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Thread: Lots of questions about pumping and going back to work

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Posts
    28

    Question Lots of questions about pumping and going back to work

    Hi, I have a 6 week old son who I ebf. I just got a call for a job interview; part-time and 3rd shift. My baby is a very frequent nurser and loves to comfort suck, which has me very worried about leaving him to go to work. The good thing is he tends to be more all about the business at night time (when I would be at work.)
    First of all, how does my boyfriend manage him if he just wants the breast and nothing else? We try everything...swing, skin to skin, rocking chair, singing to him, pacifier; but most of the times when he is fussy he will just cry and cry until I put him to the breast. I know a lot of it is more for comfort...because he tends to flutter suck a lot and doesn't do a lot of actual nursing. Dont get me wrong, he is a very good nurser and empties both breasts at a time.
    The good thing is he usually goes to sleep for the longest stretch by 8:30-9. So I will be with him before that (he usually nurses himself to sleep). Then he sleeps until 12:30-1. Then is usually up 2 more times during the night. So it wont be too bad for my boyfriend if I get this job. I feel like it would be much more of a shocker to my baby if it was a 1st or 2nd shift job.

    Now as far as pumping goes....I really don't do it because I have been nursing full time, and I consider it to be just a pain. I feel like my supply matches baby's demands perfectly. It is very hard to get a pumping session in with him because of how frequently he nurses. If I do manage to pump (like I did today for 10 mins) then he is usually demanding to nurse very shortly after and I feel emptied already. He tends to be much more fussy when I try to feed him after I pump because it is not flowing out as fast and as much as he would like.
    How do I build up a supply in this case? Like today I pumped 25 mL right after I nursed him. But I don't want to freeze such little portions...I will run out of bags/bottles.
    -Can I keep a bottle of my pumped milk in the refrigerator all day and keep adding to it before freezing it?
    -Is it ok to add freshly pumped milk to milk that has been in the fridge?
    -How many times a day should I be pumping to prepare for a night of work? I do not want to pump so much that I lead to any issues with oversupply.
    -If my baby is 6 weeks old how much does he need per feeding? We have given him bottles before of expressed milk when I went to get my hair done. He had like 4 or 5 oz and this was at 4 weeks!! But I feel like he will just continue to eat and eat because he wants it for comfort as well.
    -What does my boyfriend do if he feeds him a very substantial amount and baby still is looking to comfort nurse? My baby really isn't into the paci at all. There are very rare occasions when he will take it for a little while.
    Thanks!!!
    I feel so overwhelmed with the thought of going back to work and maintaining breastfeeding. I feel like I will miss being with him 24/7. I LOVE the bonding we have.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Cleveland, OH
    Posts
    486

    Default Re: Lots of questions about pumping and going back to work

    -Yes, you can keep adding to one bottle of pumped milk all day before you freeze, just freeze withing 24 hours.

    -Yes, you can add freshly pumped milk into cooled milk, you can pump directly into a bottle of cool milk if you want.

    -How often you have to pump now, to get the first work day's milk, depends on your supply. I would try to pump after a feeding a couple of times a day, but not every time. Mornings are going to yield your highest output.

    -Rule of thumb is 1.5 ounces per hour of separation (sorry, don't know in mL). I know there is information on this website about how to bottle feed a BF'ed baby, if you look around. 4oz per bottle at 6 weeks sounds too big to me. I would keep it at 3 oz or less.

    -Your BF will have to find his own way of comforting. As long he responds to your son's needs and attempts to comfort they will eventually get used to each other and find their own relationship. Babies can adapt when mom isn't around and available to comfort nurse. If I knew my mom was around and she had something I wanted, I wouldn't be happy settling for something inferior (paci), but if she wasn't there then it would be different.
    My little man was born 12/17/2010.

    Baby girl was born 4/30/2014.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    2,207

    Default Re: Lots of questions about pumping and going back to work

    Hi mama,
    Here are some links to add to the information from the PP:

    http://kellymom.com/bf/pumpingmoms/e...reastfed-baby/
    (see the multiple links contained within this article, too - including how much milk and bottle-feeding the breastfed baby)
    http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...astfedbaby.pdf

    How long is your first shift going to be? You just need enough for that first day back, then each day you pump for the next. So if you're going to be apart for 10 hours, shoot for 15 oz in the fridge (though the range is somewhere between 1 to 1.5 ounces per hour apart, so don't worry if baby drinks less than 1.5 oz/hour). (1 oz is 28 ml). I'm not sure how long it is until your job starts, you're right that you don't want to go crazy pumping as that may result in oversupply - normally pumping once a day keeps things in check, but if you're going back to work soon, you might have to pump more than that.

    Remember that a typical meal at the breast is 2 or 3 oz, maybe 4 at the most. So you might want to start with at most a 3 oz bottle, with 1 oz "toppers" available as needed, an encourage your boyfriend to figure out ways to soothe baby that don't involve feeding him into a coma.

    It sounds like you are doing GREAT, just want to say it is perfectly possible to work and maintain the breastfeeding relationship you have established with your baby. It's hard to think about going back to work and takes work to figure out the pumping schedule and the bottles and all that, but so worth it! Good luck!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Posts
    28

    Default Re: Lots of questions about pumping and going back to work

    Thank you both for the info you provided. I have the interview this upcoming Tuesday...so depending on if I get the job or not, I may not have that long to pump. Between yesterday and this morning I managed to pump a little less than 2 oz. I am just going to keep it at twice a day for now.
    Thanks for the links too. They are very helpful.
    It is just so scary to think of going back to work. I have become so used to being with baby 24/7 that I can't imagine how it will be without me around.. Obviously he can't stay attached to me forever...but it is definitely going to be a process to get him used to being with other people and finding comfort from other sources besides his boobies =]
    Do you know I went to a LC and she did a pre and post weight with a feeding and said he took about 3 oz. She really suggested to me that that was not good enough and recommended that I pump a lot as well as feeding him around the clock. Then I came on here and found out that 3 oz is completely normal. This website is very valuable. Thanks again for the input.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    2,207

    Default Re: Lots of questions about pumping and going back to work

    Glad it was helpful!

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