Will it even be possible for me to breastfeed after I return to work?

[deleted account] ( 57 moms have responded )

I'm expecting my first baby in June. I am clueless as any new mom, I planned on breastfeeding but I guess I didn't realize I would have to use a breast pump as often to keep the milk supply up. The problem is after I go back to work..I work 12hours shifts and I am a police officer...both do not make it very easy to accomidate pumping in that schedule!

Does anyone else have a busy job field like mine and were you able to fit in time to pump? Or should I just do formula to skip all the hassle?

Also, I will be off for 6 weeks, if I chose not to breastfeed, is it useless to breasfeed the 6weeks I have off?

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Tanya - posted on 04/13/2010

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Hi

Let me answer your last question first - yes there is huge benefit to breastfeeding for that first 6 weeks whatever you decide to do when you return to work. Even one day of breastfeeding has benefit as that is when the collostrum has the greatest effect on your babies immune system.

I can see how your work would make it difficult pump at work, but your body will adapt to whatever feeding pattern you adopt.

With my eldest I returned to work at 4 months and pumped once at lunchtime at work (as well as twice at home morning and evening). I found that if I pumped the other breast while I fed I got most milk and this was enough for bottle feeds during the day while I was at work.

Four years later with my twins, I didn't return to work until 9 months. This time I still breastfed morning and evening but didn't pump. My body just adapted to doing 2 feeds a day (well 2 double feeds!). So you could breatfeed while at home and use formula while you are at work.

Remember that at 6 weeks, you will probably still be doing night feeds. Feeding at night is more effective at boosting your milk supply - although that will probably make you one tired police officer during the day!

Whatever you decide to do - best of luck!!

Tanya - posted on 07/19/2011

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You can definitely nurse for as long as it works for you!


I went back to work when my second son was almost 6 months old, and pumping SUCKED, but it was worth it. I work 12-hour shifts, too, and I would pump on both of my breaks. I would also pump once or twice at home. I hated it, and I was glad once he turned one and I didn't have to pump anymore!


I'm thrilled that at 14.5 months, my toddler is still nursing lots when I'm home. He now drinks cows' milk and eats solids while I'm at work. But my favourite part of the day is when I get home after we've been apart for 13+ hours, and we can nurse. It's a great way to reconnect!

Ella - posted on 07/17/2011

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NO (it is not useless)!! Breastfeed as much as you can!!! All the colostrum and stem cells you can get into the baby is AWESOME! Also, since you do need to return to work- BFing will help your moods (depression/anxiety), keep your milk up and keep that precious bond. and you will NEVER regret it! Good Luck! :)

Carlina - posted on 07/14/2011

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i am a working mom and my daughter is 8.5 months old. i returned to work when she was 4 months old. i have continued to pump while at work( which she takes to daycare the next day) and nurse her from the time I get home till i leave the next day. i am gone approx. 9 hours. i pump 3 times per day @ 9-12-and 3. It has worked for me. I am a busy mental health social worker constantly in the field, however i do take my break times and lunch to pump, usually 15 minutes pumping on both sides. regardless what you chose it would be of great benefit even if you only do 6 weeks its better than none at all, good luck!

Jennifer - posted on 04/20/2010

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I would still breastfeed. If anything, pump what you can, when you can, put in in bottles and feed it to your baby. Even if you have to supplement with formula at least he is getting some of your milk. Pump when you can at work and pump when you are home. You may not produce as much milk but any milk you can provide your baby will benefit him/her in the long run.

