how common is it to express milk for your baby at work?

(69 Posts)
yourclavicle Sun 25-Nov-12 10:18:35

I've been thinking about this as I'm currently expressing for the second time at work. I seem to be regarded with quite a few confused shock hmm faces and a lot of people have never even heard of expressing.

when i asked about expressing facilities when returning to work after DC1 was born, it was the first time anyone had ever asked in a workplace with hundreds of employees. It's quite nice that 2 others have since been able to use the facilities though. smile

is it really an odd/unusual thing to do?

it's a bit of a pita on a daily basis, but it allows me to carry on bf and I'm happy to do it.

if it wasn't for the fact that my wage is highest, I'd rather have me and my boobs at home instead of DH though, it'd be easier! grin

AuntPepita Sun 25-Nov-12 10:24:32

I did, but I also had to ask for somewhere to o it as we had just moved into an open plan office; even the meeting rooms were made of glass!

They put some blinds on one of them for me. That was 4 years ago though and despite loads of babies since then, no one else has.

GotMyGoat Sun 25-Nov-12 10:30:41

yep - i was the first one at my worklace to ask for an expressing room - it's not very common and if you look at the stats you can see why - many women don't go back to work till baby is 11/12 months old, and only 3% of mothers are still breastfeeding by five months, and I think it drops down to 1% after six months, and then a lot of women don't go back to work at all.

I went back to work at 7 months, and pumped 2/3 times a day, stopped pumping at all by 11 months as dd was perfectly happy to wait for me to come home to feed by then.

I didn't speak to a lot of people about it at work, although my office knew why i had longer breaks, and had a discreet handbag with all my bits in. I was happy to talk about it, but didn't want to shove it in peoples faces if they didn't want to know!

I was speaking to a breastfeeding support health visitor last week who insisted that breastfeeding breaks have to be separate to lunch breaks and are paid - I insisted she was wrong! Would have made my life a lot easier if i didn't have to eat my lunch whilst pumping, in my 30 min break so i could get back to my baby asap.

gemma4d Sun 25-Nov-12 10:36:00

I did, but it wasn't particularly enjoyable. I expressed one feed a day between age 6 months and 8 months, then switched to formula for the one feed a day which I worked through.

I hand expressed until I got brave enough to ask to use the (unused) medical room which had - bliss of all blisses - a plug!

yourclavicle Sun 25-Nov-12 10:36:21

pretty much the same as me. have had to go back at 6/7 months and with dc1 stopped at around 11 months. smile

i also only talk about it if someone asks!

i forgot about the bf stats being why it was so unusual. blush duh.

BrianButterfield Sun 25-Nov-12 10:38:14

When I went back to work, DS was 9 months old, old enough to go without milk in the day, and he wouldn't drink from a bottle anyway. I fed him before and after work which was fine. I really wouldn't have wanted to express at work unless I really had to. I think it's quite common in the US though, where they have shorter ML.

yourclavicle Sun 25-Nov-12 10:38:33

i have a plug in my room too, but have back up batteries just in case! grin

yourclavicle Sun 25-Nov-12 10:42:50

i work some unsociable hours so it's the bedtime feed i need to express for the longest, i was able to stop during the day sooner.

RichManPoorManBeggarmanThief Sun 25-Nov-12 10:51:10

I do. DD is 16 weeks and I'm back at work 3 days a week. I express a feed every morning and was planning to mixed feed, but DD has had a reaction to formula so the GP said to keep her off it if possible. Live overseas so no "right to expressing room". Have to sit in the loo- fortunately they are extremely clean. Also, I'm a contractor so I bill my hours- therefore I'm expressing in my own time.

However, expressing is very common amongst professional women as mat leave is only 45 working days (9 weeks) and bf rates are very high within that demographic. Sometimes I do hear the pumps going when I go into the bathroom grin. I am just waiting for the day when someone nicks my breast milk for their tea.

I have to admit that before I had a baby, I didn't know about expressing so it's not that weird that many people don't know that it exists as a concept. Also, as Goat says, with mat leave at 1 year, and most women taking 6 months, you can see why not many women actually need to express given bfing rates at 6 months are so low.

RingoBaa Sun 25-Nov-12 10:56:02

I also live abroad and maternity leave is only 8 weeks here so expressed in the sick room. I'm sure except for the nurse my colleagues had no idea but I suspect expressing is much more common in countries like the US where maternity leave is very short. British women are lucky to get so much time off.

