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Advice Needed about BF and Return to Work

(16 Posts)
BoraBora Mon 05-Aug-13 20:53:27

Hi all, I'd really appreciate your thoughts. I'm back on the 1st of October, and DD will be 1 on the 29th. I'm not sure what I should be doing about dropping feeds?

I'm planning to keep feeding at home as much as she wants (ill be home most Wednesdays as well as the weekends). She has never really taken a bottle, and when I've tried to express recently it's been hard to get much out, so I'm not sure if ill be able to pump before she starts at the CM.

She's never really taken to formula, so I'm not sure whether she'll be happy with formula at the CM. I'm really worried she won't be eating enough food at 11m? She has three meals a day ATM, but doesn't really eat much! She's probably getting about 8 feeds in 24 hours.

I will be able to pump at work, but i don't know what to do about the few days as I would struggle to get enough out now in preparation. I have no idea how much she would even need. Am very stressed about it all!

Safmellow Mon 05-Aug-13 21:13:33

I went back to work when DD was 13 month and had panic attacks about feeds and naps. It turned out that she was a lot more adaptable than I thought. I fed her in the morning before I left and when I got home and when I wasn't there she just seemed to accept that things were different, she ate more solids and had water from a sippy cup.

Nursery also got her to sleep in her buggy which I had never managed before! Maybe I was just lucky but before that I viewed her as quite a demanding little thing who would never manage without me smile

DreamsOfAShower Mon 05-Aug-13 22:00:46

OP, give or take about five days, I could have written your exact post! I've been worrying about her feeds/naps/my supply just about everything really

Anyway, about ten days ago I started to express a couple of times a day to build up a freezer stash for dd. It wasn't very productive at first (a pitiful 20ml or so) but it's become surprisingly easier and I can get around 140ml from two sessions - still not loads I know but it soon adds up over the days, and I keep reminding myself that everything I pump now is 'extra' as dd is still feeding from me iyswim? Applying this logic, I'm expecting it to be much easier when I'm back at work and pumping in place of a feed.

I wouldn't stress about the bottle. Think of it as one less thing to wean her off later on. Does she take water from a sippy cup? If so then this may be enough for her during the days you are at work. Or you may find that she will take milk from it, esp when you're not around.

leedy Mon 05-Aug-13 22:26:58

Yes, I always got buckets more when I was pumping in place of a feed rather than as well as one, IYKWIM - had no problem pumping a feed in work. Also recommend the sippy cup for milk, my DS2 never liked bottles but happily drinks EBM from a cup.

motownmover Tue 06-Aug-13 10:28:44

HI I never expressed and when I went back to work with first I did was Safmellow did - fed before and after work and more at weekends. My baby ate more solids and had water when I wasn't around. It was fine.

I liked the connection I had with bfing.

NomDeClavier Tue 06-Aug-13 10:39:28

I went back at 4m and pumped. You get a LOT more when you're pumping instead of a feed - try pumping before a feed to see what you get and then feeding. Your DD will up get enough out because your body is now producing to demand, it's just that pumps are pretty crap at triggering letdown.

What kind of pump are you using?

BoraBora Tue 06-Aug-13 11:44:24

I've got a Medela swing. I'm sure it'll be fine once I'm pumping in place of a feed at work, but am worried about the first few days. I'm concerned that she'll be upset at the CM and won't even have BM for comfort!

Nutritionally will she be okay with BM just in the morning, evenings and weekends?

motownmover Tue 06-Aug-13 12:27:38

Yep my first was an bf until 2.5 years of age.

Funny I met one of his baby carers who said he was easy to settle and good natured.

motownmover Tue 06-Aug-13 12:28:51

And meant to add they will hang on until they can get your bm - they may seem unsettled when you collect them.

nextphase Tue 06-Aug-13 12:37:04

Yes, at 1 she will be fine with morning, evening, wednesdays and weekends.

What time will you be able to pick her up? You might be able to get 2 feeds in - one as soon as you've collected her, and one before bed?

I suspect the best comfort if shes upset is you - BM from a bottle may not cut the mustard! CM will have lots of ways of comforting a child who is missing Mummy / BM.

