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Thread: Two ?'s: Places to Pump? and Should I Pump/Save Oversupply?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    80

    Default Two ?'s: Places to Pump? and Should I Pump/Save Oversupply?

    Hi -

    I was hoping for some suggestions on two questions. I apologize ahead of time for the length!

    Currently, I am home with my baby but will be returning to work, so I am trying to plan ahead to make sure the transition goes as smoothly as possible. With my last child, pumping at work and breastfeeding at home didn't go as well as I had hoped, so I wanted to try to be proactive this time around.

    1) I work full time for a large corporation. My company offers a lactation facility to express milk, but it is a 7 minute walk each way from my office and I a) worry that my repeated prolonged absences from my desk to pump will become conspicuous and b) it's a competitive workplace and I don't want to lose out on any professional opportunity because someone perceives that I am not focused on work. This said, has anyone ever pumped during their commute and can share how that is even done? I don't use my cellphone while driving because I consider that "distracted driving", so I am wondering how having a double pump strapped to my breasts while I drive wouldn't also fall into that category. Also, has anyone ever pumped in a bathroom? My floor has a bathroom with locking stalls, so I could pump there and forego the 7 minute walk, but I wonder whether it is sanitary to express milk in a bathroom.

    2) I have an oversupply of milk right now. Is it ever a good idea to use to oversupply to "stock up" for when I go back to work? Last time, I would use what I pumped the day before for the next day's feeding at daycare, but the stress of making enough milk when I was away from home for 10 hours (including commute) and trying to satisfy my obligations as an employee led to a dwindling supply. Every time I would pump, I would end up agonizing that it wasn't enough and that stress became a vicious cycle. If I pump my excess milk now, am I going to worsen the oversupply problem, or help myself out in the future?

    Many thanks to those who can offer input and advice. And apologies again for the lengthy questions.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    399

    Default Re: Two ?'s: Places to Pump? and Should I Pump/Save Oversupp

    I don't know if there are right and wrong answers for everything, but here are my thoughts

    1) Does your office have a locking door, or is more of a cube? If it's an office with a door, I'd just pump there. Also, I have pumped and driven. I set everything up in the garage, with the pump on the passenger seat, two bottles attached to my hands free pumping bra and the whole she-bang plugged into my car (or maybe I used the battery pack, can't remember). I'd turn it on and start driving, and then when i was done pumping I'd just reach over, turn the pump off and wait until I was at my destination before unhooking. I found it way less distracting than talking on a phone.
    2) I'm also dealing with relative oversupply. My solution is to pump once a day to build a stash but not try to totally empty my breasts. Since I'm feeding LO on demand and this is "extra" milk I'm making I don't pump til I'm dry or try for a second letdown or do compressions. I just pump for 10 minutes and take what I get. Not sure this is right but it seems to be working for now.
    Ellen

    Mama-surgeon;
    DS Ethan 12/16/2008
    Breast fed/pumped 11 months as a surgical resident, 80 hours a week at work
    DS Abram Daniel 12/20/2012
    Feel like we've gotten a strong start

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    1,709

    Default Re: Two ?'s: Places to Pump? and Should I Pump/Save Oversupp

    I think it depends on the bathroom. I definitely would only do it in a well-maintained clean bathroom and only while others weren't using it for its intended purpose. I wouldn't pump in a stall, but as far away from the toilets as you could manage.

    An alternative possibility - is there a small meeting room you could book for the purpose? Or is pumping at your desk an option? I used to do that all the time, and even continued working (answering emails, writing documents, etc.).

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    504

    Default Re: Two ?'s: Places to Pump? and Should I Pump/Save Oversupp

    Just wanted to chime in and say that I pump during my commute every day. I don't find that it distracts me or is unsafe in any way. I get all set up using my hands-free bra, put on a nursing cover, then buckle my seatbelt.

    In fact, I find that I pump more milk when I drive because I'm not sitting there staring at the milk coming out - I'm busy driving. And I just leave my pump on after I would normally unhook, which usually results in an extra letdown or two, depending upon traffic that day!

