Back to work and breastfeeding

Cecilia - posted on 07/26/2009 ( 25 moms have responded )

5

11

1

I am a teacher, coach, and new mom who is wanting to breastfeed as long as possible. Once school starts I will only be able to pump during lunch at 11:30 and during my conference at 3:00. In the mornings I will be dropping her off at daycare at 6:30 but she will be able to nurse once in the mornings and I will try to pump a little then too. I am nervous that pumping so far and few between during the day will reduce my milk flow. One night a week I will be home late from games and may have to go a long time without pumping. She is about to be 4 months old and I think its time for a growth spurt again, how do I know how much milk she should be eating or will be eating. I just don't want to go to formula but am afraid I will have to suppliment during the day. Will I still keep my milk as long as she is nursing in the mornings and at night?

P.S. in the evenings sometimes she fights me to feed like there isn't anything there could this be from eating from a bottle all day?

Any support or info on any of my "I know I'm crazy" issues :) would be great.

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

User - posted on 07/28/2009

1

0

0

Hi Cecilia--I am all for pumping at work. I did it for TWINS! I delivered in Aug and went back to work in January. I pumped during work hours from Jan-June and was successful. My schedule varied from day to day because I am not in a classroom full time. I am in IST so I plan my own schedule. I also traveled between buildings and was able to pump during travel time. I purchased a hands free pumping bra (easyexpressions.com). It was the best purchase next to my pump...that's another thing...get a good pump. I chose a medela. I would usually pump on my way to work or when I got there in the morning, lunch time and then when the kids left. I was lucky though, I was plentiful when it came to milk. Not everyone is when they start pumping. Just stick with it though and stay on the pump even if you aren't getting milk. My lactation consultant told me sometimes it might take 20 minutes or so and she was right, but when the milk came I would get 12-16 oz each session. If you nurse only during the morning and evening and no pumping in between your milk will decrease. There are some supplements to help increase milk too...brewers yeast and fenugeek. I used brewers yeast and it worked. Lots of luck. Everyone and every situation is different so if it doesn't work, don't get down on yourself. Be happy you were able to nurse for the amount of time you did.

Heidi - posted on 07/26/2009

30

8

7

Well, I have done this twice now, each for an entire year. Your body adjusts accordingly. The first time I pumped at lunch and then at plan around 3 like you. The second was at lunch and at 2:30. It was fine. A little privacy advice...Anyone who has a key to your room should be forewarned not to come in uninvited. Cover windows with a clear sign that says do not disturb and make sure you are not visible from the door. Someone will still come in at some time. I had a tech person from the district come in and said she would only be a moment. But back to supply, on the weekends your body will adjust. On your long night try to pump an extra time if possible, if not you will be fine but may be a little full.

Lastly, how much, well your body should make enough and adjusts as her appetite adjusts. The first week or so I gave my sitter extra bottle and then she could pour in an extra ounce or two if my girls seemed hungry. Of course being 4 mos. is a plus because solids will come soon which makes it easier, but don't stop extra pumping. It is good to have extra for the occasional surprise and for when you are ready to introduce regular milk you will need it to mix them together. Once your baby needs more she will fuss at the end of bottles and then you will need to increase. The sitter will know this. Oh, don't heat them. Serve at room temp. It makes life easier. Hot food is what we are used to. There is no need to heat bottles and it can burn if not done well.



Any other q's feel free to message me!



As to how much, well I had extra

If you see this, leave this form field blank.
Powered by RESPECT not THUMPS

25 Comments

View replies by

Candice - posted on 08/12/2009

4

24

0

Use the nurse's office if you need a private place to pump. They usually have an extra room to go back into.

Elizabeth - posted on 08/12/2009

9

5

1

Do the best you can, and pump as long as you can. I did this with both of my girls. I pumped twice a day about four hours apart. I pumped for 20-30 minutes each. The amount of milk that I got was different each day, my body seemed to adjust to what they needed. Make sure you start pumping before you go back to work. Build up a supply in the freezer as much as you can so you won't have to supplement with formula. They recommend pumping 20 minutes after you feed her in morning. You have the most milk in the morning.



