Working Moms

XP: 1 pump break in 8 hrs?

XP: from breastfeeding

Work: 1 pump break in 8 hrs?

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My employer (less than 50 employees) just told me today that 2 pump breaks totaling 25-30 minutes each (including set up and clean up) were too demanding on my part as someone has to relieve me in order to go pump- I work in an operating room.  My morning pump session is typically in place of a morning break but requires an additional 15 min over the usualy break duration.  I really like my job and employer other than this one issue.  I'm the only nursing mom and other employees are complaining because we're short staffed and I'm getting breaks and they're not.  I don't want to have to throw the law in their face since under 50 employees could be exempt from the pump breaks if they show that it causes "undue hardship" and I would rather find an agreeable solution for everyone.

 

Anyone take only 1 pump break at work and still not have to supplement?  I'm currently pumping after his morning feeding and get 6-8 then and about 4-5 for the other 2 pump sessions per day.  I work 7-3, and DS is 5 mos old and EBF.

 

Thanks, this is stressing me out.

Re: XP: 1 pump break in 8 hrs?

  • Oh, that sucks.

    If this was me, I would print off the laws in your state, and have a meeting with HR.  Even if your office doesn't technically qualify because you have less than 50 employees, they should still do their best to accomodate you, in my opinion.

    At 5 months, there is no way I could have gone down to 1 pumping session a day.  My supply was already dropping even when I was pumping 2-3x every day.

    Could you split your lunch break, and an afternoon break?  Or something like that?

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  • IMO, if they are short staffed and you know it, people are not getting breaks, and they are under 50...you need to find another solution that works for everyone.

    Do you not pump at lunch?  Can you pump in your car on the way from/to work?  Do you pump any at night?  Do you pump on the weekends?  I honestly think you should try and work with your co-workers, and find a way around only pumping once a day at work.  Allowing you to pump at work while no one else gets a break AND you are short staffed is...not so good for other employees' morale. 

    Have you done anything to show your co-workers that you really appreciate them covering for you?

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  • I scrub in the OR and it was for this reason that I stopped breast feeding before I went to work.  In reality there is NO way that I could have possibly done my job  being scrubbed in on 12 + hour surgeries without breaks.

    I agree with PP, maybe you can speak with your co-workers, but if you are short staffed its not going to happen - the mentality will be if I don't get lunch why do you get TWO breaks?  You are either going to have to be creative or maybe think about other means of feeding your LO.  He or she is almost old enough to start solids.

  • I have a similar situation and it works just fine. I teach and so if I'm not with my students someone has to be. I work 8-4. When I first went back last spring I pumped at work before the work day started, midday and after school. My son was 4-5 months then. When school started this fall I pumped once in the middle of the day (got another teacher to cover lunch and ate my own lunch while teaching). My son was 7 months when school started. I currently get 6-8 ounces during that pumping session. It's been enough. We had a little stash from the spring when I was pumping a lot and I've managed to always have some frozen just in case. My son nurses when we wake up in the morning, has a breakfast of solid foods at daycare (he had a bottle with them when he was 7 months but has weaned himself from that one), has lunch of solids and a bottle (that's where the pumped stuff goes) and I nurse when I pick up around 4:30, nurse again at 7:30 and still do nighttime feedings. So, totally feasible, though it will depend on your own body and your baby's needs, but not impossible.
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  • image ak1234:

    IMO, if they are short staffed and you know it, people are not getting breaks, and they are under 50...you need to find another solution that works for everyone.

    Do you not pump at lunch?  Can you pump in your car on the way from/to work?  Do you pump any at night?  Do you pump on the weekends?  I honestly think you should try and work with your co-workers, and find a way around only pumping once a day at work.  Allowing you to pump at work while no one else gets a break AND you are short staffed is...not so good for other employees' morale. 

    Have you done anything to show your co-workers that you really appreciate them covering for you?

     

    this! I had to pump while eating lunch (which was my only true break), and often pumped after feeding him when i got home from work.

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  • I don't think that's realistic. I agree with the suggestion - what about going hands free on your way into work. I also agree with using your lunch time for that.

    To help reduce pumping time, get more pump parts (shields, containers, etc). Once you pump, put the used parts into a plastic grocery bag and use clean ones next time. Then wash all at night. That will save you some clean up time.

  • When I was pumping at work, I often had to keep it to 15 minutes. I also pumped at lunch time. You asking for 30 minutes twice a day with your work situation isn't reasonable. You need to learn to move quickly and cut your time down. If you ask for 2 15 minutes pump sessions, which would include using your lunch time, then that would be more reasonable. Pump before your work day starts and immediately after you finish up work.
  • I pumped for a year as an anesthesia resident in the OR. The only "guaranteed" break we had was our 30 min lunch break. Ideally we were supposed to be relieved at some point in the AM for a 15 min break outside of the OR as well, but that happened about 50% of the time.

    I was able to EBF that year by getting to the hospital early and getting my OR set up and then pumping one last time before my day began ( I realize this probably wouldn't work for you if you circulate or scrub, but pump as close to the start of your day as you can). When I had that 15 min break I ALWAYS kept it to 15 min so that ppl would be willing to give me a break again next time, this meant only pumping 7.5 min given transit time to/from the OR and having extra pump pieces so as not to waste time. I ate my lunch while doing a 20 min power pump.

    It can be difficult to pump when working in the ORs esp when cases are long and breaks are at a premium. I found that if i was very conscientious of my break time and very thankful of those who helped get me out, then ppl were more flexible. But I think you do have to keep that AM pump w/i 15 min to keep the peace.

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  • I wanted to add that I agree that 30 is a long time for pumping. I work in an office environment and still was fine with 15-20 minutes. Remember to try to relax (for letdown), do breast massages and compressions to help get that milk out.
  • Wow - this makes me thankful to have the job I do...much more flexibility. 30 minutes is a long time for pumping. At the most, I ordinarily do 20 minutes, and set up/take down is only a couple minutes added to that. Unlike some others on here, I can't imagine only pumping once while at work. I would probably orchestrate your schedule in a manner to have two shorter pump sessions. I think frequency is more important than the length of time you're pumping (but don't quote me on that). Ugh. Good luck.

  • Your body might adjust.  You're probably starting solids soon so that should help.  Try pumping a little before you get to work and as soon as you get off (in your car.)  Some babies (not mine) sleep long strectches at night your body adjusts to that.
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