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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Hi, Andrea- I totally empathize with what you're facing. My husband and I have been dealt a blow by the economy over the last 18 months or so--I also thought I could stay home for at least a year, maybe more. But, since my husband owns his own business (electrical/lighting design and construction), his income has decreased by about 60% in the last year. And because I have a great job in a stable field (healthcare), we quickly realized that I will need to continue working (or put off having children even longer, and I'm over 30, and I've wanted to be a mom since I was about 6, so that thought made me cry).
Long story long, here I am, pregnant and fretful about my ability to breastfeed as long as I planned on originally (at least 1 year). So, I've embarked on my own personal research. I've talked to a bunch of people I know who are working mamas, and I've come across three common traits of successful pumpers:1) if you don't have a solid game plan for pumping, you're more likely to "fall off the wagon". The moms who were organized about planning certain periods of the day to pump, at the same time every day, seemed to be the most likely to succeed. 2) the ones who pumped after feedings (before maternity leave was exhausted) to get accustomed to pumping as well as build a milk storage, seemed to be the most successful. And 3) Investing in a GOOD pump seems so important. What I noticed is that the ones who decided to "wing it" with the $34.99 off-brand pump they got at their baby shower were usually sorely disappointed (and often just plain sore!)
In summation, I'm giving this everything I've got. It's so, so important to me, and I can see it's important to you, too. I know this is a long-winded post, but I understand what you're going through, and my heart aches that our economy/government in this country fails mothers so badly in regards to maternity leave. Please keep me posted on your progress. I wish the remainder of your pregnancy to be happy and healthy!! You're going to be a great mama!
Thanks Katie!

Your pointers are great!

I am going to a Le Leche League meeting this month and the topic is working moms and breastfeeding so I'm excited about that.

My husband and I hope we can work something out so I can stay home a little longer but I guess we'll cross that bridge a little later (although its fast approaching!).

Anyways thanks for your well wishes!
Hi there! It absolutely is possible to return to work full time and still maintain a good breastfeeding relationship. I exclusively breastfed for 6 months and nursed until 11 months. I went back to work after 12 weeks so I had a longer amount of time. Can you take some unpaid leave? Even if it's an extra week or two it might be worthwhile. Here are some tips that I would suggest.
1. Get a great pump. You may even want to consider renting a hospital grade pump for the first 2-3 months. I had a Medela Pump in Style, which I loved. If you work full time, a good quality double electric pump is a must. Make sure you have a lactation consultant measure your aereola size so you get the correct size phlange.
2. Pump right after your early morning feeding (6am or so). This is when you have the most milk and I was always able to get a good 12 oz at that pump session (after feeding DD). This kept my supply up and also gave me a great extra stash.
3. Pump after your nighttime feed for the first 2 months. You won't get much milk, but it will help with your supply.
4. Get a hands free nursing bra. In the beginning I would actually pump 3x per day if I wasn't able to feed my daughter during lunch. I would just hook myself up in my office (with door closed) and I could work while I was pumping.
5. For the first 6 months I would try to go and nurse my daughter during my lunch break each day. Our daycare provider was close to my job so it was manageable.
6. Finally, try not to stress. Don't pump at all those first 4 weeks. Give your body some time to adjust.

It is definitely a lot of work at first, but you will get used to it and it is totally worth it. Good luck!
Andrea Rose and everyone--
Thank you so much for this discussion and all the information! I just posted a similar question about transitioning to going back to work after maternity leave including breastfeeding in the Entrepreneur & Working Mothers Group. So glad to find this one.

I am not due until October, but I'm such a planner--I'm already trying to figure some of this stuff out and be prepared. I am very lucky in that I will be able to take 3 months off, half of which will be paid (with my sick and vaca time I've accrued). But I still wish I could stay home for the first year. However, reading all of your experiences makes me feel better about the situation and that it is doable!

Good luck to you, Andrea, as you figure this all out. Let us know how it goes!

P.S. There are some more great resources in a similar discussion under Breastfeeding Chat including a fabulous list of tips and things to think about from Rebekah Leonard (thanks, Rebekah!)

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