ChunkyPickle Sun 25-Nov-12 11:06:08

I don't know about the UK, but when I was hiring abroad (Malaysia) a potential employee asked about facilities (which we didn't have - I ended up giving her a key first to the server room, and then a store room! - the few offices had windows and no blinds/weren't lockable)

I hadn't had a baby at the time, so it took me a couple of seconds to catch up with the question, but after that it was no problem at all, no-one cared, no-one had a problem (although I understand she had to pass out network cables a couple of times in an emergency!) - I just felt guilty that I couldn't offer her somewhere a bit more comfortable!

lyndie Sun 25-Nov-12 11:25:41

I did with all 3 of mine but I had my own office that I could lock myself in. My work bought me a fridge! I had 2 or 3 expressing breaks per day, separate from normal breaks. There was no problem as my employer had a breast feeding policy and I had to write to say what my plans were. The only thing that did happen initially was that sometimes someone would knock on the door as I was in the middle of things so I made as sign with a picture of a baby and a breast pump that said 'I'm busy' and that stopped any interruptions!

OOAOML Sun 25-Nov-12 11:43:11

I did both times (UK, quite a big company). I was able to use a first aid room on the understanding that if there was a first aid emergency I would leave. Second baby I was in a different building and had keys for a locked fridge, they didn't have that first time. I used an electric pump for a while, had to have someone from Premises check the cable was ok first but that was standard at the time for bringing in anything electrical.

Some colleagues thought it was a bit weird, but first time round I was working in an area where very few people had children so they probably hadn't thought about it.

GotMyGoat Sun 25-Nov-12 12:12:51

I hadn't heard of expressing before I was pregnant - so I could understand how weird it sounded to colleagues - like the idea of the illustrated 'I'm busy' sign!

Compared to the US we are incredibly lucky - but I have heard that in other european countries you are entitled by law to paid expressing breaks, so i'm a little jealous of that.

I had a fridge bought for me, as my employers were very worried about me using the staff fridge for the milk-in-tea reason!

englishbreakfast Sun 25-Nov-12 13:02:42

I'm in the UK. I went back to work when DD was 9.5 months and expressed for 2.5 months at work as wanted to BF till she was 1yo. I had a small freezer bag with ice blocks, which I then put in the office fridge wrapped up in a couple of shopping bags so it was discreet and there was no chance anyone would open it / see what's inside. The MD of the company, his PA and the receptionist knew but I don't think anyone else did (I didn't even tell my line manager because it never came up. The MD gave permission so I didn't see the need to tell my line manager too and I didn't want to embarrass him (he is quite PC and open minded but also a single man with no children...). I expressed once a day during my lunch hour. I had to use our stationery room as it was the only room with a lock... I was lucky that only a handful of times someone tried to barge in while I was there but the receptionist fobbed them off to wait without telling them I was there expressing.... I think I am the only one who's ever expressed at work in our company... All in all, it wasn't a particularly comfortable experience but I didn't care as was doing it for DD...

I only went back to work after my first, 7 years ago - I went back to teaching in a UK state sector secondary school - they were hugely unhelpful.

I asked about arrangements for expressing, as well as about the possibility of part time working, which they were also unhelpful about (the head informed me in the corridor that "women should make up thier minds, come back full time with your mind on the job or stay at home and look after your baby" though he was very careful to follow the proper channels in formal meetings and written correspondence. With regards to expressing, my head of department gave me a patronising smile and informed me that "Its all very well but schools are different, you can't expect to do that here" and it became a running joke among a couple of colleagues that i should chuck the head out of his office at break times so I could express, as it was the only room where people would knock before entering. I never pursued it, and ended up mixed feeding from 6 months - I stuck to formula during the working day even at weekends (although she never took much) and breast fed before and after working hours. I did continue to BF til 11.5 months, by which time I had handed in my notice. smile

Timeforabiscuit Sun 25-Nov-12 13:54:01

Worked in Local Government, they were absolutely fine with it had a small "reflection room" downstairs that I used and stored in a cool bag in the fridge.

I was quite discrete and didn't say anything about my right to breast feed, I just explained to my manager that it was important to me, I wanted to keep it up and showed how I could do it.

