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Thread: 3 mths...back at work...super stressed!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
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    15

    Default 3 mths...back at work...super stressed!

    Hi all

    Posted in the "Working and breastfeeding" forum but thought I would also post here just for more moral support! Apologies for redundancy!

    Am super happy that I made it to this forum and hoping I can stay here for the upcoming months! However, have been back at work for 4 days (9 to 6) and though I have been trying to pump as much as possible (3-4 times, 15 mins at least), my output has been incredibly low( ranging from total of 6oz to 9 oz). Obviously this is not enough to satisfying dd when I'm away so have had to supplement with formula.

    I am feeling so frustrated and defeated but am determined to continue. But I really need to figure how to increase pumping output coz all I think about when I'm at work now is how little I'm pumping and totally not focused on working! super stressed out.

    I nurse when I am with her and on weekends and will be working from home thurs afternoon and Friday so hopefully that will help keep up my supply but still...

    Plus since baby has had history of slow weight gain, am slightly concerned I will be starving her=( Diaper output is adequate so far and baby is generally happy and alert. Could it perhaps be the 3 mth growth spurt? If so, what should I do? Pump even more?

    Just wanted to share as in need of support! Thanks!!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    20,631

    Default Re: 3 mths...back at work...super stressed!

    Sorry you're struggling at work!

    Things to try:
    - Different pump- many moms try to make it work with inexpensive manual pumps or low-powered single/double electric pumps when what they really need is a more powerful machine. Moms who work full-time often need a machine in the $200-300 range (think Medela Pump in Style or Hygeia Enjoye), or may even need to consider a hospital-grade rental.
    - Increase your pump frequency. You may need to pump after feedings when you are with your baby if pumping more during the workday isn't possible.
    - Different shield size.
    - Review your contraception choices. Some moms find that hormonal contraception had a negative impact on their supply- and this can include "safe for breastfeeding" methods like the mini-pill or Mirena IUD.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    15

    Default Re: 3 mths...back at work...super stressed!

    Thanks mommal for your support! Forgot to thank you last time as well!

    In response and for more info, am using PIS and it is already better than the Ameda Purely Yours that I bought during pregnancy. Not sure about the hospital grade rental but will look into it!

    Will try to increase pumping both at home and at work...though I'm already pumping 3-4 times at work already. I feel that my supply seems more at night instead of mornings foursome reason....weird?

    Will look into shield size but the current one seems ok and comfy so far...as for contraception....not on any plus it has been awhile since DH and I have had the chance ! Haha....

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    75

    Default Re: 3 mths...back at work...super stressed!

    Are you doing breast compressions when you pump? I get about a 50% increase when I'm able to do compressions. I also find that I get another let down after about 20 minutes. Don't know if pumping a little longer is an option for you. I've also had to figure out pumping in the car on the way to work (only works if you have a bit of a commute). It's easier than I thought it would be and I get another 2 oz or so a day. Good luck and hang in there!!
    mom to four energetic kids ages 6,7,8 and our newest arrival born 8/14/2012

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    66

    Default Re: 3 mths...back at work...super stressed!

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*tampamama View Post
    Are you doing breast compressions when you pump? I get about a 50% increase when I'm able to do compressions. I also find that I get another let down after about 20 minutes. Don't know if pumping a little longer is an option for you. I've also had to figure out pumping in the car on the way to work (only works if you have a bit of a commute). It's easier than I thought it would be and I get another 2 oz or so a day. Good luck and hang in there!!
    Cheers to pumping in the car! I do it at least twice a day since I'm on the road so often for work! A mom's gotta do what a mom's gotta do!! :-)

    @Mistletoe-jess, Along with the previous recommendations to pump after feedings and do breast compressions (which work wonders!) I would also make sure you are drinking PLENTY of water and eating well. Sounds like a no-brainier, but I know when I returned to work I often got so caught up in my day that I would forget to hydrate and eat and on those days my pump output was significantly lower--I'm talking 3-4oz less than normal which is huge!

    On another note--you said you pump around 9oz in 3 sessions and that its not enough for your girl during the day--but how much is she actually eating during the work day? At 3months old I would imagine 9oz in a 9hr period would be fine?
    Maybe Mommal can elaborate, but I've always been told (and seen on this forum) that the average intake should be 1-1.5oz per hour that you're away, which is right on target with what you're producing.

