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Thread: Help Please!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2007

    Arrow Help Please!

    Hi, all.
    It has been about a thousand years since I've been on the forums, but I need help.
    When I started my full-time job, I realized that it is extremely difficult to pump at work. I get two fifteen minute breaks and one half hour lunch, and I have been able to pump once in the two and a half months I have had this job. The first time I went to the lactation room, I knocked on the door, and the lady inside said, "Occupied!" and that was it.
    Not that I begrudge her her privacy, but that was a tough day; I was so engorged. My baby had slept through the night, then I had overslept in the morning, so that by 12 noon it had been 14 hours since I had nursed- and this coming off of a full-time nursing schedule. By the time I finally got home, at 5:30, it had been 19 hours, and I, of course, was dying.
    The next day, I wasn't nearly as engorged, and I gave up the idea of pumping at work b/c I didn't know the "rules" about it.
    Since I wasn't pumping at work and I was only pumping a couple times a day at home, as my baby has gotten bigger and hungrier, she has gotten more and more formula and less and less milk.
    I have since given up pumping at home since I'm not able to get much milk at all, and it's so frustrating.
    I don't know if I'll be able to start pumping at work since it takes about 10 minutes to let down with the pump and it takes a couple minutes to walk down and a couple minutes to walk back, so on my fifteen minute breaks I would get a couple drops and have to turn around and go back; the one time I pumped on my lunch, I wasn't able to eat at all, and I only got one ounce.
    So, now, I'm nursing about two feedings a day (my baby is five months old now) and the rest of the time she gets a bottle.
    Of formula.
    I want to get back up to breastfeeding more. At this point, I have to give her a bottle on my days off b/c my milk supply is just not up to getting her through an entire day without help from the friendly folks at Enfamil. I mean, formula won't hurt her, per se, but I'd really much rather she have my milk and have the best thing available to her.
    Plus, formula is extremely expensive and mommy's milk is free.
    I know that it's about time for her to start solids, and since it's all but impossible for me to pump at work, I don't think I'll ever get back to exclusively bfing, but I really do want to increase my milk supply.

    Should I just start pumping on one side and nursing on the other whenever I nurse? Should I eat oatmeal for breakfast every day and them pump whatever I can at work (and skip lunch)?

    I am open to any and all suggestions.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    New Orleans, LA

    Default Re: Help Please!

    1st, I would see who you could talk to at your place of business about this, if the lactation lounge is locked when you need it, perhaps you could close off your office or another vacant office if it's lunch time and others are gone..?...

    2nd, Would it be at all possible for you to pump while working? Obviously, I do not know the details of your job or workplace, but some people can get away with this.

    I don't think pumping while nursing is going to help your dd, you need to let her get as much milk directly from you as possible to help your supply.

    Oatmeal has been known to boost the supply of some women as well as herbal supplements such as Fenugreek, but that's more of a low supply issue, where your issue is more to do with the breasts not being emptied often enough.
    Mother - Wife - Artist - Cook - Writer - EnvironMENTAList - Cloth Diaperer (but we are soooo done with diapers) - Organic Health Nut...I'm sure there's more.

    DD1 - 12/15/05 Breastfed for 16.5 months
    DD2 - 8/6/07 Breastfed for 3 whole years and 3 little, extra days.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006

    Default Re: Help Please!

    I agree with Christy around trying to figure out the rules so you can use the lactation room. The best way to increase your supply is to increase the number of times you drain the milk from your breasts, so you'll have to pump more if you want to produce more milk.

    That'll be frustrating in the beginning, especially when you'll have to eat lunch on the go or at your desk (if you have one). Maybe you could eat Clif bars or something like that? I hate endorsing skipping lunch or eating something less nutritious but if that is the only time you can pump... Maybe you could pump while drinking a very nutritious smoothie?

    The other thing that will be hard to do is RELAX just before and during pumping. I would drink a big glass of water and work to settle myself. Think about your baby's smiling face and how happy she is when she gets to nurse and snuggle with mama.

    Good luck--you can do it! Good for you for trying to make this work!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007

    Default Re: Help Please!

    What type of pump are you using. Medela has an electric pump that has a let down feature. It is supposed to be more like a baby nursing. Letdown usually occurs within 2 minutes. This may make your pumping time more efficient if you only have 10 minutes to pump. You can buy them online a lot cheaper than in the stores. Check out Lactationcare.com. It is still a couple of hundred dollars but you will save in formula. If you intent on pumping for more than a few months it is probably well worth the money. Maybe trying a handsfree pump will help you to eat lunch and pump at the same time. Kellymom.com has a great demonstration on how to pump hands free. Good Luck.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2007

    Default Re: Help Please!

    Quote Originally Posted by Lainey's Mom View Post
    Maybe trying a handsfree pump will help you to eat lunch and pump at the same time. Kellymom.com has a great demonstration on how to pump hands free. Good Luck.

    A handsfree pump??? They MAKE such a thing???

    I have a Medela swing.

    I work in a call center, so pumping at the desk is a no. (I wish, though.)


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2006

    Default Re: Help Please!

    I stopped pumping at work last week because I do home visits. To drive back to work (20 minutes) pump (20 minutes) and then drive back to the other side of town to do another visit is going to be too time consuming. And, most of my home visits are on the side of town you don't want to be in unless you've got business there, so I don't want to be pumping in my car. With my second dd, I had trained my body to only create milk from 5 pm to 7 am. Amazingly, it worked. The only issue is that, on the weekends, you still have to give formula during the daytime because your body isn't used to producing milk then. (I had a lc tell me that you can train your body to only create milk during the daytime on weekends, but I don't know anyone who was able to do that.)
    If I was going to work on increasing my supply, I'd concern myself with the time I'm home. So, I'd pump after I fed lo to encourage my body to make more milk at the times I normally feed her. I'm avoiding herbs because, without pumping in the daytime, I'd get clogged ducts for sure.

    It may not be a production problem in the evenings. It might be a nipple preference. My lo sometimes gets fussy and goes back and forth between breasts a lot. I just roll with whatever she wants to do. I don't give formula at night....ever. We nurse all evening if that's what it takes to fill her up.

    The other thing I've found is that lo nurses a lot in the evenings (every hour on the hour and then once or twice in the night). It's a big commitment to be home with her every night and not schedule myself to be anywhere that's going to take me away from her for hours. But, if I'm going to keep nursing at night, I've got to nurse every night.

    The interesting thing is, in the last LLL meeting I went to, there were 3 of us who were giving at least some formula. The leaders were still supportive and encouraging us to breastfeed as much as we could.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2006

    Default Re: Help Please!


    I gave the link to a couple of hands free set ups on this page.

    Best of luck to you!

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