    Hang in there - you'll make this work!
    Blessed with DS - born 9/2/09 - nursed/pumped for 12 months
    Blessed with DD - born 3/27/12 my dreamfeeder

    903 ounces donated.
    http://www.wakemed.org/landing.cfm?id=135

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    2,214

    Default Re: Two ?'s: Places to Pump? and Should I Pump/Save Oversupp

    I personally really try to avoid pumping in bathrooms unless I absolutely have to.

    With regards to your second question - I did something similar to Ellen, pumped once a day after nursing while on maternity leave, preferably in the morning, to build up the freezer stash. As long as you're not getting into issues with plugged ducts and mastitis, I think it's okay.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    80

    Default Re: Two ?'s: Places to Pump? and Should I Pump/Save Oversupp

    Thanks to those who have replied so far - all suggestions have been great.

    Sadly I am in a large cubicle, so pumping there isn't going to work. And the bathroom is nothing but stalls with toilets - and it sounds like everyone is as weary as I am of pumping near a potty. I had asked because a coworker, apparently fed up with the long walk to the lactation facility, was doing her pumping in the bathroom. Since I don't know her too well, I didn't want to accost her with the "is that really sanitary?" question. But I appreciate the feedback that it's probably not for the best.

    For those who pump while commuting - do you only pump on the way to work, or also on the way home? Or do I not want to pump on the way home so I can nurse right when I get home?

    Has anyone invested in two pumps? One to use at home/in the car and one to keep at the office?

    Thank you so much for the words of wisdom! Going back to work with my first child was when the breastfeeding really derailed.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    231

    Default Re: Two ?'s: Places to Pump? and Should I Pump/Save Oversupp

    I pump to and from work and I do it similar to worknpump. I thought I'd add in my little tricks I find helpful. I'm sure these don't work for everyone, but might be worth a try. 1) I pull my shirt and bra up over my breasts to get the handsfree bra to work correctly (wish I'd figured that one out right away 2) I have a zipper fleece I keep in the car with my bf cover. It is cold here and also offers extra coverage. 3) I put a towel in my lap to catch drips. 4)I keep a cooler in my car. It is big enough for 2 ice packs and a large tupperware that easily holds my pump parts with attached bottles. That way I can leave the whole set up ready to go for the ride home and keep a second set of parts at work. 4) I "powerpump" I pump for the first 20 minutes of my ride getting about 2 let downs then I turn it off for 10 minutes then back on for 10 minutes until I'm at work. It ensures that I'm empty when I get to work, gives a bit more milk and I think has helped keep up my supply. (I would not have done thus early on with oversupply).
    Overall, pumping on my commute helps me feel less stressed about getting enough since I start my work day with a couple bottles filled. Also, put my pump sessions in my calendar so I don't let work keep me from pumping on time. I don't know about anyone else, but I am not productive at work when I miss a pump session.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Posts
    75

    Default Re: Two ?'s: Places to Pump? and Should I Pump/Save Oversupp

    I am in a similar situation. Cube environment with a 5-6 minute walk to the pump room. Several people suggested that I pump in my car. Not necessarily while driving, but as a location that is closer than the pump room. I didn't take that route because it's COLD outside, and I worried about being seen. But it is an option.

    However, I have come to really like the walk to/from the pump room. Sometimes I get stressed or annoyed at work, and the walk is a good time to calm down before I try to pump. I take 3 pumps break a day, and that is really the only "me" time I get most days. I have had a few awkward moments when people have asked me where I am going. I give vague answers like "Building xyz." I am not ashamed of breastfeeding, but I work with all men, and just don't feel the need to discuss it with most of them. One person asked me if I were walking that often for work or for my health (we have a lot of power walkers). I said for my health, which isn't a lie because breastfeeding is good for me. So be prepared for a few questions like that. However, most people have not noticed at all. None of the people with cubes in my aisle have any idea that I disappear 3 times a day. And they are the people who witness it.

    As for missing opportunities, I don't think you should have to worry about that. I have my pump sessions set as meetings on my calendar. So if someone wants to get with me about something, they know when a good time is. And I am willing to be flexible (to some extent) with when I pump, so I can always move a pump session if something comes up. And I still put in 40 hours, so the work gets done.

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