July 15, 2008,
S.R. asks from Tulsa, OK on July 13, 2008
Breastfeeding Twice a Day: Is It Possible?
Is anyone able to breast feed only twice a day? I'm a teacher, and have a sixth month old. In August, when I return to work, I'd like to avoid pumping during the school day, if at all possible (it's hard to leave a classroom full of third graders, even with help from fellow teachers and/or assistants). However, I'd still like to breast feed my baby in the morning and evening - I would like my daughter to still get the benefits of breast milk. I'm just afraid my milk supply will get too low (or disappear) if I breast feed only twice a day. This is my first baby, so I'm unexperienced. Any advice is appreciated! Thanks!
So What Happened?™
Thank you everyone for your advice and your personal accounts. I appreciate your input, and you've given me lots to think about regarding breast feeding twice a day. I think I'll nurse my daughter in the morning and in the evening, and then pump before I go to bed. I would really like to avoid pumping at school as it's not only hard to leave my class, but our lunch is too short and as a team leader, I'm often busy during my plan times. However, as many of you suggested, if I need to, I can pump right after school too. Thanks again - you've been a great help and I feel better about making my decision.
S. in OK
A.W. answers from New Orleans on July 14, 2008
When my daughter was 6 months old, I was ready to start weaning her, but I didn't want to completely quit nursing. I would nurse her first thing in the morning, give her formula during the day, then nurse her before she went to bed at night. I did this for 3 months, and I didn't have any problems with my milk supply.
1 mom found this helpful
B.G. answers from Jackson on July 14, 2008
You absolutely can! I do it now. My daughter is 25 1/2 months old now. During the week she usually nurses at around 4-5:00 in the morning and at bedtime. Occasionally she'll want to nurse again around 7:00 in the morning before we leave for daycare or when we get home in the evening. On weekends she also nurses before nap and occasionally another time or two during the day depending on how busy we are. Nursing in the mornings and evenings is a great way to start and end your day and your baby's day when you are apart and busy during the week.
A.H. answers from Little Rock on July 14, 2008
I nurse my 10 month old 2-3 times a day and I have been doing this for about a month with no problems. I plan on doing it until she is 12 months. Good luck!!
B.S. answers from Hattiesburg on July 14, 2008
The supply of breast milk as you probably know, is all supply and demand based, therefore if you remove milk from the breast via the baby nursing or to a lesser degree by the pump, it will be replaced. I think you can still have a good supply if you pump or nurse alot during the other hours that you are not at work. It would have to be more than twice a day though to keep up your supply. If you can nurse before and after work as much as possible. With your baby being only 6 months old, you have say another year or so of nursing yet, and the health benefits are so expansive. You could also try mother's milk tea and other herbal enhancers if you are so inclined.
B. S. RN CCM (former lactation consultant)
M.C. answers from Fayetteville on July 14, 2008
C.S. answers from Biloxi on July 14, 2008
Well as a former teacher I did not breastfeed my youngest daughter but had friends at school who did. I know you said you did not want to pump at school but would it be too much for you to pump on your planning period or at another short break that you may get. I know that it is very difficult to leave the classroom, but if you can try to pump at sometime even around your lunch time. I am not sure if you have any assistants or things in your room, but I would try to find a way to atleast pump once at school to keep your milk flowing. Well good luck!
P.B. answers from Mobile on July 14, 2008
It's possible,but, your milk is most likely gonna dry up-sorry.If she's been breastfeeding since birth,then actually she has gotten all of the nourishment from you that she needs...but, you can still let her suckle from you if u want the closeness...good luck
C.S. answers from Oklahoma City on July 14, 2008
The short answer: yup. :)
My daughter, when she was finally weaning, got down to about once a week, then once every other week. If your supply gets low during the week, you might want to nurse more on weekends (take a breast pump or learn to hand express early in the week, in case of engorgement). Since she's over six months, supplemental solids are a great way to go while she's away from you. Water in a sippy, O cereals, fruits, veggies, tender meats, introduced slowly, of course, can keep her content until you get home.
You might find that nursing when you first get home is a great way for both you and baby to relax. The prolactin release from nursing is a great way to get your head back to home mode from work mode.