I highly recemmend that you have a good pump. I have a double pump from Medela. It made it over two years so far, and I know it will get me through at least another kid.



Good luck to you! Do the best you can, and don't let it bother you if it doesn't work out.

User - posted on 08/11/2009

4

0

1

it is very possible...You can go exclusive up to 6 months.. after six months the solid food helps. 4 bottles/4 oz each a day if you are away from 7am - 7pm.. keep 3-4 hrs expressing and be consistent.. the moment you miss the time, the milk will be less. You can still nursing up to two years.. because they have other choice of food/juices and wait for us to come home for breast milk.. I have done that.. you will do just fine. don't get stressed out that will not be good. anxieties and stress reduce the supply of our milk..

Sarah - posted on 08/10/2009

21

37

1

I have to pump at work, too. Not looking forward to it. My conference is at 9:15 and my lunch is at 11:45. Those are the only times off I will have, until school lets out at 4:00. My schedule sort of sucks. I plan to BF as long as possible, too. Keely has a milk protein allergy, so I cannot eat any dairy products. This has me thinking I will only make it through Christmas break. I happen to like dairy. I'm going to try to make it longer. We'll see how it goes. As for the amount, I would plan on her eating in the vicinty of 5 oz. Keely eats about 3 oz. now, and she's 2 months old. If you freeze your milk in 4 or 5 oz. increments and freeze a few bags containing 1 or 2 oz., you should be good. As for supply reduction, it is likely to happen. Remember, you produce what is demanded. You'll train your system to produce during the times you pump or nurse and not during the other times. I cannot guarantee you'll keep your supply up, but I really think you'll make enough if the demand for it is there (either by pumping or nursing). If you are sure you need to supplement some, try combing half formula and half breast milk. As for the evenings, there is probably milk there. Your system just has to adjust.

Shelli - posted on 08/07/2009

6

6

0

Carlyn brought up a good idea- I'm also going back in the fall and have been pumping and freezing since June. The thing that worked for me has been to pump in the morning right after his first feeding, then again at night after his last. I'm not sure what will happen when I get back to work, since I'll only have my lunch hour to pump and then right after school as well. At the very least, having a frozen supply for a while should help. FYI- The Lansinoh Freezer Bags are great- they lay flat to freeze, so they take up less space and I find I can pile them better than the Medela bags. They also hold 6 oz, rather than 5.

Carlyn - posted on 08/05/2009

50

11

5

One thing that worked well for me that hasn't been mentioned yet is adding a pumping session at home after the baby is asleep in the evenings, or doing pumping/nursing (pump one side while baby nurses the other.) I also pumped during naps on the weekends. This allowed me to have a little extra on hand in the freezer for those times I fell short on my daily oz. Good luck!

Marie - posted on 08/02/2009

1

15

0

I was also worried about going back to work and pumping only 3 times during the school day for my 6 week old, but after reading all of these comments I feel much more confident and encouraged. Thanks to all!

Kristin - posted on 08/02/2009

3

20

0

I totally understand where you are coming from - with my daughter I was only able to breastfeed for 6 months full time and 8 months part time. When I found out I was expecting twins I had no idea how I was going to feed them and work (I wanted to give them the best and could not fathom the cost of formula). I started pumping very early (when they were a week) for 5-10 mins after I fed them. That helped increase my supply. I was in a similar situation with pumping at 5, 9 and 12 and then not until 4/5 - I also had the late night coaching. Your body will adjust to your schedule and the weekend schedule as well. My one recommendation for you is to stock up now and when you feed her off of you pump for 5-10 minutes after she is done. That really helped my supply increase. I was able to feed my twin boys for 10 monts (7 of which were while I taught).

I wish you the best and it will all work out.

