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How to manage breast feeding and return to work
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#26 Rumply

Posted 26 March 2011 - 09:54 PM

Number of working days per week- 3

Age of baby on return to work- 6.5 months

Baby's diet- Mainly breastfed, with some mashy/puree stuff. I visit the centre twice a day to feed, as DS will not take a bottle. I ensured I had care near my work. The centre has been lovely and very welcoming when I come over. I thought they would get over me coming in, but they are great about it.

Any preparation before starting work? I tried to start expressing, which was really hard, I never got enough milk out, so never got DS into drinking from the bottle before hand. I recommend getting baby to drink from the bottle sooner rather than later. I think there is a suggested age or something. I wish I had started sooner and more often.

How was baby fed in your absence? The centre just feed him food like the other kids and I go and feed in between. Depends a lot on when he has had a nap as to how hungry he is and if food will do or he wants milk.

How did you manage your breasts at work? I did have a few weeks where I was only going to the centre once a day and expressing twice. Our office had a carer's room that I would go into, where I could lock the door. I just stored the milk in satchets in the work freezer (did feel weird about it, but didn't have much choice... maybe could have taken a container to disguise it a little though).

I bought a Amelda Purely Yours double breast pump, but only used one side. As the other boob didn't usually have enough to express in it. I just poured boiling water through it after I was done.

This all turned out to be a big waste of time, as DS doesn't take the bottle.

Any impact on bfing, supply and managing bfing when not at work? Generally had low supply issues, only ever got 80 ml at a time. DS fed more when I was at home and my body just seems to cater to it pretty quickly.

I thoroughly recommend going to feed during the day if you are able to manage it. It made the transition back to work so much easier on both of us.

Talk to the carers about any issues you are having, they often have some suggestions and ideas. If not from their own experiences, then from all the mothers that in exactly the same position as you are. I get the feeling that most of us are all feeling the same way.

Good luck!

#27 BeYOUtiful

Posted 27 March 2011 - 11:37 AM

Number of working days per week 2.  Leave home at 6:30am and home by 6:00pm.

Age of baby on return to work 7.5mths

Baby's diet- ie exclusively bf
- bf with introduction of solids- no of meals and size of meals
BF and 3 solid meals, 1/3 - 1/2 cup in size.

Any preparation before starting work? Expressed every morning to have a good supply of ebm (was nervous about not having enough).
Mum is looking after him, so we had a couple of trial runs, to ensure he would take a bottle of ebm from her.

How was baby fed in your absence? EBM via bottle.

How did you manage your breasts at work? ie expressing or not, what type of pump, once or more a day.  Expressing both sides in the morning before work about 1/2hr all up.  Expressing twice a day at work at 10am and 12pm, both sides, for 1/2hr or so.  I am using a Medela mini electric pump, I found the Avent manual one I only pumped 30mls max.  

Any impact on bfing, supply and managing bfing when not at work? I am on Motilium for supply issues.  I have also had Mastitis.   I work Wed/Thurs and on the Friday of the first week of work I noticed I had supply issues and J was crying at both breasts.  It was like the early days again and I was a bit concerned.  I gave him a bottle of ebm.

The next week at work I expressed for longer each side and so far that seems to have helped out, and no issues feeding on my non work days so far.  I also ensured I was drinking enough water, which, when busy I can tend to forget about.
I have noticed the pain in my breasts is starting to return, but not as bad as the last time I had Mastitis.  Although I was getting the pain again prior to being back at work.

Good luck

Edited by ~Jane05~, 27 March 2011 - 11:46 AM.

#28 ali2

Posted 30 May 2011 - 04:26 PM

I have been back at work 8 weeks, returning when DS was 5mths. I work 2 days from home, 2 days in the office which is 3hrs away which necessitates an overnight stay. I work for a small company (5 employees) with a male, baby boomer age, ex-army boss. (ie not really interested in babies). We work out of 2 small offices in a serviced office environment. So the kitchens etc are shared areas.

