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Can I work four days a week and continue breast feeding DD without expressing

(18 Posts)
Liveinthepresent Wed 28-Sep-11 18:01:00

Major advice / reassurance needed from someone with experience.
Going back to work 4 full days in 2 weeks time.
DD will be six months old and is exclusively breast fed.
She will be at nursery 3 days and with DH the other day.
Originally had intended to stop BF at 6 months - didnt really understand how strongly I would feel that I want to continue. smile
Am not able to commit to regular pumping at work - know the legal rights bit - but am often out on client site and cant face the attention it would attract where I work. I can express first thing in the morning every day. (Have been doing this for a while so have a freezer 'stash')
Have read lots of helpful stuff on here and had a few encouraging friends say I should be able to feed morning / bedtime / dreamfeed and my body will cope with the missed feeds without my supply drying up.
Am I being incredibly naive to think that my body can adjust to this (and possibly still do all feeds on days off)
Find I do get very uncomfortable when I miss feeds - would I just have to cope with that or would it get better?
Sorry long post and too many questions - starting to get a bit stressed that I might need a bit of a plan - especially as need to start thinking about solids too.
Thanks for help in advance

An0therName Wed 28-Sep-11 20:05:36

I would say definately -I carried on BF with both of them after I went back to work
does she take a bottle ok? Would you be ok with her having formula when you are not there?
What I did with DS2 is that I expressed once a day - but he had formula at childminders - it was more to keep supply up - so I would say for you that you express if you can - but don't stress if you can't - but just pump and dump
then the rest of time he BF
both DCs also stopped having bottles in the day quite young - 9 months or so -DS2 carried on BF if I was around though
can you have a couple of trail days before starting work?

cheeseandmarmitesandwich Wed 28-Sep-11 20:13:20

I think you should be fine to at least carry on with the morning and evening feeds, your body will adjust. I would try to start cutting down on the daytime feeds now though, to give your body time to adjust. The last thing you want is to be in agony or leaking at work!

cheeseandmarmitesandwich Wed 28-Sep-11 20:13:21

I think you should be fine to at least carry on with the morning and evening feeds, your body will adjust. I would try to start cutting down on the daytime feeds now though, to give your body time to adjust. The last thing you want is to be in agony or leaking at work!

Liveinthepresent Thu 29-Sep-11 12:11:12

Thanks so much for your replies. Am defintely going to try to keep going then.

Yes she is happy with bottled EBM - and we have been doing this already on the odd days I have gone into work already for meetings and left her with DH - and when she has been doing settling in at nursery.

And good idea re trial run / dropping some feeds- this will happen by default next week as am doing some bits of work ahead of proper return.

I guess realistically she will have to have some formula as I am not able to express huge amounts so my frozen stash will dwindle quite quickly. Do you think I should try her on some formula before I go back to work as well - or just assume that she will take it when required?

I had read on here that once she is on solids she might be happy with water at nursery and waiting for milk once she is with me - but am not sure I can bank on this as not done any weaning yet at all.

More questions sorry - but am struggling to find any really specific info on this apart from on Mumsnet -so all input gratefully received!

Am feeling quite emotional about it all as well TBH- it feels like a lot of change for me and DD all at once... sad

Bramshott Thu 29-Sep-11 12:30:34

I think Option A, where you feed morning, evening and dreamfeed every day, with formula during the day will be very easy to establish. I did this with DD2 when I went back to work at 5/6 months - although she never actually drank much of the formula! Your supply is well established, and won't dry up because you're doing fewer feeds.

Option B, which is feeding only morning, evening and dreamfeed on your work days, and throughout the day on your day off and at the w/e, might be more tricky, although I know people who have done this, albeit with slightly older children. If you do this, you might find that you get a bit engorged on work days when you are feeding less.

But whichever way, it's perfectly do-able. Good luck!

Liveinthepresent Thu 29-Sep-11 17:43:07

thanks Bramshott - makes sense re the engorgement!

Beamur Thu 29-Sep-11 17:48:15

I did almost exactly the same - back to work 4 days, DD was about 8 months old.
I expressed a bit for comfort for about 2 days at work but after that we both seemed to adjust, I fed her morning, when I got in from work and in the evening and during the daytime on my day off and weekends without any trouble.
I took formula to nursery but she wouldn't take it from a bottle or cup, but nursery used a bit in breakfast, other than that she took solids or water from a cup to drink.
DD continued to bf until she was about 2'5 yrs old, so my going back to work didn't affect her that much!

Caz10 Thu 29-Sep-11 17:50:54

Hi! Posting on phone and in a rush! But just wanted to say YES, you'll be fine! Dd was 8.5mths, I couldnt express at work either. 2x feeds before work, lots when I got home. she only took approx 1 carton of formula per day. At weekends and holidays I bf as normal. Fed her till 3yrs! I'd maybe post your op in feeding section too? Gd luck!

Caz10 Thu 29-Sep-11 18:01:43

Ps beware "reverse cycling" ie you'll be up all bloody night feeding grin

Liveinthepresent Thu 29-Sep-11 21:12:00

Thanks Beamur
Caz - have heard a bit about reverse cycling - strikes terror into my heart!!
Did you experience that? It is actually something that I think I would really find hard to cope with as know I will really struggle at work if sleep deprived and have been blessed with a very good sleeper so far.
Good point about posting in feeding will try that as well.

Beamur Thu 29-Sep-11 21:19:30

I didn't get complete reverse cycling, but it was tough enough going back to work and DD was still feeding at least once during the night.

onepieceofcremeegg Thu 29-Sep-11 21:22:23

Yes you can do this. And I understand completely your point about knowing your rights to express at work but it not being practical. I was in a similar position. went back to work (twice) when dds were about 9/10 months old.

In my case, I fed first thing in the morning, and very occasionally during the night. i work shifts so couldn't be there at bedtime about twice a week so I dropped that feed. smile

I never had problems with low supply/engorgement etc. (well I did in the early weeks but not after the first few weeks) smile

Liveinthepresent Thu 29-Sep-11 22:44:27

Thanks again Beamur - I am dreading it - as know its going to be tough - just not yet sure which bits will be the hardest! Just dealing with knowing I dont get to spend every day with my DD is bad enough at the moment!

cremeegg - thanks for another vote of confidence smile

Caz10 Fri 30-Sep-11 15:27:04

That was when I really started co-sleeping tbh, dd1 had never been a great sleeper, but she def wanted to feed more. It was fine actually, she was pretty big and mobile so I didn't worry about squishing her, she more or less latched herself on throughout the night and I barely woke! It was tiring, but not the same as pacing the room with a crying baby!

Liveinthepresent Wed 05-Oct-11 09:01:12

Caz thanks for the info - sounds like that worked out ok for you!
Have been getting some more advice over in breastfeeding so am all set.

Caz10 Wed 05-Oct-11 10:10:10

Oh I'm so glad! I always try to reply on this subject as it was a massive stress for me and with hindsight it didn't need to be! Both baby and body remarkably flexible/adaptable. Good luck!

Liveinthepresent Thu 06-Oct-11 09:54:42

Yes I have been anxious about it at a time when really dealing with the emotions is hard enough - and without MN I would never have known it was realistic - as everything else seems to assume you have to express frequently.
Thanks again!

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