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How to manage breast feeding and return to work
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#51 Barb The Mum

Posted 15 September 2013 - 11:34 AM

Number of working days per week-  Mon-Fri 8AM-7PM

Age of baby on return to work- 1 Month

Baby's diet- ie exclusively bf Till 7 months.
    At 7 months, bf  with introduction of cereal made with breastmilk. ls

Any preparation before starting work? BF, and Express remainder.

How was baby fed in your absence? Day Nanny, and DH

How did you manage your breasts at work? Expressed with electric medela pump, 3-4  times per day.  ,
Any impact on bfing, supply and managing bfing when not at work? No impact to bfing, All went well

#52 Duck-o-lah

Posted 19 October 2013 - 08:42 PM

This thread was really helpful before going back to work. I have been back for nearly 3 months now, so I'll add my 2c.

Number of days @ work: 3 (8.30 - 4)
Age of baby: DD was 4 months old
Baby's diet: Exclusively BFed. Introduced EBM in a bottle for daycare with no problems. Started solids when DD was 5.5 months.
Prep before returning to work: I had a manual pump which I used to boost my supply in the early days. Any time I was feeling engorged I would pump enough to take the edge off. This enabled me to build up a freezer stash of about 1L before returning to work.
How baby is fed: EBM in a bottle. I have recently provided daycare with some formula, just in case she runs out of EBM and is still hungry (have only had to do this on a couple of occasions).
Managing breasts at work: I take a mid morning and mid arvo break to pump. I was cleaning all my equipment between pumps which was very time consuming until I shared the lactation room with an OB/GYN (benefits of pumping in a woman's and children's hospital!) who told me I could put the breast shields etc straight into a container and store it in the fridge, and use it again within a few hours without having to clean and dry. What a time-saver! Only downside is putting chilled breast shields on the boobs for the arvo pump :lol:
Any impact on bfing, supply and managing bfing when not at work: DD consumes more during my days at work than I can pump for her, so my freezer stash is gradualy declining, however I hope as she becomes more reliant on solids this work-pump business will be sustainable. Otherwise my supply did not seem to be affected by being at work. When I get home from work she tends to attach to the boob and it is very, very difficult to get her off :lol:
Extra tips: I have a video on my phone of her BFing. I watch it when I start pumping, it helps the let down process.

#53 BeakyHoneyButt

Posted 26 October 2013 - 08:54 PM

Number of working days per week-2

Age of baby on return to work-
6 weeks
Baby's diet- exclusive BF

Any preparation before starting work? I started expressing straight after she was born, I had over supply in the first few weeks so I thought it worked out well.

How was baby fed in your absence?
DH looks after our daughter while I work, for the first few months DD would have 100 or so mls of EBM mid morning. Then DH would bring dd into work at lunch time and I fed her.

How did you manage your breasts at work? ie expressing or not, what type of pump, once or more a day
I never express at work. I just know I couldn't, I hate hate hate expressing, I always do it when Im feeding the baby anyway.

Any impact on bfing, supply and managing bfing when not at work? I don't think working affects my supply, some nights after working DD may wake up more often than normal because she hasn't fed as much. But it all just seems to even out. No big noticeable increase or lack of milk ever.

If you want to add extra information please do so, I may have missed some important bits of information to. At 4 months old DD has decided she doesn't want bottles anymore, so DH has tried giving her some food, water, EBM on spoon but she just skips the morning feed and waits to visit me at lunch time. It's working perfectly for us. If at anytime my daughter or I had struggled or I felt that working  jeopardized our breastfeefing I would have quit in a heartbeat.

Edited by foxgirls, 26 October 2013 - 08:57 PM.


#54 Future-self

Posted 06 February 2014 - 05:30 PM

I've been back at work for nearly a month so thought I'd add our experience :)
Number of working days per week- 3

Age of baby on return to work- 16 months

Baby's diet- 3 meals, 2 snacks and  4 breastfeeds
Any preparation before starting work? I tried to get DS to take cows milk in the months leading to going back to work but he wouldn't drink it. I tried expressing and doing EBM in a cup but he wouldn't take it either. This was to replace the BF he usually had before midday nap.

