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Thread: away from home once a week... please help

  1. #1

    Default away from home once a week... please help

    hi all, this is my first post, thanks ahead of time for your help. i am pregnant with my first child. due to my job situation (and please no negative comments on that... can't change it right now), starting when the baby is about 3 months old, i will need to be away from home about 2 days a week... from around 3 a.m. one day until 9 p.m. the next. baby will stay with dad and family. my question is, will i be able to pump enough breast milk every week to store to feed the baby for that long? i am completely ignorant about the whole practice of pumping, storing milk, etc., but am committed to learning. i just want to know if it's possible. both my husband and i are in a bit of a panic thinking about it and the stress isn't helping us. thank you!! (and any general reassurances you can offer are welcome, but i can't handle critiques right now).

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    21,120

    Default Re: away from home once a week... please help

    Welcome to the forum and congratulations on the baby to come!

    Your job situation is a little unusual- being away for 2 days straight instead of just 8-10 hours 5 days a week. But work isn't an insurmountable hurdle to breastfeeding, no matter how the schedule is arranged.

    You only need about 1.5 oz of milk per hour of separation from your baby. You're going to want to package that in small amounts- 2-3 oz, with a few 1-2 oz "chaser" bottles. Breastfed babies tend to eat more frequently than their formula-fed peers, and also eat smaller amounts.

    Will you be able to pump on the job? If you're starting work at just 3 months out, you absolutely need to have some pump breaks- otherwise you're going to end up engorged and uncomfortable within a few hours.

    If you can pump at work, you may be able to pump enough while you're there to take care of your baby's needs, freeing you to just feed on demand the rest of the week. If pumping is going to be restricted at work, you may need to pump outside of work in addition to what you do on the job- but overall, this should be very doable!
    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
    Oct 2012
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    2,214

    Default Re: away from home once a week... please help

    I agree, there's no reason to think you shouldn't be able to provide expressed breastmilk for your baby during the time that you are working. But you will need to be able to pump about as often as you would be nursing if you were home. Usually that means at least every 3 hours or so, usually for at least 20 minutes. If you can't pump that often - let's say you'll only be able to pump every 4 hours - then you can make up the difference by adding in pumping sessions on the other days of the week.

    Breastfeeding is supply and demand. When you nurse, it tells your body to make milk. Similarly, pumping sends a similar message.

    Here are some resources that explain more about pumping, milk storage, and bottle-feeding the breastfed baby:
    http://kellymom.com/bf/pumpingmoms/p...-when-pumping/
    http://www.nancymohrbacher.com/blog/...ursing-mothers
    http://kellymom.com/bf/pumpingmoms/m...e/milkstorage/
    http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...astfedbaby.pdf
    http://kellymom.com/bf/pumpingmoms/e...reastfed-baby/
    http://kellymom.com/bf/pumpingmoms/f...ottle-feeding/

    Since you do have three months of maternity leave - if everything is going smoothly, no need to worry about pumping and such for the first couple months. In the last 4-6.weeks you can start to do some pumping to prepare for your first day back. Since you'll be apart for 42 hours, you'll want to have about 60 ounces on hand - not that baby will necessarily drink all that, but that way you'll be on the safe side. So pumping 1-2 ounces/day towards the end of your maternity leave will give you enough, and then what you pump while working will be good for the next week.

    But really, the main thing is to get nursing off to a good start - so don't worry about the pumping in the beginning! And congratulations on your baby!

  4. #4

    Default Re: away from home once a week... please help

    Thanks both. This is all really really helpful/comforting! Fortunately, I will be in a position to pump as much and as frequently as I need to at work. And I have a refrigerator there and can travel with a cooler to store everything when I'm on the road. I will read the resources you suggested and begin figuring out what I need to do to get the mechanics and logistics down, but will try and stop worrying about whether this can be accomplished, since it sounds like it can. Thanks again.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    21,120

    Default Re: away from home once a week... please help

    Awesome! Sounds like you have a great set-up.
    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!"

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    2,214

    Default Re: away from home once a week... please help

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*foreststorm View Post
    but will try and stop worrying about whether this can be accomplished, since it sounds like it can.
    Definitely! That's really great that you will be able to pump as much as you need to - that can be a big hurdle for a lot of mothers trying to make breastfeeding work once they go back to the workplace. Feel free to come back with more questions as you get closer! And of course, hope everything goes smoothly with your delivery.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    5,600

    Default Re: away from home once a week... please help

    Hi and welcome to LLL forums!

    I have always thought that the very best way to be prepared for separations of any length or frequency is to have breastfeeding in great shape by the time they start to occur. You have three months before going back to work, so that gives you lots of time to make sure you get breastfeeding off to a great start and deal with any issues that sometimes occur, before even worrying about how it will all work once you are back to work.

    Sadly, in the US at least, most mothers stop nursing long before 3 months! This is almost entirely due to a lack of support for breastfeeding, a lack of help/support in the intense first few weeks postpartum, and moms being bombarded with inaccurate information about breastfeeding and what is normal especially in the newborn stage.

    LLL is a great place to get accurate information about all aspects of breastfeeding including pumping/handling separations. I would suggest to all moms (or expecting moms) who wish to nurse their babies to (before they give birth, if possible) attend local LLL or other breastfeeding support groups, read The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding (8th edition) and to join these forums, as you have already done.

  8. #8

    Default Re: away from home once a week... please help

    I will definitely take the advice to read that book and to attend a local group if I can. But, again, I just really appreciate all the advice. It sounds like we can make it work. And fortunately the other days of the week the baby can be at home with me basically all day.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    5,600

    Default Re: away from home once a week... please help

    yes your scedule could posibly be less disruptive to breastfeeding than a typical work scedule.

    Having your family on board and supportive makes all the difference.

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