Back to work when breastfeeding(13 Posts)
I had my "maternity risk assessment" at work today (I'm 14wks pregnant) and the subject of returning to work whilst breastfeeding came up. It's likely that I'll be returning to work (3 days a week) when this baby is approx 5.5-6 months old (sob, sob! I managed a full year with DC1/2!) and I had thought I would probably wean off the breast and onto formula for this purpose by then. However, the HR manager was very keen to be supportive (provide a small fridge for my office, make sure my room is lockable- it is, and ensuring I have undisturbed time to express) so I thought I'd ask for any first hand experiences on the realities of returning to work whilst breastfeeding. Is it fairly easy, or a total faff? Does baby respond okay? Could you carry on actually breastfeeding on the non-working days, or is it all bottles of expressed milk? How did your colleagues respond? Those and any other thoughts gratefully received.
I did not do this, but I expressed a lot. I know this is very common in the US when maternity leave is short. I would say make sure yr baby will take a bottle in the day by that point and it should be okay. You can buy a really decent pump that does double pumping and an expressing bra (if you buy the halter one its easier to put on under a loose top) and then you can have your hands free for other things. Your company sound sympathetic. Your baby will be still able to breastfeed morning and night by that point and you can tail off the expressing gradually if you want to and your supply shouldn't suffer
P'S. This is a great site for all things expressing. I had an Ameda lactaline which was great as it even took AA batteries so at a pinch you could express away from a plug socket (like as a passenger on long car journeys like I did). If you can get your baby to take bottles that have a neck that screws straight onto the Ameda pump (such as the medela bottles) then even simpler! ☺).
I did this! DS was 10 months when I went back. I work for the NHS & managers were very supportive of me expressing. I had a paid break (30 mins) on top of my usual breaks, locked room, provided with a fridge, etc. I didn't use the fridge though, I had a cool bag with icepacks & timed the break so I only had a couple of hours til I went home to put the milk away. The only issues I had were with other colleagues who were that I got a 30 paid break "for nothing" & also sometimes had to explain to a male manager where I was going which was occasionally embarrassing but no big deal. Oh also someone gave me an electric pump but it was bloody noisy so I used a manual.
Thank you both for your helpful replies.
Sad that site looks great! Thank you! Thank you also for the pump/bottle recommendations. I EBF for 15 months with DC2
as the little pickle wouldn't take a bottle of anything! so this is a whole new territory for me.
Jimpam DH is in the NHS and has found them to be very supportive employers. I'm lucky that my company is also great. I do have the same fears about an electric pump being noisy but like the fact it shortens the time! How long did it take you to manually express? I guess it's weighing up all those things.
Supportive employers make all the difference with these things! Initially it took me the full 30 mins (I hadn't done too much pumping previously) but produced 12 ounces, I ended up doing the same in 15 mins. Your body adapts very quickly & you get good at pumping.
Reading with interest, I return to work in 4 weeks and have made arrangements with my office to express at work.
A noisy pump is also one of my concerns as I don't really want people to wonder what I'm doing. But then I suppose feeding my DD shouldn't be anything to be embarrassed about!
I pumped with a noisey double ameda. Great results! I travelled with a suitcase as it was bulky and I also needed to keep the milk cool whilst travelling back home (long commute) so I brought ice packs etc. X
With I returned when DC1 was 7m. for the first month I did 3 days then went ft. I expressed twice a day at work – HR provided a meeting room for me to do so. I found it really easy, no hassle at all. I expressed till he was 11m. after that I just bf’d morning and night, and carried on till he was 17m. I had a good quality double pump (Ameda Lacteline) and an insulated bag with freezer blocks in to store the milk.
DC2 I didn’t return to work till he was 10.5m, so he just had cows milk at the CM while I was at work and I bf’d around work, carried on till he was 2.5y. It wouldn’t have worked if I’d returned to work earlier as he was a total bottle refuser. Didn’t even start drinking water from a cup till 8.5m.
I returned to work at six months with both my children and expressed to about ten months with DC1 and to a year with DC2. I would express once at lunchtime and if needed later in the afternoon. At the start I aimed for about 300 ml per day. I also built up a stock in the freezer before I returned to work. I was glad to finish doing it, but definitely glad that I did.
I did it for months 3 to around 7 with my first. It was easy enough and not a faff really.
Next 2 I've worked and fed from day 1 which has meant a lot of expressing in weird places. Because I'm always on the move now I pumped and ditch for those 2.
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