Going back to work- pumping question - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 3 Old 10-26-2003, 05:06 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi everyone

My DP will be starting school next week and I have suddenly found myself back in the workforce to help contribute to the family income. (Turns out the student loans are ridiculously low). I have some concerns about pumping that I'm confident you can help me with

My son is almost eight months old and nurses only about 5 or 6 times a day. One side per feeding, 10 minutes per feeding. He's been sleeping 12 hours every night since he was 3 months, so no night nursing. I have been very lax about solids here, as he just wasn't terribly interested, and I thought I would be a SAHM longer and could simply provide breastmilk. Lately I have been much more successful in this endeavor, as I have learned to relinquish control and allow him to feed himself, which it seems was all he wanted.

Today he went about five hours without needing or wanting to nurse, between his morning nap and about five o'clock. I will be working from 9:30 to five about three days a week. Now, I'm thinking that he will be just fine with some expressed bm for his nap, followed by a lunch of solids until I get home to nurse him for dinner. So would I be okay to just pump once a day at work? Do I even need to pump? It seems as though the feeding for his nap is more comfort- he sure doesn't eat much.

Okay, I need to clarify this because it's getting a bit muddled. Well, it IS one in the morning

Here is his schedule. He wakes up at around eight and nurses a lot in the morning. Then at about 10 he goes down for a nap while nursing but barely takes anything from that feeding. I can actually just as easily get him to sleep at this time by rocking him. When he wakes up he'll been fine for about an hour or two, then he has some solids. He is loving the finger food! He then has an afternoon nap at around 3ish for a good 90 minutes. For this nap he doesn't nurse at all... he just wants to sleep. When he wakes up he's good and hungry and will have a good feed, and some solids. (this is when I'll be home from work). He may nurse again a few hours after dinner, then again for bed at nine.

You know, it's amazing when you actually sit down and figure it out. I really thought it was more than that- seems like the kid's hardly eating! I think he's fine though- he's a big boy

Okay. I'm getting off-topic again. Do I even need to pump when he's barely eating during this time anyway, and my body is already used to this? I am stressing out over this on top of the fact that I am leaving him for the very first time and feel quite devastated

I do have another question, if you've made it this far. I was planning on giving him the expressed milk in a cup, as I thought it was dumb to introduce a bottle at this point (he's never been offered one). Is this right? He wouldn't latch his first five days and drank beautifully out of a cup, so I guess I've just answered my own question. Sheesh, I need some sleep.

I just don't want to leave him
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#2 of 3 Old 10-26-2003, 04:15 PM
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on havign to go back to work - I know how tough it will be! I went back when DS was six months, and it is certianly getting better, although it is still hard to leave him every day. There are quite a few mamas in your position on the "working mothers" board, if you don't get enough responses here, try there!

My DS is the same age as yours (9 months), but it sounds like he nurses quite a bit more often than yours does. When I am home (Fri-Sun.), he probaby nurses 8-9 times / day. On my work days, he nurses 5 times, and then takes 2 or 3 bottles. I pump twice per day at work.

I would probably start out pumping and leaving expressed milk, just to be safe. If it turns out that he doesn't want it while you're gone, then you can reduce your pumping then. I also think you're right on target with havign him take his solids while you are gone.

Also, a word of caution - having you gone may make your DS stop sleeping through the night for a time. Mine still gets up at night for 1 or 2 feedings, since he only takes a few bottles at day care.

I certainly think at this point that if he is drinking well from a cup there is no need at all to introduce a bottle!

Best of luck with everything!
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#3 of 3 Old 10-26-2003, 06:10 PM
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My situation was totally different -- I went back to work part time when KAren was 6 weeks old, working up to full time by the time she was 16 weeks old.

If I were in your situation, I would get a bit of milk stored up ahead of time (pump on the "off" breast during/after nursing) and see how it goes. He may decide that he wants the milk from you and only you, so that he takes a very minimal amount of milk while at daycare. At that point, you don't really need to worry about pumping enough to supply him during the day. In this case, though, be prepared to wake more at night.

You should still take a pump with you to work no matter what. You will want to have it available in case you get too engorged being away from him during the day. I stopped pumping in August, but I still occasionally pump at work Monday afternoons just to relieve pressure.

If you are finding that he takes milk from the cup, then it will take a bit of time to figure out your optimal pumping schedule. Everyone seems different in the frequency, duration and amount pumped.

I hope the transition goes smoothly.
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