Returning to work @ 6 months & continuing to bf(15 Posts)
I'm having to go back to work (full time but maybe 4 days a week) earlier than I had hoped as OH is not working and will be SAHD, my daughter will be 6 months when I go back. I know it's possible to continue breastfeeding and Id like to continue to breastfeed for as long as poss (I breastfed my son til he was 2, returned to work when he was 11 months). I know this will mean lots of night feeds and probably expressing at work
(Though on some days OH will be able to meet me at lunchtime with DD to give her a feed). I am keen to hear stories from others who have managed to continue bf after returning to work at around the same time, get some some reassurance and also some advice on how to make it work. She's in a side car cot at the mo and I plan to continue this as know cosleeping wil help us cope with the increased night feeds but other tips would be much appreciated. Thanks in advance!
Hello. I went back to work full time at 7 months so not sure if this will be useful. Baby is 8 months now and I still bf.
I didnt find he increased night feeds but he is a bad sleeper anyway and was waking 2/3 times a night before I went back. This stayed the same. He goes to nursery and some days actually sleeps better because he has been active all day.
I feed him around 6.30/7am then he has 2 bottles at nursery of expressed milk 3oz each, one in morning one in afternoon. I then feed him when we get home around 5pm then he has a bedtime feed at 6.30ish.
He also has water and food at nursery. He does blw so sometimes eats more than others.
I express twice a day at work and get about 3oz a time. if it's a bit less I do a little at night to get it up to 6oz. he seems fine on this.
it was suggested at work that I wouldn't manage expressing and the stress of work but I haven't had any issues. they hav been supportive in making some allowances for me. my supply seems ok still too.
Its working well for us. if you can express and baby will take a bottle then you should be fine. mine was a bottle refuser - took him 3 days to change his mind!
I fed first thing in the morning, expressed once at work, as soon as I picked DS up at 4.30 (I asked for him not to be fed after 4pm), then again at bed time. He reverse cycled initially, and ended up feeding a lot at night. He ended up with one formula feed a day. I carried on expressing until about 8 months. Bf exclusively at weekends.
No advice but an employer has to make appropriate allowances for you to bf / express. This might mean providing somewhere quiet when your OH brings DD in and giving you the time to do so, allowing you to leave and return so you can bf etc.
If there are any issues with this, then a union rep will be able to assist, if you're in a union.
My DM (teacher), used to drive to my childminder's when I was a baby, at lunchtime and straight after school. (This was in the 80s).
Hope your return to work goes well.
I went back to work when ds was 4.5 months. At first I expressed 3 times a day (10, 12.30 and 2.30), but by 6 months ish that dropped to 2.
When I wasn't at work I always bf direct, and we co slept part time. At nursery they fed him on demand.
Ds never had any formula, and he bf till he was 23 months.
I did just the same, and it was fine. I'm still feeding at 15m. I expressed morning before work, mid-morning, mid-afternoon and before bed.
DS wouldn't use a bottle, so learned to use a soft-spout sippy cup instead. He didn't have loads while I was at work, but caught up when I got home. I don't think sleep really changed much as a result, we just shifted to little feeds with my husband, and huge feeds when I got back. It worked well for us. Good luck!
I went back to work 4 days a week when ds was 6 months, same as you, OP. It was tough, but doable.
I fed ds immediately before dropping him to cm, pumped 3 times a day, and fed again on pickup. Sometimes, I had longer days that meant I had an earlier start or later pickup, and that meant 4 pumping sessions a day. He fed 2-3 times a night (no change there) and on demand during the days we were together.
I had a double pump and a mini fridge in my office to store bags of milk and the pumping kit between sessions. Each pumping session took about 20 mins to set up, express, and put away. The hard part was making sure I could get back to my office from meetings, etc. so many times a day. I would be very uncomfortable and leaky if I ran late.
I used the rule of trying to pump one oz for every hour ds was with his cm, plus one oz spare if possible. That came to 9-10 oz a day, which took me 3 pumping sessions. Turns out I don't have a huge storage capacity, so you might be able to get the same volume in fewer pumping sessions.
I was able to cut down to 2 pumping sessions when ds was 9 months old (the volume per day had gone down to about 7-8 oz by then anyway). Down to 1 session by 11.5 months, and stopped pumping by 12.5 months once he was happy on cow's milk.
DS is 18 months now and still bfing morning and evening
I went back to work at 8 months and stopped day feeds at 7 months in preparation. I didn't express. I found my boobs adjusted after a painful 48 hours and would feel normal in the day. I carried on doing night feeds until 13 months.
I went back to work full time, 5 days a week, when DD was 4 months old. I was pumping twice a day, but I had to accept I couldn't pump as much as she wanted so she gets formula for one or two feeds with the childminder.
I found it tough to pump twice a day due to meetings. When DD turned 6 months I managed to switch to one pumping session straight after I've had my lunch and that has been easier to manage and less disruptive. I've accepted pumping 125ml a day (one feed now she is weaning) as a realistic target for me. I generally give the childminder what ever is have pumped the previous day. If I have pumped a lot I will put 60 or 120 ml in the freezer, but I tend not to have more than a couple of feeds stashed in the freezer.
DD is 7 months now and it is tough! I BF her in the morning before I leave and then before bed, dream feed and once or twice during the night.
I have to confess that dd didn't drink much in the daytime after I stopped feeding though. She really didn't like bottles (formula or expressed) so would have the odd bit from a sippy cup and tons of 10% fat turkish yoghurt. She had breast milk morning and evening and whenever she woke in the night.
I'm doing it now, DD is 7.5 months old and I work 4 days, I've never been able to express and DD won't take a bottle! She has a little milk from a supply cup and water and lots of food including porridge and yoghurt at nursery, she feeds more at night and in the evenings and I make sure she has a feed before I leave as her dad drops her off. She normally does 9 hours between feeds and that's since 6 months old, she's fine with it, I have to feed her immediately on getting home, but otherwise normal. She seems to be growing still so I'm quietly relieved!
Sometimes wearing an underwriter bra is painful when I get a slight let down, usually later in the day, but that's subsiding too, and my supply is totally normal on the weekends. Good luck!
Thanks all - very reassuring. DS never took a bottle but did have ebm from a cup so I'm prepared for DD not to take a bottle too. I'm slightly nervous about expressing at work but I know that they have to provide me with place and time to do so. The milk will need to be stored in a communal fridge while I'm in the office - anyone have any experience of doing that? I'm thinking of putting it in a bag so it's a bit more discreet!
yes im expressing at work as I type!
I store mine in our office fridge, no problem. I have had comments from formula feeders who are suprised im still bothering! but thats all.
I express twice a day and im in a school so I guess a normal office would be easier! work are very supportive of me expressing and leaving things early if needed so I can get back to feed in the evening.
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