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Thread: can't pump at work - will I loose my milk?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    43

    Question can't pump at work - will I loose my milk?

    I return to work in Jan and I work in an infectious disease research lab which requires me to decontaminate scrub in and out (about a min of 30 min process each way). If I leave the lab to pump I will loose 1 hour just getting out and back in. Add to that the time that I need to pump and my day becomes quite short of actual work time. My day 8a-6p and I do plan to come out once per day and I can nurse my LO at that time or pump.

    Is there anything I can do to keep from losing my milk given the limited frequency of pumping/nursing every day? Would I be better off nursing or pumping the one time per day I have?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    284

    Default Re: can't pump at work - will I loose my milk?

    i'm not exactly sure, but i would think that you might be able to make it up at night. if you treat work like it is night time and then then rest of the day nurse or pump every 3 hours or so maybe you could keep it up. that would require you getting up at night though. once again i am only speculating that this might work. i have never tried it, but in theory it sounds like it would to me. good luck

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    1,488

    Default Re: can't pump at work - will I loose my milk?

    First off I would think you would do better at nursing during the time off rather than pumping. The idea behind this is that no pump, no matter how expensive, is as effective as a baby at draining the breast and stimulating more milk production. Babies have a very unique wave like motion they do with their tongues that cannot be imitated by a pump.

    I also agree with the previous post, you could switch to a nursing on demand schedule at night and also on days off which would keep your supply up. Our bodies have a wonderful way of adjusting to the demand. If you nurse before work, once during the day, and again right after work, as well as before bed and the possible night time feeding, you will be able to keep your supply up.

    Alot of women have a very difficult time pumping to keep up with demands while away from the baby and use formula to supplement. Can you pump now to ensure that you have a supply saved up for when you do return to work? If you return to work with a supply in the freezer and can find time to pump during work days (even at night) to Mantain your supply you can make sure that baby is always getting breast milk.

    I remember when mine was 3 weeks old I went back to work. I made sure that I had a supply built up before hand and then would pump when I was able to at work. At times we ran low but never ran out. I would also nurse as soon as I got home, pump again at midnight and 5 am, and nurse before I left for the day. Weekends and days off were nursing on demand. It can cause you to loose some sleep but I think it is worth it knowing that your little one will get the best start possible.

    Good luck to you and if you have any other questions that I may be able to help with, please ask!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    43

    Default Re: can't pump at work - will I loose my milk?

    I have started a stash but it seems like she nurses out everything I make. I have been freezing about 4 ounces a day and I now have 31 - 4oz bags. How much do I need in my freezer stash when I start back to work?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    1,488

    Default Re: can't pump at work - will I loose my milk?

    31- 4oz bags is a great start. How old is she? It really depends on a day to day basis how much they eat. If I remember correctly, Wyatt took about 20 oz a day when I first started back at work. It is hard to say how much he takes now because I stay at home with him now. If she feeds at that rate you have enough for 6.5 days.

    Keep in mind though, that you will still pump even when working and you will be able to replace what she eats.

    Can you pump on a lunch break, or is this when you will nurse her?

    You could also supplement with formula and nurse when you are with her. It can be uncomfortable at the beginning but your body will adjust to it.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Durham, NC
    Posts
    723

    Default Re: can't pump at work - will I loose my milk?

    Unless you feel your LO will be able to empty both breasts at the same feeding (and you have enough time for this), how about feed on one and pump on the other at the same time? It's tricky but can be done. Maybe that would allow you to have some relief too after waiting so long since you left in the AM. Also, maybe it'd be good to pump to drain the rest of the milk from you prior to going in to work too. HTH and good luck.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    176

    Default Re: can't pump at work - will I loose my milk?

    I have a friend that gave her baby formula during the day while she was at work and nursed when she saw him. She was able to nurse for over a year. Her son is now 20, so I think she did it b/c pumping (and nursing) wasn't as popular then as now. So it can be done w/o losing milk. Good luck!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    176

    Default Re: can't pump at work - will I loose my milk?

    I Do this: I have a hands free bra and a car adapter for a medela PIS.
    1. Drop off babies at daycare
    2. Plug my horns and pump in the car on my commute. Throw in a nursing shawl for privacy.
    3. Pump while commuting to work.
    4. Pump again in the car during my lunch break
    5. Pump on my commute back to daycare

    This allows you 3 pump sessions without interrupting work.
    Best wishes

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    43

    Default Re: can't pump at work - will I loose my milk?

    Thanks everyone. I will try your suggestions. The pumping while driving sounds like a great idea. I guess it would work but the first thought that came to mind was what if you are in an accident and the airbags go off? I guess you just hope that never happens.

  10. #10

    Default Re: can't pump at work - will I loose my milk?

    As Mod, I have to jump in here and say that pumping while driving isn't the safest thing you can do. Pumping while sitting in a chair in an office somewhere is infinitely safer.

    I will also say that it's possible to hook up the pump parts while you're sitting in a parked car, turn on the pump, drive, then when you're done pumping, turn off the pump, but leave everything attached to you. Only remove the flanges when the car is parked again. Don't attempt to remove the flanges and keep yourself covered and not spill the milk while driving through rush-hour traffic!

    Thanks for listening to my public service announcement! :-)
    Shannon
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