This would fall under RANT

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-29-2010
This would fall under RANT
8
Thu, 09-20-2012 - 1:13pm

I'm 34 weeks pregnant with my 2nd girl and work full time and am away from the kids 10 hours a day. I EPed for my daughter for 12 months of which I found the first 12-14 weeks to be the hardest and then everything got lots easier once she slept through the night.

So here's the rant... I'm weighing the pro/cons of EPing vs breastfeeding AFTER returning to work. I am determined to make breast feeding work the first 3 month just because of how hard EPing is during this time. I tried reaching out to other working moms only to receive comments like how could you ever think that EPing would be easier, you'd be missing out on bonding time, EPing is 2nd best, you've got to try cosleeping, etc. I'm just sick of hearing it all. I'm in that RARE 25% of the US how committed to giving my child breastmilk during that 1st year (and I was dairy free to boot!) EPing worked for us and our busy schedule. I only had to pump 4X a day for the majority of the year and on the week days my daughter wasn't even awake for the 2x I pumped while at home.

I'm concerned about DD2 not getting a full meal before bed and waking up during the night. I'm concerned about her taking too long to feed in the mornings and having to get up even earlier. I'm concerned about having to pump and breast feed in the mornings because of having extra supply after sleeping through the night. I'm concerned about having to feed her when I get home in the evenings and delaying dinner and bedtime.

Sorry, just had to get that off my back.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 04-14-2011
Fri, 09-21-2012 - 3:49pm

I was never able to breast feed either of my boys.  So good luck to you if you can make it work.  From comparing my EP to my friends that were breast feeding - after I was back to work, I had the better world.   I had an over supply, so I didn't have to freak out that I wasn't making enough.  Once I was back to work, I would have only been able to BF my LO 1 maybe 2 times a day. I left way before he woke up and there was no way I was going to wake him up to feed him so I could go to work.  I think the hardest days were weekends when I had to schedule pumping around his schedule.  Either way I pumped way longer then I most likely would have if I was BF.  Really this is about what will work best for you and your family.  Pumping is hard work - but if it works better for you then don't listen to other people. 

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-14-2010
Sat, 09-22-2012 - 8:08am
Well, if breast feeding is going well for the first three months (which I hope it will be--I am in a similar situation having EP'd out of necessity for number 1 and number 2 is set to arrive any day now and I really want BF to work out this time) you could just breastfeed when you want after that. If breastfeeding first thing in the morning doesn't work for you, could you pump and do a bottle then, and just BF at night? Maybe she would end up not latching well anymore, but maybe not. One of my close friends nursed her child just once a day when she went back to work and that worked fine (pumped the rest) so it might work for you. Then you could still have that cuddle time in the evening, but not have crazed mornings. Babies also do get more efficient at BF as they go, so that whole 45 minutes per feeding thing from the beginning can be cut down for a lot of babies once they get good at it. I so know how you feel about having so much anxiety before the baby is even born--I have it too! Good luck with everything!

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iVillage Member
Registered: 05-16-2012
Sat, 09-22-2012 - 8:15am

If you plan on breastfeeding for first 3 months do you need to make any decisions right now? You don`t have any idea how BF is gonna work. Some babies became pretty efficient at 3 months, so feeding might take only 10 minutes and it would be faster than pumping, for example. Or maybe BF would not go very well and you`ll decide to start EP earlier. Who knows? If you set your expectation in stone right now you would just limit your options, make changes harder if you need them and thats it.afaiu you`ll need plan for pump anyway so you may relax right now and choose best course of action when you`ll see your new baby.

One thing for sure you don`t need any additional annoyances at the end of the pregnancy.

