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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm going back to work full time in 2 weeks. My daughter is 11 months old now, and I want to keep breastfeeding for quite a while. I'm struggling with what to do about nursing during the day. If I can get her into the onsite daycare (trying!) then I could nurse her each day at lunch I think, but if she is with my in-laws, that's too far to go. Pumping every day is a possibility, but that's a lot of time which I don't really have in the mornings. I'm considering sending an enriched soymilk for during the day as one possibility, I don't want her having cowsmilk yet.

I'm freaking out that she might wean, I so don't want that!

Suggestions? Advice? Reassurance from those who have been there?

Wendy
http://babymcelroy.blogspot.com
 

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My DS is in daycare all day, so I pump every 2 hours at work to keep my supply up for him (he's 10 months). I also go three days a week to daycare to nurse him during my lunch hour. Its a struggle sometimes, but its all worth it.
 

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At that age my kids were eating a fair amount of solids... I just had them drink water during the day and nurse them when I'm around. They are still both going strong (3.5 years and 18 months). The main thing is feeling a little full on Mondays, but by Tuesday, my body has adjusted. Sometimes I'd go and nurse my younger during the day, but not lately.

My experience is that even not nursing all day, kids will nurse enthusiastically upon your return, and may even increase night nursings.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks Kanga, it's reassuring to hear that your kids were still enthusiastic about nursing when they get home. That's my fear with sending soymilk for her, I don't want her to stop wanting mom's milk!

I'm not sure I'm up to pumping all day at my job. I don't know that there would be a good place, and there isn't a good fridge available to store it in.
 

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My DS is 11 months and started daycare today. I go back to work FT next week. I threw around the ideas of what to do when he went to daycare, and I decided to give him cows milk. I considered mixing it half-half breastmilk/cow's milk, but we ended up just going with organic whole milk. He has been eating cheese and other dairy products since about 9 months, so I figured I'd try it. We've had to mix a bit of frozen yogurt in to get him to drink it at first, (I use Breyers all natural). We'll gradually decrease the amount until he is on just whole milk.

We day-weaned him about two weeks ago, (yes, it was sad!!) but I didn't want him having an extra thing to adjust to (not nursing during the day) on top of daycare, so I decided to get him used to not nursing during the day before he started daycare. He still nurses eagerly at 5:00 like clockwork, and nurses to sleep. He sleeps with us, so he also nurses in the night. This hasn't changed (knock on wood!) since he has been day weaned. (He actually day-weaned a month ago b/c we thought he was staring another daycare 2 weeks ago, but we then switched daycares, and he got sick and started nursing all day again, but that's another story. The point is that his nursing patterns in the evg/night have not changed).

What made me really sad was that on Friday night and again Sunday night he wasn't interested in nursing after dinner, and didn't nurse until bed time. However, we were at a friends with lots of new toys and another child to play with (lots of distractions!) and he is eating a lot more solids these past 2 weeks.

Anyway, I know you don't want to start your DD on cow's milk, but I just thought I'd share what we did and how it went. Whatever milk you choose will be fine, and I'm sure she'll continue to nurse in the evening. Nursing is also about "mommy time" and I'm sure she'll still want that!

Kathy.
 

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My daycare provider is surprised that Zach can tell time so well. Right about 5 he starts saying Mamamamamam.... and trying to get into her shirt. He loves her dearly and doesn't mind a bottle during the day but at 5- its Mamma time!!! There is no way I am about to be replaced by a plastic nipple or soy milk! Don't worry. It will work out just fine. I don't even pump during the day anymore... just nurse well in the morning, and then as soon as I can get home. (And all night long!) If I end up at the office later than 5 I do pump once in the day for my comfort. During the day he eats lots of food, a bit of juice and some soymilk.
 

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When DD started daycare at 10 1/2 mos I did nothing to try to wean her in advance. I am a student, and arranged our schedule w/ the shortest days possible. She nurses any time she wants when not in daycare. I'm taking a winter session class right now, which is full time w/ respect to her hours in daycare, and she nurses during the day on the weekends, just not while away from me.

