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Thread: logistics of going back to work and BF

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    929

    Question logistics of going back to work and BF

    My DS will be 4 mo old when I return to work. I will be away from him 8 hrs/dy 4 dys/wk. I will only be able to pump once while at work (and even then will be difficult some days). I probably will only nurse 4-5x a day (1x before work, as soon as I get home, 2-3x before bed and with one pumping session while at work). I plan on nursing exclusively the three dys/wk I don't work. My question is, will my milk supply be compromised? What if I can't pump enough to have for him while I'm gone? And, should I be building a freezer stash?

    In general, how do some of you manage continuing to BF while going back to work?

    Jennifer
    Amazed and Proud mom of Luke (Lucas) - 4/5/2006; 9 lbs 12 oz , 22in
    Wife to best friend Carl - 11/4/2001

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    153

    Default Re: logistics of going back to work and BF

    I don't know when you are returning to work, but start pumping and building a supply NOW. It will save time and worry during the adjustment period. Also, if you haven't gotten acquainted with your pump you need to do that now. Pumping effectively takes practice, and you also need to make sure your pump will work properly. Since you will be working nearly full time, I would HIGHLY suggest that you have a battery/electric operated double pump. Anything else will not keep up your supply. Also, during the times when you are not working and are at home, continue to pump ( optimal times to pump would be in the morning after baby's first feeding ) so you can always keep a stash in your freezer.

    Pumping once during an 8 hour shift is likely to cause you problems. I would really try to make it a priority to pump twice if not more. Explain to your boss why you need to do this and how important it is. Also point out that bf'ing moms spend LESS time away from work because their children are healthier. If they still give you a hassle, point out that everyone else takes coffee breaks, smoke breaks, whatever breaks all the time- and that you aren't just poking around like them doing nothing. This is for your CHILD.
    Good luck!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    222

    Default Re: logistics of going back to work and BF

    My DD was 5 months when I went back to work 3 days a week. I was able to get a good freezer stash ahead of time, which helped me feel a little better and not worry so much when I couldn't get enough pumped. I was able to pump while away, so that helped. If you really can't find time to pump at work, can you nurse the baby and then pump once before leaving? Most people produce more in the a.m. anyway. Or could you nurse in the car on your way to/from work (assuming you drive, that is)? That way you'll have the shortest possible time between feedings so you won't be horribly uncomfortable. If you pump soon before coming home, you'll still be able to nurse the baby, he'll just have to be a little more patient in getting the milk since you won't have as much stored up for him.

    If he's anything like my daughter, he might not eat much while you're away anyway and just tank up when you get home. After he starts eating some solids, you could let him fill up on them a bit more while you're gone and just nurse more when you're home. After I started back full time, it seemed like I pumped less and less as the week wore on and then baby nursing all weekend helped bring my supply back up for the next week.

    Hope this helps. Good luck with everything! It's tough to be away from the baby, but if you have childcare that you like it gets easier.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    222

    Default Re: logistics of going back to work and BF

    Also, start getting your baby use to the bottle. Your daycare provider will appreciate this. Try having your partner feed the baby the bottle only, to reduce baby confusion. I agee with the earlier post, try to pump more at work. I pump every 2 1/2 hours 3x a day. You may have to form an argument about everyone else's breaks, and maybe suggest staying an 1/2 hour later. I find that the whole process from pumping time to cleaning time takes a litte under 1/2 hour. So you are talking 1 1/2 hour a day.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    222

    Default Re: logistics of going back to work and BF

    Quote Originally Posted by Lilly's Mom
    Or could you nurse in the car on your way to/from work (assuming you drive, that is)?
    Obvioulsy I meant to say "pump in the car!"

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    323

    Default Re: logistics of going back to work and BF

    You should definately try to pump more than once a day while at work. even if it means relinquishing one of your breaks.
    building up a good freezer stash now is a great idea.
    I recommend letting your baby nurse as much he wants when you are at home. dont try to make him stick to a nursing schedule, he will likely want to 'tank-up' when you get home.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    38

    Default Re: logistics of going back to work and BF

    I would suggest that you pump more than once while you're at work, if possible. If you don't, your breats might become VERY sore and painful. And yes, I would start building a freezer stash ASAP. I can't pump as much at work as DS eats during the day, so I pump at night and on the weekends, too. Good luck!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    1,198

    Default Re: logistics of going back to work and BF

    Totally agree with the idea of building your freezer supply as soon as you can. Find a time that you have a good milk supply (first thing in the AM, before your first nursing; 45 minutes after you put baby down to bed for their longest stretch of sleep; whenver works for you). You'll be very glad you have whatever you can stash because there will be the odd day when, for stress reasons or whatever, you don't quite pump as much as you hoped you would! Everyone thought I was crazy that I had 200+ bags in the freezer when I returned to work. Well, at 14.5 months, we're down to less than 20 of those left and I'm glad we had them. It's kind of peace of mind. And yes; if you can pump at least 2 times per day, you'll feel alot better and your supply will stay more level!
    Come back and ask questions as you get further along into this. Lots of us here have experience with this juggling.....Good luck!!
    Jsmom (about to pump right now!)

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