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Thread: Pumping to go back to work

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Virginia, USA
    Posts
    24

    Default Pumping to go back to work

    So I have a four week old that I currently bf. She is still quite small, albeit not alarmingly so, but we are going back to the doc Thursday for her one month apt and we may have to supplement with pumped milk to get her weight up. Currently, I have a medela pump in style advanced that I have use to pump here and there when and if I have been out or separated from my baby.

    I want to start a supply for going back to work. I will go back no earlier than January but I could be a but longer at home. I just want to have a base for myself. When is best to pump? Multiple times per day or once? Also, logistically, how do you pump if you want to store 4 oz or more but only get 1-2 oz per pumping? Can I pump into the same bottle through the day or should I just mix them at the same temperature once have the amount I want?

    Pumping seems super confusing to me, and I'm getting a little anxiety about being able to pum enough for going back to work and knowing how to balance it all.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    2,209

    Default Re: Pumping to go back to work

    Hi norpa.mama. First - don't worry, you'll be fine! I can totally relate to the anxiety of thinking about going back to work and trying to figure out how it's going to work with pumping, but once you actually start back, you'll figure out a way and it will make much more sense (and the mamas on the forum can help you troubleshoot as questions arise).

    Here's how to build up your stash: the best time to pump is usually in the morning, when you have the most milk. What I've done was to pump after a morning feeding, just once per day. Don't worry if you only get very small amounts to start out with. You don't want to go crazy with the pumping because you can get into oversupply issues, and you still have plenty of time until you start working. You probably do want to start introducing a bottle to your LO in the next couple weeks though, to make sure she will actually take a bottle. Doesn't need to be every day though. I personally have never given bottles to my babies, rather I have someone else give the bottle (DH or another family member, for example).

    You may want to store small amounts since it's better to offer the baby small amounts out of the bottle to avoid overfeeding. However, if you want to store larger amounts, you can combine milk from separate sessions once everything is chilled.

    ETA: Forgot to say that I also use the Medela PISA. I've had a great experience with that pump.
    Last edited by @llli*bfwmomof3; November 13th, 2012 at 05:31 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    138

    Default Re: Pumping to go back to work

    Hi bfwmom gave some great advice for going back to work.

    I was terrified that pumping wouldn't work out and we'd have to go to formula. I wouldn't worry about not gettning much per pumping. I usually only got an ounce or two when I was pumping at home before I went back to work. Once I was there, though, and I wasn't trying to BF her and pump at the same time, I got a lot more per pumping.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Virginia, USA
    Posts
    24

    Default Re: Pumping to go back to work

    Thank you both. Do I need a store of milk prepared for those first days of going back to work?

    I know what you mean tallmadre, I am worried about having enough. Not a lot of women in my family breastfed so I don't have any firsthand accounts from people I know, so it's so helpful to have perspectives like yours.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    2,209

    Default Re: Pumping to go back to work

    Well, really all you need is one day worth of stored milk, for the first day. After that you will be pumping milk each day that baby can have the next day. The rule of thumb is 1 to 1.5 oz of milk per hour that you are apart from baby. So if you nurse right before and right after work, if you are apart from baby for let's say 9 hours, then you would need between 10 and 15 oz of milk stored up for that first day. Even if you are only able to pump half an ounce or an ounce right now, you should be able to get up to 15 oz by January.

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