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Thread: Going back to work soon

  1. #1

    Default Going back to work soon

    I'm going back to work soon and had a few questions:

    Currently, I'm breastfeeding my newborn on average about 7-8 times a day (12am, 3am, 6-7ish am, 9-10am, 12pm, 2-3pm, 5pm, 7-8pm). Since I work a retail job where I have to work a 10 hour shift, I would only be able to breastfeed him 4 times when I'm back from work (12am, 3am, 6am, 8pm).

    My questions are:
    (1) Does the feeding schedule below sound feasible? I'm not sure how much I should tell my caregiver to give since I've been directly breastfeeding my baby during my maternity leave. During my last 2 month pediatrician visit, my child was 11.5 lbs (gaining weight appropriately).
    12am (breast),
    3:30am (breast),
    6:45am (breast),
    9:30am (4oz formula),
    12pm (3.5oz breastmilk bottle),
    2:30pm (3.5oz breast milk bottle),
    5:30pm (4oz formula) and
    8pm (breast)

    (2) Also, since I'm working a retail job I'll realistically only be able to pump once or twice during my 10 hour shift. I'm thinking pump at 8:30am (before my 9am shift), then 11:30am and hopefully a second time at 3pm depending on how busy the day is. I haven't created a huge freezer supply of breastmilk yet (I currently only have about 25 oz in the fridge). Initially, I was hoping to try and continue to create more of a freezer stash in the coming two weeks before I go back to work but upon speaking to one of my other breastfeeding coworker she told me that I should start decrease my supply now or else I'll be in lots of pain when I go back to work and possibly get an infection. So I'm confused as to whether I should continue to do an extra pump session to build up extra breast milk freezer stash or I should start giving formula now so I won't be crazy engorge (possibly risk mastitis) when I go back to work.

    Forgot to mention my child has taken formula in the past, so he's find with formula and can take to any bottles/nipple so I'm not concern about making sure he'll take breastmilk and/or formula from a bottle.

    Any input would be appreciated or if you can refer me to a place where I can have my concern address.

    Thank you so much!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    24,880

    Default Re: Going back to work soon

    Welcome to the forum!

    Does your baby's caregiver expect your baby to be on a "schedule"? If so, now would be a great time to talk to her (or him) about using a routine rather than a schedule. Routines are flexible, so they free the baby's caregiver to do things like feed the baby sooner if he seems hungry, or to put the bottle aside sooner if he seems uninterested in it.

    Your proposed "schedule" does sound reasonable, and may work well for your baby. However, for many breastfed babies, it's better to go with smaller, more frequent bottles. So instead of 3.5-4 oz bottles- which are quite large, when you consider that most breastfed babies take just 2-4 oz per feeding- you might want to offer smaller bottles and have the caregiver deliver them a little more frequently. Your also want to offer a mix of bottle sizes, perhaps some 2-3 oz "feeding" bottles and some 1-2 oz "top-off" bottles. Sending a mix of smaller and larger bottles can reduce milk waste and overfeeding, as it forces the caregiver to pause the feeding in order to reach for a top-up bottle. By the time the top-up is out of the fridge, baby may have decided he's no longer hungry.

    Your co-worker's advice about reducing your supply before you return to work seems over-conservative. On the one hand, it's true that your pumping opportunities seem rather limited considering the length of your work day. And not being able to pump often enough does increase your risk of becoming uncomfortably full, which can increase your risk of unpleasant things like plugged ducts and mastitis. But there is no guarantee that these things will be a problem for you. Your baby is already going 2-3 hours between feedings, so it's quite possible that you could go 3.5-4 hours without experiencing a problem. If you're really worried about becoming uncomfortable at work, you might want to think about your ability to take a quick bathroom break, during which you could express extra milk into the sink or even into a towel while you sit on a toilet. Since it's "just" a bathroom break, no-one would need to know that you multi tasked. You might also want to leave baby with dad or a sitter for a few hours, just to see what happens if you go 3.5-4 hours without pumping. If you are so uncomfortable that you feel like you can't function, then maybe your co-worker's advice is reasonable. But if you're okay, no need to decrease your supply. Right?

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