Pumping at work

Gin - posted on 06/11/2010 ( 31 moms have responded )

1

21

0

Have any of you moms who are teachers pumped while at work? It is something I will be dealing with when we go back in August, and I am nervous because teaching is not a profession that is conducive to being able to pump. We can.t just leave our "office" to pump for 10 minutes and I don't always have my planning to myself. Just curious if any of you have done it.

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Jennifer - posted on 06/15/2010

7

13

0

I did it while subbing and working as a TA. First, see if there is an out of the way bathroom, or single-sex teacher's lounge. As long as you have a place to go, it will be much smoother. If not, I would recommed two things--one, look into whisper wear breast pumps. These are FABOULOUSE, as long as you take the time to figure out how to use them. The are a bit noisey, but you will not need to worry about expsosing yourself to your coworker when s/he is in the room. (I did this for the first three monthes.) Another option is to consider driving to a local McD's parking lot or a parking lot where you will have a measure of privacy. Buy and AC adapter for your var, and voila! you have a reletively private office to pump in. :o) (I did this with my last one when the Whisperwear had died and I was taking classes at a university.)
Some other tips--begin pumping after feedings, gradually, in the second month after you've had the baby. It takes a while to get a good back-log of breast milk frozen, and you will need back-up milk from time to time, including when you first send your baby to childcare. I usually begin when the baby is four weeks old, after the noon-time feeding. I nurse, wait thirty minutes, and pump for fifeteen minutes. Fifteen is the magic number--any less and you will loose your milk supply. Every time you pump, do so for fifteen minutes. You want to empty your breasts and then stimulate the milk glands--this takes fifteen minutes of sustained pumping. Another reason you should start pumping around month two--you want to start increasing milk prodcution. When you go back to work, it will drop, especially if you are not pumping as often as you would feed your baby--every 2-3 hours. If you have increased production, this process will not be too big of a problem because you will have the weekend to nurse your baby and pump over the weekend to rebuild the supply.
Another tip-go to work a little early to pump before work, and plan to pump at lunch. Just remember that the process takes 20 minutes, if you are fast at set-up and break-down. (Another reason why I loved the Whisperwear--I poped them on in the daycare bathroom, after I fed my little one, and pumped on the 30 mintute drive to work. Thse pumps take 30 minutes, not fifteen because they don't pull as well as the electric-type pumps, but they are well worth the extra time becaue they are under your clothes and free you up to do other things.)
You will also need to pump at home at least twice before bed in order to maintain your milk supply. It is a lot of work, but it is well worth it to make it to that 1-year mark. Pumping does not stimulate your milk glands the way you baby will, so you will dry up slowly when you pump, over the week, so the extra pumpings counter this.
I hope I have not been too loud-mouthed, I just wish someone had told me all of this before I returned to work after having my first child. I pumped once a day, did not pump at home, fed him formula for the first day or two at the daycare, and I lost my milk in that first week and did not recover it. It saddened me a lot to lose that special connection I had with him. So, that's my 10,000 cents. :o) I hope it helps. :o)

Shannon - posted on 06/25/2010

1

0

0

Being a teacher and pumping is a challenge. Do the best you can and if you have problems producing milk try fenugreek capsules. They work!

Lauren - posted on 06/19/2010

1

0

0

I pumped and breastfed exclusively from the time that I went back in September until school was out in May. I would get to work a little early and pump before the kids came in the room @ 7:15, During lunch @ 10:40, and right after school @ 2:45. I informed my principal before I came back and he didn't ask any questions - just told me to do what I needed to do. There were times when we had to keep our kids during lunch or early in the morning and at those times I just had to make the rounds asking for favors from my wonderful colleagues. It was a really nice time for me when I was actually pumping. It's a way to de-stress. I felt like even though I was a working mom I was still able to provide this really essential and special thing for my son. Good for you for even considering it! Others might look at these obstacles as reasons to give up. It's a lot of work and coordinating but YOU CAN DO IT!!