It was a complete faff though especially the washing up, so I ended up going to the nursery at lunchtime and feeding dd there - which was absolutely lovely in the middle of a long day.

Did the same lunchtime feeds for dd2, it's the main reason I stayed with my employer - they were supportive.

Sabriel Sun 25-Nov-12 14:07:37

I was the only person to ever ask in our office. I used the medical room because it had a lock and opaque glass, and they bought me a beer fridge grin

maybenow Sun 25-Nov-12 14:09:37

I only know one person who did it and she went back to work really really early and her dh was a sahd.

Everybody else i know has taken 12 months off and by the time they went back been bf only at bedtime.

CMOTDibbler Sun 25-Nov-12 14:14:08

I was the first to ask at my work (though not a suprise as very few women), and only one other has expressed at work since. I used the first aid room which worked really well.

I expressed for a year at work as I went back ft at 4.5 months, and I expressed all over the world as I travel for work. Managed to store enough that ds never had formula or cows milk as a main drink, and fed till 23 months.

Bouncey Sun 25-Nov-12 15:09:20

No, but I didn't go back until DD was 11 months. I was still BF and fed her in the morning and evenings. As it happened, DD was in a creche in the same building, so I could just have popped downstairs and fed her myself!

Ellietrotter Sun 25-Nov-12 15:13:16

I am a musician and work funny hours so often have to express while in the car-hubby driving!-or in a loo,or in the car if there's nowhere else...feels weird expressing in front of someone so I've often been pumping away in a loo feeling isolated and a bit silly before a concert just in order that I can continue to feed my baby regularly. It's worth it but it's a tricky subject to raise with someone for the first time or sneak off to do it when it would be fine to actually bf baby if baby was there! Tricky but worth it. My second baby,currently 7mo.

littlemisstax Sun 25-Nov-12 15:13:29

I did - went back to wrok 4 days a week when DD was 9 months, she fed until 14 months. I only expressed for my first month, then she'd dropped daytime feeds and my supply had adjusted.

I had no probelm expressing at work - all they needed to do was put a lock on the meeting room door.

I think it was so easy for me as my boss has two girls that she breastfed - I just had to say that I wanted to express and she sorted it all out for me. And I was given as many (paid) breaks as I wanted to express.

mummysmellsofsick Sun 25-Nov-12 15:34:25

I express at work. DS is 12 mo now and I've been doing it a few months. I didn't ask anyone because I use a hand pump and there is a big disabled toilet that no one uses so I go in there and can wash my hands etc beforehand. I keep it in a bag with ice packs and I get about 150 ml every day. I wish it was more normal to be expressing for a toddler but I don't think it's that common sad

Xenia Sun 25-Nov-12 16:09:30

Yes with the first three. I fed immediately before i left the house and as soon as I got home and I expressed every 3 ro4 hours during the day, sometimes more often. I didn't bother asking for a room and just did it in the loo. No one ever seemed tok now or bother and the milk was kept in an insulated freezer bag which stayed cold until I got home. It worked fine and I did it from going back to work around when the babies were 2 weeks old. They all fed to more than a year.

With the twins I was based at home and our nanny got me if they needed a feed - that was much easier.

I also always stored some.

I never fed a baby from a bottle once actually so they seemed to get used their nanny feeding my milk (she stayed 10 years, daily nanny) from a bottle but always when I was home, evenings, all through the night as my babies never slept and weekends/holidays was directly from me.

WantAnOrange Sun 25-Nov-12 16:31:53

DD is 8 weeks old tomorrow and I returned to college 2 weeks ago, for 2 days a week.

The college have been supportive. I never felt any need to explain why BF is important, I just e-mailed my tutor before I returned and asked if there is a private place I could express while I'm there. I use a small room that's usually used for tutorials and has a lock. There's no fridge so I take an insulated bag with an ice pack in it and that keeps the milk cold enough.

I can't ask for specific breaks in lectures obviously but fortunately we have a break mid-morning, mid-afternoon and lunch time.

It's a brand new part of the college, now offering HE so I think I'm the first to ask. There is a nursery at the college which most parents use so they would be able to pop over and BF anyway.

