To think I can continue to breastfeed when I return to work?(67 Posts)
My maternity leave is due to finish at the end of January and either I go back to work or I have no money.
My DD will be 8.5 months and up until now is still breastfed.
I had always assumed I would be able to continue this until I/we felt it was right to stop. This would possibly mean me having to pump during working hours. My thoughts were that I would be able to do this however having read a lot online it seems many people don't agree mothers at work should be allowed to do this. I woul be quite happy to use my breaks to do it but I'm concerned I'm going to meet some prejudice. AIBU? Am I just being overly concerned? Has anyone dealt with this situation with or without success?
I suppose it depends on if you are going to do it in private or at your desk!
Surely nobody at work even needs to know you are doing it unless you tell them.
YANBU - I EBF till just before I went to work then mix fed (bottles of formula during day, BF morning, evening and through the night). My supply adjusted quickly. My SIL pumped when she went to work (I didnt have facilities for it) and BF when home or had bottles of EBM for her DD during the day. She didnt have any problems with it. You will need to check out facilities for pumping and where you'd store EBM at milk - I didnt fancy pumping in the loo and storing in our rank work fridges..
You are entitled by law to have breaks and privacy for expressing. I carried on for six months after returning to work.
My colleague did this for a while she had a room to go to but in the end it was a bit much for her so she just breast fed her baby in the evenings.
take a coolbag to keep the milk stored while you are at work..
I continued to breastfeed when I returned to work. Get a pumping bra that you can wear over your clothes, a good double electric pump and find a suitable private place. I pumped during my breaks in a locked cupboard (no chair - just sat on the floor). A few people at work knew and it wasn't commented on at all - it is pretty normal I would say.
I have been back at work for more than a year and I'm still breastfeeding my twins. I don't express at work, just feed
all night long when I'm with them. They have cows milk when I'm not with them.
Law says you are allowed to do this.
I'm sure employers have to give you a space to pump in private if you wish to. However there are many ways to keep bfing once returning to work my aunt went back when her youngest was 9mo and they fell into a routine of feed first thing and just before leaving the house, as soon as she got in and again at bed, often a lunch time feed on weekends. She carried on like this until he was 1yo!
I mix fed when I went back when my dcs were about the same age as yours. I tried to pump - but it was a pita. I continued to feed dd on demand until she was nearly 2 and ds until he was 18mo.
YANBU - you are entitled to breaks to express if you want to. Good luck. I loved that after work feed - felt like dd and I reconnecting, was lovely.
Glad to hear there are people who manage it. Not planning on doing it at my desk (especially as my 'desk' is a counter- may increase foot flow in the shop though?). I don't want to introduce any formula do I'm hoping to express from now on and build a supply but I still get very full breasts and I doubt if I could work a whole shift and not pump.
I did find being able to hand express was useful at first - if I had to stay late or got uncomfortable. I didn't keep the milk, but was useful to be able to relieve discomfort. Found my boobs filled up whenever I thought of dd.
When you return to work you need to make your employer aware that you intend to continue breastfeeding, and you are protected by law to do so.
I returned when ds3 was 7 months, and BF til he was 3+ years. I expressed at work for about 8 months with an Avent manual pump (brilliant, I'd tried the electric ones with dc 1&2 but could hardly manage a drop)
I think you have to let them know in writing 6 weeks before you return do they can put things in place to allow you to express at work. I returned when DS was 14 mo and I was allowed 15 minutes more on my lunch real so that I could go home and express there. Saves them having to make alterations at work (private room and own fridge for storage). I expressed for about 9 months then my supply settled so I can give him morning/ night and nap time feeds without any problems.
Of course you can carry on if you want to. I went back to work after DD at 11 months. She never took a bottle. I worked two 13 hour shifts a week. I'd already filled the freezer with breast milk which she drank from a cup whilst I was away. On my days off we breastfed as normal.
The first few weeks at work were really uncomfortable as I didn't express at work. I remember the first day I could barely move my arms 10 hours into the shift. But my supply soon adjusted and we continued until I got pregnant again when DD was 18 months.
I know the law states that you can express at work but some jobs really don't work well with expressing. All well and good if you work in a shop or office with good access to toilets, fridges, etc but some jobs that just isn't practical. Outdoor jobs, emergency services, I'm sure there's many more.
I'm currently waiting to hear if I can go back to my old company as I need to reduce hours etc and they may not accept that. Will tell them at the meeting that I am planning on continuing bf.
If I have to look for a new job I'm worried they will hold this against me? Obviously they won't say it but I feel I have to tell them at any interviews and they can always find an excuse not to hire me?
I went back to work part time when DD was about 8 months. She wouldn't take milk from a bottle or a cup, so at nursery and at home (in my absence) she would take water from a cup. She was on solids too so didn't go hungry.
She fed in the morning and the evening and during the night and on my days off would feed as normal during the day too.
I expressed a little for comfort at first but found that my boobs quickly adjusted - even to the odd routine of feeding some days and not others. It is perfectly do-able if you want carry on bf.
I did it for 4/5 months - I'd take my laptop and a cuppa off to the medical room, lock the door and stay there until I'd got my 8 oz; twice a day approx same times as I would have fed if I'd been at home. There were a few issues with the fridge - I was supposed to use the medical one but couldn't access it if there was any one in that room, so used the office fridge. If I went to another site I had to contact Occ Health and book a room - on the whole it worked well, and in the midst of all of the shite at work at the time, I knew I could walk away for 10-15 minutes to think about the DC.
Don't tell them about planning to breast feed until you have agreed reduced hours/new job. Haven't read all the thread but they are required to provide you with private facilities to express and store milk. It will be fine.
I returned to work FT when DD was 9 months. Weekdays I feed her morning, evening and nights with a bottle of expressed milk in the afternoon. Weekends I do all feeds. When I first returned to work I was used to pumping first thing after feeding DD (Id done this since she was small) and then would pump once during the day at work. After a week or so I decreased the amount I expressed at work and then dropped it. I then stepped down and stopped expressing in the morning. The older they get the more the milk is made on demand anyway as I understand it.
If you wanted to continue to express to get the milk there are some people out there who do express at work a lot and try googling exclusive pumping for US sites as it is more common there due to short maternity leaves.
I now only express if Ive missed feeds Id otherwise be doing if I feel uncomfortable so mostly and am using milk in the freezer from daily expressing before I started back.
FWIW my bosses and colleagues don't know I still BF or that I was expressing. The only people at work who knew were the facilities management person who I spoke to in order to see where I could use and the team assistant who arranges some meetings so she knew not to block me in meetings all day without breaks and I asked both of them to keep it to themselves.
Agree with bookboom. Sort out your hours etc first.
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