Women's Health: Postpartum Community
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Avatar universal

Breastfeeding/pumping moms that work full time? How do you do it????

The title says it all!

I started work on Monday and by the time I got home today I was absolutely EXHAUSTED! I feel asleep by 8pm and probably only spent an hour of non-feeding time w/ Jazmine all day (now Im awake because I had to pump)!  What is difficult for me is the fact I am up about every 3h throughout the night to either feed Jazmine or pump. Jazmine typically sleeps for a 7h stretch at night, and actually slept 11h straight a couple of days ago but regardless of this, at this point sleeping for even a 5h stretch is NOT an option because I HAVE to pump.  I dont mind waking up in the middle of the night to feed Jazmine but the tedious, mechanical pumping (then cleaning equipment, going downstairs to put the milk in the freezer etc.) is a different story and is a much longer and drawn-out process.  When I wasnt working I could nap thoughout the day to catch up on some zzzzz's but cant do this any longer.  How do you other moms do this?  Tell me it gets easier! Is there anything I can do so that I can go longer stretches at night w/out pumping (when Jazmine sleeps for extended periods of time) without getting so engorged I HAVE to pump?  Or am I going to be stuck pumping every 3h thoughout the night until I stop breastfeeding?  In my line of work this is bad - I really dont want to blow myself up (lol).
10 Responses
Avatar universal
....... I literally mean that last statement (but not the LOL).  I work with explosives on occasion.....
317245 tn?1258741145
My only suggestion for the night pumping would be to only pump to comfort and not empty.  If you are emptying your body thinks you need more milk  so it is going to produce more.  After just a few nights of just pumping to comfort your body should start producing less at those times because it will think baby is starting to take less and you could probably be able to stop pumping in the middle of the night.  Also with cleaning the pump parts just rinse them under hot water until no visible milk put them in a zip lock baggie and then put them in the fridge until next pump.  Just give them a hot water/soapy cleaning once daily.  
167 tn?1374177417
First off, I LOVE the name you have picked out for your daughter! When I was little, every time I played house, that was my baby's name (: I always wanted to name my daughter that, but hubby never liked it :\

Anyhow, I nursed and pumped for 11 months. I went back to work full time at 12 weeks. I did not wake up to pump unless I was miserable. If I was that miserable, sometimes I would even wake my son to nurse him because I hated pumping. For the first few months I pumped three times at work then dropped down to two. The last month or two I only pumped once and started introducing formula mixed with stored breastmilk at about 9 months. I stopped nursing and pumping at 11 months because my supply dwindled to almost nothing.

It does get better. I remember when I returned to work I contacted a lactation consultant because I was constantly getting engorged. It did get better after a few weeks but my son never slept through the night. Matter of fact, he is 13 months old today and it is still a rare occasion for him to sleep through the night!

My advice is to keep doing what you're doing. Maybe even try to make yourself wait a bit longer at night? I know it's uncomfortable though! Your body will regulate to your new schedule soon though! Keep it up, you're doing the best thing for your baby!
167 tn?1374177417
Oh, wanted to say also that I did not wash my pump parts every time. I just rinsed them with hot water and dried them, then put them in the container. The soapy water was only once a day. I know they say to wash them every time but I never once got an infection. I just handled them carefully, always washed my hands and breasts, etc...

Also, if you cut out one or two of the night pump sessions, it should help regulate. Your body will adjust quickly.
121828 tn?1333468091
I don't have any valuable info on the night feedings because I'm a walking zombie whom feed in the night when he sqeaks :), ha ha... But, when I pump I just rinse the shields and all of the detached parts and throw them in the microsteam bags in the microwave for 2 minutes. This is how I wash mine...just a thought if you have to go down stairs to put the milk in the freeze anyways.
172023 tn?1334675884
Echoing the suggestion to simply rinse things in hot water, soapy wash once a day.

And put a lot of thought into finding a use for breastmilk in your explosives.  Plentiful, free, renewable, environmentally friendly explosives.  That's what the world needs!
408496 tn?1269606950
my sis breast fed for her dd for 1 year and she did not pump at all and worked full time. She supplmented formula during the day and breast fed at night and evenings.  Her milk dried up during the day and only produced in evenings and nights.  Maybe let your milk dry up at night and pump during the day...since your little one is sleeping throught the night.  I don't know if that is a possibility.
159354 tn?1286371288
Can you buy spare parts too?
That's what I did.  

I had 3-4 of everything, so washing didn't have to be done after every pump.

I also hated getting up and shuffling downstairs etc, when Jake would sleep long.

Get an ice cooler (like a coleman) for upstairs and just pop them in that until morning....I did that too.

Just call me lazy...LOL
171768 tn?1324233699
ditto on everything deanne said...
i had a cooler upstairs. 3 sets of pump parts. you can also just rinse pump parts and stick them in the cooler too to use again. the "fridge trick" is great and works with coolers too. since breast milk has antibiotic properties and is good in the fridge for days, it is not dangerous to do this as long as you keep it cool.

for some reason i think you are supposed to cool milk in the fridge before freezing it anyways.

if she nevers nurses every 3 hours during the night, it may be time to stretch your nighttime pump/nurse session. the night pumps were among the first to be spread out for me. it's uncomfortable for a couple of days, and you get oodles of milk when you do pump after a longer stretch, but your body adjusts. i started by first going 4 hours, then 5.
Avatar universal
Thanks ladies.  I didnt know I didnt need to use soapy water each time so that will help and I think I will buy the extra parts to save time.

I have tried going for longer stretches during the night but I still have a problem w/ engorgement which hasnt improved so far.  I dont have any pain at all but EVERYTHING seems to get soaked in milk which is very uncomfortable.  Ive tried sleeping w/ a towel and a bra w/ pads but that doesnt help much and I often wake up with a soaking wet towel draped around me.  I think one of my problems is I am producing too MUCH milk - about 10 oz a day extra, in fact!

The other thing is I am recovering from a second bout of mastitis (breast infection) in 2 months and was specifically told it was important  not to get engorged because that is one of the things that can contribute to the infection and that it is also important to empty fully.  Also, my nipples are starting to heal from cracks that developed from pumping on too high a vacuum a few weeks ago (which also made me more susceptible to the infection) but now because of the infection it feels like I have to pump/empty more, which produces more milk and  is preventing my nipples from healing fully , which means I'm more susceptible to infection......... its  a viscous cycle.
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