How do working moms that breast feed do it?

Jessica - posted on 01/23/2012 ( 27 moms have responded )

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I have a 4 month baby boy and I'm breast feeding him i enjoy it so much its such a wonderful quality time i get to spend with him. Recently i started working again but i still want to bf but I'm finding it just a little difficult to do because of my schedule im actually thinking of putting him on a schedule to make it easier because i really do not want to give him formula. I feed him every 4 hours because of doctor's order ( i have a lot of breast milk) I'm afraid i will loose my breast milk because i wont be breast feeding as often and ill be pumping more.

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Amy - posted on 01/23/2012

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My daughter is 22 months old and still breastfeeding, I actually work full-time and when I first went back to work I would be away for about 12 hours a day. I did use formula, just because I wasn't able to pump as much as she was drinking but it was only one bottle of formula a day and I suppose I could of added another pumping session to avoid using it but I work retail and that just wasn't possible.



I definitely would not do a schedule, I have always fed on demand. For me it was easier to feed on demand then listen to my baby fuss because it didn't fit my schedule, I honestly don't do well with crying babies :)



As I said I worked retail so there were some mornings I would be out of the house by 6am and then there were nights that I wouldn't get home till after midnight. In the morning before I left I always did a dream feed. This allowed my daughter to sleep longer which my husband appreciated since he was the primary care giver during the day but works till 3am so the later she sleeps the better it is. As she got older or if I hadn't pumped enough the day before I would pump in the morning but I found that more time consuming then just feeding her.



It's not easy to do but it is possible. I always made sure to nurse as much as possible when I was with her to help keep up my supply because the pump is not as effective as your baby is. I always had to remember to drink lots and lots of water throughout the day too once I returned to work to help keep up my supply.



While at work in the beginning I pumped 2-3 times a day for 10-15 minutes. Some days I could only do once because of what was going on. As she got older I slowly decreased how many times a day I was pumping because she was eating solids and more active.

Evelyn - posted on 02/15/2012

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Use the breast pump and store for your baby. I went back to work when my little girl was just 2 mths so I used the breast pump and store enough bmilk for her. I take the pump to work and store for the next day as well. Hope this helps!!

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Jodi - posted on 09/17/2013

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Heather - why did you switch to an Avent pump? What differences have you noticed that make the avent one better? I have a lazy eater as well and a medela pump. After he eats if I pump I only get .5 oz total so I am worried I won't pump enough.

Jasmine - posted on 02/15/2012

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I have a 2 yr Ima son and a 5 month old . Iexclusively pumped for my toddler until he was 1. I am breastfeeding my 5 month old when we are together and I'm pumping at work as often as I need. By law ur allowed to taje extra breaks to pump. When my baby is being bottle fed my expressed milk we use the breast flow bottle by my first years its similar to a breast .

User - posted on 02/13/2012

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I have a 8 wk and 4 day old son. My first baby. and I am breast feeding. I was scared and stressed when I started back to work on if I could keep bf. By law you are allowed 2 15min breaks and lunch to bf. so take full advantage of it. I do. and make sure you are in room not a bathroom. I pump every 4 hrs or less 5 oz each time and home again to feed my son. ( I work 10 hrs a day-4x a wk) Just keep your freezer stocked up on milk and on the weekends pump after you feed him to keep your supply up. I am loving the connection I have with him. i am planning on bf for a yr. Good luck.

Laurie - posted on 02/12/2012

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I work full time and my nanny or my DH brings my 5 mo to work, or I go home so I can nurse her. She eats about every 2.5 hours. We're very lucky that I Only live 2 miles from my office. There are 2 days that I pump once - Mondays if I wok late, and Tuesday afternoons when it's my 3 yos naptime and my nanny is off.



So she eats:

7:30 before I leave

9:30 at work

12 at home

2:30 at work

5 I feed her (except on Monday's)

Then on demand when I'm home.

Heather - posted on 02/09/2012

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Also, mother's milk tea (I buy it from target) and fenugreek are awesome for helping to maintain the supply!

Heather - posted on 02/09/2012

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I had to work SO hard to get milk out with my medela pump, now after getting an avent pump its amazing the difference - it's actually better than the baby, if you can believe that (he's a super lazy eater...). Anyways, see if you can rent a pump from the hospital before you decide it can't be done!

Jessica - posted on 02/05/2012

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Thank you all for the comments they where very very helpful! As of right now my milk supply is still good so I'm not worry. I just find it a little hard because I'm an operator for an answering service company and some times most times I don't catch a break because I'm the only one working that shift. When I work from home i find it much easier cause i could pump while i work.



Oh and the reason my doctor told me to feed the baby every 4 hours was because i had too much milk (easily over 10-12oz pumping) and Deangelo (he was only 2months) was gaining to much weight to fast, plus he was spitting up a lot. The baby got use to feeding every 4 hours really quick.



