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Thread: Going back to work and want to keep nursing

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    466

    Default Going back to work and want to keep nursing

    I am going back to work part-time in the Fall and I am trying to figure out the best way to keep nursing my baby. She is now 14 months (and will be 17 when I start working).

    Here's my situation:

    I will work twice a week, on Mondays and Fridays. I will be away from her for 12 hours (counting the commute).

    Right now we nurse four times a day:
    - 7:00 am
    - 10:00 am
    - 3:00 pm
    - 8:00 pm

    How can I keep doing this if I'll be away from her twice a week? Will my body be OK with fewer nursing sessions on those days? Or will my breasts get very confused???

    I should say I never had to pump, as I stayed home with my baby and nursed on demand (she never took a bottle anyway). I really don't want to have to pump at this point! Also, it would be very very difficult to fit in pumping on the days when I work, for a variety of reasons (including a two-hour commute each way on public transit--metro + train--so four hours a day on public transit).

    Any advice?
    march 2011... the light of my life

    i love my little one

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    3,320

    Default Re: Going back to work and want to keep nursing

    I would guess that you will be fine not pumping--at her age, I'm guessing she's doing well with solids and can get by with those on the days you're working. I pumped at work, but stopped when my son was 10 months old, and we had no problem continuing nursing when I was home. (He self-weaned when he was 21 months old.) I definitely don't think it's a matter of having to pump at this point, but you may find you get uncomfortable at the times you'd normally nurse, so you may want to hand-express if you need some relief.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2011
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    Shakedown St.
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    1,176

    Default Re: Going back to work and want to keep nursing

    You shouldn't have to pump at this point. My pumping experience has been that of diminishing returns after a year. Honestly, I wouldn't bother to start now. I've noticed that at some point my body seems to just makes milk as needed, so missing a bunch of nursing sessions doesn't impact nursing in general. I think that is how it goes for most women after a year. Plus, only working two days a week should have a pretty minimal impact at this point. Your daughter may want to squeeze in an extra nursing when you are home the days that you work just to reconnect with you. Good luck back at work!
    K. Sophia - Mama to my little lactivore, the amazing Mr. X (11/10).

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    10,440

    Default Re: Going back to work and want to keep nursing

    You wont need to pump, and your LO will be fine. Her schedule might change, but it will be fine.
    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!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    466

    Default Re: Going back to work and want to keep nursing

    thank you for the encouraging replies! that's a relief.

    yes, my baby is doing well with solids, including cow's milk and almond milk, so she'll be fine.

    i must confess that i'm the one who is freaking out. i am very anxious about leaving her and being two hours away. i am almost always with her--i maybe go out on my own once every two or three months, and for only a few hours. i think she and i were spoiled by this year i spent at home. ... well, at least i'm glad i don't have to worry about the breastfeeding part... just about the rest... i'll miss her so much!
    march 2011... the light of my life

    i love my little one

  6. #6

    Default Re: Going back to work and want to keep nursing

    kmanih, I just wanted to say that my LO is almost exactly the same age and I will be going back to work 2 times a week in the fall. She still nurses at least 6 times a day and 3 or 4 at night. I've been lucky to be with her the past 1.5 years. I still expect her to need to nurse immediately when I return from being gone for a few hours, but she rarely is desperate like she used to be. Anyway, I just wanted to say good luck. I feel the same anxiety about being away for that long! I will miss her! I have a friend who just made a similar working arrangement while her son was 12 months, and they've settled into a routine and he likes day care.
    I'm happy to hear that nursing and milk supply issues will probably be nothing to worry about.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Going back to work and want to keep nursing

    İ went back to work when my daughter was almost 11 months old. We hired nanny when she was 9 months old. İ used to pump and leave them at home so that she got used to her. Everything was ok except bottle feeding. She refused the bottle for one month. Then she got used to it and sipped from the bottle with the help of nanny. By the way she wasnt eating any solid at that time. After i started working she started eating but when i am back at home she prefers BF. She is 14 months now we still have our feeding issues but she is a healthy girl. İ am happy that i am back to work. İ still pump once a day but i am considering to stop. İ believe the most important decision here is who is going to take care of the baby when you are gone. Good luck and do not worry everything will be fine.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,151

    Default Re: Going back to work and want to keep nursing

    I think you've gotten great advice- I just want to suggest taking a pump with you on the days when you work. You'll probably be fine without using it, but if you do get uncomfortable or engorged, you're going to want to have a way to empty out the milk.
    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!"

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