How was baby fed in your absence We do a feed just
before we leave home at 7am and then he just has food and water throughout the day until I get home at 5pm when he feeds +straight away. I had thought to give him EBM in a cup or even cows milk at daycare as he was used to feeding before his midday nap but he wouldn't take it so had to go cold-turkey.  We then do a before bed and an overnight fed too.

How did you manage your breasts at work?  I thought that I may need to express at midday as I was used to feeding him then but I have just gone cold turkey too and it's been fine. We now don't do the before nap feed at lunch on my days off either :) So I've adjusted. I wore breast pads for the first week though as I was quite full and I'm a leaker!

Any impact on bfing, supply and managing bfing when not at work? No, having to just drop a feed has been fine and no ill effects. Having to do a feed as soon as I get him from childcare wasn't in my plan but it's a comfort thing more than milk (i think!) +so once we're more settled into this new routine I'll try and drop it. He wanted to feed twice overnight for a couple of nights when we first started but dropped back to his usual one overnight quickly.

#55 lucky 2

Posted 06 February 2014 - 08:45 PM

Thanks so much for sharing futureself, it seems you have both transitioned really well.

It's interesting that often the things we try to do to prepare for the return to work actually don't end up being helpful.
They are only helpful if that particular baby consents to any changes prior to the event.
I don't think they "get" the concept of preparing, ie why are you giving me this milk in a cup??? And what is this milk? , I want the other milk!
As they say, "the best laid plans of mice and men go awry".
Thank goodness things usually work out in the end.

All the best.

#56 niggles

Posted 06 October 2015 - 03:54 PM

Great thread! Just what I needed. I'll update in a couple of months. :)

#57 Lou-bags

Posted 06 October 2015 - 04:13 PM

I've only just found this thread, thanks to the bump by niggles. My experience was as follows:


Number of working days per week- 2.5

Age of baby on return to work- 9 months

Baby's diet- generally 3 small meals/tastes, some snacks and breast fed on demand (ranged from only 2 or 3 during the day, to as many as 8 or more- whatever he wanted at the time).

Any preparation before starting work?  Yes, to get my DS to finally take a bottle. I did two months, prior to going back officially, where I worked a half day a week (and was away from DS for about 4-5 hours) and left DS with my mum. She was gradually able to get him to drink very small amounts of EBM from a bottle. He was taking one small feed (30-50ml) when with her when DS started daycare.

How was baby fed in your absence Either by my mum or daycare carers, with a bottle. He took less than 50ml per absence at first (I started him with 6-7 hour days at daycare at first), and had plenty of water and some solids too. I would do a big feed right before I left to drop him off at daycare and another big one either at the centre at pick up, or as soon as we arrived home. He was also feeding overnight too.

How did you manage your breasts at work?  I've been lucky to have always had a large supply (actually a problematic oversupply early on), and been able to pump easily. Being only 2.5 days a week, I was able to express just the once while I was at work. I would do it after lunch, around 2pm and get the next day's feeds in that sitting. At first my breasts would be really full by that time, but gradually over time as my DS got older and drank less during the days I was with him, I didn't make so much during the day.


Any impact on bfing, supply and managing bfing when not at work?
Absolutely none whatsoever. DS was happily settled into taking two bottles (between 50-100ml per bottle, and an occasional third 50ml bottle until he got a bit older) when at daycare, and readily took to feeding on demand again when with me.
As he got older, and started to feed less often during the days with me, my supply adjusted and pumping sufficient volumes in the one sitting at work was starting to taper off.

Once he was around 14 months or so he was given a bottle or two of cows milk at daycare when I'd not left enough EBM for him. By 17 months, he was having only one bottle of milk at daycare so I stopped expressing and we switched to cows milk for that bottle.

He's now just over 2 and we are still breast feeding. No sign of weaning anytime soon (though I have night weaned him, and dropped his morning feeds).

