Messing up my supply?(7 Posts)
Ds is 5 months and has been bf with the exception of one ff before bed since birth. I went back to work 2 weeks ago and since then my parents have been looking after ds. They give him one bottle of ebm per day and the other bottles are of formula.
I've tried expressing at work but I can only do it in my lunch hour and this means that I then have to stay on longer at work after end of the school day to get stuff done (I'm a primary y teacher) which I don't want to do as I would rather get home to see ds. Consequently my supply of ebf is almost gone. Also I don't really feel as though my boobs are getting so full that it becomes uncomfortable. So my natural supply is clearly slowing down as I can go almost 12 hours without leaking everywhere.
I always bf him when I get home and also during the night (he wakes up about twice during the night). However I do notice that he has become fussier and fussier when he does bf as though there's not enough there for him.
Is it feasible for me to carry on this way for a few more months as I can't bear the thought I'd stopping quite yet? Or is my supply likely to dry up?
This is a tricky one - by 5 months you should have a well established supply but because of work you're on more of a weaning pattern. I suspect there's no single answer to this - some babies will work on upping your night time supply so they can 'reverse cycle', others may just feed less.
Are you near a La Leche League group? An LLL leader would probably be best to speak to... Perhaps you could call them and ask for advice?
Best of luck & well done!
I'm not an expert with this so I'm not sure if this will work, but could you perhaps try getting up 10 mins earlier to bf first thing, the do another one once DC are in bed? Could you fit another one in as soon as you get home? Then do extra at the wkend?
Are you having to stay behind because you feel you have to (am also a teacher so imagine this is what you're doing!) or is it because your school expect it of you? If it's the latter Thad very wrong! They are legally required to provide you with the space and time to express as needed.
Final suggestion, could you leave work at the end of lessons and then do schoolwork at home after DS is in bed? I know that's really hard and the last thing you feel like doing after teaching all day, but it will only be for a couple if months until DS needs fewer feeds (my son was down to 4 a day by 8 months).
Above all well done for getting so far and for being so determined to keep going
Thanks for your comments and suggestions. yourdaughter, I stay behind as I want to get things done, definitely not because I feel I should. School is really supportive and have provided a place for me to express but I would rather get stuff done in my breaks etc rather than taking stuff home.
I usually do a bf just before he gets up then as soon as I get home and at weekends he gets no formula during the day at all.
I don't know, I just sometimes hear of ladies who keep going giving just one bf a day but wonder how this works realistically. Dh is really sportive and encouraging me to keep going but I don't want ds going hungry!!!!
I think people who's supply keeps going on 1 or 2 feeds a day have older babies. i.e. they cut down to the one or two feeds a day at about a year, or so.
Can you get stuff done while you're pumping in your lunch hour? I bought a double pump and a pumping bustier-type thing when I went back to work as I didn't have the time to just sit there pumping for 40 mins twice a day - I had to be able to pump hands-free and work at the same time.
You could also try adding a pumping session (or two?) during the day. I pump at work (twice) and then also in the evening after DD is in bed. That way I manage to keep ahead of what DD needs (but DD is 10 months old and down to 4 feeds every 24 hours, only two of which I miss when I'm working - so it's not too hard to keep up with. Would have been much harder at 5 months when she was still on 5 feeds during the day!).
There are good tips on US websites about working and pumping, as mothers tend to go back to work much earlier over there. I read a good article by a teacher who talked about pumping in the car on her commute to and from work! Here's the link
I'm sorry I meant express in the morning, not bf! Could you express any off he doesn't take? Glad to hear school is being supportive! I know what you mean about taking stuff home; I hate doing it too! Could you stand it for a couple of months until his need for milk reduces, if it means you can come home earlier?
I know I did 2 bfs a day from 8 months when I returned to work (my DS had formula for the 3 days I worked for 2 feeds). This then dropped to the one evening feed from 11 months to 13 months when I stopped. Just go with what suits you and DS. Any amount of breast milk is surely a good thing, and you're doing such a wonderful job trying to ensure he gets as much as you can give him!
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