Pumping Questions

10 posts / 0 new
Last post
_Jessicah_'s picture
Joined: 04/21/11
Posts: 1973
Pumping Questions

I am expecting my second child in December. With my first child I was a SAHM mom so I didn't really have to worry about pumping. However, after my son is born I will ultimately have to return to work for financial reasons so I will be required to pump so that I can still give him breastmilk. I guess I will just list some questions I have and then start there.

1) Storage. How do I store the breastmilk while at work? I have access to refrigerators so that is not an issue. Do I put the milk in the refrigerator part or does it need to be put in the freezer? What kind of container do you use to store the milk? Do you just keep it in the bottles that are attached to the pump or do you put it all in a separate, larger container? I ask this because I will have to pump at least a few times per day while at work.

2) Pump recommendations. I've gotten several ideas from the ladies on my birth board but thought maybe you guys could share pumps that you liked.

3) Where do you ladies go to use the pump? I am thinking a manual pump may be easier with this as sometimes access to an outlet can be tricky but at the same time (I am assuming this) an electric pump is faster and I don't always have alot of time on my hands. I am a nurse and there are days when I am super busy!

I guess I will stop there. Any other advice aside from the questions I asked greatly appreciated because pumping is completely foreign to me so I am starting from square one. I just know that giving my son breastmilk is important to me and this is something that I am very committed to doing. Thank you in advance for all of your input. I look forward to hearing from you ladies.

LMCH's picture
Joined: 02/05/07
Posts: 2031

1. personally, i store in the bottles that go with my pump. i use what I pumped to send to daycare the next day or so. if i have some extra or an odd amount (or if i want to use up some of my freezer stash that will expire soon), i pour some into a storage bag when i get home. usually i combine to make 4 oz bottles (that is what DS takes at daycare) and then extra goes in a bag (when i get home). At work I store in the MEdela bottles in the fridge. IF i need to freeze any, i do that when i get home. also I keep the pump parts wrapped in paper towel in the fridge between pumping sessions so i can reuse them throughout the day.

2. i like my medela pump in style advance. however, if you are thinking about needing to use batteries/not having an outlet, the medela freestyle has a rechargeable battery system that seems pretty cool. with the pump in style, you can use a battery pack, but it takes 8 AA batteries and it sucks up the batteries FAST in my experience. maybe read some reviews on the medela freestyle...it is a bit more pricey but seems like it has features that would help your situation.

3. well i work 3 days a week - 2 days in patients' homes, so I am in my car, and 1 day in an outpatient PT setting. when in the office, i use one of our private treatment rooms that has outlets, a sink, a computer (that i typically don't have time/hands to use to make it worthwhile to log in and type patient notes). when seeing in home clients, I pump in my car, usually in a shopping center parking lot with a nursing cover on...sometimes i have time to stop at home between clients. a manual pump will take you longer and you will have to do one side at a time. if you are pressed for time a double electric is your best bet...like i said, look into the features and reviews of the Medela Freestyle, since it has a rechargeable system. batteries are doable on teh pump in style advance, but make sure you have LOTS of extra batteries b/c they will go fast.

oh and eta: good luck with it all :bigarmhug:

mommycarrie's picture
Joined: 09/07/06
Posts: 358

Congrats on baby #2.

Storage - i just kept the bottles in the little cooler and icepacks that came with the pump, i never used the fridge at work because I work a short day (teacher) and the ice packs were always enough. For backup milk I used the Lansinoh freezer bags and froze them laying flat so it took up less space and thawed faster (just put the whole closed bag in a bowl of warm water and it thaws and warms in no time)

Pump - i used a medela Pump in style advance from 2006. I used it with both kids and it belonged to my best friend before that , although I wouldn't recommend used unless you feel VERY secure about the health history of the previous owner. I have also heard good things about the Lansinoh pump http://www.lansinoh.com/products/lansinoh-affinity-double-electric-breast-pump and the Hygeia pump as well http://www.hygeiababy.com/product-details.php?pid=3 although I haven't tried either.

I would strongly caution you away from a hand pump if you're working full time. Being able to be in and out of the bathroom, office, closet... wherever you end up pumping, as quickly as possible will be essential and a double electric will be a must. I agree that you can use a battery pack, or really you could run an extension cord if you had to.

Talk to your supervisor ahead of time about where are how often you'll be pumping. Make sure that you make time to pump, which is especially hard if you don't have a set schedule every day (like when you're taking care of patients). Your body will complain very loudly to you - and let you know it's TIME to pump. Save yourself the pain and try to set a time (as best you can) and stick to it.

Read "The Milk Memos". http://www.milkmemos.com/ It's a great book about working and pumping. Funny and full of good information.

TiggersMommy's picture
Joined: 02/14/10
Posts: 6043

1. While I'm at work, I also just store the milk in the bottles in the cooler bag that come with my pump. Its good in there for quite some time. BM is actually good at room temperature for some period of time as well (can't remember, too tired to look it up). Don't freeze it because it'll thaw on the way home and you don't want to freeze-thaw too many times as that kills the goodies. If you can keep your cooler bag in a refrigerator that's best but not necessary. I just pump once per day now so I don't have to worry about the other pump parts so much. I just wipe them out really quick with a tissue and clean them when I get home. When I was pumping more than once per day I would keep them in the freezer so that I didn't have to wash in between. Its perfectly fine to do so. Once I get the milk home I store it in the same bottles. If I have excess I store it in Lansinoh bags. I've found they hold up really well and its much more convenient than freezing the bottles. I don't have a "stash" so DD just gets what I've pumped the day before.

