With my little girl I happily fed (ok not always happily) for 14 months. Other than the food she ate she was solely breastfed. At first it was difficult but I found it became much easier and eventually it was going to be more of a chore for me to try and get her to take a bottle!
When I returned to work at 6 months we had a terrible fight with her to take a bottle of my milk, she just would not have it. I would leave the house so hubby could try, we would wait until she was hungry or she was due a feed and nothing. In the end she would take a cup of my milk from a sippy cup.
My gorgeous girl my first day back at work!
A great achievement really for a 6 month old to have a sippy cup of course but it meant I would feed in the morning before work, express on my lunch and then there would be a wailing Cordelia bounded towards me as I walked through the door every evening. Not particularly helpful when you have the stress of returning to work to deal with!
So now the conundrum, my boy is 4 months old and in about 2 months I will be heading back to work again and handing the reigns over to Mr P. Breastfeeding is going perfectly, other than having to do all the night feeding it’s a doddle to be honest. I don’t have to remember to wash anything, well other than myself every day which can be a chore in itself with two children, I don’t have to remember to take milk out with me when I am out and about and the minute my boy wants feeding it’s all there ready and waiting.
The problem I hear you ask? Is the stress and pressure it puts on me to express at work.
She is exactly how I felt going back to work last time!
I work in a large manufacturing company in their HR (Human Resources) department, some days you can be so busy you don’t have time to take lunch. I know we should but the reality of the situation is that sometimes you are going from meeting to meeting it’s easier to walk/sit/run and eat. So the idea of trying to squeeze in a half an hour session of expressing plus time to eat to ensure my milk is good, clean and pack away my express gear is not one I’m bang up for.
But then comes the guilt. The classic mummy guilt we feel about everything. The guilt because I could continue feeding but I’m putting my job first. The guilt because I fed his sister for 14 months and I am thinking at 4 months about whether to stop or not. The guilt at how easy it is to feed him and that he is clearly thriving from my milk. What if I change him to formula and his line changes in his growth charts?
I would talk about the what if he gets poorly but I will be honest Cordelia out of all her friends has been the most poorly little girl and she was fed for the longest so I don’t 100% buy into it all.
My current favourite after she was diagnosed with glue ear was the comment in the leaflet we were handed about the condition of how breastfed babies are usually at low risk of getting glue ear! If you had made the decision to formula feed and then a few years later read that you would feel awful but we made the choice to breast feed and for a long enough time and our daughter has glue ear so I don’t think parents should beat themselves up because they don’t really know.
So back to my predicament, we are going to try some formula feeds I think. I have started to run again in the evenings so maybe daddy can try a bit when I’m not here. I had stock piled a freezer drawer of my breast milk but I was poorly about a month after giving birth and it was all used to allow me sleep through the night. See I am even explaining myself to myself now!
But my mind is still not made up, I go from thinking it’s my right to express I should have the time, to gosh I will have so much to do it’s going to stress me out!
I’d love to hear what other people have done when they have gone back to work?