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Support Group for Going Back to Work

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
So after just 2 and half weeks postpartum I unexpectedly had to go back to work. Although it is barely part time at this point, I was really hoping to just focus on being a mother for a few months...just not possible right now. Today I am back to seeing students and trying to figure out how to hand express and have my mom bottle feed the little guy. I hate it. I don't want him to have a bottle, we have worked so hard on breastfeeding over the past few weeks. I guess my life would be a lot easier if I actually had a breast pump and the right kind of bottles, but I wasn't prepared for this.

Is anyone else back to work already? If so, how are you handling it and what kind of support do you need?

I know that being a first time mom I could really use advice about pumping and bottle feeding. I got ADRI nurser bottles, but the wrong flow, so I need to get newborn bottles. I also feel like I need support around how to balance my career/work life with raising this little guy. I really feel like I need to do one or the other, but that is not a reality so I have to learn how to balance both. It feels hard...but I am optimistic. Plus how do you find time in all of it? Time to have to yourself, to get back into shape, time with your partner, time to eat, time to work, and then still care for your newborn? I don't want someone else to raise my baby so the nanny thing is out, but is that the only solution?
post #2 of 6
no advice, just for you and for everybody in this boat.

unfortunately (or fortunately for this situation), i am unable to exclusively bf, so it'll be easier for me when i go back to work. fortunately (or unfortunately) i just lost my job last week so i don't have to worry about it quite yet.

i've been struggling with this balance thing myself, and eden will be 8 weeks old on monday. of course, when i look back to where i was with everything 2 weeks pp, the picture i see is vastly different than where we are now.

at 2 weeks i was a hormonal mess...and i mean mess. i was so freaked out by everything, trying to figure out what to do with this bundle of need that totally took over my life, trying to identify with my new role as mom first, and jenny second. trying to figure out how everything that i had perceived as normal fit into this new normal that i was totally anticipating but utterly unprepared for.

i am officially back to my normal, pre-preg self emotionally (though i've still got 3 pants sizes to go physically ). we've gotten ourselves into a groove, she's fallen into her own routine that i can mostly depend on - naps, awake time, bedtime...i let her tell me what worked for her and i've just been sort of going with it. this is where i become thankful that i lost my job, because otherwise i would have to be back to my normal 40 hour work week this coming monday. totally not ready for that.

ITA with your feelings about getting a nanny or other full time care provider. the only way i would leave eden full time is if i had family available to care for her. there's no way i would leave her in some day care so i could work, making barely enough to pay that bill.

my advice to you is to stop, take a deep breath, and then another one. is there any way to take the baby with you when you have to go in? can your mom come along so she can hold/entertain baby until it's time to feed? if not, definitely get some slow-flow nipples. i credit these with preserving what bf relationship eden and i DO have. get yourself a pump, and go to it. remember though, baby can get more out of you than a pump can. the great thing about establishing that pumping relationship is that you'll be able to carve out that "me" time to recharge, get back in shape and pursue your interests. i'll probably get flamed for saying this, but the one thing i appreciate about combo feeding my baby (and it broke my heart to have to do it, just so you all know) is that it allows other people to care for dd when i need a break. (btw, i'm not advocating ff, just speaking from my own experience. i wish i could ebf). http://kellymom.com is a fantastic resource for all questions bf related.

as far as balance goes, i believe that things will come together and start to make sense as your ds gets a little older. he's so little and needy right now, but as he wakes up and starts to see everything, he'll become more independent, and once you've established pumping, it will be much easier to find time for everything because you'll be able to have other family members care for him. and remember, he won't be a newborn for long. i am constantly reminding myself of that fact.

my situation is a little bit different as i have to try to find time to actively look for/interview for jobs while caring for a newborn, and i don't have a partner which is both a blessing and a source of agony...it's one more thing that i don't have to try to work in time for, but it would be nice to have someone with whom i can cuddle, and talk about grown-up matters.

sorry for the long, rambly reply...i get good naps this time of day
post #3 of 6
yes, the work/baby balance is very difficult. I did it with my first starting at 10 weeks - but at 2 1/2 weeks, that is an entirely different story. My DS is 3 weeks and I am pretty hormonal now still - plus, at 3 weeks they go through a growth spurt so I have been spending all my days nursing (i think the increases nursing and hormone thing are related)...so, be prepared for some of that. Also, be good to yourself and get (or ask for) help when you need it. I am hoping that you aren't working much...is it a long term thing? Are you back to work for good? As for havign time for it all...I still haven't figured that one out!!! Sometimes, you just need to let some things slip through the cracks...prioritize and know that you do everything even if you want to.

