Question for Moms That Work Full Time and Breastfeed

Updated on March 22, 2007
M.S. asks from Phoenixville, PA
33 answers

My son is 3 months old and I just went back to work. I am breastfeeding, so I am pumping at work. I currently have a manual pump and wasn't sure if an electric one would work better. I produce plenty of milk, so that isn't an issue. With the manual pump, I can get 10-12 ounces in 30 minutes. I was just wondering if an electric one would work faster or maybe I should buy a second manual one so I can do both sides at the same time. Any advice would be great.

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A.N.

answers from Philadelphia on

If you are planning on working full time and pumping for quite a while, the electric pump will be worth every penny. It is fast, and you can do both sides at once and regulate the suction to what works best. I used the Medela Pump In Style and highly recommend it. Good luck!

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S.L.

answers from Washington DC on

I breastfed my son for 11 months. I also pumped at work. I loved my Evenflo dual electric pump. It works on batteries as well as has an electrical plug. HTH

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J.S.

answers from Philadelphia on

I was never able to get that much at one sitting, however I was more successful at the electric than the manual. But you do need to spend the money for a good pump. They make some that pump both sides at once too. Also I would read the reviews on amazon about the top pumps before buying one. I was able to pump and eat lunch at the same time.

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D.G.

answers from Philadelphia on

Good for you! You certainly have much more milk than I have been able to produce - with any of my children!

I purchased thru eBay a used Medela electric pump. It's the portable kind that looks like a hand-bag. I take about 15 minutes twice a day to pump and it works great.

They tell you not to buy a used pump, but if you replace the hoses and all the parts that touch the milk, there is no issue with contamination.

My son is 8 months old now and I'm still pumping - at least until he's a year old (unless he keeps biting me with that 1 lone tooth he has!)

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J.B.

answers from Philadelphia on

If you are serious about nursing, I would get an electric pump. You can rent them thru the hospital, but get a hospital grade pump. They work great and you will get a more milk in less time.

Good luck! You are doing a great thing for your son.

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L.R.

answers from Allentown on

An electric pump is definetly faster and I think it hurts alot less, do you really get 10-12 oz how often do you pump? my son is 3 months also and I only get 4-6 oz at a time and I pump at work 2-3 times a day, if I wait longer I do not get double the milk production.
L.

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A.J.

answers from Scranton on

Hello mom...electric pumps are great. I had one with both of my younger two. If you are able to get a good electric pump, you can adjust the speed and strength of the pump during its operation. This allows for more comfort during the phase. Also, you will usually be done and emptied from both sides in about ten minutes instead of manually pumping for 30. Even though most electric pumps do both sides at once...this is doing one side at a time. Personally, I couldn't handle doing both at once. You might want to check with your healthcare provider, most actually cover the expense of the pump, including medicaid. If they do, your ob/gyn will write you a prescription that you take to your local pharmacy and your new pump will either be shipped to you or be available at the pharmacy a few days later. Definately a step you will wonder why you didn't take sooner!!

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M.P.

answers from Washington DC on

I think it is all a preference and YES doing both sides is a time saver. I have the medela harmony hand pump and it works great. I also have the Lansinoh double electric pump and LOVE it. It is small, easy to clean, easy to use and very quiet!! You can purchase the Lansinoh Double Electric pump at Walmart or Target for about $149. I am a SAHM so I don't have to use either of them everyday but if I did I would probably use the electric one. This particular pump is pretty much identical to the Ameda purley yours pump but alittle cheaper. I personally love all of the Lansinoh products (milk storage bags, breast pads, etc.) above everything else!! 10 - 12 ounces in one sitting is alot of milk, espcially while she is so young. Thats great! Congratulations on two wonderful children!

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K.M.

answers from Washington DC on

I'm not sure if this helps, but when my daughter was about the same age, i would have to pump in the mornings because she slept through the night. I used an electric pump and got about 4-5 oz from each side in about 10-15 mins for each breast. I hope this helps in your decision!

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J.Y.

answers from Pittsburgh on

I have used manual and electric, and while I think manuals definitely have their function, while working I think a good electric is well worth it. I had the luxery of working at a hospital that had pumps we could use there. I 1st used lactina which was great, but nothing compares to the Symphony pump from Medela. I went to a seminar on it as a breastfeeding educator and the research that went into the design and function is truly cutting edge. I got like an ounce a minute! And its very comfortable and easy to use.

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K.C.

answers from Charlotte on

Hello M., I used an electric pump. It was soooooo much quicker. I purchased a First choice from babyrus it was about half the price of Medulla. I thought that electric was priced a little high but as you know your time is so valuable esp as a mother of a newborn. Believe me the time you will get back is wonderful. Just my advice, hope all works well for you, K.

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T.Y.

answers from Philadelphia on

I used an electric double pump for work and it worked great, took about 20 minutes to do both sides. If you are working full time it may be worthwhile to invest in a good one.

