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Advice request on EBF, Expressing/supplementing with FF and going back to work

(7 Posts)
Arachnophobe Wed 19-Sep-12 15:35:59

I am EBF DC3 22 weeks but returning to work in 3 weeks - I need some advice please as my first two DC were FF by this stage so this is my first time ending maternity leave whilst still EBF.
I would like to continue to BF Him in mornings, evenings and night if he is still happy to do so but would like some advice regarding expressing at work and your experiences/tips please.
Alternatively any stories/tips on dropping feeds during day and supplementing with Formula would be gratefully received as I would like to keep an open mind. Thank you smile

Arachnophobe Fri 21-Sep-12 11:44:04

Heeeeelllp please grin.

My OP was a bit woolly but I am not sure whether to start swapping a feed(s) during the day for formula - How many times one would need to express at work if you could not feed from say 8.15am-6.15pm on a typical work day?
Can anyone give me an idea how many times they had to or have to now with a similar age Baby - Thanks.

Also is it easy to express by electric pump from one boob whilst you feed with the other as if keeping to breast milk only I would need to express during the evening/night/morning feed to have enough in fridge for the day feeds whilst I am at work but I don't know how much he actually takes so I would freeze some too beforehand.

I can go back 3 days out of 5 for first eight weeks - doing one on, one off, two on and two days off pattern and wondering if feasible to just put baby on boob during the days off or stick to expressing and bottle pattern. For first couple days DH is off so can bring DC to work at lunchtime and I could feed him in the car but I don't know if that makes it more faffy?

DC is 22 weeks now and we feed on demand he feeds one to two times during the night and it varies during the day. He will be 25 weeks when I am back at work and solids will have been introduced by then so his demand for milk might decrease I guess also?

Thanks and cheerio.

Climbingpenguin Fri 21-Sep-12 14:15:09

At 6 months you can get away with one express in the day and tbh you'd be quickly be able to phase it out if that one express proved to be a hassle.

At 7 months DD has 3oz at lunch and I stopped expressing at 10 months, but 6 months is considered the point at where you can go back to work if you have a bottle refuser.

You'd be fine to feed on your days off as normal.

I'd imagine as his solid intake goes up, you can phase the milk out gradually in a gentle way. He might be a bit upset for a few days but will honestly adjust to less milk if you're happy to increase feeds at other times. Otherwise you can build up a freezer stock to avoid expressing more than once. Also you might find you need to express twice initially for your comfort.

There's loads of possibilities, all I can say is that the stress and panic you might feel now will prove to be for hardly anything. I think mothers displace stress about returning to work/leaving baby onto something they can control.

spiffysquiffyspiggy Fri 21-Sep-12 14:53:16

I've gone back to work when each of my 3 were 6 months old (full time with DC1, 4 days a week with DCs 2 and 3) and it was fairly straightforward.

I expressed a couple of times a day for the first couple of weeks but that is more to do with comfort than needing a supply of milk. After that it was one express per day 15-30mins to get enough milk for the next day and maybe a couple of spare oz. DS1 and DD would take 3-4oz spread over the day. DS2 drank more, probably 6-7oz but he wasn't bothered if I sometimes sent him with a bit less. The rest of the time they would drink water. None of them had bottles just a bog standard sippy cup.

Feeding the rest of the time was on demand, like it always had been although the first thing I did when I got home was to give them a big feed.

Don't worry if he doesn't do a lot of solids. DS1 ate barely anything til 7.5 months and he was fine. He just adjusted his feeding pattern to when I was around.

My tips would be- get a good electric double pump. I eventually got the medela double and it was fab, made expressing much quicker. If you find it difficult to get let down with a pump then take a picture of your baby in to work to look at while you express- it really makes a difference. I just washed everything in really hot water rather than faff on with a steriliser. Milk went in a little cool bag in the fridge. I did have to teach nursery that they didn't have to throw the milk away if they didn't accept it first time round or only had a little and that it was fine to put it back in the fridge for later.

I stopped expressing at about 9 months for DS1 and DD. DS2 I went up to 11 months as he drank more than the others did. The older children self weaned at 20 and 21 months while DS2 is still going strong at 16months.

Good luck- it really isn't as difficult in practice as it seems in theory. Kellymom really helped me when I was planning with DS1- lots of tips on there.

Arachnophobe Fri 21-Sep-12 21:53:14

Thank you Climbing and Spiffy thanks
I am relieved that hopefully wont have to express at work more than a couple of times a day and may be able to feed normally on the off days until the part time switches back to full time in December.
I will also look at Kellymom.

My left boob has gone really hard, lumpy and veiny today - I am a bit gutted as we made it up to now with no other problems than sore nipples from tongue tie. I don't know if it is the start of mastitis? I have tried feeding from it more than the other one but it does not relieve it completely. I was hoping for a smooth transition of weaning and returning to work - I know it sounds ridiculous but I am so squeamish with it and can't stop tearing up, bloody hormones.

The thought of spending all day apart is no easier third time around but it has to be done so time to suck it up and get on with it - need to find some really good breast pads too now and got myself a cute new little jacket for first day back today just in case of leakage.

spiffysquiffyspiggy Sat 22-Sep-12 11:15:41

The anticipation is worse than the reality. I do the head in the sand approach myself: "I'm not going back, I'm not going back, What do you mean I'm back tomorrow?" grin

I'd just keep feeding on the side that is lumpy, I get that sometimes and it can take a couple of days to ease completely. And maybe practice with the pump! If it gets really sore I have a nice hot bath and hand express in the water. Don't know why but that always seems to help.

Lanisoh breast pads are the ones I used (don't have to use any now DS2 is 16months). I had a ridiculous oversupply with DS1 in the early days and they were the only ones that could stand up to the constant flow of milk so I trust them to stand up to a return to work. I feel let down if I think about feeding or someone talks about their baby and I cross my arms so I can sneakily put pressure on my nipples which stops them leaking.

I worked full time with DS1 and although my supply did drop a little by Friday the weekend feeds were enough to build it back up again for Monday. It didn't affect the feeds that DS1 had, just meant that I had to work a bit harder to get the same amount of milk out when expressing.

Arachnophobe Wed 10-Oct-12 11:01:32

Thanks Spiffy, I am still in denial but LO has had one and has another settling in session at CM, I am starting to build up a milk store as of tomorrow. I've been practicing and found a pump that suits me best and beside head in the sand is a good approach I think grin. Now I have to negotiate my eldest two DC clubs/homework/social lives after school and meal plan/housework plan - after eating my weight in biscuits and playing with the baby/texting my friends/procrastinating in every way possible

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