2. I have a Medela Pump in Style Advance and I love it. With how much you'll be pumping I HIGHLY recommend an electric pump. I respond very well to a pump and it would probably take me forever to pump as much as a (normal bottle-taking) baby would need in 8 hours. My DD hates bottles and so I've never had to pump much more than 6 oz per day. I've always just pumped from one boob so the double hasn't been necessary for me. However, I'm very glad I have it just in case kiddo #2 actually likes bottles. When DD was little, I could pump 5 oz in about 5 minutes with my pump. Keep in mind though that I'm not normal. Most women require quite a bit more time than that to get what they need. A manual pump will increase that time dramatically. They're really only suited for moms that pump infrequently.

3. I currently pump at my desk at work. This has changed over time. I used to pump in a back room that had a little couch. Now I'm in a different building and my desk works best. Its not 100% private. I'm behind a bookcase. I have enough time to yell out that I'm doing booby business if someone walks in. Its only happened twice, I have no shame, and everyone I work with is cool with it. The University I'm at would provide me with a different space but doing it at my desk requires the least amount of effort and I can work while I do it. Depending on what state you live in your employer may be legally obligated to provide you with a space to pump that is NOT a bathroom. I've used the batteries a few times with mine and its worked just fine. I wouldn't want to rely on them full time though.

Good luck!! It might seem daunting at first but you'll soon slip into a routine and it'll become second nature.

ange84's picture
Joined: 12/28/09
Posts: 6564

I have the Medlea freestyle which has a rechargable battery and it is great. I was looking for a Pump in Style Advance, but from what I founf in Australia they have stopped selling the PISA and replaced with the Freestyle. I was pumping 3 times a day (when I could my work is not always conducive to regular pumping) and was able to take it on my many out of town day trips.

tink9702's picture
Joined: 09/28/08
Posts: 2977

Congratulations on #2!!

1. while at work I store the bottles in the fridge in the bag that came with the pump with a freezer pack so that when I take it home the freezer pack is still mostly frozen. I have an hour commute whn you factor in picking up the kids. I then transfer to bags at home to freeze depending on how much I pumped, how much freezer stash I want to use etc.

2. I have the Medela Freestyle. I can charge the battery at home the night before and it works all day, sometimes even two days without plugging in. I also like that you cna hook up the Medela storage bags to the freestyle itself, so you can pump directly into the bags if you want to. It has a hands-free option so you could even sit/stand and pump while at a computer. It is more expensive though....

3. Unless you respond extremely well to pumping, you are going to want a double electric pump. I pump in an unused office in my building. I have pumped in a locker room area when the office was being used by another mom pumping and I just had to pump then because my boobs were killing me! :rolleyes: I have also pumped in a couple of parking lots with a cover on. Not fun, but doable to pump in car if your only other option is a bathroom.

other advice: Like PP mentioned, if at all possible set certain times a day to pump, your boobs and your supply will love you for it! Good luck!

Danifo's picture
Joined: 09/07/10
Posts: 1377

I'm a SAHM so I can't talk about the storage during the day but I did have to pump because of a NICU stay.

I have a pump in style. It does have a battery pack and a car adaptor. but I've only used it plugged in. I would reccomend an electric double pump with a hands free bra.

I would also check with your insurance to see if they cover it. Mine was covered because of the NICU stay but they also cover them for moms returning to work.

TiggersMommy's picture
Joined: 02/14/10
Posts: 6043

"Danifo" wrote:

I would also check with your insurance to see if they cover it. Mine was covered because of the NICU stay but they also cover them for moms returning to work.

Worth a shot but don't get your hopes up. I have Blue Cross Clue Shield and they pretty much laughed at me when I asked.

_Jessicah_'s picture
Joined: 04/21/11
Posts: 1973

Thank you all for your advice Smile

Joined: 05/23/07
Posts: 88

First, congrats on number two! You got some great advice from the ladies on the board...I'll throw in my two cents as well. I was back at work at 3 months and pumped until Mady hit one year (I also pumped 7 months with my first, so lots of pumping experience)!

1. I actually used and loved the lanisoh storage bags and kept those and the pump in the fridge in between sessions. As long as you refrigerate the pump/parts, you don't need to necessarily clean everything out in between pumping sessions during the day. I would just sterilize everything at night when I got home.

2. I used the Medela PISA. Worked great for me. I would strongly encourage you to buy a hands free pumping bra, if you don't already have one...made things SO much easier to have my hands free while I was pumping.

3. I was able to pump in my office, so that was great - I locked my office door and put up a paper blind covering the glass. Talk to you company and see if they have a dedicated area where you can pump in comfort (if you don't have an office) - depending on your state and the size of the company, they are required to provide you with space.

As mentioned previously - the pump isn't usually as efficient as your baby, so don't be discouraged if you don't pump as much as you anticipated - of course, everyone is different! Good luck!