Why I hate pumping at work!!

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jac81's picture
Joined: 11/22/10
Posts: 1131
Why I hate pumping at work!!

1. It's so time consuming!! Takes about 5 minutes just to set it up, 15 minutes to pump, then another 5 minutes to take everything apart and clean.

2. The designated conference room for pumping is so cold that I think I have frostbite on my nipples now.

3. I miss my bonding time with my baby girl and listening to the annoying pumping sound just reminds me that I can't be with her right now.

4. It seems as though my milk supply has suffered just the last two days from lack of nursing and I've experience my first blocked ducts. I had to spend a hour last night nursing on my left breast just to get them unclogged. It worked thankfully, but my dwindling milk supply is stressing me out. Sad I've never had an issue with milk supply and it just upsets me that I now have to work at getting it back up. I love my pump, but now I'm wondering if its not powerful enough for me. The first day, I was able to pump a lot (about 14 oz), but now I've noticed yesterday and today that I'm not pumping as much. Sophia seems to still get the amount she needs, but I still am not pumping enough to send to daycare. I only have 10 oz. frozen and I pump about 8-11 oz. a day now and I have to send 16 oz. per day to daycare. Ugh! So frustrating.

Sorry just needed to rant!

Joined: 03/07/05
Posts: 1595

I'm sorry... Sad Pumping can be so hard and such a pain!! With my second I was working at night a couple times a week, and I had to pump in the bathroom. My body has always been terrible at responding to a pump though (and being in the bathroom certainly wasn't helping), and after my first couple attempts (where I got NOTHING even though I was getting engorged) I just gave up. The only way I have ever been able to pump is first thing in the morning while nursing on one side and pumping on the other. Could you try that to help you get more ounces to send? Usually your supply will be highest in the morning anyway, so it probably won't hurt one bit to pump a few ounces while she is feeding. Your body will adjust and get use to producing more at that time.

K_Lo's picture
Joined: 11/16/07
Posts: 1201

Do you keep her picture in hand to look at while you pump? It's supposed to help with letdown and bring more milk. I think what Laurie said about pumping on the other side while you feed her in the morning is pretty genius :).

wobbs's picture
Joined: 05/27/10
Posts: 1502

I'm so sorry you're having issues pumping. I agree with Laurie, try pumping in the morning as well, and Karen, having a picture of Sophia might help.

kittenchan's picture
Joined: 08/12/07
Posts: 1118

I had a lot of issues pumping for DD, I only got about 2 oz max when I used the pump! I found the picture did help. Good luck!

kmm123's picture
Joined: 12/13/08
Posts: 1839

I found I had to really relax to get good let down at work. Even pumping at home was easier to get more than work. Being at work is just kind of stressful so pumping was hard for me. Totally not workable for everyone but I'd get in a kind of relaxed hands free position, have a book or something else to relax my mind and zone out while I pumped. I also just wiped my pump down and put the parts with milk in a cooler bag so I didn't have to do a full washing. One lucky thing for me is being management work doesn't track my breaks etc so I just took as long as I wanted. I'm not really looking forward to doing it all again - I love nursing and when home I find it 10 times easier than anything else but pumping at work sucks.....

jac81's picture
Joined: 11/22/10
Posts: 1131

Thanks for all of the suggestions! I pumped at work this morning and as Katie mentioned, I found it was much easier to just relax. I think that may have been what the issue was. I forget that stress can really affect your let down. I read a book and just sat back and was able to pump 4 oz. I think that will be the trick for me instead of just sitting there stressing about every little drop that goes into the bottle.

Joined: 04/05/06
Posts: 870

I finally signed back in so I could post to this. Hang in there, you'll do fine. I pumped in the staff bathroom at the childcare I worked at for 3 months. It is time consuming and hard. I was always just one day ahead. I never had a freezer supply, but it was worth it. Just relaxing is the key. Do you have the hands free thing? I didn't have one of those, but I bet it would help to be able to relax and maybe sip some hot tea or coffee to keep warm? Since I was in the bathroom, it was easy for me to rinse everything out, but I agree with PP to just wipe off the parts and then steam clean them or sanitize them later at home.

Hope it's starting to go smoother now that you're a week into the process!

jac81's picture
Joined: 11/22/10
Posts: 1131

It is starting to get a lot easier now that I'm getting used to it. I am having an issue with my left breast though which is also the one that keeps getting the clogged ducts. I can pump 4 oz. from my right, but I'm only able to pump 1/2 oz. from my left. I've never been able to pump much from that breast anyways (maybe 2 oz. at the most), but it has severely diminished since I started working.

I also bought some medela breast pump wipes which has made it a lot easier for clean up. Still time consuming, but much better then having to clean everything up in the office kitchen in front of my male co-workers. LOL!

nori_garsi's picture
Joined: 10/31/06
Posts: 2069

I'm sorry, pumping is so hard. I started having a problem with clogged ducts two weeks ago but I'm pretty sure my pump is the problem as I pumped for the first six weeks with no issue.

