Did u have to choose between breastfeeding and working? Is it possible to do both?



  1. From what I see, some days nurses get 15 minute break, sometimes none throughout entire shift.
    Doesn't this force a working mother of an infant to choose between breastfeeding and working? Or make a mother stop breastfeeding too early ( like at 3 months post partum)?

    Has anyone able to do both and has the employer met your needs?
    What is your POV on this issue?

    thanks!
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  2. 32 Comments

  3. by   hoolahan
    I personally felt like I had to make a choice. When my son was born, I retuirned to work after ten weeks ( 8 weeks post-C-section, I was just starting to feel good, so I took an extra 2 weeks to enjoy being home w my baby.) I found that I was just toooooo stressed to pump at work, couldn't let down, so I switched to eves, and decided to pump at home. If I didn't have enough to make bottles for my M-I-L, I mixed them w formula, like a 1/2 & 1/2 combo.

    Then when my dtr came along, shifts had changed at work, and for some reason I was never getting outn on time. I drove 45 minutes one way as it was, so I decided to take a leave of absence and work for agency in a loacl hospital that I used to work for. I did that for about 5 months, then returned to my original job, about the time I stopped nursing. I only nursed each child for 5-6 months. Any more than that, and I personally was starting to feel like a milk cow. For me that was the perfect length of time to bf.

    I don't think nursing is a bf-freindly type of job. Once, one of the nurses had her breast milk in the fridge, and one of the docs used it for his coffee!!!
  4. by   renerian
    When I worked as a teamster, fork-lift driver in another life LOL, I tried pumping my breasts at work. It did not work. I worked with 99% male co-workers and they poked horrible fun at the milk in the frig and at how my breasts would start out small and by the time it came time to pump they were much larger. It was a horrible experience. I am sure it works if the attitude of other workers and employers is right though.

    renerian
  5. by   nurs4kids
    My employer is great about accomodating for breast feeding moms. Even supplies the pumps and a quiet area esp for this. Was still a pain in the butt to me...
    was just real inconvinent. You're in room 413 cathing a pt and suddenly you KNOW it's time to pump..

    I gave it up after a month or so. I've had coworkers do it for an entire year. It just depends on YOUR committment and dedication. I lacked both
  6. by   babynurselsa
    I went back to work when baby was 8 wks old. I managed to continue breast feding for a year. It was not easy. There were nights that I only managed to pump once. I had more trouble when I bounced over to days. The whole turning your world even more upside down thing.
    I agree with nurs4kids Yoou have to be very committed to it. Of course it probably helps to not work around a bunch of teamsters too.
  7. by   SmilingBluEyes
    Originally posted by hoolahan
    . Once, one of the nurses had her breast milk in the fridge, and one of the docs used it for his coffee!!!
    OK where is the PUKING icon when I need it??????? YEWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW WWWWWW!
  8. by   dawngloves
    With my youngest I was lucky enough to have access to a lactation room with a pump! Finding time was hard, but I found a way to double pump and eat at the same time. Sometimes though I could only get on session in out of 12 hours.
    It was harder with my first. Nowhere to pump. Sometimes I'd get an empty patient room, sometimes the tub room or the bathroom.It was only an 8 hour shift and I would run home and strip off my shirt as soon as I came in an run to my baby I was so engourged!
    You do have to commit to it and you make time. You lose some modesty, but after giving birth it's no big deal!
  9. by   emily_mom
    I worked as a waitress after my daughter was born (weekends only), and couldn't pump at work. By the time I got home, I was either leaking or so huge that I couldn't stand it.

    I was waiting on someone once, and I sprung a leak. Thank GOD I had those pads in there. Gave a whole new meaning to "Would you like milk with you coffee?"

    I managed for 7 months, and I think I must have been running dry, because my daughter didn't show interest and I didn't get huge at all. I was perfectly OK with that amount of time. I started to feel tied down to it and was tired of getting up 4x a night to nurse.

    Kristy
  10. by   Texagain
    I pumped for a whole year and nursed- at work, in the car, at other peoples houses, in a bathroom, etc. I work at a 'womens' hospital and we have pumps and lactation rooms everywhere which helped greatly of course. Like alot of things in life, it depends on how committed you are. I hope you find something that works for you!
  11. by   sanakruz
    Texagain is right. How much do you want to do this? I t clearly is better for your child. Before you knowit, the baby is a child then a teen then an adult. BF is a short but important period in a baby's life. With creativity you can do it!
  12. by   anitame
    With my first daughter I had the perfect job; I worked part time for a small home health agency. I was able to come home and nurse her during the day. I pumped some also, but just a little.
    With my second, I did the home health job until she was 4 months old, then started at the hospital. My employer is breastfeeding friendly, and working in OB helps. We also have a breast milk only fridge. It DOES take planning and committment though. I would pump on the right side while I nursed on the left at the first feed of the day. That time I usually got 6 ounces or so. I would try to pump again before work (I work 3-11) although that one I sometimes missed. I always found that I pumped more if I was feeding her at the same time. It triggered a stronger letdown. I would then pump once at work. I tried pumping more but it's just too hard. I did this until she turned one. I did have some trouble with my milk supply at one point and I used Fenugreek to increase it.
    I know lots of nurses who breastfeed for a few months OR breastfeed while at home and give formula while they're at work. It's a personal decision although I must say I'm proud that neither of my kids had any formula. Just one of my little obsessions. LOL
  13. by   sanakruz
    Right on anitame!
    I nursed my youngest for 25 months. He never took a bottle,never mind formula. I was 39 and had the luxury of mostly staying home with him. I worked part time as he got older and was eating "real " food.
  14. by   RN2B2005
    I'm still breastfeeding my 19 month old son (just at naptime and bedtime, 2x a day or so) and I was fortunate to have a very accomodating employer who, when they realised I wasn't going to come back fulltime, gave me a flexible schedule at hours of my choosing. We have a relatively small staff (3 doctors and 12 or so staff members on site at any time) and the site medical director is a BIG advocate of breastfeeding (he has 4 children), so there is a lot of encouragement.

    A coworker, an ultrasonographer who has a son about 15 months older than mine, came back to work at 32 hours a week when her son was 14 weeks old. She managed to breastfeed almost exclusively for the first year, and weaned her son at about 22 months. She made it work by having her sister-in-law bring her son to work twice a day and pumping at noon and at home. Even though space is at a premium in our clinic, some of the guys (doctors and radiology techs) came in on a weekend to remodel a bathroom and turn it into a lactation room--complete with a mini-fridge, Dutailier glider and a changing table. So all of this was in place when I had my son.

    I agree with the posters who said it's not so much having a PLACE to pump or breastfeed but having the TIME. Personally, I let down milk like a Jersey cow every time I heard a baby cry, or thought about my son, or thought about NOT thinking about my son...thank God for nursing pads. However, having a supportive working environment--even an off-kilter one (one of my male coworkers would make explicit comments about my boobs but then give up his lunch so I could pump)--really helps.

    My son now comes with me to work on occasion; the file clerks have put aside a little shelf space for "Sam's files" and the docs have a box of old teaching MRI's and a lightbox on the floor so Sam can "read" films when he comes to visit. I'm very lucky.:kiss

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