First day back to work/ Long & Confusing

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VCoates's picture
Last seen: 2 years 5 months ago
Joined: 05/22/07
Posts: 1055
First day back to work/ Long & Confusing

Thus far, I've had zero problems having enough milk for Max. I've nursed on demand and even pumped while nursing for his first morning feeding (anywhere from 7-8am).

So today I nursed him around 6:30 and pumped at the same time. I was able to get 4oz while I nursed. I nursed him right before leaving him with my mom around 8:45. I pumped at 11:30 and got about 2.5 oz from each boob, pumped again at 2:30 and got 2.5oz total. I was going to pump at 4:30 but I was leaving work at 5 and my mom said he had just eaten shortle before 4 so I decided to hold off and nurse him when I got him. Well I wasn't able to nurse him again till 6. I also pumped while I nursed and got 1.5oz. So that's 13oz total.

I'll know in the morning how many ounces he ate throught the day yesterday (my mom left the sheet at her work where she watches him so I don't know the exact number he ate) but I'm certain, no positive it was more than that.

I do have a small stash, I had about 35 ounces before today. I'm going to pick up some Fenugreek to help but here's my problem. Bear with me here....

On Monday's and Friday's I go in the office at 7 and get of around 3:30. Tues, Wed and Thurs I go in at 9:40 and I'm off at 5. I drop Max off at my mom's at 9 then take my older son to school. I reserved the lactation room (yes we have one, it's awesome!!) for 8:30, 11:30, 2:30 and 4:30. Obviously on Monday's and Friday's I won't utilize the 4:30 slot but and the other days I won't utilize the 8:30 slot. These are really the only times available as other mom's use the room too.

Should I pump at 4:30 regardless of if Max will need to eat by the time I get home? DH picks up the kids on the days I go in later (T,W and Th) and so I wouldn't be able to nurse him till 6 like I did today.

Sorry, I know this is confusing. I'm not opposed to supplementing with formula if/when that time comes but I'd really like to avoid it.

I plan on continuing to pump while I nurse him on the weekends for his morning feeding. Should I try and pump while I nurse at any available opportunity? I'm worried if I do that then I won't have enough for him for his next feeding.

Thanks ladies.

Just an after thought, he nurses around 10:30 before going down and then sleeps for 4 hours. Should I try pumping while nursing num during that feeding?

mommycarrie's picture
Last seen: 3 years 10 months ago
Joined: 09/07/06
Posts: 358

Phew! Your schedule sounds pretty exhausting :bigarmhug: I couldn't keep track of all the details (not after a full day of work, lol) My thoughts go two ways. You could keep the late pumping for a while and see if you need it. You may find that you don't, or that it makes you cranky and isn't worth it. I pumped twice during the day when K was little, but after 6-8mo I cut back to once a day and supplemented the rest with formula. I found that I wasn't getting my work done (or I was having to stay late because of losing that time) and I was just exhuasted. Only pumping once allowed me to keep my supply up for only nursing (no bottles) on weekends with no problem, and still get my work done.

Such a hard balance to strike! Hang in there and good luck finding just the right balance for you and little man.

Last seen: 2 years 9 months ago
Joined: 11/03/05
Posts: 748


The stress of it all might be affecting your supply.
Make sure you are getting enough water. Personnaly, I found that when I went back to work, I was not drinking enough.
Fenugreek might help.

My other thought is are you pumping long enough? Maybe you could try skipping one pumping seesion, but go twice as long for the next one.

What type of pump do you use? If it is a Medela, try changing those little white tabs on the yellow part might help too. Even if they look fine, they might not seal as good as they should.

I pump while nursing DD after supper after not nursing her all day, and I get less than two onces. But, she is almost 1, and my poor pump is on its last legs.

ErikaArcher's picture
Last seen: 3 years 5 months ago
Joined: 09/06/04
Posts: 379

Maybe you could try skipping one pumping seesion, but go twice as long for the next one.

noooooo don't do that! When your breast feel "full" and firm you are releasing an protien called the feedback Inhibitor of Lactation (FIL) which SLOWS down milk production. We use this to our advantage when weaning.

To answer your question if you get home and baby won't nurse (at say 4:30) then yes pump. and I would pump after you feed him for the night and before you go to bed.

What type of pump do you have?
Are you double pumping?
are you repositioning the horms as you pump?
How long are you pumping?
Add breast compressions while you pump

Make sure your care giver isn't over feeding. He needs to be hungry when you walk through the door if at all possible. Also, prevent defensive swallowing when bottle feeding

There is one other bottle tip that is worth emphasizing. Remove the bottle in between every other swallow or so to slow the feed down. Oftentimes parents think that a baby is hungry because they are "guzzling" when in fact they are swallowing fast because they have to because the milk is coming at them so quickly. This is called defensive swallowing. Using the slowest flow nipple possible (always irrigardless of age of the baby) and removing the bottle often prevents the need for defensive swallowing, which slows the feed down, and reduces the amount of milk baby takes **unnecessarily**. Obviously if they are still hungry they will keep going but if they are given a chance to recognize that they are full first then that is 1/2 an ounce or so less of milk they might take each day which takes some of the pressure off of pumping. That 1/2 ounce, give or take, adds up.

See also the Kassing Method of bottlefeeding a breastfed baby

Also a good bottlefeeding resources for breastfed babies

Reverse Cycling may be happening and may be a good thing for some working moms

Cherrykitten's picture
Last seen: 4 years 8 months ago
Joined: 07/03/08
Posts: 700

One more important thing to look at is the day of the week. When you are at home on the weekends and nursing on demand your supply increases to meet that demand so Monday/Tuesday and possibly Wednesday your supply will be up at normal. As the week goes on to Thursday/friday you may notice a dip in supply as your body is making what the pumping sessions demanded over the weekend. You posted on thursday and said "today" so I'm guessing this all happened on a wednesday Smile If that's true then a slight dip in your pumping wouldn't be anything to worry about yet. But something you will want to keep an eye on.

Not to mention if this all happened on your first day back at work the stress alone about being back and away from baby may be enough to mess with your letdown.

My suggestion is to track your output for this next week. See if you see a pattern in your supply as the week progresses. and nursing on demand, as often as your lo wants, while at home and on weekends is the best way to keep your supply up.

If you are worried about running out of "stash" you can add in a pumping session here or there, when you can without stressing out about when to do it.