The struggle of the breastfeeder when going back to work.13:41:00
My background is in childcare. I've worked in schools, play centres, out of school care, kids clubs, crèches, nurserys and been a nanny. When I used to look after children of a young age and they got hungry, I'd just pick up a bottle.Win a MAM Breastfeeding Set worth £75
(These children were with us for 10 hours, 5 days a week.)
I'd just like to say, those parents were doing a fantastic job... They were FEEDING their babies and that's all that matters. (This post isn't about breast vs bottle, it's about supporting mothers to feed if they go back to work).
The reason I picked up a bottle was because they were all formula fed and why, because breastfeeding and going back to work is just so hard for most people.
Because I worked in nursery, when I thought about having children, I was one of 'those people' you know the ones who's children will never throw tantrums, won't eat chocolate and will sleep in a cot all night from day 1! HA that didn't work out for me!
I didn't give much thought to feeding, in my head I knew I preferred the shape of certain bottles and which formula I thought was best. That, was what I was going to feed my baby!
Roll on 3 years and Kairi was due, everyone kept asking me if I was going to breast feed and that's when I really started to realised what I wanted for my child. I did a lot of research and learnt that breast was best for us, 6 months later our journey began.
It was when I went back to work the really hard part came, all I knew was how to put babies in childcare and formula feed them. I had no idea about the work behind the breastfeeder! It was August and I was due back to work in September, the head ache started. How much milk do I leave her (how do I know, I have no idea how much she takes!) Could I pump enough? Would she want to take the bottle? All these questions raced through my head.
I started pumping and got hardly any out. I was so upset, how was I going to go back to work? I would have to leave her screaming for her food. She was only just 6 months, so not really taking solids much yet.
Then a good friend gave me some great advice 'relax' she said (did she know I had a baby!), 'think about your baby, feed and pump, stare at her or a photo of her, try to enjoy the experience and PICTURE THE MILK FLOWING' I did it, my milk started to flow and soon enought after a few weeks of regular pumping I was pumping good amounts, The day right around the corner.
The day before I panicked, there was no way I had left her enough, but I didn't want to put formula into her body. I researched other milks and found that coconut milk was closest to breast milk, so I brought some for the back up in the fridge.
The day came and I went back to work. I squeezed my breast milk keep sake tight and held back my tears, it was only a few hours, she would be fine.
When I got home she was ready to feed, I held her and the oxytocin rushed through my body, I attached Kairi to one breast and the breast pump to the other. I watched her take every gulp and promised myself I would enjoy every feed.
I took a deep breath and asked how she had been while I was away, was my milk supply gone? Had she drunk it all? She had 1 bottle about 6oz and I had many more store away, the relief was amazing. Kairi unlatched and fell asleep, I looked down and saw I had pumped 9oz!