Welcome to the place where you can easily access TONS of FREE Breastfeeding information and GAIN valuable insight on best tips, how-to’s and “ need to know” about all things breastfeeding related.Please enjoy this All About Breastfeeding podcast with Lori Isenstadt, IBCLC Returning to the workplace and pumping

Listen now to our breastfeeding podcasts to hear mothers share their breastfeeding stories. Hear interviews with well known authors pediatricians, midwives, doulas and others who eagerly share their knowledge.

 Episode 71      Returning to the workplace Part 5

I hope that you have enjoyed listening to the Going Back to Work Series. There have been 4 parts so far and they have been chock full of great info for you. I am going to review some of the information that has received the most popular feedback with All About Breastfeeding listeners saying was most helpful and then I am going to answer some of the questions that I have received.

Doing a podcast is quite interesting and very different than when I am teaching a breastfeeding class or working one on one with a mom. I get asked questions and I am able to answer them right away. Once I answer your question, it is easy for you to follow that up with another question. This is how the learning happens when I work with you that closely. I also can gauge where the greatest interest lies and what, if anything might be the most confusing and I am able to respond to that right away.

Well, when doing a podcast, I am by myself, talking into a microphone and sometimes looking at my notes on a computer screen. It is amazing how much of a difference this makes as I am missing a very important element, a very important piece to what motivates me and helps me know where to go next.

This is one of the main reasons that getting feedback from listeners is so important. I am like… I think I am on the right track. I think this is what they want to know, and know more of. I think my listeners are understanding what I am describing and suggesting. I think these are the follow up questions that they would have… I think, I think, I think. But I don’t really know. Until I get that feedback from you.

Which is why I am so grateful and appreciative for every question I get asked, for every email that I receive and for every facebook message and text that I get. I know you know what that is like. You are just doing your thing at work or you are teaching a bunch of friends something they want to know.. You have all eyes staring at you. BUT, until they open their mouths and let you know you are on the right track and they are digging what you are showing them, there is always that little bit of self doubt regarding knowing you are on the right track.

So, thank you everyone for letting me know that I am on the right track and for letting me know that you are taking action and incorporating some of the ideas that I have given you. All to make your life as a breastfeeding mother, just a little easier, less complicated and more convenient.

The feedback I have received has been great. I am going to take each episode and share some of the most popular pieces of information that listeners have said have been most helpful.

 In Part 1, which was Episode #62 –  Preparing to go back to work.

Sometimes we just get so used to the way things have been done that we just don’t think of other ways of doing things. Listeners really liked my suggestion to speak to your employer about – possibility of returning to work in the middle of the week or the end of the week. Is there a way you can do this routine for 1 week, 2 weeks or 3 weeks. This can really help the return to work be gentler on your body, mind and heart. You work for a day or two, and you have 2 days off to recover from this huge transition. This can make reentry so much easier for mom and baby. Here is a huge take home message – I have given this tip to moms and I hear back from enough moms who thank me for pushing them to think outside the box and just ask. Enough have been pleasantly surprised by their employer’s response. Maybe they did not get all they were asking for, or in this exact way, but they were able to be creative with their thinking in ways that certainly made the transition back to work easier.

In Part 2 – Episode #64 – Tips and tricks to make pumping as easy and convenient as possible.

I explained the difference between hospital grade pumps and personal use pumps and the reasons one might choose one over the other. When you are new to the world of breastfeeding and pumping, thinking about which kind of pump you should use is very overwhelming. Listeners have told me how helpful this was for them.

Everyone loves my tip to purchase a small manual pump and keep it in their personal bag or put one in the back of their car. I have been suggesting this for years and invariably I hear from several moms a year who email me to thank me for this live saver of a tip as they did get caught without the use of their electric pump,, whether they forgot it or it broke.. & a having a manual pump saved the day. I imagine there are a whole lot more moms who were really helped by this tip, but I just never heard from them.

On the same topic: Suggesting to moms that they learn hand expression is a good thing too!

Oooh, and one last item I always get great feedback on: Suggesting pumping moms use Hands Free bras. When you are new to all this pumping thing, many moms think the whole hands free thing is weird…. until you are doing it on a regular basis. It is only Wednesday, but I have already had 4 moms in my private practice sing the praises of hands free bras.

