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Thread: Keep supply??? Returning to work and can't pump

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    51

    Unhappy Keep supply??? Returning to work and can't pump

    I will be returning to work in two weeks and I will not be able to pump (Food & Beverage Industry) and I am concerned about my supply. My little one is 13 weeks and has just begun cluster feeding. That too concerns me because he will probably deplete my stored supplies much more quickly than we anticipated. I have pumped about 60 - 70 four ounce bags and about 20 two ounce bags. I was hoping to have enough to make it about two months of working with my "reserves", for a total of five months but do not think that will last long enough (I have referred to the kellymom site for the bf calculator). Even though my pediatrician supports bf-ing, he seems to be more of an advocate of formula. - especially since my guy is a bit on the light side. He is 11 lbs. and 24 1/2" at 13 weeks as I mentioned. The Dr. had us supplementing one oz of formula after each feeding and a full bottle in the middle of the night for a few weeks and now I have convinced him to go down to just one bottle in the middle of the night. He teases me about "hording" my milk and insists I need the sleep over getting up with my dh and ds to pump in the middle of the night. Also, he keeps telling my I will have to face the fact that I will have to stop bf-ing in the near future. Stubborn I know, but, I just want to stock up as much as I can since I know I will not be able to pump.

    So, I would love to hear from anyone that has been down a road like this. I really want to make it at least six months before giving into full-time formula. What do ya think

    Eagerly awaiting and appreciate your suggestions!
    Di

  2. #2

    Default Re: Keep supply??? Returning to work and can't pump

    Many mothers can't pump while they are apart from their infants. It's really not that unusual. If you can pump while you are together, maybe pumping one side while he nurses the other. That should give you some extra milk to use while you're apart.

    Also, you can still continue to breastfeed while you and baby are together. Breastfeeding doesn't have to be an all-or-nothing thing. Baby can get pumped milk or formula (once your freezer supply is depleted) while you're apart, then nurse when you're together.

    As long as baby is still nursing, there will be some milk there for him.

    You also need to consider how you're going to deal with engorgement while you're apart, since nothing will be emptying your breasts while you're at work. If you're working a regular, set schedule, your body will eventually adjust to the lowered supply during this time, but in the beginning, you may be feeling uncomfortably full. Maybe you could take a quick break to run to the bathroom and hand-express just enough to relieve the fullness? Maybe bring breast pads to work in case you start leaking?

    There's no reason that you'll need to "stop breastfeeding in the near future" unless you want to. :-) That's completely up to you, not up to your pediatrician. You may still need to supplement, but no reason to wean completely.

    If you'll post your work schedule, we can help you find ways to keep you and baby happy while you're apart. There are different techniques to use if it's a short shift vs a long day.
    Shannon
    LLL Leader

    Protect your privacy online; don't use your full name. Click My Alias at the top left corner.

    I'm horrible at html and encoding links, so I apologize in advance for all the long links!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    51

    Default Re: Keep supply??? Returning to work and can't pump

    Thanks!

    I will be working a basic 8am - 4pm and have about 30 minutes travel time before and after. I know I am in for a very uncomfortable return. Many times I don't even get a chance to go to the restroom! When I was pregnant, the ultrasound tech was surprised by the size of my bladder!

    I haven't figured out how to pump while I am nursing. Also, I use both sides many times because my little one nurses for an hour almost consistently. The other thing, he is an active one and doesn't sleep much so I don't have any "down time" from him to pump. Although! I have just recently ordered a sling and am hoping that will help my situation.

    I do have pads, and have plans to take extras since there are usually little onese crying w/in my range, so I anticipate a lot of leaking. Luckily I wear a black shirt

    I will be taking my pump just in case I may have just a little chance to sneak away.

    Any suggestions on how my dh can handle my ds's cluster feedings? Ds nurses at 5, 7, 9, and 11am after his 2 am feeding. My poor dh needs to get some sleep as he works nights (5pm - 1am). I will be leaving for work at 7:30 am.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Keep supply??? Returning to work and can't pump

    Maybe you could plan on pumping right after work, at least to relieve some of the engorgement?

    Pumping while nursing - some mothers find it easier to have baby in a football-type hold, this keeps baby's hands and baby's feet out of the way of the pump.

    Cluster feedings: you may discover that baby doesn't do these cluster feedings if you're not around. He'll still need to be fed, of course, but may space it out a little more. By making sure that his tummy is full before you leave for work, you'll give DH a little more sleeping time.

    Then, if he makes sure that baby is full before going back to sleep, then he should get some sleep. It will take several days for it all to even out, and some flexibility and experimentation on the part of daddy and you.
    Shannon
    LLL Leader

    Protect your privacy online; don't use your full name. Click My Alias at the top left corner.

    I'm horrible at html and encoding links, so I apologize in advance for all the long links!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    35

    Default Re: Keep supply??? Returning to work and can't pump

    You could pump in the car on the way to and from work. If you get a hands free bostier. See this website http://www.easyexpressionproducts.com/, they're really handy and an adapter to plug into the lighter in your car, than you could pump during your drive. I have done it on occasion and it's not been too wierd, just wear a light jacket or something to drap over you for coverage. I know there are some ladies that travel for work alot that do it every day. Just a thought if you are unable to find time at work and since you have a longer commute.

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