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Help! Returning to work in a week's time

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#1 harrisonsmummy

Posted 12 January 2013 - 05:58 PM

Hi all,

I'm returning to work in a week's time and desperately wanted some advice.

I will be away from my 8 month old (6 months corrected - he was a preemie) for around 12 hours, 5 days a week.

He was exclusively bottle fed with ebm until around 4 months actual when he refused bottle and became exclusively breastfed - which is great because my milk supply was starting to drop when I was just pumping.

We tried to get him back on the bottle for ages in anticipation of me returning to work but refused it with tears! We tried everything - having someone else feed him, holding him in different positions, walking around, dark lighting, different bottles, different teats, ebm and formula... he refused everything... finally i have been trying with sippy cups, cups with a straw, open cup, spoon... he still hasnt got the hang of it and treats it like its a game or toy. We will keep trying but just worried cos hes not getting fluids in...

My worry is also because he hasnt really started on solids. We offer at every meal but sometimes he will take a teeny amount, sometimes he will gag it out and its clear hes not interested in actually swallowing the food!

I do nightfeeding with him still and wondered... if he is having breastmilk at 7pm, 10pm, 12am, 6am but not taking in milk during the day - will this be a problem? Any tips?

Im also worried because he has never been away from me or dad for that long. I will give it a trial run this Tuesday with my folks looking after him but worry because with his other grandoarents he gets extreme sep anxiety crying and crying until my husband and I pick him up - which is usually over an hour!

Any advice or tips would help - but cant do anything about cutting hours or days working.

#2 cinnabubble

Posted 12 January 2013 - 07:42 PM

Hi. Here are some links to the working and breastfeeding buddy group we had a few years back, which may help you -- we were called the Sisterhood of the Travelling Pump!


Here's part 2: http://www.essentialbaby.com.au/forums/ind...travelling+pump

Part 3: http://www.essentialbaby.com.au/forums/ind...travelling+pump

Part 4: http://www.essentialbaby.com.au/forums/ind...travelling+pump

Neither of my children would take a bottle. They were 6.5 and 8.5 months old when I returned to work. They just had to have solids and water in my absence and the breastfed a lot when I was around. This is called reverse cycling. The idea is that nobody stresses if a baby goes 12 hours without milk if they sleep all night, so why should they get stressy about it happening during the day (when the child has access to food and water)?

Obviously all babies are different, and I didn't have a premature baby so I have not practical experience in that area. I remember my older daughter had only started solids about three weeks before I went back to work and spent a lot of time having Farex that was basically liquid with breastmilk spooned into her.

Here are some other resources I have found: http://kellymom.com/category/bf/pumpingmoms/


This one is also good: http://www.nbci.ca/index.php?option=com_co...n&Itemid=17

I hope this helps. It really is fraught going back to work, but you and your baby are more resilient than you think you are. Good luck with it all.

Edited to fix links.

Edited by cinnabubble, 12 January 2013 - 07:48 PM.

#3 Corella

Posted 12 January 2013 - 08:11 PM

My D was 9 months when I went back to work and yes, what she said happened. We'd have a big reconnect feed when I collected her from Childcare and she'd feed a lot more overnight (bigger, not necessarily more often). It worked out for us but ole the OP said, my DD declined to use a bottle and didn't get the hang of a sippy cup straight away.

#4 deejie

Posted 12 January 2013 - 08:29 PM

My first child was in child care two days a week from 8am-5:20pm at 6 months old (although he was not premature). He was a chronic bottle refuser and was just fine for this period of time.

I gave him a top up BF when I dropped him off. I expressed and left EBM at child care. Although he wouldn't drink it from a bottle, the carers would
- mix it in with puree to make a super runny slop and spoon feed (he didn't take much to start with, but as he got more used to solids he had a fair bit of milk this way)
- spoon feed EBM directly
- give him sips from an open cup or free flow sippy cup
- syringe it in. I would provide oversized syringes from the chemist (50mL) and they would lie him back and syringe it in bit by bit. Sometimes he would suck on the syringe like a lollipop, but for the most part he was not impressed! However, especially in the days before he had a lot of solids, this was an excellent way of getting decent quantities of milk in to him.

He had a massive feed when I picked him up and snuck in extra breastfeeds overnight to make up for the lost quantity through the day. The extra breastfeeds overnight were tiring, but at least I knew he was getting what he needed within a 24 hour period. The extra breastfeeds overnight decreased as he got older and his natural intake through the day decreased as his solids increased.

I would make an appointment with the child care centre director and room leader in advance of your son starting and formulate a plan together to ensure his milk in take for the day is maximised. Child care workers are used to dealing with babies who refuse the bottle, but in my experience it was better to have everything planned out in advance.

Good luck original.gif

#5 bluecardigans

Posted 12 January 2013 - 08:42 PM

I returned to work when DS1 was 9 months old. I was working a rotating roster, so was even away over night. He weaned just after his second birthday, so it can definitely work. He refused to have a bottle, but drank water and was much more interested in solids when I (or my boobs) weren't around. Good luck original.gif

#6 lucky 2

Posted 12 January 2013 - 10:07 PM

Hi, there is a pinned topic in the Breast feeding forum about combining work and breast feeding, it has lots of member stories and some are like yours, the link is below.
The other link is about alternative methods of feeding a breast fed baby, it includes bottles and other methods, it may be of assistance to you.
All the best with your plans and I'm sure something will work and your baby will get fed/hydrated and thrive

#7 harrisonsmummy

Posted 13 January 2013 - 09:18 PM

Thank you all for the comments - I had tears in my eyes reading them. I feel I can really do this. It is so encouraging! Thank you for the attached links. I love the forums referred - especially reading what other mothers did. The reverse cycling sounds like it could work. I will let you all know how I go. Once again, thanks for all the advice!!

#8 apple80

Posted 19 January 2013 - 04:28 PM

A bit of a tangent ... but I am in the same situation and the only way my baby has taken bottles of EBM is by giving him a really small bottle, it is only 100mLs, it was actually a bottle I had in hospital for expressing breast milk into when he was a newborn. He can hold it easily and play with it which seems to have helped him take it when everything else failed for months. Not saying this would work for you, but I had never heard of trying this before so I thought I would put it out there on the net in case it helps anyone.

My baby has been settling into day care for a week now in preparation for my return to work on Monday. The first day I needed to settle him every half an hour, it was awful. When I went to get him on Thursday he was playing happily on the floor and smiled at me when I came in. He has had some EBM from a bottle at day care but not as much as he would normally feed,  and has been feeding more at night.

Good luck!

#9 harrisonsmummy

Posted 05 February 2013 - 09:16 PM

Just thought I'd update everyone.

Since being back at work two and a half weeks ago, I am very happy to say that despite losing a bit of weight, my son is doing really well:
- he has taken to reverse cycle feeding with no complaints or problems. He does start to get a little fussy after ten hours but he is otherwise fine
- he takes more water and solids during the day
- he doesn't cry with the inlaws - but they share him with my husband when my husband is home early
- he does not cry when I leave and always has a huge smile when I come back home

I honestly believe the confidence and positiveness I felt after reading everyone's messages helped me to leave him from day one without showing any worries and this is why I think he adjusted immediately. It is true when people say babies just adapt and we shouldn't worry too much.

Thanks again all! original.gif

#10 cinnabubble

Posted 05 February 2013 - 09:18 PM

That's wonderful news. I'm really pleased for you.

#11 lucky 2

Posted 05 February 2013 - 09:29 PM

Awesome update! I'm so pleased it has gone well for all of you, it's such a stressful time and you've done really well.
All the best. original.gif

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