My main concerns and the actual outcomes were:
- Would DS return to the breast after being bottlefed (EBM) for the 36hrs that I would be away.
RESULT: Yes he does. He doesn’t mind being fed from a bottle, but seems to prefer getting it straight from the source! Before returning to work he had only been fed the odd bottle when I was going out for more than a couple of hours. The first week DH and DS came with me so I could feed him after work/overnight, but the next week I was away the full 36hrs and he jumped back on the breast on my return.
- Where would I express while at work? I shared my office with 3 colleagues, and my bosses office was also the unofficial meeting room, both with glass walls fronting the corridor. No sickroom or storage room. I thought I might have to go to my car and express from there.
RESULT: Shortly before I returned they reconfigured my managers office so the meeting room was partitioned from his actual office. It was still glass between the corridor and the meeting room and more glass to his office. I asked my manager if I could use his office twice a day for 30mins to express and he immediately said no problems. I also asked for a blind to be installed between the meeting room and office so it is private. I work around his meetings, but roughly mid morning and mid afternoon I ask to use his office and he works from my desk while I express.  
- Where would I store the EBM while I was away?
RESULT: I carry a small esky with good icebricks that I keep at my desk. After I express the EBM goes straight into that. Overnight I put some of the icebricks in the work freezer, and the EBM I take back to my hotel room and put in the minibar fridge. The next day I put the icebricks that were re-frozen overnight back into the esky. I’ve found the EBM stays nice and cold the whole time. When I get home it goes straight into the freezer for DS to drink the following week. I have an AVENT electric pump and found using the VIA cups easy to use and store. Pump straight into the cup, stack them in the esky, straight into the freezer, then DH takes of the lid and replaces with a teat for feeding.
- I demand feed DS, how would DH cope particularly overnight with demand feeding, and would there be enough EBM. DS was feeding roughly every 4hrs including overnight, however this was only a loose schedule, more frequent feeding was not unusual, and overnight I would feed to sleep.
RESULT: DH developed his own routine. He has a more tough love approach and uses other settling methods overnight, and tends to stick to the 4 hourly feeds. If he runs out of EBM he feeds DS formula.

I spent hours worrying about these and other aspects of going back to work, and in the end they all seem to sort themselves out. Yes expressing is a bit of an inconvenience. It would be nice to have an uninterrupted night of sleep. I don’t set my alarm, but tend to wake up after about 6 hrs with full breasts. Otherwise I try to stick with expressing every 4hrs, but sometimes it does stretch out to 5 or 6 if I have meetings or the room is not available. After a long break I may express 1.5 – 2 feeds worth. Usually I take home 8-9 feeds which tends to cover his needs for the following week. The only downside has been the return of AF, which I think is due to the sometimes extended breaks between expressing when I am away. Supply has remained sufficient. DS is thriving. DH is loving looking after his son and I am trying to do something for myself on my child free night, one week a massage, another time dinner with a colleague, or last week simply room service and reading a book in bed!

Don’t simply think it will be too hard to keep breastfeeding when you return to work. Don’t be afraid to speak with your manager, you may be surprised how positive their reaction will be.

#29 lucky 2

Posted 30 May 2011 - 09:06 PM

Thanks for continuing to share your bfing experiences, it is amazing how complicated and stressful it can be but you have all done it (not necessarily with ease wink.gif).
ali2, I am so glad you posted, your story is so inspiring in having to overcome weekly absences and continue bfing. What a fantastic outcome original.gif .

#30 Debs34

Posted 08 June 2011 - 10:13 PM

Thanks for this topic original.gif It's great to read about other Mum's experiences with this. I have been back at work for 4 weeks now and feel as though I am just getting into it all.

Number of working days per week- 2

Age of baby on return to work- 6 months 3 weeks

Baby's diet- ie exclusively bf- bf with introduction of solids- no of meals and size of meals- BF 4 feeds/day + 3 solid meals/day approximately 1/3-1/2 cup in size

Any preparation before starting work?- Practice runs for DH with bottle feeding EBM and routine

How was baby fed in your absence?- EBM or formula via bottle (I hadn't expressed enough to have a good supply beforehand eeeek!! Luckily DD doesn't seem to mind!)

How did you manage your breasts at work? ie expressing or not, what type of pump, once or more a day- Expressing twice in an 8 hour shift using an Avent electric single pump. I have also purchased an Ameda Purely Yours Electric (double) pump but for some unknown reason it just doesn't work for me!

Any impact on bfing, supply and managing bfing when not at work?- Yes. I feel my supply drops in the two days I am at work and it takes a day or two to get it back up again. This is probably not helped by the fact that I don't feel as though I am emptying my breasts with the pump. Also although I am entitled to 2 half hour expressing breaks I have not been able to take them both or have had to have shorter expressing breaks due to workload and also feeling pressured by colleagues. Managing breastfeeding when not at work isn't affected, I just need to try and increase feeds for the few days after.