Barbara - posted on 08/01/2009

12

23

1

Hey Cece! I see you have a lot of replies to your questions but I figured I'd pipe in with what I do. I am still nursing Caitlin too, she'll be 8 months this week. We had to supplement from the begining with her. She was a month early and I couldn't keep up with how often she needed fed, not because my milk was low although sometimes it was, but because it was about every 45 minutes for about 6 weeks and I was tired so we opted to supplement when I needed a rest and to restore! When Cait was 4 months old she was nursing so efficiently that I think she'd nurse maybe 10 minutes on each side. Now, my right side has always produced much more than my left but she seemed to be doing just fine with whatever she got out. When she was having a bottle she ate 4-6 oz, just depending on how long it was before the last feeding, she was still feeding about every 2 hours and could maybe stretch it to 3 sometimes.

I went back to work part time when she was 6 weeks old, and she has now been in daycare for 3 weeks too. I pumped twice a day while at work and would feed her in the morning, after work and at night too. She still got some formula too. Camdyn should start to learn to eat solids soon right? We started Cait at 4 months and now she can eat 2-3 times a day solid foods and will nurse and when I'm home only gets a bottle when we go out.

Make sure you're getting plenty of good calories during the day and drinking a lot of water and your supply should keep up. I'm not sure what you're getting out of each pump but I'd try to get 6 oz out if you can each time. And save up what she doesn't drink to combine for the next bottle. Oh and if you're going to pump after she eats in the morning, when you get home you may want to pump after you feed her and put her to sleep and before you go to bed too that will help! Hope this helps you out! Anymore questions I'll be happy to give you my input!!

Joy - posted on 07/31/2009

67

2

14

My daughter is 4 now, so it has been a few years since I did the "pumping thing", but I want to assure you that it will be fine. I was not a person who was even sure they would breastfeed, much less end up doing it for 10+ months AND PUMPING!
My first suggestion to you is that you ask a coworker to cover for you so that you can add a morning pump session. You didn't mention what age/level you teach, but at almost any school you can find someone who has a planning time or a teacher's aide who could monitor your class - even if you only pumped for 15 minutes during that session it would keep your production up AND give you those extra ounces you may need. I teach high school and luckily I mostly could pump during lunch and planning time, but occasionally when I needed to miss class to pump I just got them started working and had a colleague watch them. With my 15 - 18 year olds it was actually a great springboard for talking about how important breastfeeding is!
Another option might be to feed your baby at 6 a.m. and them pump when you get to school - especially if your school doesn't start until 8:00.
I also agree that pumping in your classroom is NOT a great idea - an office, storage room, or even a large closet are better so you can have more privacy.
I wish you the very best of luck! And remember that you have already given your baby a wonderful head start in the world by breastfeeding this far - everything else is icing on the cake!

Kezia - posted on 07/31/2009

1

4

0

Hi! I am also just starting back to work with my 3 month old. With my last baby (almost 2) I pumped at my two plan periods and never had time to get anything done in my room. Eventually I dropped to pumping once at lunch and maintaned that for the rest of the school year. I nursed at home normally and all was fine. I would pump for the next days bottles and that seemed to work well. I have gone back to work now and I am just pumping at lunch. I can get 10-12 oz. in the 20 minutes that I use. I find it most important to relax!! I know this is hard in our type of setting, but I found a breastfeeding Relaxation CD that had baby sucking sounds in the background and that really helped me relax which in turn increased my flow. I also keep a pic of her on my desk and call to talk to the sitter while I am pumping. My lactation consultant told me that she will take between 24-36 oz. a day, and don't feel like she has to eat 8 oz in a sitting. Which my 2 year old never did. He got up to about 6 oz and that was it. Supplement if you need to, but I am sure if you just relax it will be fine!

Katie - posted on 07/31/2009

2

3

0

I am right with you. I have a 2 month old and we start school in a week or so. I only have time to pump twice during the day but man, I thought my days were packed with work last year!! With my older son, I had trouble getting enough milk in basically the same situation. He ended up having mostly formula during the day mixed with what milk I could get pumping but I nursed him weekends and after school. In the end I was still pumping 2X daily but only getting 3-4 oz. It was very discouraging. That lasted until he was 6 months and then we gave in to formula and I gave up on the pumping, just nursed him at home.
I am really hoping to do better this time around. My plan is to watch my water and diet a little better - last time I don't think I ate or drank enough on a daily basis. I hope it goes well for you!

