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Nursing and shift work

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

 

I'm going back to work in one week, and I'll be away from DS for over 12 hours (my 12 hr shifts are 7 - 7, two days, followed by two nights) at a time, so on day shifts, I'll be gone before he wakes up, and back around the time he goes to bed, so in essence, I won't see him at all! Terrible.

 

How do I keep nursing? Any tips or suggestions from moms who are away from their kids for long stretches of time? I know I'll have some engorgement and my body will have to adjust, and I have a breast pump. But I'm worried about still feeling connected to DS.  

post #2 of 4

Hi atpeace. I was in the same boat as you going back to work. I am an ER nurse and work 7-7 12 hr shifts also. I found that I had to pump at LEAST 3 times per shift to keep up my supply and just to feel as if I wouldnt explode. It really stinks being away from my LO during these shifts too. I would usually wake him up early to feed him before a shift. It gives us some time together and it really helps with not having to pump right when I got to work. My DS usually would fall right back to sleep after nursing so waking him up wasnt a big glitch in his schedule. We are now at 13 months and going strong with the nursing. Lately I havent had to pump at all at work. Due to his solid food intake we are only nursing about 3-4 times in a 24hr period. Your employer should provide a nice quiet spot for you to use your pump. It is actually a law now here in the US. I would assume Canada would have a similar take on breast feeding. My advice is to try the early morning nursing session, it really worked for us. Good luck to you!

post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 

Thanks, Orionsmama! I think I'll do the early morning nursing when I wake up (he can nurse in his sleep anyway, so it probably won't be too disruptive for him) and then when I get home. Hopefully, my body will adjust pretty quickly, because to be honest, pumping is a hassle for me. How long did it take you to not have to pump anymore? The past few weeks, DS has been at daycare some days for about 6 hours and during that time I've never had to pump, so I'm thinking pumping once during my 12 hour shift will work. Maybe not. I just hate having to add pumping to my limited break time at work (plus the setting up and the dismantling and the washing the pump, when I would rather be chatting with co-workers or going for a walk or reading). 

post #4 of 4

Hi again. My little guy turned one 2 weeks ago and coincidentally that was the last day I pumped at work. I was only pumping once a shift a few months ago and my supply really started to dwindle. At the advice of a few girlfriends with children the same age as mine, they suggested I pump at least twice a shift. (Being a rookie mommy it is hard to know how much is enough) I have to say it did make a huge increase in supply. It would only take me about 10minutes to pump ( I have a double pump which makes all the difference) Check on the laws in Canada about breastfeeding. Employers here must give mothers a private room, that is not a bathroom, to pump in up to the childs first birthday. Believe me, pumping was not something I enjoyed but it did allow me to keep nursing my son for the first year of his life and hopefully into his second...fingers crossed. I also just did a quick rinse of the pump while at work and then sterilized it when I got home. A quick rinse saves loads of time instead of a full cleaning while on the clock.

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