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Thread: Work retail by myself - how to pump

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    11

    Default Work retail by myself - how to pump

    My lo is 5 w 1 d, and I'll probably be going back to work in about 4 weeks. When I start back, I'll only be doing a few days a week and can request to work evenings, so I'm not alone. This way, I can take breaks to pump. However, eventually I'll be working 9 hour days an hour away from home, and I'll be working 7 hours by myself. I thought I could pump once right before the store opens, and then once the other person gets there, but am I going to have problems with my supply if I go 7-8 hours without pumping or feeding, or might I just get a whole lot out of that pumping session? I will be working alone and waiting on customers, so it's not like I can just go back into the office and pump. I know I have a while to figure this out, but I'm stressing already. My goal is to bf for at least 6 months, but I would like to go longer.

    My boss will be flexible with my hours, but financially I need to get back to work, unfortunately.

    Thanks for any tips!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    10,440

    Default Re: Work retail by myself - how to pump

    When is eventually? Like 6 months from now?
    Susan
    Mama to my all-natural boys: Ian, 9-4-04, 11.5 lbs; Colton, 11-7-06, 9 lbs, in the water; Logan, 12-8-08, 9 lbs; Gavin, 1-18-11, 9 lbs; and an angel 1-15-06
    18+ months and for Gavin, born with an incomplete cleft lip and incomplete posterior cleft palate
    Sealed for time and eternity, 7-7-93
    Always babywearing, cosleeping and cloth diapering. Living with oppositional defiant disorder and ADHD. Ask me about cloth diapering and sewing your own diapers!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    11

    Default Re: Work retail by myself - how to pump

    I'll go back to work mid March, and will probably be back to the full time shifts mid to late April. So he'll be around 4 months old.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    10,440

    Default Re: Work retail by myself - how to pump

    Hmmm, at that age, I think going that long between pumpings could damage your supply, and you would have a difficult time, as a result, ensuring you have enough milk saved to get through the next work day.

    I know as an EPer, there are lots of moms who do only pump 4 times a day and have plenty, but they have worked hard to get to that point and generally have older babies than a 4 month old by that time.

    Going from nursing on-demand while with your baby and then suddenly missing those feedings would make you really uncomfortable until your body adjusted, and then suddenly, on the weekend or whatever, you wouldn't have any milk during the day as your body would have learned to not produce milk during the day...then your baby wouldn't have anything to eat.

    You need to replace those feedings with pumpings to ensure you can then nurse on-demand. And what would your baby eat while you aren't with him?

    I will say that when my babies are older and doing well on solids, somewhere in the second half of the first year, I generally can pump wean and have enough milk to feed baby when we are together and baby can eat solids when we are apart, but I don't work FT. If I was working FT, I'd probably keep pumping for longer.

    Does that make sense?

    The amount you get out depends on your storage capacity. Some of the EPer moms get 10 oz per breast at each session (but bear in mind those moms have worked toward that, and we don't have the option for on-demand nursing) but others can't store that much; I seem to max out around 8 on the left and 3 on the right. When your storage capacity is met, it hurts, and it stops your milk production. So you might not get enough milk out when you do pump to meet your LO's needs.

    I think by law you are REQUIRED to have 2 15 minute breaks (1 every 4 hours) if you are working an 8 hour day, so what your boss is doing by requiring you to work without them could be against the law. I'd look that up.
    Susan
    Mama to my all-natural boys: Ian, 9-4-04, 11.5 lbs; Colton, 11-7-06, 9 lbs, in the water; Logan, 12-8-08, 9 lbs; Gavin, 1-18-11, 9 lbs; and an angel 1-15-06
    18+ months and for Gavin, born with an incomplete cleft lip and incomplete posterior cleft palate
    Sealed for time and eternity, 7-7-93
    Always babywearing, cosleeping and cloth diapering. Living with oppositional defiant disorder and ADHD. Ask me about cloth diapering and sewing your own diapers!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Northern Cal.
    Posts
    4,984

    Default Re: Work retail by myself - how to pump

    I'm thinking even a very short break would really make a difference for you. Ten minutes? Fifteen minutes? I agree, it's against the law for you to work without a break (assuming you're paid by the hour).

    How do you handle bathroom breaks when you are working these shifts? Do you just hold it?


    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.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    11

    Default Re: Work retail by myself - how to pump

    Thank you. I'll make sure to have them schedule me when I can take breaks (when others are working), because that definitely makes sense about my body getting used to not having milk at certain times. I will also talk to my boss about breaks.

    lol I usually just run to the restroom when there are no customers there and hope to get out before anyone comes in. I'm not about to do that while pumping.

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