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Any tips on how to keep bf a five month old after going back to work?

(14 Posts)
BoffinMum Sat 25-Jul-09 08:40:41

I am going back to work when DS3 is 5 months, but I still can't for the life of me work out how to organise things on the bf front, although I am thinking of getting a Medela Freestyle pump to help things along after getting some previous advice from people on MN.

I have always fed the kids on demand and stopped bf when I go back to work, mainly out of confusion, but this time I want to keep going for swine flu reasons, plus I am not a big fan of ff really. I am wondering about how to timetable things as much as anything. Any hints/tips/advice??

CMOTdibbler Sat 25-Jul-09 15:43:46

DS was fed EBM on demand at nursery, and I expressed 3 times a day when I first went back to work until he dropped a feed. I expressed at 10, 12.30, and 2.30 ish, double pumping each time with my trusty Ameda Lactaline, then hand expressing the last bit.

It worked out really well, and although I left some milk in the freezer at nursery for emergencies, they rarely needed it. I told them that as long as they hadn't been told the EBM was previously frozen they could reheat a bottle once, which helped if DS only wanted a snack

BoffinMum Sat 25-Jul-09 20:49:42

Cheers for that. I will aim for three expressing sessions then and it sounds like that should do the job.

BabyBluenose Sun 26-Jul-09 21:45:25

I went back to work part time when my baby was 8 weeks old. he's now 7 months and I'm still managing to express for him. In my experience a double pump is vital (I have an Avent). I pump twice a day (10:30 and 2:30) and get about 16oz per day and always hand express at the end to make sure I have got as much as possible.

For me the key to the whole process has been meticulous planning (on days when I'm out of the office working out in advance where I can pump and where to store the milk).

My biggest challenge has been trying to get the childminder to understand that there isn't an unlimitless supply on tap. She has suggested I need to send more, but the bottles come back with at least an oz each in the bottom, even though she syas DS is emptying them. DH on the otherhand (who looks after DS two days a week) appreciates the hours i have spent locked in the first aid room at work and always makes sure DS drinks every last drop. smile

nannynick Sun 26-Jul-09 22:15:18

What form of childcare will you be using? While every childcare provided will try to accommodate your requirements, a nanny would be under your control far more than say a nursery of childminder.

Some babies may change their feeding pattern to fit more with when breast milk is in supply. For example, they will feed a lot from the time they wake to the time you leave for work... then they will feed little during the day... and then feed lots once you get back home again. If you find that happens don't get overly concerned about it. I've found that babies can often go for many hours with very little EBM, while they await mums return from work. Monitor their weight and try to estimate how much breast milk they are having in a 24-hour period.

nannynick Sun 26-Jul-09 22:18:59

If you find your childcarer has concerns over the storage of EBM, perhaps the following guide will help as it details lengths of time EBM can be stored in various conditions - such as at room temperature, 0-4 degrees C, -18 degrees C or below, defrosted EBM.

redtabby Mon 27-Jul-09 16:27:03

I am going back to work when baby is just over 3 months and plan to continue to bf and pump. I am a little worried as although he seems to be getting plenty when he feeds from me (growing very well), when I express I don't get more than an ounce or two each time. I am concerned that I won't be able to express enough to keep him going on bm.

BabyBluenose Mon 27-Jul-09 22:59:25

redtabby- you may well find that you get quite a bit more when you are pumping instead of a feed rather than as well as a feed.

I find that once the initial flow has died down I can get a few ounces more by only using one side of the pump and switching between breasts every time the initial letdown fades.

I have heard that some people get on better with some pumps than others, so if you really want to pump at work it may be worth trying another make.

BoffinMum Mon 27-Jul-09 23:49:34

Redtabby, a tip from someone in my AN group - feed just off one breast for a couple of feeds if you can, and let the other breast fill up. Then you'll have loads queued up in there ready for expressing! Just a thought ...

