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Thursday, May 17, 2012

Office Pumping Set-up

I have been back to work for almost 3 months now and have my milk expression routine set up.  When I was pumping for N back in 2008, I had my own room.  However, due to space rationalization issues, my employer renovated our office and we are temporarily assigned to another room while our office is still being fixed.  In our temporary room, our set-up is an "open office" with no dividers in between. Luckily, we have a pantry which has become my "pumping room".  
Set-up at the pantry

We also have a refrigerator in the pantry where I store my milk.  Meanwhile, my horns go in the plastic box and in the chiller in between pumps.  However, there are days that I can't use the pantry and must pump at my desk.  Happily, we are a small office (with only 6 employees in the open office set-up) and my back is against the wall.  So when necessary, I pump at my desk.
Pumping at my desk
How does my pumping schedule look like? While E is young, I try to squeeze in 4 sessions during the day - 830am, 11-1130am, 130pm-2pm and 4pm-430pm.  I previously wrote a post on maintaining my milk supply when I was nursing N and I realized that I kept pretty much the same routine.

What are my pumping essentials?  Of course, a good pump  - this time, I'm using a Freestyle (which deserves a separate post), a nursing cover, my hands-free band, alcohol (or some other disinfectant), plastic storage case, some paper towels, and of course a refrigerator.

The nursing cover  I use is called Pirose made by Reno Rose. It is  huge piece of cloth with a hole in the middle where I slip my head through and the fabric fully covers my front and back.  I find that this cover is perfect for pumping because I also need to have my back covered, especially when I am trying to wear my hands-free pump band.

With N, I hadn't discovered the hands-free pump band yet.  Now, I can't imagine pumping without it!  Even during my pumping sessions at home, the hands-free pump band is a must.  I am able to multi-task, especially when I am working on my desk.  The brand I use is PumpEase and I have both the petite and regular sized bands.  The petite is cheaper but covers just about 2/3 of your breasts while the regular sized band is wider - giving more support although more expensive.
Update: Pumping bands are locally available: Pumpease from my online store, Mama.Baby.Love and Simple Wishes from Babymama.


It usually takes me about 12-15 minutes to set-up, pump and pack up.  I keep my pumping time to about 10-11 minutes and spent the rest of the time packing up.  I store the horns in the chiller until the next session - this saves me time as I don't have to wash or sterilize in between sessions.  I also keep my expressed milk in bottles in the refrigerator (not in the freezer) as I have to travel home with the milk and don't want a drastic change in temperature.  Also, refrigerated milk is more nutritious than frozen milk so E takes my refrigerated milk the next day.

During the work week, I keep the expressed milk in the refrigerator at home for E's consumption.  We only freeze whatever is left on Friday night.  The frozen milk is stored for future use - to be mixed in E's food when he starts solids or to be donated (when we run out of freezer space!).

Are you a pumping and working mom as well? What's your schedule and routine like?

60 comments:

applesanddumplings said...

Jenny, where did you buy your big alcohol?

I can't wait to breastfeed again! But not really looking forward to pump at my office again. Hehe.. madami nanaman akong bitbit. LOL.

Jenny said...

hi cai! shopwise!! :D you said it. the pump bag is an extra bag! plus my baon pa

Yen said...

i'm about to blog about pumping also! :-) i'm really not very good at keeping a schedule. so far i've been pumping maybe 2- 3 times a day. i have a hands free band but i find it hassle to use when i'm at home (i'm impatient). i'm planning to pump while driving (haha!) and today should be my first day to. we'll see how it goes. hahaha!

do you pump pa at night? (aside from the 4 pumps during the day?)

Lily_palma said...

My baby is 11 months, I can't wait to stop pumping next month! I don't love pumping but I did it for my older son for 1 year so I figured I would do the same for my second son just to make things even lol. I work 12 hours as a nurse and I try to pump every 4 hours, at 9, 1, and 5 pm. My milk supply is going down but thank goodness he's almost 1 year old anyway. I'm proud to have provided milk for my sons but I can't wait to stop.

Belle said...

there is a local hands free band that I bought in moms expo, i think for less than php500.i cant also leave without it. ive been pumping in my office area for a year now.

Miss v said...

Do you use a manual or electric pump to go with pumpease? Which do u think s more effective to use - manual or electric? Getting ready before i go back to work this june..