In Part 3 – Episode # 66 – Babies Bottles and Daycare

Oooh, this was another great show with lots of good feedback.

Parents spend so much money on finding that perfect bottle, the perfect nipple. You loved one of my first tips from this show: There is no one BEST bottle or nipple for all breastfed babies. I gave you some detailed information on how to go about beginning to choose which nipple might be the best for your baby. I gave you one of the most important tips and little known secrets in this area. And the tip:

It is more about upright and paced feedings, than it is about that perfect nipple. I have a great video in the show notes which will explain this in further detail. I also have pictures of the various nipple types in the show notes.

In Part 4 – Episode  #68 – Tips and Tricks to help you navigate pumping in the workplace.

What you, the listeners told me is that your favorite topic I spoke about in this episode is the notion that you can take some action, you can do some things BEFORE your baby is born. Understandably, if you have never been a breastfeeding or pumping mom, you have no idea that there are things you can do ahead of time to set make returning to work easier.

The advice that was the most popular? Encouraging you to meet up with breastfeeding and pumping moms now! Seek out new mothers who you know who are pumping. Moms at your job can answer a lot of questions about pumping in your workplace. If you have any concerns, they can problem help to alleviate them or tell you how they work around some difficult situations. Ask them the tricks of the trade to pumping in your office space. What have they learned from the school of hard knocks.

Meeting women in your own community has been invaluable advice for moms. Typically we think that if we don’t have our baby yet, we are not part of that crowd. I know from being around breastfeeding moms for years, they love nothing better than taking a pregnant mom under their wings and showing you the ropes. Most are not pushy and just want to help guide you and most can’t wait to answer your questions. So, hands down, the most popular advice is: Look at your own office, attend a LLL meeting at your local library or volunteers house, attend a breastfeeding mothers group at your local hospital or birthing center. If you are planning a homebirth, ask your midwife for local breastfeeding moms groups that she knows of.

That is a good wrap up of the feedback I received about the most popular topics in the 4 out of 5 part series. The beauty of podcasts is that they are free, and available for years after they are released. So, you can easily go back and listen and read the show notes that go along with them. In the show notes for each episode, I have referenced links where you can go to download some handy checklists and handouts that support the information in the show.

If you liked the shows and felt they were valuable to you, please share the links with friends. Go to iTunes and subscribe to this show and this is a shameless plug requesting that you leave a review. In the world of online podcasting and iTunes, listeners subscribing to the show – which is totally free and listeners leaving reviews, are 2 big ways that can expose more people to this show. So, go ahead Subscribe, Review and Share the show.

That covers Part 1,2,3 and 4.

Now, onto Part 5 of this Series. I have taken notes of some of the most common questions I get asked on this topic and I am going to answer them:

Question: I make enough milk and my baby seems happy and content with me when I am breastfeeding her, but daycare keeps telling me that I am not leaving the with enough milk. They are saying that she is hungry and wants more. I am freaking out because I can’t pump much more than I give. What should I do? I don’t want to supplement?


The first thing you want to do is figure out if your baby truly is not getting full feedings and is unhappy at daycare. I think it is a fairly good assumption if you notice that when your baby gets a bottle of milk outside of daycare and seems fairly happy, that the same volume of milk should be good for when your baby is in daycare. If your baby is satisfied when you breastfeed him and is happy and content for several hours in between, his weight gain and output is normal, this is another sign that you are making enough and he is happy with less than what daycare is telling you.

What commonly happens is that babies are being fed their bottle too fast and too frequently. Review upright and paced feeding video and talk that I gave during this 5 part series. Find out how they hold your baby when feeding and how long it takes your baby to drink from the bottle.

If you are not already doing so, try using a newborn or premie nipple as this can help slow down the flow.

Find out how frequently they are giving the bottle. Daycare may be missing your babies cues and perhaps your baby needs personalized attention rather than more food.

I find that when parents delve into these 2 areas they find significant changes are made. Once babies feedings are slowed down and they are not offered the milk so frequently, less milk is being used and your baby is still happy.

Another tip: If you are being told that your baby needs more milk, bring in more bottles with less milk in them and see if feeding your baby the same amount of milk in smaller quantities, more frequently, can help.

So, rather than give them 3 bottles of 4 oz each for a total of 12 oz, give them 4 bottles of 3 oz each and see if less milk, more frequently does the trick.