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E.R.

answers from Philadelphia on

the manual is the best b/c u can control the flow & reduce nipple chaffing

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S.J.

answers from Philadelphia on

I rented a electric dual pump from the hospital and I loved it. It made pumping so much easier and faster. I can't remember how much it was a month, but it wasn't bad. If you're planning on having more kids it might be worth buying one, but renting is definitely an option.

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J.S.

answers from Philadelphia on

I agree with everybody who said go electric - I found it way faster. The other essential item is something to go hands free. I used an elastic "pumping band" I think it was made by "Made by Moms"? I might not be remembering that right. But anyway, these things are made so that you have to hold the horns on if you don't get a hands-free device, which is completely ridiculous. So don't neglect to get that too! Good luck, pumping at work is a pain but it's really worth it.

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J.H.

answers from Erie on

Hi M.,
Wow, I have an 11 year old daughter and a 6 month old! It's a big gap but aren't the older ones a great help? I work full time and only breastfeed my daughter as well. I purchased the Lansinoh dual electric pump for approx. $125 at Target (available on-line only) and I get approx. 3-4 ounces from each breast in about 10 minutes. This pump is awesome, is far cheaper than the Medela pumps, and got much better reviews. Try it out and let me know how you do!

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E.B.

answers from Philadelphia on

First off, congratulations on the birth of your baby and great job keeping up with breastfeeding while working! I found that using the Medela Pump in Style worked well for me. It's a double electric pump and was easy to use. I was able to pump in 15 to 20 minutes and had enough for the sitter for the next day. I'm a mom of a 4 1/2 and 2 1/2 year old boys.

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A.C.

answers from Philadelphia on

M.,
i honestly have never really used a manual pump but i'm a working mother of a 6 month old and use an ameda pump and am able to get about 6 oz in 10-15 minutes....also beware that my milk production has decreased since my return to work. i do recommend the electric pump as i still am able to enjoy 40 or so minutes of my lunch hour.
hope this helped, A.

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J.S.

answers from Scranton on

M.
I am a mother of a 7 month old. I breastfed for the first 3 months like yourself and then tried pumping once I returned to work. I had difficulties, I could get 3-4 oz in 30 minutes with my manual pump. I had an older electric pump from a friend that I tried that didn't give me good results. I spent a lot of money on a fancy electic pump afterwards in hopes it would work better, but it didn't, in fact I got even less milk from the electric pumps. It could be that I just had difficulties producing in general but I would say that if you are getting good results with the manual then stick to it, the only draw back that I found from using mine was that after a while your hands start to cramp up.

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K.

answers from Washington DC on

M.,

i use the Medela Pump in Style Advance. I rented a hospital grade one for the first two months when I was home and then I purchased the Medela since I wanted to keep exclusively breast feeding. I also purchased the hands free kit. which is a blessing. it is not hard to use but it is ugly :). I am very top heavy(42G) but it work well and I can keep typing and working with my hands. At first I was pumping every two hours, but then I discovered if I do it every 3.5 to 4 hrs I still produced the same amount of milk and it only took a total of 40 minutes out of my work day. I will definitely get an electric double pump and purchase the hands free kit.
Good luck. I am on month 5 now and things are going smoothly.
OH I should warn you that the hands free kit only works with Medela bras though.. but those were the only nursing bras I could find in my size that actually support me. I found everything except my pump on breastfeedingessentials.com

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J.B.

answers from Harrisburg on

Hi M., I pumped at work too and used a electric pump and was finished in 15 minutes, both sides at one time. I used the Medala. Totally worth the price of a manual pump.

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T.S.

answers from Dover on

Wow! I wish I could get that much milk! An electric pump is so much easier! I have the Medela Pump and Style which I bought on ebay for significantly less than retail cost (I forget how much...but I think $60). The pump I bought was used. Though Medela says they are single use items, the lactation consultant at my hospital was actually the one who suggested ebay. I just bought all new stuff for it. the only "used" part is the actual pump mechanism that never touches milk.

Anyway, I find it much more efficient than manual pumping...and I don't even use it all that often. You may be able to contact your local hospital to see if they can rent you one to try before you buy. Good luck! And, congrats on bf after returning to work! It's a lot of work...but so good for your litte man!!!

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J.H.

answers from Pittsburgh on

The medela dual electric pump worked great for me. I would recommend pumping after you nurse him also and freeze the milk if you can. By the time my daughter was 9 months I was having trouble producing enough for her to eat while I was at work. My doctor said the pump is a great alternative but your milk could start to go down because it still doesn't work as well as the baby. The better the pump the better your milk supply will be long term. Plus you could cut your time in half pumping. I do suggest buying extra attachements for it since it only comes with one set. Also they sell microwave sterilizing bags and wipes which work great at work.

