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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  |  32606 views  |  5 comments  |        Rate this now! 

3.) How often do you pump at work?

In the first month (DD was 3 months old), because I was still establishing supply, I had many pumping sessions. I would pump first thing in the morning (at about 6 a.m.) at home, then three times at work. You will always get more in the morning than in the afternoon, so as soon as you get to work, pump again (about 8 a.m.). Then again at lunch (about 11:30), then again in the afternoon (about 2 or 3 p.m.). I would nurse her at daycare briefly, then I would nurse her as much as she wanted when we got home. After she went to sleep at night, if I hadn't pumped enough to make all her bottles the next day, I would pump again.

Around 5 months, I went to three times a day -- once in the morning and twice at work, three hours apart.

Around 8 months, becuase she was eating solids at daycare, she stopped drinking one of the bottles I was sending, so I dropped the afternoon pumping, and pumped once in the morning and once at work, around lunchtime.

I basically followed her lead -- when she changed her eating, I changed my pumping. For example, in the beginning, I was sending in four 4-ounce bottles, but she was only eating about three ounces, so I adjusted when I felt comfortable with what she was eating. If she started drinking all of her bottle (growth spurts), I would increase the amount by half an ounce until she wasn't drinking it all again. Don't use your freezer supply for growth spurts, or your supply will drop. Pump more (at night) to get more instead.

4.) How many ounces you were getting at a time when you first started?

I pumped anywhere from 2 to 5 ounces per breast per pumping, depending on when the last time DD ate or I pumped. Always more in the morning. I would stop pumping once I got what I needed -- for example if I needed 12 ounces a day, and I got 8 ounces combined from my morning pumpings, I would stop after 4 or 5 ounces in the afternoon. If I needed more, I would just stay on the pump longer -- almost always I could get another 2 ounces after an extra 8 to 10 minutes (with a second letdown 8 to 10 minutes after the first one).

5.) What did you do when your child started sleeping through the night?

My DD just recently (at 14 months) started sleeping from 7 p.m. to 5 a.m. consistently, so I only pumped in the middle of the night at the beginning of that change, for comfort's sake. Some lactation consultants suggests that you still get up to feed the baby at night anyway; there are two reasons for this. 1.) any extra feedings from the baby instead of from the pump will help keep up your supply and 2.) if you do an extra feeding at night, the baby needs less during the day. This is called "reverse cycling."

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.

    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!

    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