FIFO - expressing milk for away times

Share you hints and tips for expressing and storing breastmilk. Whether expressing just occasionally or exclusively, share and support one another here.

FIFO - expressing milk for away times

Postby LilyandCharlimum » Wed Feb 11, 2015 4:24 pm

Hi, I am due to return to work in 9weeks and 6 days time. My work means that i will be physically away from my bub upto 8 days at a time. (FIFO) I was wondering if there is anyone on this forum who has had to express for such lengths of time, amounts the expressed, what they used for both storage and expressing. Also did bub take easily to the boob when home?
My bub will be just 12months when i go back.
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Re: FIFO - expressing milk for away times

Postby AussieBritLu » Wed Feb 11, 2015 7:34 pm

Hi and welcome to the forum.

Sorry I can't help with your questions but hopefully someone will come along soon... Maybe try posting under general issues as this gets more traffic through.
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Re: FIFO - expressing milk for away times

Postby LilyandCharlimum » Wed Feb 11, 2015 8:54 pm

thanks
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Re: FIFO - expressing milk for away times

Postby ClOuD_NiNe » Wed Feb 11, 2015 11:03 pm

Hi and welcome to the forum!

I can't answer your question but I might know someone who can. I'll see if I can contact her and get back to you.
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Re: FIFO - expressing milk for away times

Postby LilyandCharlimum » Thu Feb 12, 2015 3:03 pm

That would be greatly appreciated.
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Re: FIFO - expressing milk for away times

Postby JennyD » Thu Feb 12, 2015 7:22 pm

Hi, I have done long term expressing, but not coming back to the breast. That said, when DS2 was 12 months I was still expressing 800ml a day, you don't need to express this much. I stored it in commercial freezer bags, because they stacked flatter. They were a bit of a pain to thaw, but great for storage. They were also good for travelling, I would put them in an insulated bag with a few ice bricks and they would still be frozen solid after 3 hours in the back of the car. I expressed into a bottle and then froze in 100ml lots into freezer bags. I hope this help.
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Re: FIFO - expressing milk for away times

Postby Parla. » Thu Feb 12, 2015 7:44 pm

Hi and welcome,

I don't have experience of your specific situation, and I suspect you're a bit of a trailblazer in terms of expressing while working FIFO so there may not be a lot of other breastfeeding mums who have your specific work schedule. (Or has FIFO been around for decades and I've been living under a rock? I always associate it with the mining boom in Australia.) Reading your question, I wondered what other lines of work might have a similar situation - maybe mothers in the military? A search for something like breastfeeding and deployment or military mothers might turn up some relevant stories?
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Re: FIFO - expressing milk for away times

Postby Yankee » Fri Feb 13, 2015 7:12 pm

Just wanted to say welcome and even though I don't have any advice for your situation, I hope you let us know how I goes for you and if you find a supportive group. Even if no-one here has had a similar experience, there may one day be another woman like yourself who would want to hear your story!
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Re: FIFO - expressing milk for away times

Postby breastfeedingisnormal » Fri Feb 13, 2015 7:33 pm

You might find some tips in a book called, Breastfeeding in Combat Boots - written by a mother who was in military service in the USA.
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Re: FIFO - expressing milk for away times

Postby LilyandCharlimum » Fri Feb 13, 2015 9:15 pm

Thank you everyone for your responses. Unfortunately/Fortunately yes i am part of the mining boom depending on how you look at it. I am one of the very minority of women that have gone back to FIFO after having a child, let alone that fact this one is my second.FIFO has been around for a long time, just women doing it not as long. i love my girls and my job and am looking forward to returning to it, but also am sad about the fact that it will mean leaving my little ones. My eldest was almost 2 when I went back to work, and she did go back to the breast at times when i came home from working away, but this didn't last long, and my husband wasn't supportive of her continuing on. As our baby will be younger i hope he will be more understanding this time my reasoning for expressing and wanting our little bear to keep taking breast milk either direct from the source or expressed for as long as she wants to.
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Re: FIFO - expressing milk for away times

Postby mel_rocks » Fri Feb 13, 2015 10:35 pm

Hi *waves* I hope I can help.
Firstly great work on wanting to continue breastfeeding!

To cut to the chase, yes, it can be done. It can take a little bit of dedication, but like anything, once you get into a bit of a routine, it's, well, routine.