I figure not nursing shouldn't have to be something she has to cope with separately. It's just part and parcel of being away from mommy, not an additional stress. She actually seems to mind it less at daycare where there are other kids to play with than when she's at home w/ her daddy and I'm away.
 

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I went back pt when ds was 11 months old. I opted for four short days and then went full time after a month.

I didn't nurse when he was at dc or pump. He just had water while he was at dc (He didn't like milk). He nursed VERY enthusiastically when at home


As we were cosleeping/night nursing still, the first few weeks were tough as he made up for not nursing during day by nursing 4x at night, but we made it through.

He's 4 now and still nursing.
 

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Not having a place to nurse: check your state laws, they may be required to provide you a place.
No fridge? Buy a small cooler and put frozen blocks of ice (in tupperwear) in it. You could keep a thermos in there in which to dump your milk.
 

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DD was 11 months when I began working. I was very nervous because she loved nursing dearly and used it not only for milk but for coping with the stresses of life as a toddler. I was afraid that without me to nurse her she'd be all stressed out. It turns out that she did fine--I was the one that was stressed out!! She just drank water at the babysitter's house and would nurse all evening and night when we were together again. She kept nursing and weaned when she was 21 months old. It all worked out well, despite my anxieties.

I hope your experience will be a good one. Hang in there and keep us posted.
 

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I went back to work PT when ds was 4 months old but he was in the care of my mom and sister for 4-6 hours at a time. He never took a bottle by choice so pumped to keep up my supply and made a freezer stash. Mason never skipped a beat with my PT schedule and would just hold out until I returned and nurse like a fiend


Once he started nibbling on solids, I felt a bit better and increase my time to 6 hours regularly. I also stopped pumping at 8 months...

Finally, at 1 year, I had to go back FT because I was losing my childcare (mom got a new job, sister started school...
) so I had to send Mason to daycare. I figured he just start whole milk and that would be that... However, he still preferred boobies to cows milk which was fine by me
He would sip water throughout the day and with lunch and snacks. My body did adjust to the 8-9 hours during the day without relief and I would (still do) feed Mason right when I went to pickhim up.

I do have a 'full' feeling on Mondays which isn't terrible. We also cosleep so Mason makes up for any missed feedings
 

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I went back to work when my daughter was six months old. I pumped 2x a day until she was a year and once a day until she was 18 months. After that I no longer pumped at work but she has continued to nurse and she will be three in two weeks and is still going strong. I brought mama milk to the daycare for the first 18 months of her life so she could have some during the day while I was at work . The provider would put it in her sippy cup. We stopped doing that when she was around 18 months and she adjusted well. I was getting burned out on pumping and she seemed fine with waiting to nurse until I got home from work. So far things have worked out well and I have been able to continue to nurse. I think a lot depends on the interest of the child in nursing. My nephew was in a very similar situation to my daughter and self weaned at 19 months. Good luck in your continued nursing relationship with your daughter!
 

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My son is 14 months old and I just put away the pump a couple weeks ago. After I got pg in November I was no longer able to pump enough to meet his daytime needs so we had to start supplementing his daytime bottles of breast milk anyway. I had been pumping over a year and it just didn't seem worth it anymore since I was getting so little. I am still nursing him all the time when we are together and he usually wants to as soon as I walk in the door. He has also always been a big night nurser. I don't have any problems with fullness on Mondays but I think that is probably due to my supply being compromised due to pg. I feel bad he isn't getting that extra breastmilk during the day when I'm at work anymore, but he is eating a lot of solids now and honestly, he doesn't seem to miss it.

I would not worry about her weaning if you are unable to nurse her during the day, but I do hope it works out for you to get the on-site daycare since that sounds like the best situation for you both.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by wendymc
I'm not sure I'm up to pumping all day at my job. I don't know that there would be a good place, and there isn't a good fridge available to store it in.
At that age my dd#1 was fine with drinking enriched rice milk or water without losing interest in nursing at all.

