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Thread: Breastfeeding & Work Schedule

  1. #1

    Default Breastfeeding & Work Schedule

    Wanted to get opinions about returning to work and continuing breastfeeding on days off. I will be working 12 hour shifts 3 days in a row, but don't know if I should try to wean my daughter (who's almost 11 months) during the daytime to make it easier for her & Daddy when I'm at work. She typically only breastfeeds before naps (2X/day) and @ bedtime and takes a bottle for Daddy without problems. She prefers to breastfeed with me, but will take a bottle if we're out & about. So should I continue to breastfeed her as usual on my days off to help maintain supply? Or will this only confuse her? Also, I will not be pumping at work, (only expressing if I need to, for my comfort). Any help/suggestions would be great!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    20,606

    Default Re: Breastfeeding & Work Schedule

    Since your LO takes a bottle from dad with no problems, I don't think that he and your baby are likely to have trouble when you're not around. Dad may have to get a little creative while he figures out how to get your LO down for a nap and to sleep at night- but if you just step back and let them figure out their dynamic, they should do just fine.

    My larger concern here is for you and your supply. 3 straight days of just expressing for comfort... If your milk supply is on the high side, I can imagine that you'd end up uncomfortable and needing to express fairly often. Though you're only nursing 3x per day so it probably won't be a problem. And then there's the fact that 3 straight days of barely removing milk could add up to a pretty severe reduction in supply. Is it absolutely impossible to pump? It might be easier, and less time consuming, to pump a few times a day than to run off to express every time you get uncomfortable- though of course that's going to depend on your supply and your work schedule.

    Regardless, I would not wean at this point. If you nurse on your days off, you will continue to make milk and that is so good for your health and your baby's health. Totally worth the effort, even if it complicates things a little at work.
    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!"

  3. #3

    Default Re: Breastfeeding & Work Schedule

    Thanks for responding, this helps. I was feeling bad for denying my daughter “the ninny" for naps during the day, especially since it was not what I wanted. I think my husband wants me to wean because he thinks it will make things easier for me at night (I forgot to mention she pretty much nurses all night). But I told him, weaning her from breastfeeding doesn't necessarily mean she'll stop waking up & then I'd just have to figure out another thing entirely to get her back to sleep. No thanks.
    I guess my concern with pumping is three-fold: I have limited time at work for breaks & lunch, sometimes it's not till 2 or 3pm that I get any break...so, my main concern is eating. Second, I do not own a pump and since I only plan to BF her till she's a year that would not be a wise investment to buy one. Third, renting is not feasible, as proven by my previous experience when I lugged a hospital grade pump back & forth when I had my first baby & quickly gave that up since pumping in the locker room was neither comfortable nor relaxing. Sadly, there's no other place to pump.
    So, I guess what I'm getting at is, if I BF on my 4 days off & only BF at night on the 3 days I work, will this weak havoc with my body &/or my daughter's sanity?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    20,606

    Default Re: Breastfeeding & Work Schedule

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*steff1039 View Post
    But I told him, weaning her from breastfeeding doesn't necessarily mean she'll stop waking up & then I'd just have to figure out another thing entirely to get her back to sleep. No thanks.
    Exactly! Night-weaning does not necessarily result in more sleep- but it does take away the one 100% reliable tool you have for dealing with night-waking.

    So, I guess what I'm getting at is, if I BF on my 4 days off & only BF at night on the 3 days I work, will this weak havoc with my body &/or my daughter's sanity?
    I think that because you're only nursing 3x during the day, you could probably simply nurse when you're with your baby. It won't do anything bad to your baby- by 11 months most babies really only want to nurse when they know you're there. When you're not there, they miss you (of course!) but not simply because you are a food source. My greater concern is that skipping 3 nursing sessions during the workday is going to be problematic for you- what happens if you get engorged and uncomfortable? Will you be able to take a break if you need to do so? It might not happen- again, you're not nursing all that much!- but if it does, will you be able to take care of your needs?
    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!"

  5. #5

    Default Re: Breastfeeding & Work Schedule

    Ok, I feel so much better about this. I will see how it goes my first shift back & if need be I could buy one of those hand pumps. I will make pumping a priority if engorgement or supply become an issue. Thank you for your advice, it helps to know others value BF as much I do.

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