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Does ANYONE work FT and EBF? Please tell me it's possible...

post #1 of 32
Thread Starter 

I am a teacher and will be going back to work in the middle of January when my LO is 12 weeks old. Please tell me it's possible to EBF while working full time! I HAVE to go back so I really need encouragement and support. Thanks, mamas.

post #2 of 32

I did it while in the military and was able to continue to both my girls were 15 months.  I would have gone longer but I hated running everyday with my milk jugs bouncing around.  I know sounds terrible but man it was painful.  You can totally do it! 

post #3 of 32

I did it for 13 months working full-time.

 

I found the Kellymoms site and the Nursing Mother's Companion to be good sources for information, especially for learning techniques for increasing output like massage and larger horns on the pump.

 

I think a good pump is key.  I got extra tubes and horns so I didn't need wash them at work.

 

I scheduled pumping into my day and did not allow anything to infringe on that time.  

post #4 of 32

Yes! Here's a link to my back to work thread, started almost 2 years ago.

 

I am still working full time, and nursing my 2 year old. I pumped through 13 months and then day-weaned him to cows milk, and we were lucky enough not to have to use formula to supplement during those 13 months.

 

Here are some things that helped me a *lot*

 

Having a great daytime caregiver who understood how much nursing was important to us and who worked to make sure my son didn't get ahead of my supply.

Cosleeping. Kiddo reverse-cycled, and cosleeping got me through that. 

Support at work. I had some place that I could pump and work at the same time, so I didn't have to add an extra 30 minutes to my work day.

 

We EBF though 5.5. months, then added some solids, and continued with BM in bottles through the day until 13 months. 

 

good luck!!

post #5 of 32

Totally doable.  I went back to work when mine were each 8 weeks, and both were/are exclusively breast fed until we started solids.  My daughter is almost 3 and just weaned, and my son still gets 90% of his nutrition from breast milk (other 10% from solids).  Mine both reversed cycled, which helped (we coslept/cosleep), and like other have said, Kellymom.com has great advice.  This site is old and doesn't seem to be updated, but I found some of the guidance useful as well.  Good luck!

 

http://www.workandpump.com/

 

 

post #6 of 32

Coming back to add that DS started solids around 6mo.  (I can't remember the exact timing, it was when he could pincher pick up peas and such.)  I noticed a decline in my milk production around month 9 and reduced my pumping to once a day.  We did not co-sleep at that point but I would nurse him to sleep in our bed where he had an unlimited amount of time to nurse. 

post #7 of 32

I have worked with/know SOOOOOO many moms who have gone back to work and EBF their babies well past the 6 month mark (obviously, if solids are involved their no longer EXCLUSIVELY BF, but BM was still primary source of nutrition). My cousin didit with all three of her kids. I'm getting ready to go back to work in January also, though my DS will be 4 months old at that point, he still eats about every 1-2 hours around the clock (he's a grazer...sigh) so I'm expecting my OS will just become regular supply :)

 

You'll be fine mama!!

post #8 of 32

I worked full time and he received breast milk exclusively until 6 months with my son then supplemented with formula while I was at work but continued breastfeeding through 16 months.

 

With my daughter I also quick pumping at 6 months (I really dislike pumping) but had a good enough freezer stash and she tended to reverse cycle so that she made it to 12 months without formula and then went to cows milk while I working, continuing to nurse until 15 months.

post #9 of 32
Thread Starter 

That's so much for all the encouragement. I think I'll be able to pump three times a day. My cousin will be watching at our home for January, feb, march, and half of April till her own baby is due and I know she'll help me out with the bm. I'm working on building a supply now. I know I don't need a ton, but it will help me mentally to know it is available if needed...

 

What is reverse cycling?

post #10 of 32
Reverse cycling is when a baby nurses more at night to make up for being away from mom during the day.
I just wanted to point you to a couple of good resources on kellymom.com. There's a milk calculator to figure out how much expressed breast milk your babe will need during the day and a fact sheet on bottle feeding the breastfed baby to prevent overfeeding and flow preference.
Good luck on your return to work hug2.gif
post #11 of 32
Thread Starter 

Thanks, Megan! Good to know! I'll check out the websites everyone. Any more personal tips? Things that helped you a lot?

post #12 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hannahkatiebell View Post

Thanks, Megan! Good to know! I'll check out the websites everyone. Any more personal tips? Things that helped you a lot?

I'm super lucky - I haven't had to go back to work with either of my sons until they were past the EBF stage but I did/plan to pump at work mostly so I can nurse on demand on weekends. This time I plan to do two things - buy a hands-free pumping bra so I can do lots of breast compressions while pumping (it can double output) and take time to listen to this relaxation track: http://bfmed.wordpress.com/2011/04/14/now-on-itunes-an-audio-galactogogue/
post #13 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Megan73 View Post


I'm super lucky - I haven't had to go back to work with either of my sons until they were past the EBF stage but I did/plan to pump at work mostly so I can nurse on demand on weekends. This time I plan to do two things - buy a hands-free pumping bra so I can do lots of breast compressions while pumping (it can double output) and take time to listen to this relaxation track: http://bfmed.wordpress.com/2011/04/14/now-on-itunes-an-audio-galactogogue/



Absolutely, I was amazed how much more I could pump.  I remember seeing a video (maybe on Kellymom's or Medela) showing a massage technique where you apply gentle pressure in downward strokes towards the nipple that maximizes output.  I didn't have a pumping bra as I could sit in such a way that I didn't need it but they do work well for some women.