Ernie13 Tue 28-Jul-09 13:26:41

I went back to work when DD was 5 months old, and used a Medela Mini Electric pump until she was about 10 months old - she was then generally just feeding morning and evening, so no need to express for daytime use.

Whatever you do, use an electric pump! I had to use a hand pump on a few emergency occasions, and it was driving me nuts. Intead I used to bring a magazine or some work related reading, sterilise the pump and bottle in the microwave at work (used a travel steriliser - you can get hard case plastic ones or use steriliser bags) then head for the changing cubicle in the ladies' room (only quiet room I could find that didn't have glass walls) and relax while pumping. Then off to kitchenette again to put milk in fridge (stored in bottle or special plastic freezer bags for milk) - and try to remember to pick the milk up before going home - usually stored in a thermal bag for keeping wine cool :-)

I found that the volume I was able to express increased quite a lot after a few weeks. Probably as a combination of me learning how to use the pump, but also getting used to how to trigger a good letdown without a baby in my arms. Some people use a picture of their baby - I just closed my eyes and relaxed while thinking about how good it would feel to get rid of the explosive pressure in my breasts....

Quite often had to express while out of the office - had a kit with sterilising bag, storage bag, pump and thermal bag ready to make it all portable, and always managed to find a quiet room an a fridge as long as I explained what it was for. Many people looked a little shocked when I asked, but to their credit all were very happy to assist.

FimbleHobbs Tue 28-Jul-09 13:46:29

With DS I went back to work FT when he was 3 months old, with DD she was a bit older but by the end of my work-expressing time I came to realise:

A double electric pump is definately worth it. I had an Avent IQ Duo - it cost about £150 but I got a special offer and I sold it on ebay afterwards.

An expressing bra is really really handy. It meant I could read a book (I tended to read parenting books while expressing), have a drink, have a sandwich, so the expressing time was also a break.

Having a little permanent expressing place is great. I used the attic at work where I could leave the pump, a blanket to cover me if it was chilly, photo of baby, etc. Saves time rather than having to pack and unpack it all.

If you ask and explain, people really will help. I was away at an event and had to get the hotel to freeze EBM in their kitchen freezers - they were fine with it.

I started with 3 sessions a day, which went down to 2 as they grew. By around 11-13 months they didn't need any more EBM during the day.

The nursery manager was HUGELY supportive of me and this made life a lot easier - I would provide small bottles so they could give one, two or three depending on appetite. My DS is getting ready to leave nursery soon and his key worker was talking the other day about her memories of feeding him his little bottles of milk, they really seemed to value that I was expressing and that the milk was not easily come by!

Good luck and be proud of yourself.

BoffinMum Tue 28-Jul-09 21:02:42

Good tip about the little bottles, and also I had not thought about what to do about milk if I was away - the freezing idea is a good one.

Luckily I have my own office and they have also offered to buy me a special little fridge at work for me to store it all in - we have one or two eccentric emeritus professors, and I had visions of them trying to put it in their tea. shock grin (Maybe I'll have found a cure for Alzheimers!!!!)

Ernie13 Wed 29-Jul-09 11:23:25

Freezing is also a good way to prepare for going back to work - if you get a bag or two expressed most days when you are getting ready, you can start a little stockpile for emergencies and when you are away overnight.

Dophus Wed 29-Jul-09 11:33:09

I diasagree on the electirc pump! I used a hand pump (Avent) and could easily express 200 ml or so with this. Could never get more than a dribble from the Medela.

I would express just once, after lunch, and then later int he evening. This was sufficient to provide eanough milk at nursery.

Neither of mine received any formula and I weaned them onto cows milk at approx 1 year.

DS1 took the EBM well, DS2 was never too fussed and it was often more hassle than it was worth. I used the first aid room at work to pump and went back to work at 6 months on each ocaasion.

I also found everyone supportive and even when having to express in strange places on business trips. I would just let them know the problem in advance and they always had secured somewhere private for me.

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