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Q&A: Pumping and work?

When I return to work at 8 weeks pp, I will be working 12 hour shifts 3-4 days a week.  Will my body know when in the day I need to pump? Should I try to just pump a couple of days before I return to work to practice?” --beth_lukehart  

Re: When I return to work at 8 weeks pp, I will be working 12 hour shifts 3-4 days a week.  Will my body know when in the day I need to pump? Should I try to just pump a couple of days before I return to work to practice?” --beth_lukehart  

The Bump Expert

Breast pumps are pretty cool inventions. They keep the milk flowing, allowing you to maintain your milk supply and feed your baby if you aren’t at home. Keep in mind, however, that pumps aren’t perfect. You will never be able to pump as much milk as your baby can suck. Also, some women have an easy time pumping; others find it pretty challenging. For this reason, you’ll want to give your pump a test run before you head back to work. Make sure you know how set it up, clean the parts and store your milk.

You should also consider buying an electric pump that does both breasts at the same. This speeds up the whole process. And if you want to multi-task while you’re pumping, buy a hands-free pumping bra. Just tuck the cups into the bra, turn the pump on and get right back to your email.

In an ideal situation, you would pump at work at the same times of day that your baby eats. That way you’ll have a consistent supply for her when you aren’t home. You should also pump if you feel that your breasts are very full or engorged. This will help protect your breasts from getting a blocked duct or infection. If you don’t have a lot of control over your work schedule, just do the best you can do. It can help to tell your employer that you need to pump and that you’d like a private place to do so. Also, consider leaving your pump at work each night and just toting a cooler of pumped milk home at the end of the day.

Andi Silverman

Pumps

Any suggestions on a specific pump? I have read not to skimp here and there are so many with various reviews... Any suggestions?

Jamie Lynn Buchanan |

Q&A: Pumping and work?

I have a Medela pump. It was expensive, but I got it for my shower cuz I put it on my registry. I'm also an EBP, cuz DS does not like to nurse. It definitely gets the most out and does it quickly. It takes about 20 mins total to set up and pump.

snflwrs13 |

Q&A: Pumping and work?

The Ameda Purely Yours pump works well for me and I've heard that others prefer it to Medela (which I haven't tried yet). I also have a Medela hand pump and a single electric but haven't needed to use either.

jkyd |

Q&A: Pumping and work?

I much preferred the Medela pump we used while DH was in the hospital, the one I have at home isn't as good, and is painful at times. I am dreading going back to work, plus I'm a teacher so finding a good time to pump will be a miracle.

kenitaw248 |

Q&A: Pumping and work?

i have the medela pump in style backpack and love it. of course, if you can rent the hospital grade medela pump, that one is so much better. pump every 2-3 hours at the times you would normally feed your baby. it's best to keep it consistant so that on your days off, you are still nursing your baby around the same time you would be pumping while at work. i will be returning to work when my baby is about 22 weeks old, he'll be 10 weeks on sunday and i am dreading pumping at work as well. i will more than likely be pumping in my car as there aren't any private rooms available at my job. my only problem with pumping is i work one shift that's 12 hours (but i'll see probation clients all day so will need to be discrete when i pump) and i go out in the field with a partner 1 day/week (so i'm not sure if i'll be able to pump when out in the field). that's 12 weeks away for me so hopefully i'll figure something out by then. but good luck to you! definitely practice 2-4 weeks before hand so you are use to it and you can always freeze the milk for emergencies when you are back at work.

italipino |

Q&A: Pumping and work?

I liked the Medela pump that I used in the hospital, I own a playtex double breast pump and I dislike it!!!!

ringonchlopup |

Q&A: Pumping and work?

A few weeks after our daughter was born, we ordered The First Years single electric pump. It did not work well for me at all. I could only get a 1/2 ounce in 30 minutes!!!! It was a $60 pump, and I thought that the problem was the fact that it wasn't a "designer" model. Typically the cheaper something is, the less quality it holds-or so we thought. I searched and searched online at Target and Babies R Us for personal reviews of pumps in all different price ranges. To my very pleasant surprise, the Lansinoh single manual pump got great reviews-even by those that had tried Medela. It was only $30, so I figured we had nothing to lose by trying it out. I am so glad I didn't order the $300 Medela that I was going to! My Lansinoh works wonders! I have no problem getting 4 to 6 ounces in about 20 minutes now. The only downside, my thumbs get a bit achy from manually pumping, but worth it for how well the pump works. With breasts varying in all different sizes, not every pump will work for everyone. It's definitely a matter of trial and error. Also, your milk supply will increase around 5 to 6 weeks post-partum, making pumping much easier. Just remember, the key to pumping is being as RELAXED as possible to allow the milk to flow. Our Abigail is 10 weeks old now, and I am finding that while at work, thinking of her helps me relax, and the milk flows much easier. Best of luck to you!

