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Old 05-23-2007, 05:28 PM   #1
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Some questions for all you working and BFing Mamas

DD is only 11 weeks old and I have to start back to work in exactly one month DH is taking the rest of the one year family leave to be home with her. This seemed like such a good idea when I was pregnant and had NO CONCEPT WHATSOEVER what being a parent was going to be like. Now I can't change it so I have to make the best of it.

Izzy and I have finally worked out most of the kinks in our BFing relationship and now she won't take her Mommy milk any other way despite trying a zillion ways to get her to accept a bottle. She will figure it out the first day I'm back to work and won't be home to feed her for 14 hours.......

So, my questions:

1) I have been pumping a lot since DD and I have quite a stash in my freezer. Now I want to slow down my pumping so that I'm not in agony when I'm at work and can't feed her and pump every 2-3 hours. How many times a day should I be pumping to ensure a continual stash for DD and when during the day is the best time to pump?

2) I work as a nurse in a critical care area where I often don't get breaks and work 12.5 hour shifts or more if lots of people are super sick. I don't work full time but I often switch from nights to days, etc. Are there any Mamas who work 12 hour swing shift work who can tell me how they made their BFing relationship work with these crazy hours?

3) Is working going to screw up my supply and force me to end our BFing?

4) Can anyone offer me a kind word or two that will make me not want to freak out at the idea of having to leave my girlie for 12 plus hours???



I want to take the "five months pregnant Heather who thought raising a baby and having a career would be a cinch" and beat her senseless!

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Old 05-23-2007, 05:36 PM   #2
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Re: Some questions for all you working and BFing Mamas

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Originally Posted by jaceraden View Post
DD is only 11 weeks old and I have to start back to work in exactly one month DH is taking the rest of the one year family leave to be home with her. This seemed like such a good idea when I was pregnant and had NO CONCEPT WHATSOEVER what being a parent was going to be like. Now I can't change it so I have to make the best of it.

Izzy and I have finally worked out most of the kinks in our BFing relationship and now she won't take her Mommy milk any other way despite trying a zillion ways to get her to accept a bottle. She will figure it out the first day I'm back to work and won't be home to feed her for 14 hours.......

So, my questions:

1) I have been pumping a lot since DD and I have quite a stash in my freezer. Now I want to slow down my pumping so that I'm not in agony when I'm at work and can't feed her and pump every 2-3 hours. How many times a day should I be pumping to ensure a continual stash for DD and when during the day is the best time to pump?

2) I work as a nurse in a critical care area where I often don't get breaks and work 12.5 hour shifts or more if lots of people are super sick. I don't work full time but I often switch from nights to days, etc. Are there any Mamas who work 12 hour swing shift work who can tell me how they made their BFing relationship work with these crazy hours?

3) Is working going to screw up my supply and force me to end our BFing?

4) Can anyone offer me a kind word or two that will make me not want to freak out at the idea of having to leave my girlie for 12 plus hours???



I want to take the "five months pregnant Heather who thought raising a baby and having a career would be a cinch" and beat her senseless!
Good luck !
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Old 05-23-2007, 05:37 PM   #3
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Re: Some questions for all you working and BFing Mamas

i wish you the best.
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Old 05-23-2007, 06:02 PM   #4
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Re: Some questions for all you working and BFing Mamas

Didn't work crazy shifts and try to pump but it can be done. Ideally you'd want to pump every few hours or so (similar to your dd's nursing routine as much as possible). Doesn't have to be for very long, maybe 10 minutes or so.

You might consider getting one of those whisperwear pumps you can wear in your bra. They have a good rep and are supposed to be really, really quiet.
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Old 05-23-2007, 06:29 PM   #5
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Re: Some questions for all you working and BFing Mamas

Well I don't really have a ton of advice but when dd was 3 months I went back to work from 8-3 and then strait to school from 4-8 or 10(nursing school)sometimes it was clinicals making it hard to pump. I started off thinking every 3 hours was enough and really should have been doing more like 2. We got to about 7 months and then she started sleeping through the morning(I did not wake her cause dh worked nights and watched her during the day) I should have pumped then but didn't and within weeks we were supplementing more and more and eventually it was over.

