It’s been 1 month since I shared my experience of continuing to breastfeed whilst returning to my full-time demanding work schedule (see here for the original post). I thought it was time to share an update !
I am glad to report that Peanut is still enjoying Mama’s milk, albeit in combination with some formula.
For the first 2 months, I managed to pump twice during my workday (at 11 and 2pm) and therefore was bringing home enough milk to feed Peanut exclusively. It also made nursing her on the week-ends super easy as I was still producing enough milk at any time.
I was also lucky that my work schedule was still somewhat relaxed and that I didn’t have to travel outside of the office for the first few weeks.
But recently, it has been more difficult for me to find the time to pump twice. Meetings starting creeping back up in my calendar and I had to travel to London a few times (pumping in the bathroom of a moving train is ok when you don’t have a choice but it is really not fun…). Slowly but surely, I merged my 2 pumping breaks into 1, at lunchtime. My milk production therefore slowed down and I now only manage to pump enough for 1 to 2 bottles. As she usually has 3 during my workday, our nanny has introduced 1 bottle of formula a day. As a result of this new schedule, I also don’t produce enough on the week-ends to feed her exclusively so she also has a bottle of formula on saturdays and sundays.
So how do I feel about all that ?
- Happy : Although my pumping breaks gave a good opportunity to slow down during the day and take a step back, hence improving my clarity and productivity, two breaks were a little bit too much. Having just one now has massively reduced the pressure on me and gave me another 30 min of work time back to my day. Our cuddle sessions when Peanut feeds are still so enjoyable too that I feel I am getting the best of both worlds.
- Proud : I did it ! I managed to exclusively breastfeed AND work full-time for a whole 2 months ! I only breastfed Apple exclusively for 2 months and stopped completely at 3, so I am so proud that I am still going with Peanut and she is almost 5 months. I showed myself that it was possible and I helped progress the benefits to breastfeeding mums in my workplace.
- Guilty : Peanut has taken very well to the bottle and she is still super happy to be on the breast too so no concerns here. She has however developed massive constipation since we started powdered formula. Any advice ? I am tempted to use ready-made formula as she seemed happier on this but it is so expensive.
- Excited : I have taken a tiny step towards independence from the pump and my baby. I can now go away for 1 night with Lion, attend a business meeting in London, etc. I love nursing my little girl, but a bit of me-time is soooo precious.
So what’s next ? To be honest, I genuinely don’t know. I always thought that Peanut would be weaned from breastfeeding earlier than Apple, but she is now 5 months and still receiving a majority of breastmilk. Soon, she will start solid food and will slowly need less milk, which will make it easier on me. I told myself that I would probably stop at the 6 month mark, but it is just around the corner and I don’t feel more ready to stop than I did 2 months ago. So I guess I might keep going, even if I have to introduce a second bottle of formula.
I guess we’ll just see ! Anyone of you dear readers have breastfed / seen your other half breastfeed beyond the 6 month mark whilst working ? Would love your tips and advice !