As some of you know from my other posts, I will soon be visiting the USA for 3 months, and I will be working at a university.
Do I need to pack my breast-pump and bottles?
My daughter is 14 months old and still nurses frequently. I guess on average every hour during the day, but sometimes she'll do multiple mini-nurses every 15 minutes, or sometimes go for several hours without nursing. At night she sleeps about 11 hours, during which time she nurses maybe 4 to 8 times.
I initially had oversupply problems and block-fed to get rid of them. I now usually go with one breast per feeding, but if it's a short feeding and the breast still feels full I'll repeat that breast again next time. Only once in a blue moon will she feed off both breasts in a sitting. I still have overactive letdown with lots of spray, not sure if that is relevant.
I plan to work 8-10 h per day, trying to see baby at lunchtime for a nursing session, so she'd be ~4-5 h without nursing. We have done this a few times when she was 10 mo and my breasts felt very full, but it was ok.
My pump is just a manual pump and I actually find it is easier to just hand-express milk to relieve the pressure, and in the past I could get half a bottle by hand-expressing (not sure if that would be the case now though).
DD eats plenty of solids and loves to drink water from one of those cups with a straw, although we don't give her water every day so nearly all her liquids are currently from nursing. She won't take a bottle but will drink breastmilk out of a cup last time we tried.
After our stint in the US, she'll be 17 months old and I will be back to working at home with nursing on demand, so I want to keep my supply up.
What I'm wondering is, do I need the pump and bottles to keep my supply up and make sure that I don't get mastitis if I suddenly jump to two 5-hr stretches without nursing, or is hand expressing to relieve fullness going to be sufficient? What if I were to spend a whole 8 or 10 hours away from my daughter some days of the week?
Sorry such a long post! Thanks