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Thread: Going back to work

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Fort Dodge, Iowa
    Posts
    15

    Default Going back to work

    I am going back to work January 2nd My LO will be 9 weeks old. Fortunately, I will be going back part time. My question is this. How much freshly pumped milk should I have on the day I go back to work. And how big should my supply be in the freezer? I've got about 16oz in there right now. I've done some test pumps when she is eating in the morning. She'll eat on one side and I'll pump the other. The most I get out will be about 3 ounces. I pumped this morning because hubby and I are going to our work Christmas party and got 2oz. off one side. I pump maybe once a day for a freezer stash.

    I'm really nervous about going back and having to pump. She has not had a drop of formula, which is how I would LOVE to keep it. When I went back to school after I had my son I was pumping and the only place they allowed me to pump was the bathroom. (I NOW know that is illegal, unfortunately I was unaware of that at the time.) I could only get about an ounce out of each side. That pump literally sucked! WIC loaned it to me it was a large green pump and it was very hard to maneuver and work with. The pump I have now is a Madela Symphony, considering my "luck" with pumping in the past it looks as if things are getting better, right?
    -How do I keep my supply up when I'm pumping?
    -How long should each pumping session last?

    TIA

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    1,947

    Default Re: Going back to work

    Good news - you already have enough for your first day back! Baby needs between 1 and 1.5 oz of milk per hour, so unless your work day is longer than 11 or 12 hours you should be fine with what you have. Then, each day you work, you pump what you need for the next day. So technically you don't need anything more in the freezer, though lots of moms like to have a bit of backup in the freezer just in case. Pumping once a day to build up that stash is more than enough. And you already doing great with the pump if you are getting out 2-3 oz.

    To keep up your supply when pumping, you should pump as often as your baby is eating. So that is usually AT LEAST every 3 hours, both breasts. You'll have to see once you start working whether/how you need to modify that to match your baby's milk intake while you're at work, and some moms do some extra pumping on the commute in or home, or in the evening - you'll just have to see how it goes. 15-20 minutes is an average pumping time, some moms need longer (up to 30 minutes), some need less - again you'll have to see how your body responds to the pump while you're working. If you find your output is on the low side, longer pumping - even if you don't see anything coming out. Adding hand compressions helps too.

    The Symphony is a good pump so in that regard you're good. Having a space where you can be comfortable and relaxed is important too.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Fort Dodge, Iowa
    Posts
    15

    Default Re: Going back to work

    Its actually kind of funny. The place they have given me to pump is my husband's office LOL! We work at the same place I'm a home care aide, and he's the business manager. So when I need to come in and pump; what's more comfy than pumping in his office? I'm obviously comfortable around him and maybe able to relax a little more than in the conference room (I have to pump there if he is in a meeting or something comes up.) Thanks for the reply. I appreciate it very much. I'll continue to pump daily for an extra freezer stash...just in case!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    1,947

    Default Re: Going back to work

    I pumped in my husband's office too for the whole year of pumping for my first baby! It was a great arrangement.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Fort Dodge, Iowa
    Posts
    15

    Default Re: Going back to work

    So hubby and I went out for our work potluck. We were gone an hour and she ate all 3.5 ounces I had pumped for her. Babysitter said she was very grumpy after she got done and burped, almost as if she wanted more. She gave herthe pacifier and gave her to her older sister (8). She was a little better then. Should I be leaving 4 oz per hour gone? Or is the paci enough?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    1,947

    Default Re: Going back to work

    4 oz per hour is way too much! The thing is, babies don't self-regulate with the bottle the way they do with the breast. So often if the caregiver continues to offer the bottle, they'll keep drinking, which then gets interpreted as the baby needing that much milk, which they don't. Total milk that the baby needs per 24 hours is between 24 oz and 32 oz (which is where the 1 to 1.5 ounces per hour comes from). If baby drinks more than 1 to 1.5 ounces per hour while away from you, she'll drink less when she's with you. So that creates two problems. One, it's hard to keep up with pumping more than 1 to 1.5 ounces per hour. Second, if she's filling up with the bottle during the day, then she'll want to nurse less with you in the mornings and evenings, and since nursing is generally a better stimulus to milk production than pumping, that makes it even harder to keep your supply up. So it's like a double whammy.
    Here are some links from kelly mom about how to bottle-feed a breastfed baby, including information you can give to your sitter:
    http://kellymom.com/bf/pumpingmoms/e...reastfed-baby/
    http://kellymom.com/bf/pumpingmoms/f...ottle-feeding/

    One strategy is to leave 2-3 ounce bottles with 1 ounce "toppers." I've seen the suggestion on here to leave the 1 ounce topper as frozen milk, that way the sitter has to go through the trouble of thawing it, and by then baby may have moved on to something else.
    It's good to try to deal with these issues up-front, before getting into supply troubles!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Fort Dodge, Iowa
    Posts
    15

    Default Re: Going back to work

    whoops! i meant 4oz per feeding like every 2-3 hrs lol see what sleep deprivation will do to you! Thanks for the links they were helpful. Since I nurse her on both sides, if I get 2 oz off each is it ok to combine that for 1 feed?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    1,947

    Default Re: Going back to work

    In principle I think that's fine if LO is eating every 3 hours or so - if LO is taking 4 oz every 2 hours, for example, then you might start having problems keeping up. But you don't want LO to take MORE than 4 oz at a feeding. That's the idea of starting with 3 oz and giving the caregiver the option of an additional 1 oz. If you start with 4 oz, it's tempting for caregiver to want to add more, then you're above your max. But if your caregiver is disciplined about stopping at 4 oz, and you are keeping up with it with your pumping, then it's okay. I think you'll have to feel out the situation.

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