ALL of my my friends breastfeed, but none of them work. Well my ex co-worker/friend used to work but she struggled with breastfeeding. Anyway, my question is...do you know of a good breastfeeding book for working moms? I know its early, but I'm home sick today and I'm bored.
I'm also interested in personal experience if you'd like to share. Timing is my main concern. When do you transition from on demand breastfeeding to pumping? Which bottles were your favorite? And how often do you pump and how often do you nurse? How long can you freeze breast milk for? How much pumped milk do you give to the daycare provider? This may sound like a dumb question, but how do you give the daycare the breastmilk? Do you make bottles? Do you give them freezer bags and they keep a supply there?
I think I will go to some LLL meetings here later in my pregnancy. But this has been on my mind lately, so I thought I would bring it up.
I'm sure a lot of this I will figure out as I go.
No sorry...no help here. I think the only book I bought with DD was What to Expect... I basically just googled everything. I think sometimes its better to just get real peoples opinions on things.
I only was able to BF for a couple of weeks, had barely any milk whatsoever and was told to stop due to very high blood pressure and had to be put on meds.
Yeah unfortunately like I said I don't really know anyone who works and breastfeeds. All my SAHM friends have their own schedules and some of them don't even use bottles/pumps whatsoever. All boob! I wish.
Sorry about your blood pressure last time, that must have been super scary.
The Milk Memos is a good one. Not really a "how to" book, but definitely a good read about working/bfing moms. Actually, I was just going through my books and was planning on donating that and a couple of other bf'ing books to Goodwill, but I will send them to you if you would like.
I went back to work when T was 12 weeks old, and I bf'ed him until he was almost 14 months old. I plan on doing the same (working and continuing to breastfeed until at least 12 months) with this baby. Here is how I made it work:
BF on demand whenever you are home with your baby, including during the night. I never did any sleep training with T in part because I had read that night feedings help keep up your supply. I BF'ed on demand and never used bottles during the first 12 weeks when I was home with him.
I did the same (BF'ed on demand whenever I was with him) once I was back to work. Actually, I literally never gave him a bottle, because when we were together I wanted to BF since that was easiest and also the best for my supply.
You need a good pump that pumps both sides at once. You can buy Medella's PIS or something similar, or some hospitals and local bfing stores will also rent a pump to you for a small monthly fee. You will need to buy the...uh....can't remember what they are called....the "suckers" for lack of a better term () and the tubing, but the pump itself can often be rented.
Before you go back to work: The last couple of weeks before you go back to work, keep breastfeeding like normal, but after baby has his/her fill, pump for about 10-15 minutes. You probably won't get a ton especially at first, but it will stimulate your body to produce more milk, and you can start building up your "stash."
I have heard some babies are resistant to taking a bottle, but T would take one whenever someone would babysit during those first 12 weeks and he liked it (he was lazy, and drinking from a bottle was less work!) so I never really worried about that too much. I don't have a lot of advice to give if you end up having a baby that refuses as some do, so let's just keep our fingers crossed that that doesn't happen to either one of us with these babies. LOL!
Once you go back to work:
I bought some of those blue ice packs that you can freeze over and over again, and I would take those with me every day to help keep the milk cool in my cooler. I never felt comfortable putting the milk in our office fridge, but that probably depends on your office environment.
So the stuff you will need to take with you:
Ice packs (maybe)
Pump with all of it's tubing and bottles and whatnot
Sharpie (this is for labeling the bags with the date, although we quickly got to the point where that was not necessary because whatever I pumped that day went to daycare the next day.)
Book or magazine to read
Hands Free Pumping Bra or Bustier (trust me, you don't want to have to sit there holding the things for like 15-20 minutes. Some people say they let the suction action of the pump hold everything up, but that scares the bejesus out of me...what if it slips and spills milk all over you? )
2-3 times a day (I recommend 3 if your work will let you), go to a quiet room with a locking door, and do your thing. It will take about 15-20 minutes, and it does get easier once your body is used to the whole thing and you can relax.
After you're "empty", pour the bottles of milk into the bags, and seal tightly. Label if neccesary. Rinse out your bottles and suckers thoroughly. BM actually has anti-bacterial qualities that will keep it from spoiling for the duration of your work day which is why I don't think you need to go nuts sterilizing it in between uses during the day, but you still want to rinse it off really well because just letting it sit there is gross. LOL
At home, you can wash your bottles and sucker things in the top rack of your dishwasher. You can also buy these sterilization bags that you pack everything into, and then microwave. I would always run the bottles and suckers through the dishwasher after dinner, and then sterilize in the microwave before bed.
