breastfeeding and being self-employed(12 Posts)
Expecting baby soon, me and my partner have our own (fairly new) business. I just don't quite see myself being able to breastfeed and continue doing actual work. I'm not deluded in the sense that I know I will have to take a few months off, and that'll be just fine, but even in the fairly breastfeeding friendly society I live in...I just don't see it being compatible with working for myself! Thinking about it just makes me feel anxious.
Anybody have experiences of being self employed and feeding baby (breast or bottle or both)?
What is your worry specifically? I breast feed still at 10.5mo and am self employed. I took 3mo off completely then worked a day or so a week for 2 more months. Now work half time (about 20hrs a week). I didn't travel far for work till my boobs could go all day without feeding/pumping.
I don't understand. Surely its far easier to breastfeed when you're self employed? If you're employed then you have to switch to expressing which is far more difficult.
One thing is the way our responsibilities are shared means that some of the time I'm around in the office a lot, and he's out and about, but other days it's the opposite. And going places/doing things that I can't actually bring baby with me.
Another thing is the industrial and service-oriented nature of the work - very male dominated industry makes it a bit intimidating (not a classic office job/environment). And the relative newness of the business makes everything the situation a bit precarious (we really are still building up client base etc...)
But whether you breast or bottle feed the issue is feeding the baby whilst working rather than the type of feeding.
If you breast feed once you've gone back to work its difficult whether you're self employed or employed since you need to take time out to express.
I'm self-employed (and work with DP!) and BFing a 10 week old. I'm going back to work in 4 weeks time but I've managed to work things so that I'm working mornings only so I'm planning on expressing. Job is mainly office-based. I have a childminder though- would you be planning on having LO at work with you?
I will have to do evening shifts and occasional full days on the weekend but DP will look after baby then and I'll do some extra expressing and some popping home to feed or having DP bring her to me. If expressing is too much there's always the option of the odd formula feed too.
It would be tough if work hours were more unpredictable though so I can see where you're coming from. Could you work things so you are more office based and your DP does the off-site stuff up until your LO is maybe onto solids and not as dependent on round the clock feeds? Also though I wouldn't be too quick to dismiss feeding if you're out and about on jobs- you might be surprised by how accepting even male-dominated workplaces can be (maybe I'm wrong- anyone with experience of BFing on building sites?!)
One thing I would say is that once my DD arrived I instantly added an extra month to my maternity leave because I knew I couldn't bare to leave her as ridiculously early as I had planned so make sure to take as much time as you possibly can whatever way you feed!
Don't let it stress you though- even if you managed a few months of breastfeeding before switching to formula when you go back to work that'd be great. Or just FF altogether - whatever makes you all happy and lets you enjoy the next few months .
Thanks, Hedgehogging, that really did make me feel a whole lot less stressed about it!
Happy to help! The reality of it all is so much better than the thought of it. You'll be amazed how things will fall into place if you just give yourself permission not to stick rigidly to your picture of "this is how it must be". Difficult when you're the sort of person who is perhaps quite driven and unyielding in getting to where you need to be at work I admit, but the baby will knock that on its head when it comes to the parenting side of things!
Congrats again and best of luck with your business and baby!
I'm kind of in a similar situation in a partnership with my partner and although there are days I do more, I can honestly say b'f is far easier as I can take baby with me in the sling, feed as I go, or pop off after feeding. Our business is far from a nice office, and very make orientated but actually I think it's far more accepting of b'f and keeping baby with me than some clicks female baby groups! You will work out your own pattern an whichever route you take, I'm sure you will adapt and be fine!
I had my own business when dd was born, had her on a Thursday, was back at work on the Monday, she was attached to my boob or a sling nearly all the time, and we loved it
What I didn't love was no maternity break at all
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