Pumping at work and childcare

  1. I'm sorry if this thread isn't appropriate here, feel free to move it to another forum. I just couldn't find another suitable place to put it.

    I'm curious what other new moms who are nurses do at work who are still breastfeeding. How often do you get to pump in a shift? Are your coworkers understanding? Any issues with cleanliness or access to a clean/private place to pump? My hospital does not provide me a pumping room- I have to do it in my manager's office.

    Also, what do other RNs do about childcare? I work every weekend and my husband works M-F but I would like to go back to working 3 shifts/week so I have some time back to spend with my husband. However, I haven't found a daycare that's flexible with when you can drop your kid off (and shifts would vary week to week). I have no family or friends in this area who can watch my baby. Just wondering if anyone else has dealt with this and what kind of solution you came up with.

    thanks!
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    About bigmona

    Joined: Aug '03; Posts: 272; Likes: 30
    MICU RN; from US
    Specialty: 4 year(s) of experience in tele, ICU

    12 Comments

  3. by   summerrose_10
    When I was breastfeeding my babies, I had to pump in a bathroom at work. It was the only "room" with some privacy at that time. Just had to be careful about washing and not touching contaminated surfaces. (Wasn't ideal, but had to make it work) My co-workers were all extremely supportive and helped cover my work load if necessary.
    Daycare has been and probably always will be an issue. Like you, I worked weekends so Dad could be with them. Maybe you could post something in your facility news, or find a co-worker who may be willing to trade some daycare. You could make a "date" night with your hubby during the week, and in return you would babysit for your co-worker sometime during the week.? Not having immediate family/friends in the area makes it tough. Are there other families with children in your neighborhood, that may be willing to baby sit for you?
    I had a difficult time leaving my babies with "strangers" even though they came highly recommended. I only wanted Mary Poppins to babysit my kids, and unfortunately she isn't available
    Hang in there, things have a way of working out.
    You couldn't work in a better field though. I would be surprised if your coworkers weren't supportive of a breast feeding mother.:heartbeat
  4. by   CoffeeRTC
    Some hospitals will let you go to the L and D department and use the pumps.

    I work LTC and we don't have a room for that. I bring my pump and used an empty conference room or have went into an empty office. It is hard to make time, but I insist upon it and actually, my body insists on it too. If everyone else can take a smoke break etc...I can take my breaks. If you have a good quality pump, it wont take long either. Too bad if they are not understanding.
    As far as how often...it will depend on how long your shifts are and how old your baby is and how well established your supply is. I normally did it every 4 hours. All depends.

    I do the weekend or every other weekend thing too....no, not much time for hubby, but I don't rely on sitters either. The big thing to think about is if it is worth the $$$ to pay for day care during the week or just work weekends? For me .....no. This is baby #5 I will be having.
  5. by   netglow
    Have to share. When I worked in private practice, a staff member would pump in the doc's office when he went out for lunch or whatever. Once when he got back, I took a bunch of charts with me to his office to go over, and handed the first to him. He had been leaning back in his chair listening to me, but in order to take the chart from me he reached forward and put both hands on his desk to pull his chair in closer. He squealed, threw his hands up in the air and looked at me and said, "Something wet is all over my desk!" I thought for a minute, and leaned forward to take a look...I said, "Oh, that's just breast milk" He then jumped out of his chair going "Oh gross, Oh gross" and ran to the bathroom to wash his hands. She told me she had spilled a little, musta forgot to clean it up! LOL!

    Remember to clean up spills girls ... unless you have a camera ready...priceless footage!
  6. by   Kylea
    I am due in about ten weeks and was wondering the same things. My co-workers seem supportive. I work in LTC and there are a few places I can utilize to pump. As far as daycare goes, my little one will be going into home care run by the CDC for military children here on base. I know the woman who will be watching her personally, so I am not worried there. It's a little more expensive to do it that way, but I would rather. It's more flexible than a normal daycare as far as evening/weekend hours.
  7. by   mykidzmom
    i had to pump in 2 different jobs. neither place was very supportive. the first place was in a state where breast feeding is protected. they weren't too happy about it, but they had to pretend to support it. i used the charge nurse office when it was convenient for them, the clean storage room other times. i refused to use the bathroom on principle. breast feeding is not a body function the way poopin' is. you are providing food for your child. i understand that sometimes the bathroom is the only private place you can find. i don't pass judgement on those who pump in the bathroom, it frustrates me that women sometimes can't find any other place. it was tolerated, but words were chosen carefully and i know it annoyed them. the second place i nursed there are no laws to protect the nursing moms, so it was tolerated with a little contempt. i certainly was not able to pump every 3 hours and eventually i had to stop.
    in the second place we lived, we also had no friends or family and my husband had to leave for 4 months. my manager agreed to let me work every friday, saturday and sunday and we did 12 hour shifts. so, what i did, was make a very catchy flier and posted it in the only 2 places i thought i would find someone i could trust: the local community college in the nursing department and the early childhood development department. i couldn't post it on the job boards because i was offering less than minimum wage. right in the flier i stated you had to pick my child up from day care and stay till i got home. they had to be at my house at 6:30 saturday and sunday and stay till i got home. since things come up when you work inpatient, i couldn't guarantee i would be home by 7:30 or 8. i thought a nursing student would be most likely to understand that. the other thing i stressed that i thought a student would understand is that i can't have their car trouble or oversleeping or little colds keeping them from showing up. i needed them to be there!