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Heather - posted on 10/23/2011

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there is no rule against not doing both formula and breast milk. You can pump when you can and feed your baby when you are home and then subsitute the formula when you are not able to feed your baby your breast milk. you want to wait at least 4 weeks before introducing your baby to a bottle and that is just to help him/her to know the difference. I wish you good luck!!! and i hope my small comment helps

Jennifer - posted on 07/21/2011

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Breast feeding is best for however long you can, if you choose not to or can't for whatever reason I am a healthy person who's mom didn't breastfeed at all, I am rarely sickout if you plan on supplementing when you go back to work make sure you get the formula feeding established before you go back, I just started supplementing and discovered certain formula makes him sick then he cant even eat breast milk for half a day. Discuss it with your dr

Romina - posted on 07/21/2011

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Yes, definately nurse in those six weeks. Breastmilk is compared to liquid gold for newborns! I used to pump in the back of my car(tinted windows) twice during my eight hour shift. With a good, dual electric pump like medela it will take you fifteen minutes to empty your milk each time. Maybe you could split your lunch break or something. Good luck !!!! Congrats and thank you for being a police officer too:)

Jamie - posted on 07/20/2011

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The best part about breastfeeding is that after I come home from work, no matter how long my to-do list is, the number 1 thing I have to do involves cuddling.

Tanya - posted on 07/19/2011

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You can definitely nurse for as long as it works for you!


I went back to work when my second son was almost 6 months old, and pumping SUCKED, but it was worth it. I work 12-hour shifts, too, and I would pump on both of my breaks. I would also pump once or twice at home. I hated it, and I was glad once he turned one and I didn't have to pump anymore!


I'm thrilled that at 14.5 months, my toddler is still nursing lots when I'm home. He now drinks cows' milk and eats solids while I'm at work. But my favourite part of the day is when I get home after we've been apart for 13+ hours, and we can nurse. It's a great way to reconnect!

Tanya - posted on 07/19/2011

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You can definitely nurse for as long as it works for you!


I went back to work when my second son was almost 6 months old, and pumping SUCKED, but it was worth it. I work 12-hour shifts, too, and I would pump on both of my breaks. I would also pump once or twice at home. I hated it, and I was glad once he turned one and I didn't have to pump anymore!


I'm thrilled that at 14.5 months, my toddler is still nursing lots when I'm home. He now drinks cows' milk and eats solids while I'm at work. But my favourite part of the day is when I get home after we've been apart for 13+ hours, and we can nurse. It's a great way to reconnect!

Suzie - posted on 07/17/2011

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Yes it is and if you set small goals it helps my first was 6 weeks then 3 months then 6 month then a year My daughter was 22 months when she gave it up my son is 10 1/2 months and were still going strong I went back to work when he was 2 months old

Amanda - posted on 04/25/2010

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No way!! It is completely possible! I am a nursing assistant and I go to school part time! My son is now 8 months old and I have breast fed since birth with no formula! At first it will be tough but after a week ull get a routine down and it will be second nature! You can do it and trust me it's so worth it! The bond we have is amazing plus all of the health benefits for both of us! Talk with your boss and just make them aware you are doing what's best for you both and even though it kinda stinks u can pump in ur car they have car adapters! I do homecare so I know what you mean about being out n about! If you have any other questions feel free to ask!!

Amy - posted on 04/25/2010

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It's not useless to breastfeed for the first 6 weeks. Formula is very expensive, and all the other reasons mentioned above.

If you have 12 hour shifts, you might have the same issue I had with my son, he had too many bottles in a row and refused to nurse. After a while I got him to nurse at night and that made a HUGE difference.

If you want to breastfeed, talk to people at work and find out how to make it happen. Is there anyone you can talk to that you work with that had a baby and breastfeed? Your work NEEDS to give you the time and place to pump.

I'd suggest getting to work early, and pump at work before you start, then (if you can) every 4 hours pump, with one of the 3 times being a longer pumping time during your lunch. Even if you pump for 5-10 min it can make a difference in keeping up your supply. Also, try to nurse when you get home, then pump after nursing, and do that all evening, with pumping 5 min after the milk stops after your last feeding. Even if you don't pump as much during the day, pumping/expressing more milk other times of the day can help keep up your supply.

And if you decide it's not working, then just stop. But I say if you want to breastfeed, at least try to find a way to make it work while your on shift.

