I have a 6 week old daughter and have a weeks work in June when she'll be 4 and half months old. I cant turn it down as its good money but only catch is its abroad -- in Paris. She is currently exclusively breastfed and is gaining weight very well. I have not expressed yet and havent tried the bottle yet. I was only going to start this at the beginning of May (6 weeks before work) and get husband to give her bottle and start with one a day small amounts to see how it goes and introduce slowly!! I have done lots of reading on here about this but as I will be away completely for a week (not home in evening for feed or there in morning for morning feed)its slightly different.
I am a little anxious and worried that if she takes bottle OK, will she go back to breast after a week? What if she refuses bottle?? I know she wont starve herself but will it effect her me not being there too?? Will she cope without mum for a week!!! Are some 4 and half month olds on solids by then?? I wanted to try to breast feed only till 6 months..Also anxious to how I will cope emotionally!!
I can pump at work to maintain supply.
anyone been away from there little one and breast feeding has continued OK??
I'm no expert, but I think you'd find it very hard to maintain your supply for a whole week just with pumping. You'd need to be pumping every 2-3 hours or so and will this really be possible for you whilst working? I couldn't have left dd for that long at that age, they're still so little and I'd have been so anxious, even if she had been formula fed.
Good advice above to post in breastfeeding though. Good luck!
At 4.5 months, an EBF baby may or may not take a bottle, and if they do take one they may not take very much at each feed. I know at that age my babies would take an ounce or so every few hours if I left them with DH and then catch up from me when I got back in the evening.
I would also worry about supply over that length of time. As said earlier, you'd be looking at expressing every few hours day and night throughout the week. I don't know how feasible that is while working in an unfamiliar place.
There is also the separation factor. A week with no contact is a very long time for a baby. They have no concept of the future, so don't have any idea that you're coming back. Leaving a baby feeling like that for a few hours when it's unavoidable is one thing, but to have them feel like that for an extended period is very different IMO. After a week, I think baby will have adjusted to you not being there, and you'll have to translation baby back to accepting you as primary caret again, otherwise she'll feel abandoned again when your DH leaves her with you.
On a different note, there is also the issue of paid work ending your maternity leave. If you do a weeks work, doesn't that mean you have returned to work and your SMP will stop?
You could definitely maintain supply with only a week's absence (bet it's really just 5 working days absence?) but would be easier if your DP came with baby for a sunny jolly in Paris as well & you could feed her first thing/last thing as well each day; you'd have the weekend to be a family, too.
You'd probably still need to express each day, but that's only 10-15 minutes if you're lucky. Bring a cooler to keep the milk in, could probably get a foil insulating/cooling pack to fit in a large handbag, even.