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Thread: Any other RN's out there?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2012

    Default Any other RN's out there?

    I'm back to work in two weeks and am more than a little worried about how exactly to manage pumping while at work. It's usually a struggle to find time to sit down for lunch, let alone pump enough to produce milk for LO. Luckily, I respond pretty well to my pump, but I know to keep up supply it's usually about frequency too, and not just volume.

    Any other RN's out there who have dealt with this? I work inpatient medicine, 12-hour, rotating shifts.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2012

    Default Re: Any other RN's out there?

    I work as an NP now, so more regular hours than with my first child.

    With baby #1, I pumped for an entire year. I worked 12 hour shifts 3 days/week then as a floor RN. I had a little freezer stash established when I went back to work (I worked a busy neurology/neurosurgery stepdown).
    My routine was like this:
    Wake up 6am, nurse baby and pump if I had time after nursing.
    7am head to work for 7:30 shift.
    Make rounds/do assessments then make another round to pass morning meds.
    Sit down in the charge nurse room and pump while I ate lunch (we have a few lactation rooms here at the hospital, but I inevitably would get downstairs to the rooms and they'd be in use) for 1/2 hour. It has always taken me 30 minutes to respond well to the pump and get my breasts relatively emptied. And that's WITH hand compressions.
    Pack up the pump, leaving the horns/pump heads assembled but in a Ziplock bag. Stick the bag in the fridge.
    Round again and pass meds/deal with issues that were arising.
    I'd usually find time for another pump around 4:30 or 5 pm. (Because I'd pump for 30 min each session I managed to do okay with supply. When I was home with the babe I always exclusively nursed. He was never that thrilled with the bottle, and was happier to take a smaller amount during the day and wait for me in the evening.)
    7 pm - my husband would put the baby down to sleep.
    8 pm - I arrive home, the baby would usually wake up around 9 pm to nurse again before staying down for the night.

    Best of luck!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2011

    Default Re: Any other RN's out there?

    I am a nurse and went back to work in an Emergency Room and also floated to PACU. I could only pump twice in a 12-hour shift, so I was usually coming home with less than he was eating, but here is how I did it:

    6:00am- nurse
    7:00am- to work
    11:00am- Pump and eat myself (got around 4-5 oz)
    3:30-4- Pump again (got around 4-5 oz)
    7:00pm- home and nurse
    10:00pm- Pump (2-3 oz)

    I am two weeks short of a year and I am still following this schedule. I do not have to stick to it as much now, I do not get engorged, but at first, I HAD to pump by the times listed above. My managers were very supportive, but probably only because they had to be with the new nursing mothers law. Regardless, they made it work. There were a handful of times when I could not get away to pump because of a very sick patient and I had to go pump in a hurry in the conference room, and a few times where I did not get a break and had to just run and pump quickly. Either way, I just found another nurse to cover me for a 10-minute session. I got the pumping down to 10 minutes by just bagging the pump parts and sticking everything in the fridge and washing it out once I got home. I also figured out pretty quickly that there were certain nurses who would always cover me, certain charge nurses who were super supportive, etc., and I made it work because I was determined! We will see how it goes after the one-year mark- I am going to try and still pump once on my lunch break.

    I am not going to say it was easy, because it was probably one of the hardest things i have done because my milk supply was always just barely enough, but I did it and he is almost a year old! It is totally something that you can do- you get pretty good at eating with one hand and pumping at the same time. Good luck! Let me know if you have any other questions or problems, and congrats on the baby!!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2012

    Default Re: Any other RN's out there?

    I am also an RN and returning to work next week. I'm curious as well to hear what other moms do. I work 12 hour shifts 3 days a week. Is there anything I can do to keep my supply from dropping?

  5. #5

    Default Re: Any other RN's out there?

    I'm worried about this also. Today is my first day back at work, so we will see how it goes. I'm also worried that my baby will start to prefer the bottle since she will be getting her feedings from it for 12 hours while I'm gone. That would just break my heart!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2009

    Default Re: Any other RN's out there?

    But if you're doing 12 hr shifts, you can really nurse a lot the 4 days you are home together. To keep up your supply you want to pump with a good quality pump at least every 3 hrs. I'm not an RN, but I do work in a hospital as a speech pathologist and I would pump right before I left for work at 7, pump at 10, at lunch and then at 330. I know 12 hr shifts and being a nurse can be really hectic but I do think it can be done. The moms who posted about with their schedules had a plan that worked for them and their babies. Frequent milk removal is the key to a good supply and really nurse a lot when you're home together.
    Nursed my sweet daughter 3 years, 3 mos.

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