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Thread: Any nurses out there?

  1. #1

    Default Any nurses out there?

    Hi all,
    So I went back to work today after being off for 12 weeks. LO is 11 weeks old. I am a nurse in a Surgical ICU and have been really stressed about going back to work and pumping, and I think today just kind of solidified that. Not that people weren't willing to cover my patient, but I only got to pump twice (in 12 hours) because the third time the rooms were both taken and my "back up room" was locked. Plus I had to scarf down my lunch in 15 min because my manager had informed me that my pumping time should be taking away from my lunch time (and since I'm off the floor for 20 min each time I pump, 3 pumping sessions = 1 hour -- which is how long we get for lunch). Doesn't exactly make relaxing during a pumping session easy...

    Does anyone have any suggestions or tips? We nurses don't have normal jobs. We can't pump in our office or between meetings or during our "prep" hour, and we certainly don't have predictable days at work. I just don't know how long I'm going to be able to keep this up. It makes me sad, because I've worked my butt off to get even this far.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Bryan, Texas

    Default Re: Any nurses out there?

    I'm in nursing school right now, but I've been around nurses during my clinicals that pumped. They just took any lull they could get and went to pump...even if it'd only been 2hrs. The nurse I worked with the most didn't fuss with washing out the horns, etc. She put everything in a ziploc baggy and threw it back in the fridge. All she did was cap the bottles, put the horns on a new set of bottles, zip up the baggy, and throw it back in the fridge. Then the next time she got a lull, she'd run in, grab the bottles, sit on the potty (I KNOW, ) and she'd pump. Lather, rinse, repeat. She said she was able to get in anywhere from 3-6 pumping sessions a 12hr shift. She said that sometimes she'd only be able to pump for 10-12mins but that she'd just try to pump more the next time.

    Can you come in 30 mins early/stay 30 mins late to make up the time? Or what if you just took an extra 30mins/shift unpaid so that you could have enough pumping time?
    All over the world there exists in every society a small group of women who feel themselves strongly attracted to giving care to other women during pregnancy and childbirth. Failure to make use of this group of highly motivated people is regrettable and a sin against the principle of subsidiary. ~ Dr. Kloosterman, Chief of OB/GYN, Univ. of Amsterdam, Holland


    Mama to:
    Shiloh (5/6/06) Nursed for 13 months and Josephine (7/26/08) Nursed for 23.5 mos Currently nursing my new little firecracker, Finley Catherine, born on the 4th of July!!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2006

    Default Re: Any nurses out there?

    DH is a nurse ... I'll ask him if he has suggestions based on what he's seen.
    DS1: bf 7/2006 -> 4/2009; multiple food allergies
    DS2: bf 9/2009 -> ???
    ; multiple food allergies
    Breastmilk Donor - http://hmbana.org/index/donatemilk
    Click HERE to learn about baby led solids (BLS) / baby led weaning (BLW)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2010

    Default Re: Any nurses out there?

    nurse here

    first DS i was a floor rn-- 12 hours were the worst... for the most part i was able to get away... for 3 sessions- typically it was my pm session that got screweed.. too much todo.. but yup pump through lunch break (we had a designated room- never really had to fight for it).
    now with ds#2- i am a clinic rn-- we get 2 15 min breaks and 30 for lunch... i try and find the lull time in the schedule and run.. and of course lunchtime.. taking a real long time right now since i didnt get am session... and wont get my pm session either today...
    but agree with pp--

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Northern CA

    Default Re: Any nurses out there?

    I am not a nurse, but I definitely get what you are saying about working long hours in an unpredictable setting. I am a veterinarian at a busy general practice/ER clinic. My shifts are 10-12 hours long. Somedays it seems like every time I strap on the horns a critical emergency walks in. Even though it is difficult, you can do it.
    with pp. Pump when you can. Try to have a rough schedule, but be flexible. Two sessions close together are still better than one. I also do not wash parts in between pumping. I just throw the whole set up in the fridge and simply change bottles each session. Finally invest in a hands free set up. That way I can eat while pumping, make phone calls (I always wonder what clients think of the background noise ), write charts, etc...

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2006

    Default Re: Any nurses out there?

    I'm also a vet, and I scheduled in one pumping session (and pray there isn't an emergency or some big huge involved case or an overly demanding owner that overlaps that loose time) -- I only work one day a week -- but if I get a minute, I take it. Hands free set-up lets me eat at the same time. I pump in one of our exam rooms, actually. I never wash anything out, just toss it back in my bag, and that's that.

    It's awful, and normally, I get to just pump once in an 8-9 hour day. I also would suggest maybe trying pumping in the car on the way to and from work, then pump around the middle of your workday and then you at least get 3 sessions. Better than nothing.
    Mama to my all-natural boys: Ian, 9-4-04, 11.5 lbs; Colton, 11-7-06, 9 lbs, in the water; Logan, 12-8-08, 9 lbs; Gavin, 1-18-11, 9 lbs; and an angel 1-15-06
    18+ months and for Gavin, born with an incomplete cleft lip and incomplete posterior cleft palate
    Sealed for time and eternity, 7-7-93
    Always babywearing, cosleeping and cloth diapering. Living with oppositional defiant disorder and ADHD. Ask me about cloth diapering and sewing your own diapers!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Yuma, Arizona

    Default Re: Any nurses out there?

    Dialysis nurse here and shifts are 14 hours. I'm not back to work yet...we will see how it goes!
    Pumped for Kaiser (DS1) for 6 months (8/16/08)

    Now BF Ronin (DS2) AND I'M SO HAPPY!!! (6/16/11)

    Donated 140 oz of breast milk (14 oz of colostrum) to the human milk bank in Denver, CO!!!! Check it out!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Landof2toddlers, Oregon

    Default Re: Any nurses out there?

    It might also be worth talking to HR and seeing if it is the organization that is not letting you have enough time or if it your boss. I had assumed I had to pump on my own time until one of the other moms checked with HR who said we got two *extra* 15 minute breaks a day to pump in on top of our mandated/contractual breaks.
    proud but exhausted working mammy to two high needs babies

    • my surprise baby: the one and only D-Man born 3 weeks late (5/5/08) at 9 lbs 14 oz and 21.5 inches, and
    • the shock H-Girl born about a week late (10/7/09) at 8lbs 15oz and 20.75 inches.

    If I am here I am covered in baby (probably two) and fighting for control of the keyboard.

    Family beds are awesome

    Wondering if you have PPD? Take the screening and see your doctor. You deserve to feel better.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Any nurses out there?

    Thanks everyone for the advice. I'll definitely check with HR to see if there is a specific policy, but I am doubting it. I emailed with the LC on the LD unit and she didn't mention anything, and I'm assuming she would know! She might be able to get a pump signed out to our unit though so that that I don't have to keep running downstairs to pump (eventhough it's only one floor down). So far I've been back to work for 2 shifts. Have been able to pump only twice a shift. Once the rooms were all taken when I tried to go for the third session, and yesterday we got really busy and my patient started having issues, so I couldn't get off the unit. So, we'll see how it goes...

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: Any nurses out there?

    Good luck! I think it stinks that we don't take care of the people who take care of the rest of us. Nurses, doctors and teachers have the hardest time finding time to pump.

    Mommy to
    Lilah 10/08 nursed 25 months
    Beatrix 01/11 nursed 30 months

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