I'm heading back to work and pumping. What should my baby's new feeding schedule look like? Transitioning to a Bottle

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Working moms sometimes have to get creative trying to fit pumping into their busy schedules. But it's worth it! Experts and moms explain how they provided baby with breast milk after returning to work.

Match Baby's Feedings

"Mom should still feed on demand when she is with the baby. At work, she will want to pump to match the baby's feedings. In a typical workday, the baby may take three bottles, so the mom can pump three times -- sometimes these are all at work, sometimes it can be at home after nursing the baby." -- Leigh Anne O'Connor, IBCLC, lactation consultant in private practice, New York, NY

It's Not the Same for Everyone

"To try to keep your milk supply where it should be, try to pump as many times as the baby is feeding at home or daycare. That's an ideal situation. In this country, many mothers don't have very long maternity leave, and they don't have the time or privacy to do it that often. That's why some moms do find that their supply drops off when pumping. Some nurse the baby in the morning, then pump when the baby feeds during the day and then nurse when they get home. Some women get up in the middle...

"To try to keep your milk supply where it should be, try to pump as many times as the baby is feeding at home or daycare. That's an ideal situation. In this country, many mothers don't have very long maternity leave, and they don't have the time or privacy to do it that often. That's why some moms do find that their supply drops off when pumping. Some nurse the baby in the morning, then pump when the baby feeds during the day and then nurse when they get home. Some women get up in the middle of the night and pump because the baby's sleeping and they're uncomfortable [with engorgement]." -- Lauren Levine, MD, pediatrician at ColumbiaDoctors and assistant clinical professor of pediatrics at Columbia University Medical Center, New York, NY

Find Ways to Multitask

"I am a nurse and work 12-hour shifts; I work on an extremely busy unit. My manager let me change my schedule so I only ever had to work one day at a time, never two to three days in a row. I would pump on the way to work in the car, once midmorning, once on afternoon lunch break, and then usually not again until the car ride on the way home. I used a hands-free wrap to pump in the car, and I could also do some paperwork while I pumped at work. On my days off, I pumped like crazy after the...

"I am a nurse and work 12-hour shifts; I work on an extremely busy unit. My manager let me change my schedule so I only ever had to work one day at a time, never two to three days in a row. I would pump on the way to work in the car, once midmorning, once on afternoon lunch break, and then usually not again until the car ride on the way home. I used a hands-free wrap to pump in the car, and I could also do some paperwork while I pumped at work. On my days off, I pumped like crazy after the baby's feedings to try and keep my supply up, and I saved a bunch in the freezer. It was one of the hardest things I've ever done, but I made it to one year breastfeeding as a full-time working nurse!"

Mom's Supply Could Dip

"I nursed my daughter in the morning before work/daycare. I then pumped every three hours at work, which allowed me to send breast milk to daycare. I pumped and breastfed exclusively until she was 8 months, then supplemented with formula at daycare once I was unable to keep up with her milk needs. I continued nursing in the morning and evenings, and on weekends."

Some Moms Nurse at Lunch

"I would nurse in the morning before leaving for work. I would pump in midmorning at work, then call her daycare to see what time she had her bottle in the midmorning so I could go to her daycare to nurse at lunch. I'd then pump in the afternoon when she would have a bottle at daycare. After work, I would nurse on demand. Weekends I always nursed on demand. I am fortunate to work for a company that is a huge supporter of breastfeeding."

Baby May Not Take a Bottle

"Both of my babies reverse-cycled. They would not take a bottle but nursed nonstop all evening and night."

Work May Interfere

"My supply took a huge dip and I'm only allowed two 15-minute pump breaks in which I'm supposed to pump and clean my supplies. I breastfeed my son when I get off work and have to finish him off with formula when he empties me out. I also breastfeed him at bedtime and if he wakes up in the middle of the night."

The advice on CafeMom aims to educate, inform, and provide a range of solutions to the issues moms care about. It is not a substitute for consultation with a medical professional or treatment for a specific condition. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem without consulting a qualified professional. Please contact your health-care provider with questions and concerns.