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Returning to work at 5.5 months and hope to continue with ebm/breastfeeding - reassurance needed!

(13 Posts)
Elpis Sun 27-Sep-09 23:35:30

I go back to work in two and a half weeks time, four days a week. We're sharing a nanny and I'm very happy (and lucky!) with that arrangement. DD has exclusively breastfed and done really well, but although we tried introducing ebm in a bottle at 7 weeks she yelled NO NO NO. So a few weeks ago I started trying a Lindam cup, and this week she finally accepted small amounts - from the spout and also drinking from the rim.

But ... I'm so worried - she needs lots of encouragement and becomes terribly distressed when she's hungry. I'm going to express at work and ensure she has enough for days with the nanny (I've already frozen some), but she's still so attached to breastfeeding. How will the nanny cope? Will DD realise she can quench thirst/ hunger with the cup? Of course she can feed as much as she likes when I get home and at night --- but I can't bear to think of her so upset during the day. Would really appreciate advice/ reassurance ...

aquavit Mon 28-Sep-09 10:56:06

Hi Elpis, we had a similar experience with our daughter (now nearly 5 months) when she started at nursery a few weeks ago - although she had earlier been quite happy to take ebm from a bottle, she suddenly started to refuse it from anyone other than me, and would cry when offered the bottle. We've just been persistent and with lots of encouragement and patience, she'll now usually feed more or less properly at nursery, as well as from the other people who look after her (dh, my mother). It has built up over time from very small feeds but it's been improvement all the way.

Hope that's some encouragement, good luck with your return to work!

bearhug Mon 28-Sep-09 11:03:30

Hi, I went back to work when DS was 5 months too. He starved himself for 2 days, only taking minimal amounts of EBM from a bottle. After that he thought better of it and started taking his feeds from a bottle when I was at work without any further problems.

I'm sure it will work out for your DD too and your your Nanny will have dealt with this sort of thing before. Try not to worry :-)

MrsBadger Mon 28-Sep-09 11:26:20

you sound like you are doing all the right things and the other posters have given good advice smile

you may find, as I did, that dd doesn't feed much during the day but (critically) isn't distressed by it, and will make up for it once you are back together and especially at night. This is called reverse cycling and is normal if a bit knackering - the great thing is it really helps keep your supply up.

Have you got a decent pump? I gave up with my hand pump and shelled out for an Ameda Lactaline, which was the best £80 I ever spent on baby kit. Once I had the technique down pat it meant I could pump, eat lunch and read a novel at the same time...

Elpis Tue 29-Sep-09 13:42:38

Thanks for those! I'm going to print out this thread and take it to work so I can re-read it if I panic.

I was using a Tommee Tippee manual pump but have just switched to their electric one, which seems fine.

Shanster Tue 29-Sep-09 18:45:24

The first couple of days will be rough, but then she'll get used to it. I agree with the comment on reverse cycling (my DD does this). You can continue to EBF and work full time, I went back to work when DD was 12 weeks and at 9 months she is still EBF (she doesn't even really take solids).

Elpis Tue 29-Sep-09 23:08:50

I'm glad to hear about reverse cycling. She took about 45ml of ebm today from the cup, but wanted to suckle immediately afterwards. Do hope she can get over that - I keep trying to tell myself that I'm not being cruel.

Thanks, Shanster - very encouraging!

ja9 Tue 29-Sep-09 23:23:57

We were in same situation. Key to taking a bottle seemed to be the temperature of the milk... dd would only drink it if it was really really warm (hot even?!)

worth a try..

i continued to feed dd until she was 18 mo.

Elpis Sun 04-Oct-09 22:18:19

Well. DD is taking progressively more milk from the cup, and will accept it from both me and DH with a fair amount of grinning. But I left her with the nanny for three hours on Friday and she refused to take any, even warmed. By the time I got back she was crying. It was dreadful to walk in and find her so distressed. She looked at me as though I'd betrayed her.

We're going back for a couple of hours tomorrow. I'll give her some ebm and ask the nanny to take over mid-feed. I tell myself that we'd have the same problem if I'd taken another three months off (which I could ill afford), but I still feel hideous about leaving her for 10 hours a day.

aquavit Tue 06-Oct-09 10:32:59

Hi Elpis, hope your daughter did OK yesterday. It's probably inevitable that you'll feel bad about it - but if it wasn't this making you feel guilty, it might well be something else...you're doing a brilliant job providing milk (and everything else!) for her, and soon you will all be so used to it that you'll be able to forget about this tricky patch. (She most certainly will!)

I think really well done on the return to work and for being such a thoughtful mum smile

DrCosyTiger Tue 06-Oct-09 12:34:30

Hi Elpis, only got a minute but I just had to post. I went through exactly what you're going through last week. On my first day back at work (3 days a week pt) 6 month old DD refused to take any milk from our nanny and cried and cried. I was beside myself and spent most of the evening crying myself. But it did improve! By the third day she was taking milk no problem and yesterday - day 4 - she had a really happy day going off to bounce and rhyme with the nanny. Of course this doesn't mean it will necessarily work out so quickly for you. But just wanted to post to give you hope. With the milk I have to say it was better if I was just completely out of the way. Otherwise DD was too distracted by my presence to drink. Good luck. Hang on in there. Shall keep fingers crossed for you.

Shanster Wed 07-Oct-09 02:42:57

Hang in there, the first couple of days back at work are the worst, then your DD will accept the new routine and you will too. It is awful to think of them upset, but it doesn't last...promise!

Elpis Mon 12-Oct-09 09:42:25

DD has changed her mind again and decided that an Avent bottle is the way to go. I'd long since given up trying them but the nanny suggested she was finding the cup hard work, and she was right. While I was away on Friday she drank her milk without any fuss and was napping when I walked in.

I hope it will now be all right and that I can keep the maternal hormones under control at work ... Thanks to everyone who's posted - it's helped enormously!

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