Returning to work and BFing(16 Posts)
Sorry if this has been done to death, but thought I'd ask for a quick poll. I'm due back at work soon but would dearly love to continue breastfeeding. I'll be away from the baby from 8am to 5pm for the first month, then 8am to 7pm from then on. How likely is it that I can continue to do morning and night feeds (and full days on weekends)? Or will my supply be scuppered?
What age will baby be? I went back when DS1 was 10 months and was able to just do morning and evening feeds and full days at weekends with no problems at all. He was pretty well established on solids at that point, though, so was really only missing one or two feeds when I was at work.
You will be able to express at work so bottles of bm can be given during working hours and then you can enjoy bf before and father work.
How old will baby be when you return to work?
He'll be almost 6 months old, so not fully onto solids yet.
Will I be very leaky for the first few days? And will a week be long enough for my supply to adjust? Just trying to figure out when to start preparing...?
How many times would you normally feed your child during the 9 hour period you will be at work?
Are you planning to express milk for him while you are away or will he have formula?
If you are not planning to express at work to keep the ' demand' and supply more or less equal through the week, you will probably be leaky and uncomfortable if you suddenly drop a number of feeds. Need to try to go gradually.
When i eventually weaned from breastmilk, i dropped one feed every few days to give my body time to adjust. I didn't have any probs doing it this way. I returned to work when by girl was 8mths and expressed for her until she was 11mths but still fed morning and evening for a while.
With DD1 I went back to work and dropped a feed a week, in the weeks preceding. I had to travel for work though and it wasn't an option to keep feeding. We had a nightmare though and she completely refused every type of bottle, cup, formula and BM by the time we were done. Had to give her a lot of cheese!
This time around, with DD2 I'm hoping to do the morning and evening feeds too, and I'm hoping to express one feed per day in the office for a month or so. So one or two feeds a day will be formula. Aiming to be completely weaned by 8/9 months. I go back in 4 weeks so I am now only b-feeding at 7am, formula at 11am, express at 2pm for the 3pm feed, bf at 5.30pm and formula/bf top up at 7.30pm. Basically my DD has been refusing a bottle at 11am drinking 100ml max and waiting until the 3pm feed so I've canned that this week so that she gets used to having a bottle feed during the day.
I've expressed at the office already on a KIT day and used a battery powered pump. It was sooo noisy. Hoping to find somewhere quieter this time around...otherwise I think my embarrassment levels will kill off my good intentions very quickly.
You won't be able to do full feeds on weekends unless you have expressed all week at the times you would have been feeding at. Speaking from experience, most babies prefer to be BF given the choice and it will simply make life difficult for your baby's carer (and upsetting for your baby) on Monday morning.
Will you be relying on public transport to get you home on time to feed? Any chance your office will allow you to do a 9-5 a bit longer than one month or is it just that you know the culture means 9-6 and leaving "early" to feed your baby will meet with raised eyebrows? You know your job, your environment and how important or not it is to you to keep feeding your baby yourself. It's worth looking at American websites for tips as they often return to work at 6 weeks
8-7 is a long day - I think that honestly while you could continue to BF you are going to have to be pretty dedicated to do it. You will need to be up and dressed before feeding the baby (they have a nasty habit of taking their time when you are in a hurry) before you leave. And your baby will be tired by 7pm so potentially you will be BFing your baby to sleep every evening which will make it very difficult for someone else to ever put them down. I know that personally, I'm prepared to do that for a finite period of time, I've made my decision (assuming the baby agrees and falls in with my plans....) and it won't cause me any angst to finish when I have decided to. All I would say is by all means make a plan, but a) your baby might go his/her own way and b) don't beat yourself up if you move to formula sooner than you would have wished.
Drat, my last post seems to have disappeared.
But thanks, all, for giving me lots to think about. I have clearly underestimated just how difficult this will be. I'll also need to come to terms with the fact that we have to start DS on formula at some point. Hopefully I've given myself enough time to get this sorted without tears (mine)!
oscarwilde's post had a lot of good points, but I do have to disagree with the "you can't do full feeds at weekends or it'll be too upsetting for everybody on Monday" - it really did not cause any problems for us at all, though admittedly with an older baby. He seemed to "get" that weekends were different because I was there all day, and I think would have been more weirded out by his mum giving him a bottle. The only thing that would make me advise against it would be if you weren't going to express at work at least once a day, otherwise you'd be very engorged during the day at the beginning of the working week, which would be pretty horrible.
Thanks leedy. I take on board that I'll need at least a few days for my supply to adjust, either up or down. I'm having a chat with work next week about whether my plans to express in the office are realistic or not. Will draw up a plan once I know for sure.
I found DD1 dropped mid morning feed around this time. I dropped the mid afternoon feed at 9mnths a month before returning to work so this was the only feed affected by return to work. I did manage to bf before work, and at the end of the day before she went to bed. I also feed mid afternoon at the weekends. I found my milk supply was well established and my body seemed to cope with giving more or less depending on the day of the week. DD didn't seem to be affected by having different types of feeds on different days.
Why don't you find out about expressing at work, but, don't be too upset if it is not practical. Don't they have an obligation to support you though? If you do drop day feeds, You can both still enjoy morning and evening feeds and you may be lucky not to suffer engorgement on the days you drop a feed.
By this age, in my experience,your body is into supply and demand, and you can reverse a decision a week later if it doesn't work, you can reintroduce a feed you dropped or drop a feed if that is the right way to go.
Good luck going back to work.
Ps, feeding in the morning can be tough, so you need to be focused. Clothes out of the wardrobe the night before, quick shower and make up routine, quick hair style etc.
No advice but just my experience.
I have done a few kit days and expressed at work - this was fine for the odd day but I don't think I could do it when returning to work properly as I am too busy and would like to spend any free time having lunch or getting out of the office.
Did another few days at a meeting in a hotel when dd was 8 months old. It wasn't suitable to express so went from about 7.30 am to 5.30pm and got very uncomfortable and I found that I couldn't concentrate and looked like a porn star by the end. Intend to make sure that I can go a whole working day without feeding or pumping before I return to work properly in a couple of months just for my own comfort.
It would be nice if I could feed when I am not working and then she could have formula or an expressed bottle at other times but trying to not get my hopes up.
Went back to work full time (i.e. away from kids 10h/day five days a week) when they were nine months old both times. With No1 tried pumping, but she wasn't interested in expressed milk and just stuck to solids and water during the day. For number 2 I didn't even try pumping, she wasn't interested in formula, and like her sister stuck to solids and water.
No1 breastfed for 18 months in total, No2 for 17 months.
I didn't go back to work until my dd was 12 months so a little different on terms of amount of milk needed but I fed her morning and night and more regularly at the weekend with no issue. When I was with her she knew she could breastfed, when I wasn't she couldn't.
It is and I know from coming on here that it is pretty common
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