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Going back to work - breastfeeding and formula together?

  1. #1
    premama is offline Registered User
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    Going back to work - breastfeeding and formula together?

    Hi,

    I am currently exclusively breastfeeding my baby (he's now 4 months). I'll be going back to work in a few weeks and although I want to continue to BF, I'm not sure if I'll be able to keep up the milk supply once I get back to work (he's now feeding every 3 hours so I'll need to express 3 times a day - which may be difficult due to my work pressure/nature).

    So I'm now thinking of introducing formula - but I know that once I introduce formula, my milk supply will diminish. My question is, if I want to continue BF my baby in the morning and the early evening feed as long as possible, how often do I need to express and how often should I feed my baby formula during the day?

    I would appreciate hearing from other working mums who've successfully continued to BF their babies and how long they've been able to BF their babies (whilst supplementing with formula).

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    carang's Avatar
    carang is offline Registered User
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    the great thing about breastfeeding is that it is demand and supply, not the other way around.

    if you only want to bf twice a day, then it will take a few days to slow milk production so you don't get engorged, but your body will still produce the milk needed.

    once my daughter hit 6 months, the ONLY feed i could manage was the midnight feed. she went from exclusively breastfed to 99% formula within a couple of weeks. i continued that night feed until she was almost a year. (i think more for my comfort & enjoyment than her need for milk!)

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    FutureHKmom is offline Registered User
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    I returned to work when my son was 4 months old (he is 10.5 months now). I actually worked reduced hours for 5 months, so I pumped twice a day at work for 4.5 months and then things just got crazy at work so for the past two months or so I have just been feeding him the first meal in the morning and the last meal at night before he sleeps and not pumping. The transition was actually pretty easy, because my pumping sessions at work got shorter and shorter because of the time constraint and so my breasts got used to producing less during the day when I was at work. I was at first also worried about feeding only at night and in the morning, but it turned out to be no problem at all! So don't worry about it! But perhaps you should start adjusting your body to the new feeding schedule slowly so you don't get engorged and super uncomfortable during the day when you are at work. Good luck!

  4. #4
    LLL_Sarah is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by carang View Post
    the great thing about breastfeeding is that it is demand and supply, not the other way around.

    if you only want to bf twice a day, then it will take a few days to slow milk production so you don't get engorged, but your body will still produce the milk needed.
    There is one small caveat to this statement - you must have your milk supply well established before you start to cut down.

    It usually takes your body at least six weeks before the breastfeeding is working well and probably another few months before you can cut down drastically and not have too many problems with supply.

    Generally I would try to breastfeed exclusively at the breast for as long as possible. This will let the body get everything working correctly. Then if you need to cut down the amount of breastfeeding you do it won't be such a problem.

    But if you don't manage to get your body working correctly your supply will go quite quickly as you cut out feeds.

    Pumping while at work can be bothersome but it shouldn't take that much time (aim for about 10 minutes per session).

    We have a working mothers' email group that you are welcome to join, lalecheleaguehongkong-working : LLL-HK Working Mothers Support

    Best wishes,
    SARAH
    La Leche League Leader
    www.lllhk.org

  5. #5
    carang's Avatar
    carang is offline Registered User
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    judging from the OP, i would say that her milk production is already well established.

  6. #6
    LLL_Sarah is offline Registered User
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    I agree.
    But I wouldn't want others to think it was somethng that could be started when the baby is only a few weeks or even days old.
    Best wishes,
    SARAH
    La Leche League Leader
    www.lllhk.org

  7. #7
    LeahH is offline Registered User
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    I fed morning and night when I went back (at 7 months). He had two milk feeds during working hours so I began reducing two weeks before I went back, replacing one feed with formula each week. It is quite an individual thing, but I had no problems (blocked ducts, engorgement etc.).

    I pumped when I went back to work with my first - once a day - but only managed it for 2 weeks before workload and pressure just got on top of me.

    With number 2 I decided that I would rather concentrate on feeding morning and night as long as possible and focus 100% on work while in the office in order to leave at a reasonable hour in the evening. BF was a great discipline at getting out on time!

    I have friends who managed pumping at work very well though - I think it depends on your individual situation.

    Good luck.

  8. #8
    LeahH is offline Registered User
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    Meant to add, I BF morning and night for 3 months (until bub was 10 months). I then went down to just feeding at night before bed for another month before completely weaning to formula.

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