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Thread: returning to work, so overwhelmed!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Little Rock, AR

    Default returning to work, so overwhelmed!

    My daughter is 8 weeks and I'm returning to work when she is 12. I have NO idea where to start! Everything I read seems conflicting. I had oversupply and OALD issues and am feeding two times in a row on one breast (the only way to prevent the green poo). She eats ever 1-2 hours for about 5 minute feeds. She has taken two bottles and did ok according to Dad but poorly according to a babysitter. I ordered a different type of bottle though so we'll see how that goes. I have a lot of questions.

    1. Am I supposed to be trying to build a supply right now? I don't want to increase supply but it seems people spend a lot of time making a freezer stash. I do have maybe 30 oz in the freezer from early when I had mastitis and had to pump b/c of bad engorgement. It's mostly heavy on the foremilk.
    2. If I should pump now, how often?
    3. How do you know how long to pump?
    4. Do I pump both breasts even though I'm block feeding when I nurse?
    5. Do I need to sterilize pump parts and bottles or is soap enough?
    6. How often should I pump when I'm at work?
    7. About how much should a 12 week old baby take in a bottle so I can fill them for daycare?

    Thanks for the advice. I'm terrified to ruin our nursing relationship! Leaving the baby to go to work is stressful enough!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: returning to work, so overwhelmed!

    Welcome to the forum and congratulations on the baby and making breastfeeding work despite the oversupply!

    1. 8 weeks is a good time to start building a small stash of expressed milk, and working with your pump to see how well you and it fit together. However, since you have oversupply and apreach have a decent freezer stash started, I think you may want to wait a couple more weeks before adding pumping into the mix.

    2. If you choose to pump now, aim for once a day. Most moms start by pumping after the first morning feeding, when they tend to have more extra milk.

    3. Pump until you have expressed enough milk. If that takes 5 minutes, great. If it takes 20 minutes, fine. Don't get hung up on what the clock says. Right now you'd be aiming to build a small stash, and not exacerbate the oversupply, so your current goals are different from those of a mom with a different set of issues- for example, if you were work and having trouble maintaining supply, I'd say pump as long as possible and make sure to thoroughly empty the breast.

    4. I'd start by simly pumping 1 breast- maybe the unused one, maybe the one you just used? I'm not sure. Again, right now you don't want to make your oversupply worse, so you want to take it easy with the pump.

    5. Right now you're home and you're not hauling your pump to work or putting pump parts in a common fridge. So your germs are your own, IYKWIM. Therefore, right now soap and water should be enough. Once you go back to work, I would consider sterilizing from time to time, particularly if you use a public fridge to store anything.

    6. Once back at work, pump as often as necessary to get the milk you need. Try to aim for a 2-3 hour interval between sessions, and evaluate the amount of milk you get with each pump. If you get a lot, you can space out your sessions a bit more. If you have trouble getting enough, shorten the intervals.

    7. Most breastfed babies take small amounts of milk throughout their entire first year. 2-4 oz at a time is all most babies need, about 1.5 oz per hour. Therefore, it may be best to send 2-3 oz bottles with a few 2 oz bottles for "top-offs"- that way there's less chance that baby will guzzle a huge bottle and then have the daycare provider reach for another huge bottle because baby's suckling needs haven't been met. Many breastfed babies are way overfed at daycare!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    middle of IA

    Default Re: returning to work, so overwhelmed!

    1. the amount of freezer stash is, honestly, more about your personality than anything else. i wanted everything under control and planned out, pumped way ahead, and ended up donating 500 oz. that's a lot of extra pumping time! my friend, who had a younger baby in daycare more hours, keeps like 1-2 bottles worth. all you really NEED is enough for tomorrow. think about what will help you feel more settled and prepared. but also keep in mind the shelf life of your frozen milk; don't need to pump so much it'll go bad before it's used.
    2. if you want to pump, you'll want to be extra careful not to exacerbate your os/oald. maybe start off wtih just 5 mins or something right after a feed.
    3. most of the "experts" i read said 10-15 mins, but seems like most of the real people on here (myself included) pumped longer. i learned through trial & error that i got a first letdown around 5 mins in and a second around 23 mins in - so i pumped for 26.
    4. dunno
    5. no. you can throw all the parts in the fridge for a whole day and just wash once. hot soapy water or the dishwasher.
    6. depends partly on how much you need and your production. but every 3 hours is a good ballpark. you don't want to go too long, even if you're getting enough, and risk mastitis.
    7. no more than 3 oz bottles. and plan for 1-1.5 oz per hour. this might be less than daycare thinks she needs but they often overfeed; someone will hopefully come post some links to kellymom articles on bottlefeeding the bf baby.
    DS1 6/7/11
    DS2 10/29/13

    Nursing, pumping, cloth-diapering, babywearing, working professor mama with the awesomest SAHD ever.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2006

    Default Re: returning to work, so overwhelmed!

    You really only need enough for a day or two, maybe 3, before going back to work. You will be pumping what baby needs for the next day at work.

    Fresh is BEST. Freezing kills some of the good stuff in it.

    What a lot of working moms do is freeze Friday's milk, thaw from a freezer stash for Monday, pump the restnofmthe week's milk during the week, and repeat, thereby rotating milk out. You have extra in case if spills, you forget it at work. Etc.

    Check for lipase before storing, there is nothing worse than storing milk you later learn your baby won't drink.
    Mama to my all-natural boys: Ian, 9-4-04, 11.5 lbs; Colton, 11-7-06, 9 lbs, in the water; Logan, 12-8-08, 9 lbs; Gavin, 1-18-11, 9 lbs; and an angel 1-15-06
    18+ months and for Gavin, born with an incomplete cleft lip and incomplete posterior cleft palate
    Sealed for time and eternity, 7-7-93
    Always babywearing, cosleeping and cloth diapering. Living with oppositional defiant disorder and ADHD. Ask me about cloth diapering and sewing your own diapers!

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