Melinda - posted on 04/25/2010

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To answer the last question first, no it's not usless to breastfeed for only 6 weeks. The antibodies the baby gets in those 6 weeks are very important so even if you only did it for 6 weeks, your baby would be better off for it. Second, I too work 12 hour shifts as a nurse, I was always able to find the time to pump but it wsn't always convieniant or fun.People would interupt me, my pump broke twice so I had to leave to get a new one, plus my boss wasn't sympathetic to it and thought I should just give her formula, etc. It was difficult but I did it until my daughter was 6 months old then I got discouraged and gave up. Somedays I wish I had hung in there but my daughter is fine and survived very well on formula! Plus my husband could help more! But, if you really want to cont. breastfeeding there are ways: YOu can acutually train your breasts to only produce milk once or twice a day. My friend did this for a long time. She would breastfeed at 5:00 am before she went to work then at 7:00pm before bed. It worked great and she loved it! Bottom line: You need to do what feels right to you. if you want to just skip breastfeeding altogether do it! YOur baby will be just fine either way!

Tina - posted on 04/25/2010

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i choose to breastfeed for the 6 weeks i was off and then tried the whole pump it game but soon it failed like you i am a very busy worker and unless you can take a 15 min break every hour or two it just doesnt work and the colustume (spelling) the importeant stuff in breast milk is in the first 4 weeks of feeding is the best then formula is just as good so i've been told i have 3 healthy happy kids.

Elizabeth - posted on 04/25/2010

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They have just strengthened the law so that your workplace is required to allow you breaks to express milk in a private location that is not a bathroom. Any breastfeeding is better than none. I wish that I had breastfed longer with my first child, but the pumps back then were terrible. Get a really good pump (expensive, but worth it) and talk to your supervisor about the accommodations at your station. Good luck!

Elizabeth - posted on 04/25/2010

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I am an army Labor and delivery nurse and I also work 12 hour shifts. Any breastfeeding you do is good, so even if you only nurse during your maternity leave you have given you child some wonderful health benefits. I managed to breatfeed my children both one for 8mth and the other for 11 while working those crazy shifts. I tried to pump every three hours at work, it didn't always happen but I was pretty successful. I used a nursing privacy cover and our breakroom soi that I didn't have to go further away and was able to get back to my patients quicker. An adapter for you car might be good for you if you are going to be on patrols and a pump that comes with a cooler bag.

Rachel - posted on 04/25/2010

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try breast feed the baby for those six weeks, the colustrum (*sp) produced helps boost the baby's immune system so it's never a waste of time. Get bub used to drinking from a bottle no matter what you decide. If you can do try expressing, if it doesn't work for you don't feel guilty. I breastfed my first child because i didn't have a choice (flatly refused the bottle) and I bottle fed my second child after 6 weeks because I didn't want to breastfeed longer than that. In the end you have to do what works best for you and don't let anyone make you feel guilty about your choice.

Latoya - posted on 04/24/2010

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Hi, you should breastfeed a long as possible. I'm a nurse and a mother of 3. I have a 3 month old and I went back to work last week. So far I managed to get pumping in my schedule and my job does have places that I can go. This is my first time breastfeeding and I'm glad I made the choice. So even if it's only for 6 weeks it will benefit your baby.

Daniela - posted on 04/24/2010

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No, No, No, not useless at all! Try and breastfeed for those first 6 weeks,and beyond if possible.. it's so good for them. You can also freeze breastmilk after pumping. I realize the difficulty in the workplace, but try it out for a while and if it really is too much of a hassle, at least you tried!! I breastfed for 13 1/2 months, I was lucky enough to not have to go back to work so soon, and it really created a bond with my baby. Not only that, the first time she got sick she was at 12 months old! Breastmilk protects your child's health and gives all the nutrients necessary. My daughter was fed only breastmilk for the first 6 months of her life. It really gives them a jumpstart. Good luck, I hope it works for you!

Sarah - posted on 04/24/2010

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I am a nurse and also work 12 hours shifts. It is hard to fit pumping into my busy schedule but I have managed to so far and my son is almost 6 months old. I am lucky that I work at a hospital and they have a dedicated place to pump. I would tell you that if it is not possible to pump at work that any amount of time that you breastfeed you child is a benefit. Good luck on whatever choice you make and with the new baby.