I went back to work fulltime when DS was not yet 3 months, and continued to breast fed him until he was 15 months, so expressed lots at work (and also lots in the car, as my work involves quite a lot of travelling). I have my own office at work (with a lockable door) so it was not difficult (althogh I had to put an unauthorised blower heater in there in the winter to prevent my boobs freezing!). I realise I was quite fortunate in this.

Leafmould Sun 25-Nov-12 18:44:11

I am not surprised to see a couple of people expressing in the toilet.

When I asked for a place to express at work, I was allowed a spare office with no windows. I was not prepared to express in the toilets, as I really felt it is not appropriate, after I had a day at head office soon after I returned from leave, and didn't know who to ask for a private place and did it in the toilets.

This was back in the day where you were only paid for 6 months.

College were better: they had a fridge in their baby feeding/ changing room, however there was no security.

I wasn't sure how important security was to me at the time. Anyone else got any ideas about this?

sleepneeded Sun 25-Nov-12 18:54:17

I never ever expressed (could not really be bothered and never found I expressed enough) but had a baby that wouldn't take formula.

Went back to work ft around a year - kept bfing until ds was nearly 3 yo.

It was quite hard going - feeding right before I left for work say 5am and then as soon as I managed to get home at say 6ish or 6.30 pm.

I used to really worry about it.

In my experience I was contracting so didn't feel I could really even ask for facilities and as I went back when bfing was so well established it all seemed to work out.

My DS just had lots of yoghurt and cheese when I was not around.

My now workplace has no private offices at all - all glass - it really is pathetic and until recently the HR was woeful - and don't have a clue about working mums.

Loislane78 Sun 25-Nov-12 19:27:46

theEnglish that is shocking and the kind of attitude you expect of a one man band start up or something (apologies to all the nice small companies) not a school!!

I'll be going back at 9-10 months so will probably do a bit of expressing. Several nice ladies have paved the way already so first aid room and beer fridge available. Loads of people with young kiddies (male and female) so none one bats and eyelid.

ScaredySquirrel Sun 25-Nov-12 19:32:56

i do. I use the quiet room and there is a fridge which has a lock on it where I can put the milk (it has champagne in too).

i"m a very confident breastfeeder - have done it for all of my children, and have no problems doing it anywhere and everywhere, yet I feel dreadfully inhibited at work. I can barely express any sometimes as I'm petrified of someone seeing me, walking in on me, or hearing me. 'there are a fair few mothers at work, but not many seem to express. (well none, although there was someone a while back who was very open about washing her equipment out).

I don't really like to use the electric pump I have at work because I worry about people hearing me. I know it's more my problem than theirs!

Can I just ask, what do people do about sterilising if they do it more than once? do you just wash the stuff and then re-use it? do you all take the milk home, or is it just for relief so you discard it?

I have gone back earlier with my dd and really don't want my supply to reduce, but I do need to get over my inhibitions I think.

MoaningMingeWhimpersAgain Sun 25-Nov-12 19:38:14

I wasn't BF after the first Mat Leave but after DS I went back at 13m and was expressing to start with. After a few weeks I didn't need to because my supply just adjusted and we fed when at home or on days off.

I did my own H&S assessment for returning to work and was able to borrow a lockable office to use, it already had a fridge so I just blu-tacked a piece of paper to the window for privacy. They allowed me paid breaks to express but they don't have to be paid legally.

MoaningMingeWhimpersAgain Sun 25-Nov-12 19:39:56

Kellymom has some good info on expressing, SecretSquirrel I think you only need to sterilise once a day and just wash it the other times. As fresh human milk has antibacterial properties I think it's less of a problem.

Tinuviel Sun 25-Nov-12 19:42:21

theEnglish, that's really bad that your school felt they couldn't help. I was really lucky - the female deputy head let me use her office at break - I used to turn up, she would close the curtains and leave, I would lock the door and quickly express. She used to go and have a coffee in someone else's office. I didn't need to do it for long (a few weeks) but I really appreciated that she was willing to inconvenience herself for me.

Climbingpenguin Sun 25-Nov-12 19:51:21

I was working in a US uni at the time.

Before 4 months I was finishing my PhD in the UK. I asked for expressing facilities and after some looks of confusion, I was given the key to a dusty store room.

