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Any bf teachers out there? What happened when you returned to work?

(36 Posts)
LottyLikesWindows Sun 03-Aug-14 17:21:50

I'm going back to work at the start of September at a new school. Dd will be nearly 8 months old and still breastfed (also eating solids). I'm not sure how to proceed with breastfeeding and would like to hear your stories please. I don't know if I should express milk so she has it during the day or feed dd before and after work, and in the evenings, and leave formula milk for her to have in the day (then breastfeed as I do now during weekends and holidays). Is this sustainable or will the milk production be all over the place?

Has anyone expressed at school? Have awful visions of having to do it in between lessons in less than desirable loo locations, then running across to the other side of the building to leave milk in the shared staff fridge in the kitchen shock I know that the employers are meant to provide a sanitary and private room to express but just can't imagine how this would work in an over populated secondary school...

Am I making it difficult and overthinking it? I love breastfeeding not only because it's a special time for the two of us but also because I want to continue to provide the benefits that come with breast milk for as long as I can. Any advice is greatly appreciated.

hollie84 Sun 03-Aug-14 17:37:12

I'm a TA but I am not going to try to express at work, I can't see it being practical (and I hate expressing). DS2 will be 6 months when I go back. I am cutting down/swapping feeds now with the intention that by September I will bf morning, after work and evening and he will have 2 bottles of formula during the day.

LottyLikesWindows Sun 03-Aug-14 17:40:37

Thanks hollie dd feeds on demand so I couldn't even tell you how many feeds she has a day so not sure how dropping a feed would look like - does if mean just giving her the bottle sometime in the middle of the day?

hollie84 Sun 03-Aug-14 18:14:52

I just picked a time to make a bottle feed - I'll be able to feed him at 7 when we get up so started offering a bottle 3 hours later. Though now he has started having breakfast and lunch so our "routine" currently goes:
bf on waking
bottle around 10.30
bf for the next feed, usually around 2
and then on demand for the rest of the afternoon/night

In the next couple of weeks I need to start making that 2pm feed a bottle too as when I'm back at work I won't be able to breastfeed til about 4.30pm. Though I am expecting the 2pm bottle will become a snack in the next couple of months.

Who will be looking after your baby? My childminder has given me an idea of her routine so I can start following it now - she has snack times at 10.30 and 2 so DS can have bottles then.

hollie84 Sun 03-Aug-14 18:16:15

I've found it took about a week for my breasts to adjust to that morning bottle by the way, so I want to give myself enough time to be comfortable and non-leaky at school!

LottyLikesWindows Sun 03-Aug-14 19:01:16

That's really helpful, thanks so much. Grandma will be looking after dd so I might do a couple of trial afternoons before going back to work, see how we all cope.

Will you leave bottles or cups for milk feeds while you're at work?

Toadsrevisited Sun 03-Aug-14 19:16:19

I went back for two weeks in July and left 6month old EBF DS with DH. It was fine despite me stessing for weeks about it. He had veg purée instead of mid morning and mid afternoon feeds, and came to school to be bf at lunch. He also had water from a sippy cup which he had steadfastly refused until that day came! School arranged an office for me to express in but I never felt comfortable enough and it was easier to feed him myself tbh. No supply or leak problems although I did feel very 'relieved' after the lunchtime feeds. grin and had a few Dolly Parton comments from staff room chum!

From September I'll be back full time and going to bf morning and evening, with food and two small bottles of formula during day. Hopefully that will work. If the July experience taught me anything, it's that both babies and boobs are v adaptable!

Watching this thread with interest now...

Toadsrevisited Sun 03-Aug-14 19:17:39

Also had success with soft spout cup and doidy cup in those weeks- DH tried everything and DS accepted them from him, which he refused to do for me!

hollie84 Sun 03-Aug-14 19:37:33

I'm going to leave bottles, as DS will only just be 6 months and he's fine with bottles. He hasn't drunk anything from a cup yet. I think we will try a 5oz bottle in the morning and a 3oz one with a rice cake or something in the afternoon.

