It's still a little way off but...(15 Posts)
I really don't think I will be able to feed DS when I return to work. I do 12 and a half hours as a nurse. I get 3 half hour breaks a day (on a good day) when I will need to eat and relax. I can't really see me able to spend my breaks expressing in the loo. I am responsible for patients in ITU, so I won't be able to take 20 mins to go and express outside of break time. I'm hoping to do some agency first, which may only be 8 hours, so it may be do-able. But I am wondering if whether when I start weaning I should just start DS on formula. He hasn't had any at all so far, and I find that the longer I BF for the more adverse I feel towards introducing the bottle. This isn't supposed to P anyone off, please don't take offence, I just feel I have done quite well and I'm not ready to give up yet! I will have to return to work of some description in around about a month and a half, DS is 20 weeks and I plan to start weaning at the start of next month. Does anyone have any inspiring tales?
Flossam - I returned to work in Jan when DD2 was just over 7 months. At the beginning I fed her only morning and night (so say 7am and then 7.30pm) days when I was at work and she received a bottle mid-afternoon. When I wasn't at work I then fed mid-afternoon too. I have never expressed at work - used frozen supplies to start with and when they ran out moved onto formula. It has worked for us but I didn't mind giving 3 bottles of formula a week to keep BF the rest of time - you might prefer not to. I just couldn't face the faff of expressing at work. I haven't had any problems with supply - DD2 has now dropped the mid-afternoon feed pretty much (unless I sneak a wee one in to help her sleep).
And of course I wasn't working 5 days - not sure how many shifts you will be doing? DD2 was fairly well weaned before I went back too - not sure where you will be with that - think probably easier for us as she only need 3 milk feeds a day at that stage and I was still supplying 2 of them every day. HTH Give it a go you never know how adaptable your boobs might be!
Flossam - my friend went back to work when her DD was 4m. She used to feed her at her break times (nursery on same site as her work). When that got too tricky (as DD went onto solids etc) she had formula at nursery and friend fed her the rest of the time. She was still breastfeeding at 18m !
I returned to work when ds was 6 months and from 5 months I introduced formula during the day and continued to breastfeed morning and evening until ds lost interest. Like you, I didn't think I'd be able to cope with expressing at work. I think expressing works well if you work regular hours, have regular breaks, somewhere to express and somewhere to store the milk.
Can you express some now to go in the freezer for when you first return to work?
My situation's a little different, as to begin with I did express at work. DS was about 28 weeks when I went back and wasn't eating much food - he was however guzzling bmilk like there may never be any more! I used to feed him before I went to work, leave 20oz for him and feed him again when I got home. It was very hard work as because I'd not built up a supply in the freezer, I was always running to keep up.
However, had he been eating more, it would've been easier - he has lots of finger food and very little spoon-feeding so it wasn't a question of spooning more into him.
When he was about 10.5 months old he started having a couple of ounces of cow's milk mixed with his EBM and now he's a year old, when I'm at work that's what he has - I don't express any more. When he's with me, he has my milk.
Having said all that, I work part time - one eight-hour and one ten-hour shift, so it's perhaps not the same!
Can you use one of your breaks to express? You may need to for your own comfort to begin with at least - but boobs are marvellous things and they do adjust. If you did express at one break and each morning perhaps, then you could probably manage to provide all the EBM your DS needs.
HTH a bit (it may very well not as I have probably just rambled!) xxx
I don't have any inpirational tales for you I'm afraid - my DS ditched the breast at 6 months - he was far more interested in food!
However, whatever works best for you, and that you are comfortable with, is best for you and baby I think
Good luck with your return to work!
Thanks everyone. HunkerMunker, I have been trying to build up some supplies, but not been very successful. DS is taking from both sides at every feed now, so I don't ever have enough to make it seem worthwhile. I will just have to see, I think. I really don't know about the expressing on my break - my job is physically and mentally exhausting and breaks I have I always just used to collapse! But I guess I will just have to see. I think the reason I am thinking along these lines is because DS can still be quite a handful to feed. He is biting, I take him off and say no and frown, but he justs gives me a lovely big smile - so something makes me think that technique isn't working!
I used to express with one hadn and eat a sandwich with the other. Lots of crumbs!
Wow! thats multitasking! Unfortunately, unless I want 20-30 collegues egging me on I will have to go ands sit in the loo to express!
Flossam, I may be wrong but I thought employers had to find you somewhere suitable to express so you didnt have to use the toilet.
Yes there are laws etc that should make good provisions for breastfeeding mums but its not always possible is it?
My office is my car, my job involves visiting people in their homes, i couldn't exactly sit expressing in my car or in cafes on my lunch breaks!
But the good news is i still continued to bf dd until she was two! I went back to work when she was three months, and because my hours were not as long as yours, i got by with just expressing or feeding dd before and after work. With 12 hour shifts you may find you have to at least express your boobs a little to stop them exploding ( you could just hand express a small amount to relieve the pressure which is what i did in public loos when i needed too! how pleasant!) obviously i didn't save that milk.
I introduced dd to a bottle at four weeks, and so when i went back to work, at first i religiously expressed every evening to leave in a bottle for her the next day, but once she was 6mths she had formula in bottles, and bf from me morning and night.
It can be done!
All you need is a private, lockable clean room to express in. You can use a storage closet, a shower room, a spare meeting room, the first aid room, most big employers will have one of these types of rooms. Your employer is legally obliged to find you such a room. 2x/ in a 12 hour shift would have been enough time for me to express the milk my 6 month old babies needed, but I found it pretty easy to express.
You could still consider combi-feeding, too.
I have thought about combi feeding. I would really love it to be able to give him a feed at night, but I will be working nights and days so will be starting and finishing at probably the wrong times. Arrrgh! there seems to be so much to think about!
Flossam your son is still quite young. You will be amazed how different things are when they are a bit older and feeding less.
Your boobs feel less "full" which means you can go for longer without feeding. And you will be amazed how irregular you can feed, but still the milk to last.
DD and i never had a routine, my hours were irregular and even when i was at home, sometimes she had bottles with Daddy and sometimes she bf from me! And this was from 3mths to 2 years. As she got older i tried to give up bf, so sometimes she went without a bf for a day or two, and i used to pray that my milk would dry up (as at the time i thought it was the only way i would ever give up!) but it was still there!
Don't stress about it, go with the flow, i am sure it will seem far easier than you think. ANd i sooo understand your not wanting/able to express at work. I know my employers would have suggested allowing time for me to go and express, but it just would have made my job all the more harder so i didn't bother.
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