Maternity leave over! HOW did it go so fast? I was pretty worried about returning to work, leaving Reggie and trying to express enough milk for him, whether he’d take a bottle, whether I’d remember all the stuff I needed to remember etc. I wanted to keep breast feeding. Sure it would’ve been easier to put him onto formula but I wouldn’t have stopped if I wasn’t returning to work so I didn’t want work to be the reason I stopped. I’ve done the hard bit, the first few months were tough but feeding him is so easy now.

I am fortunate enough to not have to rely on childcare for now. My husband doesn’t start his new job for a while so is taking the role of stay at home dad (and thoroughly enjoying it). So yes, I was worried about leaving Reggie but not because I wasn’t comfortable leaving him just because I wouldn’t have him with me.

Turns out he was an absolute dream taking a bottle, I know we’re pretty lucky as lots of babies don’t take to a bottle so well. With him being 9 months and still feeding in the night, I wasn’t concerned about whether he’d be getting enough milk, it’s more for the comfort. I wonder whether the lack of stress about it helped. Isla gave Reggie his first bottle which she LOVED. I love that she is old enough to be able to remember things like that.

Here a a few tips from some other mummy bloggers –

Natalie at Crummy Mummy  said “After trying different bottles I realised that problem was the teat – the newborn size wasn’t letting enough milk through for my hungry baby! So I took a pin and pricked some more holes in, and bingo!”

Holly at Little Pickles – “Try to see if your baby will take a bottle off other people. Luckily, we didmd have much issue with it, but friends’ babies would only take a bottle off Daddy rather than Mummy.

Donna at Bobsy’s Mum – “We struggled with this so much. Try different bottles. Boibsy preferred a soppy cup to a bottle. She didn’t seem to like anything that was like a boob, she preferred something totally different. Other than that, just keep trying”

Jo at Pickle & Poppet – “Use bottle that have a softer teat like munchkin latch or breast flow baby which uses the same motion as breastfeeding. Use a faster flow teat than the recommended as breastfeeding babies are used to faster flow. Face the baby outwards instead of snuggling into breast as they are more likely to take it then. Don’t force it! You both have to be ready otherwise it wont happen.

Breastfeeding and returning to work

I never really expressed with the others, tried a few times with Evie but she flat out refused a bottle. I’m definitely not one of these that can pump full bottles at a time but it’s been easier that I thought it would be. I’ve been using OMANI tronkon chargeable pump and Tommee Tippee closer to nature bottles. I started about a week before I went back to work so that there was a bit of a stash ready. I pump one side whilst Reggie feeds off the other. I definitely find this the easiest way as your letdown happens naturally.

I discussed with my boss pumping whilst at work. Workplace regulations state that an employer must provide suitable facilities where pregnant and breastfeeding mothers can rest. Although not a legal requirement The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) recommends that it’s good practice for employers to provide a private, healthy and safe environment for breastfeeding mothers to express and store milk. The toilets are not a suitable place to express breast milk.

Here are some tips for pumping at work.

  1. I was once told to keep a picture of your baby close by to help your letdown but I felt a bit of a weirdo gazing at a picture so I watch the videos of him on my phone instead.
  2. Try to relax. This is pretty hard when you’re sat at work with your tits out or when you’re pressed for time. I have been able to express more when I’ve managed to relax.
  3. Take a muslin and a spare top just in case.
  4. I haven’t needed breast pads for a while but I have been using them at work. I’d rather air on the side of caution than end up with leaky boobs mid meeting.
  5. Depending on how you work you may need to take ice packs and a cool bag to put your milk in before getting it into a fridge.

I have quite enjoyed getting ready uninterrupted and managing to leave the house without a spec of weetabix wiped on me. I spent the first few days feeling VERY strange, like i’d left something behind. Reggie has been such a little champ for Daddy. Turns out I had forgotten pretty much everything to do with my job but it came flooding back quickly. I’d half hoped I may get eased back in but no chance of that happening, having said that I’d much rather be busy. Daddy daycare is showing me up with his military style organisation. I’m not sure I’d like the roles to reverse permanently but it is SO nice have dinner cooked for me everyday (he’s even been making my lunch – I don’t even do that!).

 

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