Is breast feeding for 7-8 weeks enough before switching to formula?

[deleted account] ( 14 moms have responded )

I plan on sticking to just breastfeeding my baby once he arrives during the rest of my 12 week maternity leave before switching to formula.(I'm going on leave at 36 weeks because my job is a high risk environment) I will be unable to pump milk once I return to work. We only have one 30 min break throughout the 8 hour day, and because they are strict, money hunger, and enjoy making their quota they will not tolerate me alone to be granted a second break while being on the clock to pump milk since it will be unfair to the other employees. I've heard there are breastfeeding laws for different states, but since my job isn't a frnchise, it's privately owned and they have their own rules, they will not oblige by it less I try to sue them in court which I cannot afford to do. Even if I were able to, I'd have to pump in my car since there's just the break room and a bathroom and neither will give me privacy since it takes a half hour or so to pump milk. And since my baby will be born in the fall season, it would be even more uncomfortble pumping in my car turning on the heat, pumping and keeping myself covered from being exposed. I am hoping however if there's a chance I'll still be able to produce milk when my day is over. Or would it be drying up quicker the longer I put it off?

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Elisha - posted on 10/02/2012

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Maybe you should split your 30minute break into two 15minute breaks even 2minutes of pumping is good or you breast may hurt from being engorged

Lori - posted on 09/27/2012

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That does make it so much harder when you have difficulties getting baby to latch. Remember though that just because one baby had trouble latching, doesn't mean the next one will. And there are a few things you can do that can help get breastfeeding off to a good start. (None of it guarantees anything... but does increase your chances of success).



Nurse your baby within 30 minutes of birth. Many hospitals and birth centers will put your baby on your tummy or hand you your baby right after birth. That's your chance... nurse the baby right away. If you let your Dr. know you want to do that... you've got a better chance of being able to.



Room In with your baby. Keep your baby close by, and don't let the nurses give your baby ANY thing else to suck on. No sugar water from a bottle, no formula, no pacifier.



Lots' of skin to skin contact with your newborn. It's so good for both of you, and it really does help establish the breastfeeding relationship. Baby in just a diaper, you with no shirt. If it's chilly, or if you need some privacy - put a light blanket over both of you. Skin to skin helps regulate babies heart rate, keeps baby warm much better than any incubator, and provides comfort to your baby too.



obviously complications may make it medically necessary for them to take the baby, but otherwise... keep baby very close to you.



I hope it goes well for you this time!

Lori - posted on 09/26/2012

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It is recommended it breastfeed exclusively for the first 6 months. Then continued breastfeeding along with complementary foods for at least the first year.



BUT The first rule of having a baby is: Feed Your Baby. If you are unable to breastfeed exclusively when you return to work.. then yes, you still need to feed your baby. But you should be able to do both. Formula feed when you're not with your baby, but breastfeed when you are with your baby. Many many many babies are fed this way, and continuing to get breast milk even if it's not exclusive still provides countless benefits. It also gives you a way to connect again with your baby when you return home from work.

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Lori - posted on 09/28/2012

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the double pump is good for a few reasons. First - it saves you time. You can pump both sides at the same time. That cuts pumping time in half. And Second - pumping both sides at the same time actually stimulates even more milk to be produced than just pumping one side at a time. It's even a suggestion for those who are trying to increase supply... pump both sides at the same time, OR pump one side while baby nurses the other.

[deleted account]

Oh also, the medella pump, is it still beneficial if it's a single pump or is it better to have the double pump?

Denise - posted on 09/28/2012

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I bought my breast pump on Craig's list. It's a medella pump that looks like a brief case. I pump in my car sometimes while I'm driving I just keep a blanket over me.

Denise - posted on 09/28/2012

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I go to work early and pump, then on my lunch break. It'll be tough but your baby is worth it!! Try for 6 months, or else ur baby will suffer. I go as long as 5 hours at work and its been 4 months now. Just pump more at home. I also just started taking fenugreek and on day 4 after only 2 hours I pumped 9oz from 4oz. So stoked!! Stay strong girl, u can do it! I take 2-4 610mg 2-3 times a day. I had the same prob with my boss, when I was prego I asked him if I could get more breaks because I was extremely exhausted, he said "you take a break every hour when u use the bathroom" so believe me I know where ur coming from!!!!! It's tough but it's worth it! I also have gone as long as 7 hours and I still have my supply.

