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Thread: Breastfeeding and working Nightshifts TIPS PLEASE!

  1. #1

    Default Breastfeeding and working Nightshifts TIPS PLEASE!

    I just got hired to work nightshifts from 10pm-6am with 2 on 4 off rotations (the first 2 days off I will be on call). My LO is 10 weeks now and loves nursing! She also uses a binky and has used a bottle before without any nipple confusion. I want to continue to breastfeed because I was unsuccessful with it with my first daughter and now it is finally working with my second. I have a very small stash of breastmilk that I try to increase whenever my milk supply seems to be too much (which is very rare). So my question is what are some tips from any working momas out there to ensure me being successful at this. My goal is to nurse her for at least a year. I have a medela pump-in-style pump that seems to do the job and I just today started pumping the opposite breast at feedings since she only empties one at a feeding. I read that pumping 20 minutes after she nurses also helps increase supply...should I do this ontop of pumping the other breast?
    Thank you,

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    COUGARTOWN Baby! From here on in!

    Default Re: Breastfeeding and working Nightshifts TIPS PLEASE!

    Well you only need a stash to cover you the 1st day. The milk you need for the next day you will pump while you are at work. The rule of thumb is 1-1.5 oz of milk left for every hour you will be away.

    Way too lazy for formula

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2011

    Default Re: Breastfeeding and working Nightshifts TIPS PLEASE!

    You should reading lots of post to get ideas from other people with similar questions, but here are some specifics to you that you need to consider.

    How much/when is your baby nursing at night/when you are away from her. Since it is a night shift I assume she will be sleeping some of the time while you are away, but awake when you come home to sleep yourself right? Like djsmom said, the general guideline is 1 to 1.5 oz while you are away and you try should to pumping when your baby would be eating or at least every 3 to 4 hours. But a night shift *might* work to your advantage as she may sleep a lot and you would not need as much. Kind of like reverse cycling...but in a good way. She may sleep more at night because that is when you are away, so she will wait to nurse more when you are home.

    Like djsmom said, all you really need to enough for the first day, and then you will pump what you need during work for the next day. A lot of people build up a stash, and it is nice to have back up, but you don't need to worry to much about forcing your body to make more. You just want it to make as much as you need, which you should be able to continue to do during work. Since your baby is still so young, you do need to be pumping every 3 to 4 hours, closer to the 3 hour range is probably better, but more experienced pumpers can chime in here too. What will matter than is how much you pump at each session. This varies greatly, so it is really up to your body and your pump and how they work together to get what you need. Does that make sense? If not we can clarify more.

    Hope that helps. You can do it momma!
    I'm Elizabeth, I'm a librarian and mom to three precious children.

    Sofia Kerala, born Jan. 6, 2012, planned homebirth. Self-weaned @ 2 years 8 months.
    Noah Lucas & Ethan Gabriel born March 15th, 2015, unplanned, but perfect homebirth. Tandem nursing through lots of challenges.

    We are happily , , , and .

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