Breastfeeding/pumping and 1st yr nursing school

  1. I will have a 3mon old when I start Fundamentals this fall. Breastfeeding is non-negotiable, and I know that I have a right to pump, depending on my state (SD), but I want to hear from people who have actually done this, or who have supported it and seen it done successfully.

    Please, no shaming or telling me to just go on formula

    I'm not even exactly sure what the days in classes/clinicals are going to look like, what facilities or breaks I'll have, so any and all insights are really helpful to me right now.

    Thanks in advance!
  2. Visit chwcbesteph profile page

    About chwcbesteph, RN

    Joined: Dec '12; Posts: 105; Likes: 113


  3. by   HH_RN13
    I was in the exact same situation as you. My baby was 3 months old when I started. Yes the right to pump is there, but first semester was so overwhelming and busy that I could not find the time for it. It was either pumping or being in lecture, pumping or learning patient care in clinical. With all the stress and missed pumping my milk supply pretty much disappeared by the time she was 5 months old. I really regret it, but I don't think I could've done anything differently and still do well in school. :-( I hope someone replies who was able to do it successfully
  4. by   nurseprnRN
    I started grad school with a 6-week-old. I was able to bring her to school with me until she was about 3 months, and then she was too alert to sit in lecture drowsing with a nipple in her mouth and milk running down the side of my chest and getting cold.

    I found the very best thing to do was to pump like crazy every single time I nursed her, even if in the beginning I only got a few cc's. (Put it in the freezer and it froze in stripes as the fat rose to the top.) This taught my breasts that I was feeding a very large hungry baby, or perhaps twins, so they made more and more milk, more than she needed, which I was then pleased to put away after she was finished with the breasts. Don't just limit yourself to pumping missed feeds-- you want to teach your breasts to overproduce.

    Start as soon as you get breastfeeding well and comfortably established, about 6 weeks, and sooner if this isn't your first breastfed baby and you already know the drill, drink lots of fluids and get as much rest as you can. When you are away from her at a usual feed time, pump all of that too. You'll have plenty.

    Your local La Leche League folks will be a great help to you, too. Don't wait until your baby is born to reach out to them. They can help you before the birth and give you some great ideas (including snappy comebacks for those people who say,"Aren't you going to wean that baby?") Great folks.
  5. by   chwcbesteph
    YES!! Thank you, thank you THANK YOU, GrnTea. That is exactly the advice I was looking for. Luckily, this ISN'T my first rodeo (I bf'ed my first until he was 2.5yo) and I struggled with oversupply issues then, so I know these girls work!

    Unfortunately, bringing her to class with me will not be practical- I live 75 miles from campus. But I plan on getting hooked up with local LLL mamas, and that will be my sanity-saver. I also have a breastfeeding peer counselor through WIC, so that will help.

    I'm pretty freaking determined to make this work. Do you recommend a particular pump? I used a Medela double pump with my first. I'm going to look into how much of it I can get covered by insurance, if at all.
  6. by   SnowboardRN
    I had a baby while in school. There was actually a lactation room on the floor of the hospital I was at during clinicals and my instructor was all for me using it.
    As for class, I pumped during breaks. I was able to breast feed for 10 months while in school full time.
    Congrats mama, and it's awesome you're planning to breast feed
  7. by   Tait
    I am due 5/5 with number two. Breastfed #1 until 15 months (was about 6 months into this pregnancy at the time and Emma self-weaned). I would definitely encourage you to "make it work!". I am excited to BF #2 because I learned so much from #1. If you have LLL to support and I read with the new healthcare act it is increasingly accessible to get pumps. I would talk to your WIC counselor on that one. I have a Medela Pump in Style, however some of the electric hand pumps are pretty small and fabulous. I would just invest in a good cooler and perhaps keep it in the car?

    Best of luck momma!

  8. by   sunbaby0811
    I wanted to suggest seeking out a lactation room at the hospital. Often they have pumps there, you just bring your own parts which would be way more efficient than toting your own pump.

    I also just wanted to lend my support and say you are awesome if you ever need an ear, feel free to PM me. I haven't nursed in NS but I have nursed and pumped and am pretty plugged into LLL. I'm always willing to talk milk
  9. by   chwcbesteph
    You mamas ROCK. I'll definitely be keeping in touch with y'all, checking in, letting you know how it goes. Now to just make it through the next 8 weeks!!
  10. by   Tait
    On a side note my husband got me one of those hands free pumping bras. Should be entertaining to say the least!
  11. by   sunbaby0811
    Quote from Tait
    On a side note my husband got me one of those hands free pumping bras. Should be entertaining to say the least!
    Those things are seriously the best invention EVER!!! I pumped 3 or 4x a day and could use my hands to surf the web, work (hahhaaha), study (which is how I really spent my pump breaks), but also to massage the girls while pumping (that really helps). Everyone should have a hands free pump bra!!
  12. by   cjcaet
    Good for you mama! I'm starting school in the fall and my third will be 13m then but I nurse my babies until they self wean (around 3.5) and I'm currently tandem nursing so I'm worried about finding time to pump when school starts bc my breast are use to making enough for two babies. Glad to hear some moms here have made it work !
  13. by   AKYogini
    I'm so happy you posted this as I was about to do the same. I start my 1st semester of nursing classes/clinicals on May 20th! My baby (#2) will be 7 months old then. I nursed my 1st son til 15 months and I'd like to at least make it to a year with this one. I've never pumped before however. I don't even know who to talk about the subject? Or if there is any where at school for me to pump other than my car. Our schedule looks like we have lectures in the mornings that last three hours. Break and then labs for another 3-4 hours. Yikes. Our clinicals (1 day per week) are from 6:30-3:30. That looks to be the real challenge. My plan is to pump every 3 hours. I will nurse before I leave in the morning - husband drops him off at daycare. Then in the car before I go in to class, after class, and then at home of course nurse nurse nurse. I also dream feed at night and pump just to keep my supply up. Drink lots and lots of water and make sure you are eating enough. I've dropped so much weight just trying to make enough milk to keep up with my chunker & and pumping extra.

    I'll keep you updated on how things go. I guess I will ask some one at orientation where and if they allow breaks to pump. I wish I had waited and got in to the fall semester but things happen they way they happen. Kudos to you for having the drive to breast feed. It is not easy and so many mamas throw in the towel when the going gets tough. ( nothing wrong with that either! you gotta do what you gotta do! - the thing I've learned after two kids. )
  14. by   MommaTy
    It's one of those things that you have to find the time in-between. I have breastfed 5 kids and pumped during pre-reqs which was easy. But you may have to pump during lunch/breaks. If you have a really good double electric pump you should be able to pump in 5 to 10 min. Ask your professors if they can let you have 10 before or 10 just before class ends. Most are very understanding.