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Pumping issues, please help!

500 Views 7 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  JuniperMama
Hi Mamas!
I've been needing to post for several weeks but haven't had access to the web. Here's my problem-
I work 40-45 hrs a week as a dog groomer. I have very hectic work days and use all my breaks to pump. The last few weeks I haven't been able to get both of my breaks (hence my pumping sessions) in every day. I'd say that I get about 2 out of 5 days with two 20 min sessions. The other 3 days I only get one 20 min session. I've noticed my production has gone from 8-12 oz per session to 4-6oz per session. Finn eats more than this during the day so unfortunately his dad (primary daytime caregiver) and I have decided to supplement with formula. He only gets it when I'm not home, after he's eaten all the EBM I've left and he exclusively BFs when I'm with him. He also sleeps with me and nurses about 4 times a night. And before I ask my question let me also add that we'll be going on a 10 day vacation soon, which I hope helps get my milk supply re-established.
SOOO my question-
Can I continue to pump this way and have enough milk to exclusively BF when at home? I'd like him to be able to enjoy our bond until he is ready to let go. At the very least I want to be able to BF until his 1st birthday.
TIA for any advice, comments or support!!
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This is not a good idea... You are already starting to dry up. If you continue to do this your milk will be gone. I don't really have any good suggestions for you other than making time to pump. Good Luck!!
Check out kelly mom:

Hope you get more time to pump.

Can you get to work early, and take more / longer breaks? What kind of pump do you have? Do you co-sleep, sometimes you can get your babe to reverse cycle & eat mostly at night.
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I dont think have to get the time off to pump! There are people at your work who take smoke breaks right? Well take your pumping breaks, if you need to break more and pump less time, do so. Try only pumping for 10 min with a dual pump every 2 hours. It might take a week or two but your breasts will figure out what you are doing and adjust! But you have to pump is you want to keep up your supply. Remember the US Surgen General wants babies to be feed breast milk until 1 year! Make the time. Take the time. And just do it.
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If I were you I'd be sure to nurse like a mad woman on vacation. I actually had to increase to 3 x's a day when I started dropping. Now that my dd is a bit older and eating solids I'm not so concerned, but when she was 4-6 months I was. Upon your return I would really try to keep 2 x's/day, unless you don't mind supplementing. They are more effecient when they nurse opposed to pumping so chances are the babe is getting more from nursing in the same time it takes you to pump. I just watch my dd, if after nursing she seems content & satisfied I don't worry.
For a while I was only able to squeeze in one pumping session a day also and my milk started declining too. I was able to make up for it by pumping first thing in the morning and in the evening, as well as the one time while at work. I also pumped after every feeding during the weekends so I could "bank" enough for the rest of the week. It was tough but totally worth it to be able to stay away from formula. My long term solution was to just make enough time to pump during the day, even if it's only 10 min. My opinion is that 2 10min sessions is better than 1 20min session. So if you really can't get more time away, just distributing that time differently might be enough.
you legally have the right to take two 15 minute breaks, plus a lunch break. I've worked jobs where I felt uncomfortable taking them and just worked thru them- but this is too important to feel like you can't. get a doctors note if you have to. even 5-10 minutes of pumping is better than nothing. unfortunately if you keep going like you are, you may lose your supply completely. I know it's hard, pumping sucks.
is there any way it would be realistic to have the baby brought to you on the lunch break?
In a hurry so I have not read the other replies. I apologize if I am repeating here...

I pumped at work and for supply issues for months so I totally understand the stress of what you're going through. There are strategies to help make this work!

a) Do you have control over how the dogs are booked into the schedule. Can you make a couple of times in the day that are sacred and CANNOT be booked? I encourage you to INSIST on time to pump if you possibly can. However, if you absolutely cannot get it in during the work day, there are other ways to get it in...

b) How long is your commute? Can you pump on the way to work? My commute was about 15-25 mins depending on traffic. I got a car adapter for my Medela PISA and a hands free set up called the Easy Expressions Hands Free Bustier and pumped on the way to work. It doesn't matter if you just left your DS and won't have a lot to express, pump away! The stimulation is great for milk supply. If you nurse right when you walk in the door then perhaps pumping on the way home isn't a great idea but on the way TO work should be good if you're in the car long enough.

c) How many hours does your DS sleep at a time during the night? If you're doing a late evening feeding and then he's sleeping for about 3 hours it would be a great idea to pump immediately after that last feed. At this pump session I encourage you to pump for 30 minutes. I know it may sound like a long time but it will really help! This can also help with having enough milk for the next day

d) Pump on weekends. If your DS is taking a nap during the day that's a couple of hours, pump right when he goes to sleep. Again, pump right after the last late evening feed. This will help you build up freezer stash so that you have extra milk for days you don't pump enough at work. It will also encourage supply.

There is a great book for supporting supply nutritionally - Motherfood by Hilary Jacobson

Hang in there. You're doing great. This is a big transition and it takes a little while to get it figured out. If you continue to get good stimulation I am sure your supply is going to be fine.

Feel free to PM me if you want to talk more.

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