I also work in mining and returned when my youngest was 8 months old, while I was tandem feeding her and her elder sister, who was just on 2. When I returned to work, my elder daughter started to wean, and has been pretty much weaned now for the past 5 months.
My roster when i returned was 9 days away, 19 days home for a start, then I shifted to 9/5/9/19 around 3 months in, and have just moved to a 11/10 roster.
My youngest is now almost 22 months, and still breastfeeds when I'm home, although to be fair, she probably only gets one proper feed a day, as I decided to stop expressing at work and transporting frozen milk back until around November last year, so my supply is pretty low after 9 to 11 days away, although my daughter seems to notice and feed more regularly the first few days to get a better supply in, so by the time I go back to work I'm starting to feel a little fuller.

While I was expressing I was trying to express roughly as much milk as my daughter was drinking - for me this started at around 6 bags of milk a day (roughly 750-1200mL) with one break during the work day to express for a start then tapered off over the 10 months that I kept expressing until I was expressing only before and after work, and maybe producing 250-350mL of milk. I used the bar fridge in my room to pre freeze the bags, then organised with the catering company onsite to leave a clearly marked insulated backpack in one of there large walk-in freezers, which the kitchen staff were happy to add my frozen bags to.
At the end of the swing I'd then go and collect my backpack, which also contained a few gel freezer packs, and hope on the plane for my trip from central WA across to Western Victoria. Despite this being a trip of up to 20 hours, I never had problems with milk defrosting, and only ever had one airline staff member question anything at check in (it was fine).

Work was really accommodating, but I realised I was asking for something slightly unusual, so I tried to keep things as low key as possible, which may or may not have helped.

Initially I was very skeptical about the whole thing working, so I went in with the attitude of if it works it works, if it doesn't it doesn't, but at least I gave it a shot. I'm so glad I did.

Good luck, and let me know how it goes!

Oh, and on the relatching thing, I'm not sure if this helped, but we did a trial run, where I visited my mum for a couple of days and practiced expressing, while my husband stayed home and worked out the logistics of feeding expressed milk. It gave everyone, me, husband and my daughter a chance to get used to the arrangement without too much stress.

I'm kind of giving you the abbreviated version here, so feel free to ask any specific questions if you want to know more.
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Re: FIFO - expressing milk for away times

Postby ClOuD_NiNe » Sat Feb 14, 2015 12:12 am

I found her! Thanks so much mel_rocks for that info, hope that helps you LilyandCharlimum :-D I am a little bit in awe of both of you for even attempting FIFO work while still breastfeeding, you ladies are amazing!
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Re: FIFO - expressing milk for away times

Postby PellyintheWilderness » Sat Feb 14, 2015 10:03 am

ClOuD_NiNe wrote:I am a little bit in awe of both of you for even attempting FIFO work while still breastfeeding, you ladies are amazing!

So am I! Best of luck, let us know how you go.
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Re: FIFO - expressing milk for away times

Postby LilyandCharlimum » Mon Feb 16, 2015 4:44 pm

Wow, thank you so much for the encouragement and info Mel_rocks, by the way you do indeed rock. It is seems there is so much other information about in regards to the mining industry , or women returning to work, but until now the two didn't meet.
The extra info about travelling between WA and Victoria makes my heart flutter with happiness as I am hoping to sell our place and return to Victoria to live, but also continue with my job for as long as i can.
I am trying to get in touch with the person whom looked out for me whilst i was pregnant at work just to see if they can aid in the setting up so i can express during the day for a least a little while, other than before and after work.
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Re: FIFO - expressing milk for away times

Postby Parla. » Mon Feb 16, 2015 6:08 pm

LilyandCharlimum wrote:Wow, thank you so much for the encouragement and info Mel_rocks, by the way you do indeed rock. It is seems there is so much other information about in regards to the mining industry , or women returning to work, but until now the two didn't meet.
The extra info about travelling between WA and Victoria makes my heart flutter with happiness as I am hoping to sell our place and return to Victoria to live, but also continue with my job for as long as i can.
I am trying to get in touch with the person whom looked out for me whilst i was pregnant at work just to see if they can aid in the setting up so i can express during the day for a least a little while, other than before and after work.


Sounds like a plan is forming :)
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