Breastfeeding issues after going back to work

I pack my bags at least a week before I travel. I never cram during exam periods. As much as I can, I want to be ready, always one step ahead. Imagine how I must be feeling when there is no expressed breastmilk I could leave for my baby as I return to work!

Ideally, my breastfeeding plan was to express milk, put in storage bags, put in the fridge or freezer then have the caretaker thaw/heat it and give to baby while I am away. I imagined bags of milk enough to last for at least 2-3 days of feeding.

But that is the ideal. Our reality is different.

Right now, there are no storage bags with breastmilk in our fridge. I express/pump just enough milk for his daily feeding. There’s no extra! Sometimes, I frantically pump at lunch time so he can have his feeding in the afternoon. It’s like only starting to review minutes before the big exam. I hate the pressure. I plan to wake up at 2 or 3 am to pump but realize, I do not have enough milk to pump. Benjamin has taken it all. Now that we’re separated during the day, he compensates by feeding longer at night, both for hunger and need to feel close to mom. The moment he releases his latch, hardly there’s any more milk left.

I thought this was going to be easy, like it was with Pristine. I was able to continue breastfeeding her even after going back to work. She was exclusively breastfed for 22 months.

But what I forgot was, I was separated from Pristine when she has passed her sixth month while I am back to working again and Benjamin is just three months. Pristine was already introduced to solid foods and could take fruit juices and water. She was ok with feeding only during my lunch break but Benjamin solely relies on breastmilk. He needs to feed twice in the morning before I go home and be reunited with him on my lunch break and also twice in the afternoon.

I need 4 bags of milk everyday. FOUR.

After Benjamin feeds, I can hardly manage one bag with 50 ml of milk. The frustration! My milk supply has greatly decreased after going back to work mostly because of stress, fatigue and God knows what else?

I’m at my wit’s end because I do not want to give formula milk!

9 thoughts on “Breastfeeding issues after going back to work

  1. Oh dear me! Try drinking loads of soupy food and papaya. Thats what i did during the first few months coz i was also having this problem. It increased a bit BUT the baby seems to increase the intake too and so i was again having to cope to try and top it up and finally I couldnt anymore and the dr told me to give the bigger feed with formula and somehow it works and now she still breastfeed a litle but not as often and i think gradually she will stop. Good luck dear! and try not to be too stress coz like you said it will effect the milk production.

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  2. i’m so sorry…. that must be really hard.

    i had a problem with nursing my second son and a decreased supply, etc…
    my aunt, who is a lactation specialist, told me to take fenugreek as a supplement, and lots of it (like 3 capsules three times per day. it makes you smell like maple syrup) and to pump for 10=15minutes after every feeding. and that after about 2 weeks my supply would increase. and she was right! it was really hard but it worked.

    hope something works out for you whatever it is!!

    there are also some other milk supply increasing foods like oats, flax, etc… called decalaugs. (sp?)

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  3. Isnt there a lactate nurse there? Maybe not. My sister in law swears by high water foods and high protien. And hot packs or showers when you can and to try not to stress (real ideal right) He is such a doll Grace.

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  4. drinking malunggay vitamins helped me a lot when I went back to work after 3 months and extracting milk from work every 30 minutes kahit small amounts lang regulated my milk production sa office.
    Hopefully I can contribute to your milk supply as soon as I give birth.

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  5. I have friends that swear by fenugreek… can you get it there? And definitely make sure you’re getting enough water! Perhaps it’s just your body reacting to everything this first week and if you do continue to pump it will eventually learn that you need to make more!
    Best wishes!

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  6. the advice that i received was to drink plenty of fluids all day, keep expressing at times when baby would feed to ‘mimic’ the feed so that your body thinks its feeding and to keep your supply of milk constant. it’s supply and demand just as it would be if you were at home with B.

    Express at work – and keep up the programme to build up the milk. I found the more i pumped the more i made…in the end there was no room in the freezer but it was so addictive.

    Good luck, lovely!

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  7. When I needed breastmilk to store for when I am going away for hours, I would breastfeed the baby on one boob and express on the other side, and then switch. It’s very unpleasant but I get more milk to store in that way, yet the baby is still well fed. And drinking lots of water and juice throughout the day, and WHILE breastfeeding. Also, I used a good quality electronic pump. The cheapy ones I used before couldn’t/didn’t pump a lot of milk.

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