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Thread: Leaving 8 week old EBF for a few hours. Advice?

  1. #1

    Default Leaving 8 week old EBF for a few hours. Advice?

    Hi ladies,

    I have an 8 week old EBF baby. My friend who I haven't seen in years is in town and asked me to meet in the city for a few hours. I'm itching to go, but I'm also apprehensive about leaving my son. I live about a half hour outside the city and would be gone from about 8:00 - 11pm/12am. I plan on nursing before and after I get home, as well as bringing my manual pump. Here are my concerns/questions:

    1. My LO eats on demand and I haven't figured out what of that is comfort nursing and what is out of hunger. The few times I've left him to go to the store I've had let downs after 2 hours, which is my body's way of signaling that he needs to eat. Is it safe to assume that he eats from hunger every 2 hours? I want to make sure I pump when he usually eats.

    2. I read that pumped BM is good at room temperature for 4-6 hours. Can I just store expressed bottles in my bag? Or do I have to bring an insulated lunch bag with freezer packs?

    3. I have about 50oz stored (had a bit of an oversupply issue and was pumping as a donor for another mom). I don't really know what to tell Hubby in regards to when LO should get a bottle...he knows his feeding cues (rooting, hands in mouth etc), so I guess when LO displays those cues. How much should I tell him to give? I don't want to thaw milk and waste it if it's too much and I have no idea how much my LO actually eats.

    4. I have experimented with a bottle to see if LO would take to it. He didn't seem to have an issue, so that's good, but I gave it to him. Would it be different if hubby gave him one? Could he develope nipple confusion from getting a bottle or two?

    5. What's the scoop on drinking and breastfeeding? Loaded question, I know. I plan on maybe having a glass of wine or 2. I can always pump to maintain my supply and dump () the milk if it's not advised.

    I definitly want to go tomorrow. I desperately need a few hours out with adult interaction as I have a newly 2 year old and I haven't showered in 2 days, let alone worn makeup in 8 weeks (don't judge me!). BUT my breastfeeding relationship is more important to me, so I'm trying to judge this decision based on the advice I recieve...please be nice!! Thank you!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    24,794

    Default Re: Leaving 8 week old EBF for a few hours. Advice?

    Welcome to the forum!
    1. My LO eats on demand and I haven't figured out what of that is comfort nursing and what is out of hunger. The few times I've left him to go to the store I've had let downs after 2 hours, which is my body's way of signaling that he needs to eat. Is it safe to assume that he eats from hunger every 2 hours? I want to make sure I pump when he usually eats.
    This is probably a safe assumption, because the average 8 week-old baby who is nursing well probably wants to eat every 1-3 hours. Some babies will eat more frequently, some babies less frequently.

    Aiming to pump every 2 hours is an excellent, conservative approach to maintaining supply during a day-long separation. However, if your baby is nursing well and gaining well, you might be able to pump more like every 3 hours. If your supply took a hit from this, your baby would likely nurse it back up to match his needs in just a day or two.
    2. I read that pumped BM is good at room temperature for 4-6 hours. Can I just store expressed bottles in my bag? Or do I have to bring an insulated lunch bag with freezer packs?
    Bring the insulated bag and the freezer packs. It's a lot hotter than room temperature in most of the northern hemisphere right now!

    3. I have about 50oz stored (had a bit of an oversupply issue and was pumping as a donor for another mom). I don't really know what to tell Hubby in regards to when LO should get a bottle...he knows his feeding cues (rooting, hands in mouth etc), so I guess when LO displays those cues. How much should I tell him to give? I don't want to thaw milk and waste it if it's too much and I have no idea how much my LO actually eats.
    Rule of thumb is for baby to get around 1.5 oz of expressed milk per hour of separation. That doesn't mean your husband needs to give a 1.5 oz bottle every hour- he could give baby a 3 oz bottle every 3 hours.

    I would have hubby give a bottle whenever baby shows increased fussiness and hunger cues, and when calming techniques like a pacifier or a walk do not help assuage the fussiness. Make sure you all Google "Paced feeding techniques" and watch the videos of this style of bottle-feeding on YouTube.

    4. I have experimented with a bottle to see if LO would take to it. He didn't seem to have an issue, so that's good, but I gave it to him. Would it be different if hubby gave him one? Could he develope nipple confusion from getting a bottle or two?
    There are no guarantees when it comes to nipple confusion. It would be quite rare for an 8 week-old baby who is a skilled nurser to develop a problem after 4-5 hours of bottles, but it is always possible.

    5. What's the scoop on drinking and breastfeeding? Loaded question, I know. I plan on maybe having a glass of wine or 2. I can always pump to maintain my supply and dump () the milk if it's not advised.
    The rule of thumb is that your milk is as tipsy as you are. If you feel buzzed, the generally recommended course of action is to delay nursing until you feel sober again. No need to dump the milk.

    I definitly want to go tomorrow. I desperately need a few hours out with adult interaction as I have a newly 2 year old and I haven't showered in 2 days, let alone worn makeup in 8 weeks (don't judge me!). BUT my breastfeeding relationship is more important to me, so I'm trying to judge this decision based on the advice I recieve...please be nice!! Thank you!!
    I think you should be fine to go. But you might want to consider a couple options that might be a little less stressful for you- like having your friend come out to visit you. It's only 1/2 an hour from the city, right? Or make the visit earlier in the day, so your husband can accompany you. He takes the kids for a few hours, brings the baby to you to nurse when fussiness hits, and then takes the kids away again... Just a thought! Sometimes the out-of-the-box solutions are easier on mom than the standard "let's meet for dinner and drinks" thing.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    10,754

    Default Re: Leaving 8 week old EBF for a few hours. Advice?

    Are you saying you will be separated from baby starting at 8am or 8 pm? If it is only going to be 4 hours total, that is very different and far less of a concern than 16. Overall, I agree with mommal. But another option is that you can simply bring your baby with you.

    also husband can cup feed baby instead of bottles if that concerns you. See Jack Newman cup feeding video for info.

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