In the spirit of giving support (and not in self-gratifying), let me share my story with you. When I was pg with dd#1, I wanted to bf but assumed I'd need to quit when I went back to work because I am a FT paramedic who works 12 hr shifts. After learning a lot more about pumping and safe storage of EBM, I realized it was possible. I also networked and found other moms, like Firemom, who had done this in a similar line of work. It wouldn't be easy, but possible. Dd#1 was in dc at 10 weeks, and was exclusively on breastmilk until 6 mos, and primarily on it until about 14 mos (she has food allergies). I pumped for her until 14 mos, and only stopped then because she was less interested in drinking any liquids at dc and more interested in eating and playing. When she self-weaned it was at 31 mos
! Dd#2 is now 4 mos old and with the exception of 3 Alimentum bottles is exclusively on my milk as well. The food allergy fairy struck twice, and I'm on an elimination diet that has diminished my supply a bit, so there were three nights when dh ran out of EBM. We fully intend for her to be exclusively bf as well (so does her allergist!), and have s-l-o-w introduction of solids, with weaning when she is ready. That means I'll continue to pump whenever I can in between patients, cart around a small cooler, and stay positive. I also go to dc and nurse the little one when I get I get done work in the morning, before I go home to sleep.
My point is, that with the right info and good support, it's do-able. Good luck to you!
 

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You'll have to let us know how it goes. I am interested as I will be in a similar situation in a couple of months - going back to work, leaving an 11 month old at home. Looking forward to working but not looking forward to leaving my little munchkin.

gisele
 

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I went back at 6 weeks pp and pumped until dd was 14 months. I'm glad I did, although it was a struggle. If you can get your hands on a Pump In Style they have little cooler compartments and you can always pump in the ladies room. Not fun, but it's an option.

If you choose not to pump your milk won't go away, especially if you drink lots of water and eat plenty of good-fat foods. Oatmeal is good for keeping your supply up, too.

Has dd had soy? Make sure she's not allergic. Another good option is powdered goat milk. My dd gets this during the day now. The taste is close to bmilk, especially if you put a little apple juice in it, which also adds a little Vit C.
 

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You can keep nursing when you're together, and don't necessarily have to provide ebm or any other milk when you're apart, depending on how often you DC is still nursing when you're together.

I went back to work when DD was 10 mos, and she stayed at home with DH for another 2 mos. I did pump for her for a while, but she decided after about 4 weeks that she was totally disinterested in ebm. She's done fine ever since on H20 and diluted juices. We've never bothered with other milks, as she continued to nurse like crazy when we were together and thru the night.

I'm not a big fan of weaning in preparation for separation - that just seems like a lot of unnecessary stress for both of you if you ask me. I agree with the poster who said that no bf was just part of mommy not being there.

If you have onsite care - wtg! But keep in mind that it may be difficult for your child to have you come and go, especially if you cannot commit to having a regular time every day. Even at 2.75 yrs, my DD freaks out if she sees me at the dc during the middle of the day - she assumes that I'm there to take her home. She loves it there, but its too confusing for her when I leave without her.

If you do end up not nursing or pumping during your work day long term, you will still need to give your body a period of adjustment, IE weaning yourself off producing milk during those hours. To start with, you should reduce either the time or volume of pumping/expression very little (eg 1 or 2 minutes less, or 1 oz less) at each session for a few days, then reduce it again, then start stretching out the period between sessions. Trust me - you don't want to end up with plugged ducts or mastitis when you've just returned to work!

That said, especially since your child is nearing the 12 mos mark, your supply is well enough established to be able to handle nursing on cue when you're together and not nursing when you're apart. You might feel a bit full on Monday evening, and your DC might have to work for it on Friday night, but it is amazing how your body can respond to DC's needs!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thanks for all the info and tips everyone!

So far it's going well. She did two 'trial days' last week and today is my second day of working. She's at the grandparents' house, which is workign out great. She loves them, they love her, and she gets so much personal attention. She nurses once or twice in the morning, and 2 or 3 times in the evening, and that seems to be working for us. I'm sending soymilk with her for during the day, plus a sipper cup for water. I want her to have the soymilk partly to get the calories and protein in her. So far we're keeping her vegan, and I want to make sure she isn't lacking....plus she is SO active I want to make sure she's getting enough calories. Although I give her water sometimes, if that's all she drinks all day I wonder if she is going to be taking in enough calories, or just filling up on water.

Anyways, back to work with me!
 
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