• How do I feed my 4-month-old if she’s gotten used to being exclusively breastfed and I’m going back to work?

    Breastfeeding counselor, mom and contributing writer Abigail Yabot shares helpful advice to a breastfeeding mom’s dilemma as she goes back to work.
    by Abigail Vernida-Yabot .
  • breastfeedingQ: “My 4 month old is exclusively breastfed since birth. My problem is that I'm going back to work soon.

    To simulate the situation of me being away from her for work, I go to a separate room where she won't smell or hear me or I go out of the house and ask the caregiver (yaya) to feed her. But she won't take the bottle even with my pumped breast milk.  

    The yaya also tried cup feeding her with my pumped breast milk but she also cries incessantly and does not like to take the milk.  She also does not like the dropper.

    What can I do? She got so used to feeding from my breast and won't take any other forms of feeding (e.g. bottle, cup, dropper). I've tried all sorts of bottle nipples that claim to resemble a mother's breast but to no success.  Hope you can help and provide some pieces of advice to me on how to deal with this.”


    A: When a mom is returning to work,  it is best to practice for about a week to 2 weeks, gradually increasing the time away from baby until you reach your actual work and travel time when you go back to work.  Remember, you should not be within senses distance so better to really go out of the house.

    Another useful tip is not to worry or think about the baby during this time as this tends to make the baby fussy.  Remember to feed baby before leaving and as soon as you arrive.  And it is best to cup feed when giving expressed breast milk...


    Here is a possible practice schedule:
    •    Day 1 - away for 2 hours (leave 2ozs but might not consume it at all)
    •    Days 2-3 - away for 4 hours (leave 2 2ozs, one might be consumed)
    •    Days 4-5 - away for 6 hours ( leave 3 2ozs, 2 might be consumed)
    •    Days 6-7 - away for 8 hours (leave 4 2ozs, 3 might be consumed)
    •    Days 8-9 - away for 10 hours (leave 5 2 ozs, 4 might be consumed)

    Don't be too focused on how much the baby will consume.  In fact there's such a thing as cluster feeding whereas babies consume very little when mom is away and breastfeeds for longer periods of time when mom is around. This is a much better scenario than baby consuming more when mom is away because the stimulation to the breast will be much less, hence, may lead to supply drop.  

    Remember to count the number of wet diapers and use other signs to check if baby is getting enough rather than focus on the number of ozs that baby consumes while mom is away. Also, continue with the night time feedings. This will ensure your milk supply abundance.


    Photo from flickr.com

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