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Thread: Work and supplementation

  1. #1

    Default Work and supplementation

    Hi,
    I'll be returning to work in 3 weeks when my baby is 8 weeks old. While breast feeding has been enjoyable (and at times, exhausting - My son is quite the eater!), pumping has been very difficult for me and would be difficult logistically at my job. I'm strongly considering trying to continue nursing in the morning and evening and formula feeding during the day. I may be able to pump at lunch but will in no way have the volume to satisfy my little guy. Has anyone been successful in nursing on a morning/evening schedule with formula during the day in a younger infant? Any advice for me. Thank you!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    2,625

    Default Re: Work and supplementation

    I would make a really strong effort to keep pumping during the day, every 3 hrs if possible bc your supply will drop significantly supplementing. How many times does he nurse at night? Some babies reverse cycle and you can get them to nurse a lot during night but unless you're co-sleeping that is hard when you have to be alert for work.
    Nursed my sweet daughter 3 years, 3 mos.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    2,207

    Default Re: Work and supplementation

    As krystine says, to the extent that you CAN pump at work, that will help maintain your supply and your breastfeeding relationship. Would you be comfortable sharing what the barriers are at work? We may be able to give suggestions about overcoming them.

    There are mothers who successfully combine formula feeding during the day with breastfeeding at night. But it can be tricky because of the difficulty maintaining supply. So if you go that route, you want to do whatever you can to maintain supply - nursing as much as possible when you are together with baby, including overnight, and on weekends.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Work and supplementation

    So, this morning, we gave my son a bottle so I could try pumping after some actual buildup and I turned down the suction on the pump. The pumping was much more successful and less painful. Pumping at work is looking a tad more feasible, though maybe not enough to exclusively breast feed. I just can't see missing a half hour of every three hours. That would dump way too much work on my coworkers. Thank you for your help and encouragement!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    20,813

    Default Re: Work and supplementation

    What do you do in the workplace, mama? And what is your workplace pumping setup likely to look like? Maybe someone here can figure out a way to get you more time, or make the case for you taking the time you need.
    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!"

  6. #6

    Default Re: Work and supplementation

    I'm a radiology resident. I will actually have access to lactation rooms at the hospital, including their pumps. I'm thinking I'll pump twice a day.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    2,207

    Default Re: Work and supplementation

    Here are some thoughts: rig a hands-free setup for yourself. There are camisoles and bras designed for this purpose, or you can make one yourself by cutting holes out of a snug-fitting cami. Any chance you can sneak into a private room with a workstation? Then you can read images while pumping. It could actually be an ideal job for combining working and pumping! Or perhaps dictating reports while pumping. Even on an interventional month you could potentially use the pumping time for dictating procedure notes. Or writing H&P's on the EMR. If none of that is possible, you can at least combine pumping and eating lunch.

    Pumping need not take half an hour. Some moms do take that long for ideal output, but if you have only 10 or 15 or 20 minutes, make use of that time. Any amount of pumping you can sneak into your day is good. More time-saving tips: the flanges and valves do not need to be washed with every pumping sessions. They should be fine at room temp in a bag between sessions. If you can stick them in the fridge, all the better. Or you can buy multiple sets of parts - so if you are going to pump twice a day, two sets of parts, for example. You can leave the milk for up to 8 hours at room temp, longer with a cooler pack, in case you don't have time to take the milk to a fridge for storage.

    Even pumping twice a day should maintain your supply pretty well, even if it does not completely meet baby's daytime needs for expressed breast milk. One thing that is key is to avoid overfeeding during the day. One, that makes it hard for you to keep up. Two, that decreases baby's motivation to nurse when you are together, so your supply takes another hit. The rule of thumb is 1 - 1.5 oz per hour apart. Usually in 2 or 3 oz meals. So you might want to store milk in 2 or 3 oz sizes with 1 oz "toppers" to be used if baby is still hungry.

