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Thread: Will I wreck my supply if I only pump 1 X while at work?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
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    1

    Default Will I wreck my supply if I only pump 1 X while at work?

    I work at a school where it is not easy to pump. They allow me to use the nurse's office, which is nice, but it's taking the time away that is the hard part. My daugher will be 4-months-old on 9/5. I nurse her right before I leave at about 7 AM. I can usually take the time to pump around 10:15 AM. I could sneak away at lunchtime, but many times that the only time I get to consult with other staff members on student issues, etc. Also, I only get 20 minutes to eat, so unless I bring sandwiches every single day, I'm not going to be able to eat and pump in that amount of time. I get home at 2:45 to nurse my daughter. I would like to just pump once a day, but I'm afraid that will hurt my supply. What do you think? Oh, and I have a good pump -- a Medela PIS.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
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    8,018

    Default Re: Will I wreck my supply if I only pump 1 X while at work?

    Welcome!
    I think your supply should be pretty well established at this point. If you are able to pump enough milk to keep up with her needs, I think once is probably okay. If your time away from her were much longer, or you couldn’t pump enough in one sitting to meet her daily needs, I would say pump more often.
    In my experience, it is nice to have a little extra milk supply so that you are not worried on a daily basis whether you will have enough milk in the fridge for the next day. Milk can spoil, your daughter’s appetite could change suddenly, etc.
    Therefore, I also suggest that you add in another pumping session when you are at home. This will help you keep your supply up and produce more “back-up” milk, and you won’t have to take time out of your workday. Even if you are not getting much milk out during this pumping session at first, if you pump for 10 minutes or so your body will most likely be stimulated to produce more milk for next time.

    Molly

    Loving mama to JP (DS, 1/03 ~ nursed 6 mos), EL (DD1, 9/05 ~ nursed 4 yrs), EJ (DD2, 3/08 ~ nursed 3 yrs 9 mos), and
    JM (DD3, 6/12 ~ currently nursing), all born naturally
    Devoted wife to SAHD P, my hero
    A few of my favorite things that I've discovered on the forum: co-sleeping, baby-wearing, tandem nursing, baby-led solids, cloth diapering, APing, selective vaccination...the list goes on

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    994

    Default Re: Will I wreck my supply if I only pump 1 X while at work?

    i agree with the pp...you should try to add another pump session when you're at home...possibly after putting your dd down at night to sleep?! my 3 1/2 month old dd is typically sleeping by 8pm...and i pump around 10pm before i head to bed. the additional pump session should help to maintain your milk supply.

    HTH!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    132

    Default Re: Will I wreck my supply if I only pump 1 X while at work?

    Do you share a classroom? If not, I would advise locking yourself in your classroom during your break instead of wasting time going to the nurse's office. See also my reply to the "good schedule" post about this. If you are in your room, you can grade papers and/or eat lunch at the same time as you pump. We gotta use out time wisely. Can you get a microwave in your room, I used one so I didn't have to eat a sandwich everyday. I'm taking my little fridge in tomorrow. I know lunch is time to see others and do the "working/conference lunch", but you may want to just do this some other time in the day so you can get that extra pump in. You probably work with mostly females, just tell them what's going on. Even the single/and or childless teachers I worked with knew what was going on and we adjusted accordingly. Hang in there. It'll work!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    196

    Default Re: Will I wreck my supply if I only pump 1 X while at work?

    Hi! I'm also a pumping teacher, first week back! So far, I've pumped two times at work and before DD wakes up and I have already frozen 6 ounces and have extra for tommorow!! I could get by with two pumps per day it seems. I would be concerned about plugged ducts, though. Emptying every 3 hours is recommended to help prevent them, I think?? Someone correct me if I"m wrong.

    I have also read that less frequent pumping can have long term effects on supply, that it may gradually decrease. Again, someone may correct me if I"m wrong.

    Hope all goes well for you.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    289

    Default Re: Will I wreck my supply if I only pump 1 X while at work?

    Pumping once won't decrease your supply because your body kinda figures out when it needs milk- so if you're on a schedule it will aim to have milk ready when it "knows" you're gonna feed. But- from experience I can tell you that pumping only once during that time period may lead to plugged ducts- esp in the beginning. If you could pump more often that would be great- but as the daughter of a teacher I also know that time to yourself is really rare. If you haven't gotten one check into getting a handsfree pumping bra. I had several when I worked and pumped and it was a lifesaver. You can literally hook the suction cups of the pump into your bra so that your bra holds the pump in place and you will have your hands free.

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