Merrily |

Q&A: Pumping and work?

I bought a Medela swing for $200 and found that it doesn't work at all, the Medela symphony from the hospital was really good though. Good luck.

Terrah77 |

Q&A: Pumping and work?

I just watched a video on babiesrus.com for the MiPump (My Pump) and it seems to be pretty efficient. It's available at some stores as a single or double pumper, you can adjust the suction, it comes in it's own cute travel bag, and you can use it plugged in or battery operated. It's available at Babies R Us (deluxe double $99.99), Target (single $59.99 double $77.99), Baby Depot, and Learning Curve (single $59.99, double $79.99 and deluxe double $99.99) The deluxe double includes a cooler & two reusable ice packs. This is Babies R Us product description: The First Years miPump is compact and sleek without sacrificing strength. Designed to help you breastfeed longer, miPump is simple, quiet, quick, and efficient. The miPump Double Deluxe Breast Pump includes a unique handle which allows you to pump with only one hand, giving you the freedom to multi-task while pumping. Best of all, the flexi-fit shield and eight levels of suction pressure ensures your comfort as you pump. The Deluxe Double model includes two Breastflow bottles--the only bottle system that requires suction and compression, the same motions as breastfeeding. Using Breastflow with miPump allows you to easily alternate from breast to bottle and back again. Also included are bottle adapters so you can pump directly into any style bottle, along with cooler bag and two reusable ice packs!

hockeybride113 |

Q&A: Pumping and work?

I pump way more than my baby eats. I know that's not the norm, but when I pump I get 18 oz in a sitting. I use the Medela pump in style.

jadesymb |

Q&A: Pumping and work?

Jadesmyb-how often do you pump that you get 18 oz in one sitting? Gosh, that seems like a ton.

cdarby |

Q&A: Pumping and work?

Medela Pump in Style works great for me. You should check with your insurance too. Mine paid for it because my ob prescribed it for me and I bought it from the hospital supply store. This may not be typical but it is worth the check. I also use Breastflow bottles and I love them. My son can control the flow and it is easy for him to go back to the breast in the evening when I am home with him.

aliciakunkel |

Q&A: Pumping and work?

Medela is a bunch of hype. Everyone I know that has used a Medela pump has either not been successful with it, or the pump stopped working within a few months. They are overpriced and do not offer a closed system. I would go with a closed system pump like the Ameda Purely Yours or the new Hygeia brand. I have not used a Hygeia, but a friend of mine has one, and it is pretty nice. I personally use an Ameda Purely Yours, and it has been fantastic through 8 months of use. It was also half the price of all the Medela pumps.

asheffy |

Q&A: Pumping and work?

I forgot to mention that I found my pump at AmedaDirect.com. They have a 120 day, no questions asked, return policy. You can return the pump, even if you have used it and do not like it. I think they are the only place to offer that type of guarantee.

asheffy |

Q&A: Pumping and work?

I use the medela pump in style & it's worth every penny. It also came with a 1 year guarantee.

j'scole |

Q&A: Pumping and work?

I rented a Medela pump. It was great but I had to stay put. It's not mobile. I used a manual hand pump and found that it was much faster to pump my milk. Been using the hand pump since!

Duenas |

Q&A: Pumping and work?

I have the MiPump but I have no basis for comparison. It does seem somewhat quiet, the shields are soft and comfortable but small and I don't know if they have other sizes. I do like how quickly I can put everything together. I can get anywhere from 3-5oz out of one side at a time (depending on time of day). It comes with a handle bar type thing that's adjustable so you can keep both suction cups on at one time. Helpful hint: I took a few videos on my cell phone while I was nursing my baby at home so when I'm pumping at work, I can watch the video and feel like I'm nursing her and it has seemed to help make the pumping a bit more tolerable. I also read baby magazines and nursing stories and it seems to also help with the production/let down.

jadthompson |

Q&A: Pumping and work?