For nursing, I would nurse T in the mornings before work, then as soon as we got home from work/daycare, and then before bed. Also during the night when he wanted to (which was most nights until he was about 8 months old) and also on demand during the weekends. Basically, if I was with him, I nursed him, I didn't let other people give him bottles.
The last thing I wanted to note is that the pump is less efficient than a baby. My pumped supply dwindled over time, so that when I started I was able to produce 3-4 bottles worth of milk per day, but by the time I stopped pumping at 12 months I was down to about a bottle per day. Because of this, we did supplement with formula at daycare. But my philosophy was (and is) that some breastmilk is better than none, and that the pumping was still important because it allowed me to continue producing enough milk to still nurse on demand when we were together.
I stopped pumping when he was 12 months old, and nursed on demand when we were together for about another 2 months when he really lost interest. I'm sure that part of it was that my supply dropped when I stopped pumping, and also because he was eating a lot of solids by then. He was completely weaned and eating solids and drinking cow's milk by 14 months. It was a really peaceful gentle transition, and I felt good about it.
Good luck, and let me know if you want those books, or if you have any questions!
Sorry, just realized I didn't answer any of this:
LOL I'm super observant this morning.When do you transition from on demand breastfeeding to pumping? Which bottles were your favorite? And how often do you pump and how often do you nurse? How long can you freeze breast milk for? How much pumped milk do you give to the daycare provider?
When do you transition from on demand breastfeeding to pumping? - I didn't. Other than the last couple of weeks before I went back to work when I would pump after breastfeeding (on demand) I only pumped at work, and only fed on demand at home.
Which bottles were your favorite? - I honestly don't remember since I never personally used them. I got the tip for some good bottle types from some of my formula feeding friends. I will have to ask around again.
And how often do you pump and how often do you nurse? - Try to pump 2-3 times a day (preferably 3) every day at work. BF on demand the rest of the time when you are with your LO. Having said that, you will probably fall into a routine. My routine was nursing once in the morning before work, once as soon as we got home from work, once before bed, and as "asked for" LOL at night. Completely on demand during the weekends, which translates into every couple of hours.
How long can you freeze breast milk for? - Kellymom is a good source for stuff like that. I honestly never got a chance to freeze anything after the first couple of weeks (when I was still home) because I never really had a surplus stash.
How much pumped milk do you give to the daycare provider? - All of it. LOL Keep in mind, though, that T was the only baby at his (in home) daycare, so it's not like it was going to get mixed up. She knew that if she didn't use any that I gave her, she could use it the next day and so on. The only thing I would make sure of is that your daycare provider knows how to handle breast milk. Like, I don't think you can heat it, and then if the baby doesn't eat some from that bottle, you can keep it and reuse it the next day, I think you have to use it within a couple of hours. I know you can't reuse if they mix it with formula (like if they do have to supplement a bottle); stuff like that. Again, Kellymom is a great resource for the details, but my main peice of advice is just to make sure that your daycare lady is familiar with and has experience with breastmilk.
This may sound like a dumb question, but how do you give the daycare the breastmilk? Do you make bottles? Do you give them freezer bags and they keep a supply there? - Yes, I gave her several (I think like 5-6) bottles to be used with T when I started taking him there, and then every morning I would give her the bags of milk to use in the bottles. I didn't take the bottles home; she would wash them every day when she was done with them. I also gave her the containers of formula to use if she needed to supplement. I would give her an entire container, and she would keep it there and tell me when she was running low.
Hope all that helps! Please let me know if you have any other questions. I'm certainly not the expert and I'm sure people do things different ways, but I am happy to share my personal experiences with you.
Alissa - no, there's no do not disturb. I was really thinking *where* I could get away for 15 minutes of quiet time and there's ONE room without a camera, but it's someone's office plus the manager computer is in there and... it's hardly not being used for 2 to 3 minutes, much less 15.
But thanks for all this info!
Wow yes! Thanks again!
Jessica, could you pump in the car? I think the pumps come with a battery pack. I know its not the ideal situation.
I work in an office where there are multiple tenants. The landlord is another architecture firm and its across the hall, well inside their office there is a closet that has a bunch of old storage items. That's where my ex co-worker would pump. She said it was dusty and some spider webs. LOL, not excited about that.
What I'm mainly nervous about is not being able to pump as much as I want. I do a lot of client meetings outside the office and I travel to different cities for most of these meetings. This is why my co-worker had such a hard time I think. Her supply started dwindling fast because she couldn't always fit in pump sessions.
Going to check out Kellymom now.