Breastfeeding dad?

(18 Posts)
HoldenCaufield Tue 01-Apr-14 11:13:41

I'm a bloke and am wondering how feasible it would be for my partner and I to have a breastfed baby if she goes back to work and I stay at home. She's got a great job that wouldn't be possible to do part time and the kind of work I do would be amenable to part time working. We've discussed this and I'd be happier putting my career on hold than she would. Would it be possible to express enough milk outside of working hours for me to be able to feed the baby breastmilk? Anyone have experience of this?

CluelessNewbie1 Tue 01-Apr-14 11:17:08

How young would the baby be when your partner went back to work?

HoldenCaufield Tue 01-Apr-14 11:24:04

It's all hypothetical at the minute, but currently she'd be wanting to take as little time off as possible. Are you legally required to take a certain amount of time off before you return to work?

AnnoyedByAlfieBear Tue 01-Apr-14 11:26:21

I think you legally have to take 2 weeks off, but I'd be surprised if breastfeeding was established enough for that amount of expressing by then. I don't know much about breastfeeding

BertieBotts Tue 01-Apr-14 11:30:32

Lots of women go back at 6 or 12 weeks in the US and manage to exclusively express - if you search "exclusive pumping" on google, that's what they call it and you'll find more advice. It's not common in the UK thanks to longer maternity leave in general.

It's a lot of work for her, she'd have to take regular breaks at work to express (she should be allowed to under sex discrimination laws) and she might have to pump at night. It might be better to aim for mixed feeding, you'll have better results with this if you can stretch the return to work to 12 weeks minimum, as that gives time for breastfeeding to be fairly established before you start supplementing feeds, as they have to be introduced slowly to avoid compromising supply. This way she could still breastfeed at evenings, nights and weekends with formula when she's at work.

It depends on the mum, how well she gets on with pumping, how her supply is, how the baby copes with switching between breast and bottle.

If she ends up with a Cesarian, she may not feel up to returning to work before 6 weeks.

What will her hours be like? How far is work from home? Could you bring the baby by for a lunchtime feed? How feasible will pumping every three hours or so be, at her work?

NatashaBee Tue 01-Apr-14 11:44:37

I was about to say what BertieBotts said. DS couldn't latch on, but I managed to express milk and by 4 weeks I was producing enough for all but one feed per day. By 6 weeks, though, I was tired and stressed and my supply dropped off. That may not be such an issue if she's doing some of the feeds herself as the baby feeding will stimulate milk production (the night feeds are the ones which prompt the body to keep producing milk) - she would need to make sure she gets plenty of sleep and eats well.

To be honest I found it incredibly tough and I remember nothing about those first 6 weeks apart from pumping milk. She'll need a lot of support.

HoldenCaufield Tue 01-Apr-14 11:48:53

Many thanks for the replies so far

antimatter Tue 01-Apr-14 11:49:11

I know workplace has to provide a "breastfeeding room" by law can you bring baby to work for her to feed it or is it too far?

With my first it took nearly 2 months to establish good routine. I think if you contact breastfeeding counsellor and read up a lot about it then you are in better chance to do it. If you work as a team that would make massive difference.

jaggythistle Tue 01-Apr-14 14:11:37

We did this with my husband at home, but I wasn't back at work till 6 months.

I expressed mostly during work though.

naty1 Thu 03-Apr-14 18:35:58

Bear in mind if she exclusively bf then the baby may not take a bottle of expressed milk or formula. So you may need to introduce a bottle early on

BertieBotts Thu 03-Apr-14 18:39:18

It's not true that introducing a bottle early prevents bottle refusal. Some babies just do it.

"If she ends up with a Cesarian, she may not feel up to returning to work before 6 weeks"

how does that work in the US - I've often wondered?

BertieBotts Thu 03-Apr-14 18:42:52

God knows sad

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Thu 03-Apr-14 18:44:47

I guess it moves to sick leave?

callamia Thu 03-Apr-14 18:53:56

Does she have a good maternity package to allow a few months at least? This might allow her to build up her supply through feeding and then also build up a supply in the freezer to supplement the back to work supply. It's also possible to mix feed, so get a majority from breastmilk, but supplement with formula when necessary.

mrswishywashy Thu 03-Apr-14 19:47:47

I worked with a mum who went back to work at six weeks and baby had exclusive breast milk until six months.

In the early days its important to feed and express every 3-4 hours around the clock. You should get the best expresser machine possible a hospital grade double pump.

Does she want to breast feed at all or just do exclusive expressing?

The mum I worked for set up a fairly intense feeding/pumping routine but then at three months would feed first thing at morning, express twice at work (both sides), feed baby as soon as getting home from work and then throughout the night so before bed, at dream feed and one other feed.

Elllimam Thu 03-Apr-14 19:58:41

When is she back at work? My DS went right off the breast at about 12 weeks and I exclusively pumped until he was 6 months. It was really really difficult I have to admit. I agree with the poster who said to get a hospital grade double pump. I rented mine from medela (I think it was around £40 a month) it would have been impossible without that, my previous pump was nowhere near as effective. Even with the pump it was hard, it is necessary to pump overnight otherwise your supply drops, I got up twice overnight to pump and every 3-4 hours during the day. I don't know if I could have done it while I was working as well. On the plus side I got a lot of reading done while I was pumping smile

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