If you are still struggling, one tip could be for you to request to hold your baby off for that last feeding of the day, until you get there and then you can directly breastfeed your baby.

Still struggling – you might consider adding in another pumping per day, perhaps late at night, right after your babies feeding and before you lay down to go to sleep.

The not so popular answer is: If you really feel that the amount of milk you are leaving for your baby is enough and you feel that it is the routine of the daycare in how they bottle feed and how frequently they bottle feed, it may mean you popping into daycare during the time that your baby typically has a bottle and see what is happening and perhaps offer some tips yourself.


Pumping is making my nipples sore all the time.


First thing I would want you to confirm is that it is not your baby causing any nipple pain or soreness. Once you have ruled that out, think about whatever creams or lotions you are using on your nipples. Could you be allergic to any of these products and they are causing your pain? Could you be reacting to the material of your bra or any nursing pads that you are using?

Once you have ruled these out as being any issue and you are sure it is the pump, here are my thoughts:


You always want the pump you are using to be your own pump and brand new. You do not want to share pumps with another mom. You do not want to purchase a pump online or anywhere else. You have no idea of the wear and tear on this pump and the motor.


All pumps are not created equal and not all moms respond to the pumps the same as the next mom. Let’s start with what might be the most common and easiest ways to solve your problem of sore nipples while pumping:

1. Ask and observe what other moms are using. If your pump is one of the highest rated and you know of quite a few moms who are using it and are comfortable with it, then let’s just say that it is safe to say this is a good pump.

2. The first thing you want to do is check the instructions, make sure all parts are put together properly and that you are using the pump and the setting properly. You can check this out on Youtube as most of the popular brands have instructional videos.

3. The wrong size flanges and using the pump incorrectly are the most common reasons for sore nipples.

I am attaching a great video that helps you learn how to tell if your flange size is correct for you.


Incorrect use of the pump can mean several things.  One is that you might be keeping the pump on too long.  15-20 minutes, both sides at the same time is a good time frame. Pumping for too many more minutes is likely to cause nipple pain even when using the best pump and the right size flanges.  Incorrect use can also happen when you turn the suction up too high which can create undue nipple pain, even when using the best pump and the correct size flanges.

IF none of what I have talked about has made a difference, there are a few other things to try:

1. If you are not using a hospital grade pump, switch to one and see if this makes the difference.

2. In this series, I talked about the Perfect Latch, which is a nipple cushion that you place inside the flange. Your nipple moves along with this cushion providing greater comfort when pumping. You can go to allaboutbreastfeeding.biz/podcast 70 and click on the discount code to order your Perfect Latch

3. On your days off, you might consider hand expressing your milk. If for nothing else, to give yourself a break from the pump and learn how to hand express. Some mothers are actually quite surprised to realize their pain goes down a whole lot.  They realize that it  takes the same time and sometimes even less time than it does when using the double electric pump.
Please check out this link to learn more about the breast bowl.  The creator of this beautiful bowl will be a guest on the show sometime in the next month.


How long should I pump for when I am back at work?


There really is no one answer that is right. This is a very individual decision. It does help to have a starting place for you to think about this. Here are a few tips to try and help you figure out how long you should pump for.

I would say that if you are using a good pump, and pumping both sides at the same time, that a majority of the milk that you have available for that pumping session, will be expressed in 15-20 minutes. Keeping the pump on for much longer should not be necessary and typically, even the most comfortable of pumps will really be irritating after much longer than 20 minutes.

If you are hand expressing, it may take you 15 minutes or so for each side. As you become more proficient at doing so, it may take you less.

Some moms are just fortunate and they have a high volume and a quick and multiple letdowns and they can get the job done faster. You will just have to experiment and soon you will find out what you average pumping session time will be.

These are all the questions for todays show.  I hope you have enjoyed the learning.  Please check out all the links that I have referred to in this video.  You will find them either in these show notes of the original show in which they were discussed..

If you do want to get your hands on all the information from these shows I have referenced, all you need to do is go to itunes and podcasts. Go to the search area and put in All About Breastfeeding. This podcast will come up, you subscribe to it and you will see a list of all the shows recorded so far. This series starts with show # 62

If you want to get all the show notes and FREE handouts and checklists I have available for you, that is easy. Just go to allaboutbreastfeeding.biz/podcasts. Each show will have their own show notes with their own separate handouts.

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