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I returned to work when Jemma was 4 months and 5 days old. I was blessed to have 18 weeks at home. Priceless weeks to bond with my girl and establish our nursing relationship. Upon my return to work I planned to pump once in the morning, have Jemma’s nanny bring her to nurse during my lunch, and pump in the afternoon. I was always curious about other work-away-from-home mama’s schedule and such, so here is a sneak peak into schedule …
Each Sunday night I prepare my pumping bag for the week. It includes:
- Medela pump
- 2 8 oz bottles with lids
- 2 5 oz bottles with lids
- 2 sets of flanges, membranes and other pump parts
- Lansinoh milk storage bags
- Hair tie
- Reading material
- Hands-free Pumping Bra
- Burp cloth – to catch any drips
- Fridge storage bag
I work Monday through Thursday, 8 am to 7 pm. Here’s what each day looks like:
- 9:30 am – pump, average 6-12 ounces depending on the day and how much Jemma nursed in the morning
- 1:00 pm – Jemma arrives for lunch and nurses at the beginning of the hour and again right before she leaves at 2
- 4:30 pm – pump, avereage 4-8 ounces depending on the day
I almost always pump the most on Monday mornings. Wednesdays are usually my low day. I tend to bounce back on Thursdays … I’m guessing this happens since it is my Friday and I’m less stressed about work and more excited about the weekend :)
Since February my record high was a Monday morning pump – 14.75 ounces. My record low was a Wednesday morning – 4.75 ounces. In the beginning I used to have a near-heart attack whenever I saw a big change in output. But, I’ve learned that things ebb and flow and as long as I’m taking care of myself – lots of rest, water, and good food, I always bounce right back.
If you are a working or pumping mama I would love to hear your story! Feel free to post your story and leave me the link!
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I pumped (and pumped and pumped) when I was nursing my oldest daughter. I was working on building up a supply so that by the time my adopted daughter (six months younger than my oldest daughter) arrived I would have supply for two. And then once my daughter was here she would not nurse so I had to continue pumping so she could get breastmilk as opposed to formula. And I have to say that pumping is so much harder than nursing. I commend you for working so hard it. The biggest thing is that pumping seems to have it's own set of rules. Just like nursing there are things that apply only to pumping. Good luck with it!!
I've been pumping at work almost a year now and it's been difficult starting out and there are times when stress at the office definitely affects the flow. I think some of the tips I've learned over the past year is to:1) Either buy the hands free pump or get a bra that would let you pump hands free. 2) Make pumping a priority at work. If you aren't comitted to it, then meetings, disapproving comments, and off days will make you quit.3) Try to have a small stash built up before you go back to work. The first few days are rough and pumping may not go well. This doesn't mean you need to give up, but having a bit of a stash helps lessen the stress.4) If you have an off day, don't worry about it! You can always pump more at home in the mornings (if you have to, get up earlier and pump) or if you're lucky, you'll have a reverse cycler and your baby will feed more at home than at childcare.5) Try to get comfortable at your pumping station. I was lucky enough to have an office with a computer for the first 8 months of pumping which was helpful in keeping my mind off the bottles. But if you don't have a computer, invest in some good books or magazines. I also find it helpful if you are moved to a new location to spend some time in the new area before you actually have to pump so you feel more comfortable.Hope some of these tips help! Pumping can be tough for some, but knowing that you can still give your baby that liquid gold is priceless.