I have been working a little bit since having Jack, but mainly from home or days where I’m only apart from him for 4 hours or less at a time. In the last 3 weeks though, I finally started doing one or two days a week of longer days (anywhere from 4 to 10 hours away depending on how far I have to drive).
It’s been a challenge to pump because I don’t have much down time at work, and it really makes me impressed by all the moms who work full time and pump!
I only bought a manual pump after having Jack because I wasn’t sure if the expense of an electric one would be worth it since I work part-time, and so far I’ve found that I like hand expressing more than pumping. I REALLY like not having to wash off/clean any extra parts (I express right into a bottle), not having to worry about mold in the pump (that happened once!), and I don’t like the suction feel of pumping. I found that hand expressing is just as fast, and I can get about an ounce in 5 minutes if it’s been a few hours since Jack last ate.
Last week I only had time to pump for 10 minutes after 4 hours of work and I got a plugged duct, so I really need to make sure it spend more time doing it. It’s a challenge because I don’t get paid for breaks since I’m an independent contractor, so my preference is to work quickly so I can just go home and feed Jack, but I don’t want to end up with mastitis!
Jack has also never been a fan of drinking from a bottle, so we ordered some new nipples to see if that helps. He gets barely any calories from solids either. I keep reminding myself that some babies sleep 8 hours a night, so if he doesn’t eat for that long during the day he will be ok, but it still makes me nervous. Last week he ate 1/2 an ounce over 10 hours! My husband is staying with him today and trying some faster flow bottles to see if that works any better.
I feel lucky I was able to wait until Jack was 9 months old and eating some solids to leave him all day, but it’s still hard. I definitely understand why in some countries they have a year of maternity leave! It really doesn’t make a lot of sense to me that I have to pump in a bathroom stall during the day to avoid clogged ducts while my husband tries to get Jack to eat from a bottle unsuccessfully at home, when we would both be a lot happier just breastfeeding! But at least I only have to work 1-2 days a week thankfully, and I’m sure it will get easier as Jack eats more solid food eventually.Like