as far as feeding goes - is there any way you can have your baby with you? That would be the best/easiest. If you can't, you really should get a pump but also, like jenny said, don't get too freaked out if you aren't able to pump what you want/need. and, make sure you are pumping in between feedings rather than just before so that you don't take any milk away from your baby. I only say that b/c i have personal experience with that (taking milk from baby, baby gets weak/loses weight, supply goes down - total disaster).
post #4 of 6
I have to go back to work in two weeks, when DD is 6 weeks old. That sucks enough. I can't imagine going back even earlier than that. How awful! I am fortunate that a good friend of mine will be available to care for my baby (in my home) when I go back to work. She'll be doing it for a really good price, too - about half the price of a regular daycare. Thankfully DD will only have to be watched by my friend about 6 hours a night, 4-5 nights a week, since DH and I will have slightly different schedules. That means most of the time she'll still be with Mommy or Daddy.

I still may line up a different job (part-time), or find a couple of kids to watch from home so that I can give my two-week notice when I go back, but I *do* have to at least go back for that much time for two reasons: 1) to not have to repay my short term disability pay, 2) to make sure I can get a good reference out of them when looking for future jobs.

I started pumping about a week ago, at the advice of a LLL Leader, when DD has her long nap. I didn't get the chance to pump the last three days, though, so I'm getting behind. I need to have a really good stash going before I get back to work, but right now I've got less than 10 full (2.5oz) bottles.
post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 
So, yesterday because I spilled the few ounces of milk that took me all day to express and I was crying my eyes out, my partner went out and bought an emergency breast pump. I barely had enough time to get an ounce before my student showed up for the session. It was soooo incredibly stressful. I wonder if I will regret using a cheap pump...it's a $50 edenflo...my sister insisted that I get a good pump as I would regret it later. What are you all using for pumps?

I am fortunate in returning back to work as I don't have a regular 9-5 job. I make my own hours, I only see private students a few times a week and I mostly do media work on my own terms. It isn't that bad, but everything takes so much more energy. I used to see three students a day with no problem, now it takes me all day just to prepare and see one student. Sometimes I think it would just be easier to say forget about money, I'm going to focus on being a mom for now...but there is also a part of me that doesn't want to give up my career. I guess it is just best to take things a day at a time.

A friend of mine recently asked me how I could go back to work. She just couldn't do it. So I am asking those of us who are going back to work, how do you feel about it emotionally, how do you deal with those feelings and if you didn't have to go back to work would you?
post #6 of 6
Originally Posted by GoddessJ View Post
What are you all using for pumps?
I have a Medela PIS. It is wonderfully efficient. I can't imagine having to hand pump - my arm would get sore! I would not have been able to afford it on my own, but my insurance is reimbursing me for it.

So I am asking those of us who are going back to work, how do you feel about it emotionally, how do you deal with those feelings and if you didn't have to go back to work would you?
OMG it is going to be SO hard. I would stay at home in a heartbeat if we could afford it, and DH feels the same way (that he would prefer me to be able to be with her all the time). Right now it's just not feasible unless I can get a few kids to watch at home & start my own in-home daycare. I'm trying to find clients for this, but not a lot of luck so far as most people who are interested are expecting me (with all my experience) to watch their children for next to nothing (like $1 an hour). I would be taking a MASSIVE pay cut to even make what I'm asking, honestly, but it would be enough to get by.

I am not asking for a lot, just enough to pay my bills, and I'm asking a lot less than regular daycares charge (and comparable to other local in-home daycares). I'm sorry, but I can't take as little as a teenager would charge... I have way too much experience for that, and I am not going to just watch TV and talk on the phone all night like a lot of sitters would, kwim? I would actually interact with the kids (imagine that!).

The only other option would be to get a part-time job with an opposite schedule from DH. Thankfully for now we found someone we trust (a good friend of mine who is also a mom) to watch our baby for a very reasonable rate. I do feel like she will be in great hands, but I know my baby would prefer me of course. Maybe I can figure something out eventually.

It is going to be very, very hard on me to leave her when I go to work, regardless of how great the caregiver is, or even if DH were with her all day. My job is uber-high-stress (I HATE it), so that is going to make it even tougher to deal with. *sigh*
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