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Thread: Comfort nursing

  1. #1

    Default Comfort nursing

    My son will be 4 weeks old when I return to work next week. For the past few days he has been fussier than usual and he nurses for comfort a lot. Tonight, i couldn't even calm him with that. My parents will be watching him when I start work and I am worried that they wont be able to comfort him. He wont take a pacifier. How did you transition back to work when your baby nursed for comfort frequently?
    My husband has really been frustrating me lately by telling me he doesn't believe I will be able to have enough bm for the baby by the time I go back to work. (I have currently only have 8 0z stocked up but am working on more) He sees that i only get at most 1 oz at a time when i pump and he says he doesnt think that is enough to build up a supply soon enough. I know that is common and keep telling him not to worry. He hasnt really been very supportive of bf in general so its especially frustrating. If I go by the 1-1.5 oz per hr rule then I should need 15oz for a 10hr seperation. My question is, if I have just enough saved up for the first day, then will I be able to get enough pumped on my first day at work to send for the next day? Im worried i wont get 16 oz in 1 day away from him to send for the next day. I didnt plan on going back this soon so I didnt start pumping early enough to build a good supply. I think I will send some formula just in case but I dont want them to have to use it.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: Comfort nursing

    Hi talon. I assume breastfeeding has been going ok and baby is gaining weight normally? If that is the case, your baby being fussy and nursing for comfort are entirely normal and indeed, healthy and necessary in the newbortn period. I know this was not your question, I just wanted to assure you on that point.

    What you produce each session when pumping now will likely increase when you are back at work. Now, you are pumping some 'extra' each day with baby taking all their nutrition at the breast. When you pump at work, that will be during a separation and your pump will essentially be taking the place of baby for that time as far as output is concerned. It may take a few days or a week or so to 'adjust,' but typically moms are able to pump more per session at work than when they are home nursing baby.

    If I go by the 1-1.5 oz per hr rule then I should need 15oz for a 10hr separation.
    Actually, if you go by the 1-1.5 rule, you will need somewhere between 10 and 15 ounces a day. In other words, ~10 at the low end and ~15 at the higher end. This 'rule' is based on normal total intake each day and assumes baby will also nurse frequently when you are home, including overnight. The more baby nurses when you are home, the less baby will need while you are at work (typically.)

    My question is, if I have just enough saved up for the first day, then will I be able to get enough pumped on my first day at work to send for the next day? Im worried i wont get 16 oz in 1 day away from him to send for the next day.
    This is a valid concern. Most moms do feel a bit more comfortable with more of a 'cushion' of expressed milk at their disposal when they start back at work. So no one can really answer this- It depends on so many factors. But you will have what you have, and any breastmilk your baby gets is important. So if a little formula is needed, it's absolutely ok. You could look into donated breastmilk if you are not comfortable about baby getting formula.

    You are working so hard to do your best for your baby. The return to work tends to be a stressful time, so I do encourage you to enjoy this last week at home wiht your baby as much as possible.

    I didnt plan on going back this soon so I didnt start pumping early enough to build a good supply.
    I think you are doing amazing. Even if a mom knew from day one she was returning to work at 4 weeks, it would be very hard to express a stash of milk. This is very early to be returning to work full time for such long days- at 4 weeks milk production is not typically entirely established. So my only other suggestion there would be that if there is ANY way to delay your return to work at all, or go back part time or at first, consider that option.

    Other tips that may or may not apply:

    If baby can be brought to you at work for a visit and to nurse, try that. One less pump session, one less bottle, and of course nice for mom and baby to connect during the day
    Make sure your pump is the very best you can afford and that it is in excellent working condition. If you could rent a hospital grade pump for teh next month or two, that might be something to consider.
    Try to ensure your pumping place at work is one that is going to give you what your need (privacy, cleanliness, an outlet, etc.)
    Try to ensure you will be able to pump frequently when at work. It is possible you may want to pump slightly more often than a mother returning to work at 2 to 3 months or later.

    Here are some ideas for your parents on feeding and comforting- bottle feeding breastfed baby and milk handling- http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...fyour_milk.pdf fussy baby ideas- http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...ybabyideas.pdf and http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...t_partners.pdf and grandchild is breastfed? http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...sbreastfed.pdf

    As far as your husband goes, assure him you would never let baby do without, but you are doing all you possibly can (and then some!) New motherhood alone is enough work to be a full time job for about three dedicated people, and here you are preparing to return to your job at a time many moms would still be on the couch in pjs and dirty hair. You need and deserve his support and help.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2013

    Default Re: Comfort nursing

    I think the scariest part about returning to work, for me, was not knowing how I was going to respond to the pump when separated from my baby. I was so, so petrified that I would never pump enough. I never was able to pump 15-16 oz a day, but thankfully, baby never needed that much while I was gone.

    It is very possible that your baby will not need 15 oz over the 10 hour separation. I was also most comfortable leaving 15 oz on my first day back to work, just in case. But I also made sure that my care provider really understood paced bottle feedings, and I left all of the bottles in 2 oz increments. In our case, my baby never did drink at the pace of 1.5 oz/hour, which was excellent for us, because I couldn't SUPPLY 1.5 oz/hour.

    I would definitely ask for your partner's help to get some extra pumping sessions in there while you are still at home. That is the best way he can support you through this. Any amount you pump is good enough at this point. I never pumped more than 0.5 oz a day over what baby took while I was on my maternity leave. So if you manage to pump enough, great! If you fall a little short, that's ALSO great that you will have at minimum provided over 50% of what your baby will need while you are gone. Hang in there, mama.
    Apologies for the short responses! I'm usually responding one-handed on my smartphone!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    I live in Jonesville, NC

    Default Re: Comfort nursing

    My son got really fussy around 4 weeks and it was because he went through a growth spurt around that time and would cluster feed around the clock, so that could be why your baby is fussy. With my 3rd child I had to go back to work really early so i worried about my milk and would I have enough saved up. One thing I did was baby would only eat on one side at night and then go back to sleep so while my baby was eating on one side I pumped at the same time on the other and I put that toward my stash. I had a really good stash by the time I went back. I went back to work with that child at 5 weeks. It was hard to do those pumping sessions at one or two o'clock in the morning, but I figured since I was up anyway I might as well build my stash. I had my 4th child in August and I delayed returning to work with this baby. I just went back. With this baby I go feed him at lunch and it cuts down on the amount of milk I have to send the nextday. Would that be an option for you? I wish you luck and hope it works well for you.

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