Shaena - posted on 04/24/2010

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I breast fed with both of my kids and found that using a hand pump was a godsend! First grandkids so everyone wanted to "help". I used a hand pump that made no noise as it was not battery operated and was small enough to fit into a purse. It attached directly to bottles for easy storage and use. Once my body was used to it I could pump both breasts in about 10 min or so. If you keep a cooler with some freezer packs it should keep the milk just fine during a shift.
No matter what you choose it will be just fine and right for you and the baby! Although I breast fed my two I also supplemented some with formula and it all turned out well. Enjoy your new little wonder!

Heather - posted on 04/23/2010

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I am a HUGE advocate of breastfeeding! It is the absolute most wonderful gift to give your baby, for ANY amount of time you are able to do it. The longer, the better, but even if you can't make it work once you return to work, that 6 weeks of "liquid gold" gives your child benefits that nothing can undo!



I do have a busy job, and for me it was all about discussing w/my employer in advance. I discussed with them all the research about how beneficial breastfeeding is for a child and discussed accommodations for pumping (times to do it, a place to do it). It took a little negotiating to figure it out, but we did, and I am still breastfeeding my daughter who will be 8 months old this weekend.



I would really encourage you to do some research on the amazing benefits (and joys!) of breastfeeding, and share that with your employer. Breast pumps are very easy and portable now, as well as discreet (mine looks like a large purse). Wait until baby is 4 weeks old to introduce bottles, so breastfeeding is firmly established, but then you should be able to do a mix of bottle feeding expressed breastmilk and breastfeeding, and if you find it necessary- you can always supplement w/a little formula here and there.



I have a GREAT book that I've referred to a hundred times at least- it's called "The New Mother's Guide to Breastfeeding" and it's published by the American Academy of Pediatrics. I highly recommend it! =)



Congratulations on your precious babe and best of luck to you!!

Almira - posted on 04/23/2010

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I am a physical therapist who works in home care, I spend my day in the car. When I went back to work I would pump in the car while driving. I would use a nursing cover, and drive to my next appt. I had a cooler in the car that I would store the milk in. Once I got the hang of it there was really no problem.
It is not useless at all to breast feed for the six weeks you have off, your baby will get the benefit of having breastmilk no matter how long you breastfeed.
If you can't make it work to pump while at work you could always give formula while you are at work and breasfeed in the morning before you go to work and in the evening when you get home.

Megan - posted on 04/22/2010

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Healthcare Reform Calls For Designated Lactation Area For Working Moms - Hooray! Also, it says they get an unpaid reasonable amount of time to pump breast milk at work. If you do decide to breastfeed your baby while working, it is possible although not always easy. Luckily getting breaks for pumping are put into effect with healthcare reform! Good luck!

http://www.local12.com/news/local/story/...

Lara-Adele - posted on 04/20/2010

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i work security and when my daughter was born i stayed off work for 8 months and breast fed only then when i went back to work i pumped and put it in bottles. the best part of breast feeding for any baby is the colostrum, your milk will not come in right away it takes any where from a few days to 2 weeks. look at what the benifits are of breast feeding, it reduces your chances of all the womanly cancers, it reduces the chances of your baby getting ear infections, asthsma, and think of the bonding :). but the choice is yours. good luck and congrats.

