Post # 1
Can you tell me about your breastfeeding/pumping experiences while working full time? I’m only 18 weeks pregnant but this has me super nervous. I’m planning on 12 weeks maternity leave and after that I will go back to work full-time. I know I may not be able to breastfeed at all but as of now the plan is to breastfeed/feed baby breast milk for as long as possible. I’m definitely open to formula use too if need be.
My job is fast paced and I swear I have felt at times too busy to use the restroom, so Im struggling to see how I’m going to have time to pump my breasts. We don’t even have private rooms to pump…just restrooms.
So please tell me: How often did you have to pump? How long does it take to pump? Did you have leakage? Did you wear pads? I swear I know nothing about this! Where did you store pumped milk during the day? Did your supply diminish from going back to work? Any tips/tricks? Please educate an uninformed bee!
Post # 2
No advice as I stopped breastfeeding by the time I went back to work, but I have friends who loved this book of advice for working and pumping!
Post # 3
morganc8: first of all, your employer needs to give you a place to pump that isn’t a bathroom and has a lock. It’s the law.
I also have a fast paced job and have simply put on my calendar as an appointment that I have to pump. I pump one breast while nursing first thing in the morning. Then I generally pump at 10 and 2 or 12 and 4 (depending on if I start my day at 730 or 930). If there’s a meeting when I need to pump, I’ll either rearrange my pump time or just explain ahead of time that I’ll need to leave. Or if it is a conference call I will put myself on mute and pump (and then unmute/pause pumping if I need to talk). I use a hands-free bra so I can be productive when I pump (or be on Wedding Bee)
My pumping room is 6 stories above my office. It takes me 5 minutes to get there, 5 minutes to assemble my pump, 10 minutes to pump, 5 minutes to clean up/get dressed/store my milk, and 5 minutes to get bad to my office.
I pump into bottles. I combine the milk from the first session into one bottle. I store that in the pumping room fridge. After the second pumping session I put the first and second batch in a cooler bag the hospital gave me in our lunch fridge (on my floor). Right before I leave I put an ice pack in it for the ride home.
I leak, but use bamboobies washable nursing pads and bravado silk nursing bras. I’ve never leaked through onto my clothes.
My supply actually increased a lot going back to work. LO doesn’t like bottles, so I get him really full before I leave. Then he eats 7 oz while I’m gone and I pump 16. When I get home he eats and eats giving my body the signal to make more milk. So my freezer gets about 8 oz a day that I will donate or use to help when I start weaning.
Post # 4
I returned to work yesterday after 11 week maternity leave. I work 12 hour shifts in healthcare. I have access to a locked office to pump and can pretty easily get away to pump whenever needed. So far I pump 3-4 times per shift, every 3hrs. I had to pump when I got to work today because baby didnt eat much during our Boyfriend or Best Friend session this am and I was engorged. It takes me about 15 min to pump and prob 5 min to assemble/disassemble etc. I store my milk in medela bottles i directly pump into in the mini fridge we have in our office. I have not noticed any supp issues yet but I have had a oversupply this whole time so I may not have issues. i leak alot – always have – and wear lansinoh dispoaable pads. overall I am very lucky to have all the amenities I have for pumping but It does really suck to hook up to the pump so often when id rather just be Boyfriend or Best Friend my baby. :(Hope this helps. Oh I also use the simple wishes hands free bra which I feel is essential.
Post # 5
I went to work full time at about 16 weeks and it was not hard to make time to pump (my job is also fast paced, barely getting a break or time to use the restroom) but I just couldn’t pump enough to keep up my supply for when I’m away! I made it about two months before I had to just stop because my body couldn’t keep up. I tried everything I could (the tea, supplements, eating oatmeal, upping water and calories). I pumped every 3 hours (so twice during work) and it took about 15 minutes from start to finish (including assembly/putting milk away). I didn’t leak too bad but wore a padded bra and never had anything more than a couple drops after each session.
Post # 7
Pumping and working full time is definitely challenging. I am a teacher and like you I barely have time to go to the bathroom let alone pump for 20-40 minutes on a regular schedule. with my daughter, I went back to work when she was 4 months old and made it pumping until she started walking and pretty much lost all interest in the boob at 9 months. After that she only wanted bottles and I couldn’t keep up just pumping and switched to formula by 10 months. Here is my advice:
– pump and breastfeed as much as possible right from the beginning to build up a good supply and a good stock in the freezer before you even go back to work. It’s exhausting, but worth it.
