I was about to type a long comment in answer to Paola's comment on my last post. Instead, I'll make a new post:
Paola's questions weren't inane at all. Figuring out pumping was one of the more stressful things about going back to work the first time. This time, at least I have a baseline idea of what to do.
So... I pump 3x a day at work. Under California law, my company is required to provide me with a room that isn't a bathroom for the purpose. I am also guaranteed two 15 minute unpaid breaks to pump. Since I am salaried, that is not so much of an issue. Also, since I am in charge of IT at my company, I make sure there is a computer with a network connection in the room. I can, and do, work while pumping. I pump from 15-30 minutes at a time, depending on my schedule and on how the milk is flowing. With Pumpkin, I was able to cut down to pumping 2x a day when she was about 10 months old. I went down to pumping 1x a day when she was about 13 months old (I think- I'd have to go back through my blog archives to be sure), and dropped pumping altogether when she was about 17 months old. We continued to nurse until she was 23 months old.
With Pumpkin, who was basically on a 24 hour eating schedule, the three pumping sessions were enough to replace what she ate during the day. This is only day 3 back to work with Petunia (I'm part time for the month of January), but she is eating more during the day than I pump out. I suspected this might happen, because Petunia was basically sleeping through the night and is therefore eating roughly every hour that she is awake. On Wednesday, I pumped out 18 ounces of milk while I was at work, but Petunia ate 22 ounces. I am handling this by keeping a before bed pumping session but not having Hubby give any bottles in the middle of the night/early morning. This isn't too bad, since Petunia is sleeping through until about 4 a.m. most days.
We have had a change in sleeping patterns this week, but I'm not sure if this is due to me going back to work or the three-month growth spurt. For the last two nights, Petunia has woken up at about 2 a.m. to eat. She never really settles back into her co-sleeper at that point. She nurses, poops, nurses, poops, nurses, and then will sleep another couple of hours if someone holds her. I've been dozing on the sofa with her sleeping on my chest. Even with this latest change, Petunia is a better sleeper than Pumpkin was, so although I am incredibly grumpy and tired when I first get up in the morning, I'm actually feeling pretty good during the day.
I'll keep my before bed pumping session over the weekend, too. This will help keep my supply up and also help build up some extra milk to make up any shortfall during the week. I should be fine as long as I'm only working three days a week. However, I go back to work full time in February. If I find that I can't keep up with Petunia's milk consumption at that point, I'll probably start taking fenugreek and also try to add one day time pumping session on Saturdays and Sundays. As a last resort, I'll supplement with formula. I want to try to avoid that because of my concerns about Petunia's digestive system- I'm still not eating much dairy. If dairy in my diet is suspect, then formula based on cow's milk is probably not a good idea. However, Petunia seems to be handling it OK when I eat cheese, so this may not be a concern. Also, babies tend to handle dairy better once they are 6 months old, and I suspect I'll have enough frozen supplies to allow me to make it to that point before I have to consider formula supplementation.
I have more mundane details about pumping in an earlier post, from my days of pumping milk for Pumpkin.
Anyone else want to share how they handle all of this?