Jenny said...

hi yen! no, I don't pump anymore when I get home.  that's it for the day.  pero I do pump early in the morning, as soon as I wake up and if E is still asleep.  The pumping band is a lifesaver for me!! i can do so many other things while pump.. like internet or reading reports. ;) i can't imagine how i lasted 2++ years pumping for N without it!

Jenny said...

congratulations lily!! that is my question nga about people who work in the service industry.  how do they find time to pump? i'm an office worker kase so I can schedule around my pumps.  but like you, as a nurse, I admire you for your perseverance! almost 1 year!! - how do you do it in between taking care of patients? 

Khaye @ legallymama said...

 I also blogged about my pumping routine a few weeks back. I've been expressing milk at work ever since my maternity leave ended and my routine is similar to yours for the first few months. Now that my son is on solid food, I'm relieved that I don't need to express milk that often!

It's the first time I heard about pump band. It's a brilliant idea, I should try one soon!

Anne Margaux Quezada said...

Hi Jen. I pump at 8:30-9am, 12-1pm, 4:30-5pm. I pump at least 10-15 mins. I usually have my own room so I don't have a hard time expressing milk. I don't have a refrigerator in my room so I bring along my victoria cooler bag to store everything. Like you, I store the horns in a plastic container which fits my cooler bag. I use the spectra pump in my office. When I'm at home, I use the ameda (which I won on a blog contest) or the medela freestyle, when I have to. BUt usually I feed M directly when I'm at home.  When I'm out on a convention or seminar, it's either in a room or the comfort room or the car.

I'm curious about your nursing cover :)

Myla said...

My baby is 5 months today. I usually pump after waking up because my left breast is engorged in the morning. My baby prefers the right even while he is sleeping. Then the next is in bet 8-9, 11-12,  then 5 before going home. I usually miss the 8-9 schedule because that's my clinic time, and it is difficult to tell patients, "ops time out, I have to pump."
I don't have permanent place  as I have to go from one hospital to another. My "routine" started 2 weeks postpartum, yes I didn't enjoy my maternity leave. 
During the his first 4 weeks, when I'm still forcing him to latch, I used Avent single electric. I didnt like it. Luckily for me, a friend of mine, who is also a pumping mama, introduced me to baby mama. I bought unimom forte. I love it but its difficult to carry wherever I go. So I placed it near my desktop where I pump every morning. It is unimom's permanent place now. What I'm using at work is medela freestyle, very convenient for all moms like me.

Sky'sMom said...

Where can I find PumpEase here in the Philippines? Thanks!

Belle_dizon said...

hi, i bought mine from tiny tots. it's similar to pump ease but a lot cheaper.ill find the contact details.

Lily_palma said...

I work in a women and children's hospital in Hawaii, I work in a postpartum/surgery/oncology unit so they understand how important it is for me to pump. My postpartum moms are amazed too that I've been doing it for almost a year and I kind of give them ideas how to do it when they go back to work since maternity leave here is from 6 to 12 weeks only. I make sure my patients' needs are taken care of and as much as possible my charge nurse doesn't need to do anything for them while I'm gone for 15 minutes. If they do call my phone I forward it to my charge or another nurse, my coworkers have been very supportive. If our floor has empty clean rooms then I would use that room but most of the time I go down to the lactation room. I'm glad they finally provided the lactation room since they didn't have it with my first baby.

Jenny said...

Hi Anne!  It is www.renorose.com. I dunno if locally available.  But it looks like a big poncho! I think you can buy a printed dark chiffon fabric then have it made by your mananahi. If you click that link, may diagram on sizing and you can show that to the mananahi.  Ooh you have several pumps din pala! Would you like to share a post reviewing them?   I'm curious why you don't use the freestyle when you are at your office?

Jenny said...

I also have a unimom forte!!  And yes, I love its suction power too.. pero yun lang nga.. big and bulky and no batteries. How do you like switching from one pump to another? Currently, I have 3 pumps - Unimom Forte, Hygeia and Freestyle.  Pero I find na my milk output varies if I use different pumps throughout my pumping day.  Or baka it's all in my mind.  Haha!

Jenny said...

Hi Skye! I sell PumpEase at my online store.  Here's a list of other places where you can buy pumping bands (shared at my FB page): 
Chronicles of a Nursing Mom Hi Mia you can buy from Mama.Baby.Love (that's my online store) or Mamaway Phil (Granada/Gilmore) or Medela House (New Manila) if you want to fit. Babymama.ph sells a different brand - Simple Wishes but it is also a pumping brand. Hope this helps!18 hours ago · Like ·  1Medela Moms Aside from PumpEase, Medela House will soon be carrying the Easy Expression Bustier (still another brand) : ) It should be available by next week : )13 hours ago · Like

Jenny said...

