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nursing mom going back to work

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14 years 6 months ago #51832 by momDOdoc
I graduated from medical school last June and had a baby in August. I've postponed my internship a year and now will be starting the end of this June with a 10 month old, Miko. He is still nursing happily and I'd like to continue nursing and using a breast pump. Any advice would be appreciated. Kinds of breast pumps? I saw a hands free bustier advertised and thought I might be able to take advantage of my driving time each day. (crazy, huh?) Any one ever try that product?

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14 years 6 months ago #51833 by momdoc
I don't think I'd want to be the highway patrol officer that pulls you over if you are swerving or speeding while pumping. :blush:

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14 years 6 months ago #51834 by mom1st
I pumped and breastfed my first child during residency; I hardly pumped with my second as I live 2 blocks from work (at home babysitter) and ran home to nurse him during the day. I have a Medela pump, which most lactation consultants recommend. It is a double, electric one (don't waste your time with a manual pump)... I really struggled to keep my milk supply up with a pump, so I actually bought the newest Medela pump, which more closely resembles baby's real sucking action. I had had an earlier Medela pump that was not the one which imitates baby's sucking...I have to say the newest model is much better. Expect to pay $250-300, but you will save money versus formula plus all the benefits of breast milk. Check out the Medela site ( www.Medela.com , I think) for more info. Many websites, maternity stores, home health/medical products stores will carry them. I shopped around on the web and got free shipping and a good deal.

Never heard of the bustier thing... The Medela pumps do have adaptors to use in the car, however, probably not a safe move if you are the driver--although I know people who did this. :eek: (They also have a battery pack if you don't have an outlet available.) Don't be afraid to tell your residency program/attending/colleagues/ whatever that you have to pump. I pumped in MANY places during MANY rotations. I initially felt a little weird asking to be excused for 10 minutes to pump, but then thought, hey--this is for my child's health and well-being--I don't give a hoot what anyone else thinks. :D I never got any grief from anyone, and most attendings (especially men) seemed befuddled or uncomfortable enough that I was quickly excused without hesitation! I pumped in offices, bathrooms, call room, exam rooms, everywhere (battery pack VERY useful)!!! (The Medela pumps by the way, have a great little cooler with an ice pack to keep your milk cold...it fits right into the discreet black bag.)

You'll need to keep in mind that breastfeeding is all about supply and demand, so if you demand less from you body after going back to work (ie, you're not pumping as often as you were nursing), you will have a decrease in your milk supply. Also, a pump can never completely imitate your baby in terms of stimulating your milk supply. Increasing the frequency of pumping can help; it also helps to have your baby just nurse (no bottle) when you are with him/her in evenings, weekends, etc. Fenugreek is an herbal supplement that can help, as can prescription Reglan. My supply really dropped off when I went back to work, and it was a struggle to keep it going, but I managed with a ton of effort. There are a lot of great books/resources available, or utilize the lactation consultants at your hospital. You may even have access to a hospital grade pump in some facilities, but don't always count on it.

Hope I helped out a bit...Good luck!

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14 years 6 months ago #51835 by momDOdoc
Thanks so much for taking the time to respond. That's helpful. I'm hoping that I can breast feed before and after work so that he gets most of his milk directly and I don't have to provide much expressed milk. There is the issue of keeping the supply up though. I was wondering how old was your baby when you went back to work?

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14 years 6 months ago #51836 by Dental-Mom
I had a preemie 6 yrs ago, who never took the breast! :wave:

former pumping mom :p pumped at the hospital, at home, in airplanes, at Disney, my car & rental cars, pumped at -20 F below in Alaska and all the way to Florida in a 105 F, oh and in Miami Beach too! :yikes:

The looks that I got (from women) were not pretty & I was always covered 100% :mad:

Dental Mom<br />Determination: You don't know what you can do until you try.<br />Applying this summer<br />Dental school 2010!

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14 years 6 months ago #51837 by mom1st
My first baby was 10 weeks when I went back to work. I was lucky enough to have the daycare right across the street from my residency clinic. If I was able, I usually went over at noon to nurse; if we had a noon conference at our clinic (three days a week), I brought him to our conference and nursed -- discreetly -- in the back of the room. (Our program was very pro family and pro breasfeeding.) I was a chief resident with a great office, so I had a nice place to retreat to pump during the clinic portion of my day...very convenient. I pumped and breastfed for a year with the first one.

My second child was 12 weeks when I returned to work, but rarely pumped as I could go home at noon and in the mid afternoon... I'm still nursing this one at 18 mo and trying to wean at some point!

To Dental Mom: I laughed as I read where you pumped... Perhaps we should all start a photo journal with all the crazy places we dedicated pumpers have pumped! I think it would be pretty entertaining!!!!!!!!!

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