Breastfeeding Schedule for Work
My baby boy is now 8 months old and I have been breastfeeding him exclusively until now. It has been a wonderful experience. I had originally planned to do so for 3 months only . and now want to continue until he is 1 year old. However I, just returned to work this week and I have a few questions I hope you can help answer. I have my own business, a very flexible schedule and work mostly from home . However I do have to be out of the house at least 2-3 times a week from 8:00 to 2:30 and sometimes I don't have time to pump. I have a small "stash" of expressed milk but I will soon finish it if I don't continue pumping.
I am currently nursing my baby 4 times a day more or less with the following schedule:
first nursing: 7:00 am or as soon as he wakes up (usually between 6:30 and 7:30 max)
first solid feeding: 8:30 ((this is the time my husband and I usually have breakfast so we all sit and eat at the same time)
around 10:00 or 11:00 he takes his first nap which can last an hour or two.
second nursing: around 11:30 or 12:30 depending on when he wakes up from nap
second solid feeding: 2:00 (this is the time my husband and I usually have lunch so we all sit and eat at the same time)
third nursing: is at 4:00 pm, he usually falls asleep while at my breast. I put him in the crib and he takes his second nap
fourth nursing: is at 8:00 pm and by 9:30 he is sound asleep until next morning.
These are my questions:
During the day we have a Nanny who looks after him when I am away or too busy to have him playing next to my computer. He takes bottles of expressed milk from me, the nanny or anyone else with no problem at all. He has never tasted formula. If things were to get too "complicated" for me with the second feeding:
would it be possible that I start giving him formula only for his second feeding and continue to nurse him the other three feedings?
Would my body adapt and produce milk for the 7 am, 4 pm and 8 pm nursings? (Note: By now I can skip a feeding and not pump and it is not painful for me)
Is it possible that he would refuse to take the formula? Or would he eventually like it?
I plan to start giving him a third solid feeding soon . . . but I am doubtful of the appropriate time, should it be for example at 6:00 pm.
Will he eventually go to just 3 nursings a day?
I definetly want to continue bf as long as possible but I want to know my options just in case it gets too complicated later on.
Thank you for your help,
ClaudiaAnswer from the lactation consultant
Thanks for allowing me to help.
Wow, I am so glad breastfeeding has been so successful for you. Yeah, mommy!
You have several options.
1. You can simply cut out the feeding and your body will adapt. But you cannot do it some days and not others. You need to keep your body on a schedule in order for it to adjust your supply.
2. You absolutely can supplement with formula if needed. But I will say, sometimes this can be a challenge if he has never tasted it before. You can try mixing it 50/50 with some expressed breast milk to see if he will take it. (you also have the option of getting donated breastmilk for your supplementation from a milk bank or a group like milkshare.org) And have someone else give it to him. He will likely reject it if you try to give it to him.
If he will NOT take the formula (pretty common if started this age), you will need to consult with your pediatrician to find out if he "needs" that milk. They will be able to calculate how many ounces he needs per 24 hours. (you know roughly how many ounces he takes per feed if he is taking supplemental bottles now, so just multiply that times 4 to calculate his daily milk intake)
And, it sounds like he is going to need to keep that feed with some kind of milk, since he is only getting milk (nursing or bottles) 4 times a day. Breastmilk or formula should still be his primary source of nutrition up to one year, foods are complementary.
As far as when to start another solid feed. I would hold off on that for now so that he does not drop another nursing session. It is amazing that he sleeps through the night but because he is not getting that nursing session at night and is only feeding 4 times during the day, I would hesitate to add more solids to the mix. Breastmilk is by far more superior nutrition than any solid food.
I hope this helps. Let me know if you have any further questions. I will answer any follow up questions for free.
Liz Pevytoe, RN, IBCLC