Also, if she doesn't like formula, what about cows milk or water from a cup during the day? From 10/11 months, if I needed to be away from the kids for a while, DH used to give them a cup of cows milk - maybe once a week. As a occasional drink before 1 it is fine, just not as the only source of milk.

BoraBora Tue 06-Aug-13 13:24:44

Thanks everyone, this has been really helpful. Do you think she'll eat more solids when I'm not there? We're BLW, but she really does just play with food, eating very little. She still has a lot of milk, but it's a bit of a catch 22 at the moment. She's not hungry enough for lots of food, but she won't drop feeds until she's eating more?! I don't want to intentionally drop feeds, but I'm worried about get going without suddenly when she gets to the CM, so should I be reducing now?

DreamsOfAShower Tue 06-Aug-13 14:12:04

I was also feeding my 9mo around 8 times a day until a month or two ago: First thing, before and after her two naps, before tea, bedtime, dreamfeed.
I started by dropping the feed after her first nap (11/11:30 ish) and so she was more hungry at lunchtime and dropping her pre-teatime feed so she was more hungry for solids at tea.
Incidentally, these are great times to start expressing, since you would have been breastfeeding then anyway.
AFAIK when you start solids the advice is to offer a milk feed first but by around 9 months it's ok to reduce their feeds a little.

Trying2bMindful Tue 06-Aug-13 14:27:09

If it helps here is my story:
Had problems establishing bf so it means a lot to me to be able to!!
I returned to work when DS was 10mo. He refused (& still refuses) cows/goats milk & formula when he is away from me.
I work a 4 day week and we are apart from 8am until 7pm on those days.
The feeding pattern established in conjunction with the Childminder at 10mo is pretty much the same as it is now at 14mo:
6-7am bf on & off
8am breakfast
Mid morning snack
Mid afternoon snack
5pm tea
7pm bf (in the early days we did this in the bath to help him relax but get his "mummy fix" & his milk at the same time)
8pm bf before bed
Over night - bf as necessary. It was 1am & 4am but now, at 14mo, he often sleeps through until 5am, or even 6am.

On my non working day and over the weekend I bf on demand.

I made no attempt to drop feeds before I returned and although I brought a pump to work for the first month I never actually used it! I got pretty full at the start and had to rush home on time at 530pm but now it has all sorted itself out.

As DS eats well and drinks water whilst he is away from me we stopped worrying about his refusal to drink any milk. I reckon he makes up for it when he sees me.

If I ever have to stay out late with work DH feeds him a bottle of pumped milk (or ff) before bed and I pump when I get home and freeze that for the next time. It doesn't happen very often as I like to see him before bed!!

Our bodies and babies are amazing and resync pretty quick. I was lucky that we went on a ski holiday just before I returned to work and left DS in a crèche whilst I was up the mountain. We therefore got an easy "practice" run at it for 5 days!! This helped me realise it would all work out & that my mild panic was not necessary!.

Good luck & don't worry. No point stressing out your last weeks of mat leave over something which will not be a huge issue, although I know it feels like it will be now!!!

HabitualLurker Tue 06-Aug-13 17:08:01

I've posted pretty much this question on another thread - I didn't look hard enough for similar ones!

Those of you who've posted already - I was worried about how much milk my DS will be getting once I'm not around during the day. I'm not intending to express since he'll be 11 months and only feeds 2-3 times during the day now. It looks like for lots of you it's been fine for your babies to not have milk at all during the day and just in the mornings/evenings. Is that right?

motownmover Tue 06-Aug-13 17:58:35

Yes Habitual my monster feeder just went without milk during the day and compensated when I was there.

It was really fine - I worried about it but it was fine.

My baby just had water and they gave him yoghurts and cheese with the other solids. He never ever took milk from a bottle and didn't have cows milk at nursery. He totally refused formula.

BoraBora - I wouldn't drop feeds now - you could try increase the solid intake but nurseries imo are pretty good as establishing good feeding rituals. Good luck!

Safmellow Tue 06-Aug-13 20:42:11

Yes I agree, DD only fed morning, evening and occasionally through the night. Once when she had a bug she threw up after a ten minute feed and I was stunned at the amount of milk she had in her stomach, they really are little milking machines!

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