I am a first time mom- here is my general situation. My son is about 8 wks old now. I have returned to work at about 6 weeks. I have an extremely busy schedule at work (work in a lab at a major research institution trying to finish my PhD, AND find a new job), and although I try to find pumping breaks I cannot pump more than twice during a work day (9-10 hours). Three if I am extremely lucky. We have had to formula supplement him when I am not there- he is generally doing well so far in terms of weight. Once I get back from work he cluster feeds until 10 pm when he falls asleep for a good 4-5 hours, and after that he wakes up every 2-2.5 hrs to feed until I leave for work. Weekends I exclusively breastfeed him through the day. My parents live with me and watch him when me and hubby are at work. Now here are my questions:
1. I get about 2-3 oz from one breast and 1-2 oz from another during each session pumping- since the last week, is this volume normal at this time? (I constantly feel like I am producing less) Is there any way to increase milk supply from the less-producing breast at all? Is it normal for the milk supply to vary between days and sessions? Over time as his demand increases, I am just afraid that my milk output while pumping won't keep up.
2. I will be traveling for 3 days (total) for an interview across the country next week. Flight time is almost 8-10 hrs each way. I will be taking my breast pump along, but does anyone know about TSA regulations regarding carrying breast-milk? I will have an ice pack and on my way back I plan to put the breast milk bags in a cooler bag in my checked bags for the milk I have already pumped. Can anyone suggest a better way of transporting the milk back? Will the milk stay alright over 8-10 hours this way?Just don't want to throw out 3 days worth of pumped breast milk.
3. Also, since the two work days will be pretty full and I have no idea how accommodating the prospective employers are going to be about my pumping on an interview- can not pumping for two work days at this point hurt my milk supply? I typically have not felt engorgement until this point.
4. Can pumping for more than fifteen minutes on a medela double electric pump (freestyle) hurt your milk supply at all? My son normally stays on about fifteen-twenty minutes on each breast and since I cannot pump more than twice at work- I was wondering if pumping twenty minutes instead of fifteen can boost my milk supply a bit.
Thanks in advance.