I need to get away for more than 1 hour

My son is 2 months-old. I've tried giving him a bottle of expressed milk almost daily and he refuses. I haven't been able to leave him yet because of his 2-3 hour schedule. I have tried every nipple and I really need more than 1 hour away from him.

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ABOUT THE EXPERT

Debbi Donovan

Debbi Donovan is a Board Certified Lactation Consultant, as well as a retired La Leche League Leader. For more than a decade, Debbi... Read more

Mothering can be a very tiring job! And the responsibility you feel for this new life can feel awesome and quite overwhelming at times. Every mother has these feelings at one time or another.

Breastfeeding your baby doesn't need to make you into a hermit. Mothers who nurse their babies can continue with their active lives. Breastfed babies are easy to bring along with you on your travels. You don't need to take along much - a diaper and some wipes, and not much more.

You might find you don't need as much time away as you think. If you tend to your needs on a daily basis, you won't end up feeling that your needs are last on everyone's list (including your own.)

Here are some tips:

  • Get regular exercise at least 5 days out of the week. Taking a walk can not only help to get you back into shape, which really helps to improve the way you feel, but also helps to make you feel less tired and less stressed out for the rest of the day.
  • Allow yourself at least a half-hour to an hour each day, that is all your own. Enlist the help of your partner, another family member, or a friend. (You could even trade times with a friend!) Do something that feeds your soul - write, paint, cook, read, take a bubble bath... It might help you in the beginning to make a list, so you don't waste this precious time thinking about what you might want to do next.
  • If you are feeling exhausted all the time, or depressed, it is important that you be evaluated by your Health Care Provider. A physical condition such as anemia or low thyroid could be causing problems for you in the months following your baby's birth. Depression in the postpartum period is more common than most people realize, and if necessary can be safely treated with medication.

If you still feel like you need a few hours away from your baby every now and then, and your baby refuses a bottle, I would recommend nursing just before you leave. You can get away for 2 to 3 hours without leaving a bottle, if you nurse upon your return home. Let your partner, or the baby's caregiver know you'd like them to hold the baby if he is at all fussy while you are gone. If you leave some of your expressed milk (about 2 ounces) in the refrigerator, they could try feeding it to him. Often, if a baby senses that you aren't home, he will accept your milk from someone else, as long as he isn't already frantic. Best of luck!

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