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Expressing breast milk at work

Discussion in 'Parenting' started by hdavis7612, Apr 28, 2012.

  1. hdavis7612

    hdavis7612 New commenter

    Hi all

    I'll be returning to work in July and if all goes to plan will still be breast feeding. Does anyone know if work is legally obligated to provide us with extra time or facilities for expressing as well as storage? I'm returning to the nursery where we only have a 45 minute lunch break which starts after the morning session ends. The lunch break is regularly shortened by parents collecting their children late. I'm just worried that I'll barely have enough time to express let alone gulp down my lunch. My daughter will be partially weaned but will still be having 1-2 feeds while she is in childcare and I am anxious about keeping up my supply and not leaving it too long between feeds/expressing times. Any advice, thoughts, etc. would be greatly appreciated.
  2. pixel

    pixel New commenter

  3. Hi hdavis,
    I'm not in the UK but can offer some input if it helps. I went back to work when baby was just over 2 months (maternity leave was only for this length of time) but was determined to carry on exclusively bf-ing. I had a good idea of what it would entail as I had a similar experience with first baby.
    When expressing the first time around, I had about 40 minutes for lunch. At this point, I used a single electric pump and it would take around 25 minutes to get about 6oz from both. I did have about ten minutes left over for lunch. This time around, I am using the Avent double pump and for two days of the week, I literally have about 15 minutes for lunch and expressing. However, I tend to have my lunch a little bit earlier (appreciate this may not be possible for you) so I only have to express.
    In the early days when lo was about 4 months, I used to be able to express about 8-9oz in 20 minutes. Now, he's on solids at 10 and a half months, still bf and it takes me about 10-15 minutes to express 6oz. It does help that on weekends, I express between feeds so that I have a bottleful of milk that he can have on Monday. I also use the milk I expressed on the Friday at work to give him a bottle on Sunday, so I can express some milk for Tuesday, if that makes sense.
    It's something that I would say requires a lot of commitment but I do feel that it's worth it for me. I did it for a year the first time around, and will do it again until a year if I can. It can be tough on some days. It doesn't take as long as you would think and you may be surprised with how quickly it can be done once you get the hang of it.
    Good luck!

  4. ooh forgot to add - in terms of storing it:
    I bought the sealing pads that you attach to the screw-on bit of the avent bottle to create a lid. I then put the bottle upright into a thinsulate avent bag and put it into the communal fridge. There have been no issues with this at all.

  5. I returned to work when my daugher was 14 weeks, she is exclusively breast fed apart from now having a few solids now at 23 weeks. I feed her before I leave for work and express once or twice during the day then feed her when I get back. That siad I'm not currently working in a school and I have my own office....
    Storing it, I use breast milk storage bags and have a little insulated lunchbox thing to carry them home on the train in. The university have provided me with a fridge. It does loook like you'll be expressing during lunch by the sounds of it.
  6. hdavis7612

    hdavis7612 New commenter

    Cheers hmummy, thanks for all the info. Fortunately I've been doing what you do-expressing immediately after or between feeds- since my daughter was 8 weeks old (she's now nearly 5 months) and now manage to accumulate roughly a small bottle (4-6 oz) by the end of the day. Since she started sleeping through the night I've also been expressing before I go to bed which gives me a further 3-6 oz. Unless I know I'm going to be somewhere it's inconvenient to bf her such as in the car, all this milk goes in the freezer so I have quite a little stockpile at the moment. I've had a double electric pump from the get go but used it mainly as a single as I found it never seemed to have enough power to pump both sides at the same time quickly or efficiently. It would take 40 minutes to do both sides. I just managed to acquire a second double electric from a friend though and can get the same amounts in half the time so I'm not quite as worried as I was. I'm still a bit concerned though that I'll be massively engorged by lunchtime as when I do return to work I'll be breast feeding around 630 AM and then not again until 1145 AM! Might need to see about squeezing in a quick pumping session as soon as I get to work, but before the children arrive. I'll be starting weaning in a couple of weeks and I guess by July my daughter will possibly have dropped her mid morning feed which might make things easier as well. Guess I just have to wait and see at the moment. Will need to speak to school re:storage though. We've got a mini fridge in the Nursery but there's only enough space for the childrens' milk and fruit so they might need to purchase another one!
  7. hdavis7612

    hdavis7612 New commenter

    I think I'll be doing the same. She'll be fed at 6:30 AM before we leave for the child minder at 7 and then again as soon as we're home which will hopefully be by 5:30 PM or just before bed as she'll most likely be having tea by then (she'll be 7 months in July). My main issue is whether I can go from the early morning feed until lunchtime before expressing and then from lunchtime until I'm home. I think I'll have to try and squeeze in a quick pumping session as soon as I get to work, but before the children arrive. Just means I'll have to make sure my Nursery Nurse and I are on the ball and have everything set up the afternoon before.
  8. This may not help. By the time I returned to work, my LO was on 3 milk feeds a day - 1 in the morning, 1 at about 2 and 1 at night. I was lucky enough that I had enough milk stored for the 16 days so that he had enough to drink it from a cup!!! (he wouldn't take a bottle) and by September he was on 2 feeds. How old is your LO? x
  9. hdavis7612

    hdavis7612 New commenter

    She'll be 7 months when I go back in July so am wondering if she'll have dropped down to 3 feeds by then (she's on 4 now and sleeps through the night ). We're starting weaning next week so guess I'll have a better idea on how her milk intake will change once the weaning is established. If she's dropped the mid morning feed by July I suspect pumping at lunchtime only will be fine. And at the moment I do have enough stored for the 15 days in July and will be continuing to add to my freezer stash so that should get us through any potential problems I hope! That's good your LO would drink from a cup! Mine will thankfully take a bottle, but I'm going to introduce a cup when I start weaning so am hoping she'll take to that as well and I can just ditch the bottles.

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