Need Support about bf vs ff

Nichole - posted on 12/27/2010 ( 22 moms have responded )

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So i will be going back to work mid january but in a different position. I just recently graduated nursing school and will be starting a position as an RN. I have been breastfeeding so far, he is 3 months now and will be 3 and a half when i return, and pumping while I am away but I find it time consuming to pump while I am out. I am nervous that when I start a new job I am going to be so overwhelmed about learning a new job that pumping will just stress me out more. I was thinking of switching to formula once I return but I am so torn. I want to do what I know is best for my son but I am thinking that it would be best for me and my sanity to switch. I dont know what to do!

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Susan - posted on 12/30/2010

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everyone says breast is best and i beleive it i nursed my daughter until 17 months she is 18 months now however it is not good for your baby to see you so stressed. i know some moms that do formula while they are away but nurse at night so that may work for you if you wish good luck!

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Lise - posted on 01/05/2011

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Also check out: http://www.kellymom.com/bf/pumping/milkc...

I think that it's so easy to over-feed a baby from a bottle, some moms think they can't keep up when really the babies are overeating. My daughter drank 10 ounces while we were apart (apart for 12 hours), and I sent 2.5 ounces bottles until she was a year.

Sara - posted on 01/05/2011

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I work full time and am now pumping for my 2nd child. My first, I pumped until she was about 10-11 months old, and I found it somewhat stressful because I felt like I was struggling to keep up. I don't think I fully realized that you generally don't pump as much as they take during the day without you. Pumps just aren't as efficient.
Now, with my 2nd, I tried to build up a freezer supply so that on those inevitable days that my supply wasn't great, I wasn't worried about dipping into the stash. I generally find I pump between 60-80% of what my baby needs in a day, so I can usually make that up with a couple pumping sessions (mornings are most productive for me) at home on the weekends. Knowing that going in was REALLY helpful for me so I didn't think something was wrong.
The more you pump, the more comfortable you'll get with the process, and you'll get a routine down. I often do handsfree pumping (cheap option: http://www.kellymom.com/bf/pumping/hands...) and do paperwork or computer work. Usually 15 minutes per session works just fine for me.
I also worked out things with daycare to help me nurse as much as possible. I "topped" my baby off before I left for work (one mom does it at the daycare), I asked them not to feed my baby within 1/2 an hour of when I was due to pick him up, so I could nurse him rather than provide another bottle (again, knowing it'll take me 1.5-2 pumping sessions to get a full bottle).
I agree with the suggestion just to take it one day (or week) at a time. I set little goals for myself last time: I'll do it until 6 months... then 8 months... etc., and time flew! It's a labor of love, and it's not fun... but it's so worth it. You can do it momma!! Good luck!

Sally - posted on 01/04/2011

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While every state has different rules about how, all employers in the US must let you pump as much as you need to at work. They don't have to pay you for that time and can make you come in early or stay late to make it up , but they have to let you have it. I believe most of Europe has even more lenient pumping rules. Find out what they have to give you; then go to your boss with a printout of the law and some suggestions of how you can accomplish your pumping without losing productivity.
Formula isn't just 'not as good' for babies. It really is not healthy for anyone. It's much harder for babies to digest, is frighteningly expensive, and it gets recalled a lot more than breastmilk.
The better pump you can afford and the more you can relax, the faster and easier it will go. Is your nursing job at a hospital? Some hospitals will let their employees use the OB dept. pumps if you bring your own breast cups and clean it properly after your turn. It's worth looking into.
Good luck

Cindi - posted on 01/04/2011

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Nichole-You bring up good points about returning to work and pumping. Every day during the first year that you breast feed your baby is a plus for their immune system. I would encourage you to keep pumping and storing and if you feel you need back up for your sanity I recommend Similac Organic formula. It comes in liquid form or powder. You can buy it by the case on line at a reasonable price. It is much more compatible with your infant's digestive system then almost any other formula. It is put through an extra process that changes the actual cellular size of the product, plus no chemicals and most babies don't get constipated from this product. There are a few others but I find Organic Similac has the overall best results. This way you can reduce your stress and if you miss a pumping session or get stressed at new job and breast milk is reduced a bit, then you can still feed your baby something that is not offensive to their developing digestive tract.

Kat - posted on 12/29/2010

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Oh my gosh, don't stop nursing. Your little one would have the double stress of having his mommy leave to go back to work and having his milk taken away that he also associates with you. That would be a big hit to his confidence and feeling of security.

Melanie - posted on 12/29/2010

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i pumped and bottle fed that to my baby when i worked full time but i see nothing wrong with formula if that makes life easier.

Amanda - posted on 12/29/2010

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i am also a RN and was very concerned about how pumping would work with a hectic day once i returned to work when ben was 4 months old. i found pumpandwork.com an excellent resource (there are even handouts you can give to your boss that support your need to pump). your place of employment will probably provide a space for you to pump privately (one of the hospitals where i took orientation classes had an AWESOME lactation room). my coworkers are very supportive, but i also dont really give them much of a choice ;) i dont take a seperate break and have found a pumping bra that allows me to eat and chart while i'm pumping so no time is "wasted" (pumpease- they are so pretty too!). you are doing an amazing thing by providing breast milk for you baby- dont let yourself get psyched out! plus, you will appreciate that extra special bonding time when you get home :D let me know if you have any questions- i have been successfully pumping for 4 months (i work in ICU and same day surgery). best of luck!!!