    Lastly, TRY not to stress! Easier said than done, but worrying and watching the milk drip, drip, drip into those bottles is sure to stress you and affect supply as well. Try to bring a book, sit undistracted, and tell yourself that you WILL make plenty of milk for your sweet girl :-)

    Good luck!
    xoxo

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Texas, USA
    Posts
    50

    Default Re: 3 mths...back at work...super stressed!

    Make sure you are getting enough to drink, use a handsfree pumping bra which will help leave your hands to make compressions. Pump at the same times during the day. Pump at least 20 minutes, and do relaxing things to distract yourself. I get my best reading done when I pump. I have also found the more concerned I am and the more focused I am on output, the less I pump. I am pumping for my second child. I pump 3 times during the day and nurse 3 times. On the weekends I feed 6 times a day and pump at least 2. It is not for everyone, but I have gotten good results by taking herbs to increase supply. (Fenugreek) My daughter is almost 8 months and I have been pumping since 6 weeks. My oldest I pumped from 6 weeks to over a year. It can be done. Be presistant keep up the good work. I am rooting for you.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    15

    Default Re: 3 mths...back at work...super stressed!

    Thanks all for suggestions! Just a bit more info:
    - I only managed to pump abt 9oz in 14 hours...about 6-7 oz within a 10 hr period. My dd is eating perhaps 3-4 oz every 2-3 hours so average intake.
    - I commute to work but on public transportation (ie. subway) so no chance of pumping during commute though that would have been great!

    Definitely not eating or drinking enough whilst back at work so will work on that! Am trying to do compressions but not sure how one does them whilst pumping...won't the flange lose suction? Or am I doing sth wrong?

    Separate question, since I have to supplement at least 1, if not 2 meals of formula whilst I am at work, do I give her he usual breastmilk per feeding (ie. 3-4 oz) or the "normal" formula amt (ie. 4-6oz)?

    Thanks so much for all advice so far!!! And support...will persevere=)

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Nashville, TN
    Posts
    514

    Default Re: 3 mths...back at work...super stressed!

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*mistletoe-jess View Post
    Thanks mommal for your support! Forgot to thank you last time as well!

    In response and for more info, am using PIS and it is already better than the Ameda Purely Yours that I bought during pregnancy. Not sure about the hospital grade rental but will look into it!

    Will try to increase pumping both at home and at work...though I'm already pumping 3-4 times at work already. I feel that my supply seems more at night instead of mornings foursome reason....weird?

    Will look into shield size but the current one seems ok and comfy so far...as for contraception....not on any plus it has been awhile since DH and I have had the chance ! Haha....
    When I returned to work I went through two double electric pumps, both expensive, before I caved and rented a hospital grade pump. It did the trick - hugely improved my output. I've now been back at work 5 months and I still rent it. In 2 pump sessions I usually can get 12 - 13oz which isn't huge but way better than where I started. if I need a 3rd session ill get another 3oz or so. Last one of the day is usually the lowest but not always.

    In the early days of work I was more tense about pumping, which didn't help the cause. I didn't have the timing down and the length of time it was taking got me anxious about getting to meetings on time etc. my two tips; 1. hydrate hydrate hydrate 2. Until you've got a groove down try not to work or do personal tasks while pumping. I keep a library of photos and videos on my phone and I'd flip through them as I pumped. Made me smile and seemed to motivate the boobs.

    With the trusty hospital grade pump and now that I'm an old pro I can pretty much do any task, including a conf call.
    1st time mom over 40 to Alex(andra) b: 7/14/12

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    15

    Default Re: 3 mths...back at work...super stressed!

    @debbers - thanks so much for sharing! i have been debating whether to rent a hospital grade pump but the employee at the rental place said that even with a hospital grade pump, there might not be much difference. however, hearing from you, it seemed to have worked well. would you mind sharing more info on that? i can then consider going for it!

    will keep in mind your two tips!!! i try to distract myself by playing games on my phone whilst pumping but dont think it is working well. will see if pictures of my dd will be better? also totally agree that i get tense whilst pumping coz it seems to take so long and i feel like i have to rush back to meetings!

    thamks so much for sharing!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    15

    Default Re: 3 mths...back at work...super stressed!

    btw...i just checked and should clarify that i'm using a Medela Swing...not PIS! guess i should look into rental of a Symphony?

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