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How long?

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

I am trying to plan my schedule...

 

I just realized I don't know how long it takes to pump.

 

How much time should I leave myself at work from start to finish?

How frequently do you pump?

 

I was planning to leave my house at 7am (feed baby around 6:15/6:30) and then pump around 11:30 or 12:30. Should I leave at 6:30 (feed baby around 5:45/6:00), pump at 8am and then 12:30 or is the 12:30 enough? 

 

This will be really early on... just weeks after birth. 

 

Thanks!

post #2 of 17
It takes me between 20 and 30 minutes to pump. I pump for 15 minutes and then there is set up and clean up. I pump 3 times a day. I feed baby at 7 before I go to work. I pump at 9am, 12:15 and 3:30 and then I feed baby when I get home at 5:15. I am away from my baby for 10 hours each day. I have heard recommendations from an LC who taught a class I took and from the Kellymom website that you should not go more than 3 hours without pumping to keep up your supply. If you get engorged, your breasts respond by not making more milk. An empty breast sends the signal to make more milk. Your supply is established within the first 40 days so if you are leaving your baby before that time it is especially important to replace those feeding sessions with pumping sessions so that you have a good established supply. I have to go pump now so I will finish when I return!
post #3 of 17

I don't remember how long it took me, really it takes as long as it takes to fill up what your boob will fill up... does that make sense? Like sometimes one boob would be really full and so it would fill up the bag in 8-10 minutes, but other times i'd do 15-20 to get it full it I was having to do a lot of compression, etc.

 

Are you working FT? You will most likely need to pump more than twice. I worked 9 hour days and I'd feed the baby at 6, pump at 9, 12, and maybe 2:30 or 3 (something like that) then we'd have a nice breastfeed nap at 4-5 when I got home. I can't remember the exact schedule but I know I pumped 3x a day when I worked that long. I did that for 5 months. When I moved and my house was closer, I pumped again at 9, went home and fed baby at lunch, then usually pumped again in the afternoon unless I got off early (if I left at 2:30 or 3 then I wouldn't pump again- just go home and feed baby), I did that for just over 4 months. I was able to BF until he was 13 months but only pumped until he was barely 10 months old.

post #4 of 17
It takes me about 15 minutes per session, and I have extra parts so I just do washing at home at night rather than after each session. I went back to work when my son was 4 months old, and I would nurse him at 7, pump at 9:30, go home at 11 to breastfeed at lunch, and then pump again at 1:30. Home by 3:45. Now that my son is a year-old, he just started Montessori school and I dont nurse him at lunch anymore. I still do my morning and afternoon pump sessions....not sure how much longer I will continue that.
post #5 of 17

Re: pump parts

This may sound kind of crazy but I actually had 5 different sets of the parts- one for each day of the week. I'd use one set for all 3 pump sessions (just rinsed it with hot water inbetween) and then at the end of the week they alllll went in the dishwasher! It was super easy and I recommend that if you have the ability to buy so many sets.

post #6 of 17
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the advice. It I can get it done in 15 minutes that really helps. I was thinking a half hour.  I like the idea of extra parts. I teach at a large university and the bathroom near my office is always full of people. I'd rather just bring the parts home and throw them in the dishwasher. 

 

I'm thinking this schedule:

 

feed baby at 5:45-6:30

pump at 8:00

pump at 12:30

feed baby at 4:30

 

Does that seem like a enough? I'm only doing it two days a week starting at 1.5 weeks. Hopefully the baby will sleep at 6:30 and dh can get ds1 and ds2 on the bus to school before she wakes. I have a horrible commute though that is at least 1 hour and 20 minutes!

post #7 of 17

Honestly, I think 4-4.5 hours is too long to go between sessions, but you can only do what you can do.

 

I pumped every 3 hours beginning from the last feeding, whenever that was.  My schedule was the same from week to week, but not from day to day.  Sometimes I timed it just right to only need to pump once a day, sometimes it ended up being 3 or 4 times.  It took about 20 minutes; I didn't rinse any of my pump parts in between so the only thing I had to do was attach a bag and go.  All the washable pieces went in the dishwasher each night.

post #8 of 17

If you are only doing 2 days a week then it miiiight be enough BUT if baby is only going to be 1.5 weeks old (did I read that right??) then you do want to keep your pumping sessions timed to how closely she/he nurses which at that point is like anywhere from 1 hr to a max of 3 hours... if you find that your supply is really, really good and you are pumping a lot then you may be able to squeak by (and this also depends on how well you can get a stash built up which may be really hard if you only have 1.5 weeks to do it!!) but otherwise you may very quickly find yourself having to add in a pumping session to make sure they are about 2.5-3 hours apart. Did I read that right you are going back at 1.5 weeks old?

post #9 of 17
Thread Starter 

Yes... one and a half weeks!  I'll also be having a c/s (3rd one) so I'm worried about supply. I don't want to risk losing my job. I only have to go back for seven weeks and then I'll be off for three months. It isn't ideal, but the job IS ideal long term.

 

I could do this instead:

 

feed baby at 5:45-6:30

pump at 8:00

pump at 11:30

pump at 2:30

feed baby at 5:00

 

It makes my day slightly longer... ugh... this really isn't ideal. 

post #10 of 17

I would definitely plan on doing that but as your stash builds and provided your supply is good then you may be able to scale it back to the first plan you had at least in the last few weeks!! Good luck Mama!!!

post #11 of 17

I pumped in the car during my commute into work and my commute out of work.  That got me two extra pumping sessions.  I found that I had to pump every 2.5 - 3 hours. 

post #12 of 17
Thread Starter 

Interesting idea. This could help me since I have a long commute. How did you set that up?

post #13 of 17
Yeah, I'd plan on at least 3 pumping sessions, maybe you won't need that many, but I'd plan for it just in case. For me, I really need to pump 20-30 minutes as I have multiple, slow letdowns. It really depends how you letdown in general and for the pump. With the babe that young, I would wash pump parts in hot, soapy water after each pumping session, but once the babe is older, I just rinse out between sessions and wash with hot, soapy water at the end of the day. Having multiple pump part setups is a good way to do it too if you can, and it is good to have extra parts on hand anyway is something gets torn/broken/lost.
post #14 of 17

I refrigerate my pump parts in between sessions.  Great option if you have easy access to a fridge.

post #15 of 17

Yes, refrigerating the pump parts saved me a lot of time!   I used an insulated bag intended to hold a 6-pack of beer :eyesroll and it was big enough for the milk storage bottles plus the pump parts--or, going home, for the stored milk plus the empty bottles he drank that day.  None of my co-workers ever objected to my "lunch" in the refrigerator.

 

I'm very sensitive to cold and worried that the refrigerated parts would be too chilly for me, but I found that they warm up quickly, so it wasn't a problem.

post #16 of 17

You should aim for every 3 hours early on, so yes, you'll want that morning pump too. At the very least because you'll make more milk then. 10-15 minutes to pump; 2 for set up.

 

Your life will be better if you buy a few extra complete sets of parts. That way you don't have to worry about washing up every night.

 

Pump parts just get refrigerated in between sessions. They don't need to be washed.

post #17 of 17
Thread Starter 

Thank you all so much! This has been so helpful. I have picked up a small used refrigerator for my office. This should eliminate the need to rinse parts in a very public bathroom with students, etc. I'm hoping to get the pump through my insurance, but they won't ship until I give birth, which leaves me very little time. I have to look at the extra parts... when I first checked it was frustrating to sort through the authentic/imitation brand parts. Any suggestions on pump parts to go with Medela? 

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