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Breastfeeding and working 4 days a week

(15 Posts)
HVB79 Wed 03-May-17 13:30:18

I'm shortly returning to work 4 days a week and just wondering if anyone has any advice on whether I will be able to keep up breastfeeding my 12 month old. She is currently having 4 feeds a day but can go without the mid morning or afternoon one occasionally.
I received some really helpful advice with my first DC a few years ago but that was working 3 days which I think may be easier from a supply perspective. I'm also likely to be missing a few morning and bedtime feeds.
Many thanks in advance for any tips or experience!

Blossom789 Wed 03-May-17 20:49:35

Hi, can't offer you any advice but interested to see comments as I'll be in a similar position early next year. Naively I didn't think I'd be feeding 4 times a day still. Out of interest are you baby led weaning??

UndersecretaryofWhimsy Wed 03-May-17 20:53:17

I've been working 4 days/week since my son was a year old and still am. It's very doable- your body will just adapt on days you work and you can still let baby feed as often as they want on days you aren't working. You can choose to express once a day while working if it makes you more comfortable but you can probably skip that if you'd rather.

lovemylot1 Wed 03-May-17 20:55:50

I am just weaning my two year old, first went back to work when she was 9 months old. She just had cups during the day with milk or water. She still doesn't drink much, but catches up at bedtime.

I fed my previous daughter until past two as well and always worked full time.

At your stage you can skip feeds now and again and it should be fine.

I would recommend pumping or hand expressing when your feeds would have been due until things are settled. I didn't and had some side effects

lovemylot1 Wed 03-May-17 20:56:27

I mean my older daughter not my previous daughter!

anonymice Wed 03-May-17 21:01:48

I worked three days a week from the time DD1 was 7 months old. She drank water when I was not there and reverse cycled. So she would feed at 6.30 when I got in then at 11pm then 4 then once in the morning. It was fine. We both just got used to it. Hope it works out OK for you OP.

Camomila Thu 04-May-17 06:49:00

I went back 3 days a week a few weeks ago. DS is 12 months and having food and water during my work days. My supply is fine but my poor boobs are a bit achy on my work days.

I also did BLW and he does have 4 or more feeds on my home days.
MIL/DM mainly spoon feed him though when they have him though as poor thing was really hungry my first few days back and doesn't much like cows milk.

TheMasterNotMargarita Thu 04-May-17 06:53:55

I've been back full time for a few weeks.
Baby is 8 months. He has a couple of bottles of formula and some water during the day and I feed him morning and night.
It's going well so far but even though I tried to gradually stop during the day my boobs did still get a bit sore and things are just settling now.
But it's doable and amazing how your body adapts.

HVB79 Thu 04-May-17 07:14:34

Thanks all, that's really helpful. Luckily she eats well during the day and also likes water and a bit of cows milk. Good tip re pumping, I gave up on expressing but can see that would help for comfort. We cut out night feeds a couple of months ago which has done wonders for her sleep so just hoping I can avoid feeding all night to make up for being away in the day!

Lovelycardigan Thu 04-May-17 08:13:37

I went back to work when DS was ten months old. I also did 14hr shifts (only twice a week though). I was so worried DS would cope as he was so attached to the boob (still is at 2.5yrs against my wishes, but simply refuses to wean). There were only a couple of days he wasn't happy about this, but he coped surprisingly well. I kept my supply up by pumping x2 on shifts, but could have managed with just once in the middle of the shift. I don't pump at work at all now, and haven't for months. If I remember rightly I was still feeding a lot at this point and for a while after (8+ feeds) and had well and truly fallen in to the comfort feeding trap, so it sounds like you'll be fine. I understand the anxiety though.

Just a heads up: make sure you're work are aware if you intend to pump. My employer found it really hard to find me anywhere appropriate to pump, and if you're training off-site, that also causes problems, especially if you need to find an electricity supply. I had people walking in on me despite leaving a sign up (they were more embarrassed than I was).

HVB79 Thu 04-May-17 20:05:03

That's a good point about expressing. I think we have a dedicated room for it but have to admit I feel a bit apprehensive about people knowing I'm using it given how most people assume that you'll have given up after a year/going back to work...

JugglingMum17 Sat 06-May-17 19:10:10

It is doable. Just pump at work at the time your baby usually feeds. Your work have to allow you time to express and provide a room
For you to express which cannot be the toilet.

My DS1 used to have a feed in the morning afternoon and evening when I went back to work.
My work did a return to work meeting and got me to complete a form and a couple of questions asked whether I was breastfeeding and whether I was expressing.

I found that If i expressed at lunch I would get loads of milk and my baby would not go without.

If you don't express then your supply will reduce. But all depends on if you want to maintain your supply or reduce it.

DorotheaHomeAlone Sat 06-May-17 19:51:31

Can you not just cut out the day feeds? Drop one each week and give him a cup of cows milk in the afternoon if needed. That's what I did with mine. Worked fine. They're not as reliant on the milk by that stage and can get all they need from a couple of feeds a day. I kept that up for ages.

MoodyOne Fri 12-May-17 11:35:55

Sorry to jump on the thread , but how did the people looking after your LO's cope when you returned to work ... I will leave my LO at 6 months (he doesn't yet take a bottle) and DH will be taking over maternity ...
we will give milk in food as much as possible (and water) and I don't mind reverse cycling... the only thing I'm worried about is those first few days, won't he scream if he's not being fed? We don't let him cry if at all possible so it's really stressing me out 😢

anonymice Fri 12-May-17 12:14:54

My DD just didn't bother (it was my Mum who looked after her), I think because she couldn't see me or smell milk she was happy with water and food instead. Hope this helps.

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