Happy Mothers Breastfed Babies
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Thread: Supply whilst working

  1. #1

    Default Supply whilst working

    Hi there,
    I have been exclusively breast feeding my baby girl,but have to go back to work. For the past 3 weeks I have gradually replaced her day feeds with formula bottle feeds as it will not be possible for me to express at my work place.
    I still want to breast feed during night feeds and in the mornings.
    Problem is that my supply is extremely low for those feeds at the moment and I have not started work yet! (I will in 4 days time)
    Do you have any advise to increase my supply?

    Thank you


  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: Supply whilst working

    Welcome to the forum!

    So there's absolutely no chance that you can pump during the day? If you are in the USA, you are likely legally entitled to pump breaks during the workday. And if you can pump at work, then:
    1. You will make more milk overall, leading to better supply during the times when you and your baby are together and nursing
    2. You will have expressed milk to feed baby during the day, saving money on formula
    3. Feeding baby more breastmilk may result in less illness, and consequently less need for you to be absent from work, providing a rationale for your employer to give you pump breaks

    If you can't pump during the day, then your supply is likely to be lower than you want it to be. This doesn't mean that you'll have nothing- just that you may find that your baby is less patient with nursing, and may even need supplements during the times when you are home. The best way to maintain supply when there is a long period of no nursing and no pumping is to make sure you get plenty of milk removal and stimulation during the times when it is possible. Nurse as much as possible, and pump after feedings if possible. If your baby is sleeping through the night, it will be beneficial to wake him to nurse during the night, or to pump during the night if he will not wake.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2012

    Default Re: Supply whilst working

    Hi mama, welcome to the forum!

    How old is your baby?

    My first question is, why is it not possible for you to express at your workplace? Perhaps if you describe the obstacles we can help trouble-shoot. As you've seen, it's hard to maintain supply without pumping when baby is young. At a minimum, do you not have a lunch break during which you can pump? Or other breaks in the day?

    If it is absolutely impossible to pump during the day, then some suggestions are: pump in the car during your commute to work or back; definitely nurse as much as possible when you are together with baby - including at night. Is baby sleeping a long stretch at night? Consider pumping at home. Make sure baby is not being over-fed while you are at work, because then baby will be less interested in nursing when you are together. Shoot for about 1 oz of formula per hour apart, definitely not more than 1.5 oz per hour apart. Give formula in a breastfeeding-friendly way. Small amounts - 2 or 3 oz, 4 at the most. And use breastfeeding-friendly bottle-feeding techniques, as described in these links:


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