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How does going back to work affect one's milk supply? Do you have any advice on how to make transition easier? Ds is turning a year old on Tuesday and is a constant bf'er and he is a very picky eater. I could use some advice on how to help transition and maintain a healthy bf relationship. Expressing is hard on me (never can get enough out at one sitting) and he doesn't like drinking my milk from a cup.
 

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Do you have the book Nursing Mother, Working Mother by Gale Pryor? It's really helpful.<br><br>
Have you tried different ways of getting your pumped milk into ds - sippy cup, regular cup, bottle? You can also always stir it into food if he'll take it.<br><br>
What kind of pump are you using, and how long do you pump for? Do you know if the flanges/horns are the right size for you? Many women use ones that are too small and don't know it.<br><br>
Do you co-sleep? A lot of kids will hold out for the real deal, not take that much during the day, and nurse all night long (reverse cycle). That's one way to stay connected (literally) and ensure ds gets lots of mama's milk.<br><br>
When you start back, can you work up to it gradually - transition to full time over the course of a couple weeks, rather than bam! all in one day?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Actually, I only tried bottle and sippy cup. He refuses to take a bottle in any form. Sippy cup he'll tolerate but only about 2 ounces worth. I have the Medela Breastpump (the higher end model) because I thought I was going to go back to work after having him (turns out I didn't have any desire to go back to work and I wouldn't be going now if I had the choice to stay home). I'll pump for at least 15 minutes on each breast and after 10 or so minutes, nothing is coming out. I don't know if the horns are the right size, I didn't even know that mattered actually. Also, we do co-sleep already and he nurses 4-6 times a night now. I wonder if that would mean he'd be nursing 8-10 times if I go back to work.<br><br>
Ugh, I'd love to hear about other mamas who stayed home with their little one for a while and then went back to work and how it affected their bf relationship.<br><br>
Thanks again for your help.
 

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I second the book advice. Also check out<br><br><a href="http://www.pumpandwork.com" target="_blank">http://www.pumpandwork.com</a>
 

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Firstly, I suggest you post over in the Working Mom's forum.<br><br>
With my two kids I pumped a total of 2 1/2 years. In both cases, although they were very different experiences, my initial letdown would only be getting started at 10-15m. I typically pumped for 30-45 mins. This is not necessarily the norm, but I know some women who are like this.<br><br>
Another thing is that your body really has to get used to the pump. It's very different from a baby nursing. You may have to do some herbal helpers for supply, do breast compression while pumping, etc. All these things are addressed in the books mentioned.<br><br>
Another thing you'll find is that you will more than likely get much more to the pump while you are at work than you do now because you are also nursing (I assume). When the pump is the only thing during those 8-ish hours removing milk from the breast, there's a lot more to get.<br><br>
Good luck. It can be done successfully!
 

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I had DD with me at the office until she was 6 months old, and I've now been pumping for 3 months since.<br><br>
It does takes a while to get used to the pump. My body responds much better now than I did initially. I wasn't sure from your wording, are you double pumping or doing each side one at a time? My flow also stops after 10-15 minutes, but if I continue "dry pumping" for several more minutes, I usually get another letdown. Have you tried breast compressions?<br><br>
Pumping/working has not compromised our breastfeeding relationship. We do have more night feedings and our evenings are like one big clusterfeed, but I've had no supply issues.
 
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