Yes you can! I pumped at work until my ds3 was 1 (I went back to work when he was 4 months old) and pumped 3 times a day. As he got older and took fewer bottles (and started eating solids), I was able to reduce it to twice a day and then once and then, when he was a year old, I quit pumping. He's 15 months old now and still nurses like crazy at home.
Does ANYONE work FT and EBF? Please tell me it's possible... - Page 2
I work full time and pumped for one year each for all three of my boys. None of them had a drop of formula and the last 2 were extended breastfeeders until age 3 and 4. Luckily my mother was our care provider for the first year, because I never had extra milk to spare, so I sometimes had to go to nurse the baby on my lunch break because I was out of milk (and she didn't freak out on me!). I personally would like to have a bit of a freezer stash for baby #4.
I am a teacher too and had to go back at 8 weeks (AWFUL maternity leave). I pumped for 12 months (well, more like 10 or 11 and my freezer stash got me to 12 months) then he had cows milk while I was at work and nursed until 2.5. It can be done, it takes a good deal of work but it's worth it!
I second a lot of the tips already-- start pumping 3 times a day initially with a hands free pumping bra and lots of breast massage/compression. I'd aim to get 10-12 oz a day, then leave home 3 3.5 to 4 oz bottles (at first they were smaller, but they never got bigger than this). Depending on how quickly I could get home and if we nursed JUST before I left in the morning, he often only drank 2 and the other went to the freezer stash. I started with a big stash but didn't need it. I ended up donating A LOT.
We nursed so much at home! All afternoon, evening, and all night long. It was good to get all those snuggles and skin time in, even though I was tired, of course. Co-sleeping with a side car crib really helped.
By the time he was 5 months or so I was able to just pump twice a day, but still get 12 oz. I got the most in the first pump, would drink gatorade or a healthier electrolyte drink at least an hour before my afternoon pump, and that would really help. Just drinking water didn't do it for me, I needed the electrolytes.
Once he started solids he almost never drank the 3rd bottle, so we always had plenty to spare.
We never had any nipple preference problems. I did get plugged ducts often (probably from oversupply) so Idid have to bring the pump home at night just in case I had to unplug one.
I am so happy I found this thread! I am a teacher and I am due in June with my 3rd. DS1 and DD1 were EBF at home b/c I was a SAHM. I simply must work for insurance/medical cost reasons. I feel enormous guilt over not staying home and debating my maternity leave. Anything I take will be unpaid. My new babe will be onsite with me as my school has childcare but I haven't had the discussion about how breastfeeding friendly they are on site and there are no privacy areas that I know of for pumping....
I'm so glad I found this thread...I'll be going back to work full time in 2 weeks when my DD is 3 months old. She'll be staying with my mom and I plan to EBF. I've been pumping and freezing so I have a bit of a stash built up and I'm planning to pump at work. The hardest part is getting her to accept a bottle from my mom. We've been "practicing" when my mom watches her for a couple of hours here and there. She is NOT into the bottle, but she'll take it only when she's hungry enough so I'm anticipating that she will be reverse cycling (that much more reason for her to continue sleeping in our bed ).
Hello. I am a high school teacher of an EBF baby who is now 10 months. She was EBF until starting solids at 6 months. I went back at 11 weeks pp but only for 3 weeks (it was June) and then returned to work in Sept when she was 6 months. Here are some things that worked for me:
1) I use a small office that is primarily used by department chairs. I have a do not disturb sign and most people know. I have had a few issues with people needing it for testing purposes, but it has not been a huge problem. I would definitely keep your pump stocked with batteries just in case you end up in an unusual location.
2) I pump 2x during the work day - about every 3 hours. In the beginning when I was concerned about supply I would also pump after I nursed right before leaving the house. I also added a pumping session at night about 2-3 hours after baby goes to sleep right before I go to bed. I did this when she turned 7 mos. This gets me about 3 more ozs. I initially started doing this bc I had DH go to her when she woke around midnight so that I could get a longer stretch of sleep.
3) We did cosleep until she was about 7 months. After that it just stopped working for us. She didn't sleep as well, and I barely slept at all. I kept getting mastitis and was generally miserable due to sleep deprivations. We moved her to her own crib/room and she now sleeps about a 9-10 hour stretch. I think cosleeping eased the transition back to work when she was really little though (3-4 mos) and kept my supply nice and strong.