Last weekend (I work weekends so DH can look after DD1&2) I had an AWFUL time at work. sad.gif My boss is very supportive of my choice to breastfeed and has been very accomodating with ensuring I have private space etc (leaves me with access to her office which is a big deal in my workplace!) Unfortunately she is not there on the weekends. Some of my colleagues on the other hand are not so supportive. Acting like I'm getting extra breaks to go sit and do nothing mad.gif Expressing at work for me (and probably most women!) is not a comfortable/fun/relaxing thing to have to do. I do it because I want what is best for my baby. (Which I am sure all working/feeding Mum's understand and identify with) One even had the hide to tell me I should stop feeding DD as she is over 6 months and my milk is "no good for her anymore" mad.gif This whole situation made me very upset and made me feel uncomfortable taking the amount of breaks and length of breaks I am entitled to. All that said though I am not going to let it stop me BF my baby! She is far more important to me than bad vibes from ignorant co workers biggrin.gif

*Edited for spelling

Edited by Debs34, 08 June 2011 - 10:16 PM.

#31 lucky 2

Posted 08 June 2011 - 10:19 PM

Debs, I know this isn't a general thread but could you take up this poor attitude of co-workers with your boss/HR during the week as this is harassment and discrimination and even could be bullying, so your workplace probably has policies (or should have) re this and also complaint procedures for you. That's just not on and very bad for you.

#32 Klinkalink

Posted 08 June 2011 - 10:29 PM

Number of working days per week- 4

Age of baby on return to work- 5 months

Baby's diet- exclusively bf via expression since birth

Any preparation before starting work? I had been exclusively expressing for 5 months already, so had that part pretty down pat. I did however get a little bar fridge for my office so I could keep EBM in that during the day after expressing. By the time I went back to work I had a good couple of weeks' worth in the freezer and about 2 days' worth in the fridge at home.

How was baby fed in your absence? EBM via bottle by DP/mum/CCC staff

How did you manage your breasts at work? I expressed using a Medela Pump In Style 3 times/day at work (and once at home before work and twice at home after work). Expressed into Medela bottles (which connected to the pump), and just popped a lid on them and put them in the fridge. At the end of the day I would take the 6 bottles home in an insulated bag and put them in the fridge at home - that milk would be used the following day at about the same times as it was expressed the day before. Any excess was frozen.

Any impact on bfing, supply and managing bfing when not at work? Not really, as I kept the same expressing routine as I had at home.

I used a hands-free pumping bra, which was one of the best things ever invented!

#33 macysmum

Posted 08 June 2011 - 10:41 PM

Number of working days per week- 2

Age of baby on return to work- 5.5 months

Baby's diet-
bf and some solids:
6-8 BFs a day
2 solid meals

At daycare she has:
50ml feeds of EBM 3 times a day
2 solid meals with 50 mls in each feed

It was a struggle in the beginning, but after a settling in period she now is quite happily taking her EBM at daycare.

Any preparation before starting work?
I pumped once a day from 3 months to build up a freezer stash which was consequencly destroyed when we lost power in cyclone yasi! So I pumped twice a day for 2 weeks before getting back to work to try to replenish the supply.

How was baby fed in your absence?
DD point blank refused a bottle but now is happily taking EBM from a tommee tippee discovera sippy cup without the no spill valve. It has a semi soft spout with one large hole so the EBM runs out fast flow for her to gobble up original.gif We also discovered in trial and error that DD prefers cold EBM from the sippy cup. (can't explain why)

How did you manage your breasts at work? ie expressing or not, what type of pump, once or more a day
I express once or twice a day for 15 minutes a time when at work using a cherub baby electric double pump, which I've found to be great. I express about 350mls while at work.  I store EMB in the work freezer in a cooler bag with 2 icepacks that I just grab at the end of the day and take home.

Any impact on bfing, supply and managing bfing when not at work?
No impact on bfing yet. DD quite happily bfs after work, its wonderful for reconnecting.

My supply has been minimally effected. DD feeds overnight after daycare days so she catches up on what she has missed during the day.

BF as normal on days off, I feed on demand as normal so that she gets as much as she wants.

So far everything is going well, hopefully it all continues on no more problems!

#34 lady lady

Posted 08 September 2011 - 11:56 PM

Number of working days per week

Varies, 5 days one week - 1 day the week after (temping)

Age of baby on return to work

10 months

Baby's diet

3 solid meals + 4-6 breastfeeds in 24 hours

Any preparation before starting work?

