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Thread: Going back to work and really stressed

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
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    35

    Default Going back to work and really stressed

    I'm going back to work in less than 2 weeks. LO is 4 weeks old. Nursing has been going ok. We have our challenges. I have been storing milk in the freezer. My husband gives her 1 bottle a day. she seems to have no problem with nipple confusion. My concern is that being away from her will diminish my milk supply. I have a good pump and I plan to pump at work, but will the pump keep my supply up? since i don't have her skin to skin.. I'm also stressed that after have 2-3 bottles a day, that she won't want to nurse I would hate to strictly pump because she won't nurse. Or have to switch to formula because I couldn't sustain my supply. Is anyone else back at work.. I wish I could afford to stay home till she was 12 weeks..

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
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    Default Re: Going back to work and really stressed

    I went back to work after 2 weeks (granted only part time), and my baby did just fine and is still nursing at close to 20 months. As long as you are pumping what your baby needs while you are away, there is no reason to think you will have supply issues. Just make sure to nurse frequently while you are with your baby. My baby only got bottles when I was at work and usually went on a nurse-a-thon when I got home.

    Make sure your DCP uses a slow flow nipple and paced bottle feeding methods to reduce the risk of a bottle preference and over feeding.

    You can do this! Try to relax and have confidence in yourself. If you have trouble pumping when you get back to work, remember that there are a whole bunch of women here that will help you troubleshoot and make it through!
    K. Sophia - Mama to my little lactivore, the amazing Mr. X (11/10).

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    New York
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    Default Re: Going back to work and really stressed

    Although I did not express nor pump my younger sister did for over a year when she went back to work. She swears by her medela pump in style.
    Her dd nursed like a champ and took bottles too.
    She did not feed bottles while she was home and she pumped on her days off and when she was at work.
    I know I sound like a snotty big sister, but if my sister could breastfeed, express and work full time.....why could't she keep her half of the room clean when we were growing up. just saying...
    DD#1 July 1986 VB
    DD#2 April 1988 c/sec
    DS#3 April 1990 VBAC
    DS#4 June 1993 VB
    and suprise!
    DD#5 April 2001 c/sec
    BTDT scars and stretchmarks,: wrinkles and grey hair

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    Default Re: Going back to work and really stressed

    Many moms are able to return to work and keep up supply just fine. Others struggle. The fact is, pumping does not always do 'enough" when it comes to keeping up supply. But there is lots you can do to maximize your chances that your milk supply will be fine and limit the impact of the separation on breastfeeding.

    1) Have your caregiver feed baby in a breastfeeding supportive way. This means not only taking it slow with the bottle and allowing baby to control the flow, but also not overfeeding, using different comfort measures when appropriate, and trying to make sure baby is not fed shortly before you get home, because you want to maximize the time at the breast. See this for more on this: http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...astfedbaby.pdf

    2) Nurse lots when with baby. This means, actively encourage baby to nurse lots at night or on weekends (or whenever you are home.) Try to pump only at work and NURSE at home. (Sometimes moms need more milk to leave for baby and have to pump at home, that is fine, if NEEDED.) Watch out for other supply busters like encouraging long sleep stretches, pacifier overuse, unnecessary bottles of formula, and later, early or to quick introduction of solids.

    3) make sure your pump is in and remains in excellent condition.

    4) Pump as frequently as you can when at work. (without causing undue stress.) Frequent pumping keeps milk supply in great shape, just as frequent nursing does. Depending on your work responsibilities, you can pump very regularly or more erratically as works best for you. If on some days you can work in an "extra" pump sessions, that cannot hurt.

    5) if you start pumping less at any time, do not assume that means your milk is "gone." One of the hardest things about pumping is you see exactly how much you express and that can lead moms to assume all kinds of things about milk supply that are just not so. Milk production naturally goes up and down from day to day and over the course of a day. Your baby can extract milk far better than your pump. Pumps malfunction or parts wear out, causing lower performance. So a lower pump output does not necessarily mean a low supply!

    6) If you do find your production going down ,take a nursing vacation and consider galactagoges. Avoid supplementing with formula if you can!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
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    Default Re: Going back to work and really stressed

    You've received excellent advice here. You can do it! Going back to work was very emotionally stressful for me (at first - it does get easier!), but I never really struggled with supply until much, much later (many women have a "nine month slump" but you can get through that too) and I hope that will be the case for you as well. My suggestions, much along the lines of what Meg said:

    - Make pumping a priority, and just know that it will take a little time to figure out your schedule (you may have to play around with your times).

