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Switching to bottles periodically from 12 weeks

(3 Posts)
Janoschi Fri 27-May-11 14:29:44

Hello!

Wondering if I can pick the brains of some experienced breastfeeding mothers here....

I'm a film freelancer and have been offered 3 weeks of work in London starting end of July. I have a 3 week old DD who is currently exclusively breastfed, and I want to keep this going as long as possible.

What would I need to take into account when providing milk for my little girl, staying comfy in the boob department during work and storing milk?

I doubt I'll have access to a freezer. Might have a bit of fridge space allocated. My OH has the option of coming down to London with me and caring for DD during work. Just very boggled with the idea of managing the sterilising and the storing, keeping up my milk supply, getting DD to take a bottle from OH.... Help!

Words of wisdom greatly appreciated.

Meita Fri 27-May-11 15:26:58

Hi,
congratulations on your new baby!

First question has got to be, can't you just keep bf your baby, if DH is there and taking care of her? Kind of, brings her to you whenever she needs a feed. Or change to a every-four-hours schedule or every-six-hours-during the day and more in the night.

If that not possible (although employers should provide options!) I'd say definitely keep bf at night and whenever you can, with a particular emphasis on at least one feed and/or expressing between 2 and 5 am. Is a bother, but seriously does help keep supply up.

BM will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days I think. Always store it at the back of the fridge where the temperature is more constant/colder.

Good to know also would be that if it is only you who uses the pump, you don't have to sterilise it between every use. Once per day should suffice. We used to take a microwave steriliser with us when we went away overnight, microwaves are available nearly everywhere.

Seriously, experiment with expressing and with bottle feeding ahead of time. Or else you may be in for a nasty surprise if your DD decides she doesn't like the bottle. Or if you find it hard to express any significant amounts.

We had to bottle feed our DS after every (unsuccessful) breastfeed as he kept losing weight and was too weak to bf properly, and accordingly my supply had been dropping too. But we successfully got back to EBF later on, so it is possible.

Perhaps you can find a workable schedule, involving only one bottle feed (or perhaps two) per day (i.e. per working hours)? You BF immediately before starting work, and immediately after finishing, and your DD gets used to mainly night-time feeding? If you get that schedule established beforehand, you shouldn't have any boob problems either as they would already be adapted to it. If established beforehand, you can now even choose if you'd rather express while at work (at the time DD gets her bottle feed) or if you'd rather express between feeds in the evenings/at night when DD doesn't feed.
Though admittedly some babies won't be coerced into parent-suitable schedules!

hth

Janoschi Fri 27-May-11 17:05:41

Thank you so much for this. Very useful info, especially about how long breastmilk lasts and the idea of breastfeeding mainly at night. I know employers legally need to supply certain facilities but realistically I'm going to be in a shed somewhere on a haphazard film shoot. Employment rights tend to go out of the window in these situations!

I'll try getting a workable plan tried and tested before the end of July!

Many thanks again. Massive help.

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