Thank god he still wants to lash on my breast and he has no problem. He has been sleeping through the night since he was a month so I'm saved on that end.

Sarah - posted on 01/31/2012

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Hang in there Jessica. I won't lie - it SUCKS and it is a LOT of effort, so do your best. I pumped until my son was about 13 months (and then just nursed morning and night until he weaned at 15 months) and am on month 8 with my daughter. I put pumping on my calendar, partially as a constant reminder to me but also to make sure the time is blocked off on my calendar so no one schedules a meeting. It's hard work but it's so good for baby. Just do your best for as long as you can. No one will criticize (and if they do, ignore them!); everyone can only do what works for them.

Suzie - posted on 01/30/2012

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Try a diffrent pump as i have had diffrent pumps and some work better than others I like the medela Swing it seamed the best fit

Brittni - posted on 01/30/2012

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I am just wondering is there anything i can to be able to pump? I always have plenty of milk and even at times when I have been engorged I cant get nothing out with the pump......please help I have a 3month old and a 3year old and I would love to be able to maybe get a day away being that i am a stay at home momband my huaband works a.ton!

Ashley - posted on 01/28/2012

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The key is to pump on your days off too after feedings so you can keep up a supply of "extra" bottles. I went back to work when my first was 6 mo. and I went to work when my second was 6 wks. I must say that going at 6mo. was WAY easier then leaving a 6 wk bfeeding baby. By 6 mo the baby was eating some solids too and was down to a pretty regular schedule. The 6 wker though I had to worry about so many growth spurts and i just never seemed to keep up with him. I learned quickly to pump while at home too to keep my supply up and to keep the fridge and freezer supply going.

I worked 12 hour days 3 days a week at the maternity floor of a hospital though so I had LOTS of support and the hospital lactation consultants always kept tabs on us nursing employees up there just to encourage us. It was very nice. I could only manage to get 2 pumping sessions in a day because of the busy nature of my job, and I didn't make it a priority and my supply started dropping. I had to quit working though when he was 3 mo for financial reasons and thankfully I was able to keep bf.

So don't do what I did. Pump and make it priority. If you want to make it work you can. and pump while at home even though you feel like you shouldn't have to. The more often you pump the better off you will be and the less pressure you will feel while at work to "perform". I would be in our pumping closet at work and be stressing out trying to get the bottles filled so I could get back to work, or so I would have enough for my baby the next day. The toughest thing was if I worked my shifts three days in a row instead of spread out because there weren't many times to pump at home than and by the third day I wouldn't get as much when I did finally pump.

It is tough but worth it because nursing is the best feeling in the world.

Candace - posted on 01/28/2012

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I work full time and am exclusively breastfeeding for thevsecond time. My son is 5 months and I went back to work after 3 months. My son usually eats at 6:30am or 7:00am before I leave. I pump at10:00am at work. I live very close to home and my husband stays home with our kids so I go home at lunch time and either feed or pump. Then I pump at 3:00pm at work. I get home at 6:00pm and feed him on demand in the evening and night. He is only up once through the night. My son is fed on demand. I actually make more than is needed and we are getting a good amount of milk stored in the freezer. It's important because my son pretty much used up the previous storage in a growth spurt. I have a medela pump in style pump. Totally worth the investment because I will be done in about 10 minutes. I bet I average 7 or 8 oz total per pump right now. With my first son, I was pumping about 7 oz per breast at the height of his breastfeeding, around 8 mos old. When I am home, I feed the baby from my breasts and I think that helps to keep the supply up. Good luck!

Alaina - posted on 01/28/2012

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i went throught the same thing. but i lived close to my job and my husband would bring her to me so she could nurse. or try pumping right before you go and leave it with who ever he stays with. will your manger let you leave to go nurse him? mine was understanding about that.

Suzie - posted on 01/26/2012

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You can do it mama I had to return to work when my son was two weeks old he has had 1 bottle of formula (acctually only about an once because he did not like it and he was 6 months old)and that was only because i was in the hospital and missed a pumping i would pump three times in a work day till he was a year old now he is 17 months old and still nurses but he is starting to want his tippy cup more and more so im not sure how much longer.



