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Thread: Scared about pumping and going back to work

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Posts
    28

    Exclamation Scared about pumping and going back to work

    Just the thought of going back to work and having to make sure I have enough milk at home scares me..I literally have anxiety about it.
    My baby is almost 6 weeks. I can basically take about 4-6 more weeks until I go back..
    but here is the issue...baby is a real frequent feeder and I never have the time to pump so I can build a little stash. And if I do manage to pump while he is napping (which he does infrequently), he wakes up starving...I nurse him...but he is never satisfied with what is left after I pump. He cries and fusses at the breast, so then I end up giving him what I just pumped in a bottle.
    What do I do????

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    NY
    Posts
    540

    Default Re: Scared about pumping and going back to work

    Hi there! So, basically, you just need to store up enough milk for that first day back to work. Baby will need 1-1.5 oz/hour while you are separated. I would aim to leave the upper end of that range, so your bases are covered! Lots of moms want a large stash for various reasons, but it is often hard to build one up for those of us who don't have significant oversupply. I was certainly not able to build up a large stash before going back to work, and I had the relative luxury of a 4.5 month maternity leave.

    My daughter was (and is) a super frequent feeder, and could not (and still cannot!) be put down for a nap. Pumping to get my back to work stash was really tough, especially because my supply was extremely well matched to my baby's demands--I generally could only ever pump about 0.5 oz a day over what baby was drinking from me.

    I would suggest that you find a couple of times in the day that someone is at home, and pump immediately after baby is finished nursing. I really needed to have another adult home, because I just could not relax to pump at all unless I knew my baby was calm and content in someone else's arms. Many moms recommend pumping early in the morning. This was not often possible for me, and I did not yield any more milk pumping early, anyway. So just pump whenever you can! And in my case, most of the time when I did pump, I only yielded about 0.25 oz. So I just would keep adding to those little bottles until I hit 2 oz.

    If baby asks to nurse right after you pump, just keep nursing the baby. Resist the urge to give the freshly pumped bottle--baby WILL be able to get the meal he needs, if he is given the opportunity to keep nursing. The meal may come a little bit slower than baby might like, but he will be able to get it! If baby is truly very, very fussy with what is in the breast after you pump and is not willing to keep nursing to get his meal, try single pumping just one side. If I had the opportunity to pump in the early weeks during a period I knew baby generally liked to cluster nurse, I generally chose to just pump on a single breast.

    Good luck! I remember feeling the same anxiety. It will get easier. And if you do have any trouble pumping when you return to work, come on back here, and we can help you work it out. I am not a high volume pumper, so I had to tweak lots of things here and there to keep up--but I'd be happy to share what worked for me if you wind up having any trouble. Most likely, you will be just fine!
    Apologies for the short responses! I'm usually responding one-handed on my smartphone!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Posts
    28

    Default Re: Scared about pumping and going back to work

    Thanks so much for the response!!! You and your baby sound just like me and my baby...as far as not being able to put the baby down for naps, and feelings nervous while trying to pump if no one else is around. It is definitely not a relaxing thing to try to do. I remember trying to pump once while the baby was sleeping in his swing (which never occurs) and I was sitting there pumping saying to myself...please don't wake up right now...just give me 10 minutes.. and sure enough, he was up within 5 minutes, crying for me to pick him up. I feel like the anxiety definitely impacts pumping sessions. It makes me feel so uptight.
    Oh and also, like you, everyone says to pump in the morning, but it just doesn't work out for me. If anything it is usually late morning..like closer to noon. He is usually the fussiest early in the morning.
    But I will take your advice and just pump whenever possible after nursing...and just build up the stash slowly. Thats all I can do.
    Last edited by @llli*vblasi; December 31st, 2013 at 06:12 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    2,621

    Default Re: Scared about pumping and going back to work

    Ok not a fun idea but can you sneak out of bed for an oz or so during the night?
    Nursed my sweet daughter 3 years, 3 mos.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Nashville, TN
    Posts
    514

    Default Re: Scared about pumping and going back to work

    Had the same anxiety. My daughter has never been the sleep alone type so pumping while she napped wasn't an option. I did sometimes pump one side while she fed on the other. Pretty good results that way as nothing stimulates my milk supply like the baby herself.

    Just to let you know this can be successful, my daughter is now 17.5 months, still nursing on demand whole I'm at home but I finished weaning off the pump at 15 mos. when you return to work if you need any pumping success tips just post your questions right here. I found the whole process challenging at first until I got the rhythm down at work. Be sure you have pics of your baby to look at while puomg at work. Video/audio too. I found that triggered a let down in an environment that isnt exactly designed to get your milk flowing.
    1st time mom over 40 to Alex(andra) b: 7/14/12

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    NY
    Posts
    540

    Default Re: Scared about pumping and going back to work

    And the good news is, you still have 4-6 weeks to get what you need for that first day back. It took me about a month of pumping on my maternity leave to pump and store up 15 oz for that first day--but it's still doable! Every little bit counts.
    Apologies for the short responses! I'm usually responding one-handed on my smartphone!

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