Breastfeeding Mother: My Return to Work

Breatsfeeding Mother: My Return to Work
Some of you may have read part one of my breastfeeding story last month – you can catch up here if you’d like! I am Lisa, the PR Manager for Medela and have a little boy, Toby, who is nearly 8 months old.

I did start pumping before returning to work as I wanted to stock pile, so I started expressing when toby was 6 weeks old and boy did we get a good supply! At one count we had over 10 litres – my husband even created an excel document to monitor the milk! Alongside my Goodfella’s Pizza and tubs of ice-cream piled high was a mountain of pump and save bags of my breastmilk! Having a freezer full ensured we never had to panic and milk was always readily available – but of course I pumped everyday anyway, for comfort more than anything, and to keep up my supply.

I used two pumps – the Symphony was my godsend… an industrious looking machine that sat by the sofa waiting for me to plug in each day! I would settle to watch the morning news and in the evening catch up with some TV while pumping. I mainly double pumped to be most efficient.

I also had a Swing Maxi which came in my bag with me when I was in the office or at meetings… pumping at the spa for a work Christmas do had to be a highlight –pumping in style!

People often ask when the best time to pump is, but for me I pumped when I had free time, between working and whizzing home to do bed and bath I squeezed it in! Goodness managing my time – that was a challenge! I always did the morning feed and then pumped at about 8am. I returned from work and fed Toby, but if he only opted for one side I would pump off the other at about 5.30. Then at 10pm I would settle on the sofa and pump for Britain!  I did the night feeds and then started again in the morning! Needless to say I was tired… but I was not willing to stop feeding.

he weeks flew by and by Christmas I had been back at work for 2 months and Toby was 5 months old! Now this is when things changed, as much to my surprise and upset Toby got his first two teeth – teeth he loved to bite with!

I tried every tip going and persevered… some days were ok and the night feeds easier as he was sleepy, but he just wouldn’t stop biting!  I became nervous feeding and had to sit with my finger just by his mouth to stop him when I saw a nibble coming. I felt like a total failure as so many women online have said about tips that worked for them, but having tried them all and failed I got frustrated.

I was not ready to give up feeding, but felt forced into a corner, as determined as I was the pain was too much and to be honest the damage he was doing was nasty – when I saw he had drawn blood I knew enough was enough.

I found the days during this period really upsetting – one low point I will never forget was at 3 in the morning –Toby desperately trying to latch on and getting very cross by the bottle being offered – he cried and so did I!

This is where my breastfeeding experience ended, earlier than I wanted that is for sure, but I eventually made my peace with it and in all honesty I still have such a happy little boy and that is what matters! Giving up feeding is rarely talked about, the emotional journey I went on was hard, in fact I would say it was the hardest part so far but please don’t feel guilty, whenever it happens for you – whatever breastmilk your baby gets is amazing. I felt by moving on I would undo all my good work but that is not the case at all.

High five to all the breastfeeding mums I say – however you choose to do it and for however long.