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Thread: Class beginning 1 week after birth balancing breastfeeding

  1. #1

    Default Class beginning 1 week after birth balancing breastfeeding

    I will be in class every Monday from 1p-6p. During this time my boyfriend will be caring for our baby. I am worried about a few things during this time: the baby having enough milk while I am in class because I will be going back to class as soon as possible after she is born. I have no option of dropping the class and do not want to bottle feed her while I am gone. How should I go about ensuring a newborn will have a sufficient supply? Also, I will only receive a 10 minute break every hour while in class. Will this be enough time to possibly pump to avoid issues? I am a first time mother and am worried but know that this should be possible. I don't want to be told I will have to use formula by a physician and know many of you have helpful information for me! Thank you!!!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Class beginning 1 week after birth balancing breastfeedi

    Breastfeeding aside, be prepared for the possibility that you will not be physically capable of attending a five hour class one week after giving birth. You should contact your instructor and discuss what will be covered the first couple weeks in case you are not able to attend.

    I would also ask if you can bring your baby with you for the first few weeks so you can put off pumping for a little while. I taught a 4 hour and a 3 hour class when I gave birth, and I went back to finish out the semester after staying home two weeks. I brought my baby with me though and kept him in a sling while I wrapped up the class. I either stepped out into he hall to get him latched or I just latched him in the classroom if the students were busy working on something. Many newborns are quiet and sleep a lot.
    K. Sophia - Mama to my little lactivore, the amazing Mr. X (11/10).

  3. #3

    Default Re: Class beginning 1 week after birth balancing breastfeedi

    Congrats on expecting your first baby! So exciting.
    I am a first time mother and am worried but know that this should be possible.
    In what universe "should" this be possible? Here is the problem-No matter how you feed baby, going back to what is essentially your part time job of 25 hours a week away from baby one week after baby is born is asking one heck of a lot of yourself. And how do you know it will be one week after baby is born? Babies tend to not arrive exactly when we expect them to...

    I suggest you really seriously look into alternatives. There are ALWAYS alternatives. They may not be what we planned. What is it John Lennon said-"life is what happens while we are making other plans?" something like that. Sure, you could be that mom who gives birth right on her due date, has no pain or exhaustion from birth, puts baby to the breast, baby latches perfectly, no nipple pain, baby gains great from the getgo, no issues. It certainly CAN happen that way. It does happen that way sometimes. But there are no guarantees.

    That said, some ideas: 1) A more workable solution may be to forget the pump & bottles and have baby bought to you to nurse during your breaks. (or you bring baby to class in a sling at least some of the time.) 2) If that does not work, you need an excellent pump and a private place to pump. You will have to pump at least once while in class, maybe more depending on how long your commute is. This is just to keep up your supply, as in the early weeks, very frequent milk removal is vital for milk supply going forward. Whether you will be able to pump enough right from the start to supplement baby is anyone's guess. Pump output is very unpredicatabel (and is not a good indicator of milk supply, btw)
    3) Line up several sources of breastfeeding help NOW. Many moms struggle in the early weeks with breastfeeding. It can take several week to figure things out, establish milk supply, etc. You may not have that luxury of time ot figure things out on your own, so line up local LLL Leaders, IBCLC's, experienced nursing moms, etc. to be your helpers and ASK FOR HELP.

    4) consider bottle alternatives if baby needs supplemental feedings while you are away, or at least have your boyfrind learn paced bottle feeding techniqes. Very early bottle intro can complicate matters.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Class beginning 1 week after birth balancing breastfeedi

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*lllmeg View Post
    I suggest you really seriously look into alternatives. There are ALWAYS alternatives. They may not be what we planned. What is it John Lennon said-"life is what happens while we are making other plans?" something like that. Sure, you could be that mom who gives birth right on her due date, has no pain or exhaustion from birth, puts baby to the breast, baby latches perfectly, no nipple pain, baby gains great from the getgo, no issues. It certainly CAN happen that way. It does happen that way sometimes. But there are no guarantees.
    This is definitely something you need to consider. Even if it is just 5 hours a week (just Mondays - right?), that is a huge drain when you have a newborn.

    I should have mentioned in my previous post that the only reason I went back so soon is because I only had two weeks of classes left before the break at that point and I really wanted to see my students off. Also they were my classes. I could let everyone out early. And I did. Had my baby been born at the beginning of the semester, I would have taken the entire semester off. Those few hours on just two days during those two weeks were exhausting! I took a significant amount of time off after that.

    And - babies are rarely born on their due date. Don't make plans around that date, or you will likely end up just making things more difficult for yourself.
    K. Sophia - Mama to my little lactivore, the amazing Mr. X (11/10).

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Class beginning 1 week after birth balancing breastfeedi

    i agree with PPs - this might be doable (i could have done it, wouldn't have wanted to), but it'll be hard. i htink the best would be to have your caregiver near class, and bring the baby to you during your 10 mins per hour break. have a sling so that once the baby's latched you can go back and sit in class and let the baby finish - week old babies tend to linger at the breast - and fall asleep there. it actually might be quite easy, as far as the baby goes. then if the baby wakes and fusses, you can step out and hand off to caregiver. usually bottles and pumping are not recommended in the first week - heck, you might not even have milk before day 5 or 6! - so i would probably get a few oz of donor milk or formula as just in case for at least the first class back, before you've started pumping, while baby is going to be in the hall with caregiver.

