Working Moms

Back to Work…What If I Am Not Making Enough?


You will want to create a feeding and pumping schedule, and it’s really important to do this before you go back to work. Create a schedule of when you’re going to be feeding your baby and when you plan to be pumping and bottle feeding.

Usually first thing in the morning you’re going to start with breast feeding. And then you’re going to pump while you’re gone at work. Typically three times a day is the average number of pumping sessions for a full eight hour work day. Then you’ll be feeding again when you get home from work, breastfeeding the baby directly, and again before bed and during the night.

If you find the baby is requiring more food than this, some really good tips on this would be to try to breastfeed the baby directly at the breast one more time before you drop off the baby at day care.

So right there before you drop the baby off, sit down and put the baby to breast for about 5-10 minutes, get a little extra in or pump right when you get to work. This is the extra milk that you can get into the baby or stored for the next day. When you pick up the baby at the end of the day, breastfeed before you leave. So right there at day care, go ahead and breastfeed before you leave, before you get home. It will just add those extra feedings. In this way you may be getting one extra feeding in during a 24-hour period.

Another really good tip is to pump an extra bottle first thing in the morning when you are really full, feeding the baby exclusively on one breast while pumping a bottle from the other breast could provide you with that extra milk that you might need to leave during the day, so you don’t need to pump it while you’re at work.

For some moms, if their babies are sleeping through the night, getting up once to pump a bottle is just more ideal time than trying to take an extra break when they’re working. So that’s something I would try. Create a schedule and see what works best for you.

Most importantly, try not to go too many hours without feeding. It’s going to make you engorged. It can lead to plugged ducts and mastitis and can start to decrease your milk supply. It’s so easy to get caught up when you’re back to work and let hours go by. You do need to make this the priority if you want to maintain your milk.

When you go back to work, your sleep is going to be really important to you. So the first thought is going to be to try to get the baby to sleep through the night so you can get your sleep and be able to work the next day. For some moms and babies this will work, but for many what works best is something called reverse cycling where you actually start to feed more during the night. Having the baby feed at night gives the baby extra breast milk. This may be exactly what you need in order to produce enough and not need to demand more from your body during the day.

The baby is going to require a certain amount over the 24 hours and for people who are struggling with milk supply during the day or unable to pump enough while they’re at work, this idea of reverse cycling, co-sleeping, having your baby with you and nursing during the night could really make it a lot easier so you don’t have to supply the baby with so much while you’re gone.

This may sound tiring and inconvenient, but in the end it may turn out to be the easiest way to produce the desired amount of milk you need for your baby if you feel like you just cannot get enough during the day with your breast pump


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