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Thread: Back to work - what would you do?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    10

    Default Back to work - what would you do?

    Hi ladies -

    Here is my situation; I'm hoping to get some helpful advice.

    My little hippo (a name earned because she is hungry hungry!) has just turned 3 months. She has quite the robust appetite. I returned back to work last Monday, and am able to pump four times a day at work, making on average 16 ounces throughout the day.

    During my maternity leave, I had stockpiled nearly 120 ounces of frozen milk, which unfortunately was blown through during 3 overnights away (darned Paul McCartney concerts...). Now, I'm down to 30 ounces frozen as my emergency stockpile, and I'm barely meeting her needs during the day with my 16 ounces of freshly expressed BM from the day prior.

    So, long story short - I'm really afraid I won't be able to keep up with her needs, and I will be forced to supplement. I REALLY do not want to use formula, as I find it repulsive. I was hoping to exclusively BF for 6 months, following the WHO recommendations, before introducing solids. And, I am on the side that considers rice cereal to be worthless and non-nutritive, so I'd like to avoid that.

    However, which is the lesser of two evils? Obviously, at 3 months I can't yet put her on any solids, but if I can barely keep up with her robust appetite (and let's assume my frozen store gets us to the 4 month mark), do I supplement with formula on an as-needed basis, or do I do the dreaded starch-only rice cereal? Or can I avoid rice cereal and do something else?

    I just hate to be in this bind. I wanted so badly for her to only have BM until the 6 month mark, but it doesn't seem that will be possible.

    What would you do?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Sidney, NE
    Posts
    37

    Default Re: Back to work - what would you do?

    Who is keeping her while you are at work? Sometimes daycare or Grandma will overfeed a breastfed baby because they are used to formula fed babies who take larger bottles as time goes on. I know that on certain days at my daycare, DD will get an extra feeding because of who works that day. It's super easy to overfeed with bottles. Maybe switching bottles/nipples will slow her down a bit or making smaller bottles and asking them to give her a binkie for a few minutes after the feeding will keep her from overeating. I also know that some daycares will throw out the leftovers from a feeding instead of saving it to use at the next feeding (it should still be OK to use a couple hours later). If whoever is watching your LO is doing that, making smaller feedings may keep there from being any waste which will keep you from blowing thru it so quickly.

    Do you have a big let down on the opposite side when you are breastfeeding? I still do so I bought a Milkie milk saver and use it to collect the letdown while I'm feeding. That gives me an extra 1/2 oz to 1 oz at most feedings (don't get as much in the evening). Then I mix it with what I pumped during the day and it gets me a little ahead. I figure every little bit counts!
    Heather

    Mother of 2
    Aidan - 5 years -- breastfed for 4 months
    Avery - 5 months -- still breastfeeding -- 2nd time's the charm!


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    8,272

    Default Re: Back to work - what would you do?

    I'd work with care givers to make sure they are not over-feeding.

    And I'd really focus on PUMPING and NOT using your freezer stash.

    Read this: http://www.workandpump.com/freezerstash.htm

    from the above link:

    Every day that I was sending milk to daycare from the freezer stash I was telling my body that I needed 2oz less to feed my son. However, my son wasn’t getting the message that he needed 2oz less to eat – because he was still eating the same amount! So his demand was outstripping my supply by 2oz every day that I went to work and pulled one of those precious bags from the freezer! It’s pretty easy to play this out to its natural conclusion if you think about it. Your body isn’t getting a signal that it should be making more milk; you keep taking milk from the freezer and not putting any in, and gradually the freezer stash diminishes till it’s gone – then what? Unfortunately, most moms recognize the problem when the freezer stash is almost gone, not when they start using it – which is when the real problem starts, the problem of a supply-demand imbalance.
    Lynn
    DS1: bf 7/2006 -> 4/2009; multiple food allergies
    DS2: bf 9/2009 -> ???
    ; multiple food allergies
    Breastmilk Donor - http://hmbana.org/index/donatemilk
    Click HERE to learn about baby led solids (BLS) / baby led weaning (BLW)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    10

    Default Re: Back to work - what would you do?

    Grandma watches Hippo while I'm at work (I'm SO grateful!), and gives 4oz bottles which she eats voraciously, and then still acts hungry afterwards. I'm hesitant to decrease this since that seems about what she would eat from me (I know from pumping the other side after she eats one side to empty). However, perhaps it is that she just wants to continue to suckle, so I will suggest the pacifier substitute rather than more milk - thanks for that suggestion!

    On the bright side, my mom NEVER wastes milk, which is good to know that nothing is getting thrown out.

    I do typically have enough letdown on the opposite side that it saturates a burp cloth. I haven't heard about the Milkie Milk Saver - I will need to look into that, as that waste drives me crazy! I appreciate the idea.

    Thanks so much.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    10

    Default Re: Back to work - what would you do?

    So, I will certainly continue to pump 4x/day at work, and then again I can normally squeeze in one extra pumping between night-time feedings.

    But still - worst case scenario (assuming overfeeding isn't happening) - Formula? Rice Cereal? Other solids? Just trying to figure out a contingency plan, if necessary.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    6,562

    Default Re: Back to work - what would you do?

    Is she sleeping through the night? Can you pump at home?
    Tracie

    Mommy to
    Lilah 10/08 nursed 25 months
    Beatrix 01/11 nursed 30 months

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    10

    Default Re: Back to work - what would you do?

    She wakes normally once (around 3:30) to eat. I do pump at home, in between her last feeding of the night and before I go to bed. However, my supply is lower at night, and I don't get as much as I'd like.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    8,272

    Default Re: Back to work - what would you do?

    Babies have a strong suck reflex and sometimes "acting hungry" is really "need to suck".

    What bottle nipples are you using? The recommendation is for breastfed babies to continue to use "newborn" nipples with a bottle. Both my LO stayed on "newborn" nipples until their last bottle at around 13 mo old.
    Lynn
    DS1: bf 7/2006 -> 4/2009; multiple food allergies
    DS2: bf 9/2009 -> ???
    ; multiple food allergies
    Breastmilk Donor - http://hmbana.org/index/donatemilk
    Click HERE to learn about baby led solids (BLS) / baby led weaning (BLW)

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    6,562

    Default Re: Back to work - what would you do?

    Have you had your mom offer her a pacifier after she has finished a bottle? And would you consider dream feeding her instead of pumping at night? She might remove more milk than the pump and then need less milk the next day... it's worth a try anyway.

    Also, are you pumping on weekends at all? I find that if I just suck it up and pump once a day on the weekends, during my baby's morning nap, that I get a little more margin in the freezer and I pump out more during the week.
    Tracie

    Mommy to
    Lilah 10/08 nursed 25 months
    Beatrix 01/11 nursed 30 months

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    8,272

    Default Re: Back to work - what would you do?

    It's normal for supply to be lower in the evening. If you need to add another pumping session, can you do it in the morning?

    What type of pump are you using? Are you double pumping (both sides at the same time)? Hands free? Using breast compressions while pumping?
    Lynn
    DS1: bf 7/2006 -> 4/2009; multiple food allergies
    DS2: bf 9/2009 -> ???
    ; multiple food allergies
    Breastmilk Donor - http://hmbana.org/index/donatemilk
    Click HERE to learn about baby led solids (BLS) / baby led weaning (BLW)

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