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Thread: the dreaded return to work - some pumping ?'s

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
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    19

    Default the dreaded return to work - some pumping ?'s

    I'm already dreading my return to work in another 8 weeks - I know that I'm lucky to have 12 weeks off and my LO will be in good hands with her daddy but it still is tough for me to think about leaving her.

    With DD1, I couldn't keep up with her demand by just pumping at work (I do shift work and don't always get the chance to pump as often as I'd like) so I want to make sure that I have an adequate stash for DD2...

    I know that there are some great links (i.e. kellymom) on how much BM she'll need while I'm gone but I'm confused on how to get that stash built up without creating an oversupply/engorgement issue - which is a huge fear of mine - so I'm hoping to find some good advice!

    Pumping one side while she nurses on the other isn't going to happen since DD1 is often sitting with us reading. We are currently nursing every 2 hours during the day and then every 3-5 hours at night (usually a 4.5 hour stretch and a 3 hour stretch) and I really don't want to give up that sleep to add a session if I can avoid it. She takes both breasts at most feedings with about 20-25 minutes on the first and anywhere from 5-30 minutes on the second.

    SO....
    When should I start pumping? How often? Should I pump after a feeding or as an "extra" feeding during the day between nursing sessions? How long should I pump for? Do I pump on one side or both?

    TIA for any advice!
    I'm Wendy.
    wife to Chris (2005), mama to Maggie (2/2009) and Samantha (12/2010)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    18,063

    Default Re: the dreaded return to work - some pumping ?'s

    your baby is pretty young yet.
    the more milk you remove the more milk your going to make.
    most moms find they have more milk in the am when they wake then other times of the day.

    How long will you be gone for work?
    what is your goal for adequate stash?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
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    19

    Default Re: the dreaded return to work - some pumping ?'s

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*andrea.wolford View Post
    How long will you be gone for work?
    what is your goal for adequate stash?
    I do shift work so will be gone in 10-12 hour blocks 3 days/week. They completely vary...any combo of days/evenings/nights. If I'm lucky, it'll be slow enough for me to pump twice during the time that I'm at work but I don't think I can get more than 2 sessions in and usually can't get more than 1 To add to the stress, I just found out that I have to travel to a conference my first week back to work so will be away from home for 3 days!

    I'll take whatever I can get for a stash but my goal would probably be a 2-3 month supply since I'd love for her to be exclusively breastfed for at least 6 months. With DD1, I had a month supply stashed and we were able to make it to 5 months without formula but then had to supplement b/c I couldn't keep up. Unfortunately, she self-weaned shortly after that....
    I'm Wendy.
    wife to Chris (2005), mama to Maggie (2/2009) and Samantha (12/2010)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    18,063

    Default Re: the dreaded return to work - some pumping ?'s

    2-3 month supply that would be alot of milk....
    any way you could delay your return to work to miss that confrence?
    or take the baby and a helper with you?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
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    19

    Default Re: the dreaded return to work - some pumping ?'s

    I wish I could miss the conference but it's not going to happen. Pregnancy was rough and I had to burn quite a bit of time before LO even arrived...I consider myself blessed to have coworkers who have covered me so that I could still take my 12 weeks but there's no one that can take my place at the conference and unfortunately we can't afford for the baby and a helper to go with. Not looking forward to it but we'll make it work, we have to and I'm trying not to stress too much about it.

    I guess I should specify, the 2-3 month supply would be for the days that I'm gone so really a total of 25-30 days worth of milk in the freezer would be ideal but again, will take whatever I can get provided I can get it without causing other problems!
    I'm Wendy.
    wife to Chris (2005), mama to Maggie (2/2009) and Samantha (12/2010)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    18,063

    Default Re: the dreaded return to work - some pumping ?'s

    so idealy in 8 weeks your going to need the milk needed to feed baby for 3 days while your gone on your trip?
    that would be a great mini goal!

    thats 56 days away....

    IF you pumped 3 oz a day extra that would be more then plenty for the trip.

  7. #7
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    Jan 2006
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    Default Re: the dreaded return to work - some pumping ?'s


  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    126

    Default Re: the dreaded return to work - some pumping ?'s

    If you could pump on one side while nursing on the other for one or two sessions, that would probably help a lot. I started doing that for the first nursing of the morning. I was able to take advantage of having more milk in the am and baby nursing for let down. I started doing that 1 month before going back to work and had a stash of around 15 or so 3-4 oz bags of milk.

  9. #9

    Default Re: the dreaded return to work - some pumping ?'s

    How far is your workplace from home or daycare? Would your employer be supportive of extended breaks to leave and go nurse vs. having to leave EBM?

    As for preparing ahead, the rule is more milk out, more milk produced and then you can take advantage of what baby does not need to pump and store. So if it would work to pump the one side while she nurses on the other or wait and do a double pump after the feed.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    maryland
    Posts
    131

    Default Re: the dreaded return to work - some pumping ?'s

    i have the same problem with shift work, but mostly work overnights. i'm hoping to be able to pump every 3-4 hours at work, but it will depend on how busy we are.
    and my first day back will be when she is only 4 weeks old since i had to use 3 weeks of leave before she was born due to developing hypertension and being put on modified bed rest.
    so 11 days left until i go back.
    i started pumping in the morning yesterday and got 6 ounces between yesterday and today....
    how many ounces is she likely to need in 14 hours i'm away at a time?
    Jenna, momma to Lillian (1/1/11)
    Cosleeping, cloth diapering
    milk donated to date: 3182 ounces

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