ok girls I need your help. I am returning to work and I have two questions. 1. I've been EBF my just turned 3 month old and don't know how much to start feeding him when I have to start giving him bottles. I've gone to websites and tried to calculate and it comes out to 3 ounces every two hours. Does this sound right? I have given him a bottle before and given him 3 ounces and he seems ok with it but wanted to see how much everyone else is feeding their babies and FYI my baby is a very small 3 month old he only weighs about 11 lbs. My second questions is...Am I going to be able to maintain my milk supply when I return to work? I have a pump and plan to use it at work and breastfeed him when we are together but I'm just afraid I won't be able to pump enough to countinue to bf for a year. Right now when I pump at night I can get about 3 ounces but that is only because he sleeps through the night but during the day if he misses a feeding and I pump I will only get about an ounce. Is there any secrets or techniques that you use to pump successfully?

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Amanda - posted on 07/03/2011

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i had the pumpease bra- it was really helpful. that way you can pump and have your hands free- to do work, eat, etc.. also, dont approach it with your coworkers apologetically- you HAVE to pump a few times a day- its the best for you and your baby. nuff said. good luck!

Shelly - posted on 07/03/2011

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Hi Jennifer,
Here are some additional tips for maintaining your supply after going back to work: #1 - drink tons of water. Enough that you'll have to pee every 1.5 - 2 hours. 16 glasses a day is a good goal. I drink 2 right when I wake up since you tend to get dehydrated during the night. Tip#2, In addition to pumping at work, do a "super pump" at night. I pump for 20 min, then shower then pump again. It really boosts your milk production. If you don't shower at night, then just wait ten minutes between pumping. Good for you for continuing to BF! You can do it!

Ann Marie - posted on 07/05/2011

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I wanted to add one other thing that helped me a lot. Try to pump right when you get to work, instead of waiting for lunchtime. You'll probably have extra milk left over from overnight, and then your body will produce even more milk by lunchtime.

Ideally you would pump 3 times in an average workday: right when you get to work, about 3 hours later (or lunchtime), and another 3 hours later (near the end of the day). But if you have to choose 2 times, try to make one of them before lunch. Hope this helps. :-)

Also, if your work schedule is crazy like mine, just fit the breaks in whenever you can. Some moms freak out if they can't pump exactly on schedule, but the most important thing is to be consistent and not skip a lot of pumping times. If you're an hour late or early now and then you'll still be OK.

I used a hands-free thing too - mine was called the Pumpin' Pal. It works great once you get the hang if it, and it fits right in the pump case. (I had a Medela Pump in Style Advanced. Actually, I had two of them, one for each baby.) I was able to work on my laptop and even listen in to conference calls in my office while pumping. I just had to keep the call on mute and stop the pump for a minute every time I had to talk, heehee.

Michelle - posted on 07/02/2011

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Hi Jennifer, I exclusively pump and feed with bottles. My LO is 2 months and eating 4 oz. every 2-3 hours. I wouldn't consider her small I believe she is over 10 lbs. (we haven't weighed in yet.) When I had to switch to pumping and bottles at 3 weeks (she wouldn't stay latched) I started her out at 3 and added a oz until she wouldn't eat anymore. Currently she is going through a growth spurt so sometimes she will eat 5 or 6 oz in a feeding. I think 3 oz is a good starting point.

As for going back to work and pumping, I think as long as you pump every 2-3 hours for 20 min you will maintain your milk supply. Hope this helps.

Ann Marie - posted on 07/05/2011

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Since you're a breastfeeding working mom, here are my favorite sites: pumpingtips.com, the bfworkingmoms Yahoo group, and kellymom.com. All excellent advice!

I started my daughters on 4oz bottles every 2-3 hours. So for a 9-hour day I would send along 3 4-oz bottles and 1 2-oz bottle. I would ask the daycare or nanny to give them the 2-oz bottle instead of the 4-oz bottle if it was close to the end of the day, and save the last 4-oz bottle for the next day. So most days they ended up giving one 4-oz bottle back to me.

