Breastfeeding and returning to work(22 Posts)
I’ll be returning to work full time when my daughter is ten months.
Having spoken with the health visitor today she thinks my daughter will need an expressed feed during the daytime at nursery (in addition to the morning and evening feeds I’ll be doing, and obviously in addition to the food she’ll be having at nursery).
Can I ask for your experiences if you returned to work when your baby was a similar age?
I went back to work when my son was 10 months, albeit part time. I struggled to express so left him with some of those little premade bottles of formula (not actual bottles designed for newborn, just ready made stuff that can be poured into a cup). He tended to have one or two of those while I was at work and then I breastfed the rest of the time.
To be honest by 10 months they could probably just have cows milk when at nursery, as it won't have be the main source of milk if breastfeeding continues the rest of the time.
However my first son is low on the centiles and I was a bit of an anxious ftm so chose formula. He had never had it before but liked it fine.
If I could have expressed I would have done but would have had to express round the clock to get enough which ironically I just didn't have time for as I was back at work!
Thanks Jenala. Like you say it’s going to be such a busy time, to add expressing into the mix is tricky.
My DD was 10 months when I went back to work. I started off expressing but she wouldn't drink it. She was eating loads of proper food and was happy to drink water out of a cup, so that's what we did.
So I would BF her in the morning, and again after work and at bedtime, but during the day it was just water and food.
She didn't wean until 4 years old
I didn’t express at that age. I wasn’t able to at work.
Nursery offered formula but to be honest he didn’t drink it. He did take cows milk from around a year though in a cup. Between 10 and 12 months he bf morning and evening and in my days off and ate cheese and yoghurt for calcium.
My DS was 8 months when I went back to work. A few weeks before that I dropped feeds during the day but carried on feeding him morning and night. He went to a childminder and I sent ready made formula for him to have during the day. We’d always done mixed feeding though so he was already used to bottles. Never did very well with expressing, I couldn’t get anything out! All worked well, stopped breastfeeding altogether when he was 10 months though as I was kind of running out of steam with it (it had been a hard slog) and had to go away overnight for a family funeral so it was kind of a natural stopping point for us. DS didn’t bat an eyelid, he wasn’t bothered any more!
I went back to work when my son was 8 weeks old and continued breastfeeding exclusively until he was 9 months. I had to express in the bathroom and the whole office could hear it. I also had to travel internationally and felt ridiculous when they took away my ice pack at the airport. Ultimately I lost a bit of my sanity in the process but in the end it was all worth it. Good luck, I think you are amazing for continuing to breastfeed!
My first was a bottle refuser and managed fine with just food during the day by that age. We gave her baby cereal with cow's milk or formula for breakfast up her milk intake a bit, and yoghurt during the day. She was a good eater though.
Thanks so much for those of you saying you were able to do just morning and evening feeds without expressing or formula.
This is what I had thought/hoped I could do but I felt a bit silly today when the health visitor said it wouldn’t be enough for her.
I will aim to get her eating as well as possible by 10 months!
Well done to those of you who managed work and breastfeeding.
We have dropped to just 2 milk feeds a day at 10 months and have replaced her previous mid afternoon feed with a cup of cows milk. This works perfectly for us.
At 11 months mine manages fine during the day without bf. I think he feeds so much at night he gets his full amount then! Which is ok for now- will see how tired I am in a few months!
Can you express? You might find you need to a little for comfort anyway. Again this might just be for a month or few weeks. If you don’t get much pumping I’d get nursery to offer formular and if they don’t take that cows milk. And plenty of yoghurts!
I returned when Ds1 was 9 months . He steadfastly refused a bottle from the time I tried to introduce it so had no milk on my 3 work days . He wouldn't drink any sort of milk from and sort of receptacle! He was fine.
@Josie ah yes feeding at night is a bit of a concern, if she’s not getting it during the day!
I can express and appreciate I might need to to take the pressure off during work. But she’s never taken a bottle so thats potentially an issue. Appreciate she might take it in a cup by then.
I went back at 3 months and DS was breast fed for 11 months so managed to express at work for a long time. I just did two express sessions a day and it was fine. I had a little cool bag I’d keep in the fridge. Before I went back I started expressing to build up a supply in the freezer and so he got used to a bottle.
With my first DC she refused a bottle but eventually took it in a sippy cup or mixed with puréed apple making a very sloppy mix once she was six months old. She mainly just cluster fed in the evening to make up for it.
I returned when dd1 was 11 months and Dd2 was 10 months . Both refused bottles and were fine with no feeds all day . Drank water and ate as normal .
I did express in the day at that point, and tbh it was my only quiet sit down in the day, so it did work for me. I sat in the first aid room, double pumped, drank a coffee etc. So it's worth viewing it as an enforced break rather than a chore
Related question - did anyone who returned to work around the 10 month mark do baby led weaning? I’d like to try but I’m concerned it may take her too long to drop day feeds. Thank you
Breastmilk freezes so you could start seeing if you can express now and freeze. Build up a little supply.
I did BLW and returned to work at 10 months also. However my son ate loads from about the second week of BLW so I'm not sure if he's representative
I started off pumping for a missed feed but by week 3 my son wasn't drinking it so he just had water on the days I was away and feeds morning and night.
It was fine! Am still feeding him now at 20 months
Mine were closer to 12 months before I went back to work, but happy on food and water.
We did blw, and they both scoffed loads (infamously DS2 scoffed the whole of Baby rooms fruit platter at about 14 months, they had about 15 kids in there).
You might have to see how she goes on the food before you decide if expressing is required.
Also, depending on the times, you can feed as soon as you see her (so, say collect at 5 from Nursery, and feed there), and again before bed, so 3 day time feeds.
My twins went to nursery at 11 months. One was a bottle refuser and they were eating well by then so they just had cows milk in a cup at nursery. They made up in breastfeeds at home! Be prepared as your baby might reverse cycle (e.g start feeding a lot at night again even if they haven't done this for a while). Mine did - which made me rather sleep deprived - but it did calm down after a bit.
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