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Breastfeeding and working

  1. #1
    premama is offline Registered User
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    Breastfeeding and working

    Hi,

    I'll be going back to work in a month's time and am currently contemplating what to do in terms of feeding my 3 month old baby (4 months by the time I go back to work).

    She's currently being exclusively breastfed every 3 hours (approx). Ideally, I would like to continue breastfeeding before I go to work and when I come home from work and feeding her formula during the day - does anyone else do this and if so I would like to get some feedback on how it works.

    Alternatively, I'm thinking of feeding her breastmilk during the day also by pumping at work - the problem is, I can only really pump once at work during lunchtime as I have quite a busy schedule. I'm not sure if I'll be able to produce enough milk to last the 10 hours I'm away at work.

    Also, would pumping once at work be enough to keep up my milk supply to enable me to breastfeed her in the morning and at night?

    I would appreciate any feedback, thanks!

  2. #2
    sky123 is offline Registered User
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    I was never able to exclusively breastfeed the baby but I did breastfeed and formula feed baby up to 7 months whilst at work. I would breastfeed and pump (if any left) at home during the evening, night and morning. At work I pumped twice a day at the office usually at 12 and 4 (but maybe you can try 1 and 5.30). Usually this only required the baby to be fed on formula once or maybe twice a day.

    I would say just do as best you can. My baby was very healthy during the months when he had some breastmilk. Unfortunately now that I no longer breastfeed him, he is prone to the odd cold.

  3. #3
    Buckeroo is offline Registered User
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    Agree with sky123. Just do the best can. :)

    With my first one, I would pump 2x at work --at lunch time and at 5:30pm, --and breastfeed at home (morning and night and on weekends). No, pumping 2x at work was not enough for me to keep him exclusively on breastmilk. But for as long as you breastfeed, your body would still continue to produce milk. Some breastmilk is still better than none at all.

  4. #4
    LLL_Sarah is offline Registered User
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    I know of many mothers who give formula or solids during the day when they are away from their babies and continue to breastfeed when they are together in the evenings and night.

    After the initial adjustment period your breasts will cope with this style of feeding. (At first you may find yourself getting very full and uncomfortable during the day. If this is the case express some milk out until you feel comfortable again.) In fact most mothers supply seems to cope with no problems with returning to full breastfeeding during weekends and holidays and less breastfeeding during work days. Remember the amount of milk you make is dependent on the amount the baby (or pump) takes out – your body will replace the milk that is taken. When lots of milk is taken out you replace lots and when only a little is taken out you replace only a little.

    It you would like your baby to continue to get breast milk when you are away from her you will need to express or pump your milk. Some mothers have no problems expressing milk but others find it very hard. Please remember that the amount of milk you can express or pump is not an indication of the amount you have.

    It can help to make connection with your baby while trying to pump – for example looking at photos for the baby, having a piece of the baby’s clothing with you, or a recording of the baby’s noises – anything to help you feel connected with the baby.

    Some mothers find that a couple of minutes of nipple stimulation before pumping can help.

    If you find it hard to get milk while at work it is fine to express or pump at other times too. Many mothers find they have loads of milk in the morning. So try feeding on one side and pumping the other – if you can manage to balance w the baby and the pump at the same time mothers find they get more milk. This is because the baby makes the hormones in your body increase and this helps the milk to come out.

    It is fine to collect small quantities of milk throughout the day and then add them together for the baby to drink later.

    It is difficult to know how easy you will find expressing and pumping in the work situation until you start to do it. Remember that building up a supply to return to work (when you are feeding and trying to pump extra for storage) is much harder than collecting the milk once back at work (when you are just pumping the milk your body is expecting to give to the baby).

    On more point to remember is that everyone has a bad day every now and then. On bad days when you are pumping you will find it harder to collect milk than on good days – your emotions play a big part in breastfeeding. Don’t worry about this it is very common for the amount of milk you can pump out to fluctuate – it doesn’t mean you are losing you milk supply.

    Best wishes with it all,
    SARAH

  5. #5
    premama is offline Registered User
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    How to introduce formula?

    Thanks for your replies.

    I guess I'll just have to do my best to feed her breastmilk as much as possible but it looks like I'll have to supplement with formula once or twice a day while I'm at work.

    How and when should I introduce the formula? I'll be going back to work in less than 3 weeks so I'm thinking maybe I should start soon...

    Again, any advice/comments appreciated.

  6. #6
    barbwong_130 is offline Registered User
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    If you want to continue breastfeeding for as long as possible you might like to try never being the person who gives your baby a bottle (formula or expressed breast milk). When you are together you always breastfeed her. Let the person who is looking after her while you are away give the bottles. There is no need for you to give bottles now to get her use to it. She will either get use to it now while you are home or get use to it in three weeks when you are back at work. But if you never give her bottles she will always expect to breastfeed from you and so you will have fewer problems.

    Don’t worry about your milk supply dropping as long as you are breastfeeding directly when together you will be fine. Having milk when you are directly breastfeeding and being able to express that same milk out are two very different things. Even if you find you can’t express much and the baby has to have formula during the day you will still have enough milk during the time you are together if you breastfeed directly.

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