Pumping at work

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Elm512, Aug 8, 2012.

  1. Elm512

    Elm512 Companion

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    Aug 8, 2012

    Hi ladies,
    Does anyone have experience with pumping at work, (especially after the 2010 law requiring employers to give sufficient pumping breaks was enacted)? I gave birth in May and will be returning to work next week (sooo sad). I nursed both of my older children for their first 24 months so it's very important to me. This is the first time I've gone back to work with a breast feeding child at home. I'm about to begin the conversation with my admin about my need to pump at work. Suggestions? How much time should I be given? Is having to pump during my lunch and/or planning time acceptable? Any advice would be great. They're very fair and I don't foresee any problems, just like to be prepared.
     
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  3. tootgravytrain

    tootgravytrain Comrade

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    Aug 8, 2012

    Oh, THAT pumping? Shew............. I teach at a prison, so you don't want my stories.
     
  4. Elm512

    Elm512 Companion

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    Haha, EW.
     
  5. ancientcivteach

    ancientcivteach Habitué

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    Aug 8, 2012

    I worked with two new mothers on my team of four. They pumped during their planning periods :)
     
  6. geoteacher

    geoteacher Habitué

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    Aug 8, 2012

    I pumped during my lunch break for a period of about five months. Once I was sure that I would have a private spot, it was really very easy to do.
     
  7. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    I pumped during breaks. But I wasn't teaching so I could take breaks at pretty much any time.

    I haven't seen the law you mentioned but I'd double check on it and make sure that it applies to all work situations. I find it difficult to believe that a law would be passed that allowed any employee to take breaks whenever they felt the need. Some jobs just aren't set up for that sort of thing.
     
  8. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    Aug 8, 2012

    I've worked with several teachers who've pumped during recess and/or lunch!
     
  9. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    We have 1 teacher who pumps. She pumps at lunch & I think a couple of oter times during the day. Sometimes, someone covers her class for 15 min. We have another Mom who is currently out on maternity leave & will be back in Oct. I'm sure she's planning on pumping also.
     
  10. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Aug 8, 2012

    The first thing that you need to do is look at your schedule and determine if your planning and lunch period is enough time to pump and spread out throughout the day.

    With my first child, I needed about 20 minutes of pumping and 5 minutes to set up and clean up---so less than 30 minutes total. I'm hoping that it is as quick and easy with my second.

    I wanted my pumping sessions spread out at about 2 hours apart. With my first, my planning and lunch were nicely spread out. Going back this year, my lunch and planning are back to back. This does not work with pumping, so I spoke with my administration, and they are providing me an extra time to pump where another teacher will cover my class. I'm not sure where I'll go...but that's another issue.

    With my first, I needed to pump every 2-2.5 hours. How often are you feeding now? Start writing down the times that you child eats and see what your school can do to help you pump at similar times.
     
  11. agdamity

    agdamity Fanatic

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    Aug 8, 2012

    NCScienceTeach--the law does state that nursing mothers be provided pumping breaks. It is not uncommon to need to pump 3 times during a 9 hour shift. Most teachers that I know will use their planning and lunch, but if they need additional time, employers are required to give it.
     
  12. Irissa

    Irissa Cohort

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    Aug 8, 2012

    My mom's a lactation consultant. You should pump for no less than 15 mins about 3 hours apart each. For me that was 8 am right before the kids got there. 11:15 am (my planning) and 2:30 right as the kids were leaving. I had to have someone else walk my kids to the bus because I couldn't wait longer than that.

    My administration had a closet up front that they had a sign we'd (the other girl who also pumped) put up that said something like Mommy Duty so noone else would enter.
     
  13. Jeky

    Jeky Comrade

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    Aug 8, 2012

    It definitely helps to compare your current breastfeeding times to the times that you already have open at work during lunch, prep, recess, whatever.

    I went back to work when my daughter was 10 weeks old. I pumped right before school, during my prep, during my lunch, and right after school. That seemed like it was enough to keep my supply up during the day. As my daughter dropped feedings at home, I dropped pumping sessions at school.