As long as there is some nursing going on, you'll keep making milk, especially since most milk is made while the baby is nursing. Another bonus, the fewer times a day a baby nurses, the more concentrated the immunological properties are in milk. So babies that nurse once or twice a day are getting much the same benefit in that regard as babies that nurse 8 times a day. Which could be very helpful if you're going to be around a bunch of "germy kids" all day! (ask me; I have a going-on-fourth grader and a first-grader-to-be, but never had a sick baby during school last year).
You're doing a great job, by the sound of it. Keep it up and good luck in school this fall!
A.P. answers from Tuscaloosa on July 14, 2008
First of all, I want to say---great job with the breastfeeding. It is totally possible to only feed twice a day. I did it with my second child. I pumped three times a day with my first and for several months with my second. I have a very understanding boss who allowed it. I understand that it would be too much for you with your situation. My suggestion is to drink plenty of fluids, start nursing only twice daily for several weeks before returning to work, and relax. It can work for you---it did for me. Also, a lot of moms don't know that if your production slows too much, your dr. can prescribe medication to help you get it back up. I took it twice with my first, and it works----GOOD LUCK!
S.S. answers from Lawton on July 14, 2008
When my daughter was about 8m old I stopped nursing her during the day because she had started eating solid foods and snacks and we were trying to get her daily calories increased. My milk supply did increase but I continued to nurse mornings, evenings, and nights until she was about 13m and then continued with bedtime nursing until I fully weened her at 15m. It is possible and I actually think it was easier to ween her this way than cold turkey. It doesn't hurt near as much because you are gradually reducing your supply and she won't be as upset because she's only missing one or two feedings. Start the process before you go back to work though so you can work with her a few weeks before going back to work.
C.S. answers from Fayetteville on July 14, 2008
Hey, S.. This is definitely possible and worth a shot. I did this with all three of my kids and taught everyday all day. For my first child I did pump a lot because I had a literacy coaching job and had a bit of flexibility...she was a premie twin and I felt she needed it. My next two had both breast milk and formula starting at about 6 months. Basically when they were with me, I breast fed them but at the sitters they got formula. It was dreamy for me really. I was able to get the best of both worlds.
One thing I did was tried hard to make it two feedings and sometimes 3 at night. I had to hurry home to get in that 4:45/5:00 pm feeding and then the bedtime feedings. I even told my sitter to try to hold off on feeding so I could feed them. She would when at all possible. Sometimes they still nursed at 11:00 or so.
No doubt about it...pumping while in the regular classroom is extremely difficult with the kind of schedule that we have at our school. I taught K and couldn't leave my kids for too long...even lunch at the beginning of the year was difficult much less...me eating lunch.
Your body will adjust. You could try now to start the adjustment process by having her take formula in the daytime. She might not like having you give her a bottle but it is worth a try. As for your school day, it should be fairly easy...take your pump along for a few days just in case it gets to painful. Also be sure to wear breast pads. I had difficulty with leaking. Have some extras on hand and be over prepared. The beginning of school is so stressful and requires so much extra time...be prepared.
If you see that your milk is slowing and you don't have enough, then go back to pumping so that you can increase your production and continue feeding.
Email me if I can help with anything else. C. in nwa
C.I. answers from Fort Smith on July 14, 2008
Is it possible for you to pump during your lunch time? I used to teach and do understand that lunches are not that long and are a time for adult contact. If you don't have any responsibilities right when the children leave, (3:00?) that might be another possibility. Do you have a planning period? I had really low milk production, so I would likely not be able to only nurse twice a day, but I think it depends upon you individually. If you do need to pump more times a day, you will just have to be creative with your time. You might have to take a little more work at home (or stay a little longer) in order to fit it all in. You have already done more than most people by keeping it up for 6 months. What ever you do, don't get over stressed about it because that will be counter productive and not be worth it.
A.M. answers from New Orleans on July 14, 2008
Yes, it will work as breast feeding is a supply and demand type thing. You will have to make sure you drink plenty of water. I would let the baby nurse a lot on the weekends. If you find your supply getting low you may need to pump on occasion. Brewer's yeast is good for milk production.
