I'm Back at work (and pumping question) JULY 08

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Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852
I'm Back at work (and pumping question) JULY 08

So, I'd been helping out at my friend Eric's middle school (we went to Baylor together and his wife Misty and I love to chat about cloth diapers) with his flute players. Anyway, his assistant director was only there a half day and now he's been transfered to a full day at another school. So, Eric asked if I was interested in the job, and considering the economy and DH's job, I decided to go back to work. It's 5 hours a day- from like 10-3:00, sometimes 3:30, and it's only until the end of May. I pumped at lunch while I was there today and got a measly 2.5 oz. Sad I usually pump in the mornings and get about 4 oz. out- I only pump on one side. Then, I pumped when I got home since she'd eaten already and only got 3. oz. So, I've basically only made one bottle for her, and she had three while I was gone (had a haircut so stayed out a bit later than I normally will). What can I do? I don't have any issues with feedings so I know I have enough milk. I'm afraid that I won't be able to make enough milk for her! :eek:

Joined: 01/17/07
Posts: 508

I work part time and also pump at work. I have to tell you that after having two babies and pumping at work both times, I will never understand why some days I will pump awesome amounts , then others, not so much.

I just pumped Smile and I got about 7 ounces from both sides. That is RARE. My pumping output decreases greatly as the day goes on. I will pump again around lunch time and I don't expect to get more then five ounces total. Allie is taking 6-7 ounce bottles at daycare, so I do not pump enough for her during the day.

What I have been doing about this is giving her one formula bottle a day, at night before she goes to bed. Mostly because my supply is so low at night that she gets frustrated from being tired and being so hungry. So she gets a 6 ounce bottle of formula at night and I pump around 8:00. Then, I am able to give my daycare that extra bag of milk for the next day.

I am not sure if it makes a difference, but she has been sleeping for about 11 hours a night since we started the formula bottle before bed. I don't think it is soley from having the formula, but I think it is because she tends to finish the whole six ounces when it is coming from a bottle. If it is coming from me, she eats for about two minutes then she falls asleep because I think nursing is more comforting. Then she wakes up at about 2 am hungry as a bear!

If you think you should be pumping more, talk to a lactation specialist.. I was using the normal medela shields (24mm) with my PIS pump, but I needed the smaller ones (22mm). I seem to be the only person on the planet that has big bbs, but very small nipples, lol.

Jeffininer's picture
Joined: 11/07/07
Posts: 1796

I completely agree with the PP. I can't tell you what I do to get the big amounts while pumping. I just say yeaa and move on.

I was giving Rylee 3 bottles of BM and 1 formula at daycare, but I was getting stressed out having to pump extra in the evenings and mornings to get that 3rd bottle, so I gave up and am now sending 2 BM and 2 formula. I'm certainly less stressed and if I get extra, it goes to making up anything I need during the week.

I would guess that your body is just not used to pumping so that might be why you don't get as much. Maybe if you do it consistantly, and at the same time each day, your output will get better. It took me until yesterday to get back up to par with what I was pumping before the Holiday break.

I hope things pick up for you. I know how frustrating working and pumping can be!!

Joined: 09/19/08
Posts: 17

when ds was younger, i worked a full day and pumped twice at work. for the first few months i was able to pump enough for him to eat throughout the day, but at around 5 months or so, I had to start supplementing with formula. I don't know if that's what you wanted to hear, just wanted you to know that it's normal.

Joined: 12/10/05
Posts: 1681

The job sounds perfect!

Keep with the pumping, hopefully it will get better!

awini8's picture
Joined: 10/21/06
Posts: 386

I would pump both sides each time you pump. Cut holes in an old bra to hold the horns on so you can do other things while pumping and take your mind off of it. That's what I'm doing anyway. I pump 3x a day around 10, 12, and 2.