Edited by Lou-bags, 06 October 2015 - 06:06 PM.


#58 Bess Marvin

Posted 06 October 2015 - 04:14 PM

Thanks for the bump Niggles, I forgot to come back to this massively useful thread and add my details. :)

Working days per week: 3 non-consecutive days.

Baby's age on return to work: DD was just shy of 8mo.

Baby's diet: 3 tastes/meals of solids, 5-6 milk feeds in 24hrs.

Any preparation? Nothing specific as DD has been mix fed breast milk and Allerpro formula in a bottle since she was very new.

How is baby fed in my absence? She has 2-3 bottles of formula at daycare. Plus any meals they have while she is awake. They aren't the best with following instructions and we had a pretty serious issue in her first week with a formula mix-up, so I don't trust them with expressed milk. Just too prone to stuff-ups. :unsure:

Breast management at work? I pump around midday, using my trusty single Avent manual pump. It's slow but gets the job done. Can't justify spending $$ on a double sadly. :(

Any impact on supply or managing BF at home? Not that I've noticed. DD does get up slightly more overnight, but she's also doing the 8-9mo sleep regression, so it's hard to know what's affecting what. ;) She is happier if she has a feed from me when I get home, plus any milk I pumped in a bottle before bed. Seems to be a good balance for now.

#59 niggles

Posted 06 October 2015 - 06:02 PM

It's reassuring to see plenty of older babies only having 50mL or so of EBM. That's the most my DD has ever had on my odd nights out. I might actually give expressing a shot a few times over the next few weeks for the midday or afternoon feed and see how she responds.

#60 Bob-the-skull

Posted 06 January 2016 - 02:57 PM

I am only just back at work this week!

Number of working days per week- 4 days - 8hr days (9.5 including travel)

Age of baby on return to work- 7mths

Baby's diet- Almost exclusive breast fed - small amount of solids once to twice a day

Any preparation before starting work?  Not hugely. I had had a few nights where I went out and DH gave DS3 a bottle so we knew he would take one, I had been pumping randomly to relieve my over supply so have back up milk in the freezer

How was baby fed in your absence DH is home as a full time Dad. Fed with bottles. Currently drinking around 300-400mls whilst I am at work.

How did you manage your breasts at work?  I have a double electric pump so I pump during my two tea breaks plus my lunch.


Any impact on bfing, supply and managing bfing when not at work?


Not yet...



#61 IShallWearMidnight

Posted 06 January 2016 - 05:08 PM

<b>Number of working days per week</b>- 8-1 ×2
<b>
Age of baby on return to work</b>- 4months -7months then 8months -> (school term)

<b>Baby's diet</b>- bf and 2x formula bottles per weeks then
                          - bf with introduction of solids- 1meal
<b>
Any preparation before starting work?</b> tried to pump but no luck

<b>How was baby fed in your absence?</b> bottle

<b>How did you manage your breasts at work? </b> fed before I left and the second I got home

<b>Any impact on bfing, supply and managing bfing when not at work?
</b> constant boobies when Im home

#62 niggles

Posted 16 January 2016 - 11:37 AM

Here's my update. I decided to just enjoy our time together and not mess about with expressing for a baby almost 1. The first couple of days I was fairly uncomfortable at work but because I started midweek I had a weekend to ease the transition.

She had cows milk in a plain spout cup with lunch before her nap at home with DH.

There have been no dramas after the first few uncomfortable days. Work has a lockable small second kitchen that is available for expressing but I just waited it out. I'm glad I did because after a week there was no looking back.

I'm happy at work. DH is very happy at home. DD waves goodbye each morning and I make sure I pee before she realises I'm home in the evening. After that it's a 90 minute cuddle, bath, feed, cuddle cuddle cuddle fest. Couldn't be better really.

#63 happygoluckyinoz

Posted 12 May 2016 - 11:30 AM

Number of working days per week
4 / 8-4 with 30 minutes for lunch. My commute was 30-50 minutes each way depending on traffic.