[deleted account]

the longer you can breastfeed the better even if it is a few weeks, so don't not breastfeed just because you will need to go back to work eventually. one thing i would suggest is while you are on leave pump and freeze as much as you can for when you go back. I used the lansinoh freezer bags and had no issues with leakage - store them flat in a shoebox in the freezer). I started pumping and storing for 2 months before I went back - i wish I had started even sooner. I tried to get a 5 oz ba a day - it is hard work when you are already feeding the baby, but I would do it in the middle of the night when he would only take one side - once he was back to sleep i could go pump the other side. This way i could be sure he wouldn't be getting hungry and I wouldn't have anything for him.
My job is very busy but certainly not as demanding as a police officer's, so i am not sure how often you will be able to pump. I pump 4 times a day (my husband drives so i do it to and from work - 1 hr commute and then 2 times at work) and have managed to keep a supply going for one month now (he is 4 months). If i can keep it up till he is 6 months I will be very pleased.
Just do the best you can. If you decide not to pump once you go back, which i think is understandable given your situation, I hope you will at least try doing it while you are home. I feel like I have an incredible bond with my boy b/c i nursed him. He has also not been sick once in 17+ weeks. it is incredible for their immunity.
I hope I don't sound preachy. Good luck and stay safe - thank you for your service to us and your community as a police officer. :)

Denise - posted on 04/20/2010

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FYI. If you cannot pump at work or can only pump a little be aware of engorgement. Your boobs will get huge and maybe painful. Plus they may leak, so be sure to keep breast pads on.

Crystal - posted on 04/20/2010

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I would give it a shot! I CAN'T breastfeed and I was heartbroken. If you can breastfeed for 6 weeks that's better than nothing.

By law your job has to allow you time to pump, but like previous posters said, some mommies formula feed while at work and breast feed at home. Your supply will adjust. If you need to pump in your patrol car I'm sure you can get creative, bring a cover and park where people can't see you, or get to the station and pump there. It shouldn't take too long to do.

If it doesn't work out, there's always formula, in the end as long as your LO is healthy and happy that's all that matters. Good luck!

[deleted account]

The number one thing you need to learn being a new mom is to be flexible. Until your baby arrives, you have no idea whether breastfeeding is going to work well for you or not. I had planned to breastfeed and started doing so in the hospital, but my daughter wound up being pretty bad at it. She loved to latch on, drink a little, and then fall asleep. If you pulled her off, she'd cry. In the beginning stages, because my daughter wasn't putting on weight fast enough, my pediatrician told me to breastfeed and supplement with formula. We did this easily - no nipple confusion or anything. While home on maternity leave for ten weeks, I breastfed mostly and then at night supplemented with formula. This allow me to get more sleep. I also pumped periodically. My days I was pretty much confined to my couch because of the way my daughter breastfed...hated it. When I went back to work, I tried pumping at work, but I was the AD at a nonprofit and it wasn't always easy to step away to go pump. I tried pumping at lunch every day but soon enough my milk dried up. I used the rest of the stored milk I had and then went solely to formula. All in all, I breastfed for about 3 months (supplementing). Don't be too hard on yourself...do what you can.

Allison - posted on 04/20/2010

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PS I work in a lab, and also had trouble with the schedule, so I just did the best I could - some days I didn't pump enough bottles, but I would try to get an extra few in the freezer somehow (weekend, after nursing, etc), and we managed to make it through without formula that way. And once he started on solids, at ~7 months, I didn't have to pump as often, anyway.



AND if you can't pump enough, remember you can use as much or little formula as you need - for example, formula during the day, nursing at night (and on on days off, if your supply is high enough). Or pump when you can, but use formula as backup for when there isn't enough pumped milk, etc. I have friends who did those different combinations and it worked great for them.

Allison - posted on 04/20/2010

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Don't know if anyone mentioned this yet, but Obama just signed legislation requiring any employer with more than 50 employees to make special accomodations for breastfeeding mothers. That means mandatory, scheduled breaks (including providing someone to take your spot during those times) and providing a clean, private place for pumping. It seems like your job will make it extra challenging, but if you want to do it the law is on your side - no pun intended :)

I shared an office with 2 guys, so I had to use the bathroom sometimes to pump, or would kick them out of the office for 15 minutes, and it was challenging, but I felt like it was worth it. But like the others said, breast milk is more beneficial no matter how much they get, so I would go for the 6 weeks, at least, and take it from there :) I like comparing it to getting veggies into my toddler - any bit I can get him to eat is beneficial! Good luck!