Here belle - http://shoptinytots.multiply.com/journal/item/973  How do you like it?

Gynne Lim said...

Hi! I'm curious, why did you choose Freestyle over Hygeia? I'm about to buy another pump and been deliberating which one to buy! haha! 

Bing Guevara said...

I'm using Medela Freestyle, next9 nursing cover and a plastic container for the parts. I'm lucky to have my own office room so I just lock the door whenever I pump. My scheduled pumping time is 9:30,12:30, 3:30. But most of the time, I pump inside the car while on my way home. I setup everything na before I even start driving. I just remove everything when I get home na.

I set an alarm on my phone to remind me of my schedule. Sometimes kasi I forget na because of my work load.

I'm interested on your nursing cover. Will check out the site. That's better kasi especially if I need to pump while in the car ;)

Bing Guevara said...

Hi Jenny,

Thanks for the tip. I'll just make one for myself. Ayan I have a reason to go to Fabric Warehouse :)

Bing Guevara said...

I forgot to mention, I've been using the handsfree kit that came along the Freestyle pump. Jenny, thanks for mentioning the handsfree band. I haven't tried it and now I'm really curious if it's more convenient as compared to using the Freestyle handsfree kit.

Myla said...

With freestyle, mabilis ang let-down compared to unimom. The amount of milk produced almost the same naman pero shorter period of time pag freestyle ang gamit ko. Im not using the handsfree kit kasi nahihirapan ako. I have pumping band before but I left it in a hotel during one of our convention. I'm planning to buy another one, can't decide what brand. 

Jenny said...

Bing, you can check the bands at Medela House if you want to fit.  Since I use it for all my pumping sessions, I find it easier to set up than the freestyle handsfree kit. :D  And if you're driving and pumping, i think using the next9 cover is sufficient already. i sometimes pump in the car and don't use a nursing cover.  luckily, I have a driver and I guess sanay na siya (or he doesn't have a choice!) haha!

Jenny said...

thanks myla!! i had the same experience. i agree with you na freestyle encourages faster let down.  maybe that's why i thought i could get more milk.  i am impatient and want to pump fast (10-15 minutes, as opposed to the recommended 15-20minutes).  but come to think of it, you are right, I get the same amount of milk but longer time lang.  However, the price difference is certainly something to consider.  Unimom is just 7.5K while freestyle is 22K.  

Jenny said...

Hi Gynne! I bought a hygeia first.  Then I received the freestyle as a gift.  Both are battery operated.  BUT the freestyle is dual volt and smaller.  Hygeia is 110v. I was already happy with the performance of my Hygeia but i think the 2-phase expression system and built-in timer sealed the deal for me for freestyle.  Usually kase when I pump, I do some other things.  The Hygeia doesn't have a built-in timer - so I have to watch the time how long I have been pumping and the dials are manual - so you adjust the speed/suction yourself.  The freestyle has a timer - showing how many minutes you've pumped and it automatically switches from fast short sucks to slow long sucks after 2 minutes.  Unlike direct breastfeeding, I find pumping mechanical and want to get over it quickly. So I try to distract myself doing other things and I feel i get better milk flow by doing that, rather than focusing on the pumping act. Hope this helps!

Jenny said...

Hi Miss v! I'm a fan of electric pumps.  My sister loves her manual pump.  Another officemate uses hand expression.  Pumpease works with an electric pump - you need your hands for manual pumps or hand expression.  BUT some moms find that they respond better to manual pump because they can adjust the strength of the suction whereas with an electric pump, it is set.  Also, I find that I can usually get more milk out when I hand express after pumping. 

Jenny said...

then you are perfect for your job!! you can best influence moms to breastfeed beyond 6 months :D kudos to you!

Larissa Viado-Ocampo said...

i use an ameda purely yours double electric for pumping at work and sometimes at home to build ref supply.  i usually pump at 8am before i leave for work, at 1130/1pm then 3pm and i try to squeeze in another session at 5-6pm or pump when i get home before i direct feed.  i aim for 10mins minimum pump time per session, every 2-3hrs if achievable (and when i don't have meetings out of the office).  even if baby is now on solids at 7mos, i still try to follow this sked especially during growth spurts.  however when at home during weekends and at night, i direct feed.  baby at breast still is more effective than pumping.  co-sleeping makes it convenient to direct feed at night too.  helps me make up for the time i'm away from baby.

haven't used a pump band though.  might try that one!