G.S. answers from Fayetteville on July 14, 2008
It is absolutely possible! You will want to ease into this transition though(or it will be hard on your baby-and you!!) start cutting out 1 feeding at a time until you are down to just morning and evening. Since your baby is just 6 months old you will need to replace the feedings you cut out with formula or frozen breast milk.
K.L. answers from Oklahoma City on July 14, 2008
Well my baby is now 23 but I did breast feed for 3 years. I know that I was only feeding at night there at the end so it is possible to limit it to two times a day. I didn't pump so my body just got on the same schedule that he was on which was feeding only at night to go to sleep. I had a few leaking accidents at first but my breasts did finally adjust to my schedule. You may be wearing breast pads for a while at first but as long as they nurse some you should continue to produce milk.
A.H. answers from Tulsa on July 13, 2008
I think that it will still be possible to breast feed only twice a day, but don't be able to expect to do so for long. I went back to work, but even with regular pumping, it was hard to keep my supply where I wanted it to be. I would build back up on the weekends, but the week would drop my supply down. I had to breast feed very often in the evenings and at night to make sure I would produce enough to fill up my son during the week. When I went to pumping once a day, instead of twice, I really saw my milk supply drop pretty quickly. It was about 2 months after that when my supply got so low that I had to start weaning him. I did breast feed for 11 months, so your supply isn't going to drop overnight.
I would at least try to pump once a day if you can. I had a Medela Pump N Style electric pump and I could empty both breasts (about 10-12 ounces) in about 15-20 minutes. A quality pump makes a big difference. If you still don't want to pump during the day, try pumping while your daughter nurses on one side so that you can keep your milk supply up. Breast milk is a great gift to give your daughter, so I would try to keep doing so as long as possible. The less you feed her, the more your supply will diminish, so try everything you can to keep breast feeding. Good luck!
A.H. answers from Little Rock on July 14, 2008
Yes, I am a teacher and it is possible to limit your feedings to twice a day. You will feel uncomfortable at first until your milk supply adjusts. It should only take a few days and your body will produce the milk for the times that you are nursing.
N.N. answers from New Orleans on July 14, 2008
Pump during lunch. If you truly are dedicated to your baby, you won't feel weird about pumping at school. Tell the principal that you want to continue breastfeeding and need a place to do it during lunchtime. My good friend communtes and pumps two to three times a day at her job and only has a thin petition between her and her coworkers. She was determined to breastfeed. She went back to work after six weeks, her daughter is now four months old and has only had breastmilk. I also pump. But, it's up to you. If you want to feed only twice a day, go for it. Better twice a day than not at all! Good for you for wanting to continue the breastfeeding!
T.S. answers from Enid on July 14, 2008
You can get a car adapter for your breastpump and maybe pump on the way to work.
I am on the road alot and went back to work full-time when my daughter was 3 months. I pumped for six months and her bottles were filled with breastmilk even when I wasn't around. She only took one formula bottle a day.
I was a skeptic about how well pumping would work out ( I work in a man's world ) but things went pretty well once I got into a routine.
Of course you always have a breast pump and a cooler with you, but it's all for the love of baby!!
I also ordered extra pumping supplies from Medela so that I didn't have to wash things out during the day and all of that was in a bag. Clean in one large ziploc bag and dirty in another. I had quite the system!! I wouldn't have changed a thing!!
M.L. answers from Tulsa on July 14, 2008
I did something very similar to this so I think it could certainly work out fine. I did get pretty sore by the end of the day. The end of my day was 6pm so I always brought my pump just in case I got engorged.
You will do fine. You may be able to feed your baby twice int he evening rather than just once.
J.S. answers from Fayetteville on July 14, 2008
I breastfeed my child for 18 months and it is possible to feed only twice a day, you will need to start slowing down about 1 month ahead of going back to work or you could get mastitis. Good luck, I enjoyed breastfeeding and the benefts are great for your baby.
D.B. answers from New Orleans on July 14, 2008
Lalecheleague.com they are the experts in breast-feeding and have been around for many many yrs. That's the best advice I can give you! look them up, buy their book, give them a call, whatever way you are able to locate to contact them. do it! you will be pleasantly surprised at the support and help you will recieve from this group.
take care, good luck and may God Bless YOU and your baby.
