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Thread: Working overnights and nursing/pumping

  1. #1

    Default Working overnights and nursing/pumping

    Hi,

    I'm an emergency veterinarian and I work overnights. My daughter will be 9 months old in about a week. I really want to continue nursing and avoid supplementing with formula. So far I have managed this, but I'm getting exhausted. I want to know if I change my pumping schedule on my days off, will I lose my milk supply? If I could just get a stretch of sleep longer than 5 hours. I think I would be a lot healthier and less stressed.

    My work schedule is 6pm to 7:30 am 4 nights in a row then off for 4 nights. I'm only able to pump twice at work (once between 10 and midnight and again around 6-7 a.m.). I usually go home and sleep about 5 hours, get up and pump, then get my kids, nurse baby around 4:30 pm. She's in bed around 5pm and I have to leave for work by 5:05 to fight traffic or I'm late.

    All 3 of my children go to day care while I sleep on my work days. On my days off, I keep baby home for the morning and take her to daycare for a few hours in the afternoon so I can get some things done or get a nap. She has started solids for 2 meals a day.

    My nights off, I'm not able to fall asleep at a normal time even if I force myself to stay awake all day. I wind up falling asleep around 1 or 2 am and then getting up at 6 to feed baby a solid, pump, then nurse her. If I let my husband feed her her solid and take her to daycare like on a workday, so I could get a full night sleep, then wake up and pump, would I lose more of my milk supply. So far, I have kept up with her milk needs and before I went back to work, I created a large frozen supply that we haven't used much.

    Sorry this is a long post, I'm just so tired. If I have to "tough it out" and just continue to be tired to do what's best for my baby, I will. Just hoping there is another option.

    Thanks,
    Tired all the time

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    524

    Default Re: Working overnights and nursing/pumpi

    From what I hear, at 9 months, you still have to be careful about your supply... but I don't think it's super sensitive. If you aren't having supply issues now, I think I would try to get a full night sleep and then pump when you wake up. Try that out and see how it impacts your pumping output. If nothing seems to change, enjoy the extra sleep. If your supply starts to decrease, go back to waking up earlier to feed/pump.
    ~ Megan

    Mommy to Alex (born 2/27/11) and Katie (born 3/31/14)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    1,293

    Default Re: Working overnights and nursing/pumpi

    i agree with PP

    your sleep is important to your overall well being so i would try to get some more sleep if you can. i think you can see how it goes and if you notice your supply dropping then you may need to add another session in.

    i really like to hand express for just a couple of minutes after each pump. i know it may sound silly, but it does seem to really keep my supply up. i had watched a video that explained how and showed that it has been proven to increase production overall. maybe you could add in a few minutes of hand expression at the end of each pump, get a little more sleep and hopefully it would balance it out i say give it a try. if you have a freezer stash you should be fine. it will allow you to notice any variation and add a session back if needed.

    good luck!

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