breastfeeding question?

  1. I figure since we discuss every body part here, why not my boobs? Actually, I was wondering if any current or past nursing students have ever attempted to breastfeed while in nursing school and how did it turn out for you.

    I am due the second week of class (september 29th) with my third son, however I am going to be induced on september 24th after clinicals and as long as all goes well, be back in class by tuesday the 28th at the latest.

    I breastfed my second son for four months and supplemented with formula when I returned to work, however I am concerned if I will be able to do this while in school.

    Any suggestions or support is appreciated.

    thanks julee
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  2. 18 Comments

  3. by   klone
    What semester are you in, and what is your schedule like?

    Are you absolutely sold on the idea of induction? The problem with induction is that it increases your chances of needing a C-section, the recovery from which is not going to fit well into your tight schedule.

    Anyway, it can be done, and how hard it will be will depend on what your schedule is like. THe less time you take off to get breastfeeding established, the more challenging it will be for you. Establishing an abundant milk supply is the top priority in the early weeks, and that's going to be harder if you're going back to school within a couple days of giving birth. Frequent breaks to pump will be essential in order to establish/maintain milk production. A good pump will also be very important (I'd recommend either purchasing a Medela Pump-In-Style or renting a hospital grade pump, like a Lactina, but the Lactina will not be as portable). Cosleeping with your baby will also help facilitate breastfeeding and the establishment of an adequate milk supply. It will probably also help you get more sleep.

    Good luck to you. Check out your local La Leche League group for more hands-on support. Feel free to email/PM me privately if you wish to discuss it more in-depth.
  4. by   rnmi2004
    Hi! I have never breastfed while at nsg school, but I did while I worked with my two oldest. I pumped & then later supplemented with formula.

    I think a lot has to do with how flexible your instructor is. Will he/she let you have time to pump? Even if you're planning on supplementing with formula instead of expressed breastmilk, someone going to clinicals that soon will have a very tough time working through an 8 (or 12!) hour shift without deflating those puppies. Also, giving a bottle (whether it is breast milk or formula) that early may interfere with the breastfeeding relationship.

    I strongly suggest you get in touch with a Lactation Consultant ASAP to develop a workable plan for successful breastfeeding. If your prenatal care provider can't come up with a referral to one, I suggest looking in the phone book for the local La Leche League group.

    Hope this helps!
  5. by   SmilingBluEyes
    I concur w/RNMI here. Get w/a lactation specialist and La Leche League to help you out here. It CAN Be done, BF and school, but you will have to be flexible and so will your instructors, if they will....

    best wishes and good luck on your delivery. Hope it goes well. HUGS.
  6. by   Idiopathik
    Hi Julee - I started the nursing program when my baby was 3 months old, and I was completely determined that he would have only breastmilk until he was at least 6 months, I ended up nursing him for a year. It is definitely workable, and I found that my instructors were very willing to allow me time to pump when needed. I was also allowed breaks at the hospital during clinicals to pump, and I even got several compliments from staff nurses about my committment to breastfeeding. You definitely have to have a Medela Pump, I got the Pump In Style backpack pump. I would sometimes have to go out to my car or go into the large stall in the bathroom to pump for 10-15 min. Also be sure to bring a good small cooler with you - the Medela comes with a small insulated bag that works well for short periods of time, for anything longer than 3-4 hours you may need to store the milk in a fridge or freezer. I agree though, that it may be difficult for you to begin this so early on, I was able to make the transitions easier on him b/c he had been nursing for 9 weeks already. Sometimes they don't take a bottle well early on, or they take it TOO well, and then won't latch correctly when you're with them. Another thing I may add, I was awake every 1 1/2 to 2 hours during the night to feed, and I co-slept too. He was just a big, hungry baby, and that lack of sleep was by far much more difficult to deal with than pumping during the day. But, it kept my milk supply up, and he now sleeps like a champ, in his crib, all night It is so worth it if you are committed and realize that you are in for some work, but that nursing relationship goes by so quickly that it is worth the sacrifices. Feel free to email me or PM me anytime if you have any questions!
  7. by   klone
    Quote from Idiopathik
    Also be sure to bring a good small cooler with you - the Medela comes with a small insulated bag that works well for short periods of time, for anything longer than 3-4 hours you may need to store the milk in a fridge or freezer.
    The great thing about pumping at work is that fresh breastmilk can be stored at room temperature (68-72) for 8-10 hours before refrigerating. That's helpful if the mom has nowhere to put her pumped milk. Although, I found that one of the blue freezer packs in the insulated compartment of the PIS worked great at keeping things cold.
  8. by   mother/babyRN
    Can you pump? If you have a hospital grade electirc pump ( I used a shoulder carrying case nicely concealed medela one available in pharmacys), you can pump twice in an eight hour period for ten to fifteen minutes a time. That pump comes with freezer packs and a place to put them for your milk....I did mine during lunch or a break from class...
  9. by   nursecompassion
    This will be my first quarter of nursing, I was induced with my two boys, so I am not worried about that. I also breastfed my second for four months and supplemented with formula when I started working. My schedule will be Mondays 8-3, Tues-Thurs 8-12 and Fridays I have clinicals 8-12. I think I am going to try to, because if I don't I will feel guilty, but even two weeks of mommy's milk is better than none.
    We get breaks during classes so I know I could pump then, however I hate pumping. With my second son, he and I fell into a pattern and I would only start to let down during feeding times. My breasts and milk supply became regular with our schedule. So I am hoping that works this time.

