Posted in Breastfeeding, Pumping, Tricks of the Trade, Working Parents

Working moms: how often do you pump at work/how long does it take?

Anonymous

I am evaluating changing jobs after my leave, and I’d be starting a new job 5-6 months after my daughter is born. I’d like to try to breastfeed until she’s one, but I’m worried about how to make it work. At that point, how many times a day should I expect to be pumping, and how long does each session take? I’ll have a Spectra S1 (and possibly a Willow, a gift from a friend). The company I have an offer from doesn’t have a mother’s room, so I may have to be pumping in a bathroom, which is obviously not ideal. So trying to get a sense of what to except. Would love thoughts on how many times/day and how long you think I’ll be pumping at that point, and also if anyone has advice on how to navigate a work environment without a mothers room. Thanks!

  • Anonymous
    Feb 13

    Honestly, you won’t know how often or how long you’ll need to pump until you establish your supply and your body regulates it. I would definitely talk to a lactation specialist about when to start pumping as well. For me I would pump for over 30 minutes and barely get enough milk for one bottle. Everyone is different so it’s something you’ll have to figure out on your own, but trust me, it come naturally! As for pumping in the bathroom, that stinks! I was a teacher and we had no where to pump either, I never made it back to work but that was a big concern for me too. I would probably keep disinfecting wipes with me and wipe down whatever surface I’d be using.

  • Y
    Feb 13

    Every 4-5 hrs for 10 minutes each side.

  • Sarah
    Feb 13

    I pumped 3 times during an 8 hour workday for 15 minutes each time. It was roughly an hour of totally time each day with a few minutes to setup & clean up. I had a dedicated mothers room though just 1 floor away from mine.

  • Anonymous
    Feb 14

    I had an oversupply until I went back to work—it’s what helped me regulate. At first I was pumping every 2 hours for 20 min each and taking the reduced pay due to the extra “break” time used. Once baby was consistently drinking (and we went through a couple growth spurts) I was down to 2-3 times in an 8.5 hour day for 10-15 minutes each. Baby is now weaning on her own, so she eats from me at wake up and bedtime but has formula during the day (no more work pumping). I’m not sure how not having a designated pumping room would be. Here, no matter the size of the company, a separate area (not a bathroom) must be provided for pumping. For our small office it was our records retention room (the only place besides the managers’ offices that had a locking door). Coming from a swim team background, I don’t really have any reservations about people seeing parts of my body. I tried to keep a post it on the door sayin “knock first” to help remind people I was there pumping. Ultimately, I figured my breasts are out to feed my child, so fellow employees catching an accidental glimpse wouldn’t be any different than accidentally opening the bathroom door on someone for the split moment it takes to register what’s happening. Good luck returning to work! Remember not to stress to much about what you ate pumping or you may inadvertently reduce your supply from stressing!

  • Bailey
    Feb 15

    @anon THEY CUT YOUR PAY BECAUSE YOU HAD TO PUMP?????? Where are you from, I’m Pretty certain that is illegal.

  • Anonymous
    Feb 15

    @bailey as an hourly worker they have to provide time to pump but the law doesn’t specify a time amount in the US. Technically an employer can say 10 min is sufficient bc there is no definition. And that 10 min could even include the setup and cleanup. Unless anon had a good lawyer in standby, law is a gray area in terms of the actual time allotment for pumping.

  • Bailey
    Feb 15

    That is so awful. I don’t understand why our laws are like this for mothers! Half of my family is from Canada and their Maternity laws are amazing.

  • Anonymous
    Feb 17

    Look at the law, and be sure that they aren’t trying to screw you. I’m a teacher that got offered a bathroom and I swiftly kicked up a shit storm, because that’s against the law. Also, you must have pump breaks as frequently as you need. I’ll repeat: As YOU need. Not as often as is convenient for the company. They do not have a say in it. They are in violation of the law if they attempt to tell you you only get a certain time allotted to you.

  • Tiana
    Feb 17

    https://www.worklawyers.com/lactation-break-law-california/ the law is on your side. Look up the specifics and ensure that you’re getting what you need.

  • Myrtle
    Feb 23

    Everybody’s different but my milk supply was pretty sensitive when I was away from my babies so if I did not pump every two hours my supply would diminish. With my first child people told me I needed to pump for 10 to15 minutes so that’s what I did. With the second I did not pump for a certain length of time but just until I got the volume I wanted usually 3 to 4 ounces (usually took 5 to 10 minutes). I did have a dedicated lactation room which was super helpful. Good luck!