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J.M.

answers from Philadelphia on

I don't work full time, but I am a breastfeeding counselor for Abington Nursing Moms. Using an electric pump will definitely cut your pumping time in half and I really do suggest that since you are working full time, to use one instead of a manual one to keep up your supply. Look into getting a good pump, like a medela or something along that line. Don't get one of the evenflo or first years pumps, they are cheaper, but they really live up to the fact that they are cheaper.
Good luck and if you have anymore questions, please feel free to email me at [email protected]____.com.

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W.Y.

answers from Scranton on

They have a tandem kit for electric medela pumps. Rent the pump, not too expensive and it can do both breasts at once in 10-15 minutes.

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J.L.

answers from Parkersburg on

Oh my goodness girl, yes, most def. get an electric one!
I work full time and have a 9 month daugther..I have a medula..which is a great breast pump, it has 2 so you do both sides at the same time and has 5 diff speeds..its awesome. It takes 10-15 min to pump!
It is pretty pricey..250.00 but it is well worth it! It comes with a little cooler with ice packs and it just looks like a black bag...the cooler fits inside the breastpump! If you need any more suggestions..let me know!
Also, it comes with a battery pack incase you dont have an outlet handy. It takes 8 AA batteries and lasts a long time, like 10-15 pumps!
J.

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D.M.

answers from Allentown on

Hello...I am full time working mom.I nursed my son for 11 months. This means I pumped for 9 month at work every day 3 times a day. I would not be able to do it without electric pump...it helps to keep the flow going for such a long time...it dimishes faster if you are having only manual one. I was ussually done in 20min with both sides. Medela is the brand you need...check your health insurance some of them are giving discounts for the medela (or other brands)pumps. I got I believe $40 back. All my friends and "pumping" mothers at work had Medelas. Let us know what did you decide.

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T.A.

answers from Philadelphia on

M.~ I have the Ameda double pump.. Little bit cheaper then the Medula (had that one too for my first child) Loved both pumps.. I only got a new one because my break at work is limited and my medula (sp) was a single pump. Both worked great.. A co worker was also nursing and pumping at work I believe she had the Avent?? her pump frequently quit working and it took her almost 1 hour to pump and I was done it 15 mins...
Good luck going back to work and hope you get the right pump for yourself..

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M.P.

answers from Washington DC on

M.,
You should really check into the Laleche League if you are breastfeeding. http://lalecheleague.org/ They have a ton of really awesome information that helped me greatly with breastfeeding my last child. The ladies are really great at offering help and advice and much like this site... just be there to help....

If you can get 10 - 12 ounces manually... you may not be so successful with an electric and WOW that you can get that much! I was only ever able to get 5 oz every 4 hours with electric and 2 oz with manual. I even tried herbs and foods to increase my supply as well as a ton of water and just did not seem to be so successful with it. I am not sure time will matter that much more... it make save you at most 15 minutes. Buying a pump for both sides may be more efficient for you. I found my pumps on EBay for some pretty great deals and am getting ready to list all the infant things on there again as soon as I get it all in order.

Hope that helps....
Mama to Bryce - 9, Austin - 6, Taylor - 14 mnth
Step mama to Nick - 15 & Christian - 14

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H.

answers from Pittsburgh on

I would definitely recommend a double electric pump. Having said that, there are a lot of crummy ones out there (the First Years double electric is REALLY bad). I have the Medela Pump In Style Advanced and love it. Used it three times a day with my older son for about 8 months without a problem. I will use it again following this pg. I would shop around on the Internet because prices vary a great deal. You may have to call the different vendors, because Medela has cracked down on who can and cannot advertise their prices.

A word about buying used. I wouldn't do it. While there a pp said it was okay, that's not totally true. They are a single person item. Milk can back up into the motor in rare instances and then the pump would be contaminated (there's no way to sterilize the motot). I personally wouldn't do it. If it is from someone you know/trust, maybe. But otherwise I wouldn't. The warranty also will not cover a resale.
H.

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M.C.

answers from Philadelphia on

i agree...double pump is AWESOME!!!
i breastfed exclusively even after going back to work, then slowly mixed formula with breastmilk when i started slowing down on production.
you should definitely invest in a double pump...you'll be glad!good luck!

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L.N.

answers from Washington DC on

was it medela double pump? it does wonders. i used the manual one at the beginning and my milk was decreasing very fast. try to rent it from a local hospital or ask your doctor if the office has one for rent.
good luck
vlora

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S.M.

answers from Washington DC on

Hi! Congrats on your decision to return to work and continue breastfeeding. I did the same thing, however I rented a hospital grade electric pump from my pediatrician's office. It cut the time in half, however was more expensive. If you plan of breastfeeding for the first year, it's probably worth looking into. It really makes things easier. My daughter is now 10 months old and I breastfeed her in the morning, after work and right at bedtime. Sometimes I have to use a manual pump at work and there's just no comparing the two. Good luck and congratulations again.

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