I struggle with low supply and either the plugged ducts or my period (not sure if it really was AF or not) totally destroyed my supply for a few days which sucked. I already only produce half of what he eats so it was a brutal few days. It helps me a lot to relax while pumping. I have the hands-free bra and at night I watch shows on Netflix at night to keep me focused on other things. I find that I get the most milk at my 3 am and 6 am pumps.

jac81's picture
Joined: 11/22/10
Posts: 1131

So as I had mentioned, I am barely able to keep up with the amount of milk I have to send to daycare (I'm even waking up at 5AM and pumping now). DH picks Sophia up from daycare yesterday and they tell him that she is sucking down the 4 oz. bottles and acts like she is still hungry so we need to start sending 5 oz. bottles. Blah!! How am I supposed to keep up with that? Thankfully, I had 10 oz. frozen and pumped enough at work to make 2 more bottles, but that's all my stash now! I pumped 5 oz. this morning at 5 AM, but was only able to pump 3 oz. just a while ago. Looks like I may have to start sending a bottle of formula just to catch up. Sad

I can't believe my freezer stash is already completely gone within a week!! I feel like all those pumping sessions during my maternity leave to build up my freezer stash was a waste of time now. This working thing totally blows!!

wobbs's picture
Joined: 05/27/10
Posts: 1502

:openarms: I'm sorry you're having such a hard time pumping enough at work. Just a thought depending on what pump you have ... have you tried changing the membranes?

jac81's picture
Joined: 11/22/10
Posts: 1131

"wobbs" wrote:

:openarms: I'm sorry you're having such a hard time pumping enough at work. Just a thought depending on what pump you have ... have you tried changing the membranes?

No, mine doesn't have membranes. It just has these little valves that have to be replaced. I have the Ameda Purely Yours Ultra. That's a good idea though...I'll see if replacing the valves will make a difference.

wobbs's picture
Joined: 05/27/10
Posts: 1502

"jac81" wrote:

No, mine doesn't have membranes. It just has these little valves that have to be replaced. I have the Ameda Purely Yours Ultra. That's a good idea though...I'll see if replacing the valves will make a difference.

Hope that does the trick for you!

Joined: 04/05/06
Posts: 870

I know the feeling. I never had a stockpile and was always making the bottles for the next day with Abby. whenever I had to, I would put an ounce or two of formula in with the breast milk bottles so she didn't have to eat an entire bottle of formula and there was still enough in her bottles.

jac81's picture
Joined: 11/22/10
Posts: 1131

"L.Miller" wrote:

I know the feeling. I never had a stockpile and was always making the bottles for the next day with Abby. whenever I had to, I would put an ounce or two of formula in with the breast milk bottles so she didn't have to eat an entire bottle of formula and there was still enough in her bottles.

That's a great idea!!

Joined: 04/05/06
Posts: 870

"jac81" wrote:

That's a great idea!!

the only negative is that the bottles won't "keep" as long after baby eats because formula must be thrown out sooner than a bottle of breastmilk, but I was never big on them continuing to offer a bottle after she ate. I felt like it messed up her routine, but that's a whole other topic. LOL.

grovey2's picture
Joined: 04/08/08
Posts: 938

**lurker**
I hate pumping at work too, cuz it is sooo time consuming..... My supply went down and i was stressing big time (which can also impact your supply)

I was told to feed baby, and then pump. Sometimes i'd get nothing, other times i'd get a few oz. Also, try to pump at the same times....i even pump on the weekends, so i have milk for Mondays. I never go less then 20 mins... and i now pump 3x at work, since baby still eats about every 2-2.5 hours. All this has helped my supply get back up and sometimes i even have 'extra' milk... Smile Also, there's fengeek (sp) a herb that helps with supply. You get it at GNC or a health food store, i haven't tried it yet, but i know i can get it if i need it. Mother's milk, found at walmart in the tea section, uses it as their main ingrts, however, you have to drink it like 3x a day, nad i'm not a big tea fan.
Good luck!! oh and i'd totally get one of those bras that you are hands free on and then read a book (i surf the net) and it takes your mind off it...

jac81's picture
Joined: 11/22/10
Posts: 1131

"grovey2" wrote:

**lurker**
I hate pumping at work too, cuz it is sooo time consuming..... My supply went down and i was stressing big time (which can also impact your supply)

I was told to feed baby, and then pump. Sometimes i'd get nothing, other times i'd get a few oz. Also, try to pump at the same times....i even pump on the weekends, so i have milk for Mondays. I never go less then 20 mins... and i now pump 3x at work, since baby still eats about every 2-2.5 hours. All this has helped my supply get back up and sometimes i even have 'extra' milk... Smile Also, there's fengeek (sp) a herb that helps with supply. You get it at GNC or a health food store, i haven't tried it yet, but i know i can get it if i need it. Mother's milk, found at walmart in the tea section, uses it as their main ingrts, however, you have to drink it like 3x a day, nad i'm not a big tea fan.
Good luck!! oh and i'd totally get one of those bras that you are hands free on and then read a book (i surf the net) and it takes your mind off it...

