Continuing to breastfeed when back at work(16 Posts)
I am due to return to work in March when my DD will be just over 6 months old. I was planning to express to provide BM for when she's at nursery during the day and then continue to BF her before / after work and during weekends.
I've been expressing most days since she was a few weeks' old so she gets used to having the odd bottle and this has been fine. However, I thought I should start to build up a stash of milk in the freezer and tonight I defrosted some to try her on and I'm devastated to find she won't take it. The milk smells fine so not sure what the problem is?
I've now really stressed myself out as I'm worrying what will happen when I go back to work if I can't express enough fresh milk over a couple of days. I usually only get 3 or 4 oz at a time but she still feeds every 1.5 - 2 hours during the day and I don't think I'll be able to provide enough if I can't use any from the freezer stash.
Any tips to help or should I just accept that I'm going to have to start using some formula? I know there's nothing wrong with it, I just really want to continue to BF, probably to make myself feel better that I have to return to work early and had hoped that we could keep this special closeness between us. I had real problems getting going with BF to begin with and am so thrilled we managed to get back on track that I really don't want to stop :-(
Thank you x
I don't understand why using formula for work days would mean having to stop breastfeeding? Even if you have to use formula for daytime feeds that doesn't have to equal the end of breastfeeding. You can feed in the mornings/evenings/nighttime as usual and your supply should adjust accordingly.
I thought I had to express when I returned to work too, but it turns out I didn't.
I fed DS in the morning, as soon as I got back from work and in the evenings and bedtime. I never expressed, not at all, and my body just adapted. I fed DS till he was 4!
I think the idea that you need to express when you return to work comes partly from the US, where lots of mothers go back to work at 6 weeks, so they need to express as babies are EBF.
But as your baby will be 6 months, she'll be starting solids anyway then. If you're happy to give formula in the day, there's probably no reason you can't just carry on when you're there.
Or, if it's important to you to use breast milk, I guess you're going to have you experiment to find out what works. Will she take fresh breast milk from a bottle fine?
Apparently breastmilk that has been frozen can have a slightly soapy taste to it, sor that might be why she is refusing it? Could you just pump that morning, or evening so she has fresh milk to take? Does she normally take ebm from a bottle ok?
Just wanted to second everything that wriggly said. This is what happened with me and DS at six months. I am still breast feeding him( now 2). At the weekend or when he is sick I can feed on demand. Good luck!
I think the freezer has made your milk taste funny. I've heard of this before but I can't remember what its called.
how long was the milk you tried in the freezer for? was it sealed completely airtight? how many different batches did you try??
this is what I was looking for, lipase issue... lipase
You may not need as much as you expect. BF babies don't always drink the volumes formula fed babies do.
Second pp that she may take it better from someone else. She may also prefer it from a sippy cup, my son does.
I went back to work full time when DD was 5 months old. I express twice a day at work and she has this milk the next day with the childminder. I never express enough so she has one or two bottles of formula as well.
You may find baby reverse cycles - feeding lots at night from you (co-sleeping or side car cot helps here) and has no milk when you are not there in the day. Plus when you add food into the mix mine naturally cut down in the day.
Even if you gave formula during the day, you wouldn't need to stop bf - you'd just bf before and after work and at weekends!
So maybe the milk tasted a bit different or maybe it was a different temperature, maybe your LO was just in a funny mood and didn't fancy a bottle. You still have time to experiment with different storage techniques.
I bet expressing at work will be easier than you think. Don't forget that you'll be engorged, because you won't be BFing her during the day - so a couple of expressing sessions will probably produce much much more than you can normally express - fresh milk ready for the next day.
This happened to me, stupid lipase. I was so upset. I ended up expressing everyday to build a supply and expressed at work too.
3/4oz at a time is great! The guidelines on how much ebf to leave while you are not there are about 1oz per hour, so I think you could do this with a morning express and one at work, you'll probably need to express twice at work anyway?
Your daughter will also 'catch-up' with you when you're back with each other. My DS would take whatever he needed from my husband and then have a giant feed when I came home. It was fine.
If you do need to provide some back-up formula, please don't beat yourself up about it. You're doing a wonderful job, and being thwarted by excess lipase is just as tiny hurdle in the grand scheme of it all.
My son wouldn't drink defrosted milk either - it has a different taste & smell (I tried it). I managed to express enough though to just have a stock in the fridge, it was fine.
I went back to work on short days when my ds was 6mo and bf at breakfast, 4pm when I collected him and bedtime. Plus a night feed up till 10.5mos. I didn't express and had no issues at all.
I didn't want to give any formula in the first 6mo but once he was starting to wean I was happy for him to have some formula at nursery. However, he totally refused bottles after 3months old and so instead he had porridge made with formula and yoghurt at nursery as well as weaning foods and was totally fine.
If you don't want to use formula you don't have to. As others have said, if you do end up using a bit when you can't express enough then it isn't the end of breastfeeding.
March is a long time off in baby terms. her feeding and habits will have changed a lot by then.
Try flashing as in some of the links given before freezing to see if she takes it. Just try on a bit of milk so as not to end up with a load of unusable milk!
Don't worry about stuff in the freezer if it turns out to not be any good, you can always use it for making porridge etc when she is bigger.
She will be on solids at 6 months. Perhaps not much solid but some.
She may be perfectly happy to use a cup by then rather than a bottle.
You can still feed morning, bedtime, overnight (I'm afraid a lot of babies reverse cycle after mum goes back to work and refuse milk in the day but feed all night instead. It does settle. Eventually)
With solids she will likely be taking less milk and may just take the bare minimum and wait for you. In which case considering you can keep milk for 5 days in the fridge even if she won't take frozen after flashing then it is perfectly possible that you can express enough for her to have fresh.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.