Working Moms

Those that pump and BF.....

When you went back to work did you have a hard time keeping up with your LO.....did your pumping volume increase as your body became accustomed to pumping?How long did it take your body to adjust?


I will only be able to pump 2X daily at work but LO will be eating 3X while I'm gone....when she was in the NICU I was pumping much more than I pump now (even if I pump instead of feeding her...)

TIA :) 

Re: Those that pump and BF.....

  • I had to do a lot to up my supply around 3.5 months to keep up with her. I added a morning pumping session after 1st feeding, added a night pumping session about 1-2 hours after she went to sleep, drank mothers milk tea, drowned myself in water, made lactation cookies. After all of that it took me 2-3 weeks to be able to catch up but I did it! I dropped my night time pumping session at around 5.5 months and my morning pumping session about 2 weeks ago. I'm supplementing about 1-2 formula bottles a day now but I'm just glad we made it to the 6 month mark. Good luck! You may get more responses to this on the breastfeeding board. :)
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  • It did take a few days to "perfect" pumping at work, but for the most part I was able to keep up with him. DS took four bottles at first, but I only pumped three times a day. I just didn't have time for that fourth session! So some days I would fall behind, but I would just use my freezer stash to keep up, or I would pump once a day on the weekends to use to top off bottles during the week.

    Drink lots and lots and lots of water. I mean, to the point you will probably need to pee every 30 minutes. LOL. Eat oatmeal and make sure you are eating enough calories. I know everytime I tried to watch what I ate, my supply would take a hit. Also, when AF returns (if it hasn't already), you'll see a dip in your supply. That is when your freezer stash really comes in handy!

    GL and never quit on a bad day!

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  • I can pump a lot but for some reason no matter what I have tried so we have begun supplementing one bottle a day when she is at day care.  When DD is home I exclusively BF her. 
  • I no longer BF but did until DD was 6 months old (so for a little over three months while I was back at work). My body did not respond well to pumping. We had to begin regularly supplementing with frozen BM and formula after I went back because my supply dropped. I tried everything to keep it up (whole oat-oat meal, fenugreek, consuming excessive amounts of water) and nothing really worked for me. I attempted to pump 3 times a day over my 8.5 hour shift (which thankfully my work did not mind). It just seemed like I couldn't do anything to keep my supply where it was at, every day I pumped a little less than the day before. Finally at the end when I decided to throw in the towel I was only getting an ounce or two out of each breast.

    Part of me thinks it was my stressful work environment... The fenugreek and all that other stuff didn't stand a chance! LOL! I was happy I made it to 6 months mainly BFing (with only some formula). Had I never had to go back to work I think I'd probably still be BFing. Pumping sucked for me but for some people it works great!

    My only advice to you would be to decide on a routine for pumping and stick with it. Once you start skipping sessions your supply will tank (the whole supply and demand thing).


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  • I am approaching 1 year BF and pumping and so far have not had to supplement. You will just have to figure out what works best for you and baby. Until 11 months I pumped 3 times a day at work. I needed that to keep up. Since you can only pump twice you may have to add an early morning session, middle of the night session (if little one is STTN) or before you go to bed. When are you returning to work? I pumped once daily from 4 weeks-10 weeks while on ML to build up a freezer stash. It was really nice to have when I had to travel and when I got sick. Good luck! There seem to be quite a few pumpers on this board so feel free to ask questions anytime.
  • Thanks for the info! When I pumped when she was in the NICU I was getting 3-4 oz per session and she was eating only 2 oz.  Well now she is a healthy 10lber and is eating 3-4 oz per session and I am only producing 3 oz per pumping session.....I am hoping that my body will adjust to pumping during the day and start producing at least enough to cover her next day!

    I had to toss my freezer stash bc of excess lipase - if I still had those precious oz's I would be fine! Oh day at a goal is at least 6 mths....we are at 3 now! Thanks again for the advice! 

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