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Thread: Going back to work and continuing to breastfeed

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    200

    Default Going back to work and continuing to breastfeed

    Hi, mamas, looking for some advice here. I'll be returning to work full time in about 3 weeks. My LO is 13.5 months and nurses 4x/day: for AM nap, PM nap, at bedtime, then somewhere between 4-6 am. I won't be able to nurse for his naps once at work, and I'm not planning on pumping.

    I have several questions: Should I start nap-weaning him now so that he gets used to it and my breasts adapt to the changes? If I only nurse at bedtime and then once overnight will I maintain a supply? Do I have to worry about engorgement/plugged ducts if I abruptly stop the nap nursings? I've never really leaked (only the first month or so right before/during nursing). Would I have to worry about leaking if not nursing during the day?

    He eats 3 meals a day, and his 2 "snacks" are bf for naps--what kinds of snacks will replace this nutritionally? I do have a decent sized freezer stash, so he will be able to have bm available when I'm gone for probably about a month. He drinks cow's milk fine, though would prefer bm (he chugs the bm in a cup while is slightly less enthusiastic about cm).

    Thanks for any advice!
    Andie

    born 6/13/2012

    ~First-time Mama~
    and now finished with

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    19,888

    Default Re: Going back to work and continuing to breastfeed

    I personally wouldn't attempt to nap-wean. Don't borrow trouble from the future- let whoever will be caring for your LO in your absence figure out how to get him down for a nap, when that time comes. He won't expect to nurse from a nanny/daycare provider/grandma. He knows that you're the only one with that particular superpower! If you nap-wean him now, it's just going to cause you both some misery, over something which might not even be a problem.

    Anytime you abruptly drop a nursing session, plugged ducts are a possibility. So keep the pump handy for the first few days back at work- you may need to revise your plan, depending on how your body reacts to the dropped session. I doubt you'll need to pump, but you never know!

    If you've never been a big leaker, you probably won't have a leaking problem when you go back to work. But, again, you never know. So plan for a leak- maybe wear a patterned shirt or nursing pads for the first few days back at your desk.

    After a year, whole cow's milk or goat's milk is an acceptable replacement for mama's milk. If your LO isn' hugely find of cow's milk, try yogurt. When you run out of breastmilk, that is!
    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
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Deep South
    Posts
    13

    Default Re: Going back to work and continuing to breastfeed

    I am a first time mom too, so just giving you my advice on our routine. My little one nurses between 4 -6 am, when I get home between 4-6pm and before bed at 8pm. I stopped pumping at work about 2 weeks ago, I weaned down to one pump at lunch and then stopped cold turkey after being home with my little one for an entire week and was a little engorged the first few days, but so far so good. I did leak the first few days and just wore extra pads. I am not prone to plugged ducts, so luckily had no trouble with that. I took my pump and left it in the car in case I needed it for an emergency.

    I still nurse her on the weekends for naps and we have only given her cow's milk one time while we were traveling instead of me nursing her when I am with her. I see the milk come out of her mouth and hear her swallow, so she is still getting plenty from me. My husband gives her half breast milk/half cow's milk prior to naps and we have about 3 more weeks of BM left until we go straight to cow's milk. I think they need 3-5 servings of dairy a day, so nursing plus cow's milk or other source of dairy should get those for you. Hope this helps!
    First time mom to K 7/12/12, happily ; hoping to stop in the next few months!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    463

    Default Re: Going back to work and continuing to breastfeed

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*mommal View Post
    I personally wouldn't attempt to nap-wean. Don't borrow trouble from the future- let whoever will be caring for your LO in your absence figure out how to get him down for a nap, when that time comes. He won't expect to nurse from a nanny/daycare provider/grandma. He knows that you're the only one with that particular superpower! If you nap-wean him now, it's just going to cause you both some misery, over something which might not even be a problem.
    Agreed. When my LO is with me (3 days/wk) he always nurses down for nap. It's easy, it works, it's fast, and we both enjoy it. That's his expectation of me. But the 4 days/wk that he is in daycare, his teachers can get him to nap just by laying him on the mat and rubbing his back! He would never accept this of me, but he is accustomed to this in the daycare setting. And, on the rare occasions that it's daddy putting him down for a nap at home, they have a walking/rocking/humming routine. My point is just that they develop different expectations of different people.

    One thing to consider would be prioritizing that freezer stash for use with his pre-naptime cup at daycare. It might help him transition to napping there since he has an association of breastmilk with naps, plus if he drinks expressed breastmilk more enthusiastically than cowmilk, then he's more likely to go into naptime with a full tummy. If that ends up being effective, you could use cowmilk for the rest of his daycare drinks, so that the freezer stash lasts longer.

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