Afraid I won't be able to pump much when I go back to work

[deleted account] ( 18 moms have responded )

I'm due in 8 weeks and I've been doing some thinking ahead of time and doing some reaearch about the importance of milk expressing being a demand if one intends on breastfeeding. Where I work it's strictly full time only, no part time or half time. 40 hours a week, weekends off. There is only one and I repeat ONE BREAK throughout the 8 hour day and that's of course a half hour lunch. Even now at 31 weeks pregnant and working in between the air conditioned area and the heat(they have fans and the big door at the end of the plant opened for air, but the fans blow heat of course) it's been challenging.



I'm a machine operator for plastics. I'm able to ask someone to watch my machine when I go to the bathroom when possible, sometimes I have to go on my own and let my machine pile up with parts a bit. I don't care, I can't be rushing, my baby comes first. The reason we only have one break is because of our state's labor laws. If you're from PA. you'd know. But since the company I work for is greedy and cold hearted, they're too tight to even work out at least maybe a 10 min break while on the clock and 20 min clock out for lunch. Before this new labor law passed we were getting one 15 min break and one 20 min break which was lunch. That would've been helpful for me to use the first break to pump milk.



Now I have to pump milk and have to rush eating lunch before it's time to clock back in. My job already tried putting me at risk on a fast machine where I had to squat down (I don't bend) pick up parts put them on the table piece them together while checking for defects and 10 seconds the next set shoots out the machine. No one can keep up with the fast machines except me so they use me, but I did say something to them as it took a toll on me later towards the end of the day. Guess what, with me having leg cramps and one of my knees felt even worse with all that up and down, I had to call off work because I could barely walk.



They're just all about making their margin/profits/MONEY don't care about the workers. So I'm not sure if I should just put off breastfeeding because of this and stick to formula. I really wanted to be successful this time because with my first he refused to latch on to me, had to use the nipple shield because my nipple kept going inward and even when I was able to get it out, my boy still refused it and liked the silicone shield. At the time I was a stay at home mom and tried pumping with a manual one since that was all I could afford. I tried for a week, wasn't getting much milk out, got to the point I was

getting light headed and depressed, and so went to formula.



I wish I could look for a new job, but with the way the economy is, it could take 6 months to a year, especially with the only experience I have is mostly cleaning, cashier and now 2 years being a machine operator in which most places want more years but I've only been working for 10 years, I'm only 27.

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Denise - posted on 10/06/2012

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When I pump at work I put the pump on the lowest setting until my milk lets down. Then turbo, I then squeeze my breasts so the milk comes out faster. I'm on 4 months now and still have the same supply even tho I go 5 hours. When I get home it's back to normal. I'm so proud of myself. I almost wanted to give up until I looked at the ingredients for formula.

Margarita - posted on 10/05/2012

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I just had a thought; if they haven't made arrangements for you to pump when you get back. You can casually mention to your supervisor and/or the HR folks that if you don't have a place to pump and possibly a way to split your break so you can do it twice, you just might leak which would be quite messy and would cause you to have to keep going to the bathroom to change your shirt and bra. They may decide that the extra break and a place to pump may be worth it since they're that squeamish.



Good luck!

Sandra - posted on 10/05/2012

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i would say whenever you get a chance to pump, pump the milk and put it in the fridge or freezer and then bring it home or when your home pump the extra milk that is left over and put it in the freezer. and then before you go to work pump a bottle, and then maybe on break and if not go home and feed hope this helps.

Denise - posted on 09/28/2012

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Show up to work early and pump then. Keep your pump stuff in the fridge ready to go for your short break. I have gone 5 hours sometimes at work and my milk supply is still good. Just pump more often at home and u should be ok!! I've been taking fenugreek for 4 days now and I wasn't sure it would work but I went from 4oz total to 9oz!! My boss is the same way! When I was prego I asked if I could get more breaks cause I was extremely fatigued and he said "you take a break every hour when you use the bathroom" wow right? So don't worry you'll be fine! : )

Janette - posted on 09/11/2012

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Since you are thinking about this ahead of time you should do the research and bring it to HR ahead of time. If your company is truly as greedy as you say they will evaluate the cost of a lawsuit against the cost of providing a location for you to express your milk.