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

31 Comments

View replies by

Farrah - posted on 07/29/2010

10

17

0

Yea, I did my pumping while I was student teaching. Basically, I ate my lunch every day in the nursing office bathroom, while I pumped! And, I also took a break 1 other time during the day. It sucked. But, it was worth it!!! There is something very demoralizing about pumping milk in the same place people go to the bathroom (every workplace should have a room where women can pump or nurse), but knowing that I gave him the nutrition he needed until he was 2 is something I'll never regret.

Kylie - posted on 07/28/2010

1

16

0

I went back to work full-time for 11 weeks when my baby was 4 and a half months. I requested a comfortable, private place, ei, an office to pump in. I oragnised myself so could pump at recess (1st break) and lunch (2nd break). My daughter happily breast fed and bottle fed breast milk for those 11 weeks. requested

Melissa - posted on 07/28/2010

28

21

0

I pumped the entire school year last year. I teach elementary school special ed. I would lock my door, cover windows, and put a stop sign on the door so that the students knew they could not come in under any circumstances. I also made sure to tell my principal. she was supportive and assured that if any problems came up, with students or parents, she could cover for me the 15 minutes that I would be pumping. I did have rude comments about puting the pumped milk, though in sealed bottles and a cooler, but they just had to get over it. Good luck and give it an honest try it will be ok :)

Christina - posted on 07/26/2010

6

6

0

I did it during my planning and lunch period. I would suggest you put a sign up on the door, letting the office staff know as well as your hallway co-workers. I told my co-workers and didn't think about telling the office, then one day, a child forgot his lunch in the classroom and couldn't get in so he went to the office and they opened the door. Thankfully I always used a receiving blanket to cover me, but the secretary was mortified and so was I. The child never had a clue which was good. I had many interruptions, the supply people, cleaning people, etc. but I wouldn't have given it up for the world. Just roll with it and remember your baby deserves it! :)

[deleted account]

I pumped from Aug-October in my locked classroom. It was middle school, and my team members knew I was pumping before school, during lunch or prep. In fact, they would make light of my pumping and put little cow drawings on my door. When my pump got clogged up, I gave it to the math teacher next door who is great with motors. He took it apart and cleaned out the gunk, and then it worked fine. I stashed the milk in a 8th grade break room fridge and everyone knew what the bottle of milk was. The joke went aroudn that they used my milk for their coffee. What I'm saying is this: Surround yourself with supportive and positive co-workers and you will have no problems at all pumping.

Maureen - posted on 07/17/2010

11

0

0

I pumped from April-the end of the school year. I teach first grade, and have 3 days where i have NO breaks during the day (other than lunch) . I pumped in my classroom during my lunchtime. It was the only time that I had a break! Two of my co-workers ate lunch with me in my classroom...helped to keep me distracted--i was TOO nervous when doing it alone. I was always afraid of somebody walking in (even though the door was locked!). It worked out MUCh better than I could've expected.

There were a few times when I first went back that I was VERY full adn uncomfortable, and fortunately, those 2 co-workers of mine would take my kiddos so that I could have 10 minutes to myself.

Hope this helps :)

