Thursday, May 27, 2010

Breastfeeding & Pumping - Making it work

First let me say that I know I am very lucky to work in education where the majority of the workforce is women and therefore tends to be more breastfeeding/pumping friendly than most industries.  I am also very lucky to have a wonderful principal and assistant principal who are both super supportive so I can always feel free to talk to them about issues and who to resolve them.  I am also a librarian at the high school level so I have an incredible amount of freedom with my schedule.  Okay that's my disclaimer.

So the purpose of today's blog is how I make breastfeeding & pumping at work work.  I hear that is the number one reason that mom's wean once they return to work, don't have time to do it anymore.  While it was scary to pump at work at first, now I don't even think about it.  Put up sign, close and lock door, boobs out, pump on, time for facebook!

Here is my typical (well as typical as a day with a 5-month-old gets) workday schedule:

6am - Wake up, bathroom, put on pot of hot water and pump (I use the hot water to wash my pump parts.  I think it saves time over running the water until it gets hot.)
6:30am - get dressed, clean pump, pack lunch
6:50am - get baby up, change diaper, dress her (DH also gets up and follows his routine)
7am or so-Drive to work (we only have one car so DH drives me in, I also live about 35 mins away from my job) baby naps on the drive
7:45 am - Arrive at work
9:30 am - Pump
12:30 pm - Pump and have lunch
3:45 pm - go home
4:20 pm - Nurse Audrey
8pm - Nurse Audrey
Between 9 - 10pm - Get ready go to bed (shower, brush teeth, change baby's diaper, you know the night stuff)
We co-sleep/bedshare so I nurse Audrey through out the night, she usually eats to go to sleep (9:30 or so), eats again around 1 am and then again at 5am or so.  Each night is a little different.

I am a pretty successful pumper.  I average about 10 oz a day (at work) and Audrey will usually only eat about 10 oz so I'm pretty set there.  But I also pump and leave a fresh bottle each morning (average 4oz) so I do usually end up freezing about 20 oz a week.  My freezer currently has over 100 oz of breastmilk so if I couldn't pump or miss a session I would still be okay for the next day (this has happened so even with all of my flexibility, I don't always get my pumping in). 

I use to pump 3 times at work but Audrey preferring to nurse rather than take the bottle, I found it better to drop the 3pm pumping and just nurse as soon as I got home.  On days I know I won't see Audrey until after 5pm I go ahead and do the 3pm pump.

So that's my day in a nutshell.  Not perfect but it works.  Hope that provides some help in the making it work while working.

Oh, I have a Medela Pump'N Style Advance, use the Playtex drop-in system milk collecting set, and have a hands-free pumping bra.