Jump to content

Any Nursing Moms?

School   (427 Views | 13 Replies)

2,867 Profile Views; 278 Posts

I recently posted about returning to work last week after mat leave... and I'm back to ask for some advice about pumping schedules. If you find this topic uncomfortable or too personal, please stop reading here.

A little background: I will need to pump 3 times during the school day to keep up with my home schedule: 9am, 1130am, and 2pm.  I'm making significantly less at school than at home, so ideally I could add a fourth session in, but that's not super realistic. I've started pumping in the car to/from work in increase supply. We have 4 other nursing moms at school and we do have a pumping room, but I prefer to pump in my office because set up is so much faster, but this may change if I start getting a lot of phone calls or knocks on the door. 

I haven't made an official statement to staff about my schedule (ie, an email saying to please avoid sending students during the following times) because I haven't found my groove yet and don't want to be sending multiple emails on this topic lol. What I've been doing is hanging my "Be Right Back" sign on the door and putting up a post-in that says "please come back in 20 minutes."

It's not perfect, but it was pretty much working until yesterday when I went to reopen my office after pumping and there were 5 kids standing outside the door waiting for me. They claim that they saw the note, returned to class, and "came back in 20 minutes"... but I suspect they all just waited there for 20 minutes. Their complaints: kid 1: asking for dayquil after I told her earlier I cannot dispense that. Kid 2: hang nail. Kid 3: rash that she's had since Saturday d/t gardening/weeds touching skin, hasn't treated at home, would like something for it now... (omg). Kid 4: buddy of Kid 1. Kid 5 was actually sick (puked in PE). 

I gently chastised them all for hanging around and missing class, but really my system is not working and I need some tips so that (1) I can pump in peace and have this time respected by students and staff (without getting sending too many boob-related emails lol), and (2) still be appropriately available for the kids. 

If you guys have any tips or strategies that worked for you - let me know!!! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1 Follower; 324 Posts; 1,292 Profile Views

Can you put a note on your door and send them to the front office? Then, someone there can get them to where they need to be and / or screen for anything potentially urgent. 

Stand your ground though! You have just as much right to pump as anyone else in the building. Unfortunately, it may take you leaving your office to get this accomplished. 

Best of luck!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

140 Posts; 900 Profile Views

As far as yesterday, email the teachers and ask if they truly did come back to class. If they did stay and hang out, the teacher probably doesn't realize it. Call the kids out on it!!

I'd do one of two things:

1. send an email out anyway, stating that you need to be away from your office during these times. Please do not send kids down during these times.

2. If you want to wait until you get into your grove, can a secretary or a teachers aid sit in your office for you while you leave to pump? This could be a temporary plan without having to feel like you're making a big deal out of it. Once you get into your groove, you can then send the email out.

Being a working mom is tough 😞

I worked in the hospital after I had my kids and I was very fortunate to have a supportive bunch of coworkers that would let me go to the pumping room on the OB floor. I couldn't imagine having to fight this battle working in school.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

278 Posts; 2,867 Profile Views

24 minutes ago, EnoughWithTheIce said:

Can you put a note on your door and send them to the front office? Then, someone there can get them to where they need to be and / or screen for anything potentially urgent. 

Stand your ground though! You have just as much right to pump as anyone else in the building. Unfortunately, it may take you leaving your office to get this accomplished. 

Best of luck!

Thank you! I may switch to using the pumping room because I am told there is no cell reception in there... so you're really off the grid lol.  I'm worried that if I'm truly off the grid, though, that it will quickly turn into the: "Where is nurse Jackie" game, and then I'm actually *more* on the radar, because everyone is constantly looking for me. I don't really want people questioning how much time I'm taking to pump, if that makes sense. It's annoying, because the teachers have 1-2 planning periods plus lunch, so they have blocks of time that students will not be looking for them. If I'm gone for 20 minutes three times a day... well you know what happens lol. Everyone thinks the world is ending 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

CanIcallmymom has 4 years experience.

351 Posts; 1,044 Profile Views

44 minutes ago, EnoughWithTheIce said:

Can you put a note on your door and send them to the front office? Then, someone there can get them to where they need to be and / or screen for anything potentially urgent. 

Stand your ground though! You have just as much right to pump as anyone else in the building. Unfortunately, it may take you leaving your office to get this accomplished. 

Best of luck!

I pumped last year during the school year and the bolded part is what I did. The note said to go to front desk. I equipped them with basics (bandaids, tissues, pads, etc), and everyone else was told to come back for me later. I never once had an emergency arise while pumping, which I would absolutely stop pumping for. It took a little while, but they all got the hint that I'm not answering the door. Are you comfortable notifying your front office staff that you're unavailable during those times and why so that they can handle the minor complaints if they see someone waiting?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

6 Posts; 105 Profile Views

Hi! I know I commented already on your last post but have a little more insight to offer-not sure how helpful it would be. 

