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Breastfeeding and going back to work


anna_r

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I'm currently exclusively breastfeeding my nearly 5 month old daughter. She's stubbornly refusing all bottles (EBM and formula) and I'm due to go back to work in 2 months. I work part time, three days a week and my hours are good - I leave at 8am and arrive back at 5.30.


With my first daughter I had fully weaned onto formula by the time I went back to work when she was 7 months, however this time round I'm facing the prospect that that probably won't happen although I'm going to persevere with the bottles. I am happy to keep breastfeeding her and do enjoy it (although I would like the occasional break that a bottle would provide and worry what would happen if I got ill and couldn't breastfeed her). What are people's experiences of continuing to breastfeed while working?

For example:

At that age (7 months) how much milk should she need?

Can I get by with only a morning/evening/night feed (she is currently nowhere near sleeping through!!)

If so do you think I'd need to pump during the day to keep up supply?

Did you have to request special conditions at your workplace (eg rooms, fridges, breaks)?

Did you store milk in the same fridge everyone stored their lunches in???

Did you meet with any disapproval?

Do you think by that age she could have a cup? Or I guess milk mixed with baby rice and eaten with a spoon counts too?

Thanks in advance for any tips!

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Son no 1 started at minder at 7m, bottle refusenik. I never expressed, as he didn't take a bottle. He had water from a cup while I was away,plus solids, and be extra evenings/weekends.


Twins were 7m, I expressed at work (twice a day on the 2 days I worked) so they could have 7 oz each those days (2 small feeds)


I had a double electric pump, hands free bra, used office fridge (recommend axifeed bottles)


Employer must accommodate


x

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I too have a daughter that refused every bottle on the planet. When she was about 8 months I gave her a bottle to play with and noticed her sucking on teat. I put water in bottle and she surprised me by drinking some. I then tried her with formula and she took it fine. It was a Dr Brown bottle. Up till then she had never taken one. So you may be surprised one day two months down the line. In the meantime you could also introduce a beaker at 6 months and give water or EBM. I continued to breastfeed morning evening and during the night and she took formula bottles and solids at Nursery.


My son who is two months will sometimes take a bottle but fusses and spits out most of it be it formula or EBM or a mix of the two. He is on Nuk bottles with latex teats. I wish he would take it more readily and will keep trying but it is hard work and very discouraging at times.


Best of luck

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Hello,

There is a leaflet detailing your rights while working and breastfeeding and which outlines your employers obligations to accomodate you. I saw it at my breastfeeding group/cafe. It may be available online as a PDf. My sister went back to work at 4 months and had a daughter who refused a bottle. Her midwife advised making the hole in the bottle nipple larger to start with, to make it easier for the baby. It worked, but then these things can be quite individual. Your post struck a chord as it is something I have been thinking about as will be our scenario in a couple of months.

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I think they *have* to provide you with a room and a seperate fridge by law. Something like that. I'd email H.R. (if they exist)

And ask them what the procedure is, perhaps attaching a gov doc to show what the guidelines are. Are you the first mum to go back to work? Perhaps there are others in your co.? They may help with what room they used. etc.


Good luck

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Echoing everyone else re: employers HAVE to accomadate (sp?) bf Mums. You are entitled to a private space, fridge, and breaks to pump in. Sorry that your baby is refusing bottles- Baby Baldock was okay with them but remember my Mum struggling to get my siblings onto bottles. In the end, they took EBM from cups- slightly messy, but it got (some) of the job done
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My lo was 8 months when I went back to work. She wouldn't take a bottle but survived very happily with ebm in an open cup (obviously closely supervised). Fed from me in morning and evening(and through the night)so wasn't at all confused.


Even though I was only a contractor, my city firm was very helpful - i was able to express in a sick room, lock the ebm in the fridge there and no-one batted an eyelid.


Good luck with your return to work.

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Thankyou so much everyone. Good to hear some positive stories - makes me feel a bit less stressed about it. I will ring HR department. I work for a big institution but it's very traditional so this may be a first for them. They have been great over maternity leave and going part time though so I'm sure they'll be supportive. I'm less sure about the raised eyebrows from others but am sure I can cope with that.

Xx

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Anna, you may be pleasantly surprised about your work's reaction! I work for a large Law firm/law school, very male orientated, and I am one of two women in my department and the only one to have a baby, breastfeed, and come back to work.

When I told my male and quite stuffy (or so I thought) boss was really laid back about it all. In fact, everyone was really interested in breastfeeding (go figure!) I still get lots of questions about it, did my son wean when I got pregnant, was I able to drink wine etc. It was spoken about quite openly 'Yes, Ruth is around but don't schedule the meeting between 2 and 3 pm...'


In the end I only pumped for a fortnight before my MIL (who watches my son) reported he wasn't drinking all the milk I sent in the day (I work 1-5pm, would feed him at 11.45, he'd have lunch and water, a nap, some more water, then back home for bath, bed, boob)


Good luck!

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Anna, my little one was exclusively BF till about 7 months and we had THE most awful time getting him onto a bottle. Tried different bottles, tried different people feeding him - I think that my lowest point was feeding him an entire full bottle with a tea spoon (!)

You had some great advice here about BFing at work but if you do want to try with bottles I wanted to say that the only solution is persiverance - if you're serious about it I think that you have to do a bit of cold turkey. They either get a lovely warm bottle of milk or they don't. I was convinced that I would slowly starve my baby to death but I made sure that he was getting lots of milky porridge and youhurts (as well as other solid food) And then suddenly after a few days he just seemed to get it and took to the bottle and we have never looked back (in the end we suceeded with the Tommee Tipee that are meant to look like boobs) But if he didn;t take the bottle, I didn't offer the boob.

Good luck!

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Hi Anna R,


Read this with interest as I'm also back to work in 8 weeks. My son is now 7 months. I was very worried about this when he was 5 months, like your bubs, because he refused the bottle and he hadn't started solids and I just couldn't help wander how we would cope. However, I do feel a lot easier now because he just seems so much more developed and more able to cope. It really is incredible the amount they come on in just two months. I think you should keep trying every day, especially around the time when she starts with the food, as she will getting accustomed to all sorts of new tastes, sensations that one day it just might click.


My son, finally took a bottle the other week, thank god, but ONLY filled with EBM. I've tried most formulas, but no, he is not having it. I really want to avoid going the expressing at work route if I can, because I have a 3 year old too, and getting out of the house in the morning is difficult enough as it is without remembering all the expressing equipment etc and I know I'll be too exhausted in the evening to wash and sterilise it all.


It's such a stressful time isn't it? I really do feel like I'm counting the days until some sort of impending doom. Stupid really as I went through it all before with DS1 and it wasn't half as bad as I had imagined. I must start looking at it more positively. Good luck however. Lots of good advice from the previous posters.

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