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Planning ahead for going back to work

(13 Posts)
Blahblahblahyadayadayada Thu 27-Apr-17 17:09:18

Posting this here as I had jumped on someone else's thread elsewhere and here is probably more appropriate. I am wondering what to do several months from now. I've had some helpful advice from experienced mums here quite recently.

If I go back to work before LO starts on cow's milk, then what do I do? I'm currently bfing and have tried expressing. I only manage to get a maximum 2 oz of expressed milk ( once today, in the morning) but otherwise it takes me 2-3 attempts at expressing to get 1oz. So for a single feed (assuming an average baby would need 2-3oz per feed), it could take me days to express enough. I'm not averse to the idea of formula but when would I need to introduce this; I would like to give breastmilk until at least 6 months if possible. In an ideal world, I'd give breastmilk to nursery (when I go back to work) but I am not so confident as I can't seem to express much. (Also, the few times I tried a bottle of ebm to tip up a breastfeed, she wasn't keen on the bottle).

I could try to offer ebm in a cup from 6 months when we wean but I'm not sure how practical or possible that will be, what with little expressing possible, everything else that's going on with a baby, meals, older child etc.

Would it be sufficient for baby to breast feed morning and night only and not have milk during the day? I think I'll be going back to work at around 10months. Any tips? Many thanks.

Camomila Fri 28-Apr-17 21:43:13

I think it'll be fine if your LO doesn't take to milk/you can't manage to express. My DS (just turned 1) goes from 7am-6pm without milk on my work days - I breastfeed before leaving the house and as soon as I get in. He's not keen on cows milk as a drink, so he just eats food and drinks water in the day. He has porridge/cheese etc. to sneak calcium in.

My DS is at home with MIL/DM but as your DD will be at nursery you might find that if all the other babies have a cup of milk she'll really want one too smile

NewMumSept2014 Fri 28-Apr-17 21:59:41

What type of pump do you have? I had Tommee Tippee manual pump and struggled to get 1oz at a time but now have electric Ardo pump and can easily get 2-3 each side per pumping session.

I left DD to nursery at about 10m and from memory she still had 4 feeds per day at that time (mostly as she was an awful sleeper and needed fed to sleep for each nap). If expressing not an option could you give them formula for during the day? You might find that she'll take milk from a bottle/ cup happy enough if she knows you're not there and breastfeeding not an option.

MoodyOne Sat 29-Apr-17 00:24:59

Camomila sorry to jump on this post but how was he when you first left him with MIL/DM?
The reason I ask is that I am return to work when the LO is 6 months, so I will assume he would have only just started weaning, and learning how to use sippy/doidy cups.
LO is EBF and refuses a bottle , I don't mind expressing and reverse cycling (i hope it doesn't happen, but he can just come in bed with me if needed). But I just hope he's not upset that first time when DH is here and I am not ...

Blahblahblahyadayadayada Sat 29-Apr-17 15:49:05

I did type a reply but must've forgotten to post! Aargh!
I could try formula when she is weaning and give in a cup. I'm not averse to formula. But I'd probably have to start introducing it at home before I return to work. Maybe I'll try with some ebm that I've frozen. I don't have a strict ritual of expressing at the moment- more when I'm feeling engorged and have the time/free hands to so (ie weekdays when my 3 yr old is at nursery). I have a medela manual and Philips avent manual pump. It's just that the electric pumps are expensive and I felt it is only worth investing if expressing was the way forward for me.

Please excuse my ignorance but what is reverse cycling?

teaandbiscuitsforme Sat 29-Apr-17 15:58:07

Reverse cycling - feeding during the night to make up for not feeding in the day.

My DD started nursery at 12 months and BF morning and evening and then at night. She just used to have water and cows milk at nursery but didn't really drink much milk. I went back to work at 9 months but only mornings at the time so I could feed her about 7 and then 1 so I didn't leave milk but I did make sure she'd drink water from a doidy.

In your position I probably wouldn't try too hard to express if it doesn't suit you. I'd either go for BF morning and evening and overnight with water during the day or try formula in a cup. Or see if you can express enough for 3oz per day until 12 months if that seems doable. But I think she'd probably very quickly get used to not BF all day and just having milk when she's with you.

Blahblahblahyadayadayada Sat 29-Apr-17 16:27:15

Thank you for the reassurance. I really should just try to enjoy my maternity leave and not worry about what hasn't happened yet.

Blahblahblahyadayadayada Sat 29-Apr-17 16:30:36

Sorry, posted too soon. Is 3oz an "average" breastmilk feed for a child under 12 months? It's hard to predict what she might or might not do, but isn't that most babies?! She still seems to cluster feed but not necessarily at the same time every day and every day I find myself daughter "I can't do this anymore". It's so exhausting!

teaandbiscuitsforme Sat 29-Apr-17 18:53:45

I think from reading Kellymom etc that 3oz is a normal BF for any age but rather than increasing the volume like you would with formula, the make up of the milk changes but the volume stays the same.

How old is your daughter? I think BF with a toddler is hard enough (I've got 16 week DS and toddler DD). I don't know how anybody manages to express as well!

Camomila Sat 29-Apr-17 18:55:01

I went back to work a few days after his first birthday so proper long days (11h) just since then but from about 8/9 months I could leave him for about 3/4h in the day and then at 11 months we started practising me being away for a bit longer, say 5 or 6h etc.

I probably should have said he's started reverse cycling since I've been back at work. Before he was rarely hungry in the night once we started weaning.

Blahblahblahyadayadayada Sat 29-Apr-17 22:08:54

Kellymom is a very useful resource.
Dd is just a month old, so I assume that it's normal she feeds whenever. It's just awkward when she wants to feed every hour/ constantly and having no clue when she might stretch it to 2 or 3 hours (rarely get a 3 hour gap between feeds). Plus she gets a lot of wind so I'm wondering if she is getting foremilk mostly or forceful let down.

teaandbiscuitsforme Sun 30-Apr-17 06:46:32

One month is really early days. It should feel like it settles down around 6 weeks and then it tends to get a lot easier/more predictable after about 12 weeks. A 3 hour gap is quite a long time for a 1 month old, 16 week old DS doesn't do that during the day but he does do longer stretches at night.

I'd just go with these early months and start thinking about your return to work when she's 4/5 months.

DermotOLogical Sun 30-Apr-17 06:54:34

Keep going OP it's worth it! The point it got much easier for me was 8 weeks. The gaps got bigger during the day and I didn't feel like I permanently had a tit out. Nights are another story however!

I'm returning at 8 months and in the same predicament as you. I'm not sure whether to express (can get 3oz on a good day) or formula feed. I'd be leaving LO from 7-4 so he'll definitely need something.

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