    thanks julee
  10. by   purplemania
    Good for you. I am happy you are planning to breastfeed and think the previous posts had good advice. I caution you, however, on sleeping with your baby. Mothers roll onto them and smother them without realizing what happened. Plus, when the baby is older he will want to continue sleeping with you. Can you sit our a semester? You sound very determined. I hope it all works for you, as those little boys will be proud their mommy is a nurse.
  11. by   Spidey's mom
    There are great guidelines for co-sleeping on Dr. Sear's website. It is actually very safe and great for breastfeeding. The baby doesn't quite wake up to the yelling state that he would if in a crib in another room and you can just plop the nipple in and he will usually go right back to sleep. It is great for getting more sleep.

    Just a few . . no soft bedding, no waterbeds, pillows, heavy blankets. Don't put the baby between you and a wall. NO alcohol or illegal drugs (duh)

    I slept with all 4 of mine. They are 21, 19, and 14 and all sleep in their own beds and it wasn't hard to transition them. My toddler sleeps with his mommy and daddy. He is talking about a big boy bed now and probably will transition sometime this summer but my husband and I agree WE WILL MISS HIM.

    Regarding the breastfeeding, you are only taking 4 days off from the time your induction is planned until classes start. That is going to be very hard to establish a good milk supply without pumping. I concur with others advice about the Medula Pump In Style . . it was a great and easy pump and very fast.

    I feel for you going back to school so soon. Good luck.

    steph
  12. by   alexillytom
    You can do it!! I breastfed all of my children until they were at least one year old, and
    worked full time. I did not supplement with formula. I also didn't use electric pumps.
    They just didn't work for me. I hand expressed. Honestly, I used to fill up a 16oz bottle
    in 10-15 minutes. I was extremely milky. I made sure to stick to a pumping schedule.
    I pumped at 10:00am and 3:30pm every workday, and breastfed while at home.
    Make sure you eat regularly, drink plenty of water, and get your rest. If I wasn't sleeping correctly, I could tell by my milk production.

    I know I'm not telling you anything you don't already know. I seem to get a bit wordy
    when it comes to breastfeeding. I absolutely loved it.
  13. by   alexillytom
    Disregard. Posted twice.
    Last edit by alexillytom on Jun 24, '04 : Reason: Double posting
  14. by   klone
    Quote from purplemania
    I caution you, however, on sleeping with your baby. Mothers roll onto them and smother them without realizing what happened.
    It's actually quite rare for this to happen, outside alcohol/drug/sedative use. It's more likely for the father to overlie, which is why it's not recommended that baby sleep between the parents, especially as an infant, unless there is some sort of soft barrier.

    I know that with both of my kids, I was EXTREMELY aware of where I was in relation to them, even while I slept. As someone else previously mentioned, there are safety precautions that need to be taken with regards to bedding. But cosleeping saved my sanity and allowed me to not be at all sleep deprived, even with a baby who would wake to eat 3-4 times a night. It's not for everyone, but it can be very helpful at maintaining the breastfeeding relationship, especially if mom works (or goes to school) and the breasts aren't stimulated very much during the day.

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