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Thread: Starting Full-Time Work with a Just-One-Year-Old - Is Pumping Necessary?

  1. #1

    Default Starting Full-Time Work with a Just-One-Year-Old - Is Pumping Necessary?

    Hello all,

    I have a question about pumping after my son is a year old. Here's my context:

    My son is currently six and a half months old, and I'm starting a new job in two weeks. To start with it'll be just Fridays for four, maybe four and a half hours per day. However, starting in June (the week after his first birthday, in fact), it's going to a full-time five day per week position running from 7:30-3:30pm.

    The issue is, I probably won't be able to pump. For the next few months, that's fine - I do one pumping session each night after he goes to bed which provides for a freezer stash and the one feeding I'll miss on Fridays. The summer, though, is another story. My job is with an outdoor education organization where I'll be transporting groups of children in a van out to relatively remote regional parks and doing nature education stuff in the woods all day. I'll pretty much be the only adult in charge - I'll have a teenage assistant who can watch them while I run to the bathroom, but that's it. (I live in California and the law states that employers are required to provide pumping opportunities unless it would "seriously disrupt operations." They're a very small company and it seems fairly clear that having to hire an entire other employee to go along all day just so I can have 20 minute pumping sessions would pretty seriously disrupt their operations.)

    That all being said, here's my litany of questions:

    Is this actually something I really need to worry about at one year of age? Do I really need to be finding a way to pump for a 1+ year old? (My mother tells me I self-weaned at almost exactly a year, but I do want to nurse my son for longer than that if possible.)

    Given that when summer comes I'll be jumping right into full-time work, how can I ease into the reduction of pumping/feeding without setting myself up for mastitis?

    I will have quite a freezer stash built up by then so we'll be able to gradually taper off his milk consumption during the daytime, but how does one actually go about doing that? Any resources? I would like to avoid too much cow's milk for as long as possible. (However, my son already is really really into a wide variety of solid foods, fortunately - that boy absolutely LOVES eating - so there's that going for us.)

    I know this is way out in the future but I want to try to plan in advance, especially if what I learn means I need to negotiate a different arrangement with my employer. I really appreciate any help you might be able to offer. Thanks for reading!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006

    Default Re: Starting Full-Time Work with a Just-One-Year-Old - Is Pumping Necessary?

    Many moms "pump wean" when baby is around 1 year old. Baby should be fine on water (or cow milk) when you're apart. Baby may end up "reverse cycling" when you're back together.

    You'll definitely want to taper down your pumping sessions to avoid you getting engorged and possibly mastitis. It may take a couple of weeks - make pumping sessions shorter and then drop sessions one by one.

    After I pump weaned I found that I sometimes needed to pump just a little for comfort. I would just hand express, which it sounds like you'd be able to do during a bathroom break.

    As for tapering baby's EBM intake - it depends on the baby. My DS1 just refused taking a bottle when he was around 13 mo. My DS2 we cut back the number of bottles of EBM over the course of a couple of weeks. I knew he'd drink water from a sippy or straw cup so wasn't worried about him getting enough fluids.

    It's great to start thinking about these things now, but you'll probably need to "play it by ear" at bit at the time.
    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
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Ontario, Canada

    Default Re: Starting Full-Time Work with a Just-One-Year-Old - Is Pumping Necessary?

    I went back to work, full time when DD1 was 1 year old. I also found myself in overtime situations pretty much right away.

    DD1 was started on cows milk (homo) in a straw sippy cup. She did just fine! She'd nurse when I got home, before bed, wake once where I'd pull into bed with us to nurse and again in the morning before I'd leave for work. I never felt engorged.

    We ended up weaning at 17 months due to my stupid work schedule (overtime almost every day) and being 4.5 months pregnant. If I had have been on regular hours I probably would have nursed much longer.
    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
    Our DD2 early bird (37 weeks, 3 days, 7lbs, 12oz) Aug. 10th, 2010 Our Successful VBAC, growing like a bad weed!
    Weaned @ 15 months
    Our DD3 early bird (37 weeks, 3 days, 7lbs, 6oz) Feb. 16th, 2012 Our 2nd VBAC and lightening speedy birth!

    Loving being a Mom of 3, 40 months apart!!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Northern Cal.

    Default Re: Starting Full-Time Work with a Just-One-Year-Old - Is Pumping Necessary?

    After a year, you can breastfeed more part-time, you don't need to choose between pumping and weaning, you can just breastfeed when you're together. I pump-weaned with Joe around a year, and we still nurse evenings, all night, mornings, and weekends - he probably nurses six or seven times a day, minimum, on a bad day.

    After an initial adjustment period, I do not feel engorged anymore unless I miss my evening breastfeeding session. When that happens (I have to go to night meetings sometimes) I use a hand pump to quickly express a little.

    I agree, you'll want to play it by ear. How engorged you feel, and how prone you are to clogged ducts, etc., after a year, is an individual thing. Some women have no problems at all, some have to taper down more slowly.

    You can call me JoMo!

    Mom to baby boy Joe, born 5/4/09 and breastfed for more than two and a half years, and baby girl Maggie, born 7/9/12.

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