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Thread: how often to pump and other specific questions

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    11

    Default how often to pump and other specific questions

    So this is my 2nd day back in the office. I work out of my home 1/week, and am gone 10 hours. I work the other days from home, for which I am very grateful.

    My 4mth old typically eats about ever 2-2 1/2 hrs (day and night!). I'm finding it hard to get 4 pumping sessions in at work. Would 3 be okay, or do I need to fight to pump every 2 hrs at the office? I just don't see how it will happen w/ meetings.

    Also, I am only getting 3 ozs total from each session. I feel like this is too little, but don't really know how much he takes yet, b/c its all so new. I figure I can always supplement by adding in a few pumping sessions while nursing during the rest of the week if I need extra milk. What to make of so little from each session?

    Finally, do you pump on the clock, or do you wait until you first feel a let down? And do you multi-task while pumping, or just spend the time thinking about the LO? I want to maximize the milk I produce, but also need to get work done.

    THANKS in advance for your thoughts!
    Last edited by slaurajones; February 19th, 2008 at 12:33 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    miles from nowhere
    Posts
    11,086

    Default Re: how often to pump and other specific questions

    Hi! That is great you are able to work from home most days, it sure makes things easier.

    3 oz per pumping session is actually pretty good. You may start pumping more as your body gets used to it, but you may not. I believe 3 oz was the most I ever got. Usually the rule is the baby needs one oz for every hour s/he is away from mom. You may start to get more per session if you decrease the # of times you pump and space them out more.

    You would probably be ok to do 3 sessions per day, esp since it is only one day a week. I pumped by the clock most of the time, because it was necessary to schedule my work around it, but I'd also pump early if I felt I was leaking or getting full. This didn't happen much after the first month or so, my body got used to the pumping shcedule.

    As for working while pumping, that is an individual thing. You may find that you increase output if you take some time to relax, look at a picture of baby, upload a video of baby online and watch it (this really helped me), or just sit and think about baby. What I did was take a few minutes when I started pumping to do those things and then once I got going I'd return to my work (or come here and catch up on posts).

    Good luck! hth
    “We are not put on earth for ourselves, but are placed here for each other. If you are there always for others, then in time of need, someone will be there for you.”
    --Anonymous

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    1

    Default Re: how often to pump and other specific questions

    Hi - I went back to work when my daughter was a little older, but pumping twice a day worked for me. I pumped at 11am and at 3pm - how much I get varies, but typically I get 10oz over-all, sometimes a little more, sometimes a little less. She gets two bottles while I am away, each with five ounces. She seemed to be growing and satisfied with those amounts. I found that typically babies will take as much as you give them, so it is easy to overfeed when you are feeding from a bottle. I typically dropped her off at daycare at 8:30 or so and nursed her right before I left. My daycare provider feeds her around 9:30/10am depending on her naps and then again around 1pm or so. I am home by 5pm and nurse her as soon as I get home - my husband picks her up. She has started to take less since she started solids. I hope this helps - you really have to figure out your schedule and how to get the pumping sessions in - you may find that pumping less times during the day you get more. Nurse on demand in the evening though, that will help keep up your supply. If you feel like you still aren't getting enough, try some of the herbs and thing out there to increase supply. I find though that keeping hydrated and sleeping well (yeah right is the best way.

    Good luck - you are really giving your child a gift by feeding her while you work - keep it up!!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    102

    Default Re: how often to pump and other specific questions

    I have been pumping twice a day and getting about 14 oz total. I pump at 10 or 10:30 am, and then again at 2:30 or 3 pm. My last nursing session of the morning is anywhere from 6:45 to 8 am, and then we usually nurse again as soon as we get home at 6 pm. So I pump basically twice in 10 to 12 hours.

    My son is 10 weeks old, and I have been back at work for 2 weeks. Fourteen ounces is MUCH MUCH more than I was able to pump with my first child. I attribute this to my son being a heftier eater than my daughter but ALSO to the oatmeal I have been eating every morning for breakfast. My son drinks 12 oz per day (four 3-oz bottles), and I pump 14 oz or more. So I'm actually building up a frozen supply and am running out of room in the freezer. But I would much rather have this problem than an undersupply problem.

    I am able to pump at work hands-free with my pumping band, so I can work and pump at the same time. It helps a lot that I only need brief breaks for setting up and breaking down. I put the flanges in the fridge in a tupperware container between pumping so I don't waste time washing them.

    Starting this summer, I will have a much longer commute, and I will probably try to pump in the car on my way in in the morning using the car adapter on my trusty Ameda pump.

    Good luck! Try oatmeal if you haven't already.

  5. #5

    Default Re: how often to pump and other specific questions

    Quote Originally Posted by slaurajones View Post
    So this is my 2nd day back in the office. I work out of my home 1/week, and am gone 10 hours. I work the other days from home, for which I am very grateful.

    My 4mth old typically eats about ever 2-2 1/2 hrs (day and night!). I'm finding it hard to get 4 pumping sessions in at work. Would 3 be okay, or do I need to fight to pump every 2 hrs at the office? I just don't see how it will happen w/ meetings.

    Also, I am only getting 3 ozs total from each session. I feel like this is too little, but don't really know how much he takes yet, b/c its all so new. I figure I can always supplement by adding in a few pumping sessions while nursing during the rest of the week if I need extra milk. What to make of so little from each session?

    Finally, do you pump on the clock, or do you wait until you first feel a let down? And do you multi-task while pumping, or just spend the time thinking about the LO? I want to maximize the milk I produce, but also need to get work done.

    THANKS in advance for your thoughts!

    If you can get enough milk for your baby in three sessions, then that's fine. In a 10hr workday, some mothers would need to pump four times, others three times or even twice. It depends on each person's supply, reaction to pump, and personal schedule.

    3oz is a normal amount to get each time. That's probably about how much your baby eats when he nurses, but there's no way for us to know exactly. What kind of pump are you using? Is it new or used?

    Many working mothers pump at a set time each day, to get their body (and co-workers) used to a schedule. They'll pump as long as milk is flowing, plus a few extra minutes, to get another letdown. The time this takes really varies from mother to mother.

    And yes, lots of working mothers multitask while pumping. Catching up on industry reading, checking email, reading parenting magazines, and phone calls all seem to be popular choices. Other mothers prefer to zone out and just let the milk flow. If you like, try both, and see which one works better for you.
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