Sally - posted on 09/07/2012

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Danielle--There are laws, but very few companies know about them and some of them make you sue them before they'll follow it.

[deleted account]

My job is not even a franchise it's privately owned and they're selfish. They could give us 2 breaks and still keep it at the 30 min limit without risking breaking PA labor law but they rather have us suffer. Work 4 hours til lunch time, to me that's a lot of standing no matter how old/young you are. I get to sit whenever I can depending on what job they give me and at 33 weeks I'm already sluggish. Just 4 more weeks to go then maternity leave. In my opinion, I don't think they ever had a pregnant worker there before and don't know how to handle it professionally. I'm sure not too many women become pregnant working in a factory setting, most work in clean offices and have it easy I guess, but not all of us have college degrees and get great jobs, we take what we get as long as we're able to survive financially. It wouldn't do any good if I was back at my old job, a gas station since I was second shift and by myself, same for third because they can't afford to have two people but it still got as busy as first shift. I hate this state.

Danielle - posted on 09/06/2012

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Stories like this make me so sad! I could have sworn there was a law that made companies provide you with time to pump when you NEED it, and you will, your breasts will kill you going an entire day without pumping or nursing your baby! Breastfeeding is such a wonderful thing to share with you baby, and I think every woman should have the right to do so! This makes me so mad! Hopefully you can find a new job! Good luck! And enjoy your little one, don't feel defeated if you can't breastfeed, you tried your hardest, and you should be proud of your efforts.

Jennifer - posted on 09/04/2012

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Start pumping as soon as your milk comes in and store for later. The first week I was home with all 3 of mine I pumped as much as I BF. Get a double pump with a car adapter or battery. With my first I only pumped once during my 12 hr work day. I would get up early and pump right away and still have enough for him to eat too. Then I pumped at lunch (I was able to eat while I pumped, often in my car or in a bathroom) and again when I got home. (sometimes in the car before I left work, I had a long commute) I was able to get by like that until he was 9 1/2 months without supplementing. Good luck!

Margarita - posted on 09/04/2012

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You can pump while you're at the hospital (won't get much, but it's a start and it will help your milk come in sooner) and then try to get a couple of pumpings in before you go back to work so you can have a little bit of a stash. Do you have a car? It's not ideal, but it's better than a bathroom if you want to pump in there. Maybe a sympathetic coworker can let you use theirs if you don't have one. You can rent machines from the hospitals and from some baby stores like BRU. In the long run it's more expensive than buying, but if you're only going to do it for a few months (sadly, your milk probably will eventually run out with the limited pumping and access to your LO), it would be much cheaper than buying a pump, and you can get a nicer model. Some are handsfree (or you can purchase a pumping bra) so you can pump while you eat lunch in the car. Just check if they have a car adapter or if you have to purchase one separately. Any little bit helps. As for once your milk dries up, and to supplement while you're at work, make sure your hold on to those formula checks and take all the samples they offer as it can get expensive. Good luck! PA labor laws are brutal.

[deleted account]

Thank you and unfortunately the employee bathroom was exactly what I was thinking to pump since it's the only place :( I work in a factory and the only clean places would be in one of my superior's offices which is a definite no no. I decided I'll breast feed when I'm home with my baby and just have formula ready when I have to take him to daycare. The company I work for simply doesn't care. I intend to look for a better job hopefully that I won't have to face these problems in the event if I happen to become pregnant again.

Sally - posted on 09/03/2012

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If you work in the US, by law they HAVE to let you pump as much as you need (and in a clean private place--not the employee bathroom). They don't have to pay you for that time and they can make you come in early or stay late to cover it, but they HAVE to let you have it. You will have to look up the exact law in your state and you may have to sue them to get your rights.

Good luck

Heather - posted on 08/27/2012

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You need to look up the laws for your state actually..I'm sorry I just realized you live in PA

Heather - posted on 08/27/2012

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Oh sorry go to www.ncsl.org and search breastfeeding laws..or you cam google breastfeeding laws and its the first thing on the list

Heather - posted on 08/27/2012

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pumping anytime during the day while you are away from your little one helps..it keeps your milk supply up. There are also laws in effect now that states that a work place has to let you pump or breastfeed during the day..... http://www.ncsl.org/issues-research/heal... is the website if you would like to go read it. Your work can not tell you that you cant

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