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Returning to Work - WWYD?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

I'll be returning to work shortly and wondering what to do about DS's milk intake during the day.  


Currently, he nurses twice during the time that I would be away to work (both times before naps).  He will be 1 year old, and does not take a bottle.  So I'll have to have him take milk from a sippy cup from the sitter while I'm at work.  Because he doesn't take a bottle, I don't pump but I do HAVE a pump so I could try (not sure how much milk I'll get.)  


My question is this: given that he'll be over a year and that I am still going to nurse on-demand when I am home, would you pump at work or would you just offer cows milk (or some alternative to that, and if so what) during the day?  I'm not keen on pumping, but I'm also not keen on giving cows milk!  FWIW, we have no history of allergies and so far DS has done fine with cheese and yogurt (but I know these are easier to digest).

post #2 of 7

I'd be hesitant to add cow's milk so early when he's still nursing, but we DO have all kinds of gut issues, so maybe I'm biased. I TOTALLY hate  to pump, and did a lot of it with my first DS. I refused when I had to return to work at 12 weeks  with DD (FWIW, I only had to work 3 days/week for 5 weeks).  So I just hand-expressed milk to leave with her. It was not nearly as excruciating, frustrating, annoying, and etc, as I found pumping to be. It was also a lot more effective.. probably because I didn't hate it the same way. I could get 4 oz for her in 7-8 minutes or so. Since he'll only be drinking twice while you're gone, maybe hand expression would be enough for him? 


If you choose not to pump or express at all, I think goat's milk is a pretty good alternative at this age? But most of what I know about goat's milk I learned from my MIL (not research) and she's 100% country - so again, maybe I'm biased. 

post #3 of 7

I will be increasing my work hours in September and DS just turned one.  He doesn't take a bottle, but just this week I have started pumping a little every day and he will drink expressed breastmilk from a regular cup with his meals. So that's what I'm planning on for now. If you do want to avoid cow's milk at this point, but still want him to have breastmilk available while you're at work, you could probably get away with pumping just once and giving it to him in a cup - maybe even before you leave for work or once you get home, so you don't have to think about pumping during work.  But, at this age, you could also very easily skip the pumping altogether and he would probably reverse cycle and just nurse more frequently when you're home.  The down side is that he might nurse more through the night, which may leave you feeling exhausted after working all day.  Also, I agree with anjsmama that goat's milk or raw cow's milk is probably preferable to pasteurized cow's milk.  

post #4 of 7

I've been back at work a couple of months now (I'm also in Canada). I pump at least once a day at work. I have to or I'd be too engorged! You may want to take a pump in case you need to express for comfort, even if you don't want to pump for supply or for milk for your LO. You do NOT want mastitis!

post #5 of 7

I've been working FT since my son was 16 weeks, and I pumped until he was 13 months. After that we moved to cow's milk during the day. He's now 20 months, still nursing fairly often.


I would definitely do some sort of slow wean from the daytime nursing--either weaning gradually before you go back, or else pumping for a week or two at increasing intervals--just for your own comfort and breast health. I took two full weeks to wean myself off the pump.


My son is offered a sippy with cow's milk during the day, but he doesn't drink much, and some days he's not interested at all. He also loves cheese and yogurt and eats them frequently. You don't say why you aren't keen on cow's milk, so not quite sure what other possibilities might work. Would just upping the dairy in other parts of his diet give him what he needs?


Also second the poster above who said he might want to nurse more at night. My son only just started sleeping for a 5-6 hour stretch at night.

post #6 of 7

I'd offer an alternative in a cup (we use soy milk when my son is home with my husband and I'm not available to nurse - though lately I've been wondering if there's such a thing as too much? - and daycare provides cow's milk, so he gets a mixture).  


My experience with my son's napping away from home has been he never even needed a bottle or sippy cup to go to sleep, so you never know, it might be a non-issue!


How many hours will you be apart?

post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 

Maybe offering cows milk is ok by 12 mos...I'm not against cows milk per se, just torn as I know mammas milk is best.  I'll be away from him for 10 hrs per day.  I don't know how much milk he will take while I'm at work.  Today he was with DH for his morning nap time and I left pumped milk for him (as I had a job interview) and he didn't drink much of it at all.  But he does like cheese and yogurt so he can also get some dairy that way.  

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