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Thread: How soon did you go back to work?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Minnesota
    Posts
    240

    Default How soon did you go back to work?

    My DD is 2 1/2 weeks old. For financial reasons and because my work is really short staffed I am feeling kind of obligated to go back to work at 6 weeks, although I know I qualify for 12 under FMLA I only get paid for 6. I have 2 weeks of vacation/sick time saved that I could use, but I feel like I should save some of that for sick days after I return. I would like to stay home 10-11 weeks but I just don't know if that is realistic (I used 3 FMLA days before she was born due to bedrest). I am just curious to know other women's experiences. I know there can be a 6 week growth spurt. Also breastfeeding hasn't been as easy as I anticipated (still dealing with some nipple pain) and I keep hearing it gets easier after 6-8 weeks. I am also concerned about introducing a bottle too soon. Thoughts anyone?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    56

    Default Re: How soon did you go back to work?

    I would take as much time as you can. Work runs our lives enough as is, so don't let it determine you spending this precious time with your baby. Things do start to get better around two months. If you can afford to take all of your FMLA, take it and then save your vacation/sick time. Also, I see you are a nurse, so finding time to pump might be difficult, so you will want your breastfeeding relationship and milk supply to be well established before returning to work.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Minnesota
    Posts
    240

    Default Re: How soon did you go back to work?

    The trouble is I don't get paid for that FMLA time, just for 6 weeks of disability and however much sick leave I want to use. My clinic is really good about letting moms pump - there will be 4-5 of us doing it any given day once I go back.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    5,602

    Default Re: How soon did you go back to work?

    This is going to be such an individual thing it's hard to advise. I always suggest that moms take as much time as they possibly can before they go back to work because it is so important to have breast-feeding off to the best start it possibly can get because when ever pumping and bottles are introduced instead of exclusively nursing it can cause issues.
    So it really just depends on if you have any other options or not. If you do not have the option to take more time off from work maybe you have the option to go back at first more on a part-time basis. Or more staggered shifts or something. If that is not an option than your best bet is to get as educated as you possibly can about how to keep milk production in good shape and make sure your caregivers know how feed baby a bottle in the breast-feeding supportive way. I would also suggest since you are having breast-feeding issues including nipple pain. that you see a board-certified lactation consultant for a one-on-one appointment. yes breast-feeding just like new motherhood in general does seem to tend to feel more manageable somewhere around the two month mark. However pain when nursing is a red flag that something is truly wrong and it would be best if you address any possible issues prior to returning to work.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    2,214

    Default Re: How soon did you go back to work?

    As LLLMeg says this is going to vary so much from mom to mom. If you are looking for encouragement that it is possible to go back to six weeks and continue to exclusively breast feed (with pumping at work), then yes, it is - I've done it twice. That said, I'm really glad I had longer with my first one (3.5 months). And even with the third one, it was HARD going back to work at six weeks even though I was an experienced mom and experienced with breastfeeding. Hard because taking care of a newborn is a 24/7 job in and of itself, hard because I was tired, hard because I really didn't want to be separated from my baby. So based on my personal experience, if you think you CAN swing a little more time off, do it! Is it possible to use your sick and vacation time now, and if something comes up or you want/need to take some days off until you reaccumulate more days, take unpaid time off? Or, take a hard look at your finances and see if you can swing the unpaid time now. I know it's hard to give up the income especially when you have a new baby and the new expenses that come with that, but it's worth at least taking a look at the possibilities. It's wonderful though that you have a supportive environment in terms of pumping! In most cases if breastfeeding is well established baby is able to go back and forth between bottle and breast by 6 weeks, especially if you continue to nurture the breastfeeding relationship when you are together - offer frequently, nurse on demand, nurse at night etc. I agree with LLLMeg though, you do want to make sure the breastfeeding relationship is very well established, so if there are any issues at all you want to address them early, with the help of an IBCLC if possible.

    Since Meg mentioned paced feeding techniques, I'll include a couple of links about that to have as a reference when you do get closer to go back to work:
    http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...astfedbaby.pdf
    http://kellymom.com/bf/pumpingmoms/f...ottle-feeding/

    And some other usual information about childcare and the breastfed baby:
    http://kellymom.com/bf/pumpingmoms/e...reastfed-baby/

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Minnesota
    Posts
    240

    Default Re: How soon did you go back to work?

    Thanks for your input. We did our taxes today and it looks like I can afford a little more time off after all

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    2,214

    Default Re: How soon did you go back to work?

    Oh, that's great, I think if you can extend your leave it is so worth doing!

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