top of page

Returning to Work and Pumping

Updated: Sep 15, 2021

This site contains affiliate links to products. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.


If you are exclusively breast/chest feeding (EB/CF) but plan on returning to work and pumping, I highly recommend getting your baby used to a bottle. I read all of this stuff about nipple confusion but quite was confusing! Here's the thing, yes, your baby can get confused in the beginning. What does that mean? It means if you start off with the bottle from day one it's easier for them, they don't have to work the same muscles they would if they were at the nipple.

I started pumping early because my breasts were very engorged. My husband would give our son a bottle at least once a day, but eventually I got sick of pumping just to replenish the fridge stock and started my freezer stash. This meant that while pumping in the wee hours of the night, I also decided to EB/CF from weeks 4-13. Guess what happened? Josiah refused a bottle for about 6 weeks after I returned to work. One of the best ways to avoid bottle refusal is to offer the bottle to your baby EARLY, within the first 2-3 weeks. You can offer a bottle 1 time a day or a few times a week.

What did refusal look like? My son would not eat until I got home from work most days and was nursing a lot during the nighttime. When he started daycare, there were days where he would barely have 4 oz a day. He also would not take a bottle from me, it's very normal for your child to refuse a bottle from the lactating parent. It was a bit concerning that he wasn't eat at daycare, but what is cool is that he fluctuated his feeding times to the afternoons when I picked him up...and all night. Ok, the all night thing isn't ideal when you have to wake up and work in the morning but he was fed.