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Back to work: EBF 9mo + overnight trips

(13 Posts)
helloelo Sat 18-Jul-15 21:59:44


DS is now 6 months old and thanks to the great mumsnet support, is a happy EBF baby. Feeds every 3 hours and has bits of what we eat lunchtime and evening. Wakes up 1-3 times a night with a regular 8pm-2am stretch. All very average, including his weight / height/ overall health.

I'm going back to work in October, he'll be 9 months. Work means some international travel (2 night in the EU or 5 nights in the U.S. for instance) at least once or twice a month.

At the moment, I cannot imagine leaving him more than 3-4 hours. I cannot imagine giving him artificial milk (he's had the odd bottle but BM only and not very happily, he tends to wait for me). It breaks my heart but there it is. It broke my heart when I moved him to his own bedroom at 5 months and now I'm perfectly fine with it so I know it will be fine but at he moment the idea makes me hyperventilate.

I need to prepare for him to be comfortable eating and sleeping while I'm not there.

How do I do this?

And how do you go from thinking baby baby baby all day long to being an executive manager in a high pressure environment? My brain is gone...

Thanks a lot for any input.

kiwikaterpillar Sun 19-Jul-15 00:40:12

Hi... I was in a similar situation when I went back to work after DD. I was/am very fortunate that DH decided to take a step off the career ladder for a while and become a SAHP- with the odd freelance day here and there (he is lucky to be in an industry where this won't be a massive issue when he wants to pick things up again). This meant that he could bring DD in for a lunchtime feed- which as a bottle refuser/slow to take to solids made all the difference. Also DD naturally upped her BF at night- which was hard- but we got through it. On the overnights I flew DD and DH with me when they were necessary- not ideal but we had some adventures and I tried to tag on a day or two of annual leave to make it more of a "trip" for us all. I also tried to use videoconference where ever possible to limit overnighters- even if this meant going back into work after first settling her at night due to time differences etc. I also learned to say "no" if I didn't think it was necessary/justified. It is so easy for things to just happen because they always have been done that way/ not bad to question it every once in a while. It was/is hard but you and your DS will be fine. Try to enjoy the last part of your maternity leave rather than worrying about the next bit (I know, easier said than done, but that is one regret I do have!). I would suggest trying to make things as easy as possible in the rest of your life though. Buy in help if you can, online food shopping, on a Sunday evening sort you work clothes for the week (have a spare outfit at work too- I had an embarrassing situation with milk let down once), let things that don't matter so much slide- I did that at work too and if anything I think that I am probably better at my job now I don't worry about all of the small things. As I type I have a 2yr old sitting in my lap having a feed (yes- still BF her morning and evening) and singing away to me and she finally sleeps through. Good luck, I'm sure you'll find a balance that works for your family.

WhetherOrNot Sun 19-Jul-15 12:11:44

I cannot imagine giving him artificial milk

That is a bloody horrible thing to say - some people can't give 'REAL' milk for various reasons. I am sure they are really happy to read what you said, not.

worldsworstmum2015 Sun 19-Jul-15 12:30:19

Whether I agree god help all us awful mum's giving our poor babies 'artificial' milk angry

grabaspoon Sun 19-Jul-15 12:34:46

Artificial milk is fine - there is also the option if expressed REAL milk

WipsGlitter Sun 19-Jul-15 12:38:41

Do you think it's possible realistically? The option outlined above - fly them with you - is great if you can afford it. But I doubt it's an option for most people.

What are your childcare plans?

WhetherOrNot Sun 19-Jul-15 12:43:03

there is also the option if expressed REAL milk

No, not at all. My son was lactose intolerant and couldn't have ANY mammal milk. So there with your theories!

callamia Sun 19-Jul-15 12:58:19

In my experience. There's not much you can do to toro are your baby - you need to prepare yourself.

Is your baby going to nursery, or being looked after at home? It probably doesn't make a wild difference, but you need to be ok with it, and have a plan to deal with sick days.

Have you been doing KIT days? This was helpful for me to keep a hand in my job, and not feel like is been out of the loop for so long. I didn't find switching back into work-mode so hard - but I like my job, and I could call nursery to check on my son if I felt worried for him. Your brain isn't gone - it's just focusing on other things right now.

Other people will work out a way to make him comfortable to sleep. My son was fed to sleep or walked, and at nursery he was held for a while before catching on to what everyone else was doing. His keyworker is a total pro. Nine months is also a pretty good age because it's just before peak separation anxiety (I went back to work at 5m, but my husband took leave and my son started nursery at 11m).

Do you plan to express milk? If you can feed before and after work, it won't be so bad. You don't need to use formula, but it's a handy back-up - in a short time, you can use cow-milk anyway.

I took my son and husband on various work trips. If a hotel room is covered for me, then it's no extra to stick in a travel cot, and we just covered the extra travel costs. It's been hardwork, but it's ok. It's manageable. You just need to think creatively and flexibly.

Don't worry and don't overthink. Plan, but be prepared to need to rethink and have alternatives ready.

kiwikaterpillar Mon 20-Jul-15 05:57:56

I understand that flying DC and partner may not work/ be possible for everyone. I was merely offering what had worked for us. I also mentioned other suggestions of videoconferencing and saying "no". OP, good luck. If you have good childcare in place that you are comfortable with I am sure all will go well. I think babies are more flexible than we (I) give them credit for. Your DS may surprise you and end up loving FF or expressed milk which may make things easier so don't discount alternatives. They change so quickly over the next 3 months.

helloelo Mon 20-Jul-15 11:06:23

Of course I didn't mean that other milks are bad, poorly worded statement, let's leave it.

Thank you for the constructive comments kiwi and callamia. DH has a lot of flexibility in his job but might not be able to fly with us twice a month. I have great childcare so I'm not worried about that. It's just the practicality of it all that puzzles me. How do I move from BF to sleep to being able to leave him for a night? I realise i'll probably be fine and it's my own guilt talking...

Sweetpotatoaddict Mon 20-Jul-15 11:17:50

I've an 8 mth old ebf baby and will be returning to work in 2 months time. There's been a massive change in his feeding habits from 6months till now. He's cut down his bf from every 2 hrs during the day to only 5 feeds in total over 24 hrs. When I return to work I'm hoping he'll have dropped further and lost his overnight feed as I'll be working night shift.
I currently feel if I had to go back to work just now I could, but at 6 months I would have said there wasn't a chance. They change so quickly I'm sure he'll surprise you.

AntiHop Mon 20-Jul-15 11:36:25

My dd is just coming up to 11 months. I've been back at work since 9 months. I'm at work 4 days a week doing long days so away from her 12 hours. She's at nursery and with my dp before and after. She adjusts fine. When I'm with her she breast feeds on demand. When I'm away from her she has a mixture of ebm and formula from a bottle or sippy cup. She breast feeds to sleep but on a few occasions I've not made it home in time or gone out for the evening and she's gone to sleep with a bottle. So what I'm saying is she adjusts to the circumstances. I've not had a night away from her yet. She also wakes 3 or more times a night for a feed. I express once a day in the 12 hours I'm away from her. My supply definitely reduces when I'm not with her and increases again when I'm with her.

I work in a stressful high pressure job. I find my mind easily flicks into work mode. However it's tough working when only get 3 hours sleep in a row.

helloelo Mon 20-Jul-15 23:30:21

Thank you for the additional advice antihop and sweet I had not realised they change that much but of course that was a bit stupid of me... I'm particularly glad to read you can successfully carry on BF and give the odd formula bottle when needed.
Last night I was thinking how Marissa Meyer did it, with the nanny on hand in the room next to her office...
I can't quite do that but all should be fine

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