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Carrying on breastfeeding past 6 months(17 Posts)
I really want to carry on feeding my DD but i go back to work soon and I'm not sure if I'll be able to express enough to maintain my supply. DD will be 6.5months when i go back so still taking mostly milk and only a little solids.
I also have no idea how much i need to express for DD for a day while I'm away from her, as I've only ever managed to get 4oz or so before which she would guzzle in a few minutes!
Has anyone managed to carry in breastfeeding a 6month old successfully while working and how did you do it?
When you are actually separated from the baby it is likely you will be able to express more. I could only ever express an oz at a time at home and sometimes nothing. I saved these up In the freezer. When I pumped at work I could get 4 or 5! In the end it didn't really matter as my daughter took hardly any milk while I was away and preferred to wait until I was home. She increased her night feeds too. It was tiring but worth it. At some point when solids were more established ( I can't remember exactly) I didn't even send any milk with her and just fed her at home. Carried on breastfeeding until she was 2! Because I'm lazy and it's the only way I could get her to sleep. I think you'll be grand. Just relax and okay by ear.
As a rule I went with 4-5 oz every three hours but in reality she took less than that but made up for it later.
Thanks, I'm finding it hard to build up any spare for my first day back but I'll have to keep trying or I'm worried she'll go nuts while I'm gone.
How often did you express at work?
DS was 8 months old when I went back to work and he wasn't eating a lot of solids yet. At work I expressed twice a day (mid morning and mid afternoon) for several months, until my breasts weren't getting so full and I was expressing less milk, so I reduced it to once a day for a while until I eventually stopped. DS always has a long breastfeed in the morning and when I get home from work (still does) as well as a bedtime feed. He also fed at night until we night weaned at 10 months.
I haven't had any worries about supply although I do work part-time (3 days a week) which meant 4 days to breastfeed DS as normal. But as long as you express at work and carry on feeding in the morning and evening, you should be absolutely fine.
Do you have a good breast pump? I recommend the Ardo Calypso double electric pump. You'll also need a cool bag to take milk home at the end of the day.
Oh and we did have formula as a back up in case we ran out of expressed milk for DS. I didn't pump a big stash before going back to work so we only had the milk I managed to express at work (I couldn't be bothered to pump after DS went to bed and never got much at that time, anyway!) It turned out he had CMPA so we had to switch to hypoallergenic formula, but thankfully he drank it fine.
For several months he'd have ebm or formula while I was at work, but after a while he stopped wanting milk at nursery and just has food and water.
If you can build up enough of a surplus to do one feed a day now, you can start pumping instead of that feed and even if you only get an oz more than he needs, you can build your surplus up to the point that you have a day or two worth of bottles stored. Then once you're at work, you start by pumping every time you would have fed him at home and you'll keep up that way. I'd always try to get a little bit of a surplus going so you don't worry. Once you're used to pumping, you may find you can do fewer pumps but get more milk each time so you're not having to do it constantly. At 6.5 months your supply should be really well established and quite responsive to demand so you are likely to be fine.
I built up a freezer stock by hand expressing after the morning feed which would give me 1 oz or so - a few weeks of that and I had enough for the first day. At the beginning, I expressed 3 times a day but ds soon dropped to 2 feeds at nursery and I followed that.
I always fed ds direct when I was with him, and he kept bfing till he was 2. Loads of people told me I wouldn't be able to keep bfing with FT work from 4.5 months, but it worked for us
I have just been using a manual pump but its very hit and miss how much i can get. Sometimes its 3oz, sometimes practically nothing even if its DDs usual feeding time. I will have to try an electric pump, I'm a bit scared though!
They're not scary, if you get a good one with shells that fit you, it will be comfortable and so much easier than manual pumping!
I went back to work after a year and just breast fed at night after that, with formula in the day. Not the same age I know! I had no problems with my supply adjusting.
ken i did the same with my first as by 1yr i was only bfing first and last thing and i didn't need to express any milk at all. Sadly this time i have to go back at 6 months as DH has been made redundant
DD is still feeding 4 or 5 times during the day with hardly any solids yet, so it feels very different iyswim
How long are your work days op?
I'll be away from DD 8am to 6pm Indubiousbattle (office job + commute)
I had set breaks and used them. I was only able to pump twice through the day. I was very very worried about the whole thing. Had a high maintenance baby who was funny with bottles as well. I was very frustrated at people saying it will work out, baby won't starve etc etc. I was so frightened she'd be dostresssd. Lo and behold it actually did all work out and I just took each day as it came. I sent a wee bottle of formula with her every day but they never had to use it.
I would recommend a NatureBond silicon pump to help build up your stash of milk for before you go back to work. You can pop it on your other breast whilst feeding and it catches your let down. They're about £13 On Amazon. I use mine for night feeds and in the morning which usually gives me about 3-4oz.
www.cuidiu.ie have good info re: returning to work and breastfeeding.
I went back at 7 months doing 14 hour days 2 or 3 times a week. I express twice a day at work and bring home between 16 and 24 oz. I'm using a medela pump at work and get most if I pump from both sides at once. At home with a manual it takes forever and I get alot less milk. I was incredibly stressed about how it would affect DD and my milk supply but it's been fine. At first she barely took any milk in the day and fed all night. At nearly 9 months old she'll have EBM in varying amounts depending on what solids she's eaten and what mood she's in! I still bf through the night but I co-sleep for what remains of my sanity. Good luck!
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