I started the US job at 4 months full time. On campus they had about 6 rooms fitted with comfortable chairs, magazine, fridge and a hospital grade double pump that each mom brought her own adapter and bottles for. I was the only one using the room nearest to my lab. The only other time I encountered another user was when I forgot my key and had to use the one in the library. I could only use them inside normal office hours though.

mmmmsleep Sun 25-Nov-12 19:57:21

I'm a gp so no break times. Used to finish my morning surgery at 12 with bursting boobs and express while eating sandwich and reviewing results then do visits and paperwork and try to express before afternoon surgery often while calling patients back about their questions/results. A few people walked in on me despite sign on door...they soon learnt. My patients told me tbat over the phone my double pump sounded like a photocopier in the background...i didn't correct them!
I took travel steriliser and left bottles in fridge...people would be very odd to ever confuse milk in a baby's bottle with tea milk. Was very open about it as feel if i'm supposed to promote breastfeeding to my patients then least i can do is not be ashamed myself.
Was stressful though trying to fit it all in and work long days . Ds stopped taking bottle at 9m and so i stopped expressing few weeks later and he made up by feeding during night but fed during day when i was off.
Pg at moment..hoping to take longer this time to avoid the pressure of fitting expressing in but finances are looking like may have to go back early againsad

EcoLady Sun 25-Nov-12 19:57:50

I did for both of mine. Back at work at 28 weeks (longest Mat Leave then). I used the First Aid room with the 'occupied' sign up. I was interrupted only once -poor guy didn't know where to look when he realised what I was doing! I had an Avent hand pump and a cool bag for storage. I used microwave sterlising bags in the office kitchen for the pump. My bosses at each time were both older men who simply agreed to my request rather than have a longer discussion that they clearly found embarassing.

Rhienne Sun 25-Nov-12 19:59:11

I BF to 13 months with DS1. I went back to work at 3 months, which is very unusual for where I am, but worked for DH and I due to our relative work commitments. DH was home with DS until he was 9 months, then we swapped again and I was home.

I expressed at work. Think I'm the only one who's done it in my work place as most women are home until after they've stopped feeding in the day here. I used the rest room. Had to keep moving a little chair and table in though, as someone else obviously thought there should only be a bed in the rest room, and that was hell on my back. I put the bags in the open freezer, not sure what colleagues thought about that. Got a few odd looks while washing up my pump, but that's education for you! smile

I expressed once a day for DS from returning to work (when he was about 4.5 months) to when he was about 7 months. I've just finished feeding him at 11.5 months.

Work were great- although I work in what's traditionally a blokey/macho public service, my boss had just become a dad again, and his wife was bf'ing, so he was madly supportive. Whether I'd successfully established bf'ing was the first question he asked me on my return smile!

I just used the meeting room, which could be locked, stuck up a notice which covered the glass and told people it was engaged, and got on with it. Popped it in a container (non-see through) and it went in the communal fridge. Took the extra half hour I needed which was fine as you're allowed 1 hour.

When out of the office and on different sites I ended up expressing in some - albeit entirely suitable and comfortable- mad, mad places you wouldn't believe!

catgirl1976 Sun 25-Nov-12 20:10:42

I did

It was ok. The eldery, male cleaner walked in on me once which nearly killed him grin

girliefriend Sun 25-Nov-12 20:48:32

I didn't, I am a community nurse and when I went back to work it was with a new team and I didn't want to appear to be awkward or be having to worry about the practicalities!! Dd was about 7mos when I went back p/t and I continued to bf her just morning and evening until she was about 11mo. She had formula during the day with the cm. Dd was always quite easy to mix feed though.

If I had another baby though I would like to think I would be more assertive about expressing at work as would like to bf for longer if possible.

WhatLarks Sun 25-Nov-12 20:55:01

My work were very accommodating - gave me my own fridge, fitted locks to the door of the sick room, allowed me as much time as I wanted to express.

However when I provided said milk to DS' nursery they were astounded - no one had ever provided EBM to them before!

beginnings Sun 25-Nov-12 21:02:52

Did any of you freeze your milk or did you just give the previous day's EBM to your child-carer the following day? I'm going back to work three days a week in January when my LO will be eight months.

At the moment, I express one bottle's worth in the morning which she then has in the evening with her dinner. My problem is that my EBM doesn't freeze well. It tastes REALLY foul. I've done a bit of reading and think that there might be an excess of lipase in my milk which is causing it to go sour more quickly than normal. However, I won't be able to express on a Monday enough for Tuesday as she'll need it on the day!

