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Going away for weekend and leaving ebf baby

(25 Posts)
titchy77 Thu 10-Jan-13 09:17:46

I just looking for some advice/ tips from you ladies as I'm going on my best friends hen weekend soon & my baby will be 4 months old and ebf. My dh will be looking after her. I was just wondering if it will be ok for her to take some formula that weekend, I have expressed quite a bit but don't think it will be enough. Can he give her the milk i've expressed then top up with formula if need be? im not sure how much she even takes but is on the breast for 5-10 mins each feed and isnt a very big baby. Also will those 3 days away affect my supply? I'm going to pump while I'm away but will I need it to do it as often as she feeds? Thank you thanks

Maternityleaveisawesome Thu 10-Jan-13 10:32:24

Don't mix formula and breast milk in the same bottle, but no problem to do some of one and some more of the other.

When you are away, pump as much as you can, but pumping isn't as good as keeping your supply up as sucking, so there is no guarantee your milk supply won't go down unfortunately.

Have you already got dc to take a bottle? My dd (3mo) refuses, so a weekend away is only a dream for me!

titchy77 Thu 10-Jan-13 10:50:06

Thanks my mil had her for a few hours last week and she took 2 ounces of bm from a bottle then but who knows! I'm very hmm about having to leave her & really hope I can still bf.

dinkystinky Thu 10-Jan-13 10:55:02

Titchy - you will need to express as you'll get very uncomfortable and possibly leak if you dont feed for 3 days. Formula smells and tastes disgusting so I suspect your EBF baby will reject it - my 2 did - but EBM will be the same as her usual feed so she should be ok taking that, particularly if MIL has done it.

However, you may find she rejects the bottle as she only wants you (DS2 did that with poor DH for a full day when I was away, even though he could take a bottle - I had to come back early - and he was 6 months!) so be prepared to come back early if that does happen.

dinkystinky Thu 10-Jan-13 10:56:59

Sorry, meant to say, topping up with formula is fine if she'll take it though!

tiktok Thu 10-Jan-13 11:04:42

titchy, that's a long time to be away from a very young baby and a long time for a very young baby to be away from her mum....a shorter time would give you more flexibiliity and less worry.

To maintain a supply when you are away, and your comfort, you will need to pump 6-8 times in 24 hours. If you don't manage as much as this your supply will recover when you get back to full bf - it won't disappear forever .

Bf babies take about a litre of breastmilk a day, and that's a huge amount to express in advance - though possible, of course.

Honestly, the whole thing sounds like a tall order for everyone! Any room for compromise with a shorter trip? Do you really want to be away for 3 days??? It doesn't sound as if you do sad

ZuleikaD Thu 10-Jan-13 11:09:09

If it was me I'd ditch the trip. It's not great for you or the baby and you sound ambivalent about it. It'll be really hard to express enough in advance and you don't know whether she'll be feed exclusively from bottles for a whole weekend (a one-off 2oz isn't terribly promising).

TripleRock Thu 10-Jan-13 11:15:14

Can't you go for part of it?

bamboostalks Thu 10-Jan-13 11:19:32

How will feel being away form your baby for 3 days and nights.

titchy77 Thu 10-Jan-13 11:50:57

Thank you for all the advice, I am getting a bit anxious about leaving her for that long. We go on a fri and come back sun so not a full 3 days & nights but long enough, I think my dh may be pulling his hair out! I don't think I cannot go, it's my bf & I'm unable to go to her wedding as she's getting married abroad. I will try her with some formula but I think you are right even if she takes it now it doesn't mean she will for a whole weekend....sad

tiktok Thu 10-Jan-13 11:57:39

If you are worried and upset at the very thought, titchy, what will you be like during the weekend?

Would your friend not understand? Can you think of an alternate offer? A girls' weekend when your baby is older? A night out for the two of you, your treat?

It is normal for mothers and 4 mth old babies not to be comfortable at being apart for 3 days - think how worried women get when they are planning on going back to work and how careful they are to get their baby used to being away from them for 6-8 hours at a time. Or mothers who have to go into hospital for a night. Your baby does not know you are coming back - her world will have changed and she will not understand why. The good thing is that her next most favourite person will be there for her, and that's a help.

Is a shorter time not something possible?

TripleRock Thu 10-Jan-13 12:07:08

Sorry you are feeling anxious sad

Talk to your friend, you have a young baby I'm sure she will understand.

Is it far away? Like I said before is it the kind of weekend you could do parts of?

ZuleikaD Thu 10-Jan-13 12:10:11

I agree, I think your best friend should understand.

rockinhippy Thu 10-Jan-13 12:19:20

I worked 60 mile away & commuted when DD was that tiny & EBF - so from that I would say - trust your instincts & don't go - it wont just be your DH tearing his hair out, but you too - I knew every time DD cried/was hungry & rang (gobsmacked) DH to tell him, but it was the really awful, restless anxious feeling I also got at the same time that made it really difficult for me & I knew I'd be going home soon - I also expressed at work, but still spent most of the day looking like a pneumatic porn star & feeling very sore & that was even without the leaking - its not going to be a pleasant weekend for you at all, all you will think about is your baby & you will feel bereft

Your friend should understand, if she doesn't then she isn't your friend

Startail Thu 10-Jan-13 12:23:13

Can't you take DH and the baby and simply join in with some of the nights, meals out on the Hen trip.