Have started expressing before I go to bed.  On days I don't work I also express in the morning before breakfast (7am'sh) otherwise I feed DD just before I leave for work.

How was baby fed in your absence?

Offered EBM in a cup at 11am'sh and 2:30pm'sh.  Drinks anywhere between 40 - 70ml each time.  She also does drink a good amount of water from a sippy cup.

How did you manage your breasts at work?

As DD is a little older I was fortunate enough that my boobs have coped fine (didn't have to pump at work).  I leave home at 8am'sh and am back by 5pm'sh (DD has a huge BF as soon as I walk through door).  I do take my pump and where BF pads (just in case)...

Any impact on bfing, supply and managing bfing when not at work?

No impact on supply

#35 NatMummyTo2

Posted 09 September 2011 - 11:36 PM

Number of working days per week-
Full time - 5 days per week.

Age of baby on return to work-
A few weeks before 12m with both girls.  I started them in daycare 2 months before I returned to work.  Half a day for a week, then 1 day a week for a few weeks, then 2 days for a few weeks, then 4, 5.

Baby's diet- ie exclusively bf
- bf with introduction of solids- no of meals and size of meals
BF with established solids x3 per day - I can't remember how much DD1 was eating but DD2 has about 1.5 daycare serves of savoury and 1 serve of sweet for her 2 meals there then 150mls each of savoury/sweet for dinner at home + varied finger foods afterwards.  I offer each course until she turns her head - sometimes its half, other times I'm defrosting another batch or giving her extra steamed veggie sticks.   Breast when she wakes in the morning and also at bedtime.  

Any preparation before starting work?
I did lots of extra expressing in the lead up to having to express full feeds once I returned to work.  I was really worried as I know expressing is not as good for boosting supply as sucking.

I am also always very careful about eating well and drinking enough.  It took about 2 weeks before I returned to work to get to a stage of pumping enough for the 1-2 EBM feeds at daycare on top of the feeds I was still then doing at home.  I still did the morning/night feeds via breast when I returned to work.  

How was baby fed in your absence?
DD1 via bottle to around 14m then sippy cup.  DD2 is currently refusing bottles so they've been offering via sippy cup.  She mostly refuses but has recently started taking 20-40mls (so about 200mls wasted each day cry1.gif ).  I've asked them to gently offer and not to push it if she's not keen. I've been putting it in 3 separate containers so they can use some for EBM in solids.

How did you manage your breasts at work? ie expressing or not, what type of pump, once or more a day
Medela Swing pump - 2 sessions per day of about 10-15 mins each.  I booked out a discreet meeting room and they provided me with my own bar fridge under my desk.  I'm not a fan of freezing breastmilk for some reason so it was always refrigerated to be used the very next day.  I work for a very large company that has been fantastically supportive.

Any impact on bfing, supply and managing bfing when not at work?
DD1 started refusing breast at 14m so I expressed for sippy cup drinks for a further 5 months after that.  DD2 is 1 (today!) and is refusing bottles and only wants breast so daycare have been offering EBM via sippy cup.  With DD2 the morning/night breast feeds seem to be much bigger/longer than with DD1. Which is lovely!!

#36 gvdb

Posted 10 September 2011 - 12:00 AM

Number of working days per week-

Baby 1 - full time 5 days per week
Baby 2 - 5 days per week, 5 hours per day, until baby was 15 months, then full time

Age of baby on return to work-

Baby 1 - 6 months
Baby 2 - 5.5 months

Baby's diet- ie exclusively bf

Baby 1 - exclusively breast fed.  Pureed solids 3 times a day.  Started solids at 5 months.  3 X 200 - 250ml bottles EBM, plus 3 other feeds a day.

Baby 2 - exclusively breast fed. Lumpy/chunky solids 3 times a day.  Solids started at 4 months and rapidly progressed to family food and self feeding by 8 months.  Mouth full of teeth and very food oriented. 5 or 6 feeds a day.

Any preparation before starting work?

Baby 1 - built up store of frozen EBM over 2 months using electric pump by expressing after every feed - lucky enough to get 50 - 100mls a shot.  We had about 8 litres frozen in pouches - enough for about a week.
Negotiated expressing breaks, facilities and milk storage options with management.  
EBM in bottles in the communal fridge freaked some people out to start with.
SAHD bottle fed baby during day instead of me feeding for 2 weeks before going back to work using the frozen stash, which I then replaced with more EBM.  
Baby 1 was encouraged to be eating solids to ensure that food was going in if EBM in bottles didn't work out.

