Is it really difficult/near impossible to maintain ur milk supply via pumping if ur working & only breastfeeding after work? Just curious.
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I worked full time and pumped during the day for 12 months and my supply was fine until I stopped pumping during the day at the 12 month mark. It helped that I was on maternity for four months and my baby was an avid nurser. I've also known some people who could nurse only nights and weekends without supply issues, but never worked for me.
It varies a lot, depending on your starting supply, how long your workday is, how much of a chance you have to pump during the day.
I went back to work at 3.5 months and at that point my baby was still nursing 3x/day during my working hours, so I needed to find time to pump 3x/day. My employer was super supportive: they provided a lactation room with a fridge that was near my desk, my boss had been through pumping at work herself and understood the time commitment involved, and even my male co-workers "got it" (and one of the older guys whose kids are grown now explained to a younger childless male co-worker that babies keep nursing every few hours for a long time when we were out to lunch one day and I was getting a bit flustered explaining, and another older guy reminded me of my legal rights to breaks for pumping one day in the elevator, nobody ever complained about my reduced availability for meetings, etc) . I nursed at home in the morning before I left for work, at night, and overnight. I kept that up until 6 months and although it was a lot of work & time (about 1.5 hours over the course of the day), I was able to maintain supply. At 6 months we got the baby into a daycare at my office so I could nurse him during the day instead of pumping, but I have several co-workers who were able to make it to the 1-year mark, so it was definitely possible. But I have met other women with less supportive work environments and they've wound up supplementing as a result, and I can't really say I blame them. For the time I was pumping, I had a pretty "ideal" setup and it was STILL depressing.
If you are able to arrange for some work-from-home permission (or have a private office) pumping is a lot easier as it's less disruptive to your work and it's easier to do stuff like cluster pumping/power pumping that is often recommended to increase supply if you are having trouble maintaining. I also found I generally pumped more milk at home than in the office lactation room, probably because it was a nicer environment and I was less stressed at home.