I am a first time mom, and I am scheduled to go back to work in about a month, and am trying to be as prepared as I can be (are we ever?). My daughter will be three months old when I go back to work. My schedule will be odd.....working 20 hours ( Monday 6 PM-10 PM, Tuesdays 9:30-6 PM; Fridays 1-9:30 PM). I think I am overthinking things, but thought maybe someone would have some insight into my questions.
Currently, I pump once after a morning feeding (mostly to keep supply up and also to empty the breasts a little so I can run a bit on the treadmill to get back into shape!). Even after she eats to her content, I am still able to get 2-3 ounces in the morning, and that's only pumping about 5 minutes. I suspect my left breast is an overproducer. My daughter will usually only take one breast per feeding. And even when she takes the left breast in the morning, I can still get a couple of ounces out of it. This morning I had my partner give the bottle on the feeding I usually pump after and just pumped a little longer. In 10 minutes, I was able to get 6 ounces.
One question is, how much breast milk do babies usually need per feeding? Is it by weight or by # of feedings per day. We've just started to give her a bottle 1 per day and she seems happy with about three ounces. Another question is, since my daughter only takes 1 breast at a time when she breastfeeds, on the two days I work 8 hours, should I only pump one breast at a time at her approximate feeding times? My concern is if I empty both breasts at each pumping session that will confuse the breasts for the 5 days I am going to be breastfeeding exclusively. Also, as I already think one breast is overproducing, I don't want to empty it too many times a day. On the other hand, I don't want my supply to diminish either. Finally, a last question is, on the days that I won't be working, should I still bother with giving her a bottle 1 x per day, or can I just breastfeed exclusively, assuming that she's fine with taking a bottle. To be honest, we've only just started giving her a bottle and not every day. She seems fine with it, but to make sure I'll at least give her one bottle a day until I start back to work.
I realize this post is long and the questions are many. Thank you if you've read this far. And, I thank you in advance for any advice/suggestions. I really didn't think I'd like breastfeeding. And, it was tough at first. But, I've really grown to like/love it and would be very upset if going back to work somehow messes it up. I want to go for at least a year if I can.
Take Care all!