Marie - posted on 06/28/2010

4

0

0

My daughter was born at the end of August 2009 so I started the school year on maternity leave. I returned to work after Thanksgiving and pumped once a day during my lunch hour for 15-20 minutes. In order to make the time more productive (since there is not much down time when you teach elementary!) I made use of specialized bra. I took an old sports bra and cut holes in it so I could insert the pumping shields. Then, I changed from a nursing bra to the pumping bra and got my pump set up. (Before all of this I'd heat up my lunch and bring it back to my classroom, put a piece of paper over the window in the door and put my "do not disturb" sign on the outside my door). Once my lunch was ready and the pump was ready, I start pumping and eat my lunch while pumping. I'd also usually set up near my computer so I could check school email after I'd finish eating and was still hooked up to the pump. My husband (also a teacher) would send me an email during his morning prep about how his day was going and so it was usually waiting in my inbox when I'd check my email.
I kept up pumping until my daughter was 6 months old. I was very stressed at school after returning to work (in my heart I'd have preferred to be a stay-at-home mom, but finances wouldn't have worked out for us), so I resented school and work because it took me away from my baby. However, I realized that I needed to make a better connection with my co-workers and get out of my classroom a bit. I stopped pumping at work but continued to breast-feed my daughter as soon as I'd get home and in the morning before I left for school as well as at night. I was able to keep my milk supply up enough so that now, in summer, I'm able to resume breastfeeding (no formula any more!).
I suggest giving it you best shot, and then if it doesn't seem to be working out with your schedule by the time your baby is 5 or 6 months old, he or she will be starting to eat other foods besides milk. Be good to yourself as well as your baby! Good luck!

Courtney - posted on 06/28/2010

1

2

0

I pumped this entire last school year. I pumped twice a day - once when my kids went to lunch and the other during my planning. If we had a grade level meeting or something I would tell the rest of my grade level to come in my room because I had to pump. I could sit in one corner and still hear the conversation - plus they were all women and understood that I had to do what I had to do for my baby. My principal came in twice on me (my principal is a male), but really the first time he didn't realize I was pumping at first until he finally asked me what that "noise" was. I don't know your situation, but they do have to allow you to pump by law. Most principals I would hope understand that you have a new baby and you are doing what is best for you and your baby. Good luck...it is definitely worth the sacrifice. My baby will be one is two weeks and she has been breastfed the entire time. Hasn't been sick a day in her life...I attribute that to breastmilk! Enjoy your little one!

Laura - posted on 06/27/2010

4

6

0

I pumped for both of my sons while working. Thank goodness I had practiced with my first son, because my second could not toloerate any formula at all. It may sound strange, but I put a comfy chair in my storage closet( large and well-lit) and pumped in there, either during my prep, lunch or recess. It was not always easy, but so worth it. My boys are 5 and 7 now, and looking back it seems like such a small inconvenience that I endured for a short time. So, I would encourage you to give it a try!

Kimberly - posted on 06/26/2010

11

17

1

I pumped for both of my kids at school. I started doing extra pumping sessions at home to increase my supply before going back to work. I had a nice little stockpile before I even went back to work. I would pump just before kids came in, at lunch, and again right after school. Depending on what time my kids would have gym class, etc... I might also be able sneak in an extra session during the day. I gave my principal and the school secretary and custodian a copy of my "schedule" and where I'd be pumping, so no one would disturb me. It worked great! I also got a hand-free pumping bra and a car adapter and would sometimes even pump while driving to and from work. Good luck to you!

Jennifer - posted on 06/26/2010

21

34

0

I'm an early childhood teacher with three children now, and for each of them i expressed initially in each of my 15min breaks, (i had a lot of milk and could do both sides within that time) then as they got older i would get up early to pump, get ready and still be able to give an initial feed before heading to work and last to lunchtime where i had a relaxed half hour and did so till my supply reduced and i only fed morning and night... I ended up using a formula during the day close to the first year before i was ready to transition to a regular milk...



Having a break in solitude made it easy to just close the staffroom door and 'do my thing', then when i had a shared lunch break, our neighbouring building had a parents room where i could have a bit of privacy...



Depending on your building, school routine and scheduled breaks, will depend on how you end up making it part of your day... Talk to your head of staff and make an agreement of what you would like to do, 'it's all about you and the choices your are making for your child'... Maybe a substitute or assistant could supervise your class initially a couple times a day while you express, and as your supply reduces, you could stretch it out to your lunchbreak...



I would suggest that you start expressing while on maternity leave and build up a stockpile in the freezer so that you have a back up supply for the days you don't get as much... This will also get you used to setting up the machine you choose to use and become familiar with the technique... I did this and it made it so much easier when i got back to work...



Take it slow, relax and see how you go... All the best...

