge freezer, but good up to a year in a deep freezer.

 

 

 

Hope this helps some, and if you have any specific questions feel free to ask!

 

Oh, and as for getting space at work to pump, I’m sure working in a legal setting they will be willing to accommodate your needs, since it’s federal law and all 🙂

ETA- depending on your commute to and from work, you may want to get a car adapter so you can pump in the car.  I used a hands-free bra, a nursing cover, and my car adapter.  You will also want to get Medela steam sterilizer bags.  Between pumps you can put your rinsed parts in the fridge in a bag but you definitely want to CLEAN clean them at least every other pump.  If you have a bunch of male coworkers, it might be best to steam the parts and let them air dry in your “pumping room” or wherever is less awkward.

Post # 13
Member
5460 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

@eecuadrado:  At first, pumping when the baby would eat is best… for an exclusive pumper, that means about 8 times a day, for 15-20 minutes at a time.  I was a bad pumper and didn’t come across the amazing blog I linked until I had been pumping for a while.

Anyway, I pumped about 6 times a day, then after my supply was established and stable (around 12 weeks) I was able to slowly work my way to 5 pumps, then 4 pumps.  At 4ppd I was going for a good 20-45 minutes per pump.  My morning and before bed pumps were the longest.  A “good” pumper will pump in the middle of the night… but I didn’t.  I feel like I would have had a better supply if I had done things by the book from the beginning!

At home I would just stick my pump parts in the fridge, but at work I steamed them and let them air dry in the pumping room so they wouldn’t be just all hanging out in the kitchen area!

If you’re nursing, I think “they” suggest (I don’t know who ‘they’ are haha) to pump for about 5-10 minutes after the baby is done nursing to help your body stimulate more production.  When you pump in lieu of a feeding, you want to pump at least 5 minutes after the milk has stopped flowing *(it may still be dripping a little here and there, but not like FLOWING flowing)

The more you nurse and/or pump, the more your body will be told to make.  

Hope this makes sense, I recently weaned and I have blocked out of my memory how the very beginning went (it kind of sucks… haha, literally!) 

Post # 15
Member
2740 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 2010

My son is 8.5 months old and I’m still nursing at home and pumping at work. 

During maternity leave I pretty much did nothing but nurse and pump (and change diapers) all day, every day.  I was able to build up a good freezer stash that way.

Since I’ve been back to work, I pump 3x a day for about 15 minutes each session.  I pump directly into bottles and store them in a cooler bag with an ice pack, which I keep in the fridge.  The ice pack is to make sure the milk stays cold during my commute and if I have to do any errands on my way home.  I wash my pump parts with soap and water after each use, and air dry them in my office.  At night I run the parts through the dishwasher.

At this point I’m pumping ~10 ounces a day.  It was more in the earlier days, but now that my son is eating solids and therefore nursing less frequently at home, my supply has dropped.  He eats about 15 ounces at daycare each day, in addition to baby food for breakfast and lunch, so at this point I am dipping into my freezer supply.  Some days he doesn’t take in as much milk and I don’t have to pull anything out of the freezer.  I have milk frozen in 5oz bags, so most days I send him to daycare with yesterday’s fresh pumped milk and one bag of frozen.  Eventually we may need to start supplementing with formula, which I am okay with.

In the early days I found pumping really stressful, but not so much anymore.  As for supply, you will read zillions of ways you can supposedly increase your supply (mother’s milk teas, fenugreek, oatmeal, lactation cookies…) but for me, the only things I noticed would make a difference are plenty of water and plenty of calories.

Post # 16
Member
509 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

@eecuadrado:  I did not clean my after every pump.  I only cleaned them at the end of the day at home.

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