User - posted on 07/31/2009

5

11

0

I think you will find that she prefers you over the bottle. She will eat what is given to her throughout the day and make up for any growth spurt during the evening. As always, your body will adjust to her needs. It may take a few weeks before you both get the hang of it. Listen to her cues. If in the evening she doesn't nurse as long, or wants to drop a feeding, it is probably because she is taking more in at earlier feedings.

My first son adjusted beautifully, but my second actually refused the bottle because he hated the feelin of the nipples. After switching brands several times, he finally did pick one he liked, but even then, he only would take it once during the day, and then nursed a lot at night to make up for it.

Luckily, at this age, she is old enough to introduce cereal into her diet, so if you supplement with anything, I would use that mixed with breast milk.

Good luck!

Melissa - posted on 07/30/2009

120

3

24

Breastfeed when you can and your body will still make milk. I was able to pump twice a day at work. My supply did diminish, but every ounce helps. You may have to supplement with formula, but that's not a bad thing. I was fortunate enough to not have to supplement, but I would occasionally pump in the middle of the night to get out the ounces I needed. Good luck to you!

Jill - posted on 07/30/2009

7

3

0

I am a music teacher who teaches between two different buildings in two different towns so I don't have a lot of down time to give up to pump. When I started teaching again after having my son, I would nurse him around 8 in the morning when I got to school (I am lucky and his daycare is there too :), then I would have a little time to pump around lunch time and then not again until 4 or so. Sometimes I would wait until I picked him up from daycare around 4:30 and they would just be feeding him his bottle so I would pump on my way home from school (I have a 20 minute drive and a hands-free Medela pump...those ROCK! :) Having concerts and such is similar to your coaching situation and I have made it 6 months now (2.5 months he was in daycare). I just made sure I pumped before I went to bed and in the morning after he ate to relieve any extra milk and to get an extra pumping in for his bottles. Some days it was pushing it to have enough milk but it has always seemed to just work out. I think stress comes to play with milk production too because my most stressful school weeks were my least productive pumping weeks. I am one who always worries about getting into a routine but I have found that I need to just trust my baby and the body kind of follows in line with his prompts. Good luck and enjoy your little one :)

P.S. I had the same problem with my son fighting me to feed like there is nothing there as well from time to time. He seemed to want to nurse all the time but acted like he wasn't getting anything from it. My doctor said that he was just working on getting my milk production up and I found that sometimes he acted like that because he was just tired and that was his comfort. We got through that period though and I am sure you will too!

Marilyn - posted on 07/29/2009

44

16

2

Cecilia, I just joined the "Circle of Moms" group today. This is my first time reading anything on here. I know many of the other mother/teachers have responded and I want to ditto their remarks. Your body will do just fine and produce as much milk as needed. I am very proud of the decision you've made! In my case, my son was about 4 months old when I went back and he did not take a bottle for the sitter. She tried, but he wouldn't even take it. Because of this, he started cereal. I don't know how you feel about "nursing on demand", but I found that it worked for me. We (my husband and I), got used to my son eating several times during the night. My husband would pick him up from his bed, then bring him to me. We would usually fall right back to sleep. Everybody is different, so you need to find what works for you. I wish you the best of luck with your daughter and your new group of students. You are going to have a fantastic year!