I've started to introduce formula (she's 6.5 months) but I'm not very happy about it. Although it was very nice to go out from 12 to 5 today without her. It's the first time I've done it although I did actually sprint home from the station to see her.

Xiaoxiong Sun 25-Nov-12 21:13:19

I went back full-time when DS was 6 months and expressed every 3-4 hours. I managed about 6 weeks, at which point DS had two bottles of formula during the day and a big BF morning and evening (which has lasted, now just coming up to a year and we're still going strong).

My work knew they should be accommodating but for an all female department it was surprising that the HR team weren't sure what to do - at first they told me to use the disabled toilet which I rejected out of hand, let alone the fact that it didn't have a plug. I had to spell out what I needed and they ended up letting me use the first aid room. They wouldn't give me a key though which was really annoying - I had to ring facilities to let me in if it was locked.

It was certainly worth it to tide over the period between EBF and mixed feeding and enabled us to continue breastfeeding this long, but I agree with whoever said they found it stressful. I was constantly worrying about someone walking in on me (even with the engaged sign on the door), worrying about the noise, thinking I should be back at my desk when expressing and when I was at my desk I was worrying about leaking, my boobs ached etc but I couldn't spare the time to express more frequently. Also I only got a let down if I relaxed and thought about DS, looked at pictures of him etc - so much for getting any work done while expressing!

PeppermintCreams Sun 25-Nov-12 21:13:43

I didn't because I returned to work at around a year and only for 2 days a week, so it was easy for me to build up milk the rest of the week. I rushed home, expressed, drunk loads then went to MIL to pick baby up and feed him.

However, I don't think it would have been a problem, other than finding someone to cover my reception desk. I work for local government and there were plenty of rooms I could have used and fridges.

Around the same time I returned to work I was called for jury service. I asked if I could express milk during the breaks, and they said that's absolutely fine, and they had a fridge and private room for me to do that in. Didn't need to in the end though as it was short ish days.

Xiaoxiong Sun 25-Nov-12 21:18:26

beginnings I did freeze some milk, but generally it was Monday's pumped milk on Tuesday, Tuesday's on Wednesday etc.

I'm now 3 days a week at work and I have found that my supply regulates so that the four days I'm at home I can feed DS entirely from the breast - then the three days at work he gets formula during the day and I feed him morning and evening.

I wasn't happy about formula initially because I worried it would hurt my supply but it didn't at all by that point (8 months or so). Also he was eating carpet fluff and partially chewed food off the floor by that point - so it seemed a bit pointless to worry about giving him a bit of formula during the day! smile

nellyjelly Sun 25-Nov-12 21:21:15

I did. Work sorted a lockable office for me. I don't think everyone liked the idea of it, especially as I stored my milk in the shared fridge. Some people are odd about that kind of thing.

Once I stopped needing to express, I kept going with the expressing break and used the time to have a little nap! Cheeky I know but DD was a terrible sleeper and I could hardly cope.

beginnings I froze industrial quantities in the month before I went back, but she wouldn't drink frozen the defrosted EBM, to my shock and dismay! I read around a bit at the time and discovered that apparently it does change the taste and apparently some people's milk freezes better than others confused (if I remember rightly). Most babies don't care though I don't think! I threw several litres of frozen EBM away sad

Lois and Tin it is shocking isn't it - its one of the reasons I always mentally shake my head when I hear people pondering career changing to teach because it will be family friendly (though I agree it might be more so for a teacher whose own children were at school, due to holidays). The head was a man nearing retirement whose own wife had stopped work to have their family - he told me a stupid story about giving up pipe tobacco so they could do without her wage confused My dept head was also male - he had a small child himself but his wife hadn't worked even before their child was born, and he used to make comments about being glad to have the excuse of marking to avoid having to entertain a toddler in the evenings... They made a lovely pair to work for, as the mother of a baby...

sorry that's a bit incoherent, toddler with a temperature restlessly asleep on me.

