Panicking about full time study and feeding bub!?

Returning to the paid workforce, study or just going out for the night. Discuss issues related to leaving your baby with a carer here
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Panicking about full time study and feeding bub!?

Post by AnnaT » Sat Nov 14, 2009 1:28 pm

I am commencing full time study from Feb 15th next year. I have yet to pick my units so at this stage I am assuming its 5 full days a week.
Ds3 will be 10.5mths when I start. He is exclusively breastfed. I planned on feeding to 12mths. I can express maybe 50-70ml per boob on a really good day but its a super effort. Ds still feeds approx 6-8x in a 24hr period. My guess is he would need a good 200+mls per feed.
My biggest issue apart from expressing enough for 5 feeds while Im gone is that he will not take a bottle, sippy cup or cup. Occasionally Ive managed to get him to drink a bit of juice from a bottle but mostly he ends up chewing on it.

I havent decided whether theyll be in childcare or hiring a nanny to watch them at home but it breaks my heart to think he could be upset at daycare and they are stretched to thier limits and wont have enough time to help him adjust.

This study is something Ive waited my whole life to do and will benefit us as a family in the end. Im very proud we've made it this far with breastfeeding. I just dont now what I can do to facilitate still breastfeeding while studying or whether I should start weaning him now. I know 3mths is a long time and he could cut feeding down and suddenly take a bottle no worries but if he doesnt I dont want to be stressed out and having to do it all within days of starting Uni.

Any advice or help would be greatly appreciated!
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Post by Mira » Sat Nov 14, 2009 2:50 pm

It's clever to assume that you may be gone for a full 40 hour week so you can prepare yourself but this is highly unlikely. When I was at Uni doing a Bachelors my full-time week would range but I was 4 days at the worst and they weren't full days (some were 2 hours). Plus I had a longer week than most as I studied Drama and Rehearsals were much longer than Tutorials and Lectures.
Also these days all Lecs are posted online and most students only attend their Tuts. Apparently Lec halls are barren these days with the Prof up front teching to a few students while the rest refer to the online one from home a few hours later.
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Post by Shady » Sat Nov 14, 2009 3:18 pm

I agree - you might be surprised at how little time you actually spend at uni! I have just finished a full time semester, although my first semester back after having bub (she was 4 months at the time) was part time - that was tricky because she was still having 7-8 BF's at that stage and my tutors weren't that flexible. :?
I was able to listen to a lot of lectures online, but more often than not I chose to go to them anyway because my DH could be home to look after bub, and I found that on a 'full' week I would spend about 12 hours (tops) attending lectures/tutes. 12 hrs p/w was the full time semester - when I did part time I was there about 7 hours a week at most.
Good luck with your studies - its a very rewarding journey! :D
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Post by DellaWellaWoman » Sat Nov 14, 2009 3:21 pm

I guess it's going to depend on what you're studying, but when I did my business degree I think full time was around 15 contact hours a week - the rest of the time was spent studying/researching/doing assignments, etc...

And I wouldn't necessarily assume 200mL per feed - based on an 'average' of 1000mL per day for an exclusively breastfed baby and 8 feeds, that would work out to 125mL per feed, and by then I would assume he'll be having some solids, so may take even less.

And once he's on solids, if you want to give formula it's really just another 'food' in your arsenal, a much different situation to a bub under 6 months :)

When I went back to work full time when DD1 was around 11 months she would quite often 'hold out' until I got back - she'd drink the bare minimum to get by at daycare, and then feed constantly overnight, so that's another scenario to consider :)
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Post by Nedsmum » Sat Nov 14, 2009 3:35 pm

Also, you are probably over-estimating how much expressed milk you need to leave. By 12 months your bubs could theoretically be eating quite a lot of food, alongside the milk that they are still having.

You also have plenty of time to express your 'stash' so you have lots in the freezer and this takes the pressure off - my suggestion would be to store it in more than one place, just in case the freezer gets turned off in an emergency or accidentally...

By 8-10 months your bubs will be able to begin to handle an open cup or a normal straw...this is often much more practical for a breastfed baby...

Can you get to an ABA meeting in your local area - see if there is an experienced mum who can show you how to introduce an 'ordinary' cup.

