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Pumping at work

  1. #9
    lalligirl is offline Registered User
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    i pumped at work for my first baby. i pumped at least twice a day - three times if i had time, but it was usually twice. I needed to pump at least twice for my comfort as much as maintaining supply/getting enough for the next day. I also couldn't sterilise my pump at work, so i just cleaned it with soapy water & rinsed it with boiling water...i doubt that it was sterilised, but it was the best i could do & my daughter suffered no ill-effects from it! I didn't realise at the time that you could get extra valves etc. otherwise I would have. I think breast milk is fine out of the fridge for a short period of time, so I guess if there was any remaining in my pump, it would still be fresh, as it was never more than a couple of hours between pumping sessions, & then i'd wash it properly & sterilise it when i got home. good luck! it's a big commitment to pump at work, but worth it, i think!

  2. #10
    bonita is offline Registered User
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    I used to work 10 hour day with 45 minutes commute each way. I'd feed right before I leave, and ideally pumped mid morning, lunch and late afternoon. Most of the days i was so busy i only got to pump mid morning and after lunch. I used medela freestyle but used it as a single pump, it worked more efficient for me. I'd bring 2 shields and 2 valves & 6 bottles. I'd use the first set for first pump, rinse with a small bottle of water I bring along in my pump bag. Put the parts in the medela microwave sterilizing bag, add water. Go to pantry, put the sterilizing bag in the microwave and put away the milk in the fridge while parts are being sterilized. So for my second & third pump, I'd have one set of clean parts to use. And after second & third pump, I just rinse with my bottle of water & wash them when I get home. Since I work in the tv field, I'm on location sometimes, and only get to pump maybe once. I'd bring a fridge-to-go and use a medela manual pump. I'd bring a small thermos of hot water to rinse the parts. I would say, for an 8 hour day, try to pump twice. Feed right before you leave for work and right after you get home.

  3. #11
    bonita is offline Registered User
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    Ooooops, I meant to say, after sterilizing the pump parts after the first pump, I would have two sets of clean parts for the second & third pump.

  4. #12
    Gracey is offline Registered User
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    Thanks for all the support, guys.
    In the end, I ended up rinsing the part three times in boiling water, using a coffee mug. Then I filled the mug with more boiling water and zapped it in the microwave for two minutes, so that the water was really, really boiling. Then I let it cool and cleaned it with dry paper towel.
    Today I will go buy some proper microwave sterilizing bags and wet wipes.
    Unfortunately, I work in a crowded office. There is no private room where I can go. There's just one toilet, and it's shared with other offices. I actually have to leave the office to go -- so yesterday, I went to the bathroom, dropped the piece, returned to the office, sterilized it in the pantry, and then went BACK to the bathroom to pump.
    Sigh. It's not pleasant, but I can still do it.

  5. #13
    taysty is offline Registered User
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    Great job. I dropped some parts too. In the end, I finished my pumping sooner.

  6. #14
    thanka2 is offline Registered User
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    I pumped at work 2-3 times/day in an 8-hour day until my daughter was 7-months-old (went back to work when she was exactly 8 weeks old). I also was feeding during my lunch break. Even with pumping twice and direct feeding once I still had milk supply issues (low supply). I can't imagine how pumping less frequently is in any way going to help you keep up your milk supply. My worry would definitely not be mastitis at this point but low supply. It's all supply/demand. So, if you don't put a demand on your body during the day that milk won't be available eventually--at least that's how it generally works. Unless, you would only like to just direct feed 1-2 times/day when you're at home and not have any bottle feeds while you're away. Otherwise, it's pretty wise to pump as often as you can. I never sterilized my pump parts. I washed them thoroughly with warm soapy water, rinsed them and dried them with a paper towel. The other option is to buy two or three sets of parts--two flanges, two bottles and then alternate so you don't have to clean them at work--if you have a Medela pump the extra parts aren't very expensive. I used a double electric pump and they aren't cumbersome at all--especially the new Medela ones--they're no bigger than the palm of your hand and they're fairly quiet. I know people who have the hands-free bra and their pump can pretty much strap on to them like a heart monitor when they pump--it's that small. They run on battery supply too--mine ran on something like 6 double A batteries and I used rechargeable ones--but I have one of the "ancient" models they don't even make anymore--the newer ones are fantastic. I can't imagine personally being able to keep up pumping just using a manual pump. I had one of those and it was a nightmare--even though it was a top model. Some women can hand express really well and that works better and more efficiently than a pump for them but I never was able to do that. But, you'll figure it out--the hot water seems like a good idea for you. Pumping at work isn't convenient, I think and it does take a big effort. Good job!
    “Many women have described their experiences of childbirth as being associated with a
    spiritual uplifting, the power of which they have never previously been aware …
    To such a woman childbirth is a monument of joy within her memory.
    She turns to it in thought to seek again an ecstasy which passed too soon.”

    ~ Grantly Dick-Read (Childbirth Without Fear)

    Mother of Two
    JMW, boy, born November 29, 2007, 9:43 pm, USA
    MJW, girl, born March 17, 2011, 4:14 pm, HK

  7. #15
    jessica2010 is offline Registered User
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    I have total respect for you Gracey - pumping in your work situation with crowded office and one toilet!

    I returned to work when my baby was 3 months. I read up a lot on pumping at work and was well across the principle that you need to pump the same number of times that you would feel. However when I was at work, it was just not practical to pump three times or even two times a day. So after a few days, I resolved to only pump once a day (at lunchtime) and it seems to be ok.

    What I did was pump at home just before I leave work, at lunch time at work, then when I return home after I have given my son his 7pm feed. I was getting enough to feed my son exclusively for the last 3-4 months. Effectively you trick your body into thinking that your baby is now thinking heaps three time during the day. This way you don't need to sterelize your parts at work and you only need to pump once at work.

    My son is now 6 months and starting solids so I have been able to decrease the pump sessions. But he is still exclusively breastfed.

    Regarding pump type - I have the Medela Freestyle automatic double pump. However I quickly found out after the first day it was not the best option at work. Our office had multiple cubicles in the toilet and it was uncomfortable using an automatic pump as the sound would resonate through the toilet. So I have opted to use a manual pump which is more discrete and I ended up getting about the same amount out although it took a little longer.

  8. #16
    Gracey is offline Registered User
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    Hi everyone, Due to the nature of my job, I can only pump once a day - and that's if I skip lunch! It's just not that flexible.
    I think that's why the nurse warned me about mastitis. If I could physically pump 2-3 times a day -- or feed during the day -- that would be different. But the best I can do is feed before work once, pump once at work, and feed when I get home in the evening.
    I think I have no choice but to go to mixed feeding. There's no way I can feed her enough while being away for 9 hours at a time, and not having the chance to pump much.
    I'm OK with it. I've BF exclusively for more than 5 months, and will continue to partially BF.
    It's just a bit frustrating.

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