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Thread: Returning to work at 1yr - advice requested

  1. #1

    Default Returning to work at 1yr - advice requested

    I'm returning to work full time in a month and my baby girl will be two weeks short of her first birthday (yay to Canadian mat-leave). She has nursed like a trooper from the get go and although I only saw myself nursing for 6mo before birth, I absolutely love bf'ing her and now that I've educated myself about it I don't want to stop until she is ready!

    My questions are regarding managing my return to work, right now she nurses before each nap (@ about 10am and 3pm) as well as at bedtime, upon waking, 3-5 times a night, and usually a third non-nap time during the day. So anywhere between 6 to 10 times in a 24hr period. She eats a good variety of solids about three times a day, but only a few tablespoons each time.

    Once I'm at work she will be cared for by g'ma in our home and I will be leaving at 7:30am able to come home at noon for a half hour, then return home for the day at 4:30pm. I realize everyone is different, but in your collective experiences:

    1. Do any of you have advice on if I need to transition her from before nap feedings and replace them with lunch feed/off work feed before I go back or just jump in once work starts with the later feeding times?

    2. If I don't want to give her cow's milk, will I need to pump and leave milk for her or will one midday and one late afternoon feeding be enough in addition to feedings we can keep the same (bed time, night, waking etc)?

    3. If I don't pump will it hurt my supply (since I'll be going longer between feeds and cutting back one daytime feed)?

    Any general return-to-work stories/advice for this age would be greatly appreciated, I'm already struggling with separation anxiety and worried about jeopardizing our nursing relationship!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    20,847

    Default Re: Returning to work at 1yr - advice requested

    Welcome to the forum, lucky Canadian mama! Most moms in the USA get just about 10 weeks of maternity leave. Boo! Hiss!

    I wouldn't mess with your child's pre-nap feeding right now. She's not going to understand why you won't nurse her at the accustomed time, and she's going to be miserable. When grandma is caring for her, let grandma figure out how to get her down for a nap.

    If you don't want to give your LO cow's milk, then pumped milk until 1 year (at least) is ideal. But since you're nursing 6-10 times a day, you probably don't need to do either cow's milk or pumped milk. You can just leave bottles or sippy cups full of water, and let the nursing you're doing when you're with the baby make up her "dairy" requirements.

    Any time you go longer between feedings or cut down on the number of feedings, your milk supply is going to drop. The question is, does that matter? IMO, the answer at 1 year is: not really. In order or meet a kid's "dairy" requirement with breastmilk, you need to nurse 3-5 times a day, and you're way over that. And a lot of moms wean from the pump at a year, and simply nurse when they are with the baby. The amount of nursing you do outside of work should compensate for any drop in supply.

    Don't worry- you're going to do great!
    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: Returning to work at 1yr - advice requested

    Thank you so much for your reply, mommal! This is exactly the support I am looking for.

    Trust me I am endlessly grateful for my mat-leave, I just wish someone told me how hard it would still be to leave my LO! :P

    I am hoping not to pump because I hate pumping and have had limited success with it, I'm glad for the info on how many feedings she'll need to get her "dairy" allotment daily. And she already has a sippy with water available and drinks from it throughout the day. :-)

    I'll be nursing her as much as possible when together, but is there any advice what g'ma should sub in for the nap-feed as she gets hungry - I know she also nurses for comfort during nap times, but for the mid-morning I think the nursing is hunger motivated.

  4. #4
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Returning to work at 1yr - advice requested

    I noticed once my babies were a certain age, they didn't look for a bottle or breast to take naps if I wasn't there. If baby starts a whole new routine with g'ma she may never expect it and g'ma will find her own way to get her to nap- songs, rocking or whatever.
    Last edited by @llli*still.here; January 7th, 2013 at 04:59 PM.
    “We are not put on earth for ourselves, but are placed here for each other. If you are there always for others, then in time of need, someone will be there for you.”
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  5. #5

    Default Re: Returning to work at 1yr - advice requested

    Ahhh, I didn't even think of that, so helpful, thank you. I know it's probably silly to worry so much, but I do!

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