 

I got larger horns for my pump.  I was doing a lot of research about pumping and one resource recommended close evaluation of how your breast fit into the horns.  Again, I found videos, probably on the Medela site, showing how the breast tissue should fit into the horns.  I talked to my lacatation consultant and she told me that I did not need larger horns, that she never had a client that did and so on.  I went against her advice (the horns weren't that pricey) and tried the next size up and it made a big difference for me.   My breasts aren't huge but with the way my breast tissue is situated, the larger horns made pumping more effective and more comfortable.

 

For whatever reasons, I didn't have any pumping issues.  I was comfortable doing it and viewed it as a time to relax.  I would take fun stuff to read while pumping and treated it as "me time."

post #14 of 32

I am! I have a very supportive work environment, so I've been happy with how easy it has been compared to what I expected. Here's my tips (most already mentioned by PPs):

 

-bookmark Kellymom.com and read every single page of workandpump.com (especially this page about using your freezer stash)

 

-Don't worry about having a giant freezer stash. For some reason, everyone told me I had to have a ton of milk saved up pre-work. Really, you don't want to rely on your freezer stash, except for emergencies, because you want your milk output for each day to be the same or more than what your baby eats that day.

 

-make sure your care provider is familiar with how to feed a breastfed baby. they can overfeed the baby if they are only familiar with feeding formula fed babies, and then you won't be able to keep up your milk production. Kellymom has tons of resources for this, including great handouts to give your care provider

 

-I love my double electric pump (mine is the Hygeia EnJoye) and hands free pumping bra.

 

-Be sure your boss is on-board with your needs, and be very vigilant about keeping to your schedule (especially since you are a teacher, I imagine your time is very limited). Here's info about federal pumping laws

 

I work in an office setting, so I spend a lot of time on MDC while I'm pumping. Feel free to PM me anytime. I've only been doing it for a few months now, so I'm no expert, but I can definitely commiserate!

post #15 of 32

I took the pump to work Monday morning & brought it home Friday night. I just brought the pieces and the milk home on a daily basis. I have a subway commute, so that was really helpful for me.

 

You don't have to wash all the bits between each pumping session! Just refrigerate them (this is a huge timesaver).

 

I always stashed a cloth diaper in my pump bag, and I would lay it out on my desk to keep everything clean.

 

Definitely second the tip on trying different sized horns for the pump. It took me three tries to get ones that really fit.

post #16 of 32

Another vote that you can do it! The first few months are the hardest. I know teachers often have a hard time with finding time to pump as your schedule is not really your own, but if you think you'll be able to pump 3 times a day, with committment and compulsion you'll do great. I have a 5 yr old for whom i pumped until 17 mos and nursed to one month shy of 4 years and a reverse cycled 7.5 month old who had nothing but BM until we started solids at 6 months. Things become easier once solids come into the picture regularly as you can probably by shy an ounce or 2 on any given day and be fine.

 

post #17 of 32

My dil worked and when my grandson 10 months she didn't need to leave milk or pump. My grandson ate solids with me and nursed all night. He nursed almost 3 years until she weaned him so she could get pregnant again. I live with them and we are having another baby. I say we because she works about 60 hours a week and sometimes travels a week at a time for her job (she started traveling after my grandson weaned). My son works unusual hours and also travels for his job. Sometimes both of them are gone for several days. I am the constant adult of the household. My grandson usually sleeps with (on) me. My dil plans to cut back on work after the baby is born at least for a few months. She very much wants to breastfeed. I've known of other mothers that worked long hours and traveled and breastfed. She was blessed with a huge milk supply and my grandson was a super nurser.

 

The first 4-6 months are the hardest when the baby is EBF. After that you don't have to leave as much milk and somewhere between 9-12 months you can stop leaving milk at all depending on your baby and your hours. Gale Pryors Nursing Mother, Working Mother is an older book but it has great info about reverse cycling and how to make working and breastfeeding the easiest possible.   

post #18 of 32

You can do it! My son got breastmilk while I worked until he was a year old. Then I hung up the pumping bag and he nursed only when I was home (he never really took to cow's milk. would drink water or juice when he was thirsty at that point)

 

Like PP, I leave my pump at work and only bring in supplies. I bought extra horns and stuff so I didn't have to wash them at work (the water never gets hot enough here anyway).

 

You don't need a huge freezer stash. What you pump one day should feed the next, etc. I ended up with a ton of extra BM (wish I had known how to donate then). 

 

With DD - she's 10 weeks old - I plan on doing pretty much the same, if she permits - hanging up the bag at a year, and nursing on demand otherwise until weaning.

post #19 of 32

Yes!  I pumped and breastfed for over a year, and DD didn't completely wean until around 2.5.  I was lucky that I had a very accomodating work environment which allowed me to pump when I needed to.  We co-slept, so DD clung to breastfeeding for a very long time.  I found that it took some work, but it is totally doable. 

post #20 of 32

I'm a full-time college professor and went back to work five weeks after having my son in 2009. Not out of any love for my job or any bravado, but simply because I'm the breadwinner and my maternity leave was UNPAID. He was EBF until age 2! He never had a drop of formula. I started pumping and trying him on a bottle at three weeks (the LLL flipped out about it--but I had no choice) and had a small stash by five weeks (only an extra day at a time, not a huge stash). On days I was home I nursed on demand all day and night. When I was at work I pumped every 3-4 hours. Of course, it helps that I have my own office! It was so much easier after the first year, when I stopped pumping and only nursed when at home.

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