Returning to work at 4 months, need breastfeeding advice

(15 Posts)
fledermaus Fri 30-May-14 18:25:01

I'll be returning to work 2 days a week when my baby is 4 months old. Will I be able to continue breastfeeding? At the moment she feeds every 2 hours in the day.

I don't really want to express if possible. Would it be possible to get through 8 hours (probably missing 4 feeds) without expressing anything? Would I be better to drop these feeds on all days, not just working ones, so my body adjusts?

countingtotwenty Fri 30-May-14 21:24:30

I think it may depend how well baby sleeps at night - if they sleep through them you could drop some daytime feeds every day and you'd probably be OK. But if you are bfing during the night then you might need to express at work to relieve the pressure even if you don't want to keep the milk.

It's a bit difficult to predict sleep in advance though - it's quite common to get worse at the four month mark.

I got mastisis in my first week back at work with a night waking baby, which I put down to not expressing/bfing at all during the day!

Good luck!

fledermaus Fri 30-May-14 21:35:29

Thanks, I feed 3 times in the night at the moment and can't see that improving massively in the next month!

What are your thoughts on doing the same routine every day (eg. formula in the day and breastfeeds one in the morning, two in the evening and three overnight) vs. breastfeeding as normal on non-work days?

countingtotwenty Sat 31-May-14 22:26:04

I gave some formula on my non working days so that the bottle was more familiar to baby and it wasn't something just for days where baby was missing me anyway.

From a milk supply point of view I don't think it would make much difference. (I'm no expert though!)

Lovelydiscusfish Sun 01-Jun-14 21:30:29

I went back to work at a about 5 months. I expressed for the first couple of days, then my supply adjusted quickly. I was always able to still feed on demand on my days at home. Good luck with your return to work.

milkjetmum Sun 01-Jun-14 21:46:03

My DD2 is 3.5 months now and ebf (bottle refuser!) - I am self employed and have done a few 8-10hr days away at work now. The first time I tried to express at lunchtime (10mins in disabled loo - the glamour), didnt bother second time round. Felt quite full, and changed my breastpads frequently (but I am quite leaky generally) but not painful. Relieved to get home and feed, but it was fine.

So I would say yes, totally possible. But check your DC will take a bottle - poor DH is painstakingly cup feeding our daughter, we're hoping she'll take to a sippy cup as she gets older...

lapetitesiren Sun 01-Jun-14 22:02:31

Its not possible for anyone else to predict how your breasts will respond- some women will sail through without pumping and still have enough on days off, others may get engorged and their supply get affected. Maybe you could reassess your routines- 2 hourly is quite frequent for a four month old. this might help you to maintain feeding until you wean.

fledermaus Sun 01-Jun-14 22:02:44

Thanks for the replies everyone, sounds very doable!

fledermaus Sun 01-Jun-14 22:04:28

2 hours isn't my routine, it's the baby's unfortunately grin

lapetitesiren Sun 01-Jun-14 23:05:01

What I wondered was if maybe you could try to stretch the time between feeds by 10 minute increments until she can go longer# maybe 3.5/4 hours. Might create a more maneagable situation for you re pumping or replacing some feeds with formula.

fledermaus Sun 01-Jun-14 23:12:34

I'd imagine there's no chance of 4 hours between feeds, she doesn't even manage that at night. In fact I'm not sure I've ever met a breastfed baby who can go 4 hours in the day.

PeriodFeature Mon 02-Jun-14 00:43:50

Yes, absolutely! You can prepare your baby by getting her used to a bottle, you can express or you can supplement with formula. I absolutely agonised over this transition.

My DS is fine, he did adjust well (until a blip a 7 months when he got tonsillitis and had to have 3 weeks away from nursery) I still express a bit at work as it keep my supply up for the days that I'm at home and we are still happily breastfeeding.

The days I don't express I have expanding boobs and by the end of the day feel like Lola Farrari!

Oh.. one thing I did was begin expressing an extra feed at night, this was a bit laborious at first but after a few days I was able to express about 6 - 8 oz, this helped with keeping a bit of a supply in the freezer.

This lasted a week or two then I decided to supplement with Formula as it was a lot less hassle. A friend encouraged me to get him used to a bottle and I'm really glad I did.

Just go with the flow, i personally find setting rigid ideas and routines stressful and they never really stick anyway! I hope you enjoy being back at work. Good Luck.

Solasum Wed 04-Jun-14 21:46:41

I went back to work at 3 months adamant I would not express. In the end I have ended up with expressing once or twice during the day, to prevent explosion, and as it makes me feel closer to DS (God, I have gone soppy). I feed him at about 7am, and have to express by 2pm at the latest or I start to get lumpy and painful. At nursery he gets 3 feeds during the day, 2EBM, one formula. When I am not at work I only bf him, abiut 5 times during the day, and no supply ussues. Getting to the weaning stage now, so I am expecting to gradually be able to stop work expressing.

On a separate note, the first few weeks away from me he fed much more often at night than he had gor months, it was very hard. (Reverse cycling).

CMOTDibbler Wed 04-Jun-14 21:50:57

If I was working two days a week, then I'd express once at work (you can pump, eat lunch and MN at the same time), and then keep everything else the same.

FWIW, I went back to work ft when Ds was 4.5 months, and I bf him till he was 23 months, so it can work out really well

fledermaus Thu 05-Jun-14 19:27:40

I really appreciate all the replies! The baby seems to be moving towards more of a 3 hourly routine now which is helpful, and I'll be doing short hours so will be able to feed at 8am and 5pm (and bedtime and 3 night feeds), so will probably only miss two feeds on work days. I'll see how it goes with having to express once at work or whether I can manage without.

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