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Teachers who Pump?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
I will be going to work in September as an elementary school teacher. I now realize from my student teaching and other classroom experience, that it is next to impossible to get a chance to pump (aside from lunch time and that is not even guaranteed). DS will be almost 13 mos. when I go to work and he is still not the greatest eater now. I'm thinking I will still need to pump a lot for him. Are there any elementary school teachers out there who have pumped for their dc? Do you have to work something out with the principal so that you can leave your class to go pump? I would think I need to pump at least 2 or 3 times daily so I would need more than my lunch break. Also, prep periods can come at any time during the day so I could be facing painful engorgement. I am so worried about this. Here I thought that teaching would be fulfilling and conducive to my family life and now I'm realizing that in more ways than one, it's not.
post #2 of 12
Good luck--I think it'll work itself out for you. I pumped during my lunch break and whenever my planning period was. I think my breasts learned to tell time after awhile. But, until then, wear extra pads.
post #3 of 12
How old is your DS now?? I'm thinking that by 13 mos A morning feed (or feeds) and an open buffet in the evening and at night will more than meet his breastmilk needs at 13 mos. I don't know how sensative your breasts are, but personally I think I could get away without pumping at all as long as DS doesn't need the milk throughout the day. Overnight I can nurse on just one side for 12 hours. The other boob gets very full, but not painfully. I'd say start a freezer stash and plan on pumping once a day. For my DS when I go to teacher's college in the fall I plan to get a stash, then pump whenever I can throughout the day. But it may turn out he doesn't want milk from anyone else throughout the day and can survive on water and solids for a few hours....I don't know, we'll be playing it by ear.
post #4 of 12
I returned to teaching when my son was 13 months old. He would not drink out of a cup or bottle. He would drink NOTHING all day!

He actually did what is called "reverse cycling" where he nursed all night (we co sleep) and before I dropped him off and then again when I picked him up. My breasts adjusted, and he was fine. I did not pump at all.

I hope this helps to ease your mind. I am sure your little one will do the same!
post #5 of 12
I am a teacher (kindergarten) and I went back when ds was 10 weeks old. It worked for me to just pump at lunchtime. For those early months I had a good enough supply to be able to pump enough at that one session (with a double electric pump) to leave dh with enough to feed him while I was gone. When he got older and was eating more, I added a pumping session at home right before I went to bed. I also had a freezer stash (from those early days of oversupply) that we used quite a bit of later on.

My principal was super-cool about it because she was a nursing mama who pumped when she was a teacher. It also helped to have teachers around me who covered my classes on those rare times that I had to pump when my class was around. For instance, on field trip days! I had to wait until we got back to school and then have someone cover my class.

For the most part I pumped in my classroom while my students were in the lunchroom. Sometimes at my school the students have to eat lunch in the classroom. For those times I borrowed a tutor's office. She was very accommodating and gave me a key.

If you need to pump at other times, surely you will find a way to work it out. Your time at school is precious, so it was an adjustment for me to take time out to pump. I am usually the type of teacher that does not take the time to sit down for lunch. Rather I'm rushing about setting up centers, making copies, marking papers, dealing with discipline issues, etc. But I loved having that time each day, even if it was just 10 minutes, to set work aside and do something just for ds.

One thing that helped was having a mini-fridge in my classroom. I also streamlined my pumping process. For instance, I never rinsed my pump parts at school. After pumping I poured the milk into the storage bottle, stuck that in the fridge, and put the pump parts back in the carry case. I took care of washing at home each evening. I also left my pump set up and plugged in at school so it was just a matter of attaching the horns each day and flipping the switch.
post #6 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thanks so very much ladies. I'm so nervous about going to work . . . you all have helped me relax a little!
post #7 of 12
I second the mini fridge! Both times I returned to work (my first from 7 weeks of age until 3.5, my second from 3-6 months of age) I used my recess and lunch breaks, as well as before or after school if needed. I had arrangements with other teachers if there ever needed to be a student inside during recess time. I could lock my classroom door and draw the blinds. My recess breaks were 15 min, which gave me just enough time to pump, rinse everything off and pack it away before I had to pick up the kids. It was tough, but doable. It does help if you have a supportive administration or even a yard duty who is willing to keep your kids out on the yard a couple of extra minutes if need be. I let the office know that no calls/no one could interrupt me at those times but I was available after school to talk to parents. Best of luck in your new job!
post #8 of 12
I returned to work when Luke was 10 weeks old. I was fortunate to have an aide that year, so in the morning, I'd leave for about 15 minutes while she stayed with the class. And then I pumped during lunch. Then, we had an afternoon recess that I was able to pump during. I didn't have a mini fridge, but a coworker who also pumped at school did. So, she had no issues with me keeping my bottles of milk in her fridge! LOL

Good luck!
post #9 of 12
Resurrecting this thread to add that although I teach high school, it was still a challenge to pump. In my case, my biggest ally was the school nurse. She let me borrow her private office to pump, which was quiet and probably the only place in the whole school that didn't have jarring fluorescent lighting. She also had a fridge, which I didn't. I mention it because when I was fretting about how/where to pump, I never once thought of enlisting the school nurse's help until someone else suggested it to me.
post #10 of 12
I teach kindergarten and went back to work in March when my daughter was 4 months old. I was only able to pump once a day during lunchtime and it worked out fine. I used an electric double pump and it only took about 10 minutes to empty both sides at once. Unfortunately, I work in a pod school and couldn't pump in my classroom. I borrowed one of the offices where I could plug in my pump and lock the door. I would suggest adding a pumping session in the morning before school starts. I tried to do it during recess when I first got back to work, but there just wasn't enough time. I also can't have a mini-fridge in my room, but my pump comes with a little cooler and I just kept my milk in there until I got home. I also washed everything when I got home, but I know that Medela sells little wipes you could use to clean your pump if you don't have time to rinse it in the sink.
post #11 of 12
I taught for a year after my son was born. I went back to work when he was 5 months old. I would nurse him in the morning. Go in a bit early to make sure I could prep, plus do a quick pumping session before class started. I had students until noon (without a break) so I would usually pump at lunch. If I needed to pump mid morning, I would go in a backroom and have my TA keep an eye on things. Like others have said, nursing/pumping in the morning and then pumping at lunch, then if possible on your prep or reccess (if you do not have duty) should be plenty for 13 months. Goodluck, I think it will all work just fine. Also, I would pump in the evening once, and once or twice daily on the weekends (along with nursing on demand) if I felt my supply needed a boost.
post #12 of 12
I went back to teaching when ds was 6 months old. I nursed him at lunch or pumped and dumped it (no fridge). I had built up a frozen supply for him at home in the freezer, but he didn't want it (mama or no bm). I nursed him in the morning, he had some organic plain yogurt and sometimes a bottle of formula(he would take this) and bottles of water and he nursed like crazy when I got home.

By 13 months, he was just nursing when I was at home and I wasn't pumping at all. He wasn't a big eater, just enough to tide him over and then he'd nurse like crazy in the afternoon. I really stressed about the whole thing before I went back to work, and it was fine. He's still nursing at 3 years old now.
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