I pump about 4x a day. 5 am, 10 am, 1 pm, & 4 pm. I also nurse the baby at 7 AM and when I get home from work. I've been pretty good at keeping up with those times for about a week now. I've taken Fenugreek before, but stopped because I didn't really see a difference and I also drink the tea which I drink every night. Didn't realize I need to drink it 3x a day though. :eek: I've been drinking a lot more water and it seems to help maintain my supply, but I'm still not pumping enough to make a whole 5 oz. bottle except for my 5 am pumping. That's when I get the most. I'm hoping that maybe after a couple of weeks, my body gets used to it and I start producing more. Thanks for all the advice, ladies! Smile

LauraMae78's picture
Joined: 01/10/11
Posts: 969

****LURKER*****

i am in the same boat as you. i use the same pump too. in the morning i can pump about 4 ozs, after that im lucky if i get 3 per session. i've tried taking her picture with me to work, i've recorded her crying on my phone to listen too, none of it really helps. i did notice that the more water i drink the more i produce, but its only a tiny bit of difference. i send 10 oz a day to day care, they usually end up giving her 1 formula bottle on top of that (i am gone 12 hours), Depending on how long baby sleeps, i nurse and/or pump before work, pump 2-3x at work, nurse after work, when she wants and usually give her a formula bottle at bedtime. after trying and failing at all my efforts, i finally just accepted that she will get formula as well a breast milk. our pediatrician said that mostly breast milk is still really good for the baby.

just a thought, i did notice with my Ameda pump, it doesnt totally empty my breasts. i do end up having to manually express after i pump and usually get another 1/4 to 1/2 oz out of it.

Good luck!

jac81's picture
Joined: 11/22/10
Posts: 1131

"LauraMae78" wrote:

just a thought, i did notice with my Ameda pump, it doesnt totally empty my breasts. i do end up having to manually express after i pump and usually get another 1/4 to 1/2 oz out of it.

Good luck!

Yes...I have to do the same exact thing! I've never tried any other pump so I'm wondering if maybe a Medela would empty my breast better. I'm not going to pay for another pump to find out though. Sounds like we have the same exact pumping and feeding schedule. LOL!

LauraMae78's picture
Joined: 01/10/11
Posts: 969

"jac81" wrote:

Yes...I have to do the same exact thing! I've never tried any other pump so I'm wondering if maybe a Medela would empty my breast better. I'm not going to pay for another pump to find out though. Sounds like we have the same exact pumping and feeding schedule. LOL!

I would like to try a Medela too, but there is NO way i am spending the money on it LOL. i have already been informed by DH that if this one breaks, we are not getting another one HAHA

Joined: 04/05/06
Posts: 870

Keep an eye out on craigslist for the Medela pumps if you really wanted to try one. If you get your own tubing and accesories then it's like have a new one. Of course, that costs roughly $40 extra, so you'd have to factor that into the cost. Sometimes you can snag one for a good price.

jac81's picture
Joined: 11/22/10
Posts: 1131

"L.Miller" wrote:

Keep an eye out on craigslist for the Medela pumps if you really wanted to try one. If you get your own tubing and accesories then it's like have a new one. Of course, that costs roughly $40 extra, so you'd have to factor that into the cost. Sometimes you can snag one for a good price.

A friend of mine has one which she offered to me when I was pregnant so I don't know if she still has it or not. Plus she lives in another state. I'm going to check with her and see if I can pay for her to ship it to me. I'd like to compare it to my pump. I dropped mine the other day and now it takes at least a minute before it will start pumping so I guess I will need to get a new one eventually anyway. :confused:

LauraMae78's picture
Joined: 01/10/11
Posts: 969

"jac81" wrote:

A friend of mine has one which she offered to me when I was pregnant so I don't know if she still has it or not. Plus she lives in another state. I'm going to check with her and see if I can pay for her to ship it to me. I'd like to compare it to my pump. I dropped mine the other day and now it takes at least a minute before it will start pumping so I guess I will need to get a new one eventually anyway. :confused:

well, im sorry your Ameda is broke, but it sounds like a good excuse to get a new one. i hope you friend can help you out.

Dylemma's picture
Joined: 09/04/09
Posts: 449

Shame I am not in the US I have a medela travel electric one. That I don't use, even on the lowest it makes my nipples bleed, but my sister loved it. Shipping would be a lot plus voltage and plug are different there.

jac81's picture
Joined: 11/22/10
Posts: 1131

"Dylemma" wrote:

Shame I am not in the US I have a medela travel electric one. That I don't use, even on the lowest it makes my nipples bleed, but my sister loved it. Shipping would be a lot plus voltage and plug are different there.

Thankfully I found a trick to get mine working again. I have no clue what I did to it, but at least its working now. My sister has a Medela too, but won't let me use it. She thinks it's gross to share pumps. LOL!

Dylemma's picture
Joined: 09/04/09
Posts: 449

She is mean, mine has been used by three women sterilising kills everything Smile

K_Lo's picture
Joined: 11/16/07
Posts: 1201

I have medela swing pump, which is a single electric that has the same letdown feature as the PISA and I have the Ameda purely yours (I got it free from the milk bank I donated to with DS1). You're supposed to get more from the double, but I always got at LEAST an ounce more per side with the medela. It has a stronger suction and at least for me, it really empties out the breast.

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