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Advice about going back to work and unique situation

Posted by on Sep. 6, 2013 at 4:25 PM
  • 9 Replies

Hello ladies! I'm new here and pregnant with my first baby due in December. I'm here so early because I'm looking for advice to make sure I do everything right when baby comes. I'll be going back to work when baby is about 3-4 months old. I work nightshift, and usually work 3 12-hour shifts (7a-7p) in a row. I'll be able to pump at work, probably 2 or 3 times. How soon after baby is born should I start pumping? I'm not as afraid of oversupply as a low supply, and I know I don't want to start pumping too late when my supply is regulated. Also, when is the best time to introduce the bottle? Baby will only be getting bottles while I'm at work, and from the breast all other times. If anyone has been in a situation like this, advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

by on Sep. 6, 2013 at 4:25 PM
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Replies (1-9):
gdiamante
by Group Mod - Gina on Sep. 6, 2013 at 4:38 PM

The good news is we've had lots of moms in your shoes. Lotta nurses in this group!

You can start pumping when you like. 6 weeks after birth is generally best to give your body time to figure things out. The bottle can be introduced at that age as well. Hand baby to caregive, LEAVE. You must be absent. Begin with the bottle as you mean to go on, you know? Be aware that there's no getting baby used to the bottle. They take it or not, and it's not at all unusual for a baby to take a bottle a day for weeks and then refuse it the day mom goes back to work.

BUT... no baby will starve himself. If truly hungry, the bottle will be taken. It's also very common that they'll simply hold off till mom comes home. Not as likely with 12 hour shifts but it does happen. And consider: If baby slept that many hours, you'd do cartwheels! 

Welcome to the group!

LeapBaby123
by Kathleen on Sep. 6, 2013 at 4:43 PM



Quoting gdiamante:

The good news is we've had lots of moms in your shoes. Lotta nurses in this group!

You can start pumping when you like. 6 weeks after birth is generally best to give your body time to figure things out. The bottle can be introduced at that age as well. Hand baby to caregive, LEAVE. You must be absent. Begin with the bottle as you mean to go on, you know? Be aware that there's no getting baby used to the bottle. They take it or not, and it's not at all unusual for a baby to take a bottle a day for weeks and then refuse it the day mom goes back to work.

BUT... no baby will starve himself. If truly hungry, the bottle will be taken. It's also very common that they'll simply hold off till mom comes home. Not as likely with 12 hour shifts but it does happen. And consider: If baby slept that many hours, you'd do cartwheels! 

Welcome to the group!

Thank you for your advice! I'm hoping that, if baby refuses the bottle, maybe he'll/she'll just sleep all night, right? lol. How often would you recommend the baby get a bottle before I go back to work? For example, if I introduce it at 6 weeks, do I need to have my DH give him/her a bottle every day so the baby doesn't forget what it's like?


gdiamante
by Group Mod - Gina on Sep. 6, 2013 at 4:47 PM


Quoting LeapBaby123:
Thank you for your advice! I'm hoping that, if baby refuses the bottle, maybe he'll/she'll just sleep all night, right? lol. How often would you recommend the baby get a bottle before I go back to work? For example, if I introduce it at 6 weeks, do I need to have my DH give him/her a bottle every day so the baby doesn't forget what it's like?

Doesn't matter. You can wait till the day you go back if you want. Baby will take it or not. The clock resets daily, so there's no need to practice.

LeapBaby123
by Kathleen on Sep. 6, 2013 at 4:58 PM

Okay, thanks :)


Quoting gdiamante:


Quoting LeapBaby123:
Thank you for your advice! I'm hoping that, if baby refuses the bottle, maybe he'll/she'll just sleep all night, right? lol. How often would you recommend the baby get a bottle before I go back to work? For example, if I introduce it at 6 weeks, do I need to have my DH give him/her a bottle every day so the baby doesn't forget what it's like?

Doesn't matter. You can wait till the day you go back if you want. Baby will take it or not. The clock resets daily, so there's no need to practice.



