Originally Posted by mambera
Something else I've done is hand express when I could not pump - you can carry a little bottle around with you and hand express an oz or so in the restroom whenever you get a moment, instead of having to find 15-20 minutes to sit down in a private place with a double electric. Or if the bottle is too much to deal with you can actually just hand express over the toilet - you waste the milk but at least it is additional stimulation.
Other than that I would just not beat yourself up about a little formula. I think once you are past gut closure at 4-6 months a little formula supplement is not a big deal at all, you could consider it just like any other non-breastmilk food you might offer. As long as the formula is given only while you are at work and not when you are with baby it won't make a difference for supply since all your stimulation is pump-based during that time anyway. Good for you for making it this far!
Well, when I was pumping, my schedule was not nearly as bad, but there were some bad parts. I worked 15 hour days for three days a week, and the other two weekdays were 9 to 5.
Definitely pumping more often is much better than pumping for a longer duration pumping session.
I think, were I in your shoes, I would consider doing three things.
First, I would change my goal. I would just concentrate on keeping my supply up enough so that the baby could have breastmilk when I am not actually at work. One day is much better than zero days, I would think.
Second, are you allowed to pop into the bathroom? (Or are you like elementary school teachers, who are not allowed to go to the bathroom all day long?) It sounds gross, but I think that I would run into the bathroom as often as I could get away with. (Every 30 or 45 minutes or hour?) I would dash into the toilet stall, hand express into the toilet for sixty seconds, and flush away the milk. It takes way too long to save this liquid gold, keep the milk sanitary, and store the milk at the proper temperature. The goal is just to empty the breasts as frequently as possible. You want to keep your supply up so that you can nurse your child when you are with your baby, or so that you can save the milk when you are not actually at work.
Third, I think I would try to come to peace about the formula while you are at work. I'm a mother who breastfed and pumped for my dd for three years, but I know how difficult it is to keep the supply up during long work days, and I think formula would be fine if it allows you to have enough supply in your breasts when you are at home with your baby.
It's hard, but you are doing it wonderfully.