Breastfeeding

Going back to work

Anyone have any advice on how to prepare to go back to work? LO is currently 7 weeks and I will be going back to work in 3 weeks. I have been trying to pump as much as I can and get about 8 extra ounces a day to freeze. I currently have about 80 oz. I am really worried I won't have enough milk for him. I have my husband feed him a bottle at night and he eats about 3 oz. What are other mother's experiencing and any tips for transitioning back to work? Do you do any supplementing? Do you breastfeed or bottle feed at home?
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Re: Going back to work

  • 80 oz is great! You really just need enough freezer milk to send to daycare on the 1st day. I think we started out sending 4 3oz bottles and DS would only drink 3. I have not supplemented but my supply went down about 7 months and I added a pump at night and dipped into my 200 oz stash. I only pump 2 times at work. Good luck back to work and you can do this! I bf at home.
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  • It sounds like you have a huge stash already...you only need enough for your first day back at work, and then each day you should aim to pump what LO is eating at daycare. So, say, 12 ounces is enough for the first day. 

    I had a freezer stash from freezing ~4 ounce/day on mat leave, and it was/is sufficient - I actually probably could have dropped pumping at work a couple of weeks ago if I'd bothered counting the bags; I'm now slowly cutting down to one session but as I'm limiting sessions my LO has started drinking less milk as well. (just this past week).

    I BF my LO whenever we are together...she hasn't had a bottle in my presence since I went back to work.  She gets bottles from daycare and used to get them for date nights or if I left her with DH for a while (now she prefers solid foods and water).  

    I have not had to supplement with formula, but did dip into my freezer stash several times. 

    I think it's important to remember that the freezer stash is backup and not the main source of milk for your LO - you are. So if you are not pumping enough to match what LO is eating, (not necessarily each day but, say, over the course of a week), then it's time to take measures to increase your supply - and the stash allows you a cushion while you do that.  If you're pumping a lot more than LO eats, you can pump less often.  I've gone from pumping 12 oz/day to 18oz/day since being back at work, going by what LO ate as a guide for how often/how much to pump (the 18 oz was when she was being overfed by a lazy DCP; that was corrected and then she was taking 12oz for a while and then 15; I was able to increase to pumping 15 by adding a session on weekends and at night for a bit).  

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  • I went back a little later (5 months) but the transition really wasn't very difficult.  As pp's said, 80 oz is fine.  You really only need enough for the first day - you'll get so much more when you're pumping to replace a feeding.

    At 5 months when my son started he was eating 4oz and eating every 3 hours.  So I sent in four 4oz bottles (3 for the time I was gone and an extra just in case).  He ate all 4 bottles.  This continued the entire time he was on bottles, and was a battle I was constantly facing.  I pumped twice at work and once before bed, and nursed at home before and after daycare. But those 3 pumping sessions weren't enough for 4 bottles, so I ended up having to dip into my freezer stash. I added a couple more pump sessions (one on the way to work, and on weekend mornings) and was able to make enough to keep him on breastmilk until he was 13 months.

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