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Need advice on going back to stressful job and bfing DS at a year old

(11 Posts)
CountBapula Mon 20-Jun-11 12:41:23

Am sure I've seen similar threads before but been searching and can't find them now so hoping you'll be able to advise.

I'll be going back to work (hopefully on a 9-day fortnight) three days after DS's first birthday. He is 9 mo at the moment, doing really well on solids and down to three or four breastfeeds during the day. He takes a bottle and can drink from a cup so no issues there.

I plan to start settling DS with the CM a month before I go back. I'd like to keep bfing past a year if possible - maybe just first thing in the morning and at bedtime.

I've never been able to express much and doubt I'd be able to do so at work anyway (have very busy job and a boss who is not remotely sympathetic to working mums). So I would like not to have to express, but equally it seems a bit pointless to introduce formula at this stage.

So my questions are:

- Could I start giving cow's milk from 10.5/11 months to try and drop the daytime feeds or is it too early?
- How gradually should I do this so as not to end up with explody boobs?
- Has anyone breastfed long-term in a stressy/testosterone-y job? Did it work out OK?

TIA.

MatchsticksForMyEyes Mon 20-Jun-11 12:45:31

You do have the right to request somewhere private to express and store breast milk and your employer would be breaking the law if he refused this.
I teach and am still breastfeeding my 13th old. I think at 9mth although he would feed during the day on my days off he could go all day at nursery without having milk. Could you even express a couple of ounces? I would try and express even a couple of ounces at work if I were you just to take the pressure off and gradually your supply will adjust. I managed to do this and not get mastitis.
Hope that helps.

notnowbernard Mon 20-Jun-11 12:48:02

I'd be happy giving cow's from 11m (as you say, why introduce formula at that age)

I'd maybe start supplementing a day feed for a few days, then another etc. At that rate you should avoid engorgement

I've bf and done stressy job doing long hours (13h shifts) with nowhere/no chance to express. Got a bit engorged but manageable, just fed or expressed when back home and didn't affect supply at all (was pt working though). Baby was 9m when I went back and bf until 16m

HTH

notnowbernard Mon 20-Jun-11 12:50:53

I know that legally an employer cannot refuse you time/space to express but in my job it is simply impossible by nature of the work involved

ilovemountains Mon 20-Jun-11 12:51:18

Cows milk is not suitable as a drink before a year. I'd try replacing some of your day milk feeds with snacks and water, cheese and yoghurt are good if you're worried about calcium. By one year my dd was having breast milk morning and night and one cows milk/formula mid afternoon. Plenty of people manage to keep breastfeeding with just two feeds a day and no expressing in between, try not to worry about it.

Bohica Mon 20-Jun-11 12:52:37

I agree with everything matchsticks said.

I went back to a stressful enviroment when DD2 was just over a year (emergency services) she fed in the morning & last thing at night right up to 16m old.

I expressed at work but only a little bit, maybe twice through a shift & stored it in a reception fridge for my use only - fridge not milk, obv.

Everything worked out fine for us as I am sure it will for you to!

bringinghomethebacon Mon 20-Jun-11 12:53:35

I went back at a year. There was a big difference between how much milk my DD drunk then and at 9m. I have gone back twice with breastfeeding babies. I ended up giving a really big bf in the morning and at night and no milk in the day, however for a little while I did also feed in the night too if they woke but knocked that on the head at 16m with DD1 and 13m with DD2.

onlylivinggirl Mon 20-Jun-11 12:56:02

I am working full time and breastfeeding my 14 month old. We had cut down on feeds a lot (trying to get to morning and evening) - with having formula for the feed he couldn't drop - I tried to express for this feed for ages ( I hate/am useless at expressing)- and I had actually managed to build up a supply at home anyway which helped a lot to relieve the pressure.

I tend to think that formula is better than cow's milk early on.

DS has reverted a lot at the moment for various reading and is having a lot of bf - when I am there - but doesn't bother when I am not ( this is actually more disruptive than anything to my boobs.) - I found the whole expressing thing by far the most stressful and I don't find anything stressful about breastfeeding and working - I know that DS will take formula/cow's milk if he was hungry/thirsty and I wasn't there and also that the amount of feeds he has when I am there is very different to what he has without me - if it makes sense?

CountBapula Mon 20-Jun-11 14:05:39

Thank you all, that's really helpful.

I can express but am just a bit crap/lazy about it because I never manage to get more than an ounce or two at a time. DH gave DS a bottle of EBM the other night just to see if he'd take it (it was out of the freezer) - he took it fine and only drank 3oz then went to sleep. So maybe if I build up a freezer stash before I go back, then express a bit at work to take the pressure off, it might work out OK. My boss will be very hmm about it but as you say, he can't do much about it, can he? I will ask HR about it - I think there's a first aid room I could use. I have visions of me sitting pumping away while checking emails on a BlackBerry! smile

Cosmosis Mon 20-Jun-11 16:52:53

count I do that with the blackberry grin

PenguinArmy Tue 21-Jun-11 02:08:20

I had stopped expressing by a year. As you say, you'll probably need to express a little bit at the start as your body adjusts. At weekends for a while she had a few day feeds but only for a month or two when I first stopped expressing (10months). She just has water throughout the day and until recently 2-4 feeds while I was at home. Milk in her cereal, yogurt for dessert.

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