Amanda - posted on 04/19/2010

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Mindy,
I am a mom of three. I was a security guard at the time I had my third child. I took my breast pump to work and had to go into the restroom to use the machine. I was only able to keep this up for about three weeks, but it was well worth it. There are no words to describe the bond between you and your baby when you are breastfeeding. I definitely suggest doing it for as long as you are able. There are also natural immunities that can help keep your baby healthy.

[deleted account]

thanks everyone..i'm going to try breastfeeding at work but it'll be hard to keep a normal schedule as I never know when a call will come up!

Tiffany - posted on 04/16/2010

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There are lots of great benefits to breastfeeding and any amount of breastmilk is good for your child and for your health as well. Talk with the lactation consultants at hospital when you deliver or reach out to La leche league in your community.

I had a difficult time when I started breastfeeding, so don't freak out if it isn't easy right from the start. I'm working 10 - 12 hour days and pump twice during the day. sometimes I don't get to pumping until 8 hours in, but your body adjusts.

Just force yourself to do it for a week or two if you can, and it gets SO much easier than mixing formula and heating bottles in the middle of the night.

[deleted account]

when i went back to work and i was breastfeeding . it is very good to breastfeed your child b/c you get a very good bond with your baby. feed before you go to work, on your coffee breaks pump.and on your lunch break..

Tina - posted on 04/15/2010

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It is very possible yet doable. My husband and I threatened many times to wean our son cold turkey. But it is so much better than any other milk. Expressing at work and trying to keep up with him was very tiring but fulfilling to know we were doing the best for him. Steal the time. Build it in your work schedule. Talk with your boss before returning to work about what your needs will be once you return. It usually takes about 2 15 min breaks a day to pump. If you are far from your baby you made need 3 15 min breaks. It's hard work being a new mom...all the work is worth it. Thats why God created us the way he did. Spectacular...you will be fine.

Marietta - posted on 04/15/2010

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Hi Mindy, Congrats on being a mommy soon. You will now join us with our headaches..lol. What i remember when my dr confirmed yes you are pregnant, was sitting in his office and just noticing all the pictures of babies on the wall & this one particular one with the saying " Breast is Best". This way you are not waking at 3 in the morning sterilising & making formula, you can just put him on and bob's your uncle. Also the colostrum that they get in the first few days is really good for them. I went back to work full time after 3 months with my first son & after 1 month with my 2nd son. I still breast fed. I worked at a bank & they were fully understanding that i needed to pump milk. So when i needed to pump i would let them know. It worked out that the milk i pumped was enough for him to feed on the next day till i got home. So while i was at work he was drinking pumped milk & i fully fed him when i got home. With my 2nd son i breastfed till he was 2. But he & his brother are the healthiest little boys, they are now 3 & 4 and i believe it's due to me giving them a great start with Breast Milk. Give it a try i say, even if you have to carry a chilly bin so that you can store the milk also your breasts will tell you when you need to pump so then you could situate yourself around a mall where they have parenting rooms. Good Luck on what you decide :)

Denise - posted on 04/15/2010

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Have you tried to contact a La Leche group in your area. They are a support group run by breastfeeding mother that have taken training and provide wonderful support and advice. I know that without this group, I likely would not have been successful at breastfeeding. here is a link to the U.S. site http://www.llli.org/WebUS.html

Dora - posted on 04/15/2010

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I had to return back to work full time after having my son. I also decided to continue breast feeding. I pumped once during my lunch When I was home I pumped quite often to keep my supply up. Any amount of breast feeding you do for child will make a difference. Try it out and if it gets to difficult you can always stop. I definitely recommend at least giving it a shot.

Dodi - posted on 04/15/2010

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I breastfed both of my children for a year. It isn't easy, but once you get a schedule down, it becomes part of a routine and isn't so bad. Get a good breast pump. If you can afford the Medela, I would recommend it. Mine works on electric/batteries/cigarette lighter from the car, so I could pump almost anywhere. I pumped once at lunch time and then after work. Pump what you can. Freeze any extras. Supplement with formula if it isn't enough. Breast milk is unquestionably better for your baby, but only if it doesn't stress you out worrying about it. Try it out and stick with it as long as you can. Good luck!

