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Thread: breastfeeding and work....how does this work???

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    168

    Default breastfeeding and work....how does this work???

    Hello!

    I am returning to work soon (in two weeks) and have no idea what I am supposed to do so I can continue breastfeeding. Please help!

    Here are the details...my baby boy is 6 months old (27 weeks, exactly) and is exclusively breastfed (we haven't started solids yet). We had LOTS of troubles in the beginning, including oversupply and baby loosing too much weight in the first week (the solution to which I think contributed to the oversupply, but that's another issue altogether). After the drama of all these problems, I swore off pumping and have been happily breastfeeding on demand since with no trouble.

    Occasionally, I pump if necessary and can usually express about 100-150 mls between the two breasts in about 15 minutes. I don't attempt very regularly.

    Baby eats a good feed about every 3 hours, but nurses for short bits here and there. I'll miss 2 of the regular feeds while I am at work. I am only working 3 days a week and plan to feed on demand, as usual the other 4 days of the week. Oh, and baby is staying with my husband while I am at work (and he does take a bottle).

    So my questions are these:

    1. How much milk do I need to plan to leave for baby every day that I am at work?

    2. How much pumping should I plan to do while I am at work (fortunately, they are required--and willing--to give me as much time as I need)?

    3. Should I just plan to pump during the times that he would normally eat? If I pump outwith these times, what do I do about the increased milk on the days I am not working?

    4. Do I need to pump during the non-working days too? (Gosh, I hope not!!).

    On an unrelated note....during the few times that I have pumped, we have occasionally noticed that the milk smells sour after a bit. Not always, but sometimes. I thought this might be due to either my husband heating the milk before giving to baby (he insisted that it needed to be warm) or because some of the milk was pumped during a bout of mastitis. But, I've read a few posts about lipase. Could this be the problem?

    I am REALLY committed to continuing to breastfeed to AT LEAST a year, so any tips you can give to help make this transition would be great.

    Thank you!!
    Last edited by @llli*amanda.rivera; May 30th, 2012 at 02:32 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    6,564

    Default Re: breastfeeding and work....how does this work???

    It could be lipase. You should express some milk and then leave it in the fridge. Taste it every 12 hours or so until it starts to taste off. That is how long your milk is "shelf stable." Although - some babies don't mind the taste. There is nothing wrong with the milk other than the taste.

    1. You need to leave between 1 and 1.5 ounces per hour while away. Since your baby likes solids, I would probably lean towards 1 ounce per hour, which is about what both my girls took anyway.

    2. You should pump every three to four hours.

    3. Why would the milk be increased? You would be pumping for a missed feeding and on your days off, you would be feeding instead. My babies were never on a schedule, so I just had a pumping schedule and they nursed on demand when I was at home. It seemed to work fine.

    4. I don't think so, unless you can't pump enough milk during your days on.
    Tracie

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

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
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    chesterfield, va
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    Default Re: breastfeeding and work....how does this work???

    with everything tracie posted.

    4. Shouldn't be an issue unless you double pump at work and he only nurses one side at a time. Then its more like block feeding when at home. I double pumped at work but block fed at home to relieve the OS. Didn't really know any better & didn't think to ask. So if you're only missing 2 feedings while at work & he only nurses one side each time (alternating or not), I would just pump the sides he usually feeds from.

    Side note -

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*amanda.rivera View Post

    baby loosing too much weight in the first week (the solution to which I think contributed to the oversupply, but that's another issue altogether).
    -BTDT & sympathize with the swearing off of pumping. they set you up with a pump to supplement his feeding on demand but make sure you pump 5 min before & 15 min after? sometimes their "help" is what makes people get frustrated and stop everything altogether. so hard to determine what the 5 min before in the beginning & pump while they scream for food.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: breastfeeding and work....how does this work???

    How many hours will you be away from the baby each day?

    Way too lazy for formula

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    Default Re: breastfeeding and work....how does this work???

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*5p1d3yv View Post
    4. Shouldn't be an issue unless you double pump at work and he only nurses one side at a time. Then its more like block feeding when at home. I double pumped at work but block fed at home to relieve the OS. Didn't really know any better & didn't think to ask. So if you're only missing 2 feedings while at work & he only nurses one side each time (alternating or not), I would just pump the sides he usually feeds from.
    I was block feeding, and I pumped both sides but just tried to make sure not to pump too much over what my baby needed for those bottles.
    K. Sophia - Mama to my little lactivore, the amazing Mr. X (11/10).

  6. #6
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    Mar 2012
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    Default Re: breastfeeding and work....how does this work???

