About a fortnight before you go back to work try letting your baby have some freshly expressed breast milk in a bottle. If your baby is reluctant to take the bottle from you, ask someone else to offer it to him. Different teats suit different babies and you may have to try a few. Warming the teat with previously boiled warm water may help him accept the unfamiliar feel. It may take a while before your baby accepts the bottle so try to be patient. Babies over four months often cope remarkably well with a cup or trainer-cup. Babies who don’t like bottles can be given expressed milk from a cup. If you have a baby like this, it is possible to give several ounces of milk for each feed by cup. Your baby can then make up the day’s requirements when you return from work, provided you let him nurse freely during your time together.
In this situation (as with all babies) you can be reassured that your baby is getting enough milk if he has at least 6 really wet nappies per day (5 disposable nappies) and gains an average of 1-2 pounds per month (about 4-7 ounces per week). Older babies who are eating solid foods can be given water or well-diluted fruit juice from a cup or trainer-cup with their meals. The baby may want to nurse more during the evening, night and early morning.
Some mothers opt to have some formula given during the day and continue to breastfeed at home, but you need to be aware that in these circumstances your supply will be reduced.
If you are returning to work before baby is taking a variety of solids you may still prefer to keep your baby fully breastfed, especially if there is a history of allergies in the family, as these can be triggered off by introducing solids too early. Good simple first foods are mashed banana, potato, carrot etc. If you find it difficult to keep up supplies of expressed milk, you can increase your milk supply by feeding more frequently when you are at home and expressing more frequently when you are at work. If you need to increase your milk in La Leche League’s Early Days leaflet ).