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Returning to Work and Expressing

"I would like some tips on trying to juggle breastfeeding, expressed bottle feeding and the odd formula feeding. I am going back to work soon fulltime and still want to breastfeed my son, it will mean the odd top up on formula, I don't mind expressing but still hope for at least one booby feed a day."

Lots of working mums still enjoy doing the morning and bedtime feeds with their baby, its a lovely contact time after being away all day.  With baby fed formula or expressed milk in the day.

If you are planning on expressing, I'd suggest you start to build up your freezer stash before returnign to work.

Express extra after the day feeds - so feed your baby first and then pump.  It can take a while for the amount you pump to build up, since baby is drinking it first.  But doing this regularly will build up your supply - more milk being produced each day plus the amount you can save for the freezer.

Then when you are working you'd need to express at the same times each day to get the milk for the following day's feeds.

Expressing never quite gets the same amount of milk as what baby was drinking, so I always recommend to try and increase the amount you make before starting working, by pumping after feeding.

If your baby is sleeping all night, you could do a "pretend feed" late at night, just with the breast pump, to trick your boobs into making milk each night.  But then this isn't the greatest thing to do when you have been at work all day, and need some rest!

If you are planning on formula feeding baby during the day, and continuing with breastfeeds in the morning and night, then you will need to gradually wean the day feeds.  Do this before you start back at work, so that your baby gets used to drinking formula and taking a bottle.  Drop one feed time every 3 or 4 days, and replace with the formula.

Your body will soon learn that the demand for breastmilk during the day has decreased, and so won't supply milk for those times.  But you can continue doing morning and night feeds (both, or one or the other) for as long as you want to.  Just offer breast to baby at these times.

Good luck.

And please let us know your success!

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