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Thread: Switching Shifts And Pumping!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Indiana
    Posts
    11

    Default Switching Shifts And Pumping!

    Hi! I'm new to the llli site! I have a question for when I return to work on Jan 14th. I'm nursing my almost 3 month old son and he's doing fantastic with nursing! When I return to work I'll be switching shifts (possibly weekly) and I want to make sure I'm able to pump enough to maintain my supply! *A little back story....When my daughter was born she didn't take well to nursing and I fought tooth and nail for her to go formula free, which she did! I worked third shift then consistently and would pump 3 times a night at work even though she slept through the night. She went to daycare during the day so I could sleep and I slept then without pumping and then I'd nurse her in the evenings before work. I had to do the Domperidone 3 separate times because I would wake up and my milk would be completely gone. I don't know if it's because of the shift I was on or the fact that I wasn't able to establish a good supply because it took us so long to establish a good nursing or the fact I have a thyroid issue or a combo of all the things.......fast forward to now! When I go back to work in a couple weeks I will be switching from shift to shift. If my bid job is running I'll be on thirds, if not I will move to days or seconds to go where I can get the most money. I've asked them to try to keep me consistent as much as possible on my shift swapping but that's not guaranteed! My question is, should I stay consistent on my pumping and only pump on certain shifts or should I pump no matter what shift I'm on. Owen isn't sleeping through the night so I can't really go all night if I'm on thirds without pumping because I'd have to wake up every 3-4 hours during the day to pump then. If I pump on every break no matter what shift I'm on will my body just adjust (as well as it can) to what shift I'm on?! I don't want to lose my supply because I don't want our little man to have formula!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    1,907

    Default Re: Switching Shifts And Pumping!

    Hi mama, congrats on getting back to EBF! I think one way to think about it is that you want to maintain a constant number of total pumping + nursing sessions per 24 hours. So let's say you normally nurse or pump 10 times per 24 hours, you want to continue to do that. A typical three month old is usually nursing every 2.5-3 hours during the day (maybe more frequently at times, like in the evening) and maybe has one longer stretch of 3-4 hours at night. So you want to mimic something similar with your schedule. So let's say when you are doing a night shift, if you're sleeping during the day while LO is at daycare, you need to wake up and pump during that time to match the times your LO is eating, nurse as much as you can during your time together before and after your shift (evening/morning), and then pump at work to match the number of times LO would be nursing with you if you were together. Usually during a normal day/night schedule you might get one longer 3-4 hour stretch, so if you take that longer stretch while you're sleeping during the day, you make up for it by pumping more at night. I guess the bottom line is that if you were home with your baby, you wouldn't go 8 or 10 hours (or however long your shift is) without nursing, so you also don't want to go that length of time without pumping. Good luck, it doesn't sound easy having all those different shifts but you can do it!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Indiana
    Posts
    11

    Default Re: Switching Shifts And Pumping!

    I was thinking that if I'm on day or second shift I'd pump every break (which would be 2-3 times in eight hours) and if I was on third shift I'd have my husband text me if he had to get up to feed him and I'd nurse as close to that time as I could and then I'd get up 2-3 times during the day to pump. I don't maintain the same sleep schedule on weekends when I'm on third shift so I hate to pump a bunch at night at work and then have a huge supply at night on weekends and not a lot during the day. I figure it's better to keep my milk on a consistent schedule even if the rest of my body can't be! He went 7.5 hours last night without eating and usually goes 3-4 hours during the day, but of course he has his off days too! If I have to lose sleep during the day to maintain a good milk supply, I'm willing to do it for our little guy!!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    1,907

    Default Re: Switching Shifts And Pumping!

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*shanhanselman View Post
    I hate to pump a bunch at night at work and then have a huge supply at night on weekends and not a lot during the day.
    I agree that it makes sense to try to keep a consistent pumping/nursing schedule, but on the other hand, it's also important to maintain the total number of pumping and nursing sessions, even if it means adding a session at night to make up for sleeping more during the day when you're working nights - that's not going to throw things out of whack so that you have a lot of milk at night and not enough during the day when you're with LO. What I mean to say is that the biggest thing you want to guard against, especially since you've had some supply issues, is not being able to maintain your supply because you're not pumping often enough. I would worry about that more than about days vs nights, you know? You don't want to drop below 8 sessions in 24 hours as a bare minimum so you want to aim for those 3 sessions in 8 hours, rather than just 2.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Indiana
    Posts
    11

    Default Re: Switching Shifts And Pumping!

    Yea I didn't know since with my daughter I was consistently on thirds and during the week I'd pump 3 times at night and none during the day when she would be eating at daycare, then on the weekends I'd sleep all night without pumping and then when I'd go to feed her during the day my body had gotten used to me sleeping so I wouldn't have a big supply or there would be times I'd wake up and be completely dry. I didn't know if that's why I had such supply issues with her because of the constant switching back and forth or because I didn't have a good supply to begin with. I called the doctor and even though I didn't get to talk with him a nurse told me she thought it would be better for me to wake up during the day and pump instead of sleeping 8 hours but to add a pumping in at night at work, even if he is sleeping through the night. Pretty much not to go more than 3-4 hours without pumping unless I'm at home and he's sleeping. I guess the best thing to do is try it and see how it goes!

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