Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Breast feeding, pumping, and working...oh my!

Breastfeeding and working

Pailbloggers posted an article about breastfeeding and working and then some questions to answer.  I have wanted to post more about breastfeeding and pumping and working, so I'm just going to use their prompts!!

If you are nursing and back to work, how is it going? Do you feel truly supported?
It's going pretty good actually.  I feel supported at work because there are a lot of  new moms currently or women who have had babies in the past couple of years and their advice and support has been so  helpful.  There are days or weeks when it is hard and exhausting because all of my breaks are spent pumping, but other days I love the time that I get to pump and read blogs and think about my wonderful babies.  My Attendings in the hospital have been great about giving breaks, but I have also had to advocate for myself as well.

Do you have adequate access to a room to pump in, is it comfortable, clean, secure?
I pump in one of the call rooms right near where I work in the hospital.  It's clean, there is a computer and a TV, the door locks, and there is a bathroom right across the hall.  It's pretty much ideal and I'm very thankful that we have this room.

Did you give up nursing because it was too hard to work and pump?
Nope and the babies are 5 months old now and I returned to work when they were not even 2 months old.  Originally, I wanted to make it to 6 months, but I may continue on a little longer.  We'll see.

Did you have access to a Lactation Consultant in the hospital? Did you have access after you left the hospital?
Yes, I did and I asked to see Lactation every day when I was in the hospital after my c-section.  They were very helpful.  I also went to see them once after I got out of the hospital since my milk came in late.  They were a little over zealous (mainly the lactation pediatrician doctor) at that appointment and told me that I would basically be breastfeeding all day and not sleeping and I wanted to cry and quit.  However, I had great support from my husband and we just supplemented a little bit of formula and my milk supply increased and I continued to breastfeed.

Have you ever felt ‘penalized’ in your job because you chose to pump milk for your child while at work?
No, but I try really hard not to bring it up or ask for favors because of it.

Here are some of my personal tips for pumping at work.

  • Make sure you have a full water bottle when you sit down to pump!!
  • The hands-free bra is key!!
  • Keeping some snacks with your pump is also helpful in case you don't get another break to eat (which I don't...I pump throughout my lunch breaks and coffee breaks)
  • Oatmeal and Fenugreek are great for increasing milk supply!!  I also enjoy a dark beer occasionally in the evenings, which is rumored to help with milk supply as well.  
  • Even if I don't have a lot of time, pumping for 8-10 minutes is still better than going longer than 5 hours between pumping sessions.  
  • Wear comfortable clothes that are easy pull un-tuck and pull up and that you don't mind getting a little breast milk on.  I am lucky enough to wear scrubs everyday, which is helpful so that I don't have to unbutton anything or worry about a breast milk stains.  
  • Be flexible.  There are times when I don't make enough milk for the twins.  We always give them one ounce of breast milk in each of their bottles at daycare followed by 4-5 ounces of breast milk depending on how much they are drinking.  This allows me to not stress of my supply is a little lower one day or I missed a pumping session and on days when my supply is great, it allows me to freeze some milk.  I have a huge supply in my freezer that will help extend how much breast milk they get when I start weaning.  
What are your tips or tricks for pumping at work????

1 comment:

  1. wow good for you! I always think about how it is easy for me to breastfeed because I am with her, but that I don't know if I could/would keep it up if I had to pump full time. It is pretty impressive that you have been doing this for so long for two babies!