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Returning to work advice re: dropping feeds

(10 Posts)
reastie Sat 01-Oct-11 21:17:49

I'm back to work a little at beginning of Dec (when DD will be 9 months) for (I think) a week of mornings only. I'm back properly (which will again be mornings only but one whole day) in Jan when DD will be 10 mo (onv blush )

DD is BF. She munches alot in the day on milk and there is a vague pattern but it is on demand pretty much. DH always looks at me with this confused face when I feed her frequently sometimes and makes comments about how she won't get milk like that when I'm back at work. I have 2/3 months now to sort her feeds out so I can leave her regularly from 7:30am - 1pm knowing she will be happy to go without bm in this time and I'm not sure how to go about it.

Since I'm only working one afternoon a week my plan is eventually once I'm back at work to give her a bf feed first thing, one in the afternoon and one in the evening. She currently has 3 solid meals a day - sometimes she eats lots and sometimes barely a mouthful. I try when she has a decent amount of solids to not feed her milk at the end of her feed and wait until her next milk feed. Having said this she currently feeds from me an average of 8 times a day.

Can anyone give me advice on how to go about preparing both of us for me returning to work from a bf perspective? I have no idea where to start. I've never left her longer than 3 hrs before and when I do I leave solids/formula for her (she used to take formula from a bottle at night but hasn't had any for 3ish months) and when I do she's usually screaming when I come back for a bf confused

reastie Sat 01-Oct-11 21:20:38

Oh, and can I add a question to this - they'll be one day a week where I'm working until 5pm when I'm hoping she'll take ebm or formula for her afternoon feed - will not doing a feed like that once a week make me uncomfortably full of milk in the afternoon? Will I have to consider expressing or will I be OK?

rubyslippers Sat 01-Oct-11 21:23:03

Lots of babies maange without breast milk in the day especially at that age when hopefully your baby will be on solids

I returned to work FT when my DD was 8 months

She was still having a 2 pm feed which she dropped more or less as soon as I returned to work. My nanny offered her a drink and snack at this time instead

She did use to leap on me on my return and feed a lot until bedtime

We managed really well and am still breast feeding DD at 2 years

rubyslippers Sat 01-Oct-11 21:24:10

I never ever expressed at work

I never got engorged or leaked

I think you may have to wait and see how it all goes and if you need to express

Personally I coulnt be faffed!

reastie Sat 01-Oct-11 21:32:51

Thanks ruby , v interesting, I can't suddenly go to work at leave her after giving her so many feeds a day though so I'm aware I have to somehow wean her off or reduce frequency and not sure how to do this

reastie Sun 02-Oct-11 08:32:25

any other suggestions out there?

WoTmania Sun 02-Oct-11 10:09:30

I've not been in this situation myself but have many friends who were. They all just carried on as they were until they went back to work, expressed at work for the next day and then carried on nursing on demand once it was hometime - often nursing at the nursery before leaving.
It might be helpfull to go to a LLL meeting or other BF support group as there will be other mothers who have been in the same situation and have found different ways of managing.

WoTmania Sun 02-Oct-11 10:10:12

Oh, and some of them were still nursing lots in the day, they just made up for it when mum was around.

DangoDays Sun 02-Oct-11 21:00:05

Reastie, I've just gone back to work and DS was 9 1/2 months at the time. Actually posted about the same issue a month ago! Has all worked out just fine.

I made a mental note for the couple of months before hand of when DS would feed (roughly 6 in 24 hours - 7am, 10am, 1pm, 4pm, 7pm and 4am). He became more interested in food around 8 months so I started to drop feeds where he didn't ask for it. Made sure any feeds dropped were more than 2 weeks apart. He hasn't seemed bothered, definitely into food more and has 3 meals a day. HV advised a formula feed midday, but DS loves yogurt so he has that as a snack in the afternoon to tide him over instead. He actually is happy to wait till bed for breastfeed and hasn't demanded it as soon as I am home.

I stressed about this for quite some time which was unnecessary as it has worked out just fine, so don't worry. Your DH shouldn't be so concerned, it is great you feed DD on demand and anyway you have plenty of time to figure out something that works for you especially as you are only one half days till Jan.

I would just start off with making a note of your DD's feeds and see how often.

Last thing (I promise!), I do think dropping feeds gradually helps all adapt, boobs included! Had to bring the breast pads back out after 6 months without, but body adapted after a couple of days of dropping each feed. I have read others who have no problem with extra feeds at weekends and when around so this might work for you.

beancounting Sun 02-Oct-11 23:06:10

I went back to work a few months ago when DD was 11.5mo - started trying to drop feeds about 10 weeks beforehand when I realised she was still bfing about 8 times a day. Made v slow progress and only got down to 3 the week before I went back, and so for the first week in nursery I went in at lunchtime (it's quite close, clearly this wouldn't work for everyone!) to bf her. This was partly because she wasn't eating much in the way of solids or drinking much other than from me so I was a bit worried about dehydration etc.

Anyway, after the first week I just left her to it and fed her when I picked her up and she's been fine with it. The first two days my boobs were a bit sore so I hand expressed a little bit at work to relieve the pressure but since then they've settled down fine - some days I feed her twice and others it's more like 5 times but that doesn't seem to be a problem.

In terms of how to drop the feeds, I realised she usually had one after the morning nap and one mid afternoon so made sure we were out somewhere interesting at those times so she didn't think about it, while stuffing her with snacks to stave off any hunger pangs. Wasn't quite as successful with dropping the post lunch feed though, and if she's tired or poorly or bored she still asks a lot. Lord knows how I'll stop!

Sorry for mammoth post but hth. Good luck!

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