I've been back to work since the beginning of November. I knew there would not be a great way to take 3 pump breaks a day so I made the plan to just do two. My babe still gets 3 bottles during the time I am away from him during the day but I nurse on demand on weekends. I have found that the two pumping sessions produces the amount I need for 3 bottles and I don't have supply issues when he is nursing on the weekends. My body just adjusted. 

I would really advocate for your own space to use for pumping that is not in a cell/radio "dead zone". Pumping in your office really doesn't give you privacy and the fact that kids are still coming likely adds to your stress level and stress can hinder your milk production and supply. I have found that completely removing myself from my office has been wonderful. Prior to returning I sent my principal an emailing stating exactly what I would need-2 half hour breaks and a private space. He made it happen. I understand that isn't always the case but definitely advocate-there are laws around this. My administration and front office staff have been great about helping me out with things when I need it (letting kids sit to wait for parents by the office, etc)

Once I had returned I sent this email to all the staff:

Good Morning-Thank you all for the warm welcome back to school! I wanted to inform you that the health office will be closed two times a day for the foreseeable future. I will not be in the office from 9:45-10:15 AM or 1:30-2PM. During these times and immediately prior, please do your best not to send students down. If there is an emergency, please contact the main office. Thank you in advance!

Most of the staff could read between the lines on this. I was initially worried about sending but then decided that my baby comes first and I wanted to do everything I could to continue nursing. 

I have had a couple of instances where my principal has called me but so far no major issues :::knock on wood:::. . 

Keep fighting the good fight, you got this mama!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
by ARN Member Nurse

ARN specializes in medsurg/school nurse.

68 Posts; 169 Profile Views

Is your office in line of sight of any other adult who can help police the door? ie send kids back if they don't go back on their own? or have a puker wait with a trash can until you get back? call you for a legit emergency that can't wait? 

my office is in line of sight of the secretaries so they can catch kids and grab a bandaid or let a kid lay down that legit looks sick until i get back in the rare instances I take a quick break to run an errand. 

there is literally no room in my building that doesn't have a window (no blinds or curtains). so if i were pumping in this job i would probably opt to use my office and a cot with curtain drawn. either that or i would have to ask to transform a supply closet and make a spot in it for myself.

note on door and let my secretaries/principal/and counselor know i am unavailable unless its a real emergency. I think an email is in order once you know your general break times but of course those times could get messed up because you could have a situation come up that makes you run late. but I still think a general email to let people know that this is the best laid plan so they can avoid sending kids certain times of the day. 

this time is important. pumping is hard work. it won't be for forever. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

278 Posts; 2,867 Profile Views

49 minutes ago, CanIcallmymom said:

I pumped last year during the school year and the bolded part is what I did. The note said to go to front desk. I equipped them with basics (bandaids, tissues, pads, etc), and everyone else was told to come back for me later. I never once had an emergency arise while pumping, which I would absolutely stop pumping for. It took a little while, but they all got the hint that I'm not answering the door. Are you comfortable notifying your front office staff that you're unavailable during those times and why so that they can handle the minor complaints if they see someone waiting?

Our front desk lady is horrible at simple triage.  She either gets the kids worked up over their issue, or calls me. A typical scenario is that she will pull me from a meeting to tell me a kid with known anaphylaxis is having an allergic reaction to something, and when I eval he kid, the kid will tell me they have a HA. Or she'll say "so and so is really sick and needs to see you." and the kid is asking for a cough drop.  I don't get it, but this happens all the time. She is super sweet, by the way. Just TERRIBLE at assessing the kids. She feels it's not her place to triage kids, and I get it.

Truthfully, kids should not be coming to me OR the front desk for minor complaints (MS/HS) like bandaids, because each classroom has a little first aid kit. And for HA/menstrual cramp or things like that, it's pretty much safe to say that the kids can wait about 20 minutes (in fact, often their complaint will resolve in that amount of time lol). I spent ALLLLLLL last year working with the kids on using the nurse's office appropriately, and they're pretty good about it. I say all of this, because if I give them another option - i.e. going to the front desk for help - they will do that. You know how kids are.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

UrbanHealthRN has 8 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Pediatric/ Community and Public Health.

206 Posts; 3,174 Profile Views

Just sent a DM to you- I used to do lactation consultant work and have some ideas. And like everyone else said- keep up the good work!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

73 Posts; 1,297 Profile Views

🙋🏻‍♀️ I do. This is my 4th child nursing and pumping. What I recommend to put on the sign is “nurse is not available please return at 3:00” or whatever. A lot of kids don’t understand the concept of 20 mins plus they don’t know when you put it up etc. I made a sign with the time blank. Laminated it and used a dry eraser marker to fill in the time since the times often changed. I also included on the sign “please do not wait, see the office staff if it’s an emergency or go back to class and come back at a later time.” You could also send your staff an email when you go. Let them know there will be a sign on the door. That way everyone can see and hopefully avoid sending kids other than emergencies. 
 

