Pumping while at work: does your supply decrease over time?

Lisa - posted on 03/30/2009 ( 11 moms have responded )

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I'm just returning to an office job after three years of working at home (yes, bummer). I'll be pumping during the day and breastfeeding at night. Since I'm new to this, I'm wondering if it's possible to do this long term and still keep up a good supply during those daytime hours when I'm not with my baby?

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Esther - posted on 04/01/2009

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I only pumped once a day at work (3 times a day total, so in the morning before getting dressed, at lunch in the office & at night before going to bed) and I had no problem keeping up my supply. You just have to make sure you have a good (double) pump and you may need to pump a bit longer at each session. I would usually pump for about 30 mins. I stopped at 6 months, but not for any supply reasons, just because I got sick of pumping. My friend is still at it at one year.

Maura - posted on 03/31/2009

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It depends how demanding your office job will be and how often you will be able to get away to pump.  I have 3 children and went back to work when each of them were around 8 weeks old.  Meetings and tight schedules make it hard to pump as much as you need to keep your supply up.   I think I was only back to work about 5 months each time before my supply was pretty much gone, but I know other moms who have made it about a year.  If you are able to pump as regularly as you need, then you should be ok.  But it can be very difficult to keep up for a long time.  Good Luck!

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Beth - posted on 04/02/2009

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Dear Lindsey Reinhold



I was wondering what Fenugreek was and where u can buy this? I am currently pumping due to latching issues and at times have trouble with my milk supple. Thanks for the suggestions.

Lisa - posted on 04/01/2009

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Thanks for all the encouragement. Wow Mylan, 30-40 oz! I would like to pump more frequently but it takes so much time out of my day each time (set up, pump, clean the bottles and funnels) You must have developed some real efficiencies! Care to share?

Ashley - posted on 04/01/2009

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You'll be just fine.... I went back to work when my son was 2 months old...he is now 8 months old and I am still breastfeeding and pumping. You just have to make sure you pump as often as you'd feed the baby when your home. Also, after you feed her before bedtime.... pump right after that... I still do that, and get alot of milk from that.

Mylan - posted on 04/01/2009

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I started pumping from the time my daughter was three weeks old because it hurt too much to have her drink directly from the tap, so to speak. ^^; I went back to work when she was two months old, and kept to a schedule of pumping every 2-3 hours. I've been called crazy by a lot of people for pumping so often, but I had to make it work out like that to be sure I kept up my supply. As a result of being so rigorous about it, I averaged between 30-40 ounces a day. I was actually pumping out more milk than my daughter drinks. :) Because work has been more hectic lately, so I've started to go to every 3-4 hours. There hasn't been a huge drop in production, but there's also so much in the fridge and freeer that I'm not worried about it anyway. It's very individual, because other coworkers that pump don't produce as much as I do.



Whatever you do produce a day, if you're determined to do it, keep at it and the supply shouldn't drop too much. Just remember that the pump is less efficient than your baby, so you may need more time with the pump than the baby would be at the breast.

Gabrielle - posted on 04/01/2009

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I was only able to pump for 3 months after returning to work, and by the end I was luck to get 4 oz a day after pumping twice at work. It was hard for me to get the time and relax, so I ended up having to supplement with formula, and finally go completely to formula. But I have a friend who had a great supply and never had any issues. Regardless of how it turns out, keep in mind that you did the best you could for your baby and already breastfed her in the beginning, so you ensured she got the benefit.

Lindsay - posted on 04/01/2009

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I pumped for a year with my daughter, but found my milk supply slowly decreased. I was pumping every 3-4 hours. So, a month before returning to work with my son, I began taking fenugreek. This has kept my supply up where it should be. I've actually stopped taking the fenugreek for a while because I have so much milk in the freezer! Pumping is just not the same as nursing. If you're worried about losing your supply, I suggest taking fenugreek.

Rain - posted on 03/31/2009

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I went back to work when my baby was 2 months old. What made it more difficult was that my job requires me to travel at least 2 times a month. But i was able to purely breastfeed up to one year. It's just a matter of having your pump with you all the time using it every 2-3 hours. My only problem was that I tend to always forget to get the milk from the freezer and bring it back home. :)

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I work and pump and if you don't pump like say every 3 hours you risk losing your supply so set a reminder for ev. 3- 4 hours as often as baby would eat to pump and buy a good pump will make it easier and faster 10-15 mins. good luck it is so worth and very cost effective.

Wendy - posted on 03/31/2009

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I think you should be able to keep up your supply.  Just keep eating properly and stress free.  Good luck!

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