I would not worry about the actual amount they consume. If they are not hungry/thirsty, then they simply will not eat...but you can practice the 'techniques' of eating - finger foods, spoons and forks, open cup, straws (I found a cheap baby cup with a clear base and coloured lid, it's not a 'no drip' one - and my children could handle it with supervision...

200mL per feed is a lot - my recommendation is to freeze in batches of no more than 50mL - your carer will need to defrost and serve it one batch at a time. I know 'bottle fed' babies work up to having this amount, but it is also because the parent trains the baby to take large, infrequent feeds on a schedule, for convenience and also because of the way artificial milk digests...breastfed babies tend to be fed to 'demand' and to their needs - they know if they are hungry/thirsty and they will feed smaller meals more frequently - which any dietician will tell you is actually a more healthy way to eat.

I went back to work with all my children around 12 months, doing long hours and contracts, and none of them ended up using bottles - it was a combination of finger and spoon feeding, sips from a normal cup, small amounts of expressed milk, and hanging out for me to return...

I found that my children at this age would breastfeed 2-3 hourly when they were with me - 3 hourly at the most! - but could be easily left 4-5 hours with a carer and were not distressed - the connection that mum=milk, dad/grandma = other food was very strong, and actually makes weaning a lot easier.

Oh, another thought, bottles are not recommended from 12 months due to concerns with tooth decay...

The final observation to make, as I am currently weaning my third child at around age 2, is that rather than increasing solids to cut back the breastfeeding, I have found that first I cut back breastfeeding, and then the solids increases - with a few weeks transition period - basically if they are hungry/thirsty they will eat, if they are not hungry/thirsty they will not - if they can take one 'sip' from a bottle/cup/straw, you know they *can* do it - the volume doesn't matter...

Your bubs may well take very little food when you are away from them, and make up for this when you are together - I found that as long as I didn't lose confidence, I could work full days apart from my children, and then breastfeed them fully on the days we were together, and it was fine (the milk 'supply' held up)...and I figure that if some children can go 8-10 hours overnight without breastfeeding, mine can go 8-10 hours in the daytime and not 'starve'...they *will* make up for it overnight...

Hope that allays some of your fears...

Definitely phone the breastfeeding helpline for some support, they can help you to develop a strategy to fit your situation - and some interim things until you actually see your timetable - what course are you doing ?

And best wishes for combining study and children! It's worth it in the end, truly it is - and good luck finding a really good baby-carer!
Breastmilk - the ultimate 'brain food'!!!

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Post by coasty_mum » Fri Nov 20, 2009 12:18 pm

good on you for going after your dream!!!! and for asking for advice so you can keep bfing too as you wish to !!!

1stly, get in touch with your uni to find out what you contact hours will be, as others have said (and i found in past) full time can be a lot less on campus than you think...this will help you calm your nerves i thnik! HUGS

2nd, when i had to go to uni 2 days ina row for an on campus session bub was 10 mo and feeding about 6=-8 X a day too lol...but she sruvived...she just ate and drank and had a HUUGE feed when i got home...i just had to make time to express for comfort so my boobs didnt ache ....

3rd a bfing cousnellor can also give you loads of useful tips to, so dont forget you can call for free 1800mum2mum!

and all the best... btw, although youre dying to finish your degree try not to overload yourself...I started back pt, doing one subject (externally though so ive had to listen to all the lectures at home) but have found that to be enough of a challenge...just remebr you can withdraw if you need to, just find the balance of work and home that works for myou and dont burn yourself out...uni will always be step at a time...

good on you and good luck with everything!!!

also didnt have time to read others replies...there was someone on hee who got her bub onto a sippy cup by puting a wet fasher washer over it in bath, cos he/she would suck on the washers...and gradually ws able to remove washer and bub took the cup...

i would do some trial days also before you have to go to uni...leave bub for say 4-5 hours, so you both miss a feed and see how it goes...i did this b4 i returned, to also help me cope with the separation...
gave me confidence that dd would be fine and i wouldnt fall apart either LOL :oops:

you dont have to go far away mayeb just to the shops, have some lunch take a book, see a movie or something...see a gf for the 1/2 day?then if things go wron g you can get home easily and you may relax knowing that...

also, i gradually travelled further awaya and for longer as it got closer and went for say 6 hours... this was very helpful! i was posting like you before i enrolled and we coped well and got to 12 months with the help of aba and a breast pump ;)
Made it to 12 months with the help of a breast pump and everyone at ABA/on forum!!!

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