    i ended up with the wife of a nursing student and 3 1/2 years later, they have actually become his godparents and we are very good friends today. one reason i think i was able to pay less than minimum wage was because my expectations were "low." i told them, you show up and make sure my kid is safe, happy and fed. otherwise, they could live their life. he had a certain routine he had at night, of course a few rules, but not much. keep my kid safe, fed and happy. she did not have to cook or clean or do laundry (other than cleaning up after themselves.) i made sure i bought food she liked. i either prepared his food or gave simple instructions. i also didn't get too uptight when he had some of her fries instead of the avocado and hummus i left for him....she could go shopping, hang out with her friends, do things with her family--she just had to take my kid with her! altho they now live over 2 hours away, they visit him often and their whole family knows him well. i know they give him more sugar and junk food than i allow him, but it's only once in a while and hell, they can give him coffee if they are willing to handle the consequences! they were also in their mid-20's. no offense to the younguns, but i didnt really want a 19 or 20 year old. i mean, i let her do whatever she wanted to do, but with the understanding that what she wanted to do was go to the mall or out to dinner with her family--not the clubs and whatnot.
    my breastfeeding experiences were NOT good, but i really lucked out with the "nanny." i wish you the best of luck.
  8. by   petunia2016
    I'm a nursing student, but my friend is an RN and a new mom. She told me the hospital she worked at was not supportive at all. They complained about the space the breast milk took up in the fridge. She got nasty comments all the time. I told her they were probably jealous of her recently acquired "assets", lol. Breastfeeding is natural, and I wish people would understand that. More places should be accommodating breastfeeding. It's not gross, it's beautiful, good for the baby, and good for the mother. And it's an incredible bonding experience (when a pump is not involved, of course).
  9. by   ElvishDNP
    I too pumped in two different places, from the time my son was 3 months old 'til he was a year. I live in a state where BFing/pumping is legally protected as well. My superiors at the first place grudgingly tolerated it, because they knew they had to. It was a community health center, and I just used an empty patient room. My immediate coworkers were great about it - I just told them where I was, and they knew they could pull me out if the **** hit the fan. I pumped about every 3-4 hours, though once my son started sleeping through the night, the production went WAY down. I just had to wipe down the area I was using before and after.

    I switched jobs when my son was about 10 months old, and it's where I still work. Very breastfeeding-friendly place....which is good, since it's a mother/baby floor. There is a pump room down by the lactation consultants' office, there is a pump in our NICU, and in the back corner of our newborn nursery there is a pump, so several different options.

    You might want to check with the lactation consultant at your hospital to brainstorm some options as well. A good pump will be a wise investment - with breastpumps, you generally get what you pay for. Also, you might want to check out handsfree pumping. (I wish I had known about that 4 years ago!!) The site I linked to has pumps as well as bras specially made for handsfree pumping. Good luck!
  10. by   fuzzywuzzy
    Quote from mykidzmom
    breast feeding is not a body function the way poopin' is. you are providing food for your child.
    But it IS a bodily function. Maybe if more people saw it for what it is (instead of something being done to annoy everybody), they'd tolerate it more. If you have to leave the floor to take a poop every day, no one cares about that. Pumping should be looked at the same way.
  11. by   mykidzmom
    agreed, it is most definitely a body function. just not the SAME WAY poopin is. would you want me to put a tray on my lap so i could fix you a sammich while i finally get over that constipation problem i was having? i suppose if i were super careful about being clean and you were super hungry, then maybe you'd be okay with it. bathroom business is for getting rid of waste, it's kind of icky in hospital or public bathrooms to express (essentially prepare) food for the babe. i can't poop at work at all. forget even going to a different floor. i could probably pump in the middle of the nursing station and stare down anyone who looked at me wrong. i can clean up other people's poo without batting an eye. but ask me to poo in a public or work bathroom? forget it. of course, pumping, even with a good pump takes longer than a typical bathroom trip. maybe 10 minutes to milk yourself but you have to put the equipment together , close up the containers so they don't leak, rinse all the plastic tubing (even if you have 2 sets of everything) and put it all away. not a huge deal, but from start to finish easily 20 minutes. maybe 15 if you are super efficient. of course, the problem with breast feeding is the people who feel in extremes. those who shove it down your throat, whipping it out any place. then those who just think it is gross. if more people had your view--which seems to be that "it is what it is, no big deal", then maybe it would be easier. usually i think the thing that annoys people isn't what the person is doing but how long they are gone. 20 minutes can be a long time! altho my one boss referred to it (with a look like she might puke) "that, that--thing you have to do" ah what are ya gonna do? wanna sammich?
  12. by   helicoptergal
    LOL. When I was a Paramedic I often had to pump in the back of the ambulance and pray that I did not get a emergency request. I thoroughly decontaminated everything first . Now I am a NICU RN and they have pumping rooms for the moms to use. As for childcare check out childcare agencies associated with hospitals. We are lucky enough to have an Easter Seals child development center connected with the hospital I work at. Good Luck!
  13. by   Scrubby
    I don't have any problems with anyone pumping as long as they do it in their breaks. I don't think it's fair for anyone to be taking more breaks , an have longer ones than anyone else.
  14. by   bigmona
    I appreciate all your replies! my hospital does not have OB so no lactation consultant or pumps I can use, and my state does not have a law protecting breastfeeding mothers in the workplace. I try to cut my lunches really short since I do take up other time pumping. Generally my coworkers are understanding about it, but sometimes when we're all so busy it's difficult to get away. My supply definitely takes a hit after working the weekend.

    I guess I'll just have to figure the childcare thing out... I did call some daycares affiliated with the hospital and none of them were flexible about days so I have no idea how other mommas do it! I guess we all just make sacrifices in one way or another (something I am learning as a new mom :wink2: ).

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