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Returning to work - should I continue all day time breast feeds up to the final moment ?

(28 Posts)
Baladay Sun 09-Aug-09 22:53:29

I'm going back to work on 1 September when DD will be 6 months and one week old. I've been EBF up to this point and don't want to start giving her solids until 6 months, but don't want to express at work. Should I continue her 5-6 bfeeds a day until I go back to work and then go cold turkey (still bfing before and after work) or introduce a day time formula feed over the next couple of weeks? Advice would be most appreciated.

FrameyMcFrame Sun 09-Aug-09 23:03:43

I would introduce a daytime bottle before you go back. Just to get her used to it before you are gone all day.
I'm off back to work in mid September and DS now takes a bottle every day.

Boobz Mon 10-Aug-09 12:03:13

Hi Baladay - I am in the exact same position as you. DD will be just over 6 months when I go back to work, and I too have been EBF up until this point. I had thought that I wanted to stop BF-ing totally when i went back, but am now thinking I want to still BF before and after work, like you.

Anyway, my friends with babies have advised to get a bottle going for the 11am and 3pm feeds, not only because it'll be hard for DD to be away from me at nursery, but to have to do the bottle for the first time at the same time might be a lot for her to deal with (and introducing solids at the same time!) Moreover I think it's better for you to get your boobs used to not feeding during the day, or else you'll suffer from engorgement and possible mastitis which is nasty.

I sit here saying all this whilst DD looks at me in disgust as I have tried to give her her 11am bottle. She just hates it. I started to drop the 11am boob feed onto bottle on Saturday just gone, and so far, she has managed to just not feed at that time for the past 2 days (looks like 3 at this rate!) and instead preferring to go hungry until her 3pm boob feed. Which is all fine by the looks of it (damn she's stubborn!) but from this coming Saturday, I will be dropping the 3pm boob feed onto bottle as well, so she really will have to meet me half way or else she won't be eating anything after her 7am feed until her 7pm feed!

I think I'm going to start introducing solids a bit earlier than normal, say from next week when she will be 21 weeks, just so she is getting some extra calories in, in case this hunger strike continues!

Good luck, whatever you decide to do.


Baladay Mon 10-Aug-09 14:46:38

Thank you v much for your advice - I'll start replacing the 11am feed (although it makes me feel sad...)

Pannacotta Mon 10-Aug-09 14:55:23

WHy dont you give the 11am feed as expressed milk?
You could express at home either before or after work once you go back and this could replace one of the daytime feeds.

Boobz Mon 10-Aug-09 18:43:46

It's not so much that it's formula that's replacing my breast milk (although I guess that's part of it...) it's more that she's having a bottle rather than my boob which is sad for me. And it is a little sad, which was why I was burying my head in the sand a little bit, as I didn't want to stop feeding her at all. If I didn't have to go back to work, I think I would have EBF for at least a few more months, or maybe a year.

It is sad, I know you feel.


Baladay Mon 10-Aug-09 18:48:03

That's it exactly Boobz, and why I've waited so long to do something about it. It's good to know I'm not alone xx

DrCosyTiger Tue 11-Aug-09 09:28:24

Hi Baladay,

I don't have anything very useful to add but just wanted to say that I'm facing exactly the same issue too. I go back to work in Sept when DD is 6 months. I have been EBF and have been thinking I ought to replace a BF with a bottle but can't quite bring myself to do it. I had such a struggle to get BF established in the first place and ironically there was days early on when I couldn't wait to give it up, but now I just feel very sad about it. I think I will try and continue feeding before and after work and will try and introduce that 11am bottle soon. I have a bit more time than you as I still have a month to go. Good luck - you're not alone.

hanaflower Tue 11-Aug-09 12:57:23

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

dinkystinky Tue 11-Aug-09 13:43:48

I'm back at work midseptember after having DS2 and planning to mixfeed when I go back to work - so will be introducing a bottle in a couple of weeks time (around 3 weeks before I go back to work so can express during the day and gradually reduce the expressing time to reduce milk supply so dont get engorged) in the same way we did with DS1 - which involved me disappearing for most of a weekend (returning only to express) and leaving the baby and DH for some quality bonding time. DH would offer the bottle to the baby whenever he was hungry (but not force the issue) - DS1 missed 3 feeds, wolfed down the next bottle and every other bottle that weekend and was fine with mixed feeding from me thereafter. We found it easier to start with EBM, make sure the bottle (and teat) were warm and that DH had a worn top of mine over his shoulder (so smelt a bit like mum). When I gave DS1 bottles the following week I would put on one of DH's big sweatshirts that he'd worn so my boobs were well and truly hidden away - DS1 soon got the message that the boobs were for morning and nighttimes only. Am hoping DS2 is as quick on the uptake.

It is really hard going back to work and you really dont want your last few weeks of maternity leave spoilt by doing bottle battle - so if you can get family or friends to help establish the bottle for you it really will make life easier all round. I had months of half heartedly giving DS1 a bottle of EBM which he'd reject for hours before giving up for a month then doing the weekend bottle bootcamp so I know how hard it is. Though if you're the only one around, sadly you'll have to go through the crying etc. when introducing the bottle if you want baby established on it before you go back to work.