GuybrushThreepwoodMightyPirate Sun 03-Aug-14 20:05:40

I went back in September when DD was 9 months. Over the Summer I dropped her down to morning, lunch and bedtime bfs with bottles of formula mid morning and mid afternoon and then dropped the lunch feed when she started nursery. I kept up the morning and bedtime feeds until she was about 1 when she stopped wanting the morning bf. Kept up the bedtime bf until she was 14/15 months and stopped wanting it due to teething and I felt it was time to stop.

Your body will adapt. Also I totally agree with you on the idea of expressing in a large busy secondary school. I can imagine nothing less likely to help with letdown!

weebairn Sun 03-Aug-14 20:23:07

I'm a hospital doctor, not a teacher… but I imagine the same problems of rushed busy shifts and little privacy in big schools and big hospitals are similar!
I went back to work when DD was 10 months old. I worried a lot about expressing - both her taking it (she'd been exclusively breastfed and never really had a bottle), me expressing it (I could express virtually nothing at that point though my supply was brilliant) and how on earth it would work when I frequently didn't even get a break to pee on a 12 hour shift!
In the end I didn't express. She was fine with water and extra food when I wasn't there (she has always been a good eater). Had more on my days off and mornings and evenings. I did night shifts etc as well and she was really surprisingly adaptable.
My boobs were quite sore for the first couple of weeks but settled.
Your baby will be a little younger so you may need the formula - I figured we could do without at that point - but I expect your supply will be fine at this point.

Good luck!! It's a big, emotional thing, going back to work.

I breastfed until 21 months by the way, despite the shift work, and even then I think it only stopped because I was pregnant and my supply dipped.

LottyLikesWindows Sun 03-Aug-14 20:26:32

Exactly guy - appealing it certainly isn't! Good to hear your experiences everyone - it's reassuring to hear it all kind of slots into place and that babies and boobs cope!

toads you lucky thing, lunch time feeds sounds like a dream. Definitely not something I'll be able to do sadly.

What's the longest I can leave it before starting to replace feeds? Shall I start ASAP or could it wait for another couple of weeks?

YokoUhOh Sun 03-Aug-14 20:27:44

I went back to work 4 days a week when DS was 8 months, last September. He was on mainly boob and BLW so not getting much in terms of solids.

I couldn't be arsed expressing so he just tanked up at home and through the night (co-sleeping). I've been pretty knackered all year but couldn't see any other way of doing it. He's 20mo now and still bf/co-sleeping.

Your LO will readjust to whatever pattern you put her in, don't worry smile

museumum Sun 03-Aug-14 20:30:33

I'm not a teacher but a self-employed consultant. I couldn't exactly ask clients for room to express and I sometimes travel by train or plane so not suitable for expressing either.
So I just didn't.
My boobs adapted very quickly, only the first week were they uncomfortable by the end of the day.

My ds didn't take a bottle so he had milk in a sippy cup. I was happy for him to have formula in the day once he was on food.

LottyLikesWindows Sun 03-Aug-14 21:58:11

Thank you so much everyone, your experiences are making it all much clearer for me.
weebairn it's the demanding nature of both our jobs that does make expressing so hard. There are definitely days when I get home from work and realise I haven't stopped since that morning! Also you are spot on in terms of getting ready emotionally for returning to work. Am poss

LottyLikesWindows Sun 03-Aug-14 22:01:35

Argh! Sorry - too button happy here. Lost my train of thought now!

yoko it's great to hear from you as we also co-sleep and giving boob and doing BLW. I think I'll have to just get used to being tired at work. Surely body will adapt. I'm pretty certain that I haven't had any proper sleep since 2013.

YokoUhOh Mon 04-Aug-14 18:39:17

Lotty yep! I haven't had an uninterrupted night's sleep for 21 months. Honestly, you learn to function at work keep the biscuit tin well-stocked - my trick for getting more zeds was to work in bed alongside DS and get my head on the pillow soon after I'd finished. Good luck!

Toadsrevisited Mon 04-Aug-14 19:06:20

Thanks Lotty- it wasn't too idyllic though- had to find a quiet place near school to meet DH and bf avoiding teenage pupils looking for a similarly secluded spot for a fag!

