View Full Version : Returning to work- BF
03-05-2012, 11:55 AM
I return to work this week and I am am not sure how often I should pump. Normally DD eats every 2-3 hours. I plan to nurse her at 7:30, and then pick her up from daycare at 3pm every day. Should I pump once at lunch (both sides), or should I try to get two pumping sessions in each day? Thanks!
03-05-2012, 12:02 PM
Well, my situation is a little different. I leave at 6 am and don't get the kids until about 5:45 pm. I pump 3x/day at work. Once about 9 am, once about 12:30 pm, and once at about 4 pm. I try to keep my pump sessions close to when DS usually eats. The only one that is shifted a bit is the 4 pm because he usually eats about 3-3:30 pm.
I felt that it was best to try to match the times DS eats to keep my supply in check. I has worked so far and worked for DS 1 (with a slightly different schedule).
For me this extends my day. I must be here 9 hrs to accommodate my pumping (technically my 4 pm pump is after I'm "done" for the day, but I stay in the building to pump). I have an hour commute each way so it complicates things for us.
I guess if you are able, I'd try to pump 2x/day near the time she normally eats. Barring that option, pump once at lunch...but plan to make it a longer session.
03-05-2012, 12:06 PM
I pumped at the times when I would have fed DD if I had been home. So for example, I fed DD at 6:30am before I left for work. If I would home, I would have fed her again at 9:30, 12:30 and 3:30, so I pumped at those three times. Then I fed her when I got home at 6:00/6:30.
03-05-2012, 12:34 PM
I pumped until mine were a year, three times, but I HATE pumping. A lot. I would probably play it by ear but start with planning twice and see how much you get/need while you are gone, then adjust accordingly. Any extra can go into your freezer stash, which will help for longer days, less supply, etc.
All three of mine ended up reverse cycling (didn't eat much during the day and nursed through the night). The first and last hated bottles, the middle was fine with them, but preferred nursing. The reverse cycling is hard, but it meant less pumping which was fine with me! :)
I will also say, the beginning you may end up needing more times than long term. I also needed to "train" the provider (in my case DH or MIL) because they would often think baby crying = hungry, which wasn't always the case. Your DCP should be better since they are more used to it, but they will need to learn your DC's cues as well.
03-05-2012, 12:45 PM
I started out pumping twice per day, sometimes 3 times.
I nursed DD at 6a & got up and out of the house to DCP dropoff.
Then I would arrive at the office at 7:30a; if DD was asleep instead of nursing, I'd pump while waiting for my PC to boot up.
I'd pump again at 11:30-ish (took my lunch with me) and 2:30-ish, blocking out half an hour on my Outlook calendar for pumping. I brought a timer, hands-free bra, nursing cover, pump-cleaner wipes, extra nursing pads, a tube of lanolin and empty bottles with a large cooler bag and ice packs. (I'd transfer to bags at home because overflow would happen on one side consistently if I used bags. Overflow meant lost milk, so I switched from 5oz bags to 8oz bottles.)
At that point, my DD was 8 weeks old and eating about every 2 hours, but I couldn't stay later at the office due to traffic concerns.
In a pinch, I could always rig up my pump to pump in the car - hands-free pumping bras (or hands-free pumps, like the Freestyle) are absolutely priceless!
03-05-2012, 02:23 PM
Pump as often as you can at first - I'd say at least twice a day, probably three times. It's much easier to cut out a pumping session after a few weeks than it is to build up lost supply due to lack of pumping. I always looked at it as a one-to-one situation, as in you need to pump every time your daughter eats. So if day care is feeding her three bottles a day, you should pump three times. Good luck!
03-05-2012, 02:53 PM
Definitely try and mirror your baby's feedings. I can only manage 2 pumping sessions a day, despite sending three bottles to daycare. Same with DS1 when he was BFing. And with both I am slowly losing a battle with my supply, and that is only working 2 days/week! I squeeze in pumping sessions at home all the time to try and make up the difference.
Pump at least twice, three times if you aren't getting much, and always both sides. Basically, you want to be able to match what you are sending with her to daycare, and also avoid any long stretches without any drainage of the breast (which sends feedback to decrease production). If you don't have time to do additional pumping sessions, you can pump in the car after dropping her off, which won't get you much more volume but may help to keep supply up. For the non-lunch pumpign session, even if you can't accomplish a full session, even a little bit of stimulation/drainage/stash buildup will help.
03-05-2012, 03:13 PM
I was away from my girls from 7am-5pm and pumped 3x's a day. I agree with PPs to mirror how often you'd nurse while at home. And when in doubt, I always advice to pump more rather than less often, if you can. The pump just isn't usually as effective as nursing and you may find that you need to pump more frequently to maintain your supply and to get enough output for bottles.
Good luck! I pumped each time until the girls were about 14mos. It sucked (no pun intended) and really ate up a bit of my work day but I did enjoy that it made me slow down a bit at work and enjoy some quiet (ok, my pump was not so quiet) time thinking about my baby. That made it worth it!
03-06-2012, 12:42 AM
Thank you everyone! I am going to try to pump twice a day.
03-06-2012, 06:41 AM
I just want to throw a suggestion out there that's worked for me both times, however it requires limited night time nursing. By the time I went back to work, both of my kids were no longer nursing at night (4mo and 6 mo respectively). What I did was wake up pretty early, pump first thing upon waking then I took a shower and such so that about 30-40 min went by before the baby woke up and needed to nurse. That first pumping session after not bfing overnight gave me tons of milk, more than twice as much as I was able to pump during the work day. By the time the baby woke up, I always had enough milk for him/her - the warm shower helped and babies are so much better than a pump at getting milk out. I then pumped twice at work for my 4-5 months old and once after 6-7 months mark. This set up gave me enough milk and limited my at-work pumping. HTH!
03-06-2012, 10:32 AM
Thank you everyone! I am going to try to pump twice a day.
Be sure to block the time out in your calendar. It'll help you get into the pumping groove and make sure that nobody schedules time with you when you need to pump.
Also, it'll help you remember until it's a habit, which will help you ward off engorgement, leaking and discomfort.
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