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Away from 8 month old for 6 days - will she still breastfeed?

(17 Posts)
MrsGravy Thu 11-Nov-10 20:26:42

I have been offered some work which will take me away from DD2 for 6 days. She will be 8 months old at that point. It's a pretty amazing opportunity, travelling to a country I would never be able to afford to see otherwise. Pay is brilliant and once my maternity pay runs out in Feb I have no other income on the horizon so we may well need it.

BUT I really want to breastfeed for a year. If I go will it be the end of breastfeeding for me? I would take my pump but would she still be interested in breastfeeding when I get back? Has anyone done similar and their baby still carried on breastfeeding ok?

KeithTalent Thu 11-Nov-10 20:28:55

I would be more worried about the emotional impact of separation for your dd than breastfeeding tbh.

MrsGravy Thu 11-Nov-10 20:31:48

Well Keith, that's not really what I wanted advice on. Clearly there is more to my decision than just the breastfeeding but this is a breastfeeding forum so breastfeeding is what I am seeking advice on here.

KeithTalent Thu 11-Nov-10 20:41:17

Yes, but if you're breastfeeding then the emotional relationship is as important to your baby as the nutrients in your milk.

Your baby will feel your absence more than a bottle fed baby, as she won't have the comfort of her usual method of feeding.

Anyway, this is a breastfeeding forum, so I hope you get the info you need. smile

Lactnet are very good for hard info.

GingerGlitterGoddess Thu 11-Nov-10 20:44:13

How flexible is she re taking a bottle? My DD is really flexible, so I guess she'd probably go for boob after a few days break! I am not an expert though.

The thing that springs to mind is how you and your boobs would cope with it - will you be pumping a few times a day to avoid engorgement and keep your supply up? Is that practical on your trip?

Congrats on the job it sounds very exciting!

GingerGlitterGoddess Thu 11-Nov-10 20:45:16

I didn't make my question very clear are you mixed feeding? How flexible is she in going from boob to bottle and back? How much solid food is she taking? How many times a day does she have milk?

MrsGravy Thu 11-Nov-10 20:46:28

Actually I don't believe that's true - not in DD's case. She is not a baby who needs the boob for comfort or to go to sleep. She happily takes a bottle of expressed milk. I don't think she will feel my absence more because she is breastfed. But she may well be upset by my absence and this will be a factor in my decision - just not something I will seek advice on as only I can work that one out.

MrsGravy Thu 11-Nov-10 20:48:34

x-post there. She's only 5 months now so no solids yet. She has a couple of bottles a week at the moment and takes them happily. I was away from her for an afternoon recently and she was happy to go from boob to bottle. I would certainly be pumping on the trip but my supply would probably take a knock as I can't get as much out as DD can! She currently feeds every couple of hours but I would assume she would be feeding less by 8 months...

MumNWLondon Thu 11-Nov-10 21:17:21

I think it would be ok.... I stopped feeding DD at 6 months, but around 2 weeks later my breasts still felt full so I fed her, and she was happy to fed.

GingerGlitterGoddess Thu 11-Nov-10 21:19:52

Oh duh of course - sorry! Saw 8mths and she WILL be on solids by then, which will mean she's a bit more independent already IYSWIM and, as you say, taking less milk.

Supply will be your main issue I reckon, I have no idea what a prolonged separation would do but I guess you'd have to pump as much as possible to give yourself the best chance. And if DD does go back to the boob with gusto on your return, that will help anyway. A friend of mine weaned her DS of the boob at around 6mths, he then refused formula for some reason and ended up dehydrated - so she had to relactate, having previously totally dried up. So it can be done. She just fed him hourly I think til it came back in!

GingerGlitterGoddess Thu 11-Nov-10 21:20:53

Will she be with her Dad while you're away? How would you feel about expressing beforehand to allow him to do more feeds before you go? Would get her used to it in advance. just a thought.

InGodWeTrust Thu 11-Nov-10 21:22:17

You may find when she weans, if she's a hungry baby that breast milk might not be enough-if that's the case, once she's on solids, she may only be having a morning and evening milk feed. Ideal to pump and freeze that amount! It also means your hormones would have readjusted to allow you the time away without having leaky boobs !

prettybird Fri 12-Nov-10 00:11:28

I left ds for 9 days when he was 6 months old to go skiing with dh. He was used to being given bottles of EBM as I had had to go back to work when he was 4 months old (that was all the maternity leave we got back then ). I had also weaned him at 4 months - didn't know any better (I'd do BLW at 6 months if I had my time again wink)

Ds was fine: nice and cuddly when I got back and enjoyed his boob feed

I expressed enough for him while I was away (and he still drank a lot) shock When he dropped his evening deed, I kept it going as an express for storing. I expressed after every feed when I was at home and did plenty of expressing at work - more than he actually needed.

I also expressed while I was away - filled the chalet freezer with sachets of mil grin Brought it back with me (took a cool bag and freezer blocks with us plus insulated it in the car with blankets/ski suit. It was in the middle of the foot and mouth crisis and I was all prepared to VOUCH FOR EVERY SINGLE DROP if we had been stopped and challenged on the imporation of "dairy" goods grin

I ended up breastfeeding for 13 months

GingerGlitterGoddess Fri 12-Nov-10 08:41:57

prettybird what a fab story

MrsGravy Fri 12-Nov-10 13:11:34

Thank you everyone! That is a very positive story prettybird. We are going to have a good look at finances over the weekend as that would be the main motivation for going - I'm worried if I don't go and can't find work after my maternity allowance runs out then I'll be kicking myself. Don't really want to leave her for that long yet though

MoonUnitAlpha Fri 12-Nov-10 13:19:14

InGodWeTrust - why is breastmilk not enough for a baby once weaned? Surely an 8 month old still gets a lot (most?) of their nutrition from milk.

ParanoidAtAllTimes Fri 12-Nov-10 13:19:34

Well I left ds for 3 days when he was 8 mo. He was absolutely fine to return to the breast although my supply was low despite pumping. I ended up mix feeding him for a few days while gradually upping the bfeeds. I guess you need to prepare yourself for the idea that bfing may not continue though.

Emotionally (and I know 3 days is way less than 6 when you're talking separation from your baby) I missed him terribly but we both coped fine and it was just wonderful seeing him again. I also believe that it's helped me (and possibly him) deal with shorter term separation much better e.g. returning to work. Although this is off the point!

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