Dora - posted on 12/29/2010

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I breast fed my son for the first 3 months and then had to go back to work full time. I did pump and I will tell you it was consuming but I just didn't want to stop him on the breast milk. Also my job is a high stress position so that did makes things even more difficult for me. I tried planning it around my breaks and lunch time. It did work out for me and I did it for a tear. After that I did stop the breast feeding and pumping. I don't regret what I did and happy I made the choices I made. You have to do what works for you. It is hard to raise a baby and work full time. I say try it out if it is something you really want to do. If it doesn't work then stop and switch to formula. I do want to add that while pumping at work it gave me a break to sick back and just think about my little cutie pie and that actually helped take away the stresses from my job. I also found that having a child breast feed and bottle feed helps with weaning them later on when you are ready to stop breast feeding all together. Good luck.

Janice - posted on 12/29/2010

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I think that if I was in your position I would try to continue breastfeeding whenever you are home and try to pump at least 1x while away. Supplement with formula when you have to. I wouldn't completely stop breastfeeding unless once the job starts it becomes impossible or you begin to dry up. Goodluck!

Heather - posted on 12/29/2010

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As a nurse, I would expect your boss and coworkers to be understanding. I would check out the state laws where you are, and talk with HR. If your heart is set on nursing then u have to try pumping at work before you throw in the towel. Good Luck!

Jill - posted on 12/28/2010

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I would try pumping now when you can to build up a little bit of a freezer supply. I went back to work when my son was 3 1/2 months old as well. At that time I was going back to a job where I traveled to different buildings, so I had to set up a place to pump in a variety of locations, which was a bit tricky. Knowing I had a back - up supply in the freezer allowed my stress level to be less elevated. It was still difficult, and my son was a big eater, so it was hard to keep up with the demand. However, I will say that he is now fourteen months old and still breastfed. I never had to give him formula either - we made it work. Best of luck to you! I agree with the earlier poster who said to take it one day at a time. I know talking to other women who had pumped helped me through those difficult days.

Lise - posted on 12/28/2010

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I actually LOVE pumping at work! It gives me some time to just sit and think about my daughter. Built-in downtime!

Morgan - posted on 12/28/2010

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Pumping was a way for me to de-stress from the work day! It's a time where everything has to slow down. It made the transition back to work a little bit easier. Good Luck!

Becky - posted on 12/28/2010

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I would hope going to work as an RN your employer would be more than happy to allow you time to pump while working.. without it being an added stress cause..

Carolyn - posted on 12/28/2010

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I was in a similar position. I EBF my daughter til she was 2 months and then when I returned to work I had to start supplementing. I did however, pump at work, and then the pumping just kind of stopped at work. In my case I had to return to the states to have my daughter and I was not able to pump and save to get a supply going. I wouldn't be able to bring it back here to Barbados. I was so torn about having to supplement, but I had no other choice, I couldn't produce enough for her while pumping. I pretty much strictly bf her when I'm with her and if I need to run errands and my husband watches her, she'll get a bottle. If you feel you need to supplement then do so. It's your choice and your baby.

Ramona - posted on 12/28/2010

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my mom supplemented with formula while she was working and breastfed while she was with me. That is what I plan on doing, Your body adjusts accordingly, don't worry!

Briana - posted on 12/28/2010

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I would at least try to pump first. Talk to whoever is your boss and let them know how important it is that you have time to pump

Jenni - posted on 12/28/2010

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Just take it day by day. Give EBF a try for a week or so when you start your new job before you make any decisions. I'm only suggesting this because once you stop it is near impossible to go back and I don't want you having any regrets. So it's at least worth trying. They will give you breaks for pumping. If it truley is too overwhelming and causing you too much stress then you can decide to make the switch. But you won't really know until you give it a try. Congrats and good luck with the new job!

Emily - posted on 12/27/2010

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I started a new job and needed to pump for the first time this past summer. What helped me was making sure I talked with human resources as well as my boss and other co-workers about my plans to pump. I was overwhelmed (and surprised) with the support that I got for it. I think just being open and honest about it gave me motivation to keep going. I had people encouraging me along the way. Pumping is definitely a hassle, but as far as *your* sanity, I think you'll feel better knowing that you're doing the best you can not only for your son's body, but for your body as well! I also found that my pump breaks were a great time to just be by myself away from the stress of the new job and chill out. I looked forward to getting away.



I would bet that in your profession, you will find numerous people who will be supportive and encouraging for you. Talk to your boss in advance and set up a plan.. you will not regret it!

Nichole - posted on 12/27/2010

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Thank you so much for your input! That's helps me emotionally because I plan on having more kids and I guess at some point or another I will have to pump at work! I get so torn emotionally thinking about making him quit and it hurts my heart! Thank you for your input about both your experiences

Amy - posted on 12/27/2010

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When I returned to work after having my son who is now 4 I was in the same type of posistion as you. I had a new boss and while I was out someone had been hired to replace me so I felt very overwhelmed and stresed. I didn't pump at work and dried up within a month or two. I can honestly say I wish I had stuck with it.
I now have a 9 month old who I still breastfeed. I pump at work twice a day 10 to 15 minutes. I use that time as "my" time. I usually play on the internet on my phone and some days that is the only time I get to sit down. My daughter goes back and forth between breast and bottle so when I'm with her she just feeds directly from me. I really wish I had stuck with it for my son and I'm glad that I've done so with my daughter. I can't say that my daughter has never had formula, she probably gets a bottle of formula once a day too but I know that the majority of the time she is getting the best that I can offer.
Good luck with your decision!

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