Annie - posted on 06/25/2010

2

6

0

I pumped from August to about December. Along the way I definitely had to supplement A LOT with formula because I could only pump at lunch. I was pumping in the morning at home before I left for work and then I pumped at lunch and then if I had a lot to do for the next day I would pump after school too. I just couldn't keep up and I was soooo exhausted from trying to keep up with my munchkin. I ended up giving up when he was about 6 months old because I couldn't handle it anymore. I read some of the posts and it sounds like getting your administration on board is the way to go!

Lilah - posted on 06/24/2010

37

17

4

It's a challenge but definitely can be done. I teach high school with a 7 period schedule. I nursed in the a.m. and pumped during my planning at mid-morning. I used our department's office with the blessing of the other teachers. My husband works nights so on those days when I lost my planning he'd bring the baby to me at lunch. My son was a preemie and was unable to nurse for the 1st three weeks of his life so I was pumping for him. I had enough milk stockpiled to last from late Sept to mid Jan. After that, I had to put aside my objections and let my husband supplement one bottle of formula a day. (My wonderful ped gave us enough samples to last us the rest of the school year). It wasn't easy but we did it. My next challenge is trying to decide whether or not wean him as he approached his first birthday next month. Good luck!

Kristin - posted on 06/23/2010

2

12

0

I will be doing the same thing come August. I teach 2nd grade and I am nervous about the privacy, The Janitor said he will be putting a little fridge in my room (not sure if the principal knows or if the janitor knows what I will use it for! :) ) But I am just nervous about the time. It would be nice to pump during a recess and lunch/planning time but I am usually getting stuff together during recess/planning time. I guess I need to become more organized and prepared!

Kara - posted on 06/23/2010

7

29

0

I teach high school on a traditional 6 period schedule and I pumped last fall from september through February. I had to use an eletrical closet and run an extention cord. My building was not cool with letting me do it but I had support from the other teachers in my department. I pumped before school, at the begining of 3rd periods while one of my co-teachers kept an eye on my senoirs as they did anouncements and pledge of allegance and again during my 5th period plan. It was a hassle but totally worth it. I agree that you should have the support of the union in doing this. My school just wasn't that way.

Diana - posted on 06/22/2010

4

9

0

I pumped with all 4 of my kids. I was able to get it done during lunch. I would lock my room and close the blinds. Occassionally I used the nurses office. For the most part my room worked best. Good luck, it's a little stressful at first, but as you set your routine it gets easier.

Shelly - posted on 06/19/2010

3

5

0

I managed it during my lunch hour. I locked my room, and closed my blinds. I did it until my daughter was 9mths. Good luck.

Bobbi - posted on 06/19/2010

12

22

0

I pumped with my first son for 1 semester. I was teaching elementary school at the time and it was not ideal. I did not have an electric pump, and it took most of my lunch period. Having said that, I would do it again in a heartbeat. You definitely have to plan it in, but I think it's worth it.

Kathryn - posted on 06/19/2010

6

2

0

I am going back to work fulltime in a few weeks, but for the past two months I have been relieving at a variety of primary schools around the area. I get up very early and express in the morning, emptying one breast completely and leaving the other for Issy to empty when she woke up. I found that I could cope until I picked her up just after 3 in the afternoon. When I go back to my old job I will be there for longer and so I will be definitely arranging for a place I can use during my breaks where I can express in privacy and comfort. It is a legal requirement for your workplace to provide that for you. Don't do any planning or work, have a good book to read, it's your BREAK after all!

Jennifer - posted on 06/18/2010

2

1

0

I pumped at work from March until the end of the school year. I did it during lunch and my planning. Sometimes I skipped my planning due to meetings. I would have another teacher walk my students to lunch (you definitely need the support of the staff). I had a bathroom in my classroom, so I was never bothered by anyone knocking on the door since my kids were at lunch. It was a hassle but absolutely worth it. Other teachers at work were also recently back from maternity leave and they stopped breastfeeding when they went back to work. I’m glad I stuck it out till the end.

