breastfeeding part time? Multiple questions. — The Bump

breastfeeding part time? Multiple questions.

I'm a FTM due end of June.  I plan to go back to work probably mid Sept (when the daycare has first opening) so baby will be around 12 weeks old.  I want to breast feed but once i return to work, I will probably only be able to pump at lunch.  The bad thing is i currently work around 11 hours/day.  I could probably work out pumping to and from work but getting in extra pumps besides lunch will be hard unless we are having a slow day (which i can't predict).  I work for a small business so i'm already not getting paid for maternity leave.  I'm sure they would be ok with me pumping more often (i'm hourly so would have to clock out, which is no big deal), but from the sample schedules i've seen of times of day to pump, we are usually really busy at those times. So, l said all that to ask my questions: feasible would it be to assume i might be able to only pump on my commutes and at lunch (approx 5-6 hour gaps)?  I'm totally ok with supplementing with formula if necessary.  
2. How exactly does "supplementing" work?  Do you add formula to bottle of breast milk or do you substitute a separate bottle of formula in between bottles of pumped milk?  (thinking specifically when i return to work.)
3. I want DH to be able to help feed so when is a good time to introduce the bottle?
4. On the subject of pumping on your commute....i don't have tinted windows and am a very shy kind of person.  So how exactly are you able to get this done without everyone that sits next to you at the red light knowing what you are doing? Do you just put a nursing cover over you?

Sorry guys, i know these questions probably think omg this chic is crazy, but please help a FTM get herself organized and have a least on paper! 

Re: breastfeeding part time? Multiple questions.

  • I don't supplement, so I'm no help with those questions.  When I work, I am gone from 5:30am until 8pm.  I nurse before I leave and then pump on my way to work.  I then pump at 11am and 4pm, so 5 hours in between.  I've been taking fenugreek to help my supply.  Having said this, I work 2 days a week so I'm not away from the baby too much which saves my supply a bit.

    I wear a nursing cover when I pump in the car.  The lot I park in at work is usually packed and I'm sure people can see in my car but they probably have no idea what I'm doing and I could care less if they did.


    Me: 33, DH: 35
    Married 10/13, TTC since 7/13
    Dx: MFI
    IUI #1 7/14: BFN
    IUI #2 8/14: BFN
    IVF #1 11/14: 20R17M15F
    Transferred 1 three day embryo! 7 frosties!
    BFP!  EDD 7/27/15


  • feasible would it be to assume i might be able to only pump on my commutes and at lunch (approx 5-6 hour gaps)?  I'm totally ok with supplementing with formula if necessary. 
    I never pumped during my commutes since I take public trans (awkward, lol) but I know many women do it. I've read that you should at least try to pump every 4ish hours (closer to 3 is ideal when baby is so young). I pumped about every 4 hours and my supply still dropped over time but I had supply issues from the get-go. It's do-able especially since you are open to supplementing. Def nurse before you leave and when you get home. If you can throw in an extra pumping session other than lunch, that would be great too. I never worried about being too consistent with times. Make sure you get a REALLY good pumping bra though. Mine was too loose so I would have to press the flanges against my boobs to get everything out. Probably not feasible while driving.

    2. How exactly does "supplementing" work?  Do you add formula to bottle of breast milk or do you substitute a separate bottle of formula in between bottles of pumped milk?  (thinking specifically when i return to work.)
    You can do either. If baby is picky about taste you can do half and half until he gets used to formula. We didn't have this problem though.

    3. I want DH to be able to help feed so when is a good time to introduce the bottle?
    Usually after breastfeeding is well-established is the recommendation, so like, 1 month. We had to start supplementing via bottle after less than a week though and there was no nipple confusion or anything like that. I guess it can happen though.

