new at this
Hi everyone! :hello
I'm a first time mom, new to pumping and being away during the day. It's really hard for me to pump. I get the questions how long will you be bf, and some act like it's gross. It's frustrating when I know how important it is to provide the most nutritious mama's milk to DD. There's no place I've found yet to leave my pump except the employee fridge at work and others complain it takes up half the refrigerator. When I only get 10 minutes sometimes and try to hurry it seems like there's 5 minutes of it to pump, and as soon as things start to flow breaks up sometimes.Is it bad to stop pumping right when there's a let-down? I think it's bc its so cold, bright, and the window on the doors depending on what is available when needed. At home it's more relaxing, and before I know it 30 minutes past (lol longer than wanted to), and theres 5 oz, more than double what takes 2 or 3 pump breaks when working or at school. Does anyone have any stories to share that it gets better? Will pumping get easier, like bf did? I'm concerned I won't always be able to pump as much as she eats when I'm gone too. Thanks for any input!
Re: new at this
Hi mama! Sorry people are giving you a tough time about pumping. Do you have to let them know that that's what you're up to? It's really none of their business unless they're your boss or directly impacted.
Why do you need to store your pump in the fridge? Of course your milk needs to go in there, but the pump itself doesn't. You can get a soft-sided cooler for your milk with an icepack (I have a cooler from nenesupply--found it on Amazon) and that way it isn't obvious what is in there. There must be someplace for employees to leave their purses, etc. right? So you could probably put the pump itself there and just store your milk in the cooler in the fridge. (If you're using an icepack, it's not even technically necessary to put it in the fridge--the ice pack should keep it cool enough for up to 12 hours).
10 minutes is better than nothing, but it's just not enough time to pump. If you work for a large company (more than 50 employees) then you have a legal right to adequate break time for pumping, although that time may be unpaid. You should point this out to HR and your boss and ask for what you need. Most moms need to pump for 20-25 minutes every 2-3 hours. Plus you need a little time for set up, etc. You are also legally entitled to a private room which is not a bathroom to pump in. The windows on the door are not ok! Can you tape paper up to cover the window or something? Of course you can't get a letdown in a situation like that with no privacy! Cold can also inhibit letdown, maybe bring a warm sweater?
Pumping does get easier with time, as you get into a routine that works for you. You'll figure it out. Some moms also learn to respond better to the pump over time by relaxing, etc. and get better output that way. There are other things you can do to maximize pump output too, such as breast compressions when pumping (google 'hands-on pumping' for an excellent video from Stanford on this technique). Some moms add an extra pumping session in the car on the way to or from work, if they can't get enough pumping during the day. Some moms add a session at night after baby is in bed. You'll figure it out! We're here to help. :goodluck
Re: new at this
Hey thanks for all the great feedback! I will put the pump where we put our purses at work. I try to keep all the pump parts and the milk in a cooler with and ice pack that came with my medela pump (it's a tight squeeze but it works to save time and wash parts later). I don't tell everyone, the only thing about that is I am not always in the same building at the university, so need to carry it with me to classes, with limited desk space for packed classes, and I'm not comfortable putting the pump on the floor where we all put our backpacks during classes. So sometimes I've been asked what the bag is. For a 4 hour class with a ten minute break, do I still need to go for 20-25 minutes? I'll have to talk to and negotiate with more of my teachers, I'm just afraid my classmates will think I'm unprofessional missing lab and class time, not like it's any of their business though. We share desk space, and I'm pretty sure I smell like a milk factory, me and my pump bag. The one day I noticed after coming in (late from break of course) I had milk splashed on my glasses. :) I'll make sure the windows to the room is covered, they are very large windows. It's so good to hear that it will get easier, and I'm going to watch the video from Stanford now. Thank you again!!:bow to all pumping moms out there.