Some advice please...

  • I am going back to work full time on Monday. I will be working 45-50 hours a week with little time to pump. My baby will be almost 7 weeks old. He has been on bottle and breast for about three weeks now. He took to the bottle with no problems at all. I have and electric pump and manual and cannot seem to get it to work. My question is should I switch him to bottle completely?? I have thought alot about it and would like some advice on it. I am going to speak to a lactation specialist as well to see why the pump is not working for me. But I would like to know if anyone else out there had to quit breast feeding after going back to work??

  • While breast milk is best, there is no reason switching to formula would be bad for the baby. If you can get the pump to work, it would be good for the baby to get some breast milk. Even if you only give him a few bottles of breast milk a day, it would give him the best of both worlds. Whatever you decide to do, you can rest assured knowing that your child will be getting all the nutrition he needs. Good luck.

  • I am going back to work in 5 weeks and have been struggling with how I am going to be able to pump at work- as a first grade teacher, I have very few breaks. I also feel that the time I spend pumping at work will extend the time I have to stay after school to prepare for my students. I have many friend who decided to quit pumping to go back to work, so you are not the only one in that boat. My question is, what is the best way (for mom and baby) to wean off breast milk??? I understand it isn't a pleasant experience "drying up."

  • Yes, I am in retail, so that is why pumping is limited for me. I am a manager and if I get called for something, I have to go. It is painful..the drying up process. There is no way around it. My Mom says there are pills to help. So I might call my OB and see. My baby is fine with the bottle. It is just right now my husband has been feeding him because he is always going for my breast. So that is another do I get him used to me feeding him as well? I am sure it will all work out, but going back to work is going to be hard enough!! Let me know how things work out for you and I will let you know too! Thanks for responding!!

  • It doesn't have to be all or nothing.  My drying up process was not painful with either of my children, because it wasn't sudden.  I still nurse my 11 mo old in the morning and evening, he is slowly weaning and it isn't painful, because your body adapts and makes less.  I have worked retail and I empathize, you may be able to gauge when you are least likely to have distractions, slow times.  It should only take about 15 min. to pump.  Hopefully they can figure out the problem w/ your pump.  Have you tried giving him a formula bottle?  He smells you and connects your smell w/ food, so the lactation consultant can probably help with that issue.  Good luck.

  • I'm so sorry you have to make this choice. Mommies carry such a burden.

    I agree that you don't have to stop completely and honestly the weaning process would be better for both of you if you didn't. You'll ache a little during the day but nurse as soon as you go home and all throughout the night. No matter what breast feeding is straight up the easiest thing to do in the middle of the night.

    I had a C Section and by the time my milk caught up with the whole process he'd been eating from a bottle for about a week. I pumped solely for the first three months and mixed my milk with formula from day one. I tried to make sure that it was a 50/50 mix. I froze the extra for trips to Gma's house. 

    I started back to work at 2 months. Now, I'm spoiled enough to have a job that is lenient on mommies that pump. My son did finally start to nurse at 3 months (for those who have babies that won't nurse, never give up. Keep trying to show the baby what they're made for and eventually the baby will want to put something new in their mouth. The first signs of teething also help encourage the baby to try new things). I also had issues with my pump and it finally burned out. At that point I switched to a hand pump and LOVED it. With my next child I'll only use a hand pump. I can control the suction much more and the motor isn't an issue. Just swtich back and forth as your hands require.

    What I recommend for you is pump once a day this weekend and encourage your body to make more in the hours you won't be at work. Nurse when you're at home and make your nights easier by keeping the milk makers on the job for awhile longer.

    No matter what don't feel guilty for stopping. I know it's hard making this decision, but the fact that you even posted this question shows that you care like a momma should.

    Good luck to you.

  • Hope things are going well with you being back to work!

    I was originally going to just nurse my little one but then decided to do both breast milk and formula- I nurse before I leave for work, pump for 15 minutes once a day as part of my lunch and then nurse when I get home- i have been back to work for a few months now and it's going well.  I feel like my little one still gets a lot of breast milk but I'm not killing myself to make sure every last drop he gets is breast milk- also, I think a little formula is probably good with things like the vitamin d and stuff.  Bottom line is that any breast milk you can give your little one is great : ) even if you don't pump at work you could probably do the morning and night nursing  : ) just will likely need bottles on hand as well in case milk production goes down a bit

  • There's an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant with some great pumping information:


  • hi i was reading ur post and i know it was a couple of months ago and i wanted to know how it was going??? i'm working fulltime and i pump during my lunch and maybe try to push one more before i go home and nurse when i get home i wanted to know if ur milk went down or its about the same i hope u write back cause i love breastfeeding my child and wanted to keep doing it. thanks

  • Thanks for the interest.  I too loved breastfeeding my children.  When I last posted my youngest was 11 mo., now he is 18 mo.   Both my children naturally weened around a year so I haven't nursed for about 6 months.  There are a few basic principles to nursing that I always kept in mind, nursing is supply and demand, the more you nurse/ pump the more milk your body will produce, there are women that nurse, exclusively, twins.  Another principle of nursing is, actual nursing is best, the hormones, let down, everything is more conducive to creating milk when you are nursing your baby instead of listening to the sounds of your breast pump while sitting in a room alone feeling like a cow at the milking station (that's how I felt)  I looked at a picture of my child/ children while I was pumping, I put on relaxing music and locked the door to my office, even though at my office a closed door meant private, locking the door gave me the added assurance that I would not be interrupted.   Sometimes I would call my mom (on speaker phone) if she was watching my child and talk about his day, what he was doing.    Another principle is, any breast milk is better then none.


    I tried to nurse exclusively for the first 6 months and once I introduced solids they didn't need to nurse as much, I remember spending days at home where it felt like all I did all day was nurse, (he was probably having a growth spurt and building up my milk supply) if you are working your body doesn't know that your baby is having a growth spurt unless your child care provider calls you with 2 or 3 hours left and says I gave him/her all the milk I had and he/she is still hungry, what should I do?  

    I think if you return to full time work and you are only pumping once or twice a day your milk production will likely go down.  I noticed my milk was most plentiful in the morning so I would let my child nurse a good nursing before I left, then after 2 hours at work I would pump, at lunch pump  and mid after noon pump then rush to the baby and nurse.  I did not put either of my children in daycare until they were over a year old and had been weened so I had friends and family watching them and they were all very supportive of nursing so they worked hard to help me, by trying to hold the baby off if I was on my way instead of giving a bottle when I would be there soon and could nurse.  I hope this helps, please let me know if you have any other questions, I am happy to encourage other nursing mothers.

  • @dmccoy

    You're a fountain of knowledge...and experience!  Thanks for sharing!

  • Thank you sincerely for the compliment. I hope I can help encourage another mom from my experiences.