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Pumping at work: Continue breastfeeding after your return to the office

Tips and advice for making pumping work for you

by relaxnsmile  |  18553 views  |  5 comments  |        Rate this now! 

4.) Feed the baby "on demand" when you are together, and your supply will bounce back from the separation. Keep the supply in your freezer for emergencies and accidents only. If you didn't pump enough, don't use your freezer supply -- you'll just tell your body to make less and less. Use it for when you forget to put your pumped milk in the fridge (it will happen). Always replace what you take out by pumping more!

5.) Do what's right for you. Every nursing mom has different circumstances; I can't possibly imagine yours. The most important thing, even beyond prividng the gold that I believe is breastmilk, is having a happy Mom. If pumping is too stressful, try writing down the reasons why. After one particularly stressful morning, I wrote down every task that had to be performed before I left the house in the morning, and then highlighted the ones only I could do. Surprise! Most things could be shared with my partner, but he didn't know that they had to be done until they were in writing.

Other working moms have asked me how I did it; I've shared their questions and my answers here:

1.) How did you start the process? Did you pump and give her bottles before you actually went back to work?

When DD was about 3-weeks old, I started pumping after her first morning feeding, or during it (with her in the football position on the other breast). I got more pumping from one side with her on the other than pumping both breasts after she had nursed from one. That's because babies are so good at stimulating our letdown!

I could pump 2 to 6 ounces each morning this way, which was "surplus" because I was still feeding her on demand. When we introduced the bottle, we had to do it with my husband picking her up from sleep and trying without me in the room, otherwise she wouldn't take it. Try it every few days, and only an ounce or two at a time (to minimize waste). If she got a full feeding from him, I would pump while she ate from the bottle. This helped build my freezer stash.

2.) Do you pump on weekends?

My rule is that if I'm with her, I'm breastfeeding. She gets more milk out than the pump ever will, this keeps my supply up. In the beginning, I would also co-sleep with her, so she could get more feedings in while I was home (and we could both sleep).

I would freeze everything I pumped on Friday, and pump every morning as usual over the weekend so get her Monday morning bottles. This help to keep my freezer supply up and rotating. If after pumping Saturday and Sunday mornings I still didn't have enough for Monday, I would also thaw some milk from the the freezer.





5 comments so far...

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    Reported Posted by llzzmm9 on 3rd September 2011

  • I know there are woman at work that pump milk at work. It definitely is a personal preferrence and each and every situation is different.

    If it makes you happy then keep pumping. I don't believe there is any "you must stop" date for breast feeding. I know my sister did it until her son no longer showed any interest.

    It's an individual thing, do what's right for your family.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Mary Jane on 22nd March 2008

  • Excellent! I was in my 1st and 4th years of my MD repectively when I had my girls. Pumping can be a challenge, but making that a bigger priority than getting the highest possible grade on my rotation or course work made it possible.
    -Kristie

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Kristie McNealy on 24th January 2008

  • I, too, am a nursing mom. My son is going on 11 months and I stil have tons of milk. I have to pump at work twice a day. I never thought I'd make it this long, but I do have a great pump. I think that makes a big difference. The people I work with have put notes on the refrigerator saying "No Breast Milk." So, I can see how other moms might stop pumping if they're getting this reaction. I just don't care. It works for me!
    NewsAnchorMom.com

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by NewsAnchorMom.com on 4th January 2008

  • These are such helpful - and honest! -- tips. I only wish I read this when I was struggling to keep the pumping going after going back to work (glass office, no lock on door, all male office -- you get the story!)

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Nataly on 2nd January 2008

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