– once you start work, pump as often as you can. Don’t try to stick to a schedule and don’t worry if it is only 10 minutes. My schedule changed every other day and there was no consistency with time or duration. it didn’t seem to matter, I still got about the same amount out each day.
– take pictures of baby to look at and even have a video to watch of him or her crying. It sounds mean, but it helps with the letdown. Also, something that smells like baby helps.
– freeze all breast milk in 1 or 2 ounce portions. That way it is faster to defrost and easier to pick the amount you need with less waste.
Post # 8
I went back to work full time as a first grade teacher when my son was 9 weeks old. I would pump once in the morning half way between when I got there and lunchtime and then in the afternoon midway between lunch and the bell ringing. I nursed my son for well over a year. It is possible. I would have an aide take my students to the bathroom or read a story while I was pumping. I would store the milk in the staff lounge. I never had leakage and I never wore pads. Pumping usually took about 15 minutes.
Have a wonderful pregnancy.
Post # 9
I depends where you live but here companies of a certain size must provide a Mother’s Room and time allowed for those that need to to pump. The ones I have seen are private rooms, usually with a key so only mother’s with permission can use it. Not a random lady who wants a nap. In my old job I saw professional athletes pump between acts. They would often have a mini cooler or lunch box with an ice pack to keep it
Post # 10
- Wedding: July 2012 - Baltimore Museum of Industry
This web site is my go-to for anything nursing related:
Resources: Working & Pumping Tips
Post # 11
I pumped while working fulltime for 14 months. It can take a little getting used to it but once you have a routine it will be much easier. Other had posters had great advice. I’ll add that it might help if you have an extra set of pump parts in case you don’t have time to wash them. I stored the parts that I was using that day in the fridge with my bottles but not everyone has a fridge with room. It might make you feel more comfortable (and increase your production) if you use something to cover up- not that you have to! But I used a pashmina because it made me feel less exposed. Definitely get a comfortable hands free pumping bra!
Post # 12
posting to follow. I’m really nervous about this as we only get 6 weeks maternity leave, and I doubt I’ll be taking more than that. I can technically take 12 weeks with FMLA, but financially I doubt that will be feasible. My manager has been less than understanding about this pregnancy, so the pumping part after returning to work makes me nervous. I like working part time in the office, but I may just have to resort to working from home full time because I’m not sure there is really anywhere available for me to pump. I know legally they have to provide somewhere, and legally they have to give you the time to do it, but I am still very nervous about it.
Post # 13
Agree with pp about a second set of pump parts – I have two sets I rotate through each day. After I pump I rinse them off, put in freezwr ziplock bag and put in fridge until next pump. Then I take them home and wash them.
Post # 14
This is my plan as well, and while I have plenty of time to figure things out, it’s my biggest worry right now! Following 🙂
Post # 15
How often did you have to pump? I pumped 3x a day
How long does it take to pump? 25-30min- it seems to take me a bit longer than others
Did you have leakage? nope
Did you wear pads? nope
Where did you store pumped milk during the day? I had a medela PISA and it had the tote bag with the cooler in it. So I just stored mine in the cooler. It kept them cold until I got home. Another girl put them in our fridge at work (in a bag)
Did your supply diminish from going back to work? No, but I had to make sure I pumped for every missed feeding. http://www.nancymohrbacher.com/blog/2014/1/17/infographic-on-breast-storage-capacity.html
Best thing I did was pumping on one side for 1-2 overnight feedings (she would nurse on only one and then fall asleep) when Dear Daughter was 5-14w old. I pretty much froze all of that. That way I didn’t have anxiety or stress if I was a few ozs short at work. And it let me leave the house without having to worry about pumping extra ahead of time. While I had adequate supply, I did not have oversupply after 4mo. So my capacity was probably “medium” if you’re looking at the chart above. That means I also needed roughly 7 feedings/pumps over 24hrs to keep my supply up.
And make sure you read up. Kellymom is great. You really need to understand how milk production works. Often times I think a lot of women fail or lose supply because they don’t fully understand how milk supply works. If you start supplementing without adequately feeding/pumping you are facing a losing battle. http://www.emmapickettbreastfeedingsupport.com/twitter-and-blog/low-milk-supply-101
You need a pumping bra. I used the simple wishes one. It’s great because it zips on and off. So you just wear a nursing bra and there is no need to remove any clothing. And you should be given somewhere to pump that is not a restroom. I pumped in conference rooms. I just rinsed my flanges out in the sink in between pumps and washed them at night.