LO goes to daycare/I go back to work end of January when he will be 12 weeks :( I would really like to continue BF but it is not an option for me to pump at work (my own choice, not because work is refusing to let me - too busy during day seeing my patients so I wouldn't have time to pump). My question is...is it possible for me to BF him in the morning when he wakes up, drop the daytime feedings only (so he's taking formula all day at daycare) and BF again when he gets home from daycare and overnight if needed?? That way I can still BF in the evenings and at night...or will my milk dry up if there is no breast stimulation all day? Also, if this is possible to do would I need to keep the same schedule on my days off from work? Would I only be able to BF mornings and nights/evenings and need to give him formula during the day so my body is on a consistent schedule and doesn't get confused?? Meaning I couldn't choose to BF during the day only on my days off? Thanks ladies :)
Re: Combination feeding
Hi brz04 and welcome to the forum!
yes it is certainly possible to nurse your baby at home and formula feed during the day. And if pumping at work is not an option, from a health standpoint, hits is certainly the best option. You and Your baby will continue to benefit from breastfeeding even if it is not "exclusive."
However, here are some of there concerns with this plan and suggestions to try to work around them:
1) Your health. To suddenly stop removing milk from the breasts for many hours at a time may set you up for engorgement. (breasts very uncomfortably or painfully full and/or, rock hard.) Engorgement may lead to other difficulties including plugs and mastitis. One way to possibly combat this is to learn to hand express and hand express at work as much as you can, just long enough to soften the breasts and stop breasts from getting engorged Hand expression is silent, usually pretty quick (no set up or clean up) and requires no equipment, so it is much more discreet than pumping and can be done with no one knowing about it-perhaps in a trip to the restroom. Since you will not need to save that expressed milk for baby, you can simply hand express into a towel or tissue or sink or whatever and discard that milk.
Overtime, assuming you are only hand expressing enough to stay comfortable and not to signal to your body to keep making lots of milk, your milk production will regulate to the new norm and you will eventually not need to express milk at work.
2) Your milk production: Mothers pump at work for two reasons-to provide milk for their baby for separations but also to maintain normal milk production overall. So if you do not pump at work you will see a gradual decrease in your production which may (or may not) begin to cause problems with breastfeeding while you are home with baby. When (or even if) this happens depends on the individual case.
To counteract this issue, you can offer to nurse baby as much as you can while at home, including overnight, for as long as you wish. Because you will be taking a long stretch of not nursing (or pumping) all day, if you also take a long stretch of not nursing at night your milk production will reduce more quickly. So your plan to nurse at night is a good one.
I would suggest not keeping the same schedule (bottles of formula) on your days off and instead, enjoy that time you have to nurse your baby without concerns. Breastfeeding is for such a short time compared with motherhood, I suggest, enjoy it as much as you can, plus of course these nursing only days would be helpful for you continuing milk production and for counteracting breast refusal which sometimes happens over time when a baby is regularly bottle fed. Generally speaking, the less bottles the better for many reasons, and while every mother is different, I know of no hard evidence that suggests that a mom needs to keep the same exact schedule at all times when doing combo feeding for regular separations. However, this is something you can figure out over time using your own body as your guide.
I also suggest that all bottles be given on cue and using paced bottle feeding to help prevent breast refusal and overfeeding.
-bottle feeding the breastfed baby
Information sheet: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UH4T70OSzGs
Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UH4T70OSzGs (Don’t worry about what she says about time between feeds- typically, best to cue feed whether nursing or bottles.)
Re: Combination feeding
Could you at least pump over lunch? I work in a very fast paced hospital and have productivity requirements but I do sneak in pumping, too.
Re: Combination feeding
:ita with the PPs.
Can you share what line of work you're in, and what your schedule looks like? We may have someone here in a similar profession, who can suggest ways to make pumping possible.