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  1. #1
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    Default Returning to work 3 days - not sure if I'll be able to pump?

    I have a 9 month old and although initially breastfeeding felt like one of the hardest things I've ever done (I had vasospasms), it's now second nature for my baby and I.

    But in a month, I have to return to work 3 days per week. I really don't want to give up breastfeeding yet - she's doing so well and hasn't had a single illness to date. I will be at work Monday - Wednesday, leaving the house around 8 and home around 5:15pm. I might be able to pump on my lunch break, but this would entail going to the parents room in the shopping centre as there really isn't anywhere I can pump at work. So assuming I feed right before I leave and as soon as I get home, and manage to pump at lunch time, I'm still having pretty long gaps.

    I've always had really good supply, I had shocking over supply in the beginning and I still can get engorged if she 'snacks' frequently, but should I be preparing for my supply to drop?

    We co-sleep and I'm happy to feed her through out the night (she has 1-2 feeds at the moment) - if I manage to drain the same amount in 24 hours but at longer intervals, will this preserve my supply? That is, will I be able to count on being able to continue sustaining her on breastmilk (and solids) or will I have to introduce formula?

  2. #2
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    I did a similar pumping routine - so fed at 7am, pumped at lunch, then fed at 4.30/5pm then on demand overnight when I went back to work for 2 days a week. I didn't have an issue with supply and didn't need to supplement. Now that Bubs is 1, on my work days I no longer pump/feed between 7.30am-4.30pm. Just be aware your boobs might get engorged/leak etc during the day if they are used to being drained regularly (make sure you have breast pads or similar just in case). Obviously this won't be the case for everyone as supply is so individual.

    It sucks that there is nowhere at work for you to pump. I work at a very small home office (not my home) and ended up using my bosses veranda/sun room as the office was open plan so I understand having to just make it work.

    Best of luck!

  3. #3
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    It was a few years ago now when I returned to work 2 days p/w and due to a very long commute I was leaving home at 6.30am and getting home again at 7pm. At first I was continuing with an early morning feed if DD was awake and a feed before bedtime, plus one feed overnight, however on the mornings she wasnt awake she was having a bottle when she woke up, plus a bottle at lunch time (sometimes EBM, sometimes formula, depended how much EBM I had), and then a BF again before bed and overnight. Very very quickly, maybe 6 weeks, DD decided that BF took too long and was too hard and she pretty much flat out refused to BF and would only accept a bottle. I don't feel that my supply had diminished that much, I think it was more the ease of a bottle that DD wanted.

    Sorry, I know that's not what you want to hear, just thought I would share what happened with my DD. I'm not sure if things might have been different if I gave EBM/formula from a sippy or straw cup rather than a bottle (my DD was 11 m/o when I returned to work).

    Good luck.

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    wobbleyhorse  (15-06-2016)

  5. #4
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    I went back when DS was 5 months old 2 days a week. I pumped in the feeding rooms at the local Westfield where I worked. Pumped in my lunch break at 12 then went out again at 4. Had 2 pumps going at same time, 1 electric, 1 manual, then I swapped sides in the afternoon with the pumps. I didn't work consecutive days though which helped boost my supply for the day for day feeds. DS also slept through for 12 hours from 7 to 7 so I would feed him at 630pm and then at 7am or when he woke up. One could say I was also a Dairy Queen I had that much supply. From one pump in both boobs I would fill a 260ml bottle to the top

  6. #5
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    Thanks for replying. We have tried bottles a couple of times when I've needed to be away from her for a couple of hours, but she's never accepted it - I've always had to come back as early as possible to a very unhappy baby. I think the problem was that we missed the 6 week window to introduce bottles and so now she's just completely against them. We've recently started trying sippy cups (not much success either) and just normal cups and like 'adult' bottles which we've had more success with.

    Starting this weekend we're going to try and do some of her feeds by cup, I was thinking maybe I'd try and get DP to give those feeds because it seems if I'm there she wants it from the source.

    You've given me some hope that maybe my supply will stay up. I wish it wasn't consecutive days. And I think I'll have to invest in a double pump. At the moment it only takes a few mins to fill a 150ml bottle - once it gets started it's pretty good. I'm also scared of getting blocked ducts and mastitis.

    I keep thinking that it would all be so much easier just to wean her before I go back, but for now at least, breastfeeding seems to be her favourite thing of all and I don't even know how I'd begin with trying to wean her...

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    I still demand feed my almost 20 month old DS on my days off work. On the 3 days I work my breasts feel fuller on the first day and then sort of regulate out. I startes back when he was 12 months so didnt bother pumping so for the few month or so I had some leakage while my boobs adjusted but it turbed out fine.

