They say breast is best, right? When I recently went back to work my son was 4 months old. I actually pumped for the first time when he was only 9 days old, just to see how much I was producing. For me pumping gave me the flexibility to go out when I needed to, have my husband and other family members take part in feedings and allow me to track how many ounces he was drinking.
I was doing very well with breast feeding directly and pumping. I would bring my pump with me to family and friends houses as it would only take about 15 minutes. When I was preparing to go back to work I was feeling good about continuing my pumping schedule.
The Monday morning when I returned to work I approached the office manager about gaining access to the lactation room. She handed me a key and put me in touch with other pumping moms so I could be included in the room schedule. With so few females in my office and almost all of them having breast fed newborns, this wasn’t as easy as I expected. I had to squeeze my 15-20 minute sessions into an existing schedule. I had to adjust the times I would pump- which wasn’t too bad. I had to block my calendar during the 3-4 times a day I would pump, which wasn’t too bad..I had to carry my bag across the floor, unlock the “private room” door, set-up, pump, text, clean-up (milk in fridge and clean out pump accessories in sink) and back to my desk! I did have to miss a couple sessions in order to accommodate client meetings, which was too bad! Since breast feeding is based on supply and demand I noticed my supply was decreasing due to the decreased pumping sessions. Pumping is not bad at all- but requires dedication. To accommodate work and pumping, I’ve pumped on the Amtrak Acela as well as in client’s offices! I loved giving my baby breast milk for so many reasons!
Currently I continue to breast feed my son directly 3+ times a day (before work and typically twice after- weekends I breastfeed more). After I returned to work from the holidays, my son was a little over 6 months old, I stopped pumping. There are Moms in my office who continued until their babies were 14 months. My goal is to give him breast milk (now also supplemented with formula) until he is 1 year.