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Expressing at work - is it really feasible?

(18 Posts)
Mumneedstea Wed 15-Mar-17 17:13:39

DS2 is almost 3 months old and sooner or later I am going to have to start thinking about going back to work. With DS1, he took to solids well and I went back to work when he was 10 mo. I never expressed at work as he only fed before and after work and during the night. I really wanted to continue feeding DS1 beyond a year, but he soon stopped after he turned 1. In my mind, I always linked this to me going back to work... if I had taken a longer maternity leave, he may have continued feeding for longer... who knows.

Now with DS2, I may have to go back to work earlier for financial reasons. Not decided when yet, but probably when he about 8 mo. I am scared that once I go back to work, he will also stop feeding. So this time I am thinking of expressing at work. Is that really feasible? I work in a corporate environment with meetings through the day. I know my work has a separate room for expressing and also a separate fridge.

Just looking for assurances that me going back to work is not going to mean end of feeding for DS2!

PuntCuffin Wed 15-Mar-17 17:21:17

I went back to work when DS was 8 months old. Continued ​BF until he was 15 months. I used to express late morning and mid afternoon. I had a very lovely boss who was fantastically supportive, didn't​ bat an eyelid about the time it took and worked meetings round my needs. I even travelled for meetings without problems.

So, it certainly doesn't ​have to mean the end, but a supportive working environment definitely helps.

InMemoryOfSleep Wed 15-Mar-17 17:31:12

I'm wondering the same - due to go back to work in May when my DS will be 11 months, and assuming that I will need to express at least initially, even if only to gradually reduce my supply. I'm sure I read somewhere that organisations have to make reasonable accommodations for you to express, so worth contacting your HR dept to see if they have (or would be willing to make any provisions for this) and doing a bit of a google to see if there are any laws around it. I'm expecting to have to do it in the loos on a break, our office doesn't have anywhere else suitable, but as I should think it'll only be for a short time until DS no longer needs breast milk during the day I'm not stressed too much. Not ideal though!

CMOTDibbler Wed 15-Mar-17 17:36:20

yes, it is feasible. I went back FT when ds was 4.5 months, and expressed at work till he was 15 months or so - and expressed when I was travelling for work until he stopped bfing at 23 months.
It was quite a nice break at work tbh, and I just either blocked time in my diary, or worked things round my meetings.

Duskybluebell Wed 15-Mar-17 17:36:40

My first, back when maternity leave was a little more restricted, I expressed at work from 17 weeks until she was a year old. It worked fine so long as I remembered to collect my milk from the fridge on my way out. Continued to breastfeed until she was two I think.
My second, work was happy for me to express in theory but in practice front line NHS staff in an acute setting doesn't lend itself, so he got formula when I was at work and I breastfed at home. He also breastfed until he was two.
It sounds like your work is supportive if they've got a room and a fridge so no reason any it shouldn't work. I used to read office paperwork while expressing. Obviously you don't need to express at the same time every day any more than you need to breastfeed exactly the same time, but it may help your colleagues if you have a routine.

pestov Wed 15-Mar-17 17:53:51

I went back at 10m but it took far too long to pump to fit into a tight teaching schedule. In the weeks leading up to return I cut out daytime feeds apart from before her nap. On my days off I breastfeed then, childminder gives formula. Still going strong on bedtime and once in the night at 14m

CobsAhoy Wed 15-Mar-17 20:42:17

I expressed when I returned to work, DD was 9months, did it twice a day up until she was eating more solids at about 15months and from then on just breastfed her when I was at home.

jessplussomeonenew Thu 16-Mar-17 20:02:54

Yes, definitely possible with a good double pump, some sort of handsfree set up, a fridge at work and an insulated jacket for taking the milk home if you have a long journey. I was surprised how much milk I got when I wasn't feeding during the day.

JellyWitch Thu 16-Mar-17 20:07:24

Yes absolutely. I pumped at work until my kids were 2. If you have a lockable room and a fridge then you are halfway there

I found it helped if I factored expressing time into my outlook calendar to stop meetings being booked over it. Very occasionally I had to ask for a break in the middle of a very long training session but around normal work it was manageable.

