New baby on the way – tips for pumping on call?

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    My husband and I are expecting our first baby in a few weeks. I’m in my third year of IM residency.
    I’ve been doing some “lighter” rotations so far this year, so the worst of it is ahead of me. 24 hour shifts, 90-hour weeks in the ICU, etc.
    I hope to breastfeed baby for as long as possible, and realize that I will absolutely have to pump while at work. I have looked on other sites about pumping at work, but no one seems to work the way that we do.
    How will I manage to pump, clean and sterilize all this stuff, and pump again and again during a 24 hour shift?
    Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks so much and hope everyone is enjoying the summer!


    Congratulations on your baby! I finished IM residency a year ago and pumped for over 2 years during it (2kids). It’s definitely doable.

    ICU can be a challenge since it can be extremely busy with very sick patients but you still need to find time. Remember, you won’t be able to pump every 3 hours or however often it’s advised for moms with a non clinical job. Sometimes you’ll go 5-6 h or longer without and sometimes you will pump every 2 h. Your body will adjust. Definitely invert in hands free bra. I used medela and was eating lunch/ working on notes/ answering pages while pumping.

    You don’t need to wash all the attachments after every use, I did it twice a day whether at home or on call. Have 2 sets for a 24 h call, store in the fridge in between. Store pumped milk in the fridge. If not available, get a small cooler with ice packs. I used a professional medela pump do could pump faster and more efficiently.

    I also pumped while driving, using a nursing cover.
    Let me know if you have any questions.


    Tess, Thank you so much! This is extremely helpful. I will definitely follow your advice!
    Congratulations and major kudos to you for your dedication to your babies!

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