    My advice is to make sure you give yourself enough time to set up, RELAX, pump, and clean-up/store in fridge. You may only take 15-20 minutes at home, but at school give yourself at least 30 minutes during the first couple of weeks. There is nothing worse than trying to rush a pump session in 15 minutes and not even achieve letdown!
     
  14. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    I'm all about providing the best nutrition for babies, don't get me wrong, but I have some serious issues with this law. If it is written as you say.

    Pumping takes anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes each time. Depending on lunch duty schedules and such, you're basically telling me that a mother that decides to BF her child for 24 months could require another teacher cover her class twice a day? Giving that BF mother an extra one hour break that the others do not get? It would mean that my students would get 33% less instruction than their peers, since I'm on block scheduling.

    What about police officers? Surgeons? Air traffic controllers?

    I think that if breastfeeding is that important to you that you need to inconvenience your coworkers and slight your students that much, you should stay at home until the child is weaned.
     
  15. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    found this: http://www.dol.gov/whd/nursingmothers/faqBTNM.htm

    "Who is entitled to reasonable break time and a space for expressing breast milk at work under the law?

    ANSWER: The federal law provides that employees who work for employers covered by the FLSA and are not exempt from section 7, which sets forth the FLSA’s overtime pay requirements, are entitled to breaks to express milk."

    Then under the listings of who are exempt under section 7 we see that teachers are listed first:

    "Executive, administrative, and professional employees (including teachers and academic administrative personnel in elementary and secondary schools), outside sales employees, and certain skilled computer professionals (as defined in the Department of Labor's regulations)"
     
  16. teacherpippi

    teacherpippi Habitué

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    Aug 9, 2012

    I pump when I get to work (even if my LO just ate an hour earlier), at lunch, and after the kids leave. It works well for me because I only have to pump when kids are at school during lunch. I started off by also pumping at morning and afternoon recesses, but I wasn't getting any more output and it was stressing me out. It takes about 15-20 minutes total for me (10-15 for pumping and 5 for set up/clean up).
     
  17. MrsHoot

    MrsHoot Comrade

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    Aug 9, 2012

    I pumped last year, oh the joy! I pumped during lunch and during our specials. (11:30 and 1:45) I nursed him before school, and then right after school. I'm not sure if you had to work while nursing with your other children, but my milk supply did go down. Make sure you drink a ton of water and I sometimes took some supplements to help increase production. I don't know if you pumped and frozen milk over the summer, but that really helped a lot!

    Good luck, it makes things hard sometimes, but it was worth it for me. :). I'm still nursing at 16 mos, but just in the morning. So no pumping for me this school year!
     
  18. leighbball

    leighbball Virtuoso

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    I pumped at work with my son! I actually started adding some formula to his feedings around 6 months, so it made it easier for me to keep up with a supply. I pumped in the morning, at lunch, when I got home from work, and before bed. Mine were definitely more spread out than others have mentioned, but it worked for us. I used a closet with a sign from Feb. to June when I first went back to work (I co-taught that year) and then I used my classroom from Sept. to Nov. the following school year when I taught by myself.
     
  19. leighbball

    leighbball Virtuoso

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    :dizzy: Wow.
     
  20. DaleJr88AmpFan

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    I pumped for both of my children when I returned to work. I understand both avenues of thought here...