Still nursing my littlest who will be three in the summer. I nursed my eldest beyond that.

JellyWitch Thu 16-Mar-17 20:20:29

InMemory - you shouldn't have to express in the loo. If there is no first aid room, is there a private office or even a small study room you can book out - depending on where you work.

YesILikeItToo Thu 16-Mar-17 20:31:52

Certainly feasible. I used the KellyMom website for ideas about practicalities - all sorts of questions will spring up in your mind about storage and transport. Two tips from me -1. however understanding your office environment, the first time me you open that fridge you will realise you want a container to put your milk containers in. 2. Looking at pictures of the baby on your phone will speed things up and improve your results.

Aria2015 Thu 16-Mar-17 21:26:34

I went back to work when lo was 7 months. I expressed at work until he was about 13 months (he gave me up!). I pumped twice a day, I told my work ahead of going back and mostly I was able to express at the times I wanted. Sometimes I'd have a meeting and would have to pump a bit earlier or later but mostly I could squeeze it in. The only thing I struggled with was that my two pumping break were basically my lunch hour split in two. I found the days very full on not having a break to myself. I had to eat while I pumped and I couldn't meet friends for lunch or shop for bits in my lunch hour (the one bit of returning to work I looking forward to!). But it enabled me to feed him to a year which was my goal and I still think it was worth it. You sound more fortunate than me, I had to pump in the toilets sometimes and keep my milk in the general fridge - no special room or fridge for me! Good luck!

Mumneedstea Fri 17-Mar-17 17:35:35

Thanks for all the positive replies!! smile

Also, thanks for suggesting the KellyMom website.. I definitely have technical questions about storing and transport of the milk.

While we are on the subject of pumping, can I also ask what you do when you have to pump only occasionally? Like today I had to attend an event with some friends and was out of the house for about 6 hours. I planned it in advance and pumped earlier this week so LO would take a few bottles while I am gone. During those 6 hours, my breasts became painfully full. What do you do when this happens? Do you go to the loo and remove some milk to relieve the pressure? confused

CobsAhoy Fri 17-Mar-17 18:04:05

Yeah I've had a few occasions of squeezing my boobs into a sink, although I found over time I could go longer and longer without needing to do that. Now I don't express at all during the three days I'm at work (8.5hr shifts) and it's not too painful, usually feed DD when I get home.

Aria2015 Fri 17-Mar-17 19:40:34

Any time I had to be away from lo for much more than his usual feeding pattern I would take my pump and usually relieve myself in the toilets! It very glamorous but at least I was comfortable!

Mumneedstea Sun 19-Mar-17 16:44:18

Thanks Cobs and Aria

MrsD28 Wed 22-Mar-17 11:30:40

I have just gone back to work and am separated from very hungry 9.5 month old DS for the first time! When I am with him, he still has 7 or 8 breastfeeds a day, so I knew that I wanted to continue feeding him.

I looked into expressing and then trying to give the nursery the expressed milk, but it all got a bit too complicated, so as he moved up to three solid meals a day, I reduced his during-my-work-day feeds down to three (I still feed him morning and evening, and twice overnight - he is not a sleeper!). At nursery, he gets three formula feeds in a sippy cup during the day, and then when I am at home with him (e.g. on weekends) he is breastfed again.

I do express at work, but only to relieve the pressure on my breasts - usually once in the mid-afternoon. I just take out enough to relieve the pressure (an ounce or two from each breast). I have found that, because breastfeeding is so well established by now, I can quite easily feed him during the day when we are together - I haven't needed to pump frequently during the work day to maintain my supply.

Writerwannabe83 Wed 22-Mar-17 19:35:19

I returned to work when DS was about ten months old and he still breast fed until he was 2.5 years old. I used to express three times a day at work as I was away from home for about 14 hours but only for comfort, I disposed of the milk once I'd pumped. I was away from DS three days a week because of my shift hours and for the other four days of the week he just breast fed as normal.

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