going back to work, bottle issues and pumping questions

Discussion in 'Breastfeeding' started by blue32, Jun 7, 2011.

  1. blue32

    blue32 Well-Known Member

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    In two weeks I'll be back at work and I have a long commute. I'll be gone from 7-6 most days. I can leave early some days and have a friday off every other week, but obviously, my guy is going to have to get very used to the bottle. Right now, he'll take an ounce here and there, but it's a struggle. Poor guy just hates it, screams for me and sometimes works himself up until he's almost hysterical. It breaks my heart to think of him screaming for me and hungry while I'm at work. We just try to keep offering it to him during the day and avoiding waiting till he's really hungry. It also seems to work best when I'm not around.

    Does anyone have any advice or have you made it through this yourself?

    Should we try to get him exclusively on the bottle during the day while I'm still around (meaning bottle only during my work hours even if I'm around), or is it ok just to keep working to get him comfortable?

    How much of a stock do I need. I have about 50 oz in the freezer now and can add 2-4 oz easily each day. Will I need much more? Some is almost 3 months old- should I use that asap or is it ok for another month?

    Is it better to pump twice at the same times every day, or should I try to pump as many times as possible and whenever possible?

    Will it be ok for me to not use a bottle for the daytime feeds on weekends and days off? Or, will this just confuse my little one? I want to feed him from the boob whenever I can, but I also want him to get used, to and comfortable with the bottle.

    Sorry if this is rambling. I'm starting to get stressed and really need some encouragement. Schedule suggestions, positive experiences and advice are all very, very welcome... I just wish I could work part time.
     
  2. Katt

    Katt Well-Known Member

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    If you had a choice, would you have a lovely warm cuddle or a weird plastic thingy?! If you try to give a bottle when there is something much nicer there, he is probably thinking, whatever! Get someone else to give him the bottle while you stay out of the way. Make sure he is hungry, but not starving so too upset. he is much more likely t take it when it is the only option!

    Have you tried a cup or beaker instead? It might work!

    It must be really stressful, but try not to worry yourself. He will be fine, it will just take time to get used to it.

    I would start with one feed a day which you switch to bottle then increase as you get closer to going back to work. If you are not going to express at work, make sure you give your body time to adjust as you drop each feed.

    Hope all goes well x
     
  3. TigerLady

    TigerLady CaveTiger Clan Mama

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    I think you've got it pretty well under control. I would absent yourself when he tries to have his bottle feeds. That way it will go more smoothly. If he knows you are around, he'll want you instead.

    Are you using BreastFlow or Tommy Tippee CTN bottles? I would recommend them.

    Feed your oldest milk first, use FIFO for all expressed milk. (First In First Out) Which means feeding the oldest first and putting the newest stuff at the back of the line.

    50 oz is plenty to start. :thumbup: With my DD I didn't have more than about 10 oz in the freezer my first day back at work, but quickly built up to 100 just by pumping more at work than she was eating at home.

    It will probably go more smoothly than you anticipate. As for feeding on the weekends, it should be fine to not use bottles. I never had any problem feeding directly whenever I was home with my kids. They still took their ebm from the bottle fine during the week.

    I went back to work after FMLA with both my kids... so very early. Both did great. Both were done with ebm bottle feeds around 8-9 months old... and both made it through without ever having a drop of formula. This is totally do-able! Feel free to ask me anything if you need advice or support. :flower:
     
  4. blue32

    blue32 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks!! I guess I really just need to hear that he's going to be ok. I worked hard to get my boobs working and I really want to continue with breastfeeding and avoid formula for as long as we can. I went today and got a cup so that we can try that. I've also got an assortment of bottles including the tommy tippee. Luckily he'll be with my MIL who is an angel with him. She's ready to spoon feed him the milk if need be. We'll just keep on as we have been and try to use up some of the older milk. BTW, how often do you pump while at work?

    It's so tough to know I'll be back at work, I'm already missing him. I never really appreciated what working moms go through! Thanks again... I'm going to make this work!
     
  5. popat

    popat Well-Known Member

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    This is my 4th week back at work, LO is 4 months old. I also have a long commute and am away for the same amount of time. My LO had a bottle when he was 3 weeks old and then after 7 weeks, my mum gave him the odd expressed bottle to get him used to it. Still, the first bottle of the day, after I have left, he will mess around but once he is hungry, he will take it and then no issues.

    I pump 3 times at work, I was doing it only twice but my supply suddenly dropped. 50oz is excellent, I had about 30ish. My LO needs 3 4-5oz feeds whilst I am at work and this is what I try to achieve. Don't stress if you get less, from my experience, sometimes I get less and sometimes I get more but worrying makes it worse. You need a place at work to pump that is stress free, worrying whether someone will walk in makes it harder too.

    The first couple of weeks were stressful but once you get into the swing of things, it will be fine. I also don't want LO on formula and have pumped like mad in the night when my supply dropped. Plus he went through his 4 month growth spurt which made it harder.

    Good luck x
     
  6. Lightworker

    Lightworker Well-Known Member

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    My DD1 never took a bottle from me, she used to take one from DH though, so maybe try a having someone else give her the bottle. So she only had a bottle when I was at work, and when I was at home she had breast. She also reverse-cycled so took most of her milk feeds at night when I was there. i used to pump twice a day at work (can't remember amounts lol) but that seemed sufficient for her. X
     
  7. TigerLady

    TigerLady CaveTiger Clan Mama

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    Do you have a doidy cup? Give that a try, too. Syringe feeding is also successful for some babies that don't like bottles.

    I'm lucky enough that I live close to work. So, my routine generally went:

    BF before work.
    Pump at 10 am break (give or take)
    Home for lunch and BF
    Pump at 300 pm break (give or take)
    Home at 5

    Pump as often as you need, though. Remember it is now federal law that your employer give you the place and time to pump (not a bathroom,either!!) until your LO is a year old. It is your right as a BFing mom.

    My kids dropped the morning ebm feed first so then I was just pumping at 3. They dropped the 3 pm feed pretty quickly after that. DS was still feeding at noon until he was a bit over a year, so had I not been able to go home, I would have still had to pump then. DD is still feeding at noon, so same story there.
     
  8. blue32

    blue32 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the encouragement and advice. It seems that my boy prefers a sippy cup if he can't have the boob. Over the past few days, we have tried many options and this was the one that took best- probably because he's teething and the spout feels good on his gums. I wish I had tried this before spending money on several different bottles and a soft-feeder. Oh well. He also likes to drink from a large spoon, like a soup. I think it'll work out, but it sure is a difficult transition. It's so helpful to hear from those who have already done it.
     
  9. blue32

    blue32 Well-Known Member

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    BTW, Lightworker, when your lo reversed cycled, how much did it affect your sleep? My guy isn't a great sleeper anyways, but should I prepare myself for even worse nights?
     
  10. TigerLady

    TigerLady CaveTiger Clan Mama

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    My DD reverse cycles. It would totally trash my sleep if I didn't co-sleep. But because we co-sleep I manage. TBH, I'm not sure I could manage the reverse cycling without co-sleeping.

    But not all babies will reverse cycle. My DS didn't.
     

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