    Here are some links on breastfeeding-friendly bottle-feeding:
    http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...astfedbaby.pdf
    http://kellymom.com/bf/pumpingmoms/e...reastfed-baby/
    http://kellymom.com/bf/pumpingmoms/f...ottle-feeding/

    And here are the storage guidelines
    http://kellymom.com/bf/pumpingmoms/m...e/milkstorage/

  8. #8

    Default Re: Work and supplementation

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*bfwmomof3 View Post
    Here are some thoughts: rig a hands-free setup for yourself. There are camisoles and bras designed for this purpose, or you can make one yourself by cutting holes out of a snug-fitting cami. Any chance you can sneak into a private room with a workstation? Then you can read images while pumping. It could actually be an ideal job for combining working and pumping! Or perhaps dictating reports while pumping. Even on an interventional month you could potentially use the pumping time for dictating procedure notes. Or writing H&P's on the EMR. If none of that is possible, you can at least combine pumping and eating lunch.

    Pumping need not take half an hour. Some moms do take that long for ideal output, but if you have only 10 or 15 or 20 minutes, make use of that time. Any amount of pumping you can sneak into your day is good. More time-saving tips: the flanges and valves do not need to be washed with every pumping sessions. They should be fine at room temp in a bag between sessions. If you can stick them in the fridge, all the better. Or you can buy multiple sets of parts - so if you are going to pump twice a day, two sets of parts, for example. You can leave the milk for up to 8 hours at room temp, longer with a cooler pack, in case you don't have time to take the milk to a fridge for storage.

    Even pumping twice a day should maintain your supply pretty well, even if it does not completely meet baby's daytime needs for expressed breast milk. One thing that is key is to avoid overfeeding during the day. One, that makes it hard for you to keep up. Two, that decreases baby's motivation to nurse when you are together, so your supply takes another hit. The rule of thumb is 1 - 1.5 oz per hour apart. Usually in 2 or 3 oz meals. So you might want to store milk in 2 or 3 oz sizes with 1 oz "toppers" to be used if baby is still hungry.

    Here are some links on breastfeeding-friendly bottle-feeding:
    http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...astfedbaby.pdf
    http://kellymom.com/bf/pumpingmoms/e...reastfed-baby/
    http://kellymom.com/bf/pumpingmoms/f...ottle-feeding/

    And here are the storage guidelines
    http://kellymom.com/bf/pumpingmoms/m...e/milkstorage/
    Those are some incredibly helpful suggestions! A second set of parts especially would definitely decrease my stress level! I don't think we have any isolated work stations but it's worth double-checking. Thanks!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    20,813

    Default Re: Work and supplementation

    A hands-free setup could allow you to pump during your commute, if you drive. Pumping right before the workday and, in some cases, right after the workday, can make up for some missed opportunities while you're on the job.

    If there are no isolated workstations, do you think it might be possible to bring a little privacy screen or even a poncho/nursing cover and pump at a public workstation? I mean, that's not something that's in everyone's comfort zone but sometimes we do what we have to do!

    You might also want to discuss the possibility of setting up an isolated workstation, for people who want/need privacy and for moms in your shoes- you might be the first to need to pump on the job but you sure won't be the last!
    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!"

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    NY
    Posts
    554

    Default Re: Work and supplementation

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*mommal View Post
    If there are no isolated workstations, do you think it might be possible to bring a little privacy screen or even a poncho/nursing cover and pump at a public workstation? I mean, that's not something that's in everyone's comfort zone but sometimes we do what we have to do!


    I sometimes pump under a scrubs top that is oversized, to fit my hands free setup underneath, when I need to pump in a "public" space. Covers up everything! I just rig myself up in private, pull the top down, and go. I write reports while I pump all the time.

    Try not to worry about coworker resentment. I pump a LOT, and I have never had a problem with that. I work extremely hard when not taking my breaks, and always offer to do extra when I am available. I have stayed as productive--or even more productive--as my colleagues.
    Last edited by @llli*sonogirl; October 13th, 2013 at 08:15 AM.
    Apologies for the short responses! I'm usually responding one-handed on my smartphone!

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