Jenny said...

i agree with you larissa! nothing beats baby when it comes to drawing the milk out! in my experience, E is able to get milk out even if I just pumped.  MER (milk ejection reflex) is longer or slower, but he is still able to get the milk out. 

leila said...

i have a 4 month old and my pumping schedule is the same as yours: 8:30. 11:30, 1:30 and 4:00PM. sometimes i can only pump 3 times a day but that's fine too. i am the only pumping mom in my office as i work in a male dominated field. my bosses have been ever so kind to allow me use of an extra room so i can pump in private. it used to be a storage room of sorts but they have cleared it and made space so i can comfortably have a desk and a few chairs. our aircon is really really cold in our office so i just bring my insulated bag, pack several ice packs and store my milk there. i don't like to leave my milk in the fridge in our pantry because i don't like the idea of anyone touching my stuff. so far, this arrangement has worked well for me. i use a medela PISA which has been great.

Jenny said...

glad to hear that you have supportive officemates, despite being in a male denominated environment! some moms do choose to bring their own cooler/chiller.  and yes, it is possible also!

katrinavalerio said...

Hi Jenny! I recently went back to work last Wednesday after my maternity leave. My baby is a preemie born 3 months short of his due date so up to now he hasn't latched to me yet because he's still at NIC U. I pump 6 times a day; 5:30am (at home) 8:30am (inside the car), 12noon, 3pm (both at the office), 7pm(inside the car), 9:30pm (at home). I did not breastfeed with my firstborn so breastfeeding is all new to me. It's not easy at all! I have a whole new respect for breastfeeding moms. Thank you for putting up your blog. it's so informative. almost all my concerns and questions about breasfeeding were answered by your blog. More power to you!

Jenny said...

thanks for sharing your experience Katrina! Actually, my own breastfeeding experience with my first baby inspired me to start this blog.  When I had troubles with N, I relied on US forums, blogs and emailed friends.  But not everyone has a breastfeeding support network so I thought of starting a blog to document my experiences and allow Filipino moms to read them and perhaps connect like-minded moms even if they are strangers :D

Larissa Viado-Ocampo said...

yes, i also experience that sometimes.  when pumping at work, i notice i have 'lumps of milk' that i can't pump out even if i massage or do breast compressions.  but when i get home and direct feed baby, he manages to get it!  galing!

Ana Jane said...

i use unimom allegro and it's okay naman. I pump 4x a day :)

Brenda Barrientos - Vallarta said...

I have a five-month old and returned to work just last March 26 My office schedule is 12-9 pm. I pump 3 times while at work - 2pm,5 pm and 8 pm.  It's a good thing my officemates also support breastfeeding.
In the morning i try to pump as soon as i wake up, if my baby isn't awake yet. If he's up, i try to squeeze one more pump if i'm done nursing him.
Thanks, i'll try storing the horns in the ref in between sessions, this will definitely save time

Gynne Lim said...

Wow! Super thanks! That is really very helpful! I wanna get a freestyle na rin since I'm doing multiple stuffs too while pumping hehe! Thanks again! 

Jenny said...

Hi Ana Jane! it varies from woman to woman and from the time of the day.  Average woman pumps about 2-4 ounces at the office.  This amount goes lower as baby gets older though.  Thanks!

Ana Jane said...

Thanks. is this per breast or both na? :)

Jenny said...

both breasts na. 

Ana Jane said...

Thanks again. :) 

Jenny said...

hi bernadette! i don't think it is locally available.  i bought mine online.  Eden has a similar one called glamouflage - 
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=214504735243574&set=a.214504668576914.67650.146206415406740&type=3&theater

Mleinor_bautista said...

Hi jenny,

Thanks for this post. I am getting ready myself to wean my baby as she is going 1yr old. Kaso it looks like she is not yet ready to wean herself :) i still direct feed her at night but at office i can no longer pump 4x before:( 2x-3x nalang the whole day.. I hope i can go back with my routine... Thanks!

Jenny said...

2x-3x a day for a 1 year old is a pretty good routine already! don't stress yourself out. past one, baby is slowly making solids the main part of her diet :D

Luchi Ann said...