Plus, if we are talking about full time working moms than it is 2 or 3 possible breastfeedings  in a day during work week. I`m not so sure that 2 of 6 or 8 feedings a day would make so much difference no matter it is breastfeeding or bottlefeeding with milk.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-29-2010
Mon, 09-24-2012 - 1:12pm

Thanks ladies. I don't plan on making a decision now, I just wanted to be informed when the time came. I wish I had some examples of how a trypical morning and evening schedule runs for the breastfeeding, working mom and dad so I could compare it to a pumping schedule.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 10-24-2008
Tue, 09-25-2012 - 11:14am

I definitely understand where you are coming from. I EPed for my first because she would not latch, but for my 2nd and 3rd because it simply fit our schedule better - I also work full time (which is at LEAST 40 hours a week, but often overtime, plus commute time in a big city), and travel moderately (overnights at least once every 2 months), so most of my feeds during the week would have been pumping anyway. Everything you read on breastfeeding sites says to encourage reverse cycling to breastfeed as much as possible, and that EPing is much harder. But the thought of being up half the night breastfeeding for a year simply isn't practical if you have a job that requires your brain to be engaged, you drive several hours a day in creeping traffic and don't want to fall asleep and crash, and your kids are closely spaced you there is really no break between BFing and pregnancy (mine are now  4, 2.5, 13 months, and we lost our 4th in July to a miscarriage). EPing can be scheduled, and if you have a job with lots of computer work can even happen while you are still on the clock. My second and third kiddos decided to start SSTN (which I define at sleeping through the 6-7 hour window that is the max I can ever allow for sleep anyway) at 6 weeks (my first didn't SSTN until 8 months, because she had reflux and couldn't eat large enough meals to stay full all night), and there was no way I was going to wake them up to breastfeed them! My milk supply was good enough I just started pumping before bed and first thing when I woke up. I know there is a perception about how breastfeeding should go, but that just doesn't work for many people. With direct breastfeeding I never could have given my kids each breastmilk for nearly a year (had to wean 2 and 3 a little early due to getting pregnant with the next one, which tanked my supply, and only had enough frozen to make it to 11ish months, but just switched to cow’s milk at that point rather than formula, since they were eating solids well and I didn’t see the point of introducing formula for just a few weeks). The “ideal breastfeeding relationship” as often portrayed would only work for a SAHM, but I don’t think that just because you work you should give up on breastmilk.  I think it would be very useful for the LLL and other breastfeeding advocates to talk more practically about how working women can provide breastmilk for their kids and still stay sane – most sites/books I have read, and all the lactation consultants I worked with when trying to get my 1st to latch just talk about encouraging reverse cycling, spending the weekends in bed with your baby, and trying to get someone to bring baby to work during lunch so you can nurse.  This simply isn’t practical for a lot of women, and I think leads to early weaning in a lot of cases because women feel that they can’t keep up with that sort of schedule so give up entirely.  I think more “mainstream” information that EPing is doable and practical would really help with breastfeeding rates for working moms (I actually think in most cases it is easier for working moms to EP than for SAHMs, since you don’t have to figure out how to entertain the baby during most pumps).

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-29-2010
Tue, 09-25-2012 - 2:46pm

You Rock!  That's exactly where I'm coming from. You put everything so well!  I do not want to wake up at night if the baby can sleep through the night. I'm away from baby 10 hours a day and the three hours I'm home with baby while awake are spent rushing around the house trying to get everything ready for the next day. EP mommies who do work have it easier than SAHM because we don't have to entertain the baby. I remember those times the during my maternity leave that baby would wake up during my pump time and I'd have to stop. If I was a SAHM there would be no question that I would breastfeed. Very well said! I can't believe you have 3 now and are still working.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 01-29-2010
Wed, 01-16-2013 - 1:51pm

Update!

Well as it turned out DD2 (Jordan Catherine) is a champion breastfeeder. She had no problems latching on and nursing from the beginning and after the initial 5 weeks of pain while toughening up my nipples we've settled into a nursing relationship. It's been 12 weeks and I've been back to work for 3 days now. She is waking up 2 times a night still which I hope will change after she settles in at daycare. I'm having to pump after she nurses in the morning and 2x while at work but not in the evenings. I have over 400 ozs in the freezer and after a couple of weeks at work and making sure my supply stays up I'm going to donate about 1/2 of it to save myself from having to rotate it.  My oversupply is helping with the length of time she nurses as she is only nursing about 10-12 minutes. As of now I have no plans to EP unless she starts to get up more frequently at night. She refuses to take a paci which is frustrating but I'm hoping that with the discovery of her hands that she'll be a hand/thumb sucker in order to soothe herself.

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