Baladay Tue 11-Aug-09 18:40:11

Thank you dinky - DD has no problem in taking a bottle, as DP has given her bottles of EBM when I've had to go out. It’s just moving her onto formula for the day time which I'm finding hard to get my head around and still avoiding...

But I must do something or am going to be most uncomfortable at work.

I really appreciate you all getting back to me on this.

laumiere Tue 11-Aug-09 19:08:08

I envy you baladay, DS2 has always refused bottles/cups and EBM and formula, if it's not boob he refuses. I'm trying to get him to have a few sips from a bottle at each feed but not much luck!

GYo Tue 11-Aug-09 22:26:58


<<waves to Boobz>> you and I were in labour at the same time if you remember! How fast has the last 5months gone!?? Are you going back full time?

I wil be facing the same thing in Oct and I was planning a technique like dinkystinky. We ae going to start EBM bottles for the 11pm feed as of next week so DD is well used to bottles then try formula.

What formulas are you guys trying?

I also feel really upset at thought of stopping feeding. Even doing 1 EBM bottle a day is making me feel weird. I suppose its one of those things that isnt as bad as you expect once you start. hmm

I was thinking of using cups for formula during the day and then BFing morning and night... Anyone else tried this/ planning this?

Boobz Wed 12-Aug-09 11:49:56

Thanks for the advice Dinky, we are on Day 5 of the 11am bottle, and so far, DD has managed to refuse it and go hungry until the 3pm boob feed. She's getting less angry each time and some of it is starting to go down, but not really anything substantial. She just wears herself out and falls asleep! You're right, I don't want this to start to spoil the last few weeks of mat leave, but there isn't really anyone else I can give this job to.

Hi Gyo! Yes I do remember - how are you doing? The last 5 months have been fabulous - I've been really lucky. Penelope is a dream, she sleeps well, is always happy and chatty and looks adorable (but I may be biased ;) She never cries unless she is hungry, so this new bout of crying (refusing the bottle) is doubly hard as it's the first time we've had any crying in the house. Ack, it's so hard. I haven't fed from my boobs between the hours of 7am and 3pm for 5 days now so I'm getting my supply in the right place, but the emotions aren't there yet.

3pm boob feed next to go on Sunday, wish me luck!

Boobz Wed 12-Aug-09 11:56:29

We've been on this bottle for the last hour and have now progressed to DD blowing raspberries every time I put the teat in her mouth. This is obviously not great as it's the opposite of sucking and the milk's going everywhere, but it is funny too, at least.

Laugh if you don't cry, isn't that what they say? Argh.

Boobz Thu 13-Aug-09 11:31:36

DD just took 3oz from the bottle whooppeeee!

dinkystinky Thu 13-Aug-09 15:30:31

Congrats Boobz - that's great!

bunnybunyip Thu 13-Aug-09 17:18:44

hello boobz, dinky, gyo, baladay and drcosytiger,
Just joining the club. ds going to nursery 3 days a week in mid october when 7 months, I was also burying head in the sand so this is very useful thread to get me thinking.i have just had a bout of horrible mastitis so definitely want to avoid that again.
It seems such a shame that i have to not do daytime feeds when i will be with ds 4 days a week, but then i keep remembering he will be taking some solids by then so maybe won't need so many feeds (is still on 7 a day at the moment the greedy thing!)

Boobz Thu 13-Aug-09 18:58:36

I'm the same as you bunny - in that I will be with Penelope 4 days a week too... but like you I'm hoping the food part will mean she takes most of her milk in morning and evening and fills up on lots of solids during the day. Oh how I wish we could all just stay off work la la la laaaaaaa!

Baladay Thu 13-Aug-09 22:18:42

Can I ask which formula you're using? I've just been looking them up and am not sure whether I should be getting 'follow on' or other. And wouldn't it be lovely to not have to go back to work...

Boobz Fri 14-Aug-09 07:42:34

Am using SMA Gold 0-12 months... but have used the Apitmil ready-made cartons as well.

Day 7 today. Am also baby sitting my friend's 9 month old who has just started crawling, so it's going to be a busy morning!

Boobz Fri 14-Aug-09 10:46:43

I've cracked it - 4oz today and hardly any complaints at all - woooo! Took me 7 days...

Baladay Fri 14-Aug-09 10:54:13

Congratulations Boobz! smile

bunnybunyip Fri 14-Aug-09 13:30:24

Good news Boobz. I have occasionally used sma gold in the past as this was what DS was tube fed in hospital before my milk arrived and it seemed to go down ok (he was prem). I expect formulas are much the same though.

dinkystinky Fri 14-Aug-09 19:44:37

Brilliant stuff Boobz - am really pleased for you. Bunnybunyip - I used Aptamil with DS1 but was told all formulas are pretty much much of a muchness - I picked Aptamil as I liked the green tin blush

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