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-   -   Getting anxious over breastfeeding. (http://www.justmommies.com/forums/f2038-2013-playroom/2648799-getting-anxious-over-breastfeeding.html)

eshute May 7th, 2013 09:09 AM

Getting anxious over breastfeeding.
So glad that some other people are asking questions about breastfeeding because I'm getting pretty anxious. I had intentions to exclusively pump and not actually bf but now that I don't think I'll be going back to work as soon as I thought I would, I'm considering trying to breastfeed for at least a few weeks and maybe switch to exclusively pumping if I have the supply when I go back to work.

I was looking for bottles and milk storage containers, but quit because will I even need those if I'm breastfeeding and not pumping at first? Or do I still need to pump and start storing milk right away?

I have a thousand other questions, but I'm trying to research as much as I can. Any advice or tips would be great since I'm really starting to wonder if I'm going to be able to do it at all.

navywifey2003 May 7th, 2013 09:18 AM

Re: Getting anxious over breastfeeding.
Why were you going to EP before returning to work? Just curious no judgement.

You really should wait to start pumping until supply is established and not introduce bottles for a few weeks to get your nursing relationship established. The colostrum which is the first milk is very thick and likely not to be easily pumped out. Once supply is in you could start pumping and storing. There is no perfect timing.

MerinSun May 7th, 2013 09:30 AM

Re: Getting anxious over breastfeeding.
Ditto. No pump is ever going to draw as much milk out as a baby (or stimulate more production). If you are not going back to work for at least 6 weeks and are comfortable with your baby nursing on your breast you will have better future success with pumping if you nurse around the clock.

For the first 3 weeks I wouldn't worry about pumping at all. You'll be nursing almost constantly and will not find the time. After 3 weeks pick a few times during the day after a feeding to pump. Warning: you will not get much. Maybe 1/2 an ounce TOTAL. But keep doing it. Eventually over the course of a week you'll get a little bit more and a little bit more. Keep pouring the fresh stuff on top of the frozen stuff until you get a whole serving (about 2 ounces). If you want to build your stash faster pump after every feeding session for about 10 minutes (if you have a double pