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Thread: Returning to work

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2010

    Default Returning to work

    I am returning to work in about two weeks and my daughter will be 12 weeks old. I will be dropping her off at daycare at 6:45, hoping to feed her prior to dropping her off, then picking her up by 4:30. How much milk should I send with her and how many oz per feeding? I have relactated her starting at two weeks old and now give her 3 oz formula in the evening after I have bf if she is still hungry.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2010

    Default Re: Returning to work

    The rule of thumb is 1 - 1.5 oz. for every hour she's away from you. How often does she eat? Many ladies prefer (and some daycares require) that you leave pre-prepared bottles. Daycares sometimes have a habit of overfeeding breastfed babies, so it's not a bad idea to have pre-prepared bottles so they don't blow through your pumped milk too quickly. At 12 weeks, assuming she eats maybe every 2 1/2 to 3 hours during the day, I'd leave 3 oz. bottles, and would probably leave 4 for the day. Maybe an extra 2 oz. either in a bottle or frozen (will they thaw for you?)

    If you're already combo feeding with formula, you might be comfortable leaving a can just in case, but you want to be sure daycare knows that BF'd babies don't take large volume bottles like some FF babies do, so it really shouldn't be more than 3-4 oz. a feed at this age, and may be 2 oz. If she still seems to be fussy after finishing a bottle, they shouldn't assume it is hunger, but should try to soothe in other ways before offering more to eat.

    Is there a reason you think baby is still hungry after BF at night? I'm not sure I'd be supplementing with 3 oz., even if she is - maybe try 1-2 oz at most. Another option for supplementing is to give the formula first, then finish at the breast. Give maybe 1-2 oz. of formula, then let her finish at the breast. That way you know you're not overfeeding her, she'll pull off the breast when done. And you get the satisfaction of seeing her fall asleep milk drunk, which is emotionally very rewarding. You can gradually begin to reduce the amount of supplement and replace it with BM this way.
    First-time mom to Little Manatee (1/7/2010)

    Nursed for 3 1/2 years!

    My little boy is my everything.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2009

    Default Re: Returning to work


    I agree with the previous post that the ballpark is 1 ounce per hour, based on 24 hours a day-- so as long as you are letting your baby nurse on demand around the clock, then leaving 10 ounces would be fine.
    I also agree with the idea of leaving pre-portioned bottles such as 2 or 3 ounces per serving.

    I was giving my son 1 or 2 ounces of formula at bedtime at age 3 months but I cut it out altogether when I went back to work. With all those hours away, I figured he should do all his sucking on me when I was home, to keep my supply up. Even if the baby seems "still hungry" you can let him/her keep on nursing, keep switching sides. The more you nurse, the more your supply will rise to meet the need.

    Good luck!

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