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Thread: Safe to decrease pumping at work?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
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    Default Safe to decrease pumping at work?

    Hi there!
    I currently work four 6 hour shifts and one 8 hour shift. I pump twice during my 6 and three times during my 8. I am a stylist and work strictly on commission and the holidays are coming so I get very busy at work. But pumping hinders my ability to work in my clients and be as busy as I would like. Do you think it would be possible to cut one pumping session from each day safely? DD is 7.5 months and only nurses one side at a time. I had previous oversupply and maybe still a little here and there.

    6 hour day Routine:
    Nurse DD to sleep for nap around 2 pm.
    Start work at 3. Pump at 4 (yielding usually 4ish ounces sometimes more)and again @ 6:30 (yielding 2-3) Off at 8 home by 8:15 to nurse LO. There have been times when I really needed to work and pushed my 4 o'clock to 5:30ish and I usually get about 6ish ounces when I do that. DD usually drinks 6ish ounces while I'm gone. Occasionally more but never more than 8.



    8 hour day:
    Wake @ 6ish a.m. short dream feed and then lay DD in swing (only place she will sleep any length of time other than right next to me). Work @ 8. Pump @ 9 or 9:30 ( yielding 4-6 ounces), pump @11:45 (2-3), and again at 2:30(2-3 ounces). Off at 4 and home by 4:15. DD usually takes 8ish ounces while I'm gone.


    So I'm just wondering if I could safely drop a session each day to make myself more available at work without falling under what my DD needs daily. I have a decent Freezer stash (not deep freeze worthy....lol) if I fall under a little. Also, what would be the best way to go about it? Gradually?......one session a week ( I.e......first 6 hour day pump halfway though @ about 5:30 then finish the rest of the week as usual. Then the next week do eliminate another session?) Or could I do 2 sessions in a week? Any thoughts or ideas? Or is this a bad idea in general to try. Its not all or nothing for me. Any less pumping would be great and leave me available to work more during those times especially through our busiest time of year. And my 8 hour shift is definitely my busiest day and I would love to not have to pump quite as much then. Thanks for listening and for your responses. Sorry, for such a long post.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
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    Central FL
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    Default Re: Safe to decrease pumping at work?

    Since it sounds like you are probably pumping about the right amount, cutting down on pumping is likely to leave you short, most moms have to add in more pumping sessions as time goes on at least until they are ready to pump wean sometime after baby is a year old.

    That said, you could perhaps try maybe doing one pump somewhere closer to the middle of one of your 6 hour shifts to see what happens. Do keep in mind that going too long between pumping (to the point where you start to feel uncomfortably full) too often could have a detrimental impact on your overall supply in addition to meaning you have trouble keeping up with what baby needs while you are away.
    However, if you don't tend to feel uncomfortably full while dropping pumping sessions, you might be able to pick up a pumping session at home to make up for what you need to leave with baby (this is what moms who have trouble pumping enough do, they add a pumping session before bed or something like that to make up the difference.)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
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    NY
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    Default Re: Safe to decrease pumping at work?

    If your baby is already 7.5 months old, have you given him food? When I wasn't able to pump a enough at that point, I sent along one baby jar and like this I knew he wasn't hungry. Those days I still pumped the same amount of time but I just didn't get that much.

    I only dropped a pumping session once my baby was 12.5 months old (very recently). At this point I don't really care because he doesn't even drink my milk anymore if it's expressed so I just pump to maintain the supply for when he nurses at home.

    So if you go the route of giving a little food, you could cut your pumping times short by a few minutes each day until you stop for one pumping session. See how it goes. If you see your supply really plummeting, then you can re-evaluate.
    Mom to Samuel J.
    born 7lb. 10 oz. and 22" tall
    on Saturday, October 19, 2013.

    My breastfeeding experiences: http://www.breastfeedinghacks.com/

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
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    Default Re: Safe to decrease pumping at work?

    Unfortunately, you don't really know without trying. Since you said the 8 hour day is the busiest, and it is only 1 day/week, I would drop to 2 pumps that day and see what happens. If you feel like that goes well, then consider dropping down on the 6-hour days.