    I returned to work 6 weeks ago so I can share how it's been working out with me. My son, now 4 months, is in daycare 9 hours a day. I went with the rule to provide 1.5 oz per hour away. It was not enough, and he is taking about 18 oz while I am gone. I don't pump anywhere near that at work. If I am lucky, I can get 8oz while at work. I aim to pump 3-4 times a day. I share a private room with 2 other women, and we have a schedule (which can be a little stressy). If I can get into the room more, I do, even if for 10-15 minutes. I find that I am always able to get an ounce even if I pumped an hour before. My son was not on a schedule before so I never tried to follow a set time schedule. But now with having to share the room, I need to get in there when I can, and it's been working out.

    As for how I deal with the shortages - I nurse him in the morning at home, and then his first bottle of the AM at daycare is formula, and the rest are BM. I pump before I go to bed and again in the middle of the night to help me keep ahead of the supply. I keep him attached to me as much as I can during the weekends and I don't pump during the day on the weekends (only in the middle of the night). The middle of the night pumpings are weird because some nights I am luckly to get out an ounce and other nights I can pump 3-4 ounces on one breast. Odd!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
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    Default Re: breastfeeding and work....how does this work???

    Chinji, someone is overfeeding that baby Or your bottles are too easy for him to drink from. 1.5 oz is really a lot of milk, and since you can keep up on weekends, the difference is the bottle feeding.
    Susan
    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!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    Default Re: breastfeeding and work....how does this work???

    Thanks for all the replies and help. I am away for 6-8 hours (still working out the logistics as we go). When I'm not working, I nurse on demand (i.e., a lot). A normal day would be something like:

    6:30am: awake and a minute or two on the breast
    7:45am: good feed
    9:15am: short minute or two as he gets up from nap
    11:30ish: good feed
    1:30pm: a moderate feed and some solid food
    3:30pm: good feed
    5:30pm: some milk (breastfeed) and some solid food
    6:45pm: ?? feed and going to be (can't quite tell how much is eating and how much is comforting).
    11:30pm: milk feed
    3:30am: milk feed (good one)
    5:00am: nursing--probably more comfort but i'm sure he is eating some.

    I am only working Mon-Wed. When I am away, he doesn't "ask" to eat as often. I feed him at 7:45am and then go to work. My husband usually feeds him at 11:30 and he takes about 125mls (sometimes less). They do solid food at 1:30 and I aim to be home for the 3:30pm feed. If I am able to be home then, I only pump once at 11:30 and usually express about 200mls or so. This is more than he is taking at 11:30 though and he is taking much less than the suggested 1.5oz/hour. Should I ask my husband to offer the bottle more often to match when we'd usually nurse? Should I pump more frequently (I have a great employer and can pump as often as I feel I need to)? Any tips? I am simultaneously worried about keeping my supply up and baby not beginning to prefer the bottle.

    He is 6 months and 2 weeks, if I haven't mentioned that.

    I haven't been at it long enough to know how this schedule is affecting his nighttime sleep (if there's some reverse cycling). He's been up a bit more at night, but I'm pretty sure he is teething and/or has a cold, so that could also account for some changes in eating/appetite/sleeping.

    It is safe to assume that if he doesn't get enough to eat during the day that he will make up for it at night, right? I don't need to worry that he isn't getting enough?

    Thanks again!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
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    Virginia
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    Default Re: breastfeeding and work....how does this work???

    Hey momma, thought I would throw my experience in there for you. I went back to work when LO was about 9 weeks old. We nursed on demand at home and we had a decent routine down. He nursed pretty much every 2 hours give or take. What I did was:

    nurse when he woke up, pumped as soon as I got to work, then spaced my pumping 3 hours apart. Once LO was around 9-10 months he started eating less often, so I spaced to 4 hrs apart. This is totally dependant on what your LO is doing. If I noticed him picking up feedings for a few days, I would pump more frequently for a couple of days to compensate for his little growth spurt.

    I always nursed as soon as I picked him up (still do actually). I ended up pumping around 3 times for quite some time. Once around 8, again at 11, and then again at 2. I left work at 5 and nursed by 5:30.

    My mother watched LO for me and was very good at watching for hunger cues, using small bottles and keeping him content. She would make a 3 oz bottle, and if he still seemed hungry after that she would offer a 1 oz bottle. Also, keep in mind that breastmilk should still be your LOs main source of nutrition, so give a bottle, then offer any solids. At this point, the solids are still for learning and experimenting, not for actual nutrition. I would maybe have your DH offer a bottle at the 1:30 feed and follow up with solids. (Unless he is doing that already and I totally missed it )

    MY LO went through little short phases of reverse-cycling (if you could call it that) and would nurse more at night. He did it for a short amount of time. HTH!
    FT working momma to a 9/11/10 busy boy and 11/13/12 happy little man.
    Also wife to hubs since 8/23/08, bonus momma to H (girl) -99 and G (boy)-03
    Our family blog
    And my own blog

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