I am an elementary school teacher and am planning to breastfeed for at least 12 months. This will be my first child and I am a little worried about how best to pump at work. My principal is really supportive and is totally willing to work a schedule around it. I just wanted to hear what other teachers have done and how did it work out?
Thank you for any advice you have.
I have zero advice for you, but I did want to chime in and say that it's great that you have a principle that's supportive of this. The only thing I know for sure is that, by law, your employer has to give you a safe and quiet place (other than a restroom) to nurse in whenever you need it. Good luck!
Krystal & Donovan - 12/2/06
Reagan - 10/2/02
Maximus - 3/10/05
Liberty - 12/11/08
My angel in Heaven 1/7/13
I have done it with 2 kids. It is very do-able. I would pump during my lunch. With the first I ate lunch while I pumped, at 12ish then I pumped again at 3:00 when my kids had specials. I would pump in my classroom. I could lock and unlock the door, and no one would bother me.
With the second, I had a really early lunch at 11:00 and I was the first class in the cafeteria, so I would take my class 5 minutes early and pump quickly then go eat with my colleagues. Then I would pump again at 2:00ish when we had specials.
It did happen to work out timewise, and when I was pregnant I did push for a schedule that would work for me, and coworkers on the scheduling committee helped push the issue for me.
I know our county has said they would support pumping moms for the first year, so if and when I do it again, I would make it happen.
Oh, and I would put the pumped milk/bottles and flanges into the little cooler part and reuse them for the second pumping...there is no need to wipe or wash out the flanges between pumpings.
I am not a teacher, but as long as you can pump every 3 hours it should work.
I would just build up as much of a supply as you can before starting back to work. I am NOT a good pumper, in fact terrible pumper and only made it to 12 months pumping because of the first 12 weeks at home and building up my supply. You can do it!
Ethan - June 21, 2009
Olivia - December 5, 2010
5w3d - October/November 2012
I haven't checked in for so long - I'm glad I stopped by, lol.
I pumped for two different babies at two different schools.
In school #1 I could use my own classroom because it was not used during that time, but my lunch and planning time were back to back, so I could only pump once a day. To compensate for this, I would pump before leaving for work. Since this was baby #1 and DH was a SAHD at the time it worked really well. If I'd have tried to pump before work with baby #2 it would not have worked (DH back at work, so getting two kids ready for daycare and myself ready for work with pumping time, no way).
At school #2 my room was being used during that time by another teacher, and the other space available to me was my chemical storage room (chemistry teacher) where I really did NOT feel comfortable pumping - since I know what's in there. I could have used the office conference room, but I could be moved at any time for parent meetings, etc. So I did use the staff bathroom. Ours is new, clean, roomy, and I know the only other girls that use it and it's really a pretty nice place. They put a desk and chair in there for me (that's how big it is) and it had an outlet and sink. Each day I wiped the desk down with lysol wipes before beginning, and it was actually a pretty peaceful place with no computer to distract me.
With baby #1, he sipped his bottles and was totally happy with the 10-12 ounces total a day I could pump. With baby #2, she was a bottle chugger, and wanted a LOT more than that. I think she was comfort eating, but since I wasn't there I wasn't going to tell the sitter to feed her less, so she ended up with 10 oz or so of my milk and 6-8oz or so of formula each day.
I guess all I would say is, be willing to be flexible, and hang in there. It's rough in the beginning but you will find a schedule and plan that works for you. I read The Milk Memos while I pumped - and it was a great book too. www.workandpump.com has a lot of good resources as well.
Katie - April 2010 . . . Drew - May 2007