Thursday, November 29, 2012

Breastfeeding, Weaning, Back to Work: the Plan

My back to work date is quickly looming, approximately February 1st, 2013! I have a few things im stressing over right now, but this post is particularly about breastfeeding.

  • i want to breastfeed for as long as possible
  • i want to maintain my supply
  • i dont want to be uncomfortable at work
  • i dont want to pump at work, if possible, as i dont want to contaminate the system due to the nature of my work
  • Max is exclusively breastfed
  • Max also uses a straw cup for water during meals/snacks
  • my schedule is 2 days 0730-1930, and 2 nights 1930-0730 with 5 days off
  • we do not use a bottle, i dont want to start using a bottle
  • because im the one who wakes up with Max, breastfeeding is his first meal
  • because Max is breastfeeding, i have the last 10 minutes of the night routine solely with him for a final feed
  • for day shifts i leave the house at 615am, come home at 815pm, and still have to shower and eat dinner
  • for night shifts, i leave at 615pm, and come home and 830 am, and want to SLEEP
so there's my situation. due to the lack of results from Dr. Google, i feel this whole issue is so esoteric (limited to shift working nurses). but of course as with everything else related to parenting, everyone has their own style.  Thank you to all the nurses who shared their experiences!

phase 1:

  • Prior to Nov 21st, Max was feeding 4x a day (first wake/12pm/330pm/bedtime) and nearly the same time of day. I dont even know what the cues are for 'on demand nursing' at his age. honestly, he doesnt  give cues, but he accepted the breast whenever it was whipped out if it was at least 3 hours from the time of the last breastfeed
  • so on nov 22nd, i just cut off the 12 pm feed, pumped for 2 days at that time instead (continued to breast feed first wake/afternoon/bedtime). Each day i got about 25mls of foremilk looking liquid in total. I gave Max the milk via straw cup, and it didnt even phase him that 25 mls was all he got. So i dropped the feed
  • as of nov 24, Max is on 3 breastfeeds a day (wake/afternoon/bedtime), with solids and snacks in between. no engorgement from the breasts!
phase 2:

  • sometime in december, maybe even dec 19th (at 11 months) im going to start Max on goat's milk (this came highly recommended as a transition liquid before whole milk)
  • im going to introduce this as the lunch time beverage instead of water
  • then a week or so later, im going to offer this milk before the afternoon nap. then, ill offer the breast and see if i can slowly wean from breastfeeding 3x a day to 2x a day (first wake and bedtime)
  • sometime in early January, im going to start doing the same thing for first wake feed
  • on or around his birthday, introduce to whole cow's milk and get Gene to do the last night time minutes
  • before Feb 1st, im hoping he's on whole milk, 4x a day minimum, with no breastfeeding
im not really sure what im going to do to maintain supply during that whole milk phase.

i want to breastfeed him when i'm off, but im not sure if that will make me physically uncomfortable at work when i dont want to pump at work (see above reason why). 

im not too sure about dream feeding as if i woke up this sleeping beast in the morning, it means WAKE UP time as he'll probably have a poop minutes later, and i dont think husband will be too happy with me waking up the baby at 530 in the morning. At night, it's a little easier, i can dream feed when i get home...but again, i still have those two nights when i can't.

am i over thinking all of this?
i can't help but feel a sense of loss at this process

if anyone has feedback, please comment and let me know!


  1. Don't over think things is a GOLDEN rule of going back to work after maternity leave. A plan that seems awesome right now might work like a charm or the plan might need to be altered. It is so hard to say.

    I'm still planning to nurse Josie when I'm back to work. Which is different than when I had Ben who weaned at 13 months when we jetted off to Hawaii without him. My goal is to nurse Josie till 2 years old (WHO standard) and if she gives it up before than, no worries. I do want to nurse through this next Winter to help give her a boost during cold and flu season. Plus I really really love it and she might be my I'm not feeling rushed.

    I've started to take breaks from being around Josie all the time in prep for going back to the grind. I've been going on outings with the older one while my husband cares for her and I've gone many hours between feeds and luckily have had no issues with feeling uncomfortable or 'over inflated'.

    I'm looking forward to being able to come home from a shift and kick my feet up and do a dream feed or an awake feed as needed. I think it will be a great way of reconnecting after a night shift. Little baby snuggles. Love!

    The sad part of going back to work with a baby at home is that your sleep is never the same as it was before babies. HOWEVER, it is amazing how us mamas can cope with all that is handed to us.

  2. my goal is to nurse Max until whenever he wants to stop too. ill always offer the breast, he just needs to know that to get milk mommy doesnt have to be here.

    good point at giving the boost for this flu season!!

    i want to take time away from Max in theory, but i am just so attached! i need to be on some weaning regimen too! seriously, i just ache when i miss out!

    i completely agree with the coping, before baby i needed 10 hrs of sleep, now I'm pretty good with 7-8...but thats with no other external stressors like work!


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