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Pumping in the NHS

(15 Posts)
pregnantgrump Wed 09-Dec-15 16:58:42

I'm looking for a bit of advice. I'm going back to a very busy NHS job - a job where my lunch breaks were usually spent at the computer writing up notes frantically before the next clinic. I am currently breastfeeding my little nearly 6 month old on demand. I would like to continue to breastfeed when I go back. He will be nearly 8 months old and be at home with his dad until he is 11 months old.

We will be starting solids via BLW in the next while, but I know that for the first year his calories will come from milk. I have asked a lactation consultant how often I'd need to express and she says 3 x per day. This would involve missing 2 clinic slots. I just can't see it happening. Should I resign myself to mixed feeding? Formula by day and breast at night? Any advice or experience from others who've returned to work in similar settings?

pregnantgrump Wed 09-Dec-15 16:59:10

Thanks in advance.

Snossidge Wed 09-Dec-15 17:02:45

Are you going back full time? How long will you be out of the house?

I went back to work when one of mine was 6 months and was out of the house for about 8 hours, 5 days a week. I fed in the morning, after work and bedtime and if he woke in the night and he had 1-2 bottles of formula a day.

Does it matter to you if your baby has formula at 8 months?

CMOTDibbler Wed 09-Dec-15 17:04:30

The only time I was pumping 3x a day was when ds was under 7 months. You would probably be OK on 1 pump at lunchtime as long as you pumped really well and fed on demand all the time you weren't working. I had an electric double pump so I could pump, eat and do email (on phone) at the same time, but if you had an office with a door you can lock you could pump and type.

scrivette Wed 09-Dec-15 17:09:30

When I first went back to work DS was 8 months old and I pumped with a manual pump twice a day which was enough for two bottles for him.

I believe that work must give you the time/room to express and provide somewhere to store the expressed milk.

pregnantgrump Wed 09-Dec-15 17:25:29

Wow thanks for the replies. This is most helpful. I'm going back 4 days per week. I guess wondering whether to bother having the awkward conversation or whether just to go formula during the day. If he'll take it that is.

wigglybeezer Wed 09-Dec-15 17:31:31

I used to feed DS3 morning and bedtime only from age 2-3 and my supply adjusted. He was on toddler milk or cows milk with meals. don't forget that your breastmilk will have less Vitamin D and less iron than formula so you will need to supplement those as he gets older if most of his milk is still breastmilk.

Snossidge Wed 09-Dec-15 17:43:49

You need to supplement vitamins A, C and D wiggly. That's regardless of whether your child drinks breastmilk or any other kind of milk, unless they have more than 500ml of formula a day (which already contains a vitamin supplement).

No need to supplement iron - we get that from food not milk.

pregnantgrump Wed 09-Dec-15 18:54:47

Thanks again for all the information. I guess I would prefer for him just to have breast milk but not at any cost eg if had to stay late to make up time would rather not. Worried about my supply drying up and is losing this great way to reconnect.

Snossidge Wed 09-Dec-15 19:14:18

I think your supply will be pretty robust by 8 months. By that point formula is just another food, it won't do any harm.

Rinceoir Thu 10-Dec-15 07:16:25

I went back at 10 months- front line NHS. DD wasn't a great eater (putting it mildly!)but refused a bottle/cup of milk. I did express once a day for a few weeks before going back (in the morning when I would be feeding anyway) and stored quite a bit of milk that way. I had no trouble expressing though.

I never expressed at work, except on night shifts/long days for comfort and fed on demand when we were together. It was fine, we are still feeding at 19months. I would imagine at 8 months you would be fine, or one expressing session at most. If my DD had started taking milk from a cup/bottle I would have been happy to give her formula, it's just another food, especially after 6 months.

SocksRock Thu 10-Dec-15 07:28:16

I went back to work when DS was only 6 months, and my supply very quickly adjusted to feeding in the morning and evening only. He fed until well over a year old. I think you would easily get away with pumping just at lunchtime and using that as a bottle the following day.

artisanroast Mon 14-Dec-15 19:59:23

Could you go in early and do before you start, over lunch and at the end of the day?

Also if you have any DNAs in clinic you could possibly pump then too?

Would that work?

artisanroast Mon 14-Dec-15 20:04:17

Also, is there a policy/guidelines on breastfeeding at work?

HR may be able to give you guidance on what you are entitled to?

I don't have a very clued up manager so it was better that I spoke to HR to know the policy and their advice before then speaking to her. She often got policies wrong or gave me incorrect advice.

Speedylurcher Tue 15-Dec-15 06:29:10

Hi, I'm also an NHS clinician. I returned to work when my little boy was 7 months and exclusively breast fed. I used to feed in the morning, drive to work, express handsfree whilst starting computer/passwords/emails and looking through clinic notes in the morning (8am) Then express again immediately after am surgery, say midday. Then a quick express (15min) in afternoon break if I got one - 3pm, then feed on return home. I also used to express before bed as my boy slept through overnight. This got my plenty of milk, enough to donate. At 10m I reduced to just a lunchtime express, and stopped expressing at 11m. Still continued to feed morning and night until 17m.

It's hard work, but once in a pattern it works quite well. You get used to expressing whilst processing path results!

Ps I had a double models swing ( works on batteries) and adapted a bra to make it handsfree. I also stored the expressed milk in a medela coolbag, as you can't store milk in an NHS fridge - bodily fluid! smile

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