    I understand that BF mothers need to be given adequate time. However, this is a problem with what is "reasonable" also. For instance, I pumped in the morning when my students were at their PE time. It took 15 minutes because I needed to clean up before picking the students up. At lunch, I would also pump for 20 minutes or so. After school, I would rush out of the building, pick up the baby, head home, and nurse one side while I pumped the other. I would NEVER have thought to ask someone to cover my room for longer than my breaks because quite frankly... there would be NO ONE available. As my body got used to that schedule, I was able to remove the mid-morning pump and continue to produce enough milk for the bottles the next day. On the other hand, I have a colleague who would have taken it to the extreme. She wanted a break every 2.5 hours... that's just not do-able. So, where's the equity/fairness in all of that?!? How could our principal find coverage for that... and, really, for how long? It is disconcerning how much time her kiddos would have missed from her absence and a burden on another educator. Then comes the issue of length of time... how long (as in calendar days/weeks/months/years) is appropriate? I pumped for 9 mos which is when my girls decided to self-wean. I also had enough frozen product for the next 3 months for them to have 1-2 servings daily. What if I "faked" pumping for the next year so I could have more breaks to work in my classroom and or longer lunch breaks? The reality is, I could have gotten a hands-free pump and had extra prep time as compared to my colleagues. OK.. and then on the other hand, I understand the frustration of having to "fit it in".. I chalked it up to MY CHOICE to nurse and did NOT feel that it was OK for me to "bother anyone else" about a choice that I made.
     
  21. Pisces_Fish

    Pisces_Fish Fanatic

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    I commend all the moms who pumped, but wasn't it...embarrassing/degrading/uncomfortable to pump in a closet?
     
  22. DaleJr88AmpFan

    DaleJr88AmpFan Cohort

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    I did it in my classroom... behind my desk with locked doors and lights shut off. :) Soothing music and a pillow really added to the ambiance. :)
     
  23. 2ndTimeAround

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    nope, not degrading. I think you just have to get yourself in the mindset that this is what you need to do in order to get what you want. Being tucked away isn't about shame, it is about privacy.
     
  24. Rabbitt

    Rabbitt Connoisseur

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    For me, my care giver brought my baby to work for me to feed at 11:00 lunch.

    At 2:00, my principal had arranged a reader schedule for people to come in to read to my class for 20 minutes. It was the principal herself, the secretary, cooks, etc.
     
  25. Aussiegirl

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    The teacher I work with pumped during planning, lunch, and at the end of the day. We took the kids who would normally have been in her room at the end of the day waiting for their buses so she could have the privacy and time she needed. There were never any issues. We worked around her needs. Life is like that.
     
  26. roxstar

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    Goodness, there are some really emotional posts here. Wouldn't it be nice if we weren't expected to choose between being a mother and working? I know I would LOVE to stay home with my kids, I don't know very many people who can afford that these days. Anyway, I would pump during my prep and right after school when I could. Some schools are able to be more accommodating than others I think in terms of breaks. Some teachers are more helpful than others as well. I would just talk to your admin and get a plan together. It's your right and as long as you don't abuse it, there is nothing wrong with pumping at work. I will tell you that for me, I was always sort of uncomfortable. I couldn't relax even in my own classroom with the door locked and it is sort of a pain if you need to get anything done away from your desk. So to conclude....for me a total pain in the you know what...but totally worth it! Good luck!
     
  27. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    I agree with NCS that it could be a sticky issue in some schools which are already lacking many desperately needed teachers and assistants. I wonder what schools would do when they truly don't have anyone to cover? I mean, I guess you have to pull a special education teacher from a collaborative classroom? Or have the principal cover, removing him or her from her critical duties? Hmmm...seems tough.

    But I do believe it's absolutely the healthiest thing for babies, so I don't discourage breastfeeding...just thinking of how many complications it could, in certain situations, create.
     
  28. txagteach

    txagteach Rookie

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    Aug 13, 2012

    I pumped last year for the first half of the year. At first, I was pumping in a closet, but when one of my student's mom found out (she was an employment attorney), she made the school give me a better space. There were actually 3 other teachers pumping too. I didn't mind either space--the closet was just a little cold (which can hinder milk production). The school also made special arrangements so that I could pump 3 times per day.

    I'm pregnant again and at a new school this year. Plus, I'm going back to work much sooner than I did with my other babies. So, I'm not sure how it will work, but I'm thinking I'll end up pumping during lunch and specials and see how it goes.

    Breastfeeding is important to me, but I'm not going to lose too much sleep over it this time around. :)
     

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