active duty and ebf — The Bump
Military Families

active duty and ebf

Are there any other military moms here who are breastfeeding at home and pumping while at work? Today is my day three back to work and I am still figuring out what works best for me to be able to pump while working. I've been gone for ten weeks and closing my office to pump sure is effecting how much I get done. I will say I don't feel badly for the two times a day I have to "close" my office to pump (the third session is at lunch) bc pumping takes less time than some of my coworkers smoke breaks. It is taking my coworkers time to adjust as well since I am one of three females in my unit and the first to want to pump at work. Do you have any tips that make pumping at work easier? Any advice is appreciated.

BFP #1 11/07/2012 EDD 07/09/2013 M/C 11/22/2012

BFP #2 02/05/2013 EDD 09/19/2013 Arrived via c-section 09/27/2013

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Re: active duty and ebf

  • I am still on con leave, but I did pump for 12+mo w/ both my DDs and will again.  I pumped driving in in the am (2 different posts and I never got stopped at the gate about the humming next to me?  strange), mid morning, lunch and mid afternoon (dropped this pump around 10mo) and if I was staying late again after clinic while charting.  I would close my door to set up then crack the door and people could come in as my ACU top was velcroed over my pump, this last time my boss actually knew when my pumping sessions were and would hunt me down to talk to me then -- at least it felt this way!  I'm a family doc though, and worse yet a lactation counselor so probably less of a stretch than in a field unit.

    I always made it a point to nurse when I was home, DD1 reverse cycled and I have slept with my kids while working so I think that always helped.  I was always afraid of deploying so ended up with huge freezer stashes with both kids.

    GL, it can be done but it's not easy.
    5/08- blighted ovum, spont ab; 2/20/09- epi, VAVD, Girl! breastfed 24mo; 10/10- blighted ovum, spon ab; 12/10- no fetal pole, Cytotec; 11/20/11- unmedicated SVD, Girl! breastfed 18mo; 11/7/13- unmedicated SVD, breastfed 18mo; 2/11/16- unmedicated SVD, exclusively pumping to at least a year.

  • Carnation77Carnation77
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    edited December 2013
    My son is 3 1/2 months.  I've been back to work since he was 8 1/2 weeks.  I nurse him at daycare (FCC, close to work) twice a day, plus once or twice in the morning and twice at night (he STTN).  I have to give him 1-2 bottles of formula a day because I don't pump enough - so I'm not EBFing like you.  My biggest challenge has been my supply.  I have to really be relaxed, and be sure to eat well and drink enough water, to get anything when pumping.  So my advice is to take care of yourself and find a way to relax when pumping.  I also recommend nursing as often as possible on the weekends and days off to keep up your supply.  After a long weekend I always find it so much easier to pump.  BFing has been a wonderful way to bond with DS since going back to work. I love looking down at his smiling little face and he really seems to enjoy the closeness too.  It's definitely doable - you just have to be flexible and do the best you can do.  I wish you luck in EBFing, but if you ever end up having to supplement a little just remember that some BM is better than none and don't give up!

    I admit I'm not as productive as I was before I got pregnant.  But you know what?  I don't care.  I was always a really high performer.  I'm OK with being just above average now if it means I'm doing the best thing for my child.  Sometimes it's not possible to do everything at 100% and you have to decide what matters most.
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  • Check out breastfeedingincombatboots.com for more insight too. I met the author of the book when we lived in VA. She breastfed years ago in the Navy before it was as accepted as it is today. She has created a great community of women in the military who are breastfeeding.
  • I'm really interested in this too.  I think the hardest part is going to be finding a good place to pump.  I know that they are supposed to provide a place, but sometimes this just isn't possible.  I  currently share an office with one guy, and neither of us use it very often, so I don't think it would be a big deal to just close the door for a few minutes a few times a day.  But it still makes me feel kinda weird.


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  • I am active duty (Air Force) and I BF at home and pumped at work for a year. We have conference rooms in my building and I would go every few hours for about 15-20 minutes a day to pump. My entire office knew my situation and didn't bother me about it, some of my leadership even allowed me to sit in their office and lock the door. Like you said, it was no different from others taking smoke breaks and I even believe there's a regulation out there that states they HAVE to let us pump. I didn't feel bad at all, it was my way to supply my baby with food. As he got older, I didn't have to pump as frequently and it was only for a year.
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  • ArmyQM said:
    Check out breastfeedingincombatboots.com for more insight too. I met the author of the book when we lived in VA. She breastfed years ago in the Navy before it was as accepted as it is today. She has created a great community of women in the military who are breastfeeding.
    Interesting that you mention there is a website because as a baby shower gift a friend who also serves gave me the book. I didn't realize there was an online community so thank you for sharing!

    BFP #1 11/07/2012 EDD 07/09/2013 M/C 11/22/2012

    BFP #2 02/05/2013 EDD 09/19/2013 Arrived via c-section 09/27/2013

    Lilypie Angel and Memorial tickers

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