Romina - posted on 04/15/2010

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I'm working and I pump in the bathroom at work for my 3 month old. My pumping takes approx 15 minutes. Feed her right before work and immediately after work so I only need to pump once in-between. It's absolutely better to breastfeed while you can. It's like liquid gold to the infant and SOOOOO worth it! When I get sick or a cold, she bypasses it!

Sara - posted on 04/15/2010

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I breastfed each of my four babies and went back to teaching school 3 to 6 weeks after the birth. It really wasn't that hard. If you can manage a 15 minute "Bathroom break" to pump once or twice during your shift, your body will adjust. I believe it is sooo worth it!!! I just read all the material I could get my hands on to make sure the milk would be safe. I kept it cold in a bottle in a jug of ice during the day. I froze milk on the week-end for Mondays feedings and tried to get extra whenever possible. I didn't even have to supplement with formula! But you can supplement if you really need to. Bottom line....my children have been very healthy as a result of breastfeeding (they are young adults now.They have had very few illnesses their entire lives! And yes, it is very important to breastfeed even if you only do it for a few weeks or months. The beginning of the baby's life, it is especially important. No formula can give near the benefits of breastmilk. Also, the bonding with the baby and its mother by breastfeeding is unlike anything else. Especially if you are a working mom like I was. It really helped my babies and me since I could not be with them 24/7. Also, drink plenty of water or tea!.

Best wishes!!

Renee - posted on 04/15/2010

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have faith in yourself i did it with both of my children stayed home six weeks with both of them and went back to work full time and breasfed both of my kids until a little over a year. talk to your employer about setting up a private area so you can pump they have to accomadate you. good luck

Alexandra - posted on 04/14/2010

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Oh, and you might have to be careful with your vest. If it's tight/binding it could inhibit your milk production. Any chance you could get light duty/desk work for a bit?

Alexandra - posted on 04/14/2010

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Hi and congrats on wanting to breastfeed! I went to work 13 days after my baby was born, but it wasn't shift work. When your milk comes in, shortly after babes is born, you will be loaded with milk....pump as much as you can when you can and freeze, freeze, freeze! ANY amount of breastmilk is more beneficial than none. Invest in a good electric pump and you will be fine. Just remember that every effort counts and is to be congratulated, but lets face it, there comes a point when it just isn't reasonable to pump/breastfeed anymore and you can't feel badly about that. Best of luck!

Tina - posted on 04/14/2010

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Are your shifts predictable? Many moms choose to formula feed during work hours and breastfeed at night or when they are home with the baby!
Your supply will adjust- just as mothers supply adjusts when their babies start sleeping through the night.
There where days when I just hooked the pump to my boobs (under my shirt that is) and plucked away at my computer. My colleagues were already making cow jokes- so what's the point of being embarrassed about it.
I see many officers sitting in parking lots writing reports...maybe you could pump then? (might have to let speeders off the hock while you're pumping)

I say try it and see how it goes...a little is better than none.
While at work- reduce the risk of a wet shirt from an unexpected Let-Down by buying Lilypadz- they are sticky pads you put on your nipple and they keep the milk from leaking everywhere

Susanne - posted on 04/14/2010

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You can pump while you are off work and freeze the milk. When I had my son I went back to work after being off for 8 weeks. I nursed and pumped and when the time came for him to start daycare I already had a bunch of milk ready for him. Your work should allow you time to pump, I'm sure there are some legal laws about this. A lady at my work pumped 2xs a day at work during her break. I pumped at work durning my lunch in the bathroom, it wasn't easy but I did it. Electric pump is the best. If you do this double bag the plastic milk bags, date it and place in freezer. Gerber, Playtex have plastic bags you can freeze the bags in. Evenflow I think has the screwable 4 oz bottles which are great when pumping at work and bring home then placing into plastic bags to freeze. You can also nurse and pump at the same time at home, I did it in my kitchen while eatting dinner, crazy I know but it can be done and it also helps produces more milk. If you plan to nurse you will want to toughen up your chest with a wet rag where the baby feeds (didn't want to offend anyone) otherwise it will hurt like hell after the 3rd or 5th day of feeding-trust me. There is also a gel for that that helps for nursing moms.