Baby 2 - no EBM.  Would not take a bottle.  Baby 2 was in on-site creche rather than at home, so Baby 2 was always breast fed. Baby 2 was eating much more solid food - no encouragement required - so I was more relaxed.  Our union collective agreement changed between babies and I had automatic access to breast feeding breaks and other benefits for Baby 2 that just needed to be formalised rather than "granted" by management as a "privilege".

How was baby fed in your absence?

Baby 1 - EBM bottle fed and solids by SAHD at home.

Baby 2 - Breast fed at creche after meals.  See diet above.  Baby 2 also drank water from a sippy cup.

How did you manage your breasts at work? ie expressing or not, what type of pump, once or more a day

Baby 1 - Electric pump, 3 times a day dropping to 2 after baby was 12 months. 200 - 250 mls per session.  Lugging an electric pump, refrigerated EMB in pouches and bottles on interstate flights as hand luggage without a baby was fun! - Needed a letter from my GP.

Baby 2 - Breast fed 3 times a day until 15 months while at work, then lunch times to 18 months.  

Any impact on bfing, supply and managing bfing when not at work?

I had no impact on supply.  I was very fortunate to have lots of milk and to be able to express easily for number one.  Baby 2 was much easier as I didn't need to express at all.

Other comments -

Baby 1 - was hard work, but worth it.  Fed a lot more than Baby 2 and took a lot longer to drop feeds. I managed 15 months of BF, before I pulled the plug on a not very interested toddler.  Then switched to cow's milk 3 times a day.  I was lucky to have supportive senior managers who supported BF without being forced to by external forces/requirements.  Baby 1 was cared for by SAHD.  Baby 1 didn't sleep through until over 3 years of age, night feeds were a killer for the first 6 months I was back at work.

Baby 2 - much easier, especially as no expressing, just feeding.  Managed 2 years, baby self weaned on second birthday.  Lucky to get baby into onsite creche and to have a union collective agreement that has very strong return to work policies for maternity leave, i.e. equivalent of 3 months pay to be used to fund various support mechanisms, such as part time work for a period of time, breast feeding breaks, etc.  Baby 2 also slept through from 12 weeks - so no night feeds when I went back to work.

With both babies - it was important to have self discipline and belief that the effort was worth it.  However, it was much easier to have the discipline to go and feed a baby (and tell others to bugger off I had to be somewhere) rather than an appointment with a pump.

#37 notjustalawyer

Posted 15 October 2011 - 09:36 AM

Number of working days per week-2 one week, 3 the next

Age of baby on return to work
- 5.5 months

Baby's diet- She was practically exclusively breastfed - we had tried to introduce solids but she wasn't very interested to start with! However by 7 months she was happily eating three meals a day - porridge and fruit for breakfast; usually a mix of a couple of vegies for lunch, sometimes with cous cous and fruit after; same sort of thing for dinner but with yoghurt and fruit after.  She didn't eat much in the way of solids though - maybe a tablespoon at each meal to start with.

                          Any preparation before starting work?  I expressed and built up a freezer stash from when she was about 3 months old, as I knew I would be going back and I wanted to breastfeed for as long as I could.

How was baby fed in your absence?  I breastfed her when she woke each morning, she then had a morning and afternoon bottle (formula once the EBM ran out) and I breastfed her again when I got home.  I had made sure she was used to having her evening feed at or after 6pm and then I just made sure I was home by that time. At that stage she still had a night feed on occasion, so I would also breastfeed if she woke.

How did you manage your breasts at work? I decided that in my type of work (I'm a solicitor, often in court) it would be too difficult to express at work.  Four weeks before I went back, I dropped the morning feed and started giving my DD a bottle of EBM, then 2 weeks before I did the same for the afternoon feed.  I had to express for comfort but tried to limit it as much as I could.  The first few days were pretty bad - my boobs would be so full and lumpy by the time I got home at 6! - but after a week or so they were fine.

Any impact on bfing, supply and managing bfing when not at work? Everything was fine until recently - I had no problems with supply, I had always had a huge supply.  However the fact that she would sometimes have a night (10pm) feed and other tmes not, meant that I would be hugely engorged overnight if she decided she didn't want it.  For that reason, we started giving formula if she did wake for that feed.

