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Thread: Back to work with 6.5 month old

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    39

    Default Back to work with 6.5 month old

    Hi, I'd really appreciate some advice on feeding my son after I go back to full time work at the end of the month (when he will be 6.5 months old). I want to continue to breastfeed him (to around 1 year?) at least in the mornings and evenings - from an emotional standpoint, just to have that closeness (I am going to miss him so much!). But should I also pump at work? How important is breastmilk nutritionally after the first six months compared to formula? And will I need to pump to keep my supply up for the times we are together? If so, how much roughly will I need to pump?

    Thanks so much!

    dri

  2. #2

    Default Re: Back to work with 6.5 month old

    Lots of questions! I'll try to answer them all for you.

    Should I pump at work? Yes, if you'll have the time and a place to pump, it's important to do this. Since your body will be making milk at these times, you'll need to remove the milk to prevent engorgement and possibly more serious stuff. You'll want to good hospital-grade pump, one that will pump both breasts at one time. There are other posts in this forum about pumps. Usually, double pumps made by Medela or Ameda seem to work best for working mothers. If available, you can also rent a pump from an LC. These rental pumps are more effective and comfortable than the ones you can buy.

    You'll want to pump as often as baby would nurse - about every three hours or so.

    Most babies take 1-1.5oz per hour that they are separated from their mother. So, if baby will be in daycare for 9hrs, expect baby to take 9-14oz of your milk during the day. This number may go down a little bit if she's eating lots of solids. But, at 6.5mos, solids are more for learning that anything else.

    When you are together, you should be able to nurse as much as baby would like to.

    For more information about working and breastfeeding, http://www.llli.org/NB/NBworking.html

    Finally, about the nutritional value of breastmilk after 6mos. Your milk doesn't lose it's nutritional value from the time baby is 5mos to the time baby is 6mos. It's still the best thing for your baby. Formulas are meant to replace breast milk; they don't have all that your baby would get from your milk. Any milk you can continue to give to your baby is wonderful.

    The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends continued nursing until baby is at least a year old; the World Health Organization recommends nursing until baby is at least two years old.

    Baby will continue to need the calories, fat, nutrients, and antibodies that your milk provides. Especially if baby will be in daycare, around other children, and in a new situation, baby will need your antibodies to help fight off viruses that baby may be exposed to.

    Please let us know if you have other questions!
    Shannon
    LLL Leader

    Protect your privacy online; don't use your full name. Click My Alias at the top left corner.

    I'm horrible at html and encoding links, so I apologize in advance for all the long links!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    39

    Default Re: Back to work with 6.5 month old

    That's really helpful, Shannon, thanks so much!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    39

    Default Re: Back to work with 6.5 month old

    Just a couple of follow up questions here:

    My husband will be looking after DS when I return to work, and I need to leave him with instructions about how to bottle feed him. I am currently bfding roughly every 2.5-3 hrs. Should he maintain that schedule? And presumably he should just multiply the number of hours by the 1- 1.5oz that you mention to know how much to give?

    Also, I will be working roughly from 8.30 - 5. How often should I pump in order to maintain exclusive bfding, and should I be pumping at home at all?

    Finally, I have built up a mid-sized frozen stock during my leave. I'm not currently pumping, though. Is it necessary to get pumping again in my remaining days in order to boost my supply?

    Thanks again!

  5. #5

    Default Re: Back to work with 6.5 month old

    Hi Dri! I'm going to attempt to answer your questions in order.

    Baby will probably want to be fed about every 2.5-3hrs, since that's what he's doing currently. He'll probably take about 3oz at each feeding. You could have milk stored in 1oz containers, in case baby isn't satisfied with 3oz.

    While you're separated, you'll want to pump as often as baby takes a bottle. So, if baby is eating every three hours, pump every three hours. For most mothers working your schedule, this means three pumpings each day. Morning, lunch, afternoon, then go home and feed the baby.

    You don't need to add in pumpings before you go back to work, unless you just want to practice with the pump. You'll be using the pump to express milk that baby would have been eating, then leave it for baby the next day. On weekends, your supply for nursing should be fine, since you expressed milk during the week.

    What kind of pump will you be using?
    Shannon
    LLL Leader

    Protect your privacy online; don't use your full name. Click My Alias at the top left corner.

    I'm horrible at html and encoding links, so I apologize in advance for all the long links!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    39

    Default Re: Back to work with 6.5 month old

    Thanks so much, LLLS! I will be using a Lactina. The only question is how to stop people from barging into my office while I'm pumping! (Tho I know I'm lucky to have one....)

  7. #7

    Default Re: Back to work with 6.5 month old

    You're so lucky to be using a Lactina. Many mothers love that pump!

    Some mothers hang a little sign on the doorknob, saying something about milk. Usually something humorous, but that doesn't work in every office environment.

    Perhaps sit with your back to the door, just in case?

    :-)
    Shannon
    LLL Leader

    Protect your privacy online; don't use your full name. Click My Alias at the top left corner.

    I'm horrible at html and encoding links, so I apologize in advance for all the long links!

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