Elizabeth - posted on 04/14/2010

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I agree with the others - give it a try! It does not work for all women/babies, but it is so beneficial! I was not sure I would be able to breastfeed because my baby was in the NICU, but the lactation people at the hospital were WONDERFUL and helped me start pumping, and eventually helped me get him to nurse. I would recommend attending a class if your hospital has one - they can answer so many of those questions us new moms have! I am a teacher and was able to pump twice during the school day, and my body adjusted. I nursed for 13 months before my son decided one day that he was done. It was a relief to be done with all the pumping (I stopped when we introduced 2% at 12 months) but I am thankful I was able to breastfeed for so long.

Kim - posted on 04/14/2010

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I think that even if you can only breastfeed for those first 6 weeks, it will really be worth it. If you find that you do have time to pump (not sure where you would put it - - if you don't have work at a desk. The trunk?) I would do that as often as you can. I work for an investment banking firm and I pumped every two hours while I was there and then when I had my DD, I just fed her while she was awake and pumped when she was asleep. However, I am hereditarily disposed to not producing enough milk...at about month 3 I completely ran out (well an ounce a day was no longer worth pumping and I had to mix to get her fed and stopped), but I am so thankful that she got what she got. I say if you want to breastfeed do whatever it takes to get it done, but if - for some reason - you can't continue, know that anything you can do is better than nothing.

Good luck!

Sharon - posted on 04/14/2010

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hi i have breast fed 4 children ,they say the few few weeks is the most important so why not try it.gives a great bond with your children and a great start. my first child i fed for about 3 mts but did not have that time with the others so i stopped after about 6 weeks.

Jill - posted on 04/14/2010

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I agree with the others. Give breastfeeding a try. It's so important in the first few weeks to build up the immune system for a new baby. If you have a large milk supply, pump as much as you can and freeze it for when you go back to work. My first few weeks back to work, I was able to use both the breast milk and formula before switching to all formula. There are so many new types of formula to choose from now, your pediatrician can recommend one that is right for your baby.

Vanessa - posted on 04/13/2010

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It is NOT useless, breastfeed as long as you can, even just the first feeding, the colostrum boosts the baby's immune system.

I breastfed exclusively for four months until I went back to school, the problem with me was that I introduced the bottle too soon (never do this before 2 weeks, the longer you can put it off the better) and the pump didn't stimulate my milk production to increase though my son's appetite increased. My son didn't take to breast feeding after being introduced to the bottle because it's more work and he didn't like the strong milk flow at the start of feeding. I would have to express first and then it would be too much work for him to suckle. After four months I began supplementing by mixing what breastmilk I had with formula, my dietitian suggested this, stressing that it is still very beneficial to the baby and you as well. Should your baby get sick, they can't usually stomach formula, so breastmilk really helps them during those times. Formula can also irritate their stomach and make them more gas-y (and their bowel movements smell much worse).

Breastfeeding after birth constricts your uterus, and helps that "flabby" belly disappear. My belly was flat before I left the hospital. If you don't breastfeed it takes longer for your uterus to shrink up, and spending the extra calories on milk production really helps you lose the baby weight.

Kytama - posted on 04/13/2010

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With my first a breastfeeded en pumped for 3.5 months and was so tired that I stopped. Now I mix it up. I breatfeed 3 or 4 times a day and for the other feedings he gets formula. It works very well and I'm planning to do it for at least 6 months. My advise, try the fulle breastfeeding and try to pump whatever you can. If it isn't enough or if it's too much for you, try to mix it before you completely stop.

The first time I just gave up and I really regretted it. But finding a balance that works for you and your baby is most important.

Good luck!

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