Hello,

 

I am due in the end of April but I am already worried about returning to work after the baby arrives.  Preferably I would like to be a stay at home mom for the first year or work part time but finacially I will most likely have to return to my full time job.  :(

 

I may not be allowed more than six weeks of leave (since I technically only worked for my current employer for 1 month - I was a temp for 2 years through a different company- therefore not qualifying for the FMLA).  I am going to talk maternity leave next month with my boss.

 

Ok so now my question.... is six weeks enough time to get solid with breastfeeding?  I really do not want to supplement my baby.

 

Thanks!

Tags: breastfeeding, leave, maternity

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Oh I remember how it was to be in your shoes!! The best advice I can give is to make sure you have good breastfeeding support lined up to help you from the time the baby is born until you go back to work.

Learning to breastfeed, both you and baby, takes time and patience. I did not have any breastfeeding support other than the 10 minute visit with a lactation consultant the day I was leaving the hospital with my first-born (my one and only hospital birth if i can help it). Everything was so over-whelming that I hardly remembered anything by the time I got home. I learned everything the hard way but kept going anyway. Endurance, persistance and not allowing alternatives during those days and weeks after delivery is so important for your survival and success learning to breastfeed.

I would get in contact with a local LLL (La Leche League) group and go before you have your baby. Watching other moms nurse and being around an inviting atmosphere will help you in the breastfeeding journey. See if you can set up a consultation with a LLL leader and make sure you have a lactation consultant available to you after baby is born. In my case, my midwives always filled that role.

Get educated as much as you can and don't forget Lansinoh nipple cream!!! It was my life-saver for all three nurslings.

There are some great videos on youtube as well.

Making sure you have a good pump and understanding how to use it properly will be essential for going back to work and keeping up your milk supply when you are gone. Make sure your employer is going to be "pumping-friendly" so they will allow you breaks to pump milk. I believe they have to do this by law. Keep a picture of your baby with your breastpump to look at while you pump..it helps with let down.

I will hope that a better job opportunity heads your way...like working from home....so you can fulfill your dream of being home with your baby.

Take care!! There are many resources available to you and I'm sure there are many mamas here who can help if you need it :)
Thank you so much! Your response is very helpful.
Your milk should come in 2-5 days after the birth. Then you'll have a week or two of engorgement while your body gets used to how much milk to produce for your baby's needs. After two weeks, you should both have the hang of it pretty well. So six weeks should be plenty of time to get solid with breastfeeding! :)

There is a good possibility that you will be pushed to supplement, because doctors and nurses will be pushy about seeing the baby's weight go up. I'm not sure why they can't just let your body and baby do what they are meant to do! (not to say it isn't ever necessary to supplement) I was pushed to supplement, but I declined, and my milk came in promptly 48 hours after both of my births!

In addition to getting good support, read up on how to deal with engorgement. That will be a tough time and is when a lot of moms wonder if it really is worth it! It's going to be painful, but nurse whenever your little one is hungry. Soon everything will balance out and you'll both be pros!

My sis-in-law just headed to the hospital to have her baby! I'll have a new niece or nephew soon! We've both had all natural births at the hospital, and have had good experiences. I'm looking forward to meeting the new little one, and hearing the birth story! :D So excited!
Congrats on your new niece or nephew!

Thanks for the help.
In addition to what Joni said, many states have laws that your employer not only must allow you time to pump, but an adequate place to pump, ie; not the bathroom. Make sure you know your state's laws in case this becomes an issue.

I second what Joni mentioned about LLL and finding a pump. If you can't afford to buy a good electric pump, medela is excellent, you can rent hospital grade pumps and you should look into that. A good pump is essential to maintaining a healthy milk supply. Also keep in mind that on average moms who go back to work experience around a 30 percent decrease in supply simply because they are away from their baby. So to get ready to go back to work, you should probably start pumping a couple of weeks in advance to both insure that you will still be producing enough after you go back to work, and to start to build a supply for whomever will be watching your baby.

A good LLL group leader should be able to help you find and pump and work out a schedule. What you are wanting to do is TOTALLY achievable, it just takes education, and really good scheduling.

Also, I would refrain from introducing a bottle till around 3 weeks. Once breastfeeding is established, it shouldn't be too much of a problem, but you need your baby to take a bottle easily. I would encourage you not to start pumping until around the same time as well. It may be a bit of cram trying to get it al going at once, but your body and your baby need time to get in synch and pumping too early can lead to over production, which can lead to engorgement, and that can start a lot of other problems you don't want.

YEESH, this is really scattered so I hope it helps. My brain is fried right now. Good luck, you will do great.
Thanks for your encouraging words!
In my opinion, six weeks is a good amount of time to establish a solid bfing relationship. Have you purchased a pump or are you planning on renting a pump? If you start pumping once your milk comes ( and you are ready) you could build a decent sized freezer stash. I feel for you Mama. I didn't go back to work but I went to to school and it was bittersweet. I recommend you to read "The Milk Memos". It's an awesome book about moms that go back to work and their experiences pumping.
I definitely will be getting a pump. I think its playtex. I definitely will need inspiration from other working moms cause I think it will be really hard to sit through work wishing I was home.

Thanks for your reply!
I'm not sure how good Playtex pumps are. I have an Avent hand pump and I absolutely love it. I haven't ever had to pump enough to be away for more than a few hours, but I can imagine this pump would work well in any situation. I've also heard that Medela is an excellent pump.
Andrea,

Here is what makes a good pump.

1. A good rhythm of on/off suction When you baby nurses he/she will get in to the rhythm of suck, swallow, breath. This means their will be a steady pattern of suction and no suction. Some pumps start with a degree of constant pressure that then increases to express milk. What you always want in a pump is one that most closely emulates your baby. The reason I've always liked medela so much is because where the milk is released in to the container there is a small white membrane that allows for the total release of pressure. Not only is this close to what your baby will be doing, but it is better for your delicate breast tissue.

2. Good nipple stretch The production of milk is started by the release of the hormone oxytocin, nipple stretch is one of the ways to stimulate that hormone. When your baby nurses your nipple will actually be closer to the back of his/her throat, and the when the baby sucks it will stretch with the suction. A good pump will not only provide good stretch but a cup that will allow your nipple to stretch w/out rubbing or chaffing on the sides.

3. Warranty I believe this pretty self explanatory, but this pump will be the difference between success and failure. If it breaks, as things do, you need to be sure that you can have it replaced quickly. Again, another reason I love Medela is because they are flawless in their warranty policies. They always replace a pump when it's broken, and in my experience will reimburse the store where you bought the pump so you can walk out with a replacement same day. Of course, some of this also depends where you buy. Babies R Us employees will probably be less inclined to make sure you get what you paid for than an independent dealer, so consider that when you purchase.

A good pump will be as close to emulating your baby as possible, and it should NEVER hurt.

Once again I hope I didn't overload you with info, and no I'm not a Medela rep, and never have been, I just really trust their product and the research they put in to developing it.
I work at a mom and baby shop that sells and rents pumps. The most purchased pump is the Medela Pump In Style. The most efficient rented pump is the Medela Symphony. Rented pumps have stronger motors than purchased pumps. I'm not sure what brand of pumps your hospital rents but if they do not have the Medela Symphony all hospital grade pumps are going to have a stronger motor than purchased pumps.

... i hope that all made sense.. I have a fever :(
Also, I would stay away from brands like Platex and Evenflow (for pumps)... they don't seem to have good reviews.

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