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Breast feeding and going back to work - the practicalities of it all

(11 Posts)
appledumpling Wed 27-Jun-07 18:59:53

Work confirmed today that I can go back part time (2.5 days a week) and that there is somewhere I can express milk in private. I'm trying to think of possible pitfalls and pre-empt them with a bit of forward planning.

DS will be 5.5 months when I go back and I would like to exclusively bf until 6 months at least. I don't want to force weaning if he isn't ready just because I've gone back to work.

DS is 3 months old now. He wants a feed anywhere between 6 and 8am and will feed for anywhere between 20mins and 1hr plus I usually express after the feed. That's fine now but I will need to be out of the house at 7.45am when I go back to work.

I have a good stash of ebm building up in the freezer and am adding to it daily.

My questions are:
1. How does your morning routine work? Should I be getting DS into the habit of a feed at 6.45am(ish). We're still pretty much letting DS feed when he wants.

2. How much ebm will a 6 month old baby need during the course of a working day? The nursery is v close to work so I could bf him at lunchtime (would keep me out of the shops too .

3. How often do you need to express during a day to keep your milk supply up (and for your own comfort)?

4. Would it make expressing quicker if I used an electric pump? Currently on an Avent Isis manual which works fine but isn't the quickest.

A bit of a long post but thank you for reading and any comments much appreciated.

hana Wed 27-Jun-07 19:16:07

I was back at work when dd1 was 6 months, but she was weaned at about 5 months ( 6 years ago, so advice slightly different!)
the last thing I'd do before i left the house in the morning was to bf her, then straight into car and onto childminders - and first thing I'd do when I picked her up. she wasn't too keen on having ebm at all, so she didn't really have much during the day, and seemed to make up for it when I got home, and in the evenings.

Can't help you with the expressing, I gave that up soon after I was back to work, it just wasn't practical for me.

appledumpling Wed 27-Jun-07 19:39:39

Thanks Hana. Thinking about it, I've always been one for having everything ready the night before so lunches made, clothes ironed, that sort of thing.

It won't take me many minutes to shower and eat a bowl of cereal so I guess I just need to get up early to allow for DS wanting a longer feed. (And have 2 sets of clothes ironed for when he throws up all over the first lot...).

hana Wed 27-Jun-07 19:40:53

should have said I took my top or sweater off when I was bfding her just in case!

popsycal Wed 27-Jun-07 19:51:58

Hi - first of all - good for you for contuing and organising things with work. I went back properly when ds2 was 6 months old and JUSt started on solids (literlaly days before). I first of all went back 4 days a week, and after 4 months of sheer hell, I reduced my hours to 2 days a week which I found much more manageable.

In answer to you questions:

1. How does your morning routine work? Should I be getting DS into the habit of a feed at 6.45am(ish). We're still pretty much letting DS feed when he wants.

As far as i can remember , ds2 fed around 6ish and I would give him a quick top up before I left the house at around 7:30

2. How much ebm will a 6 month old baby need during the course of a working day? The nursery is v close to work so I could bf him at lunchtime (would keep me out of the shops too .

Think I left about 14 oz at first which I found draining. Managed to expressed between 6-7oz at work but ended up expressing ay home everytime I fed him and again at the late evening. As his solids increased, I gradually needed to leave less (and eventually began to top up with water as he neared a year old...)

3. How often do you need to express during a day to keep your milk supply up (and for your own comfort)?
Fed in morning (and expressed while I fed); expressed at lunch time, fed and expressed at the same time as I walked through the door (around 4:30). Expressed at around 10:30. This was in the beginning when he was 6 months and only just on solids. As I said, this reduced...

4. Would it make expressing quicker if I used an electric pump? Currently on an Avent Isis manual which works fine but isn't the quickest.
I bought an electric pump as will as my avent hand pump. Felt far too conspicuous at work to use the medela although I did use it at home whilst doing the other side with the hand pump . I found the hand pump much more effective tbh.



Please ask if there is anything else. FWIW, I continued for a year (when ds2 was almost 18 months) - but by the end, it was mainly for comfort (rock hard boobs) and out of habit

appledumpling Wed 27-Jun-07 20:30:38

That's really helpful Popsycal especially knowing that you carried on bf for so long.

Most people I know have been able to take the extra 6 months off work so went back at a much later stage with fully weaned babies. I don't qualify for the extra 6 months so have no choice.

jamiesamfreddie Wed 27-Jun-07 20:44:27

Hi

I went back to work when ds1 was 4 months and then when ds2 was 5 months. (Does that make sense - not twins!) We woke up at 6am, ds would have a bf and we'd leave home between 7.15 and 7.30. Was a bit of a military campain sometimes to get us all out of the door by then - so was nice to spend first 20 mins or so of the day feeding ds! I would send two bottles of 6oz ebm to nursery. However, I did find that gradually I could express less and less during the day, so would have to top up with formula - oh, and we were weaning by then so they were having solids during the day as well.

I also sent emergency stock of cartons of ebm and presterilised bottles (disposable)to nursery in case I had a disaster or forgot ebm.

I expressed twice a day whilst at work - got into a good routine of expressing, cleaning and sterilising pump and storing milk in work fridge - have a container or opaque bag you can put it in to avoid awkward questions...

Never tried an electric pump, I got on well with Avent - you'll find milk comes out really quickly when you've not just fed your ds! Do take a photo to work to look at while you express, to help milk come out (may be a myth, but I did it anyway)

Good luck!

Pidge Wed 27-Jun-07 20:53:06

Good for you for giving this a go.

I did this first time round - went back to work when dd1 was 5.5 months, didn't give her solids till 6 months (the nursery thought it was child cruelty but that's another story!!).

I used to feed her when she woke - around 6.30-7am.

Then I expressed twice a day - mid morning and mid afternoon - at work 3 days a week.

I just used the avent hand pump and it was fine - though took some practice to trigger the let down. Don't lose heart. I found it tough the first few weeks to get any milk out.

To take the pressure off - try to build up a freezer supply in advance by pumping in the mornings, or I used to pump at 9.30-10pm - I would only get 2-3oz, but that all adds up and meant I had a store of milk before going back to work.

My biggest bit of advice - don't stress about milk quantities. Your baby will make up for lost time mornings and evenings and other days.

I carried on feeding dd1 till she was 2.

With dd2 I didn't go back to work till she was 10 months, so skipped the whole expressing malarky, this time any milk I pumped when I was at home went to the premmie baby milk bank!

popsycal Wed 27-Jun-07 21:31:47

just to add - ds2 is now almost 2 and a half and still feeding

appledumpling Thu 28-Jun-07 09:15:32

Thanks for all your help. It really makes me feel so much more confident knowing that other people have done this.

mistlethrush Thu 28-Jun-07 09:23:17

DS went to nursery 3 dpw from 5.7 months.

He was just starting solids, so bf at 6.30 followed by some breakfast (banana and something) with more to take to nursery. Took 4 6oz ebm feeds - if ebm ran out used organic formula. Expressed at lunchtime for about 3 months, then only in evenings and didn't worry so much about topping up with formula as/when necessary. Only used Avent handpump as relatively discrete!

Continued feeding to 22 months.

Good luck

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