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Working & Breastfeeding...Can it be done? How hard is it?

I need to go back to work. My job allows for two 10 minute breaks and one 30 minute break a day. I am pumping a lot right now to store some milk up but I'm worried about getting enough milk and keep up my milk supply.

Also I'm about a nervous wreck about leaving my baby!

How hard is it to work and breastfeed with my baby ONLY being fed breastmilk?

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 12:10 AM on Sep. 4, 2009 in Babies (0-12 months)

Answers (11)
  • It is definitely hard, but do-able! If you have regular breaks, that is great! That at least allows you to be on a schedule so that your body can get used to pumping at those same times every day. With pumping more, you may need to nurse more at nights when you are with your baby to keep your supply up. Good luck mama, you can do it!

    Answer by kikikiki at 12:14 AM on Sep. 4, 2009

  • Absolutely doable. The MOST successful breastfeeding moms I've known, in terms of length of nursing time, were working full time.

    Your schedule is actually just right.

    Here are the things that worked here.

    1. A GOOD double electric. Medela, Ameda or Lansinoh. Other pumps need not apply.
    2. Pump one side while nursing the other EVERY AM nursing session at home. Weekends too.
    3. Have THREE sets of breast shields for work. After every session, toss the shields into a plastic bag and wash them at home. Cuts your prep time mightily.
    4. EXPECT one half to two ounces a session. More is gravy.
    5. Go for time and not quantity at work.
    6. 64 ounces liquid daily...without fail. That can include three cups mother's milk tea.
    7. Fenugreek, 1000 mg 3x/day. that and the tea are at health food stores.
    8. Know the laws of your state. Find them on

    Answer by gdiamante at 12:59 AM on Sep. 4, 2009

  • Well we always gave my son a little formula by choice... but I didn't find breastfeeding and pumping hard at all. And it didn't seem to have any impact on my supply. I was able to pump enough for him while I was at work for the next day. At work I would take 1-2 breaks (2 when he was younger and 1 when he was older) and I would pump in 15 each time. Any amount of pumping is good though... so if one time you pump 10 mins and 15 the next it should be fine.

    Answer by AmiJanell at 1:02 AM on Sep. 4, 2009

  • im not going to lie its really hard i failed after 4 months i couldnt keep up, and i get 20 min and 30 min break. i have to use mostly formula now and its more of a comfort for her. at first it was really hard to leave her but i like the break and know im only leaving bc i have to work to support her

    Answer by Anonymous at 3:04 AM on Sep. 4, 2009

  • You can definitely do it and I did with just the same breaks you are describing. It is difficult and you may not pump enough, but pump as much as you can and hopefully you should not have to supplement with formula. My daughter started refusing a bottle while I was at work around 11 months so I slowly cut back on the pumping I was doing and eventually quit. I still nurse her at 27 months old and she has never had a drop of formula. The other poster had good suggestions for double pumps and getting enough liquid. If you have to eat your lunch while you are pumping the entire 30 minutes or take a 10 minute break in between. My LC actually recommended taking the entire bottle and shields and putting them in the fridge in between pumpings and that way I didn't need extra shields.

    Answer by aeneva at 8:50 AM on Sep. 4, 2009

  • It was very difficult for me, but I did it. I had 3 or 4 breaks a day, but I really needed to pump more then that to keep up my supply. You definitely loose weight.

    Answer by jillybean6781 at 9:47 AM on Sep. 4, 2009

  • My best friend is a full time teacher and if that wasn't enough she's also the head girl's basketball and volley ball coach. She pumped enough to breastfeed her 2 babies for 6 months. I'm a SAHM who breastfed two and I truly admire the great effort she went to to BF and work. She had a Medela double pump and for heavy duty pumping, there really is no other breast pump that will get the quantity of milk that you need.

    Answer by ThrivingMom at 10:06 AM on Sep. 4, 2009

  • it wasnt realy hard for me to pump and work,what was hard was leaving baby,i called every day on my lunch break to see how she was doing.i went from pumping every break to only pumpingon one break,becouse she would only eat once in 7-8 hours i was gone,she slept most of the time.its not very hard,as long as your work dont give you shit like mine did,they didnt have a place for me to pump.

    Answer by angelairelan at 10:12 AM on Sep. 4, 2009

  • It absolutely can be done. I have a friend who exclusively pumped for the entire first year of her son's life because he never did latch right. She works full time. If you have a great pump (the Medela Pump in Style is awesome), it won't take long to pump while you're at work.

    Answer by JulieJacobKyle at 10:40 AM on Sep. 4, 2009

  • I think it's definitely doable with that time. Get an electric pump. The medela is expensive but worth it. I pumped twice a day and was able to get out enough for two whole bottles (I supplemented the third wtih formula). If I had really wanted to do all breastmilk, I could have easily done so if I pumped twice in the day and once at night. Don't forget that you can always pump once at night or in the morning when you're not at work. It sounds like you've been pumping so your body is probably used to it. Pumping takes me less than 10 mins!

    Answer by danielp at 2:33 PM on Sep. 4, 2009

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