J.S. answers from Little Rock on July 14, 2008
Hmmm..... I would definitely call a lactation consultant at your hospital to get advice and guidance. Kudos to you to be able to still be breast feeding your baby for at least six months that she has been here! That is great. I found breast feeding very fragile. It seemed like anything I did effected my production. I started pumping after the first month and my milk supply went away completely with my first child. I was only able to bf for 2 months with him. With my second (daughter), I was able to pump for a little longer before I stopped producing much. I was able to give her breast milk for 4 months. Good luck. You obviously are more equipped for the endeavor. However, the more I have read about it, I think I might have given up too early. I read that if you keep pumping even though your production is low...it will come back. I read somewhere that it is normal for there to be a dip in production and you just have to pump thru it. Kind of like running thru the pain when you are jogging!
A.C. answers from Lawton on July 14, 2008
WEll as long as you built a supply before you went back to work you should be fine. If it hasn't gotten low yet I wouldnt worry about it. Maybe you could pump more when you got home then your body would realize what time of day you need the milk and keep alot of milk for that time. Then you could store and feed her.
J.H. answers from Oklahoma City on July 14, 2008
Hi S., I breastfed both my girls, but had to stop short with my second due to some complications with a surgery I had and anesthesia. I had pumped prior to that while I was feeding (I couldnt have a let-down while she wasnt). I used the Avent Isis, it was a little manual one-hand design and worked super well. You could give that a try if you have a couple minutes during the day. Its super small and portable, so it can tuck into a purse easily. Even if you cant save the milk, or only pull a couple ounces, it would probly be a good idea to at least have that pressure more often than twice a day. Try to make your break at lunchtime, recess, e.c. classes, etc. If you can get at least 4 times in per day (that includes feeding times) that should make a big difference. Good luck and happy feeding :}
T.H. answers from Little Rock on July 14, 2008
It is possible, although it is tough. I did it with my baby (ten years ago, wow!). I worked it out with my principal that I would do all the after school duty and the other teachers would do recess duty. I would pump at recess (around lunchtime) every day. Then I would feed him as soon as I picked him up from the sitter at 3:15, and again at bedtime. I then fed him when he woke up in the mornings. By that time he was eating table food. I would send the pumped milk and the sitter would mix it with formula during the day. He was also drinking juice and eating cereal by this time. But start now. Don't wait, or it will be painful!I weaned him from one feeding at a time. Good luck!
M.W. answers from Mobile on July 15, 2008
I assume the baby will have formula while you are working...
I would suggest pumping and freezing while you are still at home. THis will build up your supply. You will then be able to feed breastmilk and formula while you are away. My son seemed to nurse more frequently at night once I went back to work and he was with a sitter, so count on the baby nursing as soon as you pick her up, at bedtime and first thing in the morning. Your situation is do-able. Good Luck
K.A. answers from Enid on July 14, 2008
Absolutely possible! My son is now 6 months old and only wants to nurse twice a day--once when he gets up in the morning and once before going down for the night. My supply has been more than adequate regardless of how long or hard he wants to nurse. Just keep taking your prenatal vitamins, keep up with a healthy diet and drink lots of water. You should be just fine.
N.L. answers from Fort Smith on July 14, 2008
I pumped once per day for about nine months. I was able to maintain my milk supply throughout. I think that pumping is important if you want to maintain a significant supply to keep breastmilk as a significant portion of your baby's supply.
I am curious, do you only nurse her morning, midday and evening now? I would think at six months old, she would be nursing 4 to 5 times per day.
How far from work do you live? Can you try to pump as soon as you get to work before class starts?
If you are going to try and go all day without pumping, nurse the instant you get home and let her nurse whenever she wants.
You are already at the six month mark which is in excess of what American mom's do - so be proud of yourself for that.
Oh! I just thought of this - start pumping now! Build up the milk that you have in the freezer. It might help you stretch the amount of time your baby gets breastmilk.
You might want to try and contact your local La Leche League for advice as well.
Best of luck!