I use the Medela Pump in Style and it works like a charm. I am only able to pump every 4 hours and get about 5 oz total from both sides. It's easy to use and store. I find a quiet spot and catch up on my reading. I do find that I have to push on certain sections of the breast to finish up.

emmalucy |

Q&A: Pumping and work?

I purchased the Medela Pump In Style. Although expensive, it works great. As the other Mom stated, I can complete the task in 20 minutes. I pump twice at work and have a take home bag filled withou 14 oz. I average, 7 oz a session. I do have to push on the sides of my breast towards the end of the session just to ensure I totally empty them. It is worth the investment for me. My son is so use to the bottle now, he won't nurse comfortably so I am pumping at least 6 times a day.

Sheilaldyson |

Q&A: Pumping and work?

I have an Ameda pump which works well. As for cost, I got it at the hospital gift shop/pharmacy which was cheaper than other places.

potterolph |

Q&A: Pumping and work?

I actually work in a Maternity dept of a hospital & we use the Ameda hospital grade breast pump. It is definately true that true better quality pumps pump faster and more completely. However, they are very expensive. The good news is that many hospitals offer breast pump rentals. This is a great way to get the quality without having to take a second mortgage on your house just to afford them. Start your search for rentals at local hospitals and even if they don't offer rentals, they should be able to direct you to a place that does. As for pumping at work, check into your state's laws as many require employers to provide a private place for you to pump (note: not a bathroom). Just remember that you are your own advocate! I am pumping and have it easier than most due to where I work; but nursing and pumping is a wonderful thing we do for our children. We need to stick together & stand up for our rights not to have to make sacrifices in our children's nutrition for the aKe of our workplace.

SSouthern |

Q&A: Pumping and work?

I LOVE the Avent Single Breast Pump....I believe it is called the Avent Uno.....You can pump manually or electrically!

coachwigs |

Q&A: Pumping and work?

I use the Medela Pump and I love it. Anyone who is experiencing pain with the pump should talk to a lactation specialist. I changed the breast shields I was using and I pump much quicker and without pain now. The Medela pump also has great customer service. A girl friend of mine had her pump break and she called Medela. They overnighted her a new pump the next day. She said it was the easiest thing. Some insurance companies cover pumps as well. You should always check your benefits first. Just be careful where you buy your pump. Some places will automatically bill your insurance company but others will not which can be a hassle. As for going back to work. There was a federal law passed in March 2010 that requires most employers (those that have more than 50 employees) to provide a discrete private space for women to express milk while at work that is not a bathroom. Some states have individual laws that require additional compliance. http://www.ncsl.org/default.aspx?tabid=14389

calico04 |

Q&A: Pumping and work?

I received the Ameda Purely Yours Double Electric Breast Pump through my insurance plan while I was in the hospital. It is a lifesaver. I can pump anywhere from 4-8 oz in about 15 minutes.

lshankle8 |

Q&A: Pumping and work?

I started pumping about a week before I went to work which was great to have a supply built up as well and also that I then felt like I new what I was doing when I went back to work. It was also good because the first time I used my Medela it didn't work right and I had to call them, it was an easy fix but I'm glad I had it all up and working before I went back to work. I use Medela pump and pump-a-pair hands free

llapointe |

Q&A: Pumping and work?

I've nursed and pumped for four children-- and I share some tips on my blog. I work full time and have to travel a good deal, but was able to make it to that magical one year mark three times! Good luck! www.mamaginger.com

mamaginger |

Q&A: Pumping and work?

I just returned to work and have been using the Avent Isis IQ Duo. It works great! It comes in a convenient bag with 2 coolers, 4 ice packs, bottles,etc. You can control the speed and suction & store it in the memory for the next time you pump. I pump 18 ounces while I'm at work, so I bought 2, 11 ounce Avent bottles to attach to the pump that way I only have to worry about 2 bottles while I'm at work.

rmhulliger |

Q&A: Pumping and work?