MommyO2-6631
by Leslie on Sep. 6, 2013 at 5:46 PM
Remember... you must be absent for bottles. Not in another room... gone! Also when you do go back to work the ideal situation is no more than 1-1.25 Ounces of milk per hour separation in bottles no bigger than 3 oz. It needs to be fed with baby upright, bottle parallel to the floor, burping after each ounce, with a slow flow nipple. The idea is to make the bottle less desirable than the breast so he will go back to nursing easily and won't prefer the bottle.


Quoting LeapBaby123:




Quoting gdiamante:

The good news is we've had lots of moms in your shoes. Lotta nurses in this group!

You can start pumping when you like. 6 weeks after birth is generally best to give your body time to figure things out. The bottle can be introduced at that age as well. Hand baby to caregive, LEAVE. You must be absent. Begin with the bottle as you mean to go on, you know? Be aware that there's no getting baby used to the bottle. They take it or not, and it's not at all unusual for a baby to take a bottle a day for weeks and then refuse it the day mom goes back to work.

BUT... no baby will starve himself. If truly hungry, the bottle will be taken. It's also very common that they'll simply hold off till mom comes home. Not as likely with 12 hour shifts but it does happen. And consider: If baby slept that many hours, you'd do cartwheels! 

Welcome to the group!

Thank you for your advice! I'm hoping that, if baby refuses the bottle, maybe he'll/she'll just sleep all night, right? lol. How often would you recommend the baby get a bottle before I go back to work? For example, if I introduce it at 6 weeks, do I need to have my DH give him/her a bottle every day so the baby doesn't forget what it's like?




LeapBaby123
by Kathleen on Sep. 6, 2013 at 5:48 PM


Thank you! I will take all of that into account :)

Quoting MommyO2-6631:

Remember... you must be absent for bottles. Not in another room... gone! Also when you do go back to work the ideal situation is no more than 1-1.25 Ounces of milk per hour separation in bottles no bigger than 3 oz. It needs to be fed with baby upright, bottle parallel to the floor, burping after each ounce, with a slow flow nipple. The idea is to make the bottle less desirable than the breast so he will go back to nursing easily and won't prefer the bottle.


Quoting LeapBaby123:




Quoting gdiamante:

The good news is we've had lots of moms in your shoes. Lotta nurses in this group!

You can start pumping when you like. 6 weeks after birth is generally best to give your body time to figure things out. The bottle can be introduced at that age as well. Hand baby to caregive, LEAVE. You must be absent. Begin with the bottle as you mean to go on, you know? Be aware that there's no getting baby used to the bottle. They take it or not, and it's not at all unusual for a baby to take a bottle a day for weeks and then refuse it the day mom goes back to work.

BUT... no baby will starve himself. If truly hungry, the bottle will be taken. It's also very common that they'll simply hold off till mom comes home. Not as likely with 12 hour shifts but it does happen. And consider: If baby slept that many hours, you'd do cartwheels! 

Welcome to the group!

Thank you for your advice! I'm hoping that, if baby refuses the bottle, maybe he'll/she'll just sleep all night, right? lol. How often would you recommend the baby get a bottle before I go back to work? For example, if I introduce it at 6 weeks, do I need to have my DH give him/her a bottle every day so the baby doesn't forget what it's like?






Seniahmom
by Member on Sep. 7, 2013 at 8:12 AM
We did bottles only when I was gone. No "practice" while I was around. My oldest picked it up quickly - if mom was around, he got it off the "tap," if not he got a bottle. My youngest did not like that routine while he was little - not from dad, grandma, no one. He'd take a bit, angrily, and wait for me. What we did was, for example if I were going out for a few hours, I would give DH the shirt I wore all day (I would wear one of his) & he would put it on after I left & that seemed to help D'S settle in & accept the bottle. When my mom was watching the kids during the day she'd throw a shirt of mine over her shoulder or a blankie of his I'd purposefully slept with and that seemed to help. As he got older he got the routine down and eventually stopped fighting the bottle. This is something my cousin used too - also a nurse & she worked funky shifts - rarely the same schedule as her shifts were scheduled to go along with her husband's off days (firefighter).

