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Will I have to stop breastfeeding?

(11 Posts)
Thinkmummy Thu 07-Feb-13 18:53:45

My little girl is currently 14 weeks and won't take a bottle. I have to go back to work in July when she'll be 8 months. I understand that she'll be on food at this point but know that milk will still be needed. I really really don't want to stop breastfeeding but thinking I am going to have to as I'll be away from her for up to 10 hours a day 5 days a week.

1. Would it be best to wean her from the breast completley before I start work and just give her expressed? ( and would that cause my milk to dry up?)

2 should I give her morning and evening feed from me and the rest expressed or would she get confused ( some nights would not get back from work till 7.30pm so not sure if this is too late)

This is all assuming I can get her to take a bottle as at the minute she won't so not sure what I can do re giving her milk if she doesn't take it from bottles

Sorry for the long post I'm just a little worried and want to prepare in advance for going back to work.

rubyslippers Thu 07-Feb-13 18:57:14

i left my DD during the day from 8.5 months

so from 7.30 am until 5.00 pm

she never took a bottle and so the precious milk i did express was wasted

i would give her a morning feed and then when i got home she would leap on me for a feed. She owuld then feed at least twice more before bed

i also kept a dream feed until she was 11 months

my supply was fine - she used to feed a lot when i was around (ie weekends)

My DD just didnt have milk in the day but she would have water from a cup or beaker

i fed her until she was 3 years old so i can safely say it didn't affect my supply!

CMOTDibbler Thu 07-Feb-13 19:01:26

You won't need to give up bf, and you don't need to give all feeds as expressed. Babies are very adaptable, and by giving all feeds direct when you are together you will protect your supply too.

By 8 months, she'll be able to use a sippy cup for her milk, so you might want to just concentrate on introducing that in a month - a good method is to just hand express a bit into the cup and let her get the idea away from a feed time without you feeling shes wasting milk.

FWIW, I went back to work ft when ds was 4 1/2 months old, he was ebf to 6 months, and kept feeding till 23 months, so it can work out. I found expressing breaks at work gave me some precious head space, and you get the hang of expressing and eating lunch fast!

ShhHesAsleep Thu 07-Feb-13 19:02:12

You've a long time until your return to work. It's good to think about it now but please don't worry- pretty much everything will change in the next few months. Dropping naps, moving around, maybe crawling and sitting up, accepting a bottle or going straight to a sippy cup or even an open-topped cup.

I'd reevaluate things nearer the time. You could give your baby a cup to hold and play with to get used to them. The ones with side handles are good for this.

You'll probably find that the bf becomes very useful soon, for the emotional comfort your baby gets as well as nutrition etc. Once you return to work you may find that bf before and after work is a good way to reconnect.

Indith Thu 07-Feb-13 19:08:50

Relax and think again when she is about 7 months. She will have changed so much smile

She will be fine having mostly food and water in the day and feeding morning and night and in the day at weekends. Your supply will be fine with that too. She may be happy to have expressed milk or formula milk from a cup, she may not but it won't matter too much. Don't worry, you certainly don't need to stop feeding or worry about getting her onto a bottle now!

milkybrew Thu 07-Feb-13 19:09:36

I am by no means an expert so this is just my opinion from experience! Firstly I would try getting your DD taking expressed milk from a cup, lots of bf babies will drink from a cup rather than bottle. Some cups are suitable from 4 mths, usually free flowing ones.
Secondly you may find that once your DD is weaned she will drop some daytime feeds anyway. My DD did this with no real effect to my milk supply as it was a gradual thing. Also I was told that after feeding for several months, dropping feeds during day or just feeding morning, evening and during the night will still keep supply going, as supply is well established. Will you be able to express at work during the day?

Thinkmummy Thu 07-Feb-13 19:23:10

Thank you to you all for your lovely advice, I think by law my work have to let me express when I'm there which I was planning on. I'm worrying to much aren't I. Breastfeeding is something I love and I suppose I'll miss it more than she will when we're not together. It's great to see other people's perspective and has helped me to relax a little x x

mummysmellsofsick Thu 07-Feb-13 19:24:37

I worried and worried about this. I didn't want to stop or even reduce bf until DS was ready. I went back to work at 9 months and it was fine... By that stage your supply is more flexible. I fed him in the morning (we co sleep and he feeds a lot at from about 4-6am) then I express at lunchtime at work and he drinks this the next day in his sippy cup. Then he feeds as soon as I get home and on demand all evening/ days I'm not working. I express around 100ml at work normally. DS is 15 months now and still feeds loads. I really wouldn't worry about it now, you don't have to prepare in advance and you definitely don't have to wean before you're both ready smile

ShhHesAsleep Thu 07-Feb-13 19:30:19

I'm glad you feel more reassured. It is natural to wonder and shows your concern for her.

You may find and useful.

fraktion Thu 07-Feb-13 19:30:23

It will be fine smile DS is 2yo and currently BFing happily. I was back at 4.5 months, he was EBF until he swiped some carrot at 5.5 months and never took formula.

At 8 months a sippy cup of open cup will probably be more appropriate so just try introducing that from 6 months and stop stressing now! Just enjoy it smile

Indith Fri 08-Feb-13 08:06:55

Yes you are right, work have to give you somewhere to express so if you plan on expressing at work, even if just for a couple of months then make sure that is in place before you start and that you have somewhere suitable to store your milk. TBH that is probably going to be the bigger headache!

Bf when they are in childcare is lovely as a way to reconnect when they get home smile. My ds1 was full time from 9 months ish and never took expressed milk but he used to leap on me the moment we got through the door. Dh would often have his dinner on the table as we got in but he'd ignore it and insist on having a big feed before sitting at teh table and gobbling all his dinner up too.

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