More recently (about 2 weeks ago?) I started to feel like my evening supply wasn't enough for her, and my letdown really slowed down.  She would be really fidgety for the whole first side and sometimes come off and be a bit upset.  In any event, last week she decided she'd had enough of waiting for the letdown and bit me badly enough to break the skin.  After 2 nights of this I decided to wean her - she is now 9 months old so I'm ok with it but I always thought it would be my decision!

I think this was the right decision for us but if you are keen on continuing to breastfeed, and you can express at work, I think that's the way to go as your supply is likely to be more consistent.  Hope that helps anyone who is looking at the best way to do this!!

#38 two_ones

Posted 15 October 2011 - 10:12 AM

Number of working days per week

One at the moment, will be going up to two next month

Age of baby on return to work

6 months

Baby's diet

About 5-6 milk feeds per day, small amount of rice cereal and puree most mornings and some of what ever we are having at dinner time (he'll have veggie sticks, sometimes avocado on toast). Mostly just playing with the dinner-time food for now.

Any preparation before starting work?

DS started daycare 5 weeks before I returned to work, so I was able to build up a freezer stash from expressing while he was at daycare.

I met with my manager a few weeks before I started to discuss my return including expressing arrangements at the office. He was more than happy for me to take as much time as I needed during the day, but he didn't really do much to assist in sourcing an actual room for me to do so before I came back - I ended up having to arrange this with our administrator on the day (see below)

How was baby fed in your absence?

DS has EBM at daycare. It was good to have him start there before I went back to work, as I didn't know how much EBM to take and if he did end up drinking it all I could easily pop down and feed him. This was not necessary in the end and usually I end up taking too much EBM!

The first week he was a bit distracted when they were feeding him (not used to all the noise!) but he is fine now. I have now got a system where I provide two big bottles of thawed EBM (around 160-180 mL) and a two small bottles of fresh chilled EBM. He will have the thawed EBM for his first two feeds and then one of the small fresh ones in the afternoon. The fourth one is usually spare and because it is untouched I can freeze it for later on.

How did you manage your breasts at work?

On my first day, I ended up having to use our building's shower room to express. Not ideal but I probably should have confirmed a room with our administrator prior to the day. I guess I just assumed that working for a health company with a high number of female employees that this would be quite straightforward. However, our administrator was extremely helpful in setting up one of our small training rooms for me for the following week, including providing a curtain for me to put up over the one window that looked out into the rest of the office. I have been able to reserve the room in our meeting room booking system for my morning and afternoon express so people know it will be unavailable at those times.

It takes about 30 min to express and wash my pump each time and even though I am still entitled to my regular lunch break, I am finding that I only want a quick bite for lunch and work through, simply because the expressing takes up so much time out of the day, I feel like I can't get much done!

Any impact on bfing, supply and managing bfing when not at work?

No issues, if anything I may be getting an oversupply as I express around 260mL twice per day and this seems to be more than what he is drinking at daycare!

#39 lucky 2

Posted 15 October 2011 - 02:01 PM

Thank you for sharing your stories everyone, I'm  sure they are extremely helpful.
Zima, what an excellent supply you have original.gif.

#40 FeralPerthFembo

Posted 16 October 2011 - 07:28 PM

I've been back at work for a month now, so ready to share my experience.

Number of working days per week-
3 being Monday, Wednesday and Friday

Age of baby on return to work-
5.5 months

Baby's diet-
Almost fully Bf, just started baby led weaning with a few bits of sweet potato, teething rusks and broccoli usually once per day, but some days nothing but bf

Any preparation before starting work?
Already had a pretty sizable freezer stash of EBM that hadnt been used because baby hates bottles.
Immediate preparation was trying everything to get her to take a bottle of EBM.

How was baby fed in your absence?
When home she bfd around 11am and 3pm but we found that she would only really take one bottle around midday while I was gone and then would usually feed when I walked in the door. Have just introduced BLW at lunch time as well.

How did you manage your breasts at work?
Have a medela swing pump, which I take in a pretty cooler bag along with one 150ml bottle and one 250ml bottle. I express 7 minutes on each side during my lunch break and I usually get 150ml from the boob I fed in the morning with 200-250ml on the boob baby didnt take much from.

I miss 2 feeds but only express once. I am starting to phase out expressing completely now that my breasts are adjusting. I am going to start expressing for comfort only and will feed baby formula when the freezer stash of EBM is gone.

Any impact on bfing, supply and managing bfing when not at work?
I've always had a slight oversupply and very slow effect (took 8 weeks to stop being completely full when night feeds dropped to one) so I wasnt expecting much of a drop. Though I am very happy that my supply has dropped enough that I shouldnt be forced to express at work if I'm too busy etc.

I havent noticed any supply changes on my days at home, still seem to have plenty.

#41 Taystee

Posted 17 August 2012 - 11:00 AM

Hi! I have been back at work now for over 6 months.

Number of working days per week 2.5-3 DAYS

Age of baby on return to work 5.5 MONTHS

Any preparation before starting work? HAD TO TRY TO GER HER TO TAKE A BOTTLE. ONE DAY SHE JUST "GOT" IT!

How was baby fed in your absence? BOTTLE FED WITH EBM AND EVENTUALLY FORMULA TOO



Now, at 12 months, I feed morning and evening and sometimes once overnight on the days I am away and on the days I am home I just demand feed, which is probably 1-2 feeds during the day. I went back expecting it to be the end of breastfeeding but we have had great mix feeding success original.gif

#42 ~Mintie~

Posted 17 August 2012 - 11:17 AM

Oh I've never seen this thread before! I've just gone back to work so here's my story:
Number of working days per week- 3

Age of baby on return to work- 10.5 months

Baby's diet-
Solids 3 times a day, 4-5 breastfeds. Prior to returning to work he was demand fed

Any preparation before starting work? No really though we should have as it took us a bit of time to work out how he liked to drink EBM, and we had a few days of refusal.

How was baby fed in your absence? At first, he refused all EBM, then they worked out he really needs to drink the bottle as if he is breastfeeding, ie with almost the entire teet in his mouth, rather than just sucking on the end. Since they worked it out he's been fine.

How did you manage your breasts at work? I get 2x30 min lactation breaks at work, but fitting these in has been difficult so I've been expressing both sides in 1 30 min session. Luckily most of the time it's enough time to express between 100-150ml each side.

Any impact on bfing, supply and managing bfing when not at work? Not much impact as yet, though it's early days. I have noticed it's much harder to express in the evening now, as I'm so exhausted.

#43 Bluenomi

Posted 17 August 2012 - 11:57 AM

Another one who never saw this! Though I think it was started after I went back to work but at least I can post for others  happy.gif

Number of working days per week 5 full time

Age of baby on return to work 6 months

Baby's diet just breastmilk. She started solids just after starting daycare
Any preparation before starting work? Some expressing and a few failed attempts at the bottle

How was baby fed in your absence? EBM in a bottle which was a total failure. I work in the same building as daycare so went to feed her once a day until she dropped all her daytime feeds at 16 months

How did you manage your breasts at work? I went to feed DD! No expressing at work, I did that at home after work.

Any impact on bfing, supply and managing bfing when not at work? It didn't effect my supply at all and she was a nightmare on solids the whole time so I don't think daycare effected that.

DD took months to accept the bottle and not long after that I gave up expressing since I couldn't keep up (I never had supply issues when she fed but am one of those women who can't express much). I swapped her to formula which she point blank refused so in the end we dropped all bottles at daycare and she just got 1 feed from me and solids, cows milk and water.

A co worked did a similar thing but she didn't bother with bottles at all and would go and feed her son 2 or 3 times a day.

#44 Rachie22

Posted 22 August 2012 - 04:24 AM

I usually pump in the evenings and store the milk to be used throughout the day.

#45 Felix101

Posted 03 May 2013 - 08:13 AM

I've been back at work for nearly 4 months now.

Number of working days per week: 3

Age of baby on return to work: 8 months.

Baby's diet: BLW - solids, 3 meals plus snacks, plus 3-5 breastfeeds a day (including 1 overnight)

Any preparation before starting work: started expressing and freezing milk, tried and tried and tried to get DS to take milk from a bottle, a sippy cup, a normal cup, etc (all to no avail)

How was baby fed in your absence? Solids and water, occasionally taking 10-50ml of EBM from a sippy cup twice a day (more often than not it ended up tipped down the sink tho as he wasn't interested... Sigh)

How did you manage your breasts at work? Up until this week, I expressed once a day, usually after lunch, for about 20min. I've stopped expressing this week (he's toying with cows milk in a sippy cup instead, but he eats loads and drinks plenty of water so I'm not too concerned) and have found my boobs adjusted quickly! Day 1 they were pretty full by end of day, but by the third day they had adjusted completely.