Joined: 12/15/08
Posts: 3

Lurking...(and a band director!) it's been a long while since I went through pumping when I went back to work....but I did want to encourage you that I pumped for twins and I had enough milk. I did pump at work on my break and that seemed to do the trick; If you are doing that, um, just be sure to triple check that the door is locked...whooo :oops:

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

I agree with Alicia -- for me the best thing is my hands-free pumping bra. http://www.easyexpressionproducts.com/ It was about 35 dollars but so worth it for me. It holds the horns on perfectly and leaves my hands free to do other things. I usually read when I'm pumping. If I'm relaxed and not thinking about how much I'm pumping, that's when I look down and am surprised by how much has come out! When I'm worried about time or how much I'm making, I seem to pump less. It's also true for me that I get more when I pump the first time (usually 7-8 ounces total) and less the second time (usually 3-5 ounces). I usually pump enough for him for daycare the next day (right now he's taking three 4 ounce bottles). I do have to say, though, that I've only been back to work a month, so I don't know if things will change, but I hope not!

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

Well, I guess I'm a little encouraged. I always pump after her first feeding in the morning, and get about 4 oz- just pumping on one side. So, now I'm adding pumping at about 11:45. I do have one of the hands free bras, but the issue is that I don't want to wear that bra all the time, and I only have about 25 minutes to pump and eat lunch, so I'm on a tight schedule. I'll try pumping both sides tomorrow and see how that goes. Other than that, I'm trying to drink lots of water.

ddublino's picture
Joined: 02/17/07
Posts: 22

Jenny...drinking lots of water was my advice...though I rarely pump, I do notice that I seem to have more milk when I stay hydrated through out the day....Good Luck

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

Oh no, you aren't supposed to wear that bra all day long. You wear your normal nursing bra, and when it's time to pump, you undo the flaps, zip on the hands-free bra over top of it and do it that way. It says on the package that you're not supposed to wear it all day. I just have it rolled up in my pump bag. You might find that eating and relaxing while you're pumping will really help because you'll be focused on eating.

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

Well today I pumped on both sides while eating my lunch and got a measly 2.5 oz. Sad I also feel totally deflated right now, and Finley ate on both sides for her last top-off feeding. I remember that it was about this time that my milk started way decreasing with DD #1, but I thought it was because I was EP'ing and not getting to pump very often at work. I really hope that this isn't the end of breastfeeding... Sad

awini8's picture
Joined: 10/21/06
Posts: 386

don't get discouraged :bigarmhug:

I pump a lot less in my afternoon pumps at work too. I get the most in my first morning pump. I attribute it to being "busy or wired". Once I'm going at work it is really hard to wind down and just relax while pumping. I have a very short lunch too. It is technically 30 mins. but by the time my students are dropped off and I'm back after I go to the ladies room and get all "set up" my time is a lot less. Then I have to include the time to get unhooked, put the milk away, and get my coat on etc. for recess. I try to remind myself that all those ounces will add up.

I'm going to try to drink some warm mother's milk tea during this afternoon pump from now on to try and relax. I'm also going to bring my camera with me so I can watch pictures or videos of Daemon while I eat. Please know you are not alone. Do you pump in the morning at all before you leave for work? I pump 1x in the morning on the weekends to bank up some extra fresh milk.

Joined: 12/02/07
Posts: 16

Is it possible to pump before you go to bed? I pump before bed and if I'm consistent I get more and more each day. DS goes to bed by 8 and I pump between 10-1030. At first I got 4 ozs total and now I get about 6 ozs total. Last night I got 7, but I was about an hour late doing it at 11:15. I heard that if you do it at the same time each day that your body gets better at it. I just sit on the floor and watch tv and don't think about it too. I actually am starting to find it relaxing!

coolmama72's picture
Joined: 10/20/01
Posts: 8185

I had those same issues with pumping at work. What saved me in terms of avoiding formula was pumping first thing in the morning EVERY DAY (regardless of whether or not I was working) BEFORE baby ate. That's when I got the most milk. The baby always got more milk when it was time to eat, as the baby is a better sucker than the pump is.

try to pump at work at the same time Finley normally eats - that's a help too.

oh, and fenugreek is your friend ... 3 cap with each meal should help (and a lot of water too)

I didn't read the other replies (as I can't hang out too long online) but I'm sure you got some good advice above too. Good luck!

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

Just keep pumping.. Sometimes it takes a while to get a letdown. Also hand express the leftover milk after you finish pumping. Doing this I can get an extra 1-3 ounces out.