My friend just went back to work her dc was only 7 weeks old and she works 12's, with barely any breaks, she started to suffer until she started pumping every 1-2 hours even if just for 5 minutes and her supply is back up, so good luck you can most def pull it off it will just take work. I will be looking at the same thing in about 6 weeks

I know that it sucks going back to work but at least your dh will be there with her!!
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Old 05-23-2007, 08:32 PM   #6
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Re: Some questions for all you working and BFing Mamas

Hi mama! I am a working mom. I am not a nurse, but I am a tax CPA and we have a crazy tax busy season, try 70 to 80 hour weeks for 2 months plus, it sucks! But the rest of the year I only work 4 days a week and one from home so I can't complain too much

I worked really hard to make nursing/pumping work even through the busy season, I figured if I could make it work through that I could make it work through anything. The thing that seems to be ending our bfing relationship is my sons insistance on biting, not me working. Anyway, here are my answers:

1) I have been pumping a lot since DD and I have quite a stash in my freezer. Now I want to slow down my pumping so that I'm not in agony when I'm at work and can't feed her and pump every 2-3 hours. How many times a day should I be pumping to ensure a continual stash for DD and when during the day is the best time to pump? I would actually recommend that you do not slow down just yet. That "large" stash becomes small quicker than you can imagine. And the fullness of your breasts will actually help you to remember to pump sooner, just my

2) I work as a nurse in a critical care area where I often don't get breaks and work 12.5 hour shifts or more if lots of people are super sick. I don't work full time but I often switch from nights to days, etc. Are there any Mamas who work 12 hour swing shift work who can tell me how they made their BFing relationship work with these crazy hours? First off get a hands free pump bra or make your own by cutting holes out of an old bra. Why you ask? Because you can actually continue to work while you are pumping. I can review a tax research/memos while I pump. I'm assuming you have nursing paperwork or other such stuff to do. If you can multitask you'll be able to justify taking more breaks.

Also a pumping session doesn't have to be 30 minutes. Sometimes I have less than 10 minutes so I set the pump up and pump for 5 minutes and normally get a few ounces. If you can fit in lots of shorter breaks vs. just longer breaks that works well. Just try to be consistent about taking the breaks. Also breastmilk has antibacterial properties, so you can pump and just rinse the pump parts and only do a deep clean once a day at home and you'll be fine, that saves time too



3) Is working going to screw up my supply and force me to end our BFing? Not if you are careful about pumping. If you can try to pump at least every 4 hours your supply should remain fine. If you can't do it that often for a shift or two, don't panic, you should just try to be consistent. You may end up pumping less than your baby eats but your baby will be able to get more when she is able to nurse. Also, I would let her nurse as much as possible when you are home since that helps boost supply.

Also, if your supply drops and you have used up your entire stash (this happened to me two weeks ago when ds was 8 1/2 months old) don't freak out if you have to supplement with formula. I feel pretty good that I am still able to give him breastmilk, just because my supply has dropped and i have to supplement doesn't mean I have to give up nursing or end our nursing relations, of course his biting is another story



4) Can anyone offer me a kind word or two that will make me not want to freak out at the idea of having to leave my girlie for 12 plus hours??? Call me crazy, but I really enjoy my job. It is very hard in the beginning to leave your baby, don't get me wrong, but once you fall into a routine you'll probably be fine. Call home anytime you miss her, bring pics so you can brag about her. How far is your work from your home? Could dh every bring in DD so you can see her and nurse her during a break or something?

I wish you luck mama, I hope my experiences have helped you!
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Old 05-23-2007, 08:45 PM   #7
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Re: Some questions for all you working and BFing Mamas

THANK-YOU Mamas!

Ali, I could kiss you!

I was having a bit of a meltdown today but I'm starting to feel a little better knowing that there are options and that others make it work.

I am having a bit of a chuckle though about the options for pumping at work. Where I work is a very small area with glass walls so that we can see our critically ill patients at all times. Some days it's IMPOSSIBLE to get even one break and everyday break times are dictated by what's going on in the unit. Pumping while doing paperwork would NOT be an option even if I were an exhibitionist!!!

I wonder if it would be better for me to work nights versus days???? Or, try to only work every other day/night rather than 2-3 shifts in a row?

I wish, wish, wish DH could bring DD to work for a feed now and then but the 30 minute drive makes it prohibitive. Oh, well. I am going to have to look into this pump hidden in my bra thing.

Another chuckle imagining pumping while providing patient care
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Old 05-23-2007, 09:07 PM   #8
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Re: Some questions for all you working and BFing Mamas

Sorry if way TMI. But I have come up with some creative ways to fit in pumping.

I have a medela pump-in-style and I bought a car adaptor for it and I use my hands-free pumping bra and set my self up and literally pump on the way to work and on the way home. I can keep both hands on the wheel and just wear a loose shirt and no-one can tell. But be sure to follow the speed limit! You dont' want to get pulled over while pumping

Just do a yahoo/google search for hands free pump bra and you'll see what I'm talking about. Seriously I hate pumping w/o one.
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Old 05-23-2007, 09:16 PM   #9
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Re: Some questions for all you working and BFing Mamas

OK I want you to know you can make this work! I'll post again later.
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Old 05-23-2007, 09:21 PM   #10
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Re: Some questions for all you working and BFing Mamas

Try to get ahold of a la leche league leader in your area and they will have great advice for you and a answer for every answer. Don't give up!! Best wishes!
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