My daughter was nursed till 22 months and was six weeks old when i went back to work we actually still had milke from her in the deep dark part of the freezer when my son was born as she would drink as little as posible during the day because she wanted mama all night long so two BF kids and only about 1 once of formula not bad for a full time working Mom

Naomi - posted on 01/26/2012

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I returned to work when my first baby was 3 months old. I'm a teacher and pumped first thing in the morning, recess, lunch, afternoon, evening and before bed. I found it hard to maintain my supply and we ended up supplimenting with formula when we didnt have enough stored up for the day. Having a good supply frozen in advance before I went back did help. I persisted until my son was 6 months and then we switched to formula as it was too difficult for me as with pumping as it meant I had very little time to eat or have a break (when you double pump makes it very hard to eat!) at work with yard dutties as well. I was proud I managed to feed my baby predominately BM until 6 months. I am currently on leave with my second baby and am delighted I will be able to take more time off this time and will be home until he in 9 months. Hopefully by then with solids he will be drinking less and it will be easier for me to maintain my supply when I return to work. The hardest thing with my first was that when I returned to work he was fed by bottle and wouldn't take the breast anymore and because I had to stick to my pumping schedule I wasn't able to feed him when he wanted anyway. so I only got to breast feed for 3 months then. Good luck Hope it works for you. Just make sure you are stricked about pumping at work on time. I think being busy and missing pumping sessions or doing them late really didnt help.

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I agree with nursing on-demand with him when you are with him. If you can do this, I would recommend nursing your baby on your breaks (I know of one person who did this successfully). I, too, commend you on not giving up! It can be difficult for some mothers to keep it up while going to work although I never really had problems with doing so (the act of pumping). I pumped while at work and did so every 3 hours. When I felt that my son was starting to require 1 less bottle (as is directed via feeding schedules the doctors give you or the ones you find online), I thought every 4 hours was fine but it wasn't. So, I went back to pumping every 3 hours. You know your baby better than these schedules do, so pump or nurse when your baby's telling you to or as your baby needs! If you are afraid of supply issues and your supply's pretty good right now, I implore, implore, IMPLORE you to pump a bit to reserve/freeze. Mine came in handy and I only wish I would've pumped so much more when my supply was INSANE. Good luck!

Dawn - posted on 01/25/2012

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I exclusively breastfed and went back to work at 6 months and had the super-duper Medella Freestyle handsfree pump and stored it in the fridge (it comes with bottles, an ice pack and a cooler bag). When I had too much I froze it in breastmilk bags. My daughter would never take a bottle (little stinker), so when my husband stayed home with her he just thawed the milk and fed it to her in a sippy cup. We did this to about a year and it worked out well. We always fed on demand. Good luck!

Tiffany - posted on 01/25/2012

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My baby girl is 7 months old and I have been back to work since she was 10 weeks. I BF exclusively, she has never had formula (not cause I am opposed, we just haven't needed it). It is hard to find time to pump at work when you are busy, but I pump at least 2x's (for 20-30 mins each time) and I pump at night before I go to bed. I find that I need to make 3 5 oz bottles during the day, but she definitely doesn't nurse from me that much. So I spend all this time getting my supply up during the week only for it to drop on the weekends because she is too distracted to nurse and I do not have the time to sit for an hour and keep pushing her to eat! lol It can be frustrating, but it is rewarding. Persistence does pay off, and Mother's Love 9it;s a brand that has herbal drops you put in your water to help increase milk supply, it really works!)

Jill - posted on 01/24/2012

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I struggled constantly with my supply...I pumped during two breaks and during lunch everyday, then gave the milk to the caregiver for the following day (I honestly NEVER got ahead). It was really challenging, but managed to breastfeed her for eleven months. Persistence girl, YOU CAN DO IT!

Maria - posted on 01/24/2012

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I pumped once in the morning and once in the afternoon and never had any problems with my milk supply.

Ania - posted on 01/24/2012

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I always wonder about that too. Is there a mom who is exclusively BF (no formula) and working?

Jessica, why did dr ask you to feed your baby every 4 hours? That does not make any sense whatsoever....BF is not like formula feeding, Natural milk is digested in an 1.5h...The less you BF the less milk you are producing....



Sometimes babies reverse cycle. They will wait for you and nurse at night a lot, I don't know if that would be something you wouold want to do, since you have to sleep sometime... but I would wait and see. One bottle of formula during the day when you are away will not do harm, rather the opposite. If you keep pumping regularly at work you should be fine for a while.

Rian - posted on 01/24/2012

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You can make it work. I pumped during 2 breaks and at lunch. I worked at a construction site which made it a bit more interesting to pump but it worked. Your job has to provide a place for you to pump as well or make on available. One of my friends also pumped after regular home feedings to make sure she could save as much as possible. It is a pain but it is so worth it.

Kayla - posted on 01/23/2012

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hi my son is 7 months old and i returned to work when he was 4 months. i go outside on my breaks and pump so i dont lose my supply. my breaks were every couple of hrs to it was good cause it was like he was feeding normal when i pumped.

good luck with everything

Ella - posted on 01/23/2012

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Actually, I wouldn't do the schedule.. Begin by pumping after you nurse. KellyMom.com has some great info.



By law they MUST allow you time and space to pump- check your local laws.



Good for you, keep it up!!

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