Returning to work after maternity leave

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Drama Teach, Jun 3, 2012.

  1. Drama Teach

    Drama Teach Rookie

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    Jun 3, 2012

    I will be returning to work when school starts in August. My little one will be 3 months old and I would like to continue breadtfeeding. Has anyone ever worked out a situation to pump at school?
     
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  3. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Jun 3, 2012

    Teachers at my school have. They went on their preps and at lunch to pump In the nurse's office and refrigerated the milk in insulated bags in the fridge.
     
  4. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Jun 3, 2012

    My friend pumps at school. She brings in an insulated bag for the milk and keeps it in a mini fridge in her room. She pumps at lunch and during her prep. She pumps in her classroom, which she obviously keeps locked during that time. A few times she's been interrupted by a custodian or administrator who has entered her room with a key and ignored the sign she keeps on her door to not enter without permission. She had to get the union involved. They gave admin a not-so-gentle reminder that she is entitled to pump in privacy, and if her room isn't considered a private enough location then they need to put her somewhere else. Admin's response was that she should pump in the bathroom or girls' locker room. The union got up in arms about that because it's illegal for employers to expect women to pump in a bathroom and it doesn't seem at all appropriate for them to expect that anyone would want to pump in front of a locker room full of students. After that, admin backed down and acted like they had no idea what the law was.

    Hopefully you will have a supportive and understanding admin. If not, don't hesitate to get your union involved. If you don't have a union, you should be able to easily find all the federal legislation that outlines your rights as a breastfeeding and working mother.
     
  5. leighbball

    leighbball Virtuoso

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    Jun 3, 2012

    I did it...when I went back to school, my son was 3 months old. At the beginning I pumped first thing in the morning, at lunch, as soon as I got home, and before bed. The milk I pumped during my lunch I put into the top compartment of my pump which had an ice pack specifically for that purpose. As Nick got older, I began using some formula and continued pumping until he was 1. I would've used my prep time, but it didn't work out in my schedule, so I used my lunch time instead. Good luck!!

    Also, freeze as much extra as you can while you are home. Its good for a few months and will help you keep a good supply.
     
  6. sevenplus

    sevenplus Connoisseur

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    Jun 3, 2012

    I went back to school when my son was 10 weeks old. At first I pumped before school and during lunch, then went straight home after school to nurse. I was blessed with oversupply, so eventually I just pumped at lunchtime and got plenty of milk for dh to feed him and also enough to build a freezer stash.

    You are entitled to pumping time. If lunch and/or a prep doesn't work well in your schedule (or if you need to pump additional times during the day) speak to your admin about getting someone to cover your class.

    I loved pumping during the school day because it gave me 20 quiet minutes to just focus on my son. I knew I was doing something special for him even if I wasn't with him during the day.
     
  7. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Jun 3, 2012

    Your administration should help you to find a place and times to pump. I talked with my administration about needing three times during my 7.5 hour day to pump that are about 2 hours apart. They worked by setting up my schedule to allow for this. Next year I don't have an ideal schedule for pumping, so they are working with me to find someone to cover my class for a few minutes to provide a separate pump time.

    Now, I can pump in my classroom during lunch and prep. For this special pump...I'm not sure where I'll go, but I'm sure that they are working on finding a nice spot as well.

    I'll tell you that it is hard to give up your prep to pump. It means less time to work on bulletin boards and keeping your classroom clean during the work day.
     
  8. Jeky

    Jeky Comrade

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    Jun 3, 2012

    I went back to work when my daughter was 10 weeks old and pumped at school until she was 9 months. I echo the PP that said pump while you are at home and on maternity leave and start that freezer supply early!
    At first I pumped before school, during my prep, during lunch, and right after school. As my daughter dropped feedings, I went down to just my lunch and right after school. It was difficult, and very stressful, but I managed.....
    The thing with pumping is that when you are pumping, baby is getting a bottle, and in our case, that meant that she started to prefer the bottle over breast. She self-weaned at 9 months....
     
  9. sevenplus

    sevenplus Connoisseur

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    I'm sorry that happened to you. I want to assure the OP that it isn't always the case. My son went easily from breast to bottle and back to breast.

    Now, the beginning of our nursing relationship was a different story altogether. It was a rough start, but my stubborness paid off in the end.
     
  10. lovebeingteach

    lovebeingteach Companion

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    Jun 3, 2012

    I couldn't do it. I was only 23 and way too embarrassed to ask about it. Good luck to you though.
     
  11. Jeky

    Jeky Comrade

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    Yeah, I tried to clarify that by saying "in our case"..... :p

    I'm actually glad that she self-weaned. It saved me from a lot of guilt from giving up pumping at work. If I was going to do it all again, I would switch to formula a lot earlier than I did. I think there is way too much pressure on moms these days to breastfeed at all costs, no matter what. Not that I don't think breastfeeding is a great choice, but when it comes at the expense of a mom's sanity.....I don't know, I just would rather rather have spent all of that pumping time prepping instead, so I could leave right after work and have more quality time with my baby.
     
