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Thread: Returning to work soon

  1. #1

    Default Returning to work soon

    I am returning to work in the next couple of weeks and I have several questions. My LO is 6 weeks old and is bf on demand. I haven't done any pumping because I haven't needed to. I have a hospital grade Ameda Elite pump that I got from my local WIC office. I have several questions. When should I pump in order to start putting some milk up for him while I'm at work? I know my supply is good now, but how do I ensure that it stays that way because I don't want him to have formula. Also he eats about every 30 minutes and he loves to use my breast as a pacifier, which I am 100% OK with, but I'm worried about going back to work because he is very partial to me and gets upset when held by anyone else. I'm assuming this is due to the breastfeeding as well. How do I get him used to his Daddy and help him to know that Daddy will be able to take care of him too? So far he will not take a real pacifier. Is there a certain pacifier that is specially made for breastfed babies? We currently have Playtex Nurser bottles with the drop in liners, are those OK to use? I'm so scared he's going to decide the bottle is better than the breast. How do I prevent that from happening? Any information or advice I can get would be greatly appreciated. I want what's best for my little guy and would really like to bf as long as he wants to. We've overcome a lot to get where we are with bfing and it's really important to me that we only get better and better at it :-)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    2,209

    Default Re: Returning to work soon

    Hi mama,
    That's wonderful that you've gotten your breastfeeding relationship off to a great start by breastfeeding on demand! Rest assured that lots of moms do combine working with breastfeeding.

    At this point, you might want to start pumping once a day to build up the supply of milk you will need for the first day back. Baby typically needs between 1 and 1.5 oz per hour apart. So, for example, if you will be apart from baby for 10 hours, you can expect him to drink between 10 and 15 oz of expressed milk while you are apart, so shoot for having 15 oz in the fridge/freezer for the first day back. Then each day you pump for the next day. If you pump a little each day now, in the next few weeks you should be able to get to 15 oz (or whatever the number is for you). A lot of moms find they get the most bang for the buck by pumping in the morning, when milk supply is greatest.

    In order to maintain supply, you'll want to pump every few hours at work. Moms vary in exactly how often, but you might want to start with every 3 hours and then adjust as needed - some moms need more, others less. That's great that you have a good pump. An "average" pumping time is around 20 minutes, but again, some moms need more, others less - you just have to see how you respond to the pump.

    It's great that you are thinking about breastfeeding-friendly bottle-feeding. Some key points are: 1) don't feed too much at one time - 2 or 3 oz, maybe 4 - you might want to leave milk in 2 or 3 oz portions with 1 oz "toppers" as needed. 2) Use paced bottle feeding techniques (see links below). 3) Use the slowest flow nipple you can find.
    Bottle-feeding techniques:
    http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...astfedbaby.pdf
    http://kellymom.com/bf/pumpingmoms/f...ottle-feeding/

    Usually once breastfeeding is well-established - as it sounds like it is in your case - baby can move between bottle and breast. The key is to continue to nurture the breastfeeding relationship when you are together - nursing often, continuing to allow and encourage "comfort" nursing, holding baby, keeping baby close (including at nighttime, for example by cosleeping).

    Daddy will likely develop his own rhythm with the baby. When you are there, baby may prefer you, but that doesn't mean he won't be happy with his dad! Soothing techniques include wearing baby, motion (bouncing on a ball; a swing; walking baby around), singing etc.

    It sounds like you are doing great mama!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    20,860

    Default Re: Returning to work soon

    When should I pump in order to start putting some milk up for him while I'm at work?
    Most moms start by pumping right after the first morning feeding. Levels of prolactin (the milk-making hormone) tend to peak overnight, so most moms have the most extra milk first thing in the morning. Pump at the same time for several days in a row and see how much milk you're getting. If you need more, start pumping after a second feeding, do that for several days, etc.

    I know my supply is good now, but how do I ensure that it stays that way because I don't want him to have formula.
    Ways to keep supply adequate to demand:
    - Nurse on demand when you're with your baby.
    - If baby doesn't demand some night-nursing, make sure you wake him to feed at least 1x overnight. More night-nursing = better daytime supply.
    - Make sure baby isn't being overfed during the day. If baby is overfed during the day, it will lead to reduced need for calories when you and baby are together, which in turn will result in less nursing and more and more reliance on pumping in order to maintain supply. A baby should get around 1.5 oz of milk per hour of separation from mom.
    - Pump frequently at work. As long as your workday pump sessions are yielding enough milk to fill the baby's bottles for the following day, supply and demand are matching well.
    - If your workday pump sessions aren't yielding enough, make sure your pump is functioning properly and that your shields are properly sized. If optimizing those variables doesn't get you more milk, increase your number of workday pump sessions (if possible), or add pump sessions after nursing when you and your baby are together.


    Also he eats about every 30 minutes and he loves to use my breast as a pacifier, which I am 100% OK with, but I'm worried about going back to work because he is very partial to me and gets upset when held by anyone else. I'm assuming this is due ]to the breastfeeding as well.
    Not due to breastfeeding. Due to the condition of being a baby. Bottlefed babies often exhibit the same strong preference for their mommies as breastfed ones do.

    How do I get him used to his Daddy and help him to know that Daddy will be able to take care of him too?
    Give Daddy more chances. It's really hard for a nursing mom not to swoop in and take charge of baby the moment he fusses or cries, but that can undermine your faith in Daddy's ability to soothe the baby and also Daddy's ability to be able to soothe the baby. Start by taking a short walk right after nursing, without dad or baby, and give them a chance to figure things out.

    So far he will not take a real pacifier.
    Don't think of silicone pacifiers as "real". The breast- that's the REAL and the original pacifier! The things you buy in the store are just substitutes.

    Is there a certain pacifier that is specially made for breastfed babies?
    Probably, but just because someone says that paci X is made for breastfed babies doesn't mean that your baby will be into it. Buy a selection and see if there's any that your baby likes.

    We currently have Playtex Nurser bottles with the drop in liners, are those OK to use?
    Yes. Just make sure you're using a slow-flow (newborn) nipple. The playtex bottles have various sizes of nipples- size 1, size 2, etc. You'll probably never need the larger sizes, which are designed to allow formula-fed babies to eat faster, meaning that they require less holding. A breastfed baby can stick with the newborn size.

    I'm so scared he's going to decide the bottle is better than the breast. How do I prevent that from happening?
    Continue to feed on demand and to offer the breast as a pacifier. Nurse at night. Keep your supply equal to baby's needs. Make sure the baby is fed appropriate amounts in a breastfeeding-supportive way (small, frequent bottles, paced feedings, last feeding not too close to the time you arrive home).

    ETA: the PP beat me to it!
    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!"

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