How to Breastfeed Part Time

When a mother is able to breastfeed her infant, she experiences a connection with her baby that is special. Not all mothers are able to breastfeed full-time, either due to school or work commitments. The mother who works is still able to feel the bonding, though she may have to keep certain points in mind.


According to Sears, the first step to breastfeeding a baby part-time is to make a commitment to do it. It can be difficult to breastfeed while working or going to school, but as long as the mother does not mind the struggles that will come from pumping, the reward will be worth it. The rewards are social, intellectual and economic. Breastfed babies get fewer colds and intestinal infections, which means fewer sick days for the mother. Plus the bonding that is felt between a baby and the mother is irreplaceable. If a mother is not sure that juggling the two activities is worth it, they can try it for three to four weeks before making a decision. The baby will benefit from this type of feeding for even a couple of weeks.

It may not be possible to pump more than once a day. If this is the case, the mother needs to make sure to pump both breasts each time the baby is bottle fed. The pumped milk would be drunk the next day and the mother’s body would continue making the amount of milk needed by the child. This may entail pumping two to three times when at work, but the baby will do better. If the mother did not pump when the baby is drinking a bottle, the mother’s milk supply could dry up. Even pumping once or twice a day will keep the milk production up.


Formula is filling, so if a baby fills up on this throughout the day, that baby may not be hungry enough for nursing in the evening. According to Mom 365, a three-month-old baby needs 24 to 30 ounces of milk every day. To nurse part-time, the baby should not consume this much during the time the mother is out. The site suggests that the caregiver watches the amount that is given. They should feed the baby four-ounce bottles, even if the baby seems hungry when that 4 ounces is gone. If the caregiver were to get a refill, the baby would not be worried about this.

The caregiver must also realize that the bottle is not the same as a pacifier. When the baby gets fussy, a pacifier may be what they are looking for. The child may just need something to suck on at that time.


Whoever is caring for the baby while the mother is away needs to be agreeable with the mother’s feeding plan. Ideally the caregiver will be hired before the baby is born so the mother is comfortable with the choice. Let the caregiver know how dedicated the mother is to breastfeeding. If they do not know how to handle expressed milk, this would be the time to educate them. Introduce the caregiver to the benefits and instruct him/her on how to thaw and warm milk. Written instructions are handy so that the caregiver can refer to them as needed and the caregfiver can become familiar with those instructions so they can spend the time with the baby and not worry about the bottle.

To make things easier for the caregiver, freeze the milk in small amounts. This allows the milk to thaw quickly. The night before, place the amount of milk needed for the next day in the refrigerator to thaw. If there is milk remaining after 24 hours, it needs to be thrown out. If the caregiver prefers, he/she can attempt to give the baby the milk without warming it first. However, most babies prefer it warmed.

With a few guidelines, mothers can breastfeed their babies part-time, yet benefit the baby with this helpful milk.