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Thread: Can't pump at work, effect on supply?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2013
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    94

    Default Can't pump at work, effect on supply?

    I go back to work when LO will be 9 months, I work from home a lot but on the days I need to go into the office can I get away without pumping or will I get super engorged?
    I can't pump at work, we don't really have the facilities and I don't feel comfortable about having to do it.

    I have tried to offer formula in preparation for this so I could mix feed but he will not take it so I'm at a loss as what to do... By doing this I hoped my supply would get used to not feeding during day but still have enough to feed morning and evenings

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    middle of IA
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    Default Re: Can't pump at work, effect on supply?

    how long will you be separated on days you're going in?

    the short answer is assuming a regular 8-9 hour day, yes, this is very likely to negatively impact supply, and ALSO yes you need to worry about engorgement/mastitis ...

    it is actually your legal right to pump at work, in almost all situations.

    but give us more details and we can help you problem solve.

    also how far away is this? how old is baby now?
    DS1 6/7/11
    DS2 10/29/13

    Nursing, pumping, cloth-diapering, babywearing, working professor mama with the awesomest SAHD ever.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
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    Pennsylvania
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    10

    Default Re: Can't pump at work, effect on supply?

    Not pumping will affect your supply... can I ask why you are not comfortable with pumping at work? It is a federal law that they must provide a place for you to pump. I could be wrong but I think that it's workplaces over 50 people though
    Proud mama to 2 boys

    DS # 1- 4 years old, EBF for 6 months

    Currently EBFing DS #2 age 4 months

    BF goal: 1 year

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2013
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    94

    Default Re: Can't pump at work, effect on supply?

    I work with mainly men and can't imagine having to store my breast milk in the fridge without feeling embarrassed and the meeting rooms can't be locked and I just know I would feel embarrassed pumping at work BUT I have asked my boss today to find out my rights just in case. I guess I'll just have to get over it lol!!
    Also my breast pump I have (electric one) doesn't seem that good, doesn't suck as hard as it used to ect. Also finding the time to pump is hard! No one tells u this when u start breastfeeding, I'm sure people think u will be available indefinitely to EBF :-(

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    21,259

    Default Re: Can't pump at work, effect on supply?

    One way to store your milk in the fridge: get a paper bag or small insulated bag and pop bottles in as you produce them. Label the bag "Property of Cosmicbabe" (or whatever your real name is! ) and no-one is likely to ask questions or look inside.

    If that still doesn't work, mini fridges are usually quite inexpensive. Maybe $150 or so- and buying one would pay for itself since formula is expensive. Cost of one mini fridge = same cost as around 5 cans of formula.

    If the mini fridge idea doesn't work, you can always bring a cooler with ice and stash that under your desk.

    If the meeting rooms cannot be locked, I suggest discussing the following possibilities with your boss:
    - Finding a room that can be locked. Room should be clean (i.e. NOT a bathroom) and have a chair and an outlet.
    - Bringing your own lock from home.
    - Putting up a sign on the door (it can say something like "Private, please return in 20 minutes" and blocking the door with a chair or something.
    - Make sure you present your pumping needs as a given, not an option. Your boss may feel free to deny you the opportunity to pump if you present pumping as some big favor that the company is doing for you. Instead, present it somewhere along these lines: "As you know, baby at home, so I'm going to need to pump. I'm interested in helping to create a clean, convenient space for me and for other pumping moms. I think this will improve our workplace. I may be the first pumping mom on the job here, but I probably 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!"

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
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    2,214

    Default Re: Can't pump at work, effect on supply?

    I've stored my milk in the communal fridge inside a bag or inside a cooler bag (lots of cooler bags in there anyway with people's lunches, who's to know there is breastmilk in there?). For signs on the door, I've also used, "Meeting in Progress." And yes, you do need to get over it. This is FOR YOUR BABY and for you. Just remind yourself of that. We are happy to support you!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2013
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    94

    Default Re: Can't pump at work, effect on supply?

    Thanks everyone I have a new pump coming tomorrow and I'm going to start trying to get a stash!! Totally getting over my work pump fear! X

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
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    middle of IA
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    Default Re: Can't pump at work, effect on supply?

    hooray! good for you.
    DS1 6/7/11
    DS2 10/29/13

    Nursing, pumping, cloth-diapering, babywearing, working professor mama with the awesomest SAHD ever.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Cleveland, OH
    Posts
    524

    Default Re: Can't pump at work, effect on supply?

    Sometimes when I had to travel to other office locations for work and there were no lockable rooms I had to improvise. The easiest was finding a small conference room, putting out a sign, then setting up a chair at the door and sitting in the chair. There is no way someone is going to "accidentally" push a 140lb door open. Some of the offices are also field locations that have shower facilities, so I have sat in a shower stall using a battery pack, also. I always kept a very large plastic bowl with me so I could set my bottles and pump parts on a known clean surface, regardless of what kind of pumping facilities were available.

    You may also be surprised how supportive your co-workers might be. I work in a male dominated industry and most of my co-workers are older men, but when I needed help finding a place to pump, or, in one case, needed to find extra batteries for my battery pack, they didn't bat an eye and took my requests very seriously. If we needed to stop a meeting for a pump break, they understood. I was very open and honest about it and they all took it in stride.
    My little man was born 12/17/2010.

    Baby girl was born 4/30/2014.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    464

    Default Re: Can't pump at work, effect on supply?

    I think you just have to cowboy up and push yourself through your initial embarrassment. Yes, it feels awkward at first, and yes it takes some time to get into the routine. But it won't be long before pumping at work is just your "new normal" and doesn't even feel all that intimate anymore :P

    In my experience men do not want to engage in conversations or debates about pumping at work -- they are usually in a hurry to provide all the accommodations you need and end the conversation and not have to talk about pumping ever again :P

    I think the best way to communicate about it is directly and no-nonsense. Try to embrace the approach that you are not asking for permission; you are telling your supervisor what you need (and are legally entitled to), and negotiating about how you will still meet the requirements of the job. So this could look like: "As you know I'll be returning to work on X date. As I am still nursing, I will need two 20-minute pump breaks spaced throughout my day. I envision it looking like [describe what times, where, etc, how you will block off that time on your calendar, how coverage can be arranged -- etc] ... I am confident that I can remain productive with this schedule." And then give the opportunity for your supervisor to share ideas too, but don't frame it in a way that seeks your supervisor's opinion on you pumping, but rather make it about the work and the work processes, ie. "Do you have any feedback on the schedule or communication methods I've proposed" or "Is there anything else you would like to see me incorporate into my work plan around productivity and communication with you and team members" etc.

    As far as logistics, all you need is a private room with a chair and an electrical outlet. They can retrofit a closet if that's all that's available but they are legally required to provide you at least that bare minimum. If you don't want to use the office fridge (I didn't) use a cooler. I bought a little soft sided cooler (Kelty Toto - $20 on amazon - perfectly holds 1-2 small ice packs and up to 4 of the 4-5 oz plastic storage containers) for keeping my expressed milk cold at work, and I kept it tucked under my desk.

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