Katrina - posted on 07/29/2009

2

17

1

Good luck as you go back to work. I went back to work last Aug. when my daughter was 5 mos. Initially I tried to pump 3 times a day (right when I got to school, lunch, and right after school was out). This was hard and I couldn't keep up. My lactation consultant said to to pump right when you get to work because you're fresh, it's still morning (when your supply is highest) and you aren't stressed out from the day yet. She also gave me a heads up that my supply would be highest on Mondays (after being with my daughter all weekend) and would slowly dip down and level off toward mid week. This was very true. I'm glad I knew that otherwise I think I would've been discouraged. It helped me to relax by having a picture of my daughter nearby that I could use to focus. I sent what I pumped each day. When she was about 9 mos. I dropped to 1 pump a day and supplemented. I probably could've kept pumping but it was hard to fit in all the pumps I really needed to during the day. It helped to having a nursing apron and lots of forewarning to others who might be looking for you. I was walked in on several times despite my best efforts and locked door. Also, I didn't realize how much energy breastfeeeding took until I was back at work. I was exhausted each night and this did not subside until I completely quite nursing/pumping at 1 year. So, try to make your evenings as relaxing as possible (hard to do in the teaching world, right?) and recruit lots of help from your husband. I tried to get some ready made meals in the freezer for dinners before going back to work, as that's the last thing I wanted to think about when getting home each day. Best wishes to you! You are doing wonderful things for your baby and however long you make it is great!

Naomi - posted on 07/29/2009

60

13

10

I returned to full time work when my son was 3 months. I was able to keep up with him for about a month and then we had to suppliment about a bottle a day and this slowly kept increasing as I could not pump often enough during the day to maintian my supply. I would pump at 6.30 then 11 (recess) 2 (lunch) and around 6 and then just before bed around 10.30. My goal was to make it until 6 months and we did - just. At the end I was only producing enough to make up 1 feed a day. Ideally I would have loved to breast feed for 12 months but I found it very difficult. We fed him from the bottle only as he refused the breast after we introduced a bottle. The bottle was far easier for him as he didn't have to work nearly as hard! Not so easy for me. I'm glad I perservered but it was a hard slog and even though work try and be supportive the reality is that you are sacrificing your own down time and you still have to fit in all the other responsibilities and you want to be getting out of there as soon as possible at the end of the day so you can get home to them not catching up on the work you didnt get done because you were expressing. In the end time with my son was more important than expressing and now I can give him his bottle rather than being strapped to "the machine". Do what works for you and try not to feel guilty (impossible I know) unfortunately teaching is very inflexible and your class are very demanding and it is difficult to give 100% at home and 100% at school and not colapse in a heap. The support of my husband and friends made a huge difference for me and spurred me on when I was ready to throw in the towel. The beginning was the hardest after that you get into a routine and just go with the flow.

Kathy - posted on 07/28/2009

5

4

1

Cecilia, Your body will adjust to what you take out or the baby drinks. If you keep up the pumping regularly, the milk will keep coming. Likewise, if you don't pump it will decrease to the amount that is taken. Always keep this in mind. Try to pump the amount your baby would be eating and you will continue your supply. Good Luck! I nursed all 5 of my babies and there is just nothing like it!

Heidi - posted on 07/27/2009

30

8

7

As for Angela's post...That happens. Some people just have a hard time pumping. Don't feel bad if it happens to you. Being hooked up to a machine is not the same. You can do both formula and breast if you have trouble. People with twins often do both.

Angela - posted on 07/27/2009

12

15

3

I have heard from many, many people that it shoudl work fine. I went back to work when my baby was 6 weeks old and I couldn't seem to keep up with enjough supply for him. I was able to pump and supplement for 3 months but then I just gave up the whole situation!

Kate - posted on 07/26/2009

10

40

0

The first few days were REALLY tough. I had to make sure I had some either from a frozen stockpile or pumped extra. After the first week back to school, it all started to get organized. I would pump at 5am and then had my plan at 8:45. I would pump then and at lunch, 11am. I wouldn't have the chance to do it again until 4-5pm. My body adjusted very quickly. I did have an interesting experience in that my daughter never latched on so I pumped everything I gave her. I hope this helps you. I didn't pump in my classroom, too many chances of possible intrusions. There was an store room in our library that I used. I told the librarian and she helped people steer clear. Good luck!!

If you see this, leave this form field blank.
Powered by RESPECT not THUMPS

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms