Breastfeeding and Working

Nicole - posted on 12/20/2009 ( 3 moms have responded )

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I've been looking online but can't really find an answer. When returning to work, do you mothers still nurse your babies or do you just give them a bottle. I really like breastfeeding and would like to continue, but I worry that once I give my son a bottle he wont want the breast. Thanks in advance!!

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Tammy - posted on 12/21/2009

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This also depends on the age of your baby. Some babies take both breast and bottle easily, others dont. Definitely start getting into a routine a couple weeks beforehand. Breastfeed babies eat less than formula fed babies. Generally between the ages of 1 and 6 months of bf babies the milk intake does not change, and gradually decreases after this due to the introduction of solids. Have a look on kellymom.com on how much bub needs while you are away. You will probably find that how much bub needs you will almost be able to pump in one sitting while you are at work. I know my son needs a very maximum of 100ml of milk each feed atm. Nurse your baby just before daycare and after. Try to pump for every feed that you miss. If this is not possible, especially if bub is young, try pumping at least every 2-3 hours. Once bub gets older you may not need to pump, depending on the lengths of your shift too. If you are going to give expressed breastmilk in a bottle, try to get the slowest flowing teat that bub will stand. There is usually no need to supplement with formula when you return to work. Nipple confusion usually only happens in the first couple months. Oh and just make sure when you are at home with baby give breast only, no bottle.

Nicole - posted on 12/21/2009

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thx i really appreciate it!! hes only breastfed, and i just dont want to lose the bond. Thx again!!

Karen - posted on 12/20/2009

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What your son eats is entirely up to you, not him. When returning to work it's important to start a routine a few weeks beforehand, if possible. You may want to pump and breastfeed or mix feed, with bottles and breast. Either way if he's going to be drinking from a bottle, either breastmilk or formula he may take a while to get use to it and the earlier you start the better.

Pumping can be daunting, but is worth it. However it also takes time and persistence to perfect. Most mums can do it with the right guidance and are comforted that baby is getting exactly what he needs all the time.

If mixed feeding is the way you want to go there is no reason why a baby should go off breastfeeding just because he sometimes has a bottle. If he's going to be given a bottle by a carer during the day and fed from the breast after work try getting him into that routine a couple of weeks before you go back to work. It will also help your body to know when it needs to be supplying breastmilk and when not and then there's less chance of leaky boobs at work!

Remember you can continue to breast feed your baby until your baby decides enough is enough, there's no reason why working or the odd bottle of formula should stop you.

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