    - Get a good hands free setup for pumping.

    - Make pumping time either productive or pleasant. I often took pumping breaks as a time to read my book. Other times I would do work while I pump (obviously, not applicable if you work at a restaurant, but helpful if you have a job that involves paperwork, reading, writing, etc.). It's good to relax while you're pumping, but I find that obeying a command to "relax" is not that helpful. I tried to do things to take my mind off pumping.

    - Don't obsess about the amount you're pumping. It will vary a little from day to day. That's normal.

    - To maximum supply and shorten pumping sessions, do some breast massage and compressions.

    - If your output does go way down, it's usually old pump parts! Replace your pump parts and try again!

    - Nurse as much as you can with your baby. As tiring as night-wakings can be, night-nursing is the FRIEND of the working mother. If your baby is waking up several times at night to nurse, that's less that you have to worry about your supply and your pumping output. It gives you a little insurance. While it sounds nice to have a baby who sleeps through the night, I think it's more stressful for a pumping mom.

    - Don't be afraid to add an extra pumping session. Many women pump on their commute to work, in the car, or in the evenings after their baby goes to bed, in order to make up for any shortfall. This is fine and normal.

    Hang in there mama, it's going to be okay. Many of us have made it a whole year of pumping at work without having to supplement.



    You can call me JoMo!

    Mom to baby boy Joe, born 5/4/09 and breastfed for more than two and a half years, and baby girl Maggie, born 7/9/12.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
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    10,440

    Default Re: Going back to work and really stressed

    You can do this. Be available to nurse on demand at home when you are not working, and pump as described. If you run into trouble, come see us in the pumping forum.

    It's the moms who pump too little and the EPing moms who tend to have trouble with supply. If you pump often enough, you should be fine as baby will stimulate your supply the rest of the time.
    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!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
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    Southern NM
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    Default Re: Going back to work and really stressed

    I had to go back to work with this LO at 6 weeks--and he is still nursing fine at almost 17 months. I found that, rather than the baby preferring the bottles, he wanted to cluster feed when I got home. I would usually try to go to the bathroom just before I left work since I knew that I wouldn't have much of a chance once I got home.
    I am Erin--happily married to the nerd of my dreams for 15 years
    High School Science Teacher
    Mother to: Thing 1 9/23/01, bf 15 mo, diagnosed with stage 4 neuroblastoma 1/29/02, officially cancer free for ten years in August 2012
    Thing 2 6/6/05, bf 12 mo, obsessed with dynamite
    Glowworm 2/18/11, bf 15 months and counting

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Boston, MA
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    3

    Default Re: Going back to work and really stressed

    I am glad I came into this forum. I too have the same concern. I am going back to work and LO is 7wks. Currently I pump once or twice a day (while she naps and engorgement happens) just to build my supply up. She only gets bottles when we are traveling (I dont drive so I rely on public transit) and that works fine. I will be taking this advice with me beginning Monday when I go to work.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    5,604

    Default Re: Going back to work and really stressed

    Welcome avabug 18, I am glad you are finding the forum helpful. BTW have you checked out the nursing in public laws where you live? It is usually legal to nurse on public transit. May feel odd to you, so if you prefer not to that is fine, but it's probably legal just fyi.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Going back to work and really stressed

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*lllmeg View Post
    Welcome avabug 18, I am glad you are finding the forum helpful. BTW have you checked out the nursing in public laws where you live? It is usually legal to nurse on public transit. May feel odd to you, so if you prefer not to that is fine, but it's probably legal just fyi.


    I don't drive either and aways nurse on buses and trains. I usually keep my son in a sling or in our Ergo because I hate dragging strollers around on public transportation, and I have found that no one even notices at all when I am nursing him in a carrier. I have even carried on conversations with strangers while he nursed. He's almost 20 months old now, and although nursing is not quite as discreet in the Ergo anymore I nursed him on the subway just last week and no one so much as batted an eye.
    K. Sophia - Mama to my little lactivore, the amazing Mr. X (11/10).

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