Or just go for one night.

No way could I have left DD2 at 4 months, I couldn't have done more than one night until she was well over a year old as she wouldn't drink formula and had an unprintable opinion of bottles.

teacher123 Thu 10-Jan-13 12:51:13

My lovely DS took bottles of EBM if I wasn't there for a couple of hours until he was about 4 months, and then would drink formula from a bottle until he was 5 months. And then stopped one day and has never taken a bottle again. 3 months of frustration later he is now daytime weaned and has formula out of a sippy cup, and only in the last week has started to consistently drink 5oz morning and afternoon. What I'm trying to say is that there are no guarantees. He now eats three good meals a day and I cram him full of yoghurt!

He is now 8 1/2 months and I am just getting to the point where I could leave him overnight if I was 10 miles away. No way at 4 months could I have left him for a whole weekend. At that point I would physically shake and panic if I wasn't with him for longer than a couple of hours as it was so touch and go as to whether he'd actually drink anything. breastfeeding is such a strangely claustrophobic experience!

titchy77 Thu 10-Jan-13 14:04:46

I know when it was booked I was pregnant & thought I would be ok about it all, now it's getting closer I'm not so sure. I have an electric pump but I will still have to go back to the hotel every 3-4 hrs to express. And I can't bear the thought of her getting upset & me not being there to comfort her. Thank you for all your advise I will consider my options & make a decision before its too late!

Boop33 Thu 10-Jan-13 14:36:24

Hi titchy ,

I totally understand about you feeling anxious but also on the flipside attending your bf hen do is very important to you as well.

I'm just wondering how long you have got until the hen do before I share my own experiences with you xxxx

titchy77 Thu 10-Jan-13 14:50:56

Hi boop
There's about 6 weeks until we go.....

worldgonecrazy Thu 10-Jan-13 15:02:37

I stayed away from my daughter at a similar age. I'd expressed enough milk to keep her going, but was shocked at how two days away affected my supply (Saturday morning to Monday evening). I went from pumping 100ml a day to barely getting 20ml (over a day of 5 pumping sessions). Luckily I had a lot of support and borrowed a hospital-grade breastpump, took enough fenugreek to be smellable a mile away, had a whole day of skin-to-skin, and by Wednesday my supply was back to normal. So it's not just the days away you might need to think about, it's the days when you need to pick your supply back up again.

Is there anyway your DH can come along and just meet up for feeds so that you have Hen time but also don't have to worry about baby?

mistlethrush Thu 10-Jan-13 15:06:48

Can't DH come along and regularly meet up with you wherever you are so DD can have some feeds?

Boop33 Thu 10-Jan-13 15:08:02

oh that makes it a bit easier ( in terms of being more confident about feeding not missing your little one - can't help with that i'm afraid !)

Our little one is 9 weeks and we have just introduced formula feeds for the last couple of weeks . We started by introducing expressed bottles . DH gave it her first she took it no probs and then grandma and then me ( i would think about giving bottle yourself if you intend to carry on expressing/ formula long term) . So once we were happy with this ( maybe introduce a couple of bottles a day ) we introduced a formula feed at night (either 6-7pm feed or 10ish feed) . Again she was happy with this ( helps to make sure feed is warm) . Then slowly introduce more FF in day but take it slowly. ......As with expressing, lots of people told me i had to express as though feeding DD . For me this is not true at all .....I have only expressed when I feel my boobs are becoming too uncomfortable ( surely going back to hotel every 3-4 hours will be inconvenient for you ....!?? ) and this has not affected my supply or ability to BF. After a couple of weeks i am able to do whatever is best for me and DD and mix feeds quite happily depending on the situation. I have also had a couple of nights out and i am able to leave DD with DH or grandparents with expressed or formula which is a (good) result as far as I am concerned. What I am saying is that by taking things at a good pace for you and little one you can determine what is best and hopefully will feel more confident about leaving her ( and you can enjoy yourself too!)

Having said all that .sorry so long and i hope it makes sense would it be possible for you to go for one night instead of 2 ?? I had my hen do last year and several friends with little ones did this and I felt that was totally acceptable :-)

Hope this helps ( a bit ?!)
Let me know how you get on


KatAndKit Thu 10-Jan-13 16:53:51

I think you should ditch the trip. Firstly it would be quite distressing to a 4 month ebf baby to be suddenly separated from their mother for 3 days. Your friend must surely understand that you have to put your baby first.
If you were to go, at that stage it would make more sense to transition over to formula gradually beforehand. All that pumping would be a nightmare and suddenly not breastfeeding for 3 days could lead to mastitis.

I couldn't be apart overnight from my baby at 4 months. A baby under 6 months does not understand that it is a separate person from its mother. There is a reason why we feel anxious about leaving our tiny babies and I think you should listen to your gut feeling.

teacher123 Thu 10-Jan-13 17:59:04

How about your DH goes and stays somewhere nearby in a hotel and you go and feed the baby every few hours? We went to a wedding when DS was 4 months, and my lovely mum and dad stayed in our hotel and looked after him, I didn't drink and popped back a couple of times. They got room service and had a lovely time!

rockinhippy Thu 10-Jan-13 18:24:12

I'm with the take DH brigade now too - I'd forgotten that I had to go abroad on a work trip when DD was a similar age & took DH & her along - DH occupied himself looking at galleries, shops etc & we met up feed times, worked really well

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