One more thing, I take my lunch with me to pump. Sometimes I only have 15 min. I just squeeze my breast to get the milk out faster as long as you make the effort your body will cooperate. I was really scared too that I would dry up but I'm doing good. Good luck, where there's a will there's a way!

[deleted account]

Thank you Lori, I'll try that. When I had my first child 8 years ago I lasted only a week breastfeeding then went to formula since I felt I failed trying to produce milk through pumping,(no matter how much I ate) and upset that I had to use a nipple shield to breast feed since I had difficulty getting them out for him to latch on. And when they were out he still wouldn't latch on, only when I had the shield on. As I thought back on that a few years later, I had a feeling if it had to do with something being wrong with him....turns out we discovered he was autistic at 3 yrs.

Lori - posted on 09/27/2012

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I'm sorry to hear you have such a lousy unfeeling employer. Ugh!



It could be possible to eat your lunch and pump at the same time. There are good double electric pumps out there, and there are hands free contraptions to use with the pump too. Theoretically you could attach the pump to both sides at the same time, and then be hands free to eat your lunch. Pumping should take 10 to 20 min max that way. And with a good electric pump you may find you get better results than you did with a manual pump. Make sure the breast shields fit you properly. That makes a difference with pump output. Go to a lactation consultant if you need help getting the right size for you.



And when you are looking at the cost of a pump... PLEASE take into consideration that you'll be saving money on formula by pumping. So you'll have the cost of the pump up front, but then you'll be saving money every week on not having to buy formula (or not as much formula). A good pump IS worth paying for.



Some electric pumps can run off batteries, and some have car conversion kits too, so you can power it from your car rather than a standard electrical outlet. Look for these options before you buy.

[deleted account]

I wouldn't bother talking to my employer. I've already seen how 'caring' they are and experienced it as well. They didn't think when they put me on a fast paced machine where I had to keep squatting very low to the floor every 15 seconds to pick up parts that dropped from the machine(because I'm the best operator they have and no one else can keep up or too coward) when they simply couldn't wait til their conveyor belt came in. They assigned me for that two days and I was ok with the first til the end of the day I was really feeling it and only lasted barely 2 hours the next day and told them I couldn't take it. I ended up calling off work the next day due to what felt like a pinched nerve in my thigh to the point I could barely walk, bad enough since I get restless leg syndrome every morning when I wake up. And another employer has to go to the bathroom when needed because she was out for 2 months, had a stent for kidney stones, told our boss she cannot hold her bladder that long til lunch(remember we only have one break per day). And someone was able to relieve for the first few days but then they totally forgot about her condition and she's a friend of mine and I try to help out if I'm on a machine I'm able to walk away from to relieve her.



Anyway, I've dealt with a manual breast pump before and it took longer than 30 min to produce milk, I only got at least 2 tablespoons. I know it could be different this time, or could be the same. Would it be possible to eat my lunch and pump at the same time in my car?

Janice - posted on 09/26/2012

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I'm sorry you are in such a predicament. Its really hard to say how long or how much you will produce once you return to work. 7-8 weeks is just when things are starting to even out. So you may go on to do both breast milk/feeding and formula with no problem or you may unfortunately dry up. Every woman is different. I would really try to pump at least on your lunch break because at only 7-8 weeks you are often still getting engorged if there is a long time between feeds and that can sometimes cause clogged ducts which can lead to an infection. Manual pumps are cheap and if you could even get 10 min. on each side that would help with relieving the pressure and may help keep your production up.

Lori - posted on 09/26/2012

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I'm guessing the first week back will be rough for you. Especially if you don't get a chance to pump at all. You'll probably get quite engorged. After about a week, you're body will adjust to your new schedule. Milk Production works on supply and demand. The more demand (baby feeding or you pumping) the more supply (milk produced). Once you return to work, there won't be a demand for milk during that time, and your body will adapt and will begin to make less milk during that time. But if you continue to breastfeed when you are with your baby then your body will still be making milk for those times.



And yes, as far as breast pads.. make sure you bring extras until you figure out how many you're going to need during work.



And: as for your employer. Have you actually talked to someone in charge about wanting to breastfeed, and possibly pump at work, or are you just assuming they won't let you based on their previous actions toward other types of requests?

[deleted account]

Thank you. I wasn't sure if I would still be able to produce enough milk once I return to work since my job is very physical, if it would cause my breasts to leak a lot (of course I'll always have my breast pads on) I wish I had a better opportunity like most women do.

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