An earlier post on nursing addressed issues of supply. Check it out for what could go wrong with your pump.
Working mom resources:
www.kellymom.com is a great resource for all things nursing. Unfortunately it isn’t as thorough on the issues of pumping and working while nursing as it is on issues of say, poo. A great resource is the book, Nursing Mother, Working Mother: The Essential Guide for Breastfeeding and Staying Close to Your Baby After You Return to Work.
Here’s some brain-dump in Q&A fashion.
My baby won’t take the bottle and I have to start work in a week:
The baby is more likely to take the bottle if mom is not in the house. A good time to introduce it is when you are not around and the baby is sleepy. Often another caretaker (dad, the nanny, a grandparent etc.) can sneak the bottle in at that time. Additionally, some babies will be more likely to take the bottle facing out rather than facing in (and some vice versa), depending on if they want the bottle experience to be similar to or different from nursing. Similarly, if you can get away with never warming the bottle you’re in better shape than if the baby insists on it being warmed, but if warming it up is what it takes, get a bottle warmer. (NEVER heat milk up in the microwave– it causes pockets of burning.)
My baby doesn’t drink much from the bottle, but drinks plenty from the tap:
It’s recommended to introduce the bottle sometime between 3-6 weeks. Earlier and they might develop nipple preference/confusion because bottles flow faster than breasts (this is rare, but a huge hassle when it does happen). Later and they might reject the bottle entirely.
Even if the baby doesn’t drink much from the bottle at daycare that’s not a big deal. Look up reverse-cycling. So long as they’re wetting, pooing, and gaining weight, as appropriate for their age group they’re good. Nursing at drop-off and pick-up is great too, especially if you’re worried. Cosleeping also helps working moms because they can nurse while you sleep and your sleep cycle gets synched up theirs.
I don’t have a fridge/freezer at work, what do I do?:
Breastmilk is amazing stuff. So long as you don’t freeze it, it will stay quite happy at room temperature or cooled for quite some time. The freezer-thing kit that comes with your pump should be enough until you can get the fresh milk home. The same is not true for milk that has been frozen. So it is better to not use the freezer at work if there’s a chance the milk could melt on the way home.
My milk separates in the fridge, is that a problem?:
Nope, the cream is just rising to the top, just like cow’s milk. It is still good to go in the bottle. Go ahead and shake it a bit.
I don’t get more than a couple ounces out each time I pump:
Not a problem! That is totally normal. It just means you don’t have a big oversupply. You are doing fine. I never got more than 2 oz out a pump unless I was at a conference sans baby and had infrequent opportunities to pump. I would pump extra on weekends and if my supply was running low I would do a session in the middle of the night or before my morning nursing. My baby ate nothing but breast milk for hir first 8.5 months and I pumped until 18 months.
Working moms, anything else to add? Questions? Comments? Concerns? Stories?