  12. Jeky

    Jeky Comrade

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    Jun 3, 2012

    To the OP, I forgot to add in my other post that I have a small science storage room attached to my room, and my coworker and I have a small fridge in there, so I was able to pump and store milk in there. I was only "walked in" on by students once, and never by admin or custodians. :)
     
  13. Aussiegirl

    Aussiegirl Habitué

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    Jun 3, 2012

    A teacher on our team had a set schedule so she pumped at the beginning of planning - it made her late all the time for our group meetings but it was not an issue, at lunch time and again it was not an issue. She just showed up when finished, and then at the end of the day - not a problem, we just covered her duty. Th ere is always something (our kids get sick, dr. appointments, emergencies, etc.) so we just work with each other and help out any way we can.
     
  14. roxstar

    roxstar Companion

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    Jun 10, 2012

    I was nursing while doing my student teaching, the few months I subbed before getting a job, and this year with my second child. All three experiences were vastly different. I had to pump in a supply closet with no lock while I was student teaching and I was walked in on often. While subbing I was forced to pump in my car quite a few times (simply awful) and once in the nurse's office on a sick bed with just the curtain around me. Students were coming in and asking "what's that noise?" So those were my terrible experiences. This year, I just pumped in my room with a sign on the door that said do not disturb. I had permission from admin, I spoke to the custodians beforehand and was only interrupted on time when someone from the office kept knocking. They obviously knew what I was doing and didn't really care. I only pumped during my prep this time, but I have known teachers who do it several times a day. As others have said, it is your right. Just talk to admin and make sure you relax! Pumping is very emotional.
     
  15. mclaugcr

    mclaugcr Companion

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    Jun 10, 2012

    I pumped at school during my specials time (4th grade) and during lunch, in my classroom with the door locked. Occasionally, someone would come knocking at the door (usually a student from another class) and I just ignored it. My principal was understanding about it for the most part. There were some issues that I had to work out occasionally. Fortunately, my coworkers were VERY supportive and helped with what they could.
     
  16. dizzykates

    dizzykates Habitué

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    Jun 14, 2012

    I had a hard time this year, but I was 'allowed' to pump during homeroom if I could get someone to cover for me. Thankfully, we had an awesome building sub who took my class whenever I didn't have covereage. I also just kept asking around until I found someone. After 4 weeks I put my pride aside and asked men too. Most were very willing to help. I then pumped at lunch and just showed up late to my lunch duty. I figured admin wouldn't say anything because they are techinically required to provide me iwth time to pump. Then I pumped at the begining of my prep time. Net year my prep and lunch will be at the proper times for me to pump. I then left EVER.Single.Day at 3pm so I could go right home and nursein stead of pumping. I also pump at night and before work (even though she has just eatten) in order to keep up with her. I am continuing to pump once a day now udring the summer to add to my stash. Currently I have several hundred onces in the freezer and would like to keep it that way just in case things tank in the fall. I was having supply issues with stress as the school year ended.
     
  17. Pencil Monkey

    Pencil Monkey Devotee

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    Jun 14, 2012

    I have a long commute to work. I actually pumped in the car getting to work and going home. I also pumped on my planning periods in my classroom. At first I put a little sign up and locked my door but my students would try to come in anyway to retrieve a forgotten pencil or something of the sort. So, I would turn off my lights and make it look like no one was in the room. I used a nursing cover up just in case someone with a key came in the door. I ultimately found out I was too nervous to really get a good pump at work though.
     
  18. roxstar

    roxstar Companion

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    Jun 18, 2012

    How on earth did you do THAT? I bow to you!
     
  19. Curiouscat

    Curiouscat Comrade

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    Jun 18, 2012

    I went back to work when both of my children were 6 months old. I had 2 different experiences though.

    Child #1 self weaned at 9 months. I felt like a failure. Pumping at work happened, but I personally had a hard time relaxing, so I always felt like I wasn't getting enough milk. I was, but I worried anyway which made it more difficult to pump.

    Child#2 self weaned at 15 months. I couldn't believe the difference from the first child! I did pump at work, but it slowed down as child #2 got older. I didn't have as hard of a time pumping for some reason. Maybe it was experience?

    In retrospect, I think with the first child I wasn't a failure. That was just how that child operated. The first child was happy with bottle or breast from day 1. Child 2 would not take a bottle until 6 months of age! We tried everything, and I was starting to think I wouldn't make it back to work!

    I am an advocate of breastfeeding if it works for you as well as the baby. Guilt will not help you in any way, shape, or form!!!! I wish I had realized this sooner. I wasted a lot of time feeling guilty about going back to work, etc. Here we are 16 years later and that guilt didn't make a difference. My kids are fine despite me working!
     
  20. geoteacher

    geoteacher Devotee

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    Jun 18, 2012

    I pumped for about 5 months. I simply asked, and administration provided a space for me. It was almost effortless, and it was what was best for my baby. I never did switch to formula - just gradually switched her to a cup and regular milk. She was weaned by about one year.
     
  21. holliday

    holliday Comrade

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    Jun 19, 2012

    I pumped with both of mine at work. I had lunch and prep right next to each other in my schedule, so that helped a LOT (I was always slooooooooooooooooooooooooow to pump - it would take me 45 minutes to get like 4-8 ounces). It was a lot of work, but I had a hands-free set-up so I could grade papers and work on the computer. Without that, I would have felt awful just sitting and doing nothing (even though that's actually the best thing to do!).

    I locked my room and only had one walk-in experience. Overall, it worked for me for a few months...but I didn't make it the whole year. Best of luck to you! Every woman is different and you should be gentle with yourself while nursing - it's a major undertaking, especially while working.
     

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