Not sure how close your office is to the front office. It’s good to find a support person too. I had the counselor watch the clinic if I couldn’t get away, but now I switched buildings and have the office staff keep aneye instead of shutting it down. (They prefer to leave it open) but like you a lot of times I often have a clinic full a kids waiting. I think this is a reason why supply is down bc I’m stress pumping. Ppl don’t realize you have to be stimulated that it’s not always instant. And it’s hard to get stimulated when you know what your coming back too. a billion kids. 
I feel so rushed. I usually pump for 15 mins. Twice/shift which isn’t really enough, but I don’t know when else to take it. Our school lunches last half the day cause our cafe is so small and I am so busy. My New counselor pumps and she does 3x. Not my support person. But If you can do it do it by all means.  We should get to pump 3x.  It’s very difficult pumping while being a school nurse. I bought a willow pump, but haven’t used only a handful a time bc it often hurts. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

278 Posts; 2,867 Profile Views

16 hours ago, cjl_RN said:

🙋🏻‍♀️ And it’s hard to get stimulated when you know what your coming back too. a billion kids. 
I feel so rushed. I usually pump for 15 mins. 

 

I bought a willow pump, but haven’t used only a handful a time bc it often hurts. 

 

16 hours ago, cjl_RN said:

🙋🏻‍♀️ What I recommend to put on the sign is “nurse is not available please return at 3:00” or whatever. A lot of kids don’t understand the concept of 20 mins plus they don’t know when you put it up etc. I made a sign with the time blank. Laminated it and used a dry eraser marker to fill in the time since the times often changed. I also included on the sign “please do not wait, see the office staff if it’s an emergency or go back to class and come back at a later time.” 
 

... And it’s hard to get stimulated when you know what your coming back too. a billion kids. 
I feel so rushed.

I bought a willow pump, but haven’t used only a handful a time bc it often hurts. 

I used to have a sign that had a little clock that I could set my exact "return time" (this was before pumping, and just for lunches, bathroom breaks, etc)... and I would invariably return at that exact time to a line of students. Or at the exact time I noted, if I was still gone/unavailable, the kids would sometimes go inquire at the front desk and then they would call me form the front desk.  It super stressed me out.

I thought it was so funny that I put up this "come back in 20 minutes sign" because i KNOW they have no idea when I put the sign up, yet none of the kids have thought to ask: "20 minutes from when?" LOL - they all just assume it's 20 minutes from when they see the sign. The teachers and I have a good laugh about this. But pragmatically, I did it so that at exactly 2:20 I would not have 6 kids waiting for me - because what if my pumping runs a bit long or whatever. 

I have a hand-me-down Freemie, but I'm still figuring it out. I am SO overwhelmed by all the different pumps that it took me a week before I even attempted to put it together, and I'm edging in on another week of trying to use it for like 2 minutes at a time before getting frustrated and giving up. LOL. so... progress? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Csn2016 is a BSN and specializes in Emergency Medicine, Women's Health,School Nursing.

84 Posts; 1,476 Profile Views

I have had two babies since becoming a school nurse and one thing I was adament about was my pumping times!  If I am taking the pay cut to be a school nurse then I am certainly not going to cut something out of my life that is going to save me money haha.

I would typically pump while enroute to school (about 30 min commute and yes I'd pump the whole time-so around 715 I'd start, then Id pump again at 1030 for 15 min, then again at 130/2 for 15 min...and then my whole drive home at 330).  That being said it drove me crazy when I'd open my office door and see a line of kids all standing there and impatiently asking me where I was.  I did not notify any other staff (because they never pay attention to those emails) however the administrative office is right across from my office and my door is always open so if the secretary saw me shut my door and turn off the light she'd try to intervene and redirect students).  It worked pretty well but is never perfect of course.  The only time I had an issue is right when I hit a let down and the secretary came running in with a student having an asthma attack (I have a back room attached to my office that I lock myself in to pump) I was frantically trying to stop the let down and shove paper towels in my shirt while yelling instructions to the secretary through my closed door)

I think you should hang a sign on the door that directs all students to the office where the secretary can give them an actual time to 'return' if its not emergent.  Also come up with a back up plan should you have an emergency right in the middle of pumping

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
×

This site uses cookies. By using this site, you consent to the placement of these cookies. Read our Privacy, Cookies, and Terms of Service Policies to learn more.