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BF and returning to work


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#1 ~Emma~

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Posted 24 September 2008 - 08:35 AM

Hi Guys,

Im starting to think more and more of how the hell are things going to work after pregnancy.
Unfortuently im going to have to go back to work quite early after the birth, and i would really like to BF. I will prob be back fr 2-3 days each week, but they may consist of days (leave home 7am, return about 5pm) or nights (leave home 2pm, return about midnight).. Will this have much impact on feeding? is it possible to express enough for these feeds at about 8-9 weeks old?
Appreciate any feedback you guys can give..

#2 RachLee

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Posted 24 September 2008 - 09:10 AM

I've done this..twice.

DS#1 -

I returned to work at about 11 weeks old and my baby was fully breast fed. (until 18 months old)

In preperation, I started pumping extra as soon as I felt up to it. (around 4 weeks old from memory) That way I started to establish a supply in the freezer. (can take a little pressure off you down the track)

It can take a little while to get the hang of a pump, so every little drop is a success in the beginning.

We started getting our baby used to a bottle of EBM from around 6 weeks. (just the occasional one to make sure he would take it)

Once I returned to work, I would pump once or twice through the day. (in the toilet - bleh! sometimes I would drive 15 minutes to the shopping centre and pump in the parents room)

My daycare were very supportive about storing, heating, looking after precious EBM so that helped too.

My biggest haul of the day would be by far, when I got home from work and feed the baby for the first time. I would feed off one side and pump on the other (an electric pump comes in handy for this) I could just about fill a whole bottle doing that.

DS#2 - It was a little harder to keep my supply up and at around 8 months I went through a low patch. I would mix half formula and half EBM. He also BF until around 18 months.

Rach


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#3 ~Emma~

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Posted 24 September 2008 - 11:21 AM

so i'll defintally have to express whilst at work??? i am so naive and i have absolutely no idea sad.gif the reason i ask, is i work in fast food, and there is ABSOLUTELY no where i can sit and express sad.gif sad.gif

#4 em2007

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Posted 24 September 2008 - 11:37 AM

QUOTE(~Emma~ @ Sep 24 2008, 11:21 AM) View Post
so i'll defintally have to express whilst at work??? i am so naive and i have absolutely no idea sad.gif the reason i ask, is i work in fast food, and there is ABSOLUTELY no where i can sit and express sad.gif sad.gif


If you are going back that early then yes - to maintain supply (and for comfort) you will most likely need to express.

When I returned to casual work at 12 weeks I couldn't get through a 6 hour shift without expressing - you get very engorged and risk mastitis. Also - to get enough milk to feed while you are at work AND to maintain supply you would need to express.

How far are you from home or from a shopping centre with a parents room? Is there a way you could go somewhere like that once (maybe twice early on) to express?


#5 Nin79

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Posted 24 September 2008 - 11:41 AM

I think by law that employers have to provide employees with an appropriate place to express and give you lactation breaks but I'm not sure if this is a universal law - it's certainly the case where I work and without this, I couldn't have done it.

I returned to work one day/week when Hugh was 2 months old and like Emma said, from early on, I expressed so I could build up a big supply in the freezer - I would then have to express while I was at work every 4 hours - but it depends on your supply - I had to express this often because that's how often my boobies were expecting to feed Hugh.

#6 Starbuck

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Posted 24 September 2008 - 11:47 AM

I've known women who have expressed in their car - if you really have to do it its possible to find a place. Alternatively you could gain access to the manager's office during your breaks or express in the change room (I used to work at maccas and our change rooms would have been ok for this, not great but ok). Bear in mind that it is unlawful for your employer to discriminate against you for being a breastfeeding mother.

Babies at that age need to be fed every 3 or so hours, and in order to maintain supply your boobies need to be having milk removed from them (either by baby sucking or by expressing). If you contact the ABA and/or a lactation consultant they should be able to give you some good advice on what you can do.

I think its great you are thinking and learning about this now!

It gets easier as they get older - I have just packed Eva off to day care without even sending any milk because she doesn't feed during the day any more (she's 10 months old)

#7 Mini Mac

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Posted 24 September 2008 - 05:49 PM

QUOTE(Nin79 @ Sep 24 2008, 11:41 AM) View Post

I think by law that employers have to provide employees with an appropriate place to express and give you lactation breaks but I'm not sure if this is a universal law - it's certainly the case where I work and without this, I couldn't have done it.


I think this is true. And it can't be the toilet.

I can't express that much milk, well last I tried I couldn't. And I'm an old hand at it too - I had to express every 3 hours when Harrison was born because he was 2 months early. I never seemed to get all that much milk.

I don't know if when I go back to work whether he'll have formula for while I'm away or if I'll spend extra time expressing. I do know that I will express when I'm at work though. I think this is essential to keep up supply.

Good on you for learning about this now. I'm still trying to work out the logistics of it.

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#8 em2007

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Posted 24 September 2008 - 05:56 PM

QUOTE(Mini Mac @ Sep 24 2008, 05:49 PM) View Post


I think this is true. And it can't be the toilet.

I can't express that much milk, well last I tried I couldn't. And I'm an old hand at it too - I had to express every 3 hours when Harrison was born because he was 2 months early. I never seemed to get all that much milk.

I don't know if when I go back to work whether he'll have formula for while I'm away or if I'll spend extra time expressing. I do know that I will express when I'm at work though. I think this is essential to keep up supply.

Good on you for learning about this now. I'm still trying to work out the logistics of it.


Depends when you go back. Like Kez - Will doesn't need a bottle while I am at work now usually. I have some in the freezer just in case but he gets by without and has a big feed in the morning and when I get home. On the days I am home he still has 1 - 2 feeds during the day though.


#9 Renee`

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Posted 24 September 2008 - 08:30 PM

I am pretty sure Emma is the manager wink.gif, and if her store is set up like the two I used to work in there is no door to the office or it is open, the toilets aren't suitable.

Emma, only suggestion I have got - go into the cold room wink.gif laugh.gif
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#10 ~*Mrs P*~

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Posted 24 September 2008 - 08:40 PM

Ooh - I'd never thought of this!

Would you be better off getting an electric pump?

I have a little manual Avent one that works just fine for the occasional... should I get an electric one for when I go back to work to make things easier??


#11 RachLee

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Posted 24 September 2008 - 08:48 PM

Unfortunately, my only choice on the premises was the toilet. It was a large area and I was sitting on an actual chair...but yep - the toilet.
I had no problem taking a longer than normal lunch break and driving to the shops occasionally.
Got some pretty strange looks when I would walk into the parents room (without a baby obviously) and disappear behind the curtains tongue.gif


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#12 pink teddies

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Posted 24 September 2008 - 08:49 PM

QUOTE(Leece @ Sep 24 2008, 08:40 PM) View Post

Ooh - I'd never thought of this!

Would you be better off getting an electric pump?

I have a little manual Avent one that works just fine for the occasional... should I get an electric one for when I go back to work to make things easier??



I would reccommend it that is for sure.

I have the Medela swing and I put batteries in it for ease of use wherever I was (especially as there was only 1 power point in my work mothers room and other pumping mothers. smile.gif

#13 RachLee

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Posted 24 September 2008 - 08:50 PM

Leece, I would use my Avent Isis at work and then my electric at home. (easier to pump and feed at the same time) Would definitely recommend an electric if you're planning on pumping long term.


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#14 Mini Mac

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Posted 24 September 2008 - 11:15 PM

Definitely use an electric pump! I have a Medela Mini Electric and while i think it's okay for occassional pumping, it certainly didn't cut it when I had to express 3 hourly when H was in hospital. I had to hire a hospital grade pump.

QUOTE(~Melissa~ @ Sep 24 2008, 05:56 PM) View Post

Depends when you go back. Like Kez - Will doesn't need a bottle while I am at work now usually. I have some in the freezer just in case but he gets by without and has a big feed in the morning and when I get home. On the days I am home he still has 1 - 2 feeds during the day though.

Thank you Melissa! So what does Will drink during the day? Cows milk? Water? So do you just bf him in the morning and at night?

I've wondered at what age can he skip bfing during the day and drink normal drinks. I suppose once he's eating more solids and drinking from a sippy cup a bit better.

I know that babies still need something like 1000ml milk a day so I wondered how they got that if they weren't bfing during the day.

Sorry if I've hijacked! unsure.gif
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