Pureeing helped though- it meant he got more solid-ish food more quickly than if we had done blw, although I did think long and hard about it.

Will be back full time in September and DS will be in nursery 10 miles away so will be in the same boat as you by then. It will be fine, I keep telling myself...

LottyLikesWindows Mon 04-Aug-14 21:40:50

yoko my weapon of choice is Nutella straight out of jar. Must not be a pig at work, so will go for the more socially acceptable biscuits.

toad your post made me laugh. Am imagining you breastfeeding behind the sheds in a puff of illicit smoke.

Attheendof Wed 06-Aug-14 08:41:49

I have expressed at school. I was given a small office to use to do it. Schools always have spaces somewhere, and I'm sure they'd want to demonstrate good practice re equality issues!
After a month my supply had settled and I just did feeds outside of school times. Baby was one though so I could just leave cows mill for daytime. Good luck!

clarella Thu 07-Aug-14 21:25:29

Hi I haven't read the other replies but thought I'd share. I panicked similarly, ds was 9 months but really wasn't into food much. He was going to be a nursery 2 days and with a family member the third as I was working 3 days. I made a conscious decision to continue cosleeping to bf at night (he always fed more then anyway and was a frequent waker, so I got more sleep) I wanted to feed on demand the rest of the week.

A friend who bf, coslept and went back full time with her first did point out 'there's more to life than expressing' so in the end I decided to provide formula cartons for nursery. He refused to drink any milk from a bottle for the first 6 weeks at nursery, (would happily from ME at nursery and at home) would drink water and nibble food. Would have mammoth feeds when I got home! (So much so that one night he puked all over me from just being so full!)

I tried expressing at work but didn't hold out much hope. It's a busy SEN primary school; we've few to no breaks in reality.i expressed after kids left on the first day - was huge and in pain! But oddly I was ok after that. If engorged I went to the loo and massaged them and hand expressed abit off into the loo. Not much though.

I'd been reassured that boobs adjust quickly and they did. I think I felt abit uncomfy for the first 2 weeks after which they settled.

Breasts start naturally changing towards the end of the first year - it's quite magical - when he's not v interested they're fine, when he's ill they magically produce lots of milk.

And I didn't really notice much of a difference on the other days - praps a bit more boobing on a Saturday, the first day back together again after 3 days apart.

Just take each day and week at a time. Afaik it takes a good 40 days to dry up completely. I found I couldn't express like I used to but then as he grew older I didn't need to - I think that's quite common as the milk changes.

Good luck!

clarella Thu 07-Aug-14 21:27:39

Ps ds was fed on demand so I couldn't swap feeds though he'd had the odd bottle / sippy cup of expressed milk and formula before he went. He preferred water though!

clarella Thu 07-Aug-14 21:32:15

If it helps - nursery could leave a carton of milk out in a bottle for 2 hours before it had to be chucked, I / they found ds would have a little at a time as wasn't used to 'downing' a full bottle. Grandma could leave half a carton in the fridge for a bit longer,and get out as needed.

The family members just tried him with milk as and when as he seemed erratic at first!

clarella Thu 07-Aug-14 21:37:40

Pps- still bf on demand and cosleeping at 20 months.

I was heartily glad of feed to sleep ( with boob in for a couple of hours) on my days off as I could have a nap too!

It was tough at times at night BUT it was similarly for my ff friends. Magic boob back to sleep was a life saver!

clarella Thu 07-Aug-14 21:46:44

(Sorry - more experience!)

I would heartily recommend taking a big vit d supplement from sept onwards. I really suffered last winter from a stupid amount of colds/ infections/ tiredness/ aches and found I was low in vit d. (Of course schools are germ breeding grounds and I'd been out of the infection loop for a year!) Bf does take extra vit d and although we do store it, everyone runs dry the further into the winter we go. The majority is made from sun on skin. At this latitude it's only made from March - sept, roughly 11-3 (longer June- August)

I did a lot of research into it. Basically if you take the largest dose boots do ( they're always going to play safe) when you go back, it will help a huge amount. We can't actually get the levels we need from food .

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