Re: Preparing for baby, lots of breastfeeding questions
Wow, you've got a lot of great questions, and it's awesome you're on here already asking. That's a really good sign that you'll be able to stick with it, because the work scenario you describe - I'm gonna be honest here - sounds pretty hard. Now, a lot of how hard it will be depends on how flexible your job is and how much you fight for those pumping breaks, which you'll need. Let me see if I can answer at least some of your questions, in no particular order. But a very important detail is how soon after the birth you'll be doing these 72 hours away each week?
1. most bf-friendly recs are to save the bottle for 6 weeeks, to make sure that you establish a good nursing relationship. now, lots of mamas introduce a bottle earlier with no problems, but there is a higher risk of having problems if you intro a bottle sooner. you won't know if you're one with a problem until you're there.
2. yes, some mamas pump a ton. susan on here was storing like 50 oz a day in addition to the 30 her baby was drinking. and that can really help the pressure of pumping. (think about it - many mamas nurse twins - so it's totally possible) BUT. if you pump too much too soon you risk oversupply, and that has a whole host of problems associated with it too! and more importantly, you will need to pump while you're away for 3 days in order to keep yourself healthy. unless you wean from the breast and only feed leftover frozen bottles you pumped months before while you're home - doable but it sounds like a lot of work to me - then you have to pump or you will risk mastitis, not to mention killing your supply very quickly. i personally would pump while away, nurse while home, because the benefits of "real time" milk are also big (immunity, etc).
3. you won't pump doulbe for 3 days ... you'll need enough ahead to cover the first 3 day shift, but on that shift you'll pump enough for the next one, and bring it home.
4. all the pumping questions will mostly have to wait to see how you respond to the pump. right now, estimate that you'll need a pump break every three hours for 30 mins (ie, 8, 11, 2 etc). we can help you figure that out when you get there.
5. there is no such thing as foremilk/hindmilk. there's just milk. if you're nursing/pumping often, it's not a big deal. what happens is the fat gets stuck to the milk ducts, and so what comes out first has less fat than what comes out at the end. but if you nurse frequently, the fat stays mixed in a lot better. nothing to worry about in advance.
6. almost everyone can make as much milk as their baby needs. your instructor was right. but throw in allt hese modern day changes - your work schedule, for example - and it gets tougher.
7. you didn't ask, but you need a new hosptial grade double electric pump with a hands-free bra. you can find other posts on here with recs. i have had good luck with my ameda purely yours. i know susan likes her limerick and it's small which would be important if you'll be traveling every weekend.
8. the rest of the advice to you will be different depening on how soon you have to go back to work. establishing a supply for the first 12 weeks or so is really crucial, and going back sooner than that is going to be doubly hard.
hopefully someone else knows the pumping break laws.
Nursing, pumping, cloth-diapering, babywearing, working professor mama with the awesomest SAHD ever.