Hi Jenny! My daughter is 15months old and I have been exclusively(direct) breastfeeding her from day one. Now Im planning to go back to work. I have only  pumped once or twice when she was months old. I started pumping today, got only half an ounce and tonight it didnt even make it to half! Reviewed your posts and I'll try tomorrow morning, you mentioned you get more milk early morning. Anyway, when Naima was this age, how much would she consume in one feeding and how many feedings did she have in a day? I couldnt tell with my daughter she nurses by the demand and time in between varies all the time. I just want to leave as much milk as I can, so my husband doesnt succumb to giving her formula! Just to, when my daughter was having one of her tantrums while nursing, my husband commented that maybe I didnt have anymore milk for her after pumping! So much for moral support!

Jenny said...

congratulations Luchi Ann! the milk stash will build up slowly. If  I remember right, at this age, she can consume 5-6oz. per feeding. pero she only takes in about 8oz. total during the whole day that I am away.  Sometimes just 7oz. na lang. Kase she was eating more na and she just needed the milk for her afternoon nap - so this amount will depend 5 or 6 or 7oz. tapos sometimes, may extra 1-2oz. for practice in her sippy cup. hope this helps!

Luchi Ann said...

 Hi Jenny! This definitely helps, 7-8 oz I can do! She nurses frequently when I'm around, but when I left her with the nanny for the whole afternoon, she fell asleep without asking for it. My husband already bought a soy based formula for her just in case he said ( Im thinking of throwing it away!). She eats three full meals and drinks fresh soy milk , she has food allergies,but she still nurses everytime she wants to especially before her nap. I will try to squeeze in more pumping sessions before I return to work. Pumping will not affect my supply when I direct feed her right ?Thanks!

Jenny said...

Yes, pumping won't affect. kase baby draws out more milk than pump. so even if you nurse right after you pump, baby can still get milk. but MER (milk ejection reflex) might take longer.  Why need to give soy based formula? just give her the fresh soy milk when she asks for it before she naps

Luchi Ann said...

 I havent thought of that! Thats a great idea. I think my husband is worried the nanny would have a problem putting her down for her nap, when shes used to nursing before she sleeps. He's thinking of giving her a bottle before nap times ( if I cant pump enough milk).

Patty said...

Hi Jenny!  I'm  committed both to pumping breastmilk for my 7-month old baby boy and my work.  I've been pumping religiously for 5 months already. Sad thing is, at 3 months old, I couldn't pump enough so we had to mix-feed him.  :( When I'm home  though, I make it a point to feed him directly. It was heartbreaking for me to give him formula but I appreciate what my pedia told me - it does not make me a bad mom because I really tried my very best.  I still feel bad sometimes because I'm really committed to breatfeeding my child.  He's currently  on-off exclusive breastfeeding, depending on how much milk I can pump. I've tried everything that will  help  boost my milk  supply - malunggay tea, capsules, relaxation techniques, proper hydration, pumping every two hours, lactation cookies,  etc., but it still  has not increased significantly.  Now, I'm  just thankful that I'm able to breastfeed and I hope to breastfeed  for as long as I can.  :) 

Bernadette said...

 Sis, try mo Fenugreek. I got mine from Healthy Options. Brand is Solgar. You take 3 caps per meal, so bale 9 caps in a day. Couple this with constant feeding and pumping and within a week, there should be a considerable increase in your milk supply. Once you've attained your desired milk supply level, wean yourself off the Fenugreek caps by decreasing the amount you're taking little by little. Your milk supply should stay on that level na.

Jenny said...

Thanks for sharing your story Patty! Yes, breastfeeding is not the end all of being a good mother.  Your commitment and dedication show that you are a great mom to your child! :)  Kudos on continuing and don't give up!

Luchi Ann said...

 Hi Jenny! Im looking for a good quality breast pump, price range within 5-10k  that is portable/battery operated. Can you please recommend one? I have a manual and electric breast pump which takes so much time extracting milk.  Thanks

Jenny said...

check babymama.ph. she has an ameda purely yours for about 8K. it can be battery operated. 

Luchi Ann said...

 Thanks! Will check it out!Can I use a pumping band with the ameda purely yours?

Jenny said...

yes you can :)

Luchi Ann said...

 Thanks again :)

Jenny said...

i use an electric pump. it varies from mom to mom. some officemates handexpress their milk and are able to get 4ounces per expression

Jenny said...

yes, i can't believe i survived pumping for N for 2 years without it!

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