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Thread: Going back to work..

  1. #1

    Default Going back to work..

    What is the best way to keep your supply up after returning to work? I've been exclusively BF my baby until about 3 days ago when I introduced 1-2 ounces of formula to make sure that baby would one, take a bottle while I'm gone and two, not get an upset tummy with the formula I picked.

    I'm not able to produce enough milk to feed the baby and pump extra for storage so when I go back he has to have formula while I'm gone for at least a few days. I'm hoping that I will be able to pump enough at work to feed him for the next day while I'm gone, but I don't know if that will work out.

    I'm worried that being gone all day and only feeding him in the mornings and night will totally ruin my supply and quickly end breast feeding. I want to continue to BF as long as possible, even if it is only in the mornings and nights. What can I do to keep this up? Will my supply stay around even if I only feed him 3-4 times a day?

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Going back to work..

    Hi laurabetty!
    i admire your desire to keep breastfeeding a priority when you return to work.
    you say you are unable to produce enough milk to both feed and store for the baby. HMMMMM are you sure?
    If you pump even before nursing the baby your body can and does produce milk while the baby is actively nursing.
    milk is produced by stimulation not by waiting for the breasts to fill.
    so if you were to designate 2 times during the day that you will pump, your body will quickly adjust and your milk supply will respond.
    start pumping now, before returning to work.
    your milk supply will stay even if you are only nursing 3-4 times a day but why add the expense of formula when breastmilk is available and free!!!
    pumping and then finishing the pumping by hand expressing has been shown to help maintain an abundant milk supply.
    DD#1 July 1986 VB
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  3. #3
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    May 2006
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    Default Re: Going back to work..

    I think you probably can produce enough to store if you have the right tools (i.e. a good double electric pump and correctly sized shields) and you are patient and persistent.

    Most moms who are returning to work get started on a stash by choosing one time of day and pumping after feeding the baby. Most moms choose to pump after the first morning feeding. Try that and see how much you get. If it's an ounce or two, you're already well on your way to generating a freezer stash. If you get little or nothing, then just repeat the process the next day and the day after that. Eventually your body should respond to the additional stimulation by producing more milk, which you can then store. If you try this for a week and nothing is happening, let us know and we'll help you troubleshoot.

    How much time do you have before you return to work? And what is your pump schedule going to look like once you're back on the job?

    ETA: even if you can nurse your baby only 3-4 times a day, you will continue to make milk. But if you can't remove milk more frequently than that, you're probably not going to maintain a full supply, so some supplementing would probably have to be part of your life. Plenty of working moms have to do that, and it's still very worth continuing on with breastfeeding. Breastmilk doesn't have to make up all of baby's diet for it to be good for him/her, and producing breastmilk is very good for your health no matter how much or how little you are making.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
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  4. #4
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    Default Re: Going back to work..

    I just wanted to say...I pumped after every feeding for the first 2 months due to a supply issue and DD not able to transfer enough milk, and I never saw more than a couple ounces. So I was scared that when I returned to work I wouldn't be able to pump much. I was able to pump much more than I thought and have been able to keep up with baby's demand despite supply issues early on. Only recently (DD is now 10 months) have I even been able to have a freezer stash; I just pump what's needed for the next day. So don't assume you won't make enough! And there are things you can do to boost supply, too. Keep us posted!
    Last edited by @llli*pizanite; June 24th, 2012 at 08:25 AM. Reason: mistake
    Lisa

    Mom to Aimee, born 8/22/11
    for 20 months!

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Going back to work..

    I dont understand how you arentproducing enough for baby but at the same time pumped extra for storage?

    Why do you think baby isnt getting enough when exclusively nursing? How old is baby? What pump will you be using? Tell us about your job, i want to help you figure out how to pump while away from baby.

    It can definately be done! Many of us have pumped while at work and nursed when with baby, i did for 2 kids, 14 and 13 months of pumping respectively.
    Mommy to Maxwell 10-9-07 weaned with love (a party and a remote control monster truck) on his 4th birthday
    My Boy 3-16-10
    And my sweet pea Sam 2-12-11

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  6. #6

    Default Re: Going back to work..

    Thank you for your responses. I have not been able to produce a storage of milk to date. The reason I don't think I can produce enough is because I have tried pumpimg after feeding and get little to nothing. I kept it up for almost a week and was only able to produce a little over 2 ounces. So I kind of gave up thinking I just wouldn't be able to store any.

    I have the Ameda purely yours pump, which I don't use really right now because I'm just feeding the baby. However, I think this week I will try and start pumping after feedings again.

    I have my own office at work so i can have the privacy to pump as often as I want and I'm thinking I will shoot for every 3 hours.

    Thanks again for the responses! I feel encouraged to try and build a supply before returning work!

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Going back to work..

    I think she is saying she can't feed the baby on demand AND pump enough for freezer stash. But Technically you only need enough for one full day to get started. So take the number of hours you will be away from the baby and then you need to be pumping enough to cover that 1st day only. If you will be gone 8hours you need 8-12 oz of milk. Rule of thumb is 1-1.5oz of milk for every hour you are away. And then every thing you pump gets fed to him the next day. I personally recommend pumping BEFORE the 1st nursing session of the morning. Because most women are fullest 1st thing in the day. But the child is a much better extractor of milk than the pump. So you should be able to pump with ease very quickly 1st thing in the morning. And then the baby will have no problem getting their breakfast. But if you feed first it may take longer to pump and your yield may not be as high. That was my experience anyway. I could 4-8oz in 15-20 minutes. But after baby took like 20-30 to get3-4.

    Way too lazy for formula

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Going back to work..

    Pumping 2 ounces after nursing is actually really good output. You are not supposed to make much more milk than what your baby needs. If you pump 2 ounces every day for 7 days, then you will have 14 ounces, which is more than enough for a typical 8 hour work day plus commute (you need 1-1.5 ounces for every hour you are away from your baby, bottles should be around 3 ounces each - no more than 4 ounces per bottle).
    K. Sophia - Mama to my little lactivore, the amazing Mr. X (11/10).

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Going back to work..

    So, I reread your post, and maybe you mean 2 ounces over the entire week - sorry. That's not terribly uncommon either though. - pumping in the morning usually gets you the most milk. Try to pump at the same time each morning; your supply will build at that time if you are consistent. Make sure that the breast shields/flanges fit properly. An improper fit has a huge impact on output. Play around with the suction and cycles settings on your pump. Make sure the white valves fit firmly and are not torn.
    K. Sophia - Mama to my little lactivore, the amazing Mr. X (11/10).

  10. #10

    Default Re: Going back to work..

    I only got 2 ounces TOTAL after the whole week of pumping after feedings! I will try to pump first thing in the morning too before baby feeds. That makes sense that I would get a good result at that time.

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