This thread is simultaneously making me worry and calming me down! I'm going back to work 4 days a week after Christmas when DD will be 10 months. At the moment she has a feed first thing, one before and one after her main nap, sometimes one in the late afternoon if dinner's going to be a bit late, and then bedtime and night feeds. I've been dithering about expressing. I don't know where I'd go at work (new building since I went on mat leave), and I'm not good at expressing without spilling milk down myself. confused But I'm also worried that my boobs will start leaking frantically if I don't express, plus I want to give nursery EBM to feed to DD. I suppose I've answered my own question - I will have to express, so I'll have to bite the bullet and ask somebody at work to find out about expressing rooms. I'll probably also have to buy a decent pump - my Tommee Tippee one's a bit shit.

Sorry, meant to ask, anyone have recommendations for a pump?

beginnings Sun 25-Nov-12 21:30:36

Xiaoxiong, my particular favourite recently was when she was on a public changing table, I was holding DD's legs with one hand, wiping her bum with a wipe in the other, she reached out and started hitting the wall and then put her thumb in her mouth before I could stop her. I really don't think a few bottles of formula a week will hurt, when I'm thinking rationally that is. I'm really glad to hear your supply regulated - I hope mine does too.

English I feel your pain. It took me 2.5 months to persuade DD to take a bottle. In the meantime, in order to not throw it away, I was freezing all but an ounce a day until she took the bottle. Now I have to throw it all away anyway. Infuriating sad

beginnings Sun 25-Nov-12 21:33:02

TooImmature it's expensive but in my view the Medela Swing is worth it. I've had no problems with it at all. Never had sore boobs from it. Generally get about 4oz from the left side and 5oz or more from the right so it's efficient.

PollySoloMiller Sun 25-Nov-12 21:35:52

I went back to work when DD was four months. I acted on the assumption that what I needed would be provided and it was - my feeling was that if I made it sound like a favour to me it might all be more difficult. I was allowed to use the first aid room as long as there wasn't an emergency and they bought me a fridge, although as I had a mini cool bag I probably could have done without that. It definitely wasn't seen as a priority though - there were a few times when they were doing flu jabs and I had to run round the building with full breasts looking for somewhere else with a socket and no windows. I managed to keep going until DD was 12 months, expressing between one and three times a day depending on how hard I was working. It is definitely quite bizarre sitting there with your breasts out and your pump going, hearing your colleagues chatting (the first aid room was by the men's loos) but worth doing if that is what you want to do - which it was for me.

Xiaoxiong Sun 25-Nov-12 21:50:35

TooImmature I have the Medela Pump In Style in a rucksack. Cringy name, but brilliant for me as I was carrying it on the train while commuting.

Xiaoxiong Sun 25-Nov-12 21:52:32

Oh and I made my own pumping bra by taking a cheapo cotton nursing bra and cutting holes with scissors to push the breast shields through. Worked like a charm.

Leafmould Sun 25-Nov-12 21:54:03

Forgot to say: don't know of anyone else doing it in my workplace, but then hardly anyone has had mat leave.

chipmonkey Sun 25-Nov-12 23:06:48

I did for the boys and would have done for dd if she hadn't died.sad

ds1 is 16 now and in those days, it wasn't the done thing. I had a childcare book from Great Ormond St and it said you could express in work and I was so happy to read it because I was dreading the idea of stopping bf. I didn't feel I could ask for an extra break so just expressed at my lunch break. I had a cheap little pump from mothercare, then an avent hand pump which was actually better

For ds2 I usually managed to sneak an extra break, then with ds3, I had found MN and actually asked for another break., same for ds4

Used the Avent duo double electric for ds3 and ds4, it was an excellent pump. Used it for dd while she was in NICU, it got heavy use but never let me down.

chipmonkey Sun 25-Nov-12 23:08:36

Forgot to say, I changed jobs between ds1 and ds2 but a colleague who worked there still told me later that she was doing "my trick" and expressing as well. I like to think I made it easier for her as no-one else ever had.

cheesesavory Mon 26-Nov-12 10:47:37

I did and my hr personsaid I was only the second person to ask in her whole career. They were great, booked out a meeting room twice a day for me for 5 months and made me a sign for the door etc.

I had an ameda lacteline pump which was brilliant.

ScaredySquirrel Mon 26-Nov-12 12:18:04

so it's only me being pathetic about people being able to hear the electric pump?!

that's it. I'm taking mine in with me tomorrow.

JiltedJohnsJulie Mon 26-Nov-12 12:30:29

I did, I asked on here about what to ask for and my rights (thanks tiktok and organicthanks) and expressed for quite a while.