    ETA: this is rosy glasses, best case scenario. do plan a little what will happen if anything goes wrong or is difficult with the baby or the birth, as PPs have suggested.

    and i'll echo the concerns about planning around due date - DS was born 12 days after his due date, and i've heard that 7-10 days after is the average for first time moms.

    good luck!
    DS1 6/7/11
    DS2 10/29/13

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

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Class beginning 1 week after birth balancing breastfeedi

    with all the advice above. I just want to reemphasize that a due date is not a sure thing, and there is absolutely no way to know whether your baby will arrive before, after, or on his/her due date. As auderey mentioned, the average gestation for a first-time mom is actually not 40 weeks, but 41 weeks. (IIRC, it's actually 41 weeks, 1 day, on average.) If anyone is suggesting induction of labor "so that you can plan", don't fall for it. Induced labors are typically more painful, longer, more likely to result in complications (like needing an epsiotomy, a forceps- or vacuum-assisted birth, or a c-section), and tend to have a longer recovery period.

    I think LLLMeg's idea that the baby come with you to class is a very good one. Many babies will nurse quietly and contentedly in a sling, and if your boyfriend comes with you, you can hand baby off to him when necessary.

    Go easy on yourself, mama! This is a huge transition in your life and it is really tempting to overdo things. I remember taking my dog for a walk 3 days after my first daughter was born. It seemed like such a small thing, but it knocked me out. I was literally shaky afterwards.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Class beginning 1 week after birth balancing breastfeedi

    Hey. Just want to let you know I was in just about the same situation. I was in school when my first was born. She was born on Thursday and I was back at class on Monday. I had a very similar schedule and it was very challenging. At the time I also felt it was my only option.

    I had class from 8-1 with 10min breaks in between each class. I would feed the baby before I left from school and pump the other side (she only took one breast per feeding). Then I would pump before my first class (if I had time). After that I would pump one side in between classes with a hand pump. Because of the short time in between and having to move buildings I would just pump in the bathroom with a hand pump. All of this while trying to heal from the birth.

    I want to caution you that although she did fine switching back and forth between bottle/breast lots of babies do struggle. I also had to supplement her with formula during the first few weeks. Third caution is emotional health. I was in tears most of the semester. It was also hard to study and get homework done with a little baby.

    After I wrote this I just re-read what you wrote. If your class is just one day a week, I think it will still be hard, but doable.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Class beginning 1 week after birth balancing breastfeedi

    Does the class start one week after your DUE DATE? Your baby may not be born yet. Have you talked to the professor about the fact that you may miss the first class, or at least one early class? Anyway - since it's only once a week, I think it will be hard but possible. Could you get a longer break in the middle and have your boyfriend bring the baby to you for a feeding?
    Tracie

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

  9. #9

    Default Re: Class beginning 1 week after birth balancing breastfeedi

    Ooops, my bad. So class is one day a week, not every day? I misread the op. I was in a hurry as husband was breathing down my neck wanting to use computer for work. Priorities people! ha.

    OK well that gives you way more room and changes my suggestions a bit. You can still have baby brought to you, that is the simplest thing for many reasons. Otherwise, You may not need to pump at all, I would suggest learning hand expression to relieve any pressure during class breaks. If on the other hand you can afford a good pump, you can basically start pumping a couple of days after birth ( do not overdue it, shoot for once a day, maybe) to have some milk to leave for baby while you are gone. 5 hours, once a week, no need to leave much, maybe three ounces total at most? others here are better with those kind of numbers. And you may be able to hand express that much, at least once you get the hang of things. Remember in the first several days after birth you will be making colustrum, it is normally very scant, thicker than mature milk and kind of golden in color typically, and often does not 'pump well' but it is all baby usually needs until your milk transitions to more abundant 'mature' milk usually around day 3-4 or so. I would suggest not trying to pump in the first few days (unless of course you have to due to baby being unable to latch or something.) And even then, hand expression seems to work better for many moms in those early colustrum days.

    Is it ideal to attempt this? Not in my opinion, as one of the most common mistakes I see new mommas make is having too much on their plate those intense early weeks. New motherhood is often the most physically & emotionally challenging times of our lives, and too many moms expect too much of themselves imo. (And have too much expected of them.) But everyone is different in what they can handle.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Class beginning 1 week after birth balancing breastfeedi

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*lllmeg View Post
    You can still have baby brought to you, that is the simplest thing for many reasons.
    This is a really good idea if you don't want to keep your baby tied to you during class. Your boyfriend can hang out in a coffee shop or cafeteria nearby and bring the baby to you on breaks (having a break every hour is very conducive to this) or if the baby shows hunger signs. The second week I was back for one of my classes I did that with my dad, who works just a couple blocks from my building. It worked very nicely. It will make your life a million times easier if you can avoid pumping, particularly the first couple months.

    I highly recommend getting a sling or carrier. It will help, not only if you or your boyfriend can bring the baby to school, but also if you have assignments or studying that you need to do at home. I had my baby in the sling swaying back and forth to kep him happy the entire time I graded my final exams. I never would have gotten them done without that sling!
    K. Sophia - Mama to my little lactivore, the amazing Mr. X (11/10).

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