7 answers

How Often Should I Pump While at Work

I just started back at work and have a question for other moms that pump at work. My daughter is three months old and breastfed only. I want to make sure to keep my milk supply up. I usually only feed her on one breast as that is all she takes. Now that I am back at work, I am wondering if I should only pump the breast that she would of taken or should I just pump both?
I feed her in the morning at 6-7am then pump the other breast for her 10am feed.
When I go to work, I thought that I should pump around 10am and then close to 1pm and then I will feed her when I get home around 4:30 and just go back to the every other breast routine in the evening.
I am wondering if pumping both in the day will "use up" more of my supply in the evenings since I never have used both at feedings.
I know they say it is all supply and demand, but I was wondering if this is true in reality. Also, in the evenings, when my milk supply is at it's lowest, will I start to notice a big difference, since I am away from her for nine hours. I just want to make sure I have enough milk for her in the evening when I am home. She struggles with the bottles and only take about 3oz the whole time I am gone.

It is really tough going back to work. I feel horrible being away from her. My job is so busy and makes it tough to pump, but I know it is very important to do... and to know that she won't take the bottle is heart-breaking
Any advice is appreciated.
thank you

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More Answers

Hi K.,
I breast fed my daughter for 6 months and went back to work after 6 weeks of having her. I would feed her before I left for work, pumped between the time I got to work and lunch, go home to feed her, then pumped one more time between lunch and the time I got off of work. Now if you want to keep your supply up you might want to pump more. Every child is different and eat at different times (some more than others). But just remember even though your busy at your job this if for your baby. I tell every new mom how important it is to continue to breast feed their baby. Also remember that by law your company has to provide you with a sanitary pumping environment. This means NO PUBLIC BATHROOMS....Don't let them give you a hard time about the amount of time you use to pump. Good luck with your little one!!! They are truly a blessing!

1 mom found this helpful

I would pump as often as you can, especially if you are concerned about your milk supply decreasing. If you can pump both sides at the same time, i have found that the milk supply increases. If you pump right before you head home from work, you might not have enough when you get home, so pump 2-3 hours before you leave, so your body has time to make more milk. Try drinking water on your way home, to keep your body hydrated.

1 mom found this helpful

The text book answer is "as often as the baby would be nursing" But reality is that may not work. So nurse or pump just before you leave (or I did it in my car after I drove an hour to work) on a break, lunch, once in the afternoon, if you can. Have a good double electric pump, and pump both sides as often as you can. The pump isn't as effective at emptying your breasts as the babe so by pumping both sides you might make up for that. If your supply starts to drop try eating oatmal, drinking Mother's milk tea and research Fenugreek. The support group at Renown is awesome, and even if you can't make it there you can call the lactation consultants with questions. I went back to work at 4 months, I was gone 2 full days 50 plushours at a time) a week plus commuting time and we never had to supplement, mostly because of a good pump and an awesome support system. Good luck to you. It's worth it. My little one never got and ear infection the whole time we were nursing. She has had 4 now in the past 3 months :(

1 mom found this helpful

Ideally, you should pump every time she would be eating. If you pump both during the day your body will adjust and start making that much milk! You can't "use up" all the milk becuase the more you use, the more your body will make. Be patient with yourself when pumping at work. Work can be stressful and it may take time to let your milk down. Don't be surprised if you don't get exactly what she eats. Besides, when babies take bottles they end up eating more than if they nurse cause the milk flows faster. Good luck!
And a really good pump makes a WORLD of difference! I got double the milk when I switched to a good electric pump vrs the hand held I had!

1 mom found this helpful

Hi K.
I have been back at work now for a little over a month and a 1/2 and it has been trial and error. I am lucky if I get to pump at least 2x during the work day. However, I always pump from both breasts. I go to a weekly support group and the lactation consultant said that breasts know when to produce more milk so when baby is ready to feed there will still be milk. I would not recommend only pumping from one breast and letting the other one stay full as it can become engorged. Also you have to empty your breasts for them to get signal that it is time to produce again

The lactation consultant told me that as long as I am empyting my breasts by either the baby or by pump 6-7 times a day this will keep my supply

My schedule is like this:
Feed 6:30 from breast before work
Pump 10:30-11
Pump 2 pm
Pump 5pm
Feed 7:30 fron breast before bedtime
Feed 2am from breast
Feed 4am from breast
**Most of the time I only get to pump 2X at work

On the days that I am home I exclusively breastfeed (no bottles) and I always try to add in 1-2 extra feedings on the weekend so my breasts keep producing milk

Right now I pump both breast every three hours while I am at work. If you are worried about having enough milk for the evening try to make the last time you pump about 3 hours before you go home and try to have her take both breasts. My son only took one breast at a feeding too and I am currently pumping the other side when I am at home so that I can build up my supply in the freezer. Eventually they are going to want more milk not to mention pumping the other side seems to have helped my supply. Hope that helps.

I remember how tough it was to leave my daughter and go back to work. She wouldn't take a bottle for a month! It was the worst month of my life. But her caregiver was consistent and loving and we got through it and so will you - just hang in there! Do you have a really nice pump? I was having trouble producing enough until I rented a good quality pump and that made all the difference. I just kept pumping both breasts every 3 hours and soon had built up a good supply. On the weekends I had dad give her a few bottles as well.

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