I've used both the Medella (hospital grade) and Ameda Purely Yours...and I like the Ameda hands down. The flange part is a little awkward, but what pump isn't. I needed a lot of Lanolin when using the Medella just so it wouldn't hurt my breasts, while nothing for the Ameda. The Ameda is a lot more travel friendly also. Keep in mind that I couldn't find Ameda at any off the stores, while living in So. California...so buying online at Ameda.com or Ebay is what I'd advise.

aialcalen |

Q&A: Pumping and work?

I am an exclusive pumper and I use the Medela Pump In Style Backpack. It travels well and works on an ac adapter at home, dc outlet in the car, and batteries when needed. I had to move up a size (27mm) for the breast shields, they go up to 36mm so if you're having breast soreness, try that. My daughter is 10 weeks old now and I pump every 6-8 hours.

elizabell4 |

Q&A: Pumping and work?

I love my Medela Pump In Style Backpack! Before I bought it, I called my insurance to find out if they covered the cost. They did! I had my dr write a prescription for it just to make sure.

BabyShannon1 |

Q&A: Pumping and work?

I purchased a Medela in style pump in the carry bag and LOVE it! I stay home with my son, but pump 1-2 times a day, saving around 4-5 oz everyday for back up. We were able to get a Rx for the pump and it is covered through our Flex spending account. I highly recommend Medela, even though it is pricy. The pumping is easy and doesn't hurt at all. The let down button is nice cuz you can change the pumping from quick to a slower pump, like how our babies eat with the oush of a button. It makes for a much quicker pump, also put it on max suction for the quickest pump 10-12 min.

soon2bmccoy |

Q&A: Pumping and work?

I'm a bartender , so it's hard to get away sometimes, but I got a MiPump for my shower. I found that for all the time use it didn't work like I needed- so I rent a hospital grade pump for when I'm at home (I exclusively pump, except for night time feedings) and take the traveling MiPump to work and that works well for me. It's easy to take and descreet and easy to store. Good luck!

AshH01 |

Q&A: Pumping and work?

I used a Avent Isis Duo for the time I was back at work with my DD, and with #2 on the way, I'm hoping it will still work well. I'm interested in learning more about the Simpless (sp?) and the Hygeia....they look nice too! The expense doesn't really bother me....people spend $800 on a stroller, but not $200 on a quality breastpump. A good breastpump MAKES ALL the difference!

SarahEK2012 |

Q&A: Pumping and work?

I tried my sister in laws Medela pump, and it was ok, but was really uncomfortable for me and I wasnt getting more than 4 oz from both breats. Then my husband bought me the Avent Twin pump and I LOVE IT! It is way more comnfortable and I get 6-8 ounces every time I pump in 5-10 minutes!

applebeth |

Q&A: Pumping and work?

I bought the Medela Freestyle and I'm very pleased with it. I work 12hr shifts 3-4 days per week and I can get 3oz/breast in ten minutes; I usually pump every 3-4hrs during my shift. It has hands free capability and double breast pumps or single depending on your needs. Completely worth the money and I know I will use it with my next child. Remember ladies pumping is important for your children if you've chosen to breastfeed and legally your employer has to provide a private place for you to pump as well as time to do so.

cewilliams7 |

Q&A: Pumping and work?

I have a medela free style (hands free pump)I work 6 12 hour shifts at a time in health care..The pump works great and is fast for those of us that cant take long brakes.It runs about 380.00 so cost a lot but just so u all know that you can use breast pumps and all breast pump suplys as a medical tax ride off when you do your taxes at the end of the year.And u do get what u pay for.ust make sure to keep all receits for bottles freezing bags and pumps and sheilds.and add up all other edical bills with it .including the mileage to get to the doctors.

fishsha |

Q&A: Pumping and work?

I have the Medela pump in style and I am also an EBP. I pump out more than I did when nursing. I am able to freeze between 5-10oz a day and my 2 month old son eats 4 oz 7-9 times per day and has since he was 1 month old. It's nice to have an additional supply in case I get sick and can't feed him for a day or so. Also I pump every 3-4 hours during the day and sleep 6-8 hours at night without getting up to pump.

mcgilla2 |

Q&A: Pumping and work?

After a ton of trouble, I am renting a hospital grade pump: The Medella Symphony. It's the best out there, and can even rebuild a milk supply if someone's has decreased- per the LC I've been working with. I've seen it work with me to give me an oversupply- oops! I pumped too often. Anyhow, I am going to continue renting it when I return to work b/c I agree, even though we spent almost $300 on a Pump in Style (Medella), it doesn't work for me and I've had blocked ducts and infections. Rent the hospital pump if you can, and especially if you are pumping and are prone to blocked ducts/mastitis!

kimandnick81 |

Q&A: Pumping and work?

