Pumping. Help! WHEN? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 9 Old 12-12-2011, 01:54 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm going back to work part-time and have a 100% BF 7-month-old.  I bought a pump, but WHEN am I supposed to be able to pump enough milk for, say, an 8-hour day away from him when he's still nursing all the time?  

 

Up until about 6 weeks ago, he was sleeping through the night and I thought I'd just pump in the evenings and on my lunch breaks, but he's started waking/ nursing at night too because his first set of teeth came in.  

 

I got about 4 ounces this morning, and have two more days before my first real day (7-8 hrs), but I just can't figure out how I'm going to stay ahead of him. 

 

Any advice from experienced pumpers?


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#2 of 9 Old 12-12-2011, 02:47 PM
 
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One thing that really helped me was to realize that I don't need a huge freezer stash built up just to go back to work. Actually, having a big freezer stash can sometimes cause a mom to reduce her supply, if you rely on it too much. When you start working, you always need to make sure your output is the same (or a little more is ok too) than your DC's input. So really, all you technically need is enough for your first day.  Then you can pump during that day to feed the next, and so on. (assuming that you'll have opportunity to pump at work)

 

Now, most people don't want to cut it so close, so it is nice to have a little buffer in the freezer, in case your care provider dumps the milk on accident, it gets left out and goes bad, spill down your shirt at work while you are taking off your pump (this happened to me.... have an extra shirt and bra in your pump bag or car!), etc. But you can just add one extra pumping session into each day, and just start freezing that, even if it's just an ounce or two a day.

 

Of course, I know it's hard to find time to pump when you are home with your LO. My first pumping was after I fed my LO first thing in the morning, when he takes his morning nap. Prolactin levels are highest in the morning, and I'm always surprised how much milk I can get in the am right after a feeding.


Lastly, Kellymom and WorkandPump are the best online resources I have come across (in addition to MDC, of course). Good luck!


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#3 of 9 Old 12-12-2011, 02:50 PM
 
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Just re-read your post and realized that you are already working PT and are asking about going to work FT.... so you probably know all the stuff I typed above. Sorry!

 


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#4 of 9 Old 12-12-2011, 02:55 PM
 
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Sure-- is he eating any solids?  If so, I would do them during the day while you're gone so all of his hunger needs can be met while you're together (if you struggle to make enough for while you're gone, if not, then you can do solids whenever).  

 

7 months is trickier than newborns for pumping, for some moms, because you don't have that enormous newborn over supply!  But the trick still works that if you pick a consistent time to pump every day, your body will learn to make more milk for that time.  I usually did it in the morning  (when production is high) when building a freezer stash, about a half hour after nursing.  Use a double pump and wear a hands free bra to massage as much as you can while pumping.  

 

Obviously when working, pump 2-3 times a day for an 8 hour day.  My morning pump usually got the majority of the milk, with the next 1-2 being less.  Drinking gatorade at or before lunch helped my afternoon pump.  

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#5 of 9 Old 12-12-2011, 04:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks you guys!

 

@Cat13, you had it right the first time-- I'm moving from stay-at-home to part-time work, not part-time to full-time.  So I've REALLY never done this before!  That's why DS is on a round-the-clock, demand-fed, non-schedule.

 

I think I'm only going to get one break (lunch) in an 8-hour shift, nobody has said anything about more breaks than that.  I probably can't pump enough in a half-hour break to cover the whole next day, right?  So far, I haven't been able to do both sides at once; not sure why but I guess I'm just uncoordinated.  Practice.  I know.  I actually like the idea of not having too much freezer-stash, if nothing else I don't have much space in there.  I don't have child-care provider, DH will be home when I'm working and vice versa.  At least he won't dump the milk.  It looks like I'll be working 3 days a week... if they aren't back-to-back then I guess I'll just try to make use of the day in between.  I will have to check out that workandpump website, thank you!

 

@Altair, he isn't eating any solids yet.  He is allergic (or highly sensitive, not sure the difference) to cow's milk products, and I worry that where there's one allergy there may be others... anyway it seemed simplest to delay solids for awhile, especially since he seems perfectly content just nursing.  (I thought he wanted to eat something once, but he just wanted my fork.)  My older DS didn't get seriously interested in real food until about 9 months, even though I started introducing at about 6-7.  Thanks for the gatorade tip!  


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#6 of 9 Old 12-12-2011, 05:21 PM
 
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The best thing I ever got for pumping (besides a double electric pump, of course) was a handsfree pumping bra. It looks crazy, but works so amazingly well. You can get 15% off by using TFBSAVE15 coupon code.

 

Also, there's a federal law that requires employers to give breaks to mothers for pumping, so you should be allowed to pump more than once. I think 2-3 times is ideal for an 8 hour shift.

 

Good luck!


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#7 of 9 Old 12-12-2011, 05:43 PM
 
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I was just going to post the same follow-up advice!  A hands free bra saves SO much time and aggravation, and will really really up your milk too since you can massage deeply while pumping.  

 

And yes, your employer must give you pumping breaks.  Once a day is not enough.  You could *possibly* get by with nursing as you leave, then arriving at work 15 minutes early and pumping, then lunch break, but for many women that won't be enough and supply will go down.  I was able to pump easily so it was enough for me to leave at 7AM (and nurse right before), pump around 9, pump around 12, then come home at 3 (though not with a newborn), but that would give me 12 oz and he was only taking 8-9 oz while I was gone so I was always ahead.  

 

Keep your bottles small (2-3 bottles of 3.5-4oz each) and increase your nursings when you're home!  My son reverse cycled a bit, which is why he was usually only taking 8-9 oz while I was gone then nursing non stop with me.  I didn't mind it at all since it gave me enough milk to donate regularly.  

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#8 of 9 Old 12-14-2011, 05:47 AM
 
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ditto to a ton of the above - I always get the most in the mornings -

 

Even though I have a double pump, I still only do one side at a time, it just feels more natural to me. That and I have a  hard time finding that hands free bra thing in my size. so I like having a hand free to play on the iPhone or flip through a magazine.

 

I usually get enough for 3 bottles in a pumping session (11-12 oz. our Dr. Brown's glass bottles are only 3.5 oz each) and DD only drinks 2 while I am gone. so I have an extra, just in case.

 

With my first, a lot of times he's only want to eat once while I was gone, so he reverse cycled a bit. so I built up a good sized freezer stash! hope your first days of work go well!


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#9 of 9 Old 12-14-2011, 05:43 PM
 
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I don't have a hands-free pumping bra. I use hair ties. Google something like "hands-free breastfeeding hair ties" and you should be able to find instructions--it's hard to describe, but simple to use. I pump twice in an 8-hour shift. I don't think once would be enough.

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