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Thread: Coordinating feeding/pumping with caretaker

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2012

    Default Coordinating feeding/pumping with caretaker

    I'm into my second week back at work and my 5 month old daughter is very inconsistent about her sleeping and eating schedule. I know some people just pump at set times, like 9, 12, and 3, but I don't know how that can consistently work-- she may nurse at 6am or as late as 7:30 am with me, so a 9 am pump may not yield enough for the next day.
    Related issue--I tried a 9, 12, 3 pump schedule and Friday I got home, breasts full and ready to feed and her nanny had just fed her a bottle. For the past 2 days I've asked the nanny to text me when she thinks the last feed will be so I can try to pump accordingly and be full when she's ready, but this doesn't seem realistic to keep up while trying to focus on work!
    I feel so out of sync with my baby and I'm basically worried about not pumping enough if I don't time it right, and conversely not having enough when we are reunited. How do others do this? Suggestions?
    Last edited by @llli*lbc; October 9th, 2012 at 09:07 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2012

    Default Re: Coordinating feeding/pumping with caretaker

    For my LO, even though I feed just before leaving for work I pump when I get there. I pump every 2.5-3 hours at work on a set schedule and on the commute home. 9 times out of 10 my LO has just finished a bottle when I see her. Many of my coworkers pump in the last hour of their shift or just before going home. Don't worry about being on empty when you get home. After missing my baby and her missing me, she always is satisfied.

    I would suggest you try a 9, 1130, 2, 430. Or just squeeze another pump in there some how...
    Proud Momma
    DD 2-1-01 BF for 16 months
    DS 1-9-10 BF for only 4 months due to low milk supply and working graveyard
    DD 4-28-12 Pumping 5X a day at work, Loving BFing

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Northern Virginia

    Default Re: Coordinating feeding/pumping with caretaker

    I just made sure to pump the same number of times that my LO eats, but not worry about when I did it -- just spaced it out according to my schedule. So she would eat usually around 9:30, 11:30 and 2:00, but I would pump around 8:30, 11:00 and 2:00. I tried to schedule my last pumping around 1.5 to 2 hours from when I'd be home and nursing LO, if possible. Also, we had that problem with the nanny feeding too late for a while. I started to tell my nanny what time I'd be home each day (it varied by a little) and would say "Don't feed her after 3:00," for example. If she was really starving, I'd let her give her an ounce or something. We were also overfeeding for the first few weeks and she wouldn't nurse when I got home. It took some adjusting to get to the right amount for us (3.5 oz every 2-3 hours).
    Mom to my sweet little "Pooper," born 10/12/11, and "Baby Brother," born 6/23/2014, and married to heavy metal husband. Working more than full-time, making healthy vegetarian meals for family, and trying to keep up with exercise routine.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2012

    Default Re: Coordinating feeding/pumping with caretaker

    I generally pump at the same times each day. I find this makes it so much easier to organize my day. I could not deal with figuring out every day, "OK, she last nursed at 7, so I need to pump at 10, 1 and 4, but I have a meeting at 1 so I will pump at 12:30, then 3:30, blah blah blah". So I just pump at 8 am (while I drive to work, but if I couldn't do this, I would pump either right before leaving or when I first arrive at work) no matter what time she last nursed and then at 11, 2 and get home by 5. If we nurse right before I leave the house, then I won't always get as much on my first pump, but then she's not going to take a bottle until a little later in the morning either, so I feel like it all works out. I try to come home at the same time every day, and my DH (who is home with LO) knows I will get home at 5 needing to either nurse or pump, so if she seems hungry at 4 or 4:30, he might give her an ounce but will try not to give her a whole big bottle. I think this is reasonable to ask your nanny to do. However, there are times though when I arrive home and she's just eaten a big bottle (some miscommunication with DH or he said she just seemed starving and was lunging for the bottle and he didn't have the heart to take it away, lol) or, more commonly, when I get home and she's just gone to sleep, and then I will pump at home. Then, when she wakes up and nurses we're back in sync again. Some moms will wake their babies up but if DH has spent the whole afternoon trying to get her to nap, I'm not going to wake her up.

    When my baby was a newborn, I found that if I pumped just before she wanted to eat, she did not seem to get enough milk. But now that she's a little older (she's 4.5 mos), if I get home, she's just fallen asleep, I pump and then she wakes up immediately after, there is enough milk to at least take the edge off her hunger. She probably also had a bottle right before she fell asleep, though, so that helps, too. She might want to nurse again an hour later or cluster feed a little that night, but she will get what she needs.
    Last edited by @llli*sprocket; October 12th, 2012 at 09:46 AM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    COUGARTOWN Baby! From here on in!

    Default Re: Coordinating feeding/pumping with caretaker

    I think you having a consistent pump schedule IS good idea both in terms of maintaining supply and concentrating on work. And that you if you pump at 9, 12 and 3 you should just tell your DCP to HOLD OFF on that last feeding if it's going to within the time frame of when you are going to arrive. So if you are going to arrive home at 5:30, no bottle after 4pm. Does that make sense? That way regardless of whether or not she is on a schedule, you give your body consistent cue to make milk while away from her, and you DCP has a consistent rule about when to hold off. Which should just be the last hour to hour and a half of when you would arrive. Easier than having to tell you when she is eating. If you don't come home at a consistent time than YOU make a habit of calling her and saying I should be home by this time (6pm) so last bottle should be no later than 4:30. HTH!

    Way too lazy for formula

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2012

    Default Re: Coordinating feeding/pumping with caretaker

    I am now nursing baby #3 (now seven months), always working full-time, and have found that what works best for me, as suggested by others as well, is to pump at roughly the same times each day. Actually I've found that the same schedule has worked for all three babies despite their differences (for me, it's pumping somewhere around 11 to 11:30 and then somewhere between 4:30 - 5:30). I think the consistency actually helps your milk supply and definitely makes it easier on you to figure out what your daily work schedule is, schedule meetings around your pumping schedule, etc. Like you, my baby does not nurse at set times in the morning, but it makes very little difference whether she nurses an hour earlier or later in terms of what I get when I pump.

    In terms of coordinating with your nanny - I've had this struggle as well. My nanny is wonderful but I've found it's very difficult to try to coordinate with her. So I stopped trying. Also, it doesn't really seem fair to her to expect her to hold off a hungry baby for half an hour or an hour (if I'm literally due to get home within the next few minutes, then she will hold off).

    If you find that you are getting home full and the baby has just eaten, you could take your pump home (at least for now) and get another pumping session in. My strategy is to not get home full (hence the late-afternoon feeding), because usually my baby does have a late-afternoon feeding as well. Even if I don't feel full, if the baby's hungry when I get home, there's milk in there (it's easier for the baby to extract milk than your pump, so even if you feel "empty," you probably aren't.) Also, my baby often wants to nurse when I get home not because she's hungry, but simply because she wants to bond, so it doesn't matter how much milk is in there or not, she's satisfied by the experience! (As am I.) In theory, if you feel like your baby is not satisfied and really is still hungry, you have your pumped milk as backup - but personally I have never had to do this.

    Bottom line: for me, having a consistent pumping schedule while at work, and nursing on demand while at home, has worked just fine. You just need to figure out what works for your body and your baby and then go with it. (As you can see from the posts, each mom has a somewhat different schedule that works for her and her baby.) Takes a few weeks to get into the swing, especially the first time around, but you'll get there!

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