Out of a staff of about 50 women, I was the only one who had ever returned whilst still bfing. so it had never been an issue before.

BiddyPop Mon 26-Nov-12 12:39:06

When I had DD almost 7 years ago, statutory mat leave was only 4 months so I went back when DD was 4.5 months (took a month unpaid). As the rules here are facilities have to be provided up to 6 mths age, I was able to get the use of the "sickroom" easily enough, and the guys gave me the key to be able to lock it at lunchtimes and made up a laminated "Do not disturb" sign for general use but mostly cos the room was now getting used regularly by me. I just popped the bottles into the fridge upstairs (well, the freezer compartment as that was never actually frozen) for the afternoon and kept the rest of the stuff in my bag under the desk.

I did finish up after 6 months but probably could have continued as no eyes were being raised (I was still feeding at home but weaning meant bottles were reducing and formula was easier at that stage - we only finishing BFeeding entirely when she was almost 10 months). I was the first, but it was fine and I know a couple of others have used it since.

The sickroom, by the way, was an empty office in the basement that has a single bed, clean sheets to put on, cupboard with first aid equipment, and blinds that work properly (lots of other offices blinds didn't work). Not some truly awful place.

Rhienne Mon 26-Nov-12 12:47:49

I froze all my EBM. But DS had had expressed milk from v early on, due to the tough start I had with BF. So he was used to bottles, and the taste of frozen.

I had a Medela (think it was a Symphony) hired from the hospital to start with, due to the above mentioned issues with starting BF (mastitis, tongue tie... Etc). That turned out to be quite a big bill when we kept it for so many months, but it was efficient! Then I got a Medela hand pump when I returned that, which worked for the few occassions I pumped when I was on leave. After returning to work when DS was 9 months, I was quite glad when DS dropped his day milk, as pumping by hand every single day, even just once a day, was getting to be a pain.

sleepneeded Mon 26-Nov-12 22:29:40


I wonder if someone else can come on like Tiktok and help.

To be honest I never expressed I think I was partly too lazy with the storage and the flaffing about and my baby just waited for me to be there, iyshim. I also didn't have leaky boobs but then I never ever got on with expressing.

I did try pump early on but never seems to be able to express.

At 11 to 12 months - my baby just seems to have cheese and yoghurt and eat solids and have water when I was not around.

I think if I went back 4 days if I bf before and after work then that would be fine.

At weekends we tended to have quite long bfing sessions and I'm sure I still did night feeds.

This time around I think I'll be a great deal more confident. I don't know if that helps you or not???

It is interesting how taboo bfing and the workplace still is.
I don't think anyone knew that I was bfing and I only stopped when I got pregnant and decided 2.5 years and bfing and having severe morning sickness and working huge hours was enough for me.

Interestingly my toddler is switched on and even though I have not bf him for 6 months he does not hesitate in saying "oh when the baby comes can I get some of that milk again mummy it was my favourite".... cue batting eye lids, hugs and kisses and "i'll be such a goody goody if I can get some of your milk".

Bouncey Mon 26-Nov-12 23:27:50

Tooimmature I second the medela swing. I didn't express at work (baby was nearly a year by then) but in the early days dd was in special care for a short while and fed through a nasal tube, so I was expressing 5 or 6 times a day. Medela swing is very good, quiet, fast and efficient.

I expressed at work. It was no problem at all. But I don't know anyone else who has done. I'm not sure why as it was not a big deal to anyone.

mmmmsleep Tue 27-Nov-12 18:54:40

I started with medela swing which worked well but after episode of it sucking milk back into motor unit and piping wouldn't work on battery mode and got mould in tubes. I went for double lactaline which was good. It loses suction if valves get tiny nicks in though.

RichManPoorManBeggarmanThief Wed 28-Nov-12 11:46:57

Mine did exactly that- not sure what happened- if my letdown was too fast and somehow the poor thing was overwhelmed. Anyway, I got a tip to put it in a tub of rice and put it in a dry place and it worked- the rice absorbed all the liquid. My friend, whose cleaner washed her entire breast pump in hot soapy water,was not so lucky.

Anyway, I also like the Swing. Had a rental Symphony for my first DC as couldn't get a good "yield" with the Swing, but with DC2 by boobs appear to be playing ball. Good job as DD is allergic to formula and I'm back at work 3 days a week.

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