  5. #5
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    Aug 2014
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    Default Re: Safe to decrease pumping at work?

    I haven't had personal experience this, but I wanted to commend you on making this work! I've often thought about what sort of occupations would be present difficulties for pumping, and stylists are definitely on the list!

    To sort of echo some of the above replies, I think if you are hoping to change your pumping routine, then slow and careful experimentation would be the best bet. If possible, perhaps you'd be able to log any changes or alterations you make, to notice quickly any changes in production, if they result, so that you can respond accordingly.

  6. #6
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    Jun 2014
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    Default Re: Safe to decrease pumping at work?

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*erin.in.middletown View Post
    I haven't had personal experience this, but I wanted to commend you on making this work! I've often thought about what sort of occupations would be present difficulties for pumping, and stylists are definitely on the list!

    To sort of echo some of the above replies, I think if you are hoping to change your pumping routine, then slow and careful experimentation would be the best bet. If possible, perhaps you'd be able to log any changes or alterations you make, to notice quickly any changes in production, if they result, so that you can respond accordingly.
    Thank you. That helps a lot. I generally Mark in my books and schedule clients around my sessions or pump while a client is processing with color. But it does effect how much I can work and in turn how much I make. But I know it won't last forever and the benefits of nursing my DD for as long as possible will. But if I can eliminate even one session here and to help make a few more bucks it would certainly help.

    That said, I think maybe I will try and drop down to 2 pumps on my 8 hour shift first, as ngs215 suggested,and see how that goes. Then when I get home from work we can nurse like crazy. Lol. This may sound crazy, but I also considered if I needed to, I could take a "restroom break" and Take 5 minutes or so to hand express every now and then. (I had to do this on a 6 hour shift when I had forgotten my bottles for my pump. I eventually had a break in my clients that I could run home and grab them.) I hope this works even if it's just for that one shift. I would make a big difference for me. And if not....at least I tried, right?

  7. #7
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    Nov 2014
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    Lillington, NC
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    Default Re: Safe to decrease pumping at work?

    How many days a week do you work?

    I work 4 days a week most weeks. Baby is gone from 7am to 6pm. I was pumping 3 times a day, but I started having trouble getting in the middle session. I stopped doing that session and it's actually working fine. I think it's because I have those 3 other days to feed him and that keeps my supply up. I pump for 30-45min at a time, while I'm driving to and from work.

  8. #8
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    Jun 2014
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    Default Re: Safe to decrease pumping at work?

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*jsloanmd View Post
    How many days a week do you work?

    I work 4 days a week most weeks. Baby is gone from 7am to 6pm. I was pumping 3 times a day, but I started having trouble getting in the middle session. I stopped doing that session and it's actually working fine. I think it's because I have those 3 other days to feed him and that keeps my supply up. I pump for 30-45min at a time, while I'm driving to and from work.
    I work 5 days a week. The first 4 days are from 3-8 but the last time she nurses before I leave is at 2 (her nap time) so I go about 6 hours. Then the 5th day I work 8-4 But her last feed is at around 6:30 and it's a dream feed so it's not a major thing. Over night she sleeps basically latched onto me and I just switch sides halfway through the night.

    How old was your LO when you cut down on pumping?

    When I pump at work I only take a total of 30 mins for that break. So, after setting up and clean up, actual pumping time tends to be about15-20 mins (just depends on if I got a late start). If I do experiment with cutting down on sessions, should I increase the amount of time I pump?

  9. #9
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Safe to decrease pumping at work?

    My LO was about 6mo I think when I cut back on pumping. He's 9mo now. As far as increasing your time, I would think it depends on if you've still got milk at the end of your 20min. Seriously, I often pump for 45min because it's still coming out. Annoying. haha. Too bad the pump can't be as efficient as baby. Those are usually the times when I've gone longer between pumping sessions. You may find that you need to pump longer on your second session.

    My little guy is ginormous. He's 25lbs at 9mo. I pump 20-24oz a day, plus what he nurses in the evenings and overnight. Plus the mac and cheese and pizza and fatback and whatever else grandma feeds him.

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