Thursday, February 28, 2013

Loving my babies from afar {Breastfeeding Blog Hop}

I have previously mentioned that I have been blessed to stay home with Baby, but with the other three kiddos I returned to work way before we finished breastfeeding.  Each one has a slightly different story.  I must admit that I was very blessed to be able to pump enough milk to leave for 8-12 hours with little difficulty.  However, I do think that my babies have taken less milk from a bottle while I was gone and then made up for it when I returned home.  For me one of the hardest parts was getting enough milk for that first day at work.

Miss Froggie:
     I returned to work when Miss Froggie was 6 weeks old.  There is a really long story behind why I returned to work so soon or at all, but the short version is that hubby and I believe it was God's will for me.  When I returned to work I worked 12 hour day shifts three days a week on a hospital pediatric floor.  I had a friend who watched her when hubby was at work.  There was a private room and a refrigerator that I was able to use in order to pump.  I had a manual Avent Isis pump.  I generally pumped when I was computer charting.  I would lock myself in the room with my pump in one hand and chart with the other hand.  Officially we were given a 30 minute lunch break and another 15 minute break at some point in the 12 hour shift.  Initially I tried to pump when Miss Froggie would have eaten.  But I found she really wasn't eating that much or as frequently as I nursed.
    And once she was four months old she quit taking the bottle all together.  Now, I did not do the right thing to get her to take the bottle.  I know that now.  I didn't know it at the time.  I would rush home from work and nurse her.  If I wanted her to take a bottle I should have made her take the bottle before I nursed her.  But, honestly, at that time I would be bursting with milk.  The idea of pumping again and making her take a bottle before I nursed her seemed horrible.  But she was sleeping 12 hours at night, so...I went to work on the night shift.  This worked really well, for everything but my sleep.  I'd nurse her, put her to bed, and go to work.  Hubby and Miss Froggie slept all night and then they would have to wait about 45 minutes for me to get home from work.  But I was one tired momma during the day after working all night.  I had a babysitter who watched her for about 4 hours during the day until she was 14 months old when I put her in drop in daycare.  I nursed her until she was 20 months old.

Dear Daughter 10 years old (DD10yo)
   When I had my second daughter I moved from working in the hospital to working at a pediatrician's office three days a week.  This time I didn't go back to work until DD10yo was 4 months old.  I again had a (different) friend watch the girls when DD10yo was tiny.  This friend was really great about experimenting with different things to get DD10yo to take her breastmilk.  Different bottles, different nipples, etc.  My friend discovered that DD10yo would only take the bottle if the milk was HOT.  I have a feeling that my milk comes out at about 99-100 degrees.  And that was the ONLY way DD10yo would take it. 
   I had upgraded to a Medela Pump-in-Style by this time.  I worked Monday, Wednesday, Friday for 8-10 hour shifts and pumped at lunch.  Again I had access to a room and a fridge.  It was fascinating to me.  On Monday at lunch I would pump 16oz in about 15 minutes.  On Friday I usually got 10-12oz.  If I didn't have enough milk for the next day I would take Mother's Milk Tea and pump an extra time before I went back to work. But, DD10yo ate every three hours.  3a-6a-9a-12p-3p-6p-9p-12a.   Until she was 9 months old and started eating meat.  I pumped milk for her until she was 12 months old and then she got cow's milk while I was at work and breastmilk from me when I was home until she was 18 months old

Jujube on field trip for DD10yo
I went back to work when Jujube was 12 weeks old.  This time I worked full time and when he was tiny he came to work with me on my administrative day.  I hired a nanny.  Compared to the girls Jujube was really laid back.  I pumped at lunch.  He took his bottles no problem.  He didn't sleep 12 hours a night at 4 months old like Miss Froggie, but he slept through the night before he was 9 months old.  I pumped for him until he was 12 months old like DD10yo and nursed him until he was 19 months old.

Baby has taken maybe 4 bottles in his life :)  He eats almost everything and does not complain when you give him a bottle even though he rarely gets one.  He is nine months old and still nurses at midnight, 3am, and 6am.  But we miss quite a few feedings during the day with our crazy four kid household.


1.  All babies are different.  You may or may not know the personality of your baby when deciding to go back to work and how to feed.

2.  Your body will adjust to what you do.  You can nurse when your home and give bottles when you are gone.  And those bottles can be pumped breastmilk or formula.  But, your milk supply might be different with each kid and each schedule.

3.  If you want to be SURE your baby will take a bottle start at 4-6 weeks and make them take one every day.  Don't breastfeed until after baby takes the bottle.  If this is difficult discuss the situation with your healthcare provider.

4.  Baby may attempt to nurse more at night if you are gone to work during the day.  This isn't necessarily a bad thing.

5.Use galactogogues if you need to.

Thanks for sticking with me through this long post.


  1. Thanks for the tip re. the bottle. Thankfully, my daughter did not refuse the bottle, so that was not an issue for us.

    1. I'm glad she didn't refuse. I love how unique each baby is and how we learn about them by feeding them!

  2. I love that each baby has been so different. :) It really helps to have several perspectives, and I'll be sure to refer my working mommy friends to this post! ~Jeniffer

  3. And these are just my kids! And each mom is different to. No wonder we all have different experiences.