4) I do not wash pump parts between pumping at work. I keep my parts in a large tupperware at work and bring them home to wash later. I use a little playtex cooler bag for storing the milk.
5) Don't stress too much about a freezer stash. I pumped one side while she nursed the other for 1 feed for several weeks before I went back but I think the freezer stash is mostly psychological and should only be used for emergencies. My baby is home with her dad and he was awesome about trying to simulate her nursing patterns by giving her small her quantities more often (like 2-3 ozs) rather than giving her big bottles. This seemed to help a lot.
6) Try to drink a ton of water at work and bring plenty of food to snack on throughout the day. This can be hard if you're teaching b/c of bathroom trips but it makes a difference.
GL! You can do it. It is hard at the beginning and I would be lying if I said that I didn't loathe washing the damn pump parts, but the time flies and the being able to nourish your baby the best way possible even when you're apart is so worth it.
My dil worked and when my grandson 10 months she didn't need to leave milk or pump. My grandson ate solids with me and nursed all night. He nursed almost 3 years until she weaned him so she could get pregnant again. I live with them and we are having another baby. I say we because she works about 60 hours a week and sometimes travels a week at a time for her job (she started traveling after my grandson weaned). My son works unusual hours and also travels for his job. Sometimes both of them are gone for several days. I am the constant adult of the household. My grandson usually sleeps with (on) me. My dil plans to cut back on work after the baby is born at least for a few months. She very much wants to breastfeed. I've known of other mothers that worked long hours and traveled and breastfed. She was blessed with a huge milk supply and my grandson was a super nurser.
The first 4-6 months are the hardest when the baby is EBF. After that you don't have to leave as much milk and somewhere between 9-12 months you can stop leaving milk at all depending on your baby and your hours. Gale Pryors Nursing Mother, Working Mother is an older book but it has great info about reverse cycling and how to make working and breastfeeding the easiest possible.
FIBJ, I am curious about this because you posted on another thread that you slept in a recliner, not a bed. How do you do that safely and comfortably with a toddler?!?! That sounds really difficult, and I am sorry that you are in that situation.
I went back to work at 9 weeks with twins. They had no formula. I pumped lots, with a double electric. I made my own hands free pumping bra, by cutting holes for the horn opening at the nipple line of an old bra. It worked very well, and allowed for the massage technique mentioned up thread. I usually pumped for two let-downs. The twins did not have weight issues, they were, if anything, chubby. We kept them on slow flow nipples in the bottles so they wouldn't suck the milk down super fast. They were started on solids around 6 months.
One thing that was different for me, and might work for you, is I had the care-giver (husband at first, then inlaws for a short time) bring the babies to me for one feeding of the day, during my planning period. (I was a teacher at the time) We only did that for about 8 weeks, but it was a nice way to get back in to working-- I'd still see them once during they day, and could nurse directly.
I had to be really jealous of my pumping time, and not let people distract me. Administration was supportive, as they had to be under the law.
I just wanted to update with how inks have been going for me...
I went back to work three weeks ago. It's been going really well. As the previous poster wrote, I am very guarded about my pumping time. I pump three times a day. I nurse the baby at 7am, I go to work and pump again at 9:30 for 15 min (5-6oz total), 11:30 for 15 min (2oz total) and 1:30 for 15 minutes(4oz total). Then I fly outta there around 3:15, about fifteen minutes after school and nurse baby as soon as I get home.
My pumping room is a single, private bathroom used administration. It's got a wall cabinet, a fride, a small table/shelf thing that I just keep my pump sitting on all week, and a chair for me.
When I go in to pump, I put on my headphones and my hands free bra. I set the timer in my phone for 15 min although. Will pump longer if I happen t have a let down right before the timer goes off.
ps me to have everything set up for the next day early in the evening.
Baby G shows some irration at night with my let down. He is a little frustrated that its slower than the bottle but I think we'll get though it.
I want to thank all you ladies from the bottom of my heart for all your helpful posts and for encouraging me. I'll check in again soon.