Age of baby on return to work
7 months

Baby's diet
EBF with 2 meals a day, increasing to 3 by 9 months. BLW so not a huge amount of food was being swallowed!

Any preparation before starting work?
I had always expressed and kept a store of milk in the freezer. I stepped this up a few months before returning so I had enough for at least a week, so if anything went pear shaped there would be enough time for me to sort things out. I made sure he took a bottle from very early on (a few weeks old he’d have one bottle of ebm a day).

How was baby fed in your absence?
7-9 months 3x bottles of ebm approx. 120-140mls each.
9+months 2x bottles of ebm approx 120-140mls.

How did you manage your breasts at work?
I express twice a day whilst at work (designated room), around 10am and 1pm. In the beginning this wasn’t enough to cover the 3x a day bottles he was drinking, so I expressed before bed to make up the third bottle. When he got to 9.5 months he dropped to 4 feeds a day so the 2x I expressed were enough so I could drop the before bed express.

I stored the milk in the work fridge in Avent bottles. After some initial issues with someone covering the milk with paper towels this has been fine.

I used an Avent double electric pump – highly recommend going with a double pump, such a time saver.

Any impact on bfing, supply and managing bfing when not at work?
No. I did worry about my supply, some expressing sessions would only produce 80ml and I would stress over it not being enough – but with a bit of a supply in the freezer this took the pressure off so I could combine a couple of express sessions to make up the right amount.

Once I got into the habit of expressing at work it was fine, having 15 minutes to sit by myself with the door locked is quite welcome on some days! DS is coming up 10 months and I’m still going. I’d like to stop expressing during the day when he hits 12 months, so I’m hoping I can transition him to a bottle of cows milk during the day and then feeds from me in the morning and evening. I’m not committed to this though, as long as he wants it I’ll continue.

#64 mum*mum

Posted 19 June 2016 - 03:23 PM

Number of working days per week
3 days a week, 8.30-5.00

Age of baby on return to work
Started day care at 6 months; I started work when she was 8 months

Baby's diet
EBF with one meal per day.

Any preparation before starting work?
I expressed each night when bub was in bed to build up a freezer stock.  Unfortunately we finally worked out she had a dairy intolerance so I had to quit dairy and the freezer stock was useless

How was baby fed in your absence?
Refused bottles.  Tried numerous bottles and teats but no luck.  Some success with an ikea sippy cup but only if ebm was cold from fridge.  Has two cups (90 ml), and childcare was on site so I breastfed at lunch.

How did you manage your breasts at work?
Wore breast pads for a couple of weeks but all was fine.  Feed at lunch takes the edge off!

Any impact on bfing, supply and managing bfing when not at work?
Demand feeding the rest of the time has ensured continued supply.  Now she's 9 months she's eating a lot more but breastfeeding hasn't dropped off at all. I express every night once she's in bed.  Using a double pump with pumping bra works well.  Also, if she's unsettled I feed on one side while pumping the other.

I have noticed I am more lopsided as a result of feeding too much from one side.

Love that I can feed her on my lunch break!  We will keep breastfeeding for as long as it keeps working for us!

#65 Kafkaesque

Posted 19 June 2016 - 10:14 PM

Number of working days per week
2 days a week, 8.30-4.30 with a 5 minute drive to daycare then home

Age of baby on return to work
9 months

Baby's diet
BF on deman with 3 solid meals and snacks

Any preparation before starting work?
Started to express but then he wouldn't take a bottle much so gave up.

How was baby fed in your absence?
Solids and water. No milk at all.

How did you manage your breasts at work?
Expressed for comfort for the first two weeks then nothing.

Any impact on bfing, supply and managing bfing when not at work?
He fed less overall but that may have just been a natural progression due to his age. He is now 13 months and feeds maybe once a day when we are at home but lots over night. Night feeds are actually a problem as they are causing really bad sleep. I'm not ready to give up though as he's my last baby and I know that as soon as we wean at night any other feeds will disappear.




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