Melissa - posted on 06/18/2010

9

0

0

I pumped from returning to work in November til the end of the school year. Pumped twice a day for about 10-15 minutes. Once during morning planning and the other during my lunch. I fed right before I left for work everyday and as soon as I arrived home. So I stayed on track with feedings and milk production. I just did it at my desk in my classroom (which is hidden from the door) and I would pull the shades and hang a beanie baby cow on my door to signal to my team of teachers that I was in there but I was pumping. It actually became a long-standing joke. But even with the occasional meeting that I would be a few minutes late to, they were all very supportive. I just stuck to my guns and insisted that this was very important to me and my child and that I am entitled to those two 15 minute break intervals (by law). No one ever gave me a problem. AND you can get some papers graded during that time if you are a good multi-tasker:-)

Blythe - posted on 06/16/2010

22

20

0

I did it for many months and I work at a day treatment center for students with emotional disabilities. It went just fine. I rarely had a minute to myself during the school day, but had to make time for pumping. It was somewhat of an oasis. Take those few minutes to yourself and enjoy every minute of it. Good luck!

Tara - posted on 06/15/2010

1

0

0

I pumped in the morning before students arrived and right after they left. It's a long time in between, but it worked for me.

Jennifer - posted on 06/15/2010

1

0

0

I pumped at work from April to June. Like the others have said I used my lunch and rotating prep period. Thank God for the other teacher who shared my office space. She would watch out for me so that no one interrupted me.

Montika - posted on 06/15/2010

3

20

0

I piumped 17 years ago on my lunch break everyday . . . I was teaching 5th grade. I had a wonderful PRINCIPAL - he would make it a point to take my kids to lunch (he was on TIME everyday) so I could start piumping ASAP (did I mention he made sure I had a frig in my classroom to store my milk). My coworkers new I was pumping so they did not bother me! My parents were aware and did not intrude with calls or visits. . .So I say LET people know and do it!!!! Do it for YOU and YOUR baby!!! Go for it. . . .

Leslie - posted on 06/13/2010

85

6

0

I pumped from August to March. I teach on block schedule, but was fortunate that my planning is during 3rd block. I have a nice storage room in my classroom- not your typical storage room that I was able to put a comfortable chair and a min-fridge, etc. into. I turned my lights off and shut my door. I only had someone try to open my storage room door 1 time (my male principal- how embarrassing! lol) but I was able to stop him quickly. My co-workers on my hall knew what was going on and that if I couldn't be found, don't come looking for me. I'm make myself available when I could. Otherwise, it can be done. Good Luck!

Elaine - posted on 06/12/2010

15

6

0

I pumped from april until the end of the school year. I teach HS on a block schedule, so I can really only pump during my prep and lunch... and my prep is at the end of the day 3x/week (no prep the other 2 days)

They MUST provide you with a quiet, non-restroom, private space to pump. If you're worried about asking, talk with your union rep first. Also, make sure the campus supervisors know not to unlock the doors when you're there. (I found this one out the hard way - they'd given a master key to one of the students, so he could check my room to see if he'd left something there. LUCKILY, it was a good kid, who backed out ASAP when I ordered him out, and I was behind my desk, so he didn't see anything. Even so... thank G-D for my union rep!)

Janice - posted on 06/11/2010

3

20

1

Hey Gin...i pumped at work after my son was born from september to april...with the way my classroom was, during lunch, i just covered the door with construction paper, closed the blinds and pumped at my desk...after a while, i would have a few of my female students (i teach high school) hang with me, just in case someone tried to get in (every so often i would get students knocking on my door).

At first i thought i wouldn't like doing it, but it kept me feeling closer to my baby...and aside from the occasional disruptions, it worked out great...

i don't know what your situation is, but by law they have to let you pump and they have to provide you with somewhere to do it...

i hope this helped....don't stress! just do what you can :)

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