Another thing to keep in mind is that bottles do not need to be big. I think it was mentioned above - 1-1.25 oz per hour mom is away. Up until about 6 months or so mine took 3 oz bottles about every 3 hours. After that we switched to 4 oz every 4 hours because that worked for him. We also set a "cut off time" before pick up so that baby would be a little hungry when I got home so we could nurse straight away. At home we nursed on demand no matter what time it was.

Another tip - never switch from slow flow nipples. Best advice my BFF gave me. It takes work to get milk from the breast & it takes work to get it from the slow flow nipple. A faster nipple makes it easy & baby lazy and/or frustrated at the breast. That will create flow preference - not an ideal situation! My kids took a slow flow nipple til nearly a year and them we switched to a soft spouted sippy cup.

You are doing a job thinking ahead of the game and doing your research. Being mentally prepared is a great way to "keep your head in the game" later. I armed myself with knowledge while pregnant so as to give myself no other option but to make this work. I nursed my oldest for a year, he got frozen for awhile after that (in all my research I didn't realize I could keep nursing safely while pregnant with number 2 - I'd suffered miscarriages in the past & was told to wean immediately & because of my fears did so). My younger is still nursing at 22 months - all while working long days, with long commutes. :)

You can do this!
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LeapBaby123
by Kathleen on Sep. 7, 2013 at 8:47 AM
Thank you so much for the advice. My fear is that, because I work nightshift, the baby will refuse a bottle and I can just imagine my husband and baby both crying all night long because the baby won't eat or sleep.


Quoting Seniahmom:

We did bottles only when I was gone. No "practice" while I was around. My oldest picked it up quickly - if mom was around, he got it off the "tap," if not he got a bottle. My youngest did not like that routine while he was little - not from dad, grandma, no one. He'd take a bit, angrily, and wait for me. What we did was, for example if I were going out for a few hours, I would give DH the shirt I wore all day (I would wear one of his) & he would put it on after I left & that seemed to help D'S settle in & accept the bottle. When my mom was watching the kids during the day she'd throw a shirt of mine over her shoulder or a blankie of his I'd purposefully slept with and that seemed to help. As he got older he got the routine down and eventually stopped fighting the bottle. This is something my cousin used too - also a nurse & she worked funky shifts - rarely the same schedule as her shifts were scheduled to go along with her husband's off days (firefighter).



Another thing to keep in mind is that bottles do not need to be big. I think it was mentioned above - 1-1.25 oz per hour mom is away. Up until about 6 months or so mine took 3 oz bottles about every 3 hours. After that we switched to 4 oz every 4 hours because that worked for him. We also set a "cut off time" before pick up so that baby would be a little hungry when I got home so we could nurse straight away. At home we nursed on demand no matter what time it was.



Another tip - never switch from slow flow nipples. Best advice my BFF gave me. It takes work to get milk from the breast & it takes work to get it from the slow flow nipple. A faster nipple makes it easy & baby lazy and/or frustrated at the breast. That will create flow preference - not an ideal situation! My kids took a slow flow nipple til nearly a year and them we switched to a soft spouted sippy cup.



You are doing a job thinking ahead of the game and doing your research. Being mentally prepared is a great way to "keep your head in the game" later. I armed myself with knowledge while pregnant so as to give myself no other option but to make this work. I nursed my oldest for a year, he got frozen for awhile after that (in all my research I didn't realize I could keep nursing safely while pregnant with number 2 - I'd suffered miscarriages in the past & was told to wean immediately & because of my fears did so). My younger is still nursing at 22 months - all while working long days, with long commutes. :)



You can do this!

melindabelcher
by mel on Sep. 7, 2013 at 12:53 PM
I worked full time/overtime overnights.
At 6-8 weeks you could start pumping once a day first thing in the morning (i preferred baby on one boob, pump on the other)
If you want to go out without baby for 4hrs dad can give a bottle at the 2hr mark. That might help to alleviate some anxiety by you and dad.
Pumping at work I would try 3-4 times. ideally you should be pumping every 3ish hrs. Twice in a 12hr shift likely won't cut it.
Congrats
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