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Thread: Going back to work part time...how to organize nursing

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
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    Columbus, OH
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    145

    Default Going back to work part time...how to organize nursing

    Hi all-
    I'm heading back to work in the new year & I'm nervous about how to weave nursing into that schedule.

    I'm a psychologist & I'm lucky enough to work from home and to set my own schedule. I see clients in one hour blocks & I see about 3-4 clients a day. In Jan I'm planning on only seeing 2 clients a day, one in the morning (usually around 10am) and one in the later afternoon (usually around 4 or 5).

    I'm hoping to organize nursing so that I don't have to pump. My husband or mom will be watching baby while I'm with a client, so she'll be in the house out of ear shot.

    Thus far we've been feeding on cue & there's no real rhyme or reason to the schedule, except that she usually does cluster feed in the late afternoon to bedtime.

    Most of the "going back to work" advice is for a different kind of work situation. I'm not quite sure how this will look for us on January and beyond...and it's a little more complicated because, of course, it's a moving target.

    I need to start scheduling clients ASAP, but I'm not sure how best to do that, particularly when I'm seeing two clients in the afternoon.

    Has anybody had a similar situation that they can share some advice? Or does anybody know of resources for helping me anticipate how this might go?
    How do I convince baby to nurse for the hour right before a client comes or between clients?
    Do I leave husband or mom with a pumped bottle just in case?
    How do I not lose my mind juggling the necessary focus of my work with the demands of a nursing-whenever-she's-hungry infant?
    Next week she'll be 7 weeks old...how might things be a bit different by February at 11 weeks? (I know everybody's different...)

    As a side note: it's such an injustice that some people only get 6 weeks (or zero weeks if you're not on contract) of maternity leave. I can not even fathom having to go back to work full time right now. My heart really goes out to those moms. And if they can continue to EBF then they're super-heroes as far as I'm concerned.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    COUGARTOWN Baby! From here on in!
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    17,439

    Default Re: Going back to work part time...how to organize nursing

    I would wake up and pump a bottle 1st thing in the morning. Most women produce most 1st thing in the AM and if you get into a routine of doing it than it shouldn't take long. And a bottle of fresh milk can be left out, at room temperature for 6-8hours. So it would for sure cover any instances mid afternoon where you didn't sync up her nursing with your appointment.
    Last edited by @llli*djs.mom; January 1st, 2014 at 08:48 AM.

    Way too lazy for formula

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    465

    Default Re: Going back to work part time...how to organize nursing

    I think you just schedule your appointments as you need to, allowing a little time before and in between for nursing. I never had to do much "convincing" my baby to nurse -- every time I offered, he accepted. So you can just cluster feed her in the 1-2 hrs before those appointments, and then offer to nurse immediately after appointments.

    You could also try scheduling the appointments to happen during baby's naps. So you would nurse baby (maybe nursing baby all the way down to sleep) and then baby naps under the supervision of daddy or grandmom while you do your work.

    I do think it would be a good idea to pump a little bit. You could make it a daily thing as DJsmom suggests, so there's always a bottle available. Alternately, you could just do some intermittent pump sessions (number and frequency would depend on your output) and freeze some 2 oz "topper" portions. Then on a case by case basis, if the feeding schedule and nap thing doesn't work on a particular day, and baby is really hungry while with the caregiver, they can give baby a small "snack" as needed just to hold baby over for 1 hour until you are available to nurse again.
    Last edited by @llli*mercystreet; January 2nd, 2014 at 04:02 PM. Reason: typo

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Columbus, OH
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    145

    Default Re: Going back to work part time...how to organize nursing

    Good suggestions. I like the ideas of tanking her up before appointments but also having some insurance milk in the fridge/freezer in case she's hungry & I'm with someone because she's an unreliable sleeper after about 3pm & if she's not sleeping she's hungry.
    I'm confused about when to pump. I can get about .5 oz after feeding her or 3oz in place of breastfeeding. Should I just pump after 4 feedings for a two oz bottle (ugh. What a pain)? During the day she still eats every 2.5 hour or so, so I'm not sure when to pump a larger amt without stealing from her. There must be a great pumping strategy resource. Does anybody have a favorite link?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    465

    Default Re: Going back to work part time...how to organize nursing

    I can tell you what I used to do, during the time I was pumping just to freeze milk during a freezer stash. I used to pump in the mornings when I was fullest. I think this is true for a lot of moms (feeling fullest in the mornings) so it can be a good time to pump. (By contrast, I'm usually at my "lowest" supply at the evening, so the later in the day it got, the less productive the pumping would be). Some moms can pump directly following a nursing session if it's in the morning and still get a good pump output, because they are fuller at that time of day. Alternately, you can pump in between feedings. You have to experiment and see what works best for you in terms of convenience and output. I used to give baby a morning nurse, and then get him to take is morning nap (laying down or in his swing), then while napping I would pump. So in practical terms that would work out to be a 30-45 minute spacing between nursing and then pumping.

    Try not to think of it as "stealing" from baby. If you pump after nursing, or in between feedings, you're not "taking" her milk. Your breasts always have milk. Possibly a slightly smaller meal than there would be otherwise, but still a meal. So if baby's first meal after you pump is just a "snack," then she will just get hungry and eat her next meal sooner. If you decide to do it as a daily routine, this will stimulate your supply up to meet that level of demand after a few days. They know how to regulate you to get their nutritional needs met, so as long as you are feeding on demand it will be fine. (Probably the only scenario to avoid would be if baby hadn't eaten for two hours and was due to be hungry soon, that's not the time to pump! since baby could get pretty frustrated, and it would make for a fussy hour for you and baby!)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    NY
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    583

    Default Re: Going back to work part time...how to organize nursing

    The amount you are able to pump while EBF is also going to vary a bit from mom to mom. In my case, I was never really able to pump much more than about 0.5 oz over what baby ate at any time while I was on my maternity leave. And this is normal, too!

    So, especially in your circumstances, where you're only looking for a "just in case" small bottle to have on hand, I would not worry about pumping at a specific time, and I would likely just pump immediately after a feeding, or whenever is convenient.
    Apologies for the short responses! I'm usually responding one-handed on my smartphone!

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