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Back at work & expressing help

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#1 Impatientmummy

Posted 09 January 2013 - 09:38 PM

I've been back at work since DD was 5 weeks but back then it was only for 2 days a week 4hrs one day, 5hrs the next, since Christmas I have been working 6 days 7hrs at the most in one split shift home to express/feed then back for another 5hrs at the most. I had some milk in the freezer stocked but now I'm looking in there & there is only 3 feeds left =( I'm expressing when I get up, before I leave if more than an hour since expressed or fed which isn't often, when I come home for a break & then when I get home/put bub to bed. Is there any way I can get more? I cant express while at work, I'm self employed & am there most my shift on my own, when someone is there I cant be taken out for half hour to express as it's busy time. I really dont want to give DD formula, I have nothing against it there's a tin in the cupboard in case & my DS was formula fed but after a bit of a rough start for me I really dont want to give her formula =( she is 17 weeks so I want to go a hell of a lot longer! If there's not much more to do than what I'm doing how do I get passed feeling like I've failed her, she loves her booby (although she takes a bottle fine from hubby & babysitters) & I love being able to feed her.
Also how to I get mum to understand to feed her more? Mum & I don't have the best relationship & it's been a huge deal to have her here looking after my baby & my 3yr old but we have no choice, but she doesn't feed her enough. DD will usually go down between 8-9pm wake around 2am then again about 5am then she gets up between 7-9am but when mum babysits DD is up every hour or two to feed & she isn't going through as much as when hubby has her & she sleeps good still the nights hubby has her. I've tried telling her shes demand feed which means feed her when she wants it but it hasn't got through =( Ive also caught her using boiling hot water to heat her milk!!!! Any advice on delicately telling a grandparent who thinks they know everything is very welcomed!
Sorry for the rambling long post, once I started I couldn't stop & tired isn't my friend!

#2 deejie

Posted 10 January 2013 - 07:59 PM

Hi ImpatientMummy,

Your post made perfect sense, despite the tired! From what I can see, there are a few issues:

- Expressing. Is it absolutely never an option at work? Even a 2-3 quick 5 minute sessions over the course of the day can yield enormous amounts. You don't have to do a full half hour session each time
- Is expressing at night an option? Not a popular suggestion of course, but I found when expressing for DS1 when he was in care that I by far yielded the most milk at night. The hormonal changes mean that we make a lot of milk overnight. After I got up to feed him, I would do a 15 minute maximum expressing session. I didn't get a lot to start with, but a few days in when my supply adjusted up I would often get 150-200mL.
- What sort of pump are you using? If you have a double, hospital grade electric pump you will be able to maximise your expressed milk volume in as minimal time as possible. You can rent them from chemists/ABA groups if you would like to give one a try.

- The grandmother. From my own experience and observations, I think a lot of the differences we have with our parents are generational differences in how we raise our children. Demand feeding is a foreign concept to both my Mum and MIL. They are both of the old "Don't feed under the four hour" school of thought. I never really found any way to change their perspective, but I found as my children got older and settled in to a somewhat more predictable feeding pattern it helped matters. Do you think your Mum understands her hunger signs, or is she maybe confusing them with something else?
I know with DS1 when he was in child care, he never took as much EBM as he would from a direct breastfeed (not a bottle fan!) and he would often sneak in extra feeds overnight to make up for it. It was exhausting, I can sympathise.

If there's not much more to do than what I'm doing how do I get passed feeling like I've failed her, she loves her booby (although she takes a bottle fine from hubby & babysitters) & I love being able to feed her.

These are all very natural feelings, but I would like to say by no means have you failed your daughter.

It seems to be a common misconception that breastfeeding is all or nothing. There are many women who mix feed. Any amount of breastmilk in your baby's diet is good for her and you still get to enjoy those lovely milky cuddles together. Your breasts are very clever things, they can adjust your supply up and down, changing day to day and week to week depending on what your baby needs.

Working long hours and breastfeeding a young baby is incredibly tough and you need to balance your own physical and emotional health in to the mix as well. Good on you for keeping breastfeeding.

I hope the tired improves soon! original.gif

#3 whale-woman

Posted 10 January 2013 - 08:18 PM

I BF whilst working FT from 4-6 monts.

I found expressing overnight a useful tool. Also dream feed to get more into bub when you're there. Can your Mum bring bub in to you at work for a feed?. Again a double electric pump with hands free milking bra is a godsend. I also used to carry a small manual pump in my handbag and if I had 5 minutes I'd do some pumping.

Seriously be kind to yourself. It is not a failure to top bub up with formula.

My MIL too was always on about my overfeeding bub/feeding too often. (she used to go on about bub getting fat!  WTF) She used to take bub out for walks and just not bring her back for hours past when she would usually feed. I have no solution for dealing with it. My relationship with my MIL has been permanently damaged. You are not alone with these issues.

ETA  In retrospect it might have been better for me to be less dedicated to pumping as it's just such hard work. With this bub (due in a month) I 'm not going to go to such lengths as I want to balance the whole families well being rather than getting so caught up with making BFing work. That's just me, but I wanted to add the thought as something to consider.

Edited by whale-woman, 10 January 2013 - 08:46 PM.

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