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Thread: Going back to work at a hospital

  1. #1

    Question Going back to work at a hospital

    I am going back to work, at a hospital and will be returning at 12 weeks post partum.

    Any suggestions? I need to pump, and don't always get my scheduled breaks on time. Do I need to be very strict about my schedule or can I be a couple hours give or take?

    I will be away from baby about 11 hours (including drive time etc).

    I am scared. To be honest, this is my first time working while pregnant/breastfeeding.

    This give me such anxiety. I'm trying not to let myself get worked up but its hard. Its a lot of unknown...


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2012

    Default Re: Going back to work at a hospital

    Hi mama, welcome to the forum.

    It IS stressful to go back to work after having a baby, whatever your work situation. Even when I was going back to work after the third baby, and had been through it all before, I found it stressful!

    So yes, you need to pump. A lot of moms will need to pump 4 times in an 11 hour separation. I would say you don't have to be strict down to the minute about pumping, but you should be pumping at roughly the same time, within let's say a half-hour window. For example, if your first pumping session of the day is at 9 am, you could start at 8:45 am or at 9:15 am but you shouldn't delay by a couple hours - that would basically be missing a session. If getting your breaks has been an issue, you might consider talking to your supervisor even before you go back to work in order to get the breaks that you need.

    Here are some resources for moms going back to work with regards to bottle-feeding breastfed babies:

    It's important baby doesn't get too much expressed milk while you're apart, because that makes it harder for you to keep up with pumping, and decreases baby's motivation to nurse when you're together, which is important to keep up supply.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2011

    Default Re: Going back to work at a hospital

    I work in a hospital and figuring out pump times was one of the biggest stressors before returning with my first daughter. First, having supportive coworkers is very important. My coworkers always covered me for my breaks and never gave me hard time, which helped me not feel bad or stressed while pumping. I know others have not been so lucky. But I have always just said that I will not let other dictate what I feed my child and will get my pump breaks in. Second, when to pump advice. This is what I have just learned in my experience and it has worked for me. I know it isn't the most ideal, but it is what I could realistically do and I was able to successfully breastfeed for 15 months. I worked 12 hours shifts and am separated for 13.5 hours. Pumping 4 times at work was just impossible, so I had to settle with 3. I picked 3 ideal pump times (~9am, ~1pm, ~5pm) that allows for a back-up pump time (10am, 2pm, 6pm) if I am not able to get away due to patient care. Take a good 20 minutes to make sure you have enough time. I was not a fast pumper or big producer, so I needed every bit of my time for pumping so I refrigerated my pump parts in between use. Also, I usually try to pump in the AM before leaving for work because those extra couple of ounces are really helpful and buys you time if you aren't able to get to pump at your first ideal time. If I had a long commute, I would pump while driving with a hands-free bra.

    Hopefully that helps a little bit. Making sure your baby isn't overfed is one of the most important things as well so definitely look at those links on paced bottle feeding.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Going back to work at a hospital

    Thanks This has helped so much.

    How about storing the milk. We dont have a fridge privately but where others put their lunches. Is that enough for the storage? Also, I can use a lunch box with a frozen ice pack but does that last long enough?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2012

    Default Re: Going back to work at a hospital

    You can certainly put the milk in a fridge where other people put their lunches. That's what I always did. If you think the sight of your milk might make other people uncomfortable, you can put it inside a bag or cooler pack inside the fridge. A lunch bag or box with frozen ice packs should be fine too. Here are links about milk storage:


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2014

    Default Re: Going back to work at a hospital

    You can do it! I just started back at work at a hospital and I have had no issues with pumping at work. Luckily most of the women I work with are also moms and understand the need. It helps to have a great pump.. I have had wonderful success with my hygeia enjoye.

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