Hi all. I am going back to work this coming Friday for 20 hours per week. My daughter will be 12 weeks old. Typically, she eats one breast at a time, about every three hours during the day (give or take). And, one middle of the night feeding (sometimes two, but usually not). After her 8 or 9 am feeding, I also pump both breasts for 10 minutes just to keep up supply and empty out every morning.
My work schedule is going to be wacky and not daily. So, I worry about pumping both breasts at a time on the days I work, as she normally does not empty both breasts at every feeding. I'm going to try to set up as much of a feeding schedule as I can for her...to help her along (and me).....but here it is.
Feedings all days (give or take a few minutes)
8 or 8:30
11 or 11:30
2:00 or 2:30
5:00 or 5:30
8:00 or 8:30
(and overnight as needed for wakeups)
Monday evening-work 6 PM-10 PM. She'll be given one bottle between 8-9 and I'll pump hopefully around then. Hopefully this would be her last feeding before "bedtime" (although she has not really taken to the idea of a bedtime yet).
Tuesdays work 9:30-6:00- First feeding would be breast, then the next three bottles during the day (and I would pump three times at work), and then finally the "last" feeding would be breast at about 8 PM to 9 PM. I considered holding her to two bottles and making her really hungry for when I get home at 6:30. But I feel it's better to be consistant and that might throw off the schedule--any thoughts on that?
Wednesdays I have off
Thursdays I have off
Fridays I work 1 PM-9:30 PM--first two feedings would be breast. The last three feedings would be bottles and I would pump three times at work.
So, as you see, the schedule is goofy but I'm trying to make it "work" for us. Given that schedule and it's inconsistency, I think it makes more sense to pump only one breast at a time if that's what she's mainly eating on the days I have off. Since I get extra milk in the mornings every day, I should always have enough "Fresh" milk. I don't mind pumping both breasts eat time (I'll be pumping anyway). But I worry that it will confuse my body on Tuesdays and Fridays to empty both breasts three times when my daughter usually doesn't.
I'm also still debating on if I should always try to feed her as soon as I get home, even though it's late or it's not exactly when she "normally" eats. Or, just let the bottles be ok and let her stay sleeping (if she is sleeping)..and on the "schedule".
As you can see...I'm starting to freak out about going back to work...even though it's only part time. It just occurred to me that the weird hours are going to make it very hard. (The weird hours were my idea so we could avoid formal day care.....and we are).
Not sure if it matters but I have a Medela Pump in Style.