When you have your pre employment testing session it would be useful to ask about maternity leave conditions so you can't have a surprise later on. This is how I dealt with the problem, but I was also lucky to find a very understanding team. I know it's hard to come back to work after pregnancy, but it must be done.

RichieRich1984 |

Q&A: Pumping and work?

I have been back at work for 3 weeks now and my DS is 10 weeks old... I am in and out of my office for 8-10 hours while I'm at work and I found it hard to get a few minutes of quiet uninterrupted time to pump. I have the Medela pump in style and it has worked great for me. I try to pump every 3-4 hours while I'm at work because that is about when my baby would would be eating. When I'm pumping I only try to pump for around the same amount of time that my daughter eats. I also only pump one side at each session because my daughter only eats from one side at a time. I think it is important to stay consistent with what your baby would be doing. I was very nervous that I wouldn't be able to pump enough for what my daughter needs but I have been successful so far.

monicagd |

Q&A: Pumping and work?

I got the medela back pack and also got additional bigger breastshield cos the ones that came with the back pack were too small for me and made pumpimg painful. i pumb averagely twice a day sometimes thrice and get between 15 - 18 0z at every session. pumong for as short as 20 to 25 min.

sheri852@yahoo.com |

Q&A: Pumping and work?

I had the Avent hand pump when I had my 1st daughter and it was great for me. I too went back to work when my daughter was only 2 months old. I put my body on schedule because I couldn't stop working every two hours to pump. So I went to lunch at the same time everyday and pumped. Then when I went home my daughter was usually hunger so I would feed her as soon as I got home or if I was running late I would pump as soon as I got home. You can put you body on schedule that works for you.

sweettay24 |

Q&A: Pumping and work?

I have an Ameda purely yours and a lansinoh. Both work very well sometimes my breats are more sensitive and I need the vibration of the lansinoh.. I switch between the two.

Brodiesmom0521 |

Q&A: Pumping and work?

i pump at 7: 30 am in morning,12: 00 am at launch time and 9:00pm at bed timeevery day

krischke717 |

Q&A: Pumping and work?

I bought the Avent double electric bump and love it. It is very comfortable on my large DDD breasts. My daughter is now 10 weeks old and sleeps up to 10 hours at night so I pump in the morning and get 130ml.

abby&doug |

Q&A: Pumping and work?

I recently returned to my job as a teacher. I have a Medela Freestyle double pump, and I love it. I recommend buying extra parts and having them preassembled for work each day. My LO is 10 wks, so I pump every three hours (which means I pump 3 times at work). I was my parts one I get home, and prep my bottles for the next day. Hope this helps.

SarahR2013 |

Q&A: Pumping and work?

My insurance covered a Medela pump. I like it, but I haven't tried any other ones. I pump three times at work, I get between 2 - 5 ounces per session. It is a really quiet pump and easy to work with.

kristinyoung111 |

Q&A: Pumping and work?

I have the Medela double pump and it works great. Part of Obamacare requires insurance companies to cover the cost of an electric breast pump (mine normally would have cost $300!). Call your insurance company and ask them what pumps they cover and what companies you should call to order one. Your insurer will give you the name and number for someone to call and place a breast pump order with. If you can, call before you have the baby in case there is a waiting list. My insurer (United) covered both the Ameda and the Medela, but there was a couple weeks wait for the Medela.

Cebuxton |

Q&A: Pumping and work?

Breast pump is great for every new mum today... There are three main types of pumps: hospital-grade, electric, and manual. Read more here.

allenstonmia |

Q&A: Pumping and work?

I would have given up pumping at work had it not been for my Simple Wishes bra. I'm able to close my office door, put on the hands free bra and keep working while I pump. Able to pump more than my baby needs without feeling guilty taking time away from working. just received a new years promo from simple wishes. Code is SWBOGO for a free special edition bra with the purchase of their signature bra. Great reviews on Amazon. http://www.simplewishes.com/product/products.html

L0vemyB4by |

Q&A: Pumping and work?

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gantengsekali |

Q&A: Pumping and work?

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gantengsekali |

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