Night Shift Pumping Schedule

When I first went back to work a part of my fear was in not knowing how it would all work out. Sure if you work your normal 9-5 job you pump your 2 times a day. You go home at the end of the day and see your sweet baby and then wake up with them in the middle of the night.

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I was going back to work with 10-hour shifts and working nights! She would be going to daycare in the day while I was sleeping. So I not only had to pump for the daycare, but I also had to pump for my husband to feed her in the middle of the night.  I also was scared about transporting my pump and what to bring, you can read about that here.

After being back to work for almost a month now I can say that I have achieved going back to work and pumping. I figured out a schedule that doesn't drop my supply and adequately feeds her during the day and at night. 

For other mommies enjoyment and hopefully a little less anxiety about going back to work I am going to share my pump schedule. 

Like I said I work 10 hours shifts, so my hours are 9:00 pm to 7:00 am. I try to usually be there 10 minutes before, so my last opportunity to feed my daughter is at 8:30 pm. Of course, since she is a baby, and fed on demand, this doesn't always happen. I might have to pump instead of breastfeeding to keep my schedule on track.

The first time I pump at work is 11:30 pm which works out great for my job because it coincides with other duties that I have to perform at certain times. As a nurse, this would namely be getting vital signs. I am usually also in the middle of some kind of paperwork. I sometimes do that while pumping, but I always play a podcast so nobody can hear the annoyance of the pump. I also put out a pump sign, this is crucial where I work because everyone has keys to all the offices. You can download the same one I have here.

The next time I pump is 2:30 am this is usually when I try to eat my lunch. I do them at the same time just because it is convenient and breastfeeding makes me ravenous. I also try to drink more water at this time, than any other liquid.

At 5:30 am I am usually wrapping up a lot of my daily work and just taking care of things that arise. So this is my most relaxing time to pump. I only drink water at this time because I am going to go to bed soon and don't want to mess it up with sugar.

At 8:30 am I am home and am able to feed the baby when she wakes up. It doesn't always happen at this time but I can adapt my schedule to whenever. I just go by the rules of when she wakes up in the middle of the night (at this time every 4 hours). After I feed her I take her to daycare and go to bed.

My 12:30 pm pumping session (or 4 hours later) I set an alarm on my phone to wake me up and pump. I have found that in order to stop you from snoozing the alarm and/or turning it off and going back to bed can be a problem.

In these cases, I have improvised some things. First is to have all of your pumping stuff right by your bed. I am talking pump, parts, clean bottles, etc. So you only have to sit up and put them on. Second is to have someone call, who will wake you up and if you ignore them to call back. I have thought about getting an alarm that sounds like a baby or runs away, but it doesn't seem to be necessary right now.

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4:30 pm is my last time to possibly pump. My husband usually brings my girls home and this can happen from anytime between 4:30 pm and 5:00 pm. If she gets home and was recently fed at daycare I then pump again. Obviously, if she hasn't then I will feed her.

So that's my guide to breastfeeding and night shift. Are you having to work night shift and pump? Do you have a hard time waking up in the middle of the day? What schedule do you use? Let me know in the comments below!


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