Combining Breastfeeding with Formula

When You Can't Pump

It's no surprise that moms often decide to wean when they go back to work. Pumping at the office can be stressful (not to mention a logistical challenge), and even if you build up a freezer full of milk during maternity leave, the stash will start to dwindle quickly. However, there is another option: Have your baby drink formula during the day but continue nursing before you leave for work and after you return home. This will allow your baby to still benefit from breastfeeding, and you'll both enjoy the quiet bonding time. Within a week or two, your body will adapt to produce milk when your baby needs it--peaking in the early morning and at night and lessening during the day.

Helpful hints: A few weeks before your maternity leave ends, start pumping once or twice during the day and give your baby a bottle instead of nursing him. This will help your midday supply start to diminish, so that you can avoid becoming engorged on the job. "If you're in pain at work, use your hand or a manual pump to gently express a little milk in the ladies' room, which will take the pressure off," says Martha Snyder, M.D., assistant professor of pediatrics at Duke University School of Medicine, in Durham, North Carolina. When you're not at work, try to nurse your baby for all other feedings to maintain your supply.

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