Looking ahead...working while ebfing — The Bump

Looking ahead...working while ebfing

My son is only a week old but I'm already thinking about how life will be when I go back to work around eight weeks. Id like to continue ebfing and not have to pump or send bottles to daycare. I work about five minutes from where he will go to daycare.   Is it realistic for me to think I can come and go as needed to feed him from the breast?    I have a job with plenty of freedom and flexibility (at least do far)so I'm hoping I can manage this. How many times in an eight hour workday should I expect to be out of the office to feed him?  I can always pack a lunch for myself and eat on the road back and forth etc. anyone doing something similar they can offer insight?  I have started a freezer stash but really want to nurse him as long as I can myself. He's such a good breast feeder so far I don't want to mess it up when I go back to work. 
Lionyl Osborne "Lio" is here! May 23rd 2012 at 2:54am 8lbs 4oz 21inches Born at 37weeks 6days
DD #1 born 9/3/2003 - 8 years old - 3rd grade!
DD #2 born 3/22/2007 - 5 years old - in full time preschool

Re: Looking ahead...working while ebfing

  • Well if you have a flexible work environment, I could see how this could work.  Remember that you have to make up any breaks you take for BFing or pumping, so it might be longer than 8 hours.  But if you feed him before you drop him off, I bet you could get by with nursing 2-3 times while he's there.  Pretty cool that you can do that!

    The only other thing I'd be worried about is if he doesn't get introduced to a bottle and then for whatever reason you have to go somewhere....he might not accept a bottle then, you know?  Then you are tied to him!  (Which isn't a bad thing, I take my LO everywhere or I don't go!)  Just something to consider.

    And FWIW, bottles aren't bad.  And they don't "mess up" BFing. 

  • I would think that leaving to go nurse the baby everyday could get tiring and difficult for you.  Your baby may not be on a set schedule, even by then, and you may be getting a call with very short notice to come feed the baby.  Baby may also not nurse very well with all the distractions at daycare, so you could be feeding more than 2-3 times a day.  With bottles, at least you know that Baby will be getting a full feeding and you won't have to drop everything you're doing to feed.

    I went back to work when DD was 3 months and continue to EBF her.  I pump 2-3 times a day at work and nurse her whenever we're together.  Pumping can be a pain, but I put my pump times on my calendar and do work while I pump.  DD is on a fairly set feeding schedule, but it can vary by as much as an hour from day to day depending on what time she woke up and how much she ate. 

    Keep in mind too that once Baby gets a little older, there may be some separation anxiety with you coming in and out of daycare several times a day.  But pumping and having Baby take a couple bottles at daycare is not going to disturb your great nursing relationship.  If anything, it makes my DD so much happier to see me and it's the first thing we do when I get home. 

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  • niknak7niknak7
    Sixth Anniversary
    Maybe you could BF at lunchtime only and have him take bottles for the other feeds? Even though you are only 5 minutes away, you have a good block of time to make up - 10 minutes drive time, 5 minutes setup, 10+ minutes BF, etc. If you do that 3 times a day you have to work a 9 hour + day if you don't take a lunch. And there may be times when he wants more or two feeds close together, then you would have to drop everything and possibly go 4-5 times in a day.
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  • I went back to school when DS was 4 months through 9 months and was lucky enough to have him on campus daycare.   I did started out on Monday, Wednesday Friday doing all of his feedings.   Tuesday and Thursday I did all but one of his feedings.    At the time he was eating approximately every 3 hours.    I would feed him immediately before drop off at 7.   He would then eat at 10ish, 1ish and if he was then I'd pick him up  about 3:30 and nurse immediately at daycare.   Eventually I started having the give him the 1 pm feeding because there were several times I'd get there and he'd be napping and I didn't want to wake him.    I always sent a couple of 1.5 oz bottles in case he got hungry and I couldn't get there right away.   Very rarely did they need them.   The hardest thing was just having very good communication with the teachers and making sure they knew when I'd be in.   It was also helpful to give them a schedule with when I'd be in and times I absolutely did not want them feeding him.  When he started solids for example they could give it up until 8:45 since I would be there at 10 to nurse.   If they felt he needed to eat during a do not feed time they would call and let me make the decision on what to do.   I never had issues with him becoming upset when I left so that wasn't an issue.
  • Whether it's realistic for you to leave to BF vs. pumping is impossible for me to answer. It sounds like LO will be close and if your workplace is agreeable to that arrangement it could definitely work out.  You will need to feed him more than once per day. 

    At 8wks my LO was eating every 2 hours during the day, sometimes 3 hours if he took a longer nap. He continued that pattern of 2-3hrs until around 9m when it stretched to 3-4 hours but he has also been eating more solids.

    So assuming you work 9-5, say you feed LO before work at 8:30, you would need to leave at 10:30, 12:30, and 2:30 and then feed him again at 5:30 when you get off work. It could be done in theory, but I wouldn't be comfortable with the idea that I HAD to leave or my kid would go hungry. What if something comes up - a meeting runs late, or an accident, or a flat tire, or a million other possible things?  And your LO is left with no food because Mom can't come. Not a good scenario IMO.

    FWIW my LO has been taking a bottle since 5weeks on occasion, and during the day 5x a week since I returned to work at 11wks. He still hates the bottle and basically takes it because he has to and even refuses it some days now that he can fill up on solids. BUT he never refuses the boob, he has always nursed great. Feeding LO a bottle does not equal doom for nursing.

  • ebp913ebp913
    2500 Comments 250 Answers Fourth Anniversary 250 Love Its

    It's really up to you to decide.  I honestly think that the baby waiting and crying and hungry while you drive over everyday is going to be frustrating for you and daycare. Even if it's 5 mins away, it never takes just 5 mins.  I would also be concerned about you baby not being willing to take a bottle.  If it were me, I would go nurse at lunch and send bottles the rest of the day. 

    DD went through a bottle refusal period at daycare and I was having to go feed her 2-3 times per day for several weeks.  It was awful and highly stressful so that's where my opinion is coming from.  Everytime I got there she would be SO upset already and getting her to calm down and nurse was difficult.  I was so grateful when she started accepting the bottle again!  We still have a great breastfeeding relationship also!!!

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