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  • If you have a good supply built up you can reasonably go six hours between pumping. A girl on my BMB is an exclusive pumper and only pumps every six hours and yields approx 40 oz a day. If not , every 3-4 hours is more reasonable. 
    I was told not to mix breast milk and formula in case DD didn't finish a bottle so the breast milk wouldn't go to waste. 
    DD was given a bottle before breast because she couldn't breastfeed and didn't successfully nurse for five weeks but generally the recommendation is anywhere from 1-3 months. 
  • It's all about supply and demand. So if you're not using the milk that you're producing, more isn't coming in to replenish it. If baby is having a formula feed, you should be pumping at that time to keep up the production routine. A really good and reputable resource is!!! Also talk to a lactatation consultant at your hospital, and another great and free resource is Le Leche League! I've been breastfeeding and pumping at work for almost a year, it's definitely challenging but soo worth it! I've never pumped on the go/driving and salute anyone who has!! Haha. Good luck and congrats!
  • I learned also that yes a stock supply is handy, but you only really need to worry about the next day or so. Bmilk is produced to cater to that exact time in a baby's life, so the milk you're producing at 4 weeks is what a 4 week old baby needs, and the milk at 15 weeks is a different set if nourishment components for that 15 week old's needs. Crazy and so interesting!!
  • I think this should be able to be done, provided that you start off with a good supply, and provided that you don't mind bottle feeding.  I'll explain more below... your body will produce milk when it thinks you require it.  For your maternity leave, I would nurse on demand, and pump every time you bottle feed to replace.  Your body will learn during those 3 months how much it needs every day.  Also, if you're looking to make a freezer stash, I would suggest pumping in the middle of the night when LO starts sleeping longer stretches.  DD started sleeping at least 8 hour stretches around 10 weeks, and I pumped in the middle of the night until she was 4 months old just to build my freezer stash.  When you go back to work you may have to adjust and pump a little more often at first until your body understands that you will only remove milk at lunch time.


    keep in mind that with a schedule like this, it is likely that you will have to keep up your schedule on the weekends too.  So if you only pump once during an 8 hour day, but LO wants to eat 3 times in that same 8 hour day, you will probably have to bottle feed twice and nurse/pump once, since your body will be expecting to produce just the one time.  And if you have a large supply, you may want to just pump and bottle feed during the day on weekends too...because if LO doesn't empty you fully while nursing you might then also have to pump to maintain supply, which is kind of annoying.


    When I first went back to work, I was pumping 4x/day (when I got up in the morning and then 3x at work, about every 3 hours) and then I would nurse when we got home for the day and before bedtime (and middle of the night when necessary).  I now only pump 3x/day (I cut one of the work sessions so I only pump every 4-5 hours now) and have been able to still nurse on weekends with that schedule, even though it's slightly different from when DD wants to eat.  I think when I cut back to only pumping once during my 12 hours between the wake up pump and the arriving home nursing, I won't be able to exclusively nurse on weekends anymore.  But I'm not planning to do that until LO starts cutting back anyway, due to solid food consumption (probably around 10 months).  I hope that she'll be in a sippy cup during the day at that point anyway, so it shouldn't be a big deal.


    My goal is to get to where my body only produces at night around my daughter's first birthday...and then i'll quit pumping all together and nurse her only before bed until she weans herself.  I'll probably have a freezer supply still to make her bottles/sippy cups with until she's completely moved over to cow's milk.


    It would be beneficial to read up on breastfeeding/pumping now.  I had a book, I think it was called "exclusively pumping breast milk" or something, that was helpful even though I don't exclusively pump.  I learned a lot about supply from that and from "the womanly art of breastfeeding" (which was informative, but massively geared toward women who stay at home and don't need to pump with any regularity).

    Me: 37 DH: 37
    Married 5-31-14
    DD1 born 6-21-15
    DD2 born 6-11-17
    DS born 9-5-18

  • I was in a similar boat, work 12hr shifts and back at 12 weeks. I only pumped at work for 2 months and weaned or rather baby weaned himself. My advice is based on what I did and a lot of what I wish I did. 1. A lot will depend on your breasts' storage capacity and how much and how often baby eats. But it is doable, possibly with help of supplementing. 2. I supplemented both ways, used formula to top off pumped milk or give a bottle. Just know that any supplementing will decrease supply. You may need supply decreased before going back to work. My LO was still nursing every 2 hours and I was only going to pump every 6 hours so I introduced formula before going back to work to make sure I found a brand that agreed with him and to lessen my supply so I wasn't bursting at work. 3. I would wait until after the 1st or 2nd month before introducing a bottle. I did too early and my son developed bottle preference, hence early weaning. Also when you are home from work keep breastfeeding rather than giving bottles. Keeps supply strong and keeps baby at the breast. 4. I have a short commute and never pumped in the car so I'm no help there. I also read womanly art of breastfeeding and agree with pp it was very informative but laid a guilt trip on working moms. I think La Leche League has a book geared towards working moms but I didn't read it. I would definitely check out a local meeting and get advice from other moms. Good luck!
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