Any impact on bfing, supply and managing bfing when not at work? Not so far, but we'll see how we go now I'm not expressing during the day - I can't imagine it will have any impact tho, as he really doesn't feed much during work hours anymore anyway - usually only once at most.

At the beginning I was so worried as he wouldn't take EBM, but he has been fine all along. In the early days he would reverse cycle and feed more at night to make up for the missed feeds during the day (and eat and drink loads of water at daycare), but now it's just business as usual original.gif

#46 Jsams

Posted 27 May 2013 - 06:16 PM


I am a new mum of a 12 week old and i am going back to work in a month. I am trying to transition my DD from being EBF to formula feed during the day. I have tried formula feeding her for a week (without mixing) and it didnt work. She seems to cry and then tire herself to sleep until the next feed and the cycle continues. She glugs in 10 mls and then spits out the other 10 that went in by mistake.

I have tried mixing BM with the formula and she drinks about 50 - 70mls of it after resisting it for 4 hours.

Just wanted to know if it is really this hard or am i doing something wrong? I already feel guilty for taking her off breastmilk (even though it is only for 2 -3 feeds in  a day) but it is something that has to be done as i am going back to work in about 3- 4 weeks and i cannot breast feed her.

#47 Rukktbugs

Posted 28 June 2013 - 08:14 PM

I recall reading this post avidly in the lead up to returning to work, deperately trying to match other people's experience with what I was about to attempt.  I got bits and pieces from heaps of different posts, and hope that my story with help someone else in some way!  I have now been back at work for 3 months.

Number of working days per week

4.5 days a week, with the half day working from home

Age of baby on return to work-

3 months

Baby's diet-

exclusively breastfed

Any preparation before starting work?

I started pumping when DD was about 4 weeks old and gradually built up a stock in the freezer.  About the same time I would get my husband to occasionally feed her with the a bottle.  We were lucky and she wasn't too fazed.  We did try a couple of different bottles and teats and found she did have a preference for the Avent bottles.

How was baby fed in your absence?

Bottlefed expressed breastmilk

How did you manage your breasts at work?

I express three times a day using a Medela Swing.  I pack 3-4 150ml bottles (depending on what my supply has been like).  I have access to a a fridge that is not used by everyone.  I usually only manage to get on average about 300ml during the day, but luckily DD sleeps really well during the night so I get up and pump about 2am and get 200-250ml.  I do the night pump every single night so I can maintain a frozen stock for when I need to top up my daily supply.

I find that my state of mind and stress levels can dramatically effect how much I can pump out, and then I start worrying more, and getting less - and this is a challenge even now!  My trick this week that seems to be working is to take my Kindle and read while I pump.

Any impact on bfing, supply and managing bfing when not at work?

DD has been great and taken all this in her stride, which has been a huge relief.  On my work days I always feed her before leaving in the morning and the moment I get home.  On the days I am home, she gets fed on demand.  My half day at home is on Thursday, and I often find that by the time I get to Wednesday my supply is getting a little low.

I hope this helps someone out there!

#48 lucky 2

Posted 28 June 2013 - 09:59 PM

Thanks for sharing Graveyard Queen, it's good to know how to cope when returning to work at what I personally consider to be a pretty early stage of motherhood.
Sounds like it went well because of all of your wonderful planning and commitment to providing breastmilk.
Congratulations on your success original.gif .
If you want to speed the process with expressing then a double pump is the way to go (I loved double pumping, so much quicker).
All the best.

#49 GillyBean15

Posted 08 August 2013 - 01:46 PM

I had to go back to work when my baby was 3 months old and it was hard at first but it allowed me to feel accomplished again and productive. Now that I can do part time though I feel good about being at home and at work. Balance is essential when dealing with going back to work. I have been trying to make sure we play for a few hours in the morning, take a bath together and then play at night. She is used to our routine now and it seems to work really well for her. :D

#50 GillyBean15

Posted 08 August 2013 - 01:47 PM

View Postlucky 2, on 28 June 2013 - 09:59 PM, said:

Thanks for sharing Graveyard Queen, it's good to know how to cope when returning to work at what I personally consider to be a pretty early stage of motherhood.
Sounds like it went well because of all of your wonderful planning and commitment to providing breastmilk.
If you want to speed the process with expressing then a double pump is the way to go (I loved double pumping, so much quicker).
All the best.

I love the double pump!! It makes going back to work possible!!

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