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Thread: Finding Time to Pump While Nursing

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
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    10

    Default Finding Time to Pump While Nursing

    I have an 8 week old son, and I work as an ER nurse 3-4 days per week, 12 hour days. If any other women here work as nurses, I'm sure you would agree how crazy busy your day can become; sometimes your lucky to get a bite to eat or go use the bathroom.
    I've been trying to pump every 3-4 hours a work, but lately I've been missing some pumping sessions here and there and I know if I keep that up my supply will go down. My supervisors have been supportive of my pumping and my charge nurse has always let me get off the floor to go pump thus far. I guess I feel bad, when things have gotten especially busy and we're stretched thin as, asking for time to go pump. Do any other working moms have any suggestions? I guess I just have to remind myself that I'm not being selfish, I'm doing this for my son.
    Last edited by @llli*luthien; September 27th, 2010 at 01:53 PM.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Finding Time to Pump While Nursing

    Hm, that's a tough situation when you don't have a routine that makes it easy to schedule pumping breaks. But you're absolutely right -- it's not selfish or a luxury. It's not like taking a smoke break or getting a cup of coffee. It's feeding your child! You don't need to feel guilty about that (although I can certainly understand it's hard to have to walk away when things are hectic).

    I'm sure there are other moms here who have had a similar type of work situation... Hopefully some of them will chime in with experiences.
    Karen
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    2,475

    Default Re: Finding Time to Pump While Nursing

    Is it possible to have a schedule and have your watch beep when it's time? Sometimes the reminder will help to jog your memory to take a moment. They're supporting you in taking the pumping breaks, so it sounds like you just need the "it's time to go" nudge.
    Mommy to our DD1 early bird (34 weeks, 2 days, 7lbs, 14oz)! Oct. 2nd, 2008 Emergency C-Section, Frank Breech, HEALTHY Girl!
    Weaned @ 17 months
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    Loving being a Mom of 3, 40 months apart!!
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    17

    Default Re: Finding Time to Pump While Nursing

    I'm right there with you sister. I'm also a nurse working busy 12 hour shifts. Fortunatley, I also have a part time office job where I work 8 hours and can schedule my pumping sessions during those days. Someone once told me to think of pumping at work like going to the bathroom. It's something you HAVE to do!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    4,894

    Default Re: Finding Time to Pump While Nursing

    I'm not a nurse, but my suggestion would be to pump for longer the times you do get a break. That way you are still "telling" your body that you need that much food. When I'm late for a pump session I take into consideration how late to decide how much longer I need to go over. So if I miss a session altogether and usually pump for 15 minutes, I will pump for 30 minutes when I get to. If I'm late by an hour I will add 5 minutes to the session. Make sense? It's not ideal but it's a way to try and compensate.
    If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun. - Katharine Hepburn

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    70

    Default Re: Finding Time to Pump While Nursing

    I'm also an ED RN and can totally empathize with break issues. I know how difficult it is to leave patients who need us and who we've been trained to and have a passion for helping. Here are some of my tips and tricks:

    I psych myself up before my shifts by deliberately reminding myself my baby comes before all the patients and how important breastfeeding is to my baby and me. It helps that I struggled with supply issues, so am very protective of my supply! I plan a "ball park" time frame for pumping. Ex: I need to pump between 0900 and 1000. That leaves a little wiggle room for true emergencies. When I note times for patient care, I relate it to pumping times. My co-workers are very supportive and we have a great team mentality, so I tell as many people as I can in advance. Then everyone else can help remind me and accommodate my pumping times.

    Hope this helps and gives you some ideas!
    Mama to
    - born at home on 4/27/10

    - born at home 8/30/2012


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    10

    Talking Re: Finding Time to Pump While Nursing

    Thanks for everyone's suggestions. I found setting a reminder on my phone definitely helps to get me moving in the right direction, and I been getting most of my pumping sessions in!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Northern CA
    Posts
    548

    Default Re: Finding Time to Pump While Nursing

    I am not an RN, but a veterinarian at a busy ER clinic so I can relate. It is so hard to find the time and to not feel guilty while pumping. Setting a timer can help. Also, I just keep reminding myself that if I don't pump and end up with a blocked duct or mastitis no one is helped by that. Even though it seems like a luxury to sit down somedays and pump, pumping is truly a necessity for the health of you and your baby.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    35

    Default Re: Finding Time to Pump While Nursing

    Also remember that it is now the law that your employer must allow you the break time you need to pump. So, they are not making a special accommodation for you, they are just following the law!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    58

    Default Re: Finding Time to Pump While Nursing

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*mira375 View Post
    Also remember that it is now the law that your employer must allow you the break time you need to pump. So, they are not making a special accommodation for you, they are just following the law!
    This is very true, but one caveat is that the new federal law only applies to non-exempt employees. I believe most nurses are non-exempt (they get overtime) and therefore the OP is probably going to be OK.

    I am exempt and while I can take my pumping breaks I end up using up my normal meal break time, and am staying at work a little later to get my work done. The DOL fact sheet on the new law confirms that it only applies to non-exempt employees.
    Katie - mom to Lily, 8/5/2010

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