Around 5 months of age they both started wanting 5oz in their bottles, and I would send a 2.5oz bottle for the "snack".

One other trick - if you have some frozen milk that you've thawed, you have to use that the same day. Mark the thawed bottle(s) with some tape or something and ask them to use that first, so you can keep the fresh milk for another day!

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I fed my son about 3-4 ounces of breast milk every 2 hours at that age. I returned to work when he was almost 4 months old. He is now 1 and I am still working full-time and EBF (he refuses to eat any solids/purees/etc.). I use a Medela In Style pump which is expensive, but works the best. I pump 3 times a day at work (about every 2-3 hours), and breastfeed him when we are together. I have never had any supply issues. If you feel like your supply is starting to dwindle, don't give up but pump more. It's a supply and demand process so it may take a few days, but if you keep up the pumping, your milk supply will increase. And drink lots of water. Good luck and don't give up! It is very hard but totally worth it. HTH. :)

Colleen - posted on 07/03/2011

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Great advice ladies! The only addition I would really emphasize is use an electric pump. RENT one that the hospitals uses they are the best at modulating the suck so it simulates the baby as close as a machine could. AND pump, pump, pump even on days you don't work to maintain the same routine. (I co-sleep so that I can get an extra feed in at night without waking up! Of course make sure to follow all recommended safety rules for co-sleeping...) Commuting sucks and wastes a lot of time, remember to BF AS soon as you pick your little darling up so you and the baby don't have to wait till you get home. OK so more than one thing! lol

Jennifer - posted on 07/03/2011

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Thanks everyone for the responses. I hope that this works, I want to give the best to my baby as long as I can. I have a whole supply saved up in the freezer so I know that will help :D

Amanda - posted on 07/03/2011

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i would put a hot wash cloth on my breast while pumping it helps alot or you can try to take a hot shower b4 you pump i know this will be hard to do at work but maybe you can take a wash cloth with you to work? worth a try

Amy - posted on 07/02/2011

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My daughter is 15 months old and is still breastfeeding and I work full-time. I did have to supplement with usually one or two bottles of formula once in awhile but that's because I have an hour commute to work and usually a 2 hour commute on the way home so when I leave I'm out of the house 12 hours a day. While at work I pumped 2 to 3 times a day for 10 to 15 minutes each time. My daughter slept through the night early on so after she went down for the night I would pump before I went to sleep. I also did a dream feed in the morning before I left for work. I know some people think that it messes with their sleep patterns but it didn't effect my daughter, and helped keep my supply up. Definitely continue to feed your little one on demand when you are with him since his feeding is more effective then any pump.
As far as secrets or techniques just make sure you are drinking lots of water! I used to bring 2 bottles of water a litre each and would force myself to drink both of them throughout the day, if I didn't do that I would realise that at the end of the day I hadn't had any fluids to drink. Good luck, it is challenging but it's worth it!

Sally - posted on 07/02/2011

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Pump early, pump often. Start building up a supply before you start work. Pump at least once every day (even on days off) and as often as possible while at work. Continue to nurse on demand while you are at home.
Good luck

Regina - posted on 07/02/2011

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my LO is almost 4 months old and when she gets a bottle (pumped milk) she will eat 5 oz and scream for more. Her weight is in the normal range for her height. I wish i knew how much she should be getting also.

Chrissy - posted on 07/02/2011

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Jennifer, my LO is eleven months old, still BF, and I went back to work when he was 9 weeks old. I think as long as you pump at least two times in an eight hour shift (every two to three hours), your supply should be fine. I have a medala double pump and it's wonderful! Also, our breast feeding class recommended pumping before you leave for work inthe morning (I don't do that tho). Another thing you can do to increase your supply is to pump after you BF...if you feel like you're getting low (but I would recommend doing this on days when you don't work during the time you would be at work). Just fyi, each baby takes a different amount of breastmilk.. So, it's really just trial and error to see how much your baby wants each meal. :) But, all those details aside, follow your gut and the cues your LO gives you.

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