    My DD was 11 months when I went back. The month or so before I went back I started pumping to build up a supply of breastmilk for her to have while I was out. I then continues pumping in my lunch break for the next couple of months. Again, once I stopped, my breasts took a little while to get used to it but then would have no worries.

    I found that both used to want to feed as soon as we got home.

    I would skip bottles and move to sippy cups/cups.

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    Ashling  (23-06-2016)

  9. #7
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    From the following points:
    -Your DD will be 10 months by the time you go back,
    -It's only 3 days per week,
    -You cosleep and feed overnight,
    I wouldn't be too worried at all
    If I were you I'd try and get that lunchtime pump in for the first couple of months (pumping can be a total pain in the butt, I know, but if you get into a routine with it it's not that bad), but after that you could probably drop it and still be fine.
    From all the many threads and discussions I've seen, night weaning is a far bigger catalyst to weaning completely than going back to work or feeding less during the day.

    So my story - I had really low supply for ages and was on Motilium until ~10 months. DS started daycare 2 days a week at 7 months, then up to 3 days at 11 months, and 4 days at 18 months. From 7-10 months I pumped twice a day for him, but he was having plenty of solid food at daycare by this time. Then from 10-18 months I pumped once a day. I could've stopped this earlier but it wasn't a bother for me as I could just pump at my desk at work. He'd also feed at ~6am when waking, and as soon as I picked him up at 6pm.
    We also cosleep and feed overnight and he's still happily breastfeeding at 2. (Although now it's me trying to cut back the feeds as I'd like him to wean soon!)

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    Ashling  (23-06-2016)

  11. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ashling View Post
    Thanks for replying. We have tried bottles a couple of times when I've needed to be away from her for a couple of hours, but she's never accepted it - I've always had to come back as early as possible to a very unhappy baby. I think the problem was that we missed the 6 week window to introduce bottles and so now she's just completely against them. We've recently started trying sippy cups (not much success either) and just normal cups and like 'adult' bottles which we've had more success with.

    Starting this weekend we're going to try and do some of her feeds by cup, I was thinking maybe I'd try and get DP to give those feeds because it seems if I'm there she wants it from the source.

    You've given me some hope that maybe my supply will stay up. I wish it wasn't consecutive days. And I think I'll have to invest in a double pump. At the moment it only takes a few mins to fill a 150ml bottle - once it gets started it's pretty good. I'm also scared of getting blocked ducts and mastitis.

    I keep thinking that it would all be so much easier just to wean her before I go back, but for now at least, breastfeeding seems to be her favourite thing of all and I don't even know how I'd begin with trying to wean her...
    I think your just going to see how you go with it. As for weaning my DS wasn't feeding overnight so that was easy. He was 8.5 months when I cut him off completely. One day he had boogie the next he didn't. It was straight to the bottle for each feed, what made it easier was that he was getting boob and bottle from 5months when I went back to work. I would of loved to of gone longer but I was losing to much weight. I went from 65kg pre prego to 78 at the end then down to 56kgs 8months later am dim nearly 6ft tall so not healthy.

  12. #9
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    Hun I just wanted to throw another angle out there. Don't be *too* afraid of your supply dropping. That happens naturally as bub inches towards the 1 year mum and solids start to really take over. It doesn't mean mum is a failure it just means bub is growing up.

    I went back to work at 10? months with ds2. Tried to pump for a bit at work but wasn't getting a lot, depleted my stockpile of frozen milk (pumped in the months leading up to going back to work) etc etc . In the end introduced cows milk a little earlier than 12 months for daycare days. Didn't really matter as bub was chowing down the solids by then.

    So I suppose my advice would be pump now while you can and freeze, work on making sure bub is comfortable with solids, and don't beat yourself up if you have to introduce cows milk a little early.

    Good luck

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    Ashling  (23-06-2016),babybeeno1  (16-06-2016),Rocky27  (16-06-2016)

  14. #10
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    Thank you everyone who has replied. I don't mind my supply dropping so long as she doesn't need it. I guess I'm just a bit worried that I'll get home from work and she'll want milk but I won't have enough and she'll still be hungry.

    She has been a bit slow at adopting solids so far, though she is getting better every day. We've been trying since she hit 6 months but she didn't really show any interest until recently. I gave up with baby food and just share our dinners with her and that seems to have better results.

    She has never accepted a bottle (I've gone out a few times leaving her with DP and it's been a disaster), but we're starting on the cup now and having better results.

    I guess I just wanted to be able to offer her milk until she didn't want it anymore and it makes me really sad to think there's a chance I won't be able to


 

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