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Thread: Should I single pump or double pump at work?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2008

    Default Should I single pump or double pump at work?

    Hi all. I am going back to work this coming Friday for 20 hours per week. My daughter will be 12 weeks old. Typically, she eats one breast at a time, about every three hours during the day (give or take). And, one middle of the night feeding (sometimes two, but usually not). After her 8 or 9 am feeding, I also pump both breasts for 10 minutes just to keep up supply and empty out every morning.

    My work schedule is going to be wacky and not daily. So, I worry about pumping both breasts at a time on the days I work, as she normally does not empty both breasts at every feeding. I'm going to try to set up as much of a feeding schedule as I can for her...to help her along (and me).....but here it is.

    Feedings all days (give or take a few minutes)

    8 or 8:30
    11 or 11:30
    2:00 or 2:30
    5:00 or 5:30
    8:00 or 8:30
    (and overnight as needed for wakeups)

    Monday evening-work 6 PM-10 PM. She'll be given one bottle between 8-9 and I'll pump hopefully around then. Hopefully this would be her last feeding before "bedtime" (although she has not really taken to the idea of a bedtime yet).

    Tuesdays work 9:30-6:00- First feeding would be breast, then the next three bottles during the day (and I would pump three times at work), and then finally the "last" feeding would be breast at about 8 PM to 9 PM. I considered holding her to two bottles and making her really hungry for when I get home at 6:30. But I feel it's better to be consistant and that might throw off the schedule--any thoughts on that?

    Wednesdays I have off
    Thursdays I have off

    Fridays I work 1 PM-9:30 PM--first two feedings would be breast. The last three feedings would be bottles and I would pump three times at work.

    So, as you see, the schedule is goofy but I'm trying to make it "work" for us. Given that schedule and it's inconsistency, I think it makes more sense to pump only one breast at a time if that's what she's mainly eating on the days I have off. Since I get extra milk in the mornings every day, I should always have enough "Fresh" milk. I don't mind pumping both breasts eat time (I'll be pumping anyway). But I worry that it will confuse my body on Tuesdays and Fridays to empty both breasts three times when my daughter usually doesn't.

    I'm also still debating on if I should always try to feed her as soon as I get home, even though it's late or it's not exactly when she "normally" eats. Or, just let the bottles be ok and let her stay sleeping (if she is sleeping)..and on the "schedule".

    As you can see...I'm starting to freak out about going back to work...even though it's only part time. It just occurred to me that the weird hours are going to make it very hard. (The weird hours were my idea so we could avoid formal day care.....and we are).

    Not sure if it matters but I have a Medela Pump in Style.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2008

    Default Re: Should I single pump or double pump at work?

    I always double pump at work. Your body doesn't respond to the pump in the same way it responds to a baby and so pumping both sems like it does a better job of keeping up my supply. Also, I find that by double pumping I can pump less frequently and still have enough milk. I work regular hours and pump only twice a day, even though if I were home I would cetainly nurse more often. The time of pumping doesn't really correlate to time of nursing for me, since I nurse on demand at home (ie., with no schedule).

    Also, I would consider nursing as soon as you get home, even if your baby has had a bottle recently or it's not on your schedule. Especially when you've been away the nursing will be a good way to reconnect emotionally for both of you. She will probably want to "check in" with you even if she's not hungry. And it's nice for mom too.

    Hope that helps. Congrats on finding a part time schedule that will work for you.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2008

    Default Re: Should I single pump or double pump at work?

    I only feed one side and I always double pump at work.
    I'm Wendi.
    Mom to:
    DD1 7/28/07 for 21 mos and weaned with
    DD2 12/16/09

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2007

    Default Re: Should I single pump or double pump at work?

    I, too, double pump.
    • First time mommy to Alyssa Nicole 7 lbs. 19 3/4 in. born 10/17/07 via c-section.

      finally off the since 10/24/08

      We made it, 12 months!!!!!!!!

    Donated 500 oz. so far, and counting...

    2 weeks - 7 lbs 6 oz.
    2 months - 10 lbs.
    4 months - 12 lbs. 3 oz.
    6 months - 14 lbs. 1 oz.
    9 months - 16 lbs. 7 oz.
    12 months - 18 lbs. 10 oz.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2008

    Default Re: Should I single pump or double pump at work?

    Thanks ladies. I was worried about pumping both breasts but it seems like it would be ok? So, I shouldn't worry about trying to pump around the same time the baby is getting the bottles then? And pumping 2x in an 8 hour day should suffice if I am pumping both breasts? My other concern was that if she did want to nurse right when I got home, if I only had pumped one breast last, I could have offerred the other breast. Plus, I hate giving just a "little" nursing as then I'm never quite sure when to offer again. I try to nurse on demand. But sometimes the little one doesn't let me know when she's hungry (heck maybe she's not), so I always offer every three hours and that seems to work for her. I guess.

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