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Thread: Question about pumping and working part time....

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    21

    Default Question about pumping and working part time....

    Hi all-

    I am a first time mom, and I am scheduled to go back to work in about a month, and am trying to be as prepared as I can be (are we ever?). My daughter will be three months old when I go back to work. My schedule will be odd.....working 20 hours ( Monday 6 PM-10 PM, Tuesdays 9:30-6 PM; Fridays 1-9:30 PM). I think I am overthinking things, but thought maybe someone would have some insight into my questions.

    Currently, I pump once after a morning feeding (mostly to keep supply up and also to empty the breasts a little so I can run a bit on the treadmill to get back into shape!). Even after she eats to her content, I am still able to get 2-3 ounces in the morning, and that's only pumping about 5 minutes. I suspect my left breast is an overproducer. My daughter will usually only take one breast per feeding. And even when she takes the left breast in the morning, I can still get a couple of ounces out of it. This morning I had my partner give the bottle on the feeding I usually pump after and just pumped a little longer. In 10 minutes, I was able to get 6 ounces.

    One question is, how much breast milk do babies usually need per feeding? Is it by weight or by # of feedings per day. We've just started to give her a bottle 1 per day and she seems happy with about three ounces. Another question is, since my daughter only takes 1 breast at a time when she breastfeeds, on the two days I work 8 hours, should I only pump one breast at a time at her approximate feeding times? My concern is if I empty both breasts at each pumping session that will confuse the breasts for the 5 days I am going to be breastfeeding exclusively. Also, as I already think one breast is overproducing, I don't want to empty it too many times a day. On the other hand, I don't want my supply to diminish either. Finally, a last question is, on the days that I won't be working, should I still bother with giving her a bottle 1 x per day, or can I just breastfeed exclusively, assuming that she's fine with taking a bottle. To be honest, we've only just started giving her a bottle and not every day. She seems fine with it, but to make sure I'll at least give her one bottle a day until I start back to work.

    I realize this post is long and the questions are many. Thank you if you've read this far. And, I thank you in advance for any advice/suggestions. I really didn't think I'd like breastfeeding. And, it was tough at first. But, I've really grown to like/love it and would be very upset if going back to work somehow messes it up. I want to go for at least a year if I can.

    Take Care all!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    8,272

    Default Re: Question about pumping and working part time....

    Some quick thoughts ...

    Baby needs 1 to 1.5 ox EBM for every hour away from mom. For us, as DS got older the total amount of EBM he took didn't change, but he went to larger bottles less frequently.

    I'd pump to "replace" any nursing sessions that you're missing because you're away from baby.

    The usual recommendation is to double pump. My personal experience was that I was constantly tinkering with my pumping routine - one vs. two breasts at a time, how many pumping sessions, how long I'd pump - based on my supply at that time and DS needs (such as a growth spurt). I started off with oversupply issues so ended up tapering my pumping down so that I was pretty much only pumping what DS would need at day care the next day.
    Lynn
    DS1: bf 7/2006 -> 4/2009; multiple food allergies
    DS2: bf 9/2009 -> ???
    ; multiple food allergies
    Breastmilk Donor - http://hmbana.org/index/donatemilk
    Click HERE to learn about baby led solids (BLS) / baby led weaning (BLW)

  3. #3

    Default Re: Question about pumping and working part time....

    The previous poster gave you some good info about how much to have available each day. For the most part, you should only need to have enough pumped for the first couple of days, then you can start sending what you've pumped with her the next day.

    A good double pump will make pumping more comfortable and quicker for you at work. There are several varieties out there, many of which are mentioned here on the forums. As LLL Leaders, we cannot recommend a specific brand of pump. We can tell you that any pump made by a parent company who has a branch that produces formula will not be a good pump.
    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!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    21

    Default Re: Question about pumping and working part time....

    Thanks for your replies. I have the Medela Pump in Style. Seems to be working fine so far. As I am not working every day, would it be ok to pump on a Friday, for a supply for Tuesday (and pump Tuesdays for Fridays)? It would be about 2-4 days depending on the day). I'd like to try not to freeze if at all possible. I have a ton of milk in the freezer now. (I had to pump early on as I had supply issues due to a jaundice/sleepy baby) But I recently "tested" a batch that was a little over month old and to me it had a different smell/taste than the fresh stuff does. I'm wondering if it would even be any good. I also know that fresh is best if possible.

    Thanks again for any help!

  5. #5

    Default Re: Question about pumping and working part time....

    Most mothers can save pumped milk for up to about a week, give or take. So four days should be well within the range. A quick sniff test would let you know for sure.

    The frozen stuff should still be good, even if it does have a slightly different taste from storage container/freezing. Some mothers who have a freezer stash built up already will rotate it with their fresh stuff, so that baby gets some frozen milk and some fresh milk, and the oldest milk in the freezer gets used up before getting too old.

    Fresh is always better, because freezing does kill some of the good stuff in the milk, but we also hate to see frozen milk get thrown away, too.
    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!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    21

    Default Re: Question about pumping and working part time....

    Thanks Shannon. I was worried that the frozen stuff had the lipase issue. Although my partner gave a bottle of fresh stuff that spent two days in the fridge yesterday and my daughter seemed to take it just fine. I'm assuming if I had a huge lipese problem 48 hour fresh milk would have gone "bad" by then. Also, even if I have the lipase "issue" the milk isn't really "bad", it's only "bad" because a baby sometimes refuses to take it right?

    I am going to defrost some I froze 2 weeks ago to see if my little one will take it tomorrow in a bottle (just to make sure she'll drink previously frozen milk.) I'm also saving the stuff I pumped today and leaving it in the fridge for 4 days to see if it will be good. Ah...let the experiments begin!

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