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Thread: Pumping at work/ sleeping through the night

  1. #1
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    Sep 2013
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    Default Pumping at work/ sleeping through the night

    I am returning to work in two days, my 7 week old is EBF and will be getting about 3 bottles of breastmilk a day while I'm at work. I plan to pump every 3-4 hours, my question is storing it while I'm at work. Can I pump into the same bottles all day, just keep adding to that? Can I add fresh milk to already cooled (not frozen) milk? How long can my breast milk be out at room temp before it needs to go into the fridge/freezer?

    Also, my son has started sleeping 6 hour stretches at night. Will this affect my supply? When I do feed him in the middle of the night around 1-2 am he seems like he is getting enough and I am not feeling too engorged. I just really want to breast feed until 9/10 months and I don't want my supply to be affected. I'm also worried that pumping at work is going to slow my supply down. I am also terrified he will reject the breast, he has only had a bottle 3 times since birth. I will be feeding him at 6/630 am before I leave, and then again at 5 and before bed at 8/8:30. I work 9 hours only 4 days a week - please help! Can someone reassure me my breastfeeding relationship with my sweet baby wont be compromised? Thanks
    Last edited by @llli*kdjzw; September 14th, 2013 at 07:51 AM.

  2. #2
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    Oct 2012
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    Default Re: Pumping at work/ sleeping through the night

    Hi mama,

    Lots of mamas combine work and breastfeeding. I've done it three times! So yes, you can do it.

    Here are the milk storage guidelines from kelly mom: http://kellymom.com/bf/pumpingmoms/m...e/milkstorage/
    As you can see from the guidelines, breastmilk can be at room temperature for several hours - even up to 8 - before it goes in the fridge. So if you pump and don't have time to take it to the fridge right away, that's fine. Or if you want to combine the milk from the first two sessions then refrigerate, that's fine too. If you or your coworkers don't feel comfortable with seeing the milk in the fridge, you can put it inside a cooler or a bag. Alternatively you can use a cooler pack to keep milk chilled. Some guidelines suggest only combining chilled milk, but some mothers do add fresh milk to previously chilled milk.

    In terms of your LO sleeping 6 hours at night: my personal mantra has always been that nighttime nursing is great for a working mom's supply. That said, you can see how things go. If you are struggling to pump enough milk for your baby, you can always add a nighttime dream feed in. If you're not having trouble, let him sleep! You may also find that baby "reverse cycles," ie prefers to nurse more during the night, once you get back to work - as a way of getting his mommy time in. Also normal and good for your supply.

    The key to maintaining supply while combining nursing with pumping at work is just to make sure you do enough overall nursing and pumping. Sometimes the pump is not as good as nursing to maintain supply. So it's really important to nurse as much as you can when you are together with baby, and to pump often enough at work. Also to use a good double electric pump at work. What kind of pump do you have? But again, as long as you do those things, no reason you cannot continue to nurse your baby for as long as you and he want to.

    Breast refusal: usually by 7 weeks nursing is well-established, and baby is less likely to refuse the breast. Not to say it never happens, but if it does, come back on here and we'll help you trouble shoot. Most babies do fine with the bottle during the day and the breast at night. Again, when you are together, you want to really actively encourage nursing. Offer frequently, keep baby close by - wearing baby and sleeping with baby can help maintain that closeness that encourages nursing. Don't use bottles when you are together with baby.

    It's also important that baby is not over-fed from the bottle. A bottle should usually contain 2 or 3 oz, maybe 4 at the most, and bottle-feeding should NOT be used as a way to soothe baby. Here are some articles about bottle-feeding the breastfed baby, including information you can print out and go over with baby's caregiver:
    http://kellymom.com/bf/pumpingmoms/employed-moms/childcare-breastfed-baby/
    http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...astfedbaby.pdf
    http://kellymom.com/bf/pumpingmoms/f...ottle-feeding/

    Going back to work is stressful. Thinking about how to incorporate pumping into your day is stressful! Even the third time back it was stressing me out. But once you get back into the swing of things and figure out your routine and baby's routine, it gets better. And it's absolutely worth it to be able to continue nursing your baby! Let us know if you have more questions as you go back!

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Pumping at work/ sleeping through the night

    Great ideas from bfwmomof3.

    I strongly believe bottle "preference" is usually avoidable. If your caregiver will follow the guidelines in the link above for bottle feeding the breastfed baby, and if you nurse frequently; as much as possible on cue so as often and as long as baby wishes when you are with baby, including nursing baby to sleep and for comfort, that will likely help prevent any breast refusal. A baby is unlikely to begin to 'prefer' bottles unless he is overfed with them, fed too quickly with them (so gets used to the fast flow of bottles and thus, impatient at the breast) or taught to stop seeing the breast as THE very best place for both comfort and food. Avoiding or limiting pacifier use (at least when you are home) is also probably a good idea.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Pumping at work/ sleeping through the night

    Thank you ladies! I plan on not using bottles at all when I'm home with him. I let his dad take him for the first time last night and give him a bottle, when I fed him this am he nuzzled his head in my breasts and fed for 30 mins (he usually eats only about 5-10mins on each side). I pray he keeps preferring me over the bottle. I have tried adding a dream feed but he won't budge, won't open his mouth or anything

    One more thing, I don't know if this is normal or not, but he fusses at the beginning of a feed. He shows signs of being hungry and I will put him to the breast and he won't even open his mouth wide enough to get the nipple an he fusses for about 3 mins before I can get him to latch. I am also still having to help him quite a bit at first, but after he latches he is fine. Idk if he is frustrated because the milk is not coming out right away? Is he over hungry? This has been happening since he was about 2 weeks old, so it is nothing new, I have just been concerned about it. Sorry for asking so many questions! Thanks again!
    Last edited by @llli*kdjzw; September 14th, 2013 at 12:37 PM.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Pumping at work/ sleeping through the night

    Fussy at the start of nursing could be many things. Yes it could be baby is overly hungry, in which case nursing 'faster" at earlier cues (or just not waitign for a cue) will help. Frustration may be a part of it, but If it fixes itself once baby latches, then it is not due to a slow letdown, becasue baby would not expect milk to just spray out! Baby knows he needs to latch to get the milk going. (unless baby is taught differently over time with improper bottle feeding methods.)

    My baby (now a year old) did (and still does sometimes) something I call "anticipatory fussing" where basicaly she was just so darn excited to see the breast she always fussed for a bit before latching (unless she was latching in her sleep.)

    What positions have you tried? Where is baby when baby typically cues? does it regularly take a few minutes for you to get "set up" to nurse?

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Pumping at work/ sleeping through the night

    We usually do cross cradle on both sides. He is usually asleep and I have to wake him up. He will stay awake for awhile after a feed and then typically falls asleep after some awake time or right after feeding. Sometimes if he is awake he is shoving his hands in his mouth. He is just not a very fussy baby and is very laid back, I am still having to make sure I wake him during the day usually because he has slept through feeds before, he is just lazy! And usually it does take me a couple of mins to set up, I gather the boppy and burp cloth and most of the time change his diaper to wake him up

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Pumping at work/ sleeping through the night

    Interesting baby is still so sleepy at 7 weeks. But as long as weight gain is on track and baby is nursing at least 8 to 10 times a day, it's not a breastfeeding problem, really. But in that case I would suggest, as much as possible, try holding baby when asleep and see if baby starts to nuzzle or root IN his sleep. Also hands in mouth is a typical feeding cue.

    Below is more info on feeding cues and a video that shows how a baby begins to cue in sleep, it also shows the laid back position, which may feel awkward at first but often is helpful in facilitating latch. (For some reason in th video the mom switches sides but you can see if she did not, baby is right there, ready to latch!) I am also linking more info about the laid back position so you can try playing around with it if you want. It is very adjustible and may lead to better latch and better overall comfort for you.


    Feeding cues: http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...eding_cues.pdf

    Laid back/cue in sleep video http://www.biologicalnurturing.com/video/bn3clip.html

    Laid back position http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...astfeeding.pdf

    Here are two simple pictorials, you want the one on latch. Notice that the mother is in a “slightly” laid back position, looks like on a couch? This is a very “adjustable” position, play around to find how you and your baby are most comfortable. http://cwgenna.com/quickhelp.html

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Pumping at work/ sleeping through the night

    Thank you for your help! I agree that it is concerning he is still so sleepy, he usually stays awake an hour-2 hours and then naps. I talked to his pediatrician about it he says it's completely normal, some babies are just sleepier than others. Thank you for the links and videos! I have noticed that if he is awake and I offer him the breast he is not fussy at all he latches right on. I am thinking he is becoming too hungry in his sleep or I am taking too long to get him on the boob after he wakes up. This breast feeding stuff is challenging, but so worth it for him! Thanks again

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Pumping at work/ sleeping through the night

    If your doctor is happy I am happy. But a sleepy baby can certainly make breastfeeding more challenging. This is why holding baby even when baby is sleeping might be helpful, so you catch those subtle clues as much as possible. Also, for now at least, I would suggest avoid doing anything that may be "artificially" lengthening sleep- Swaddling, pacifier, baby sleeping in a separate room from you.

    I know it seems unlikely now, but I promise you that many moms find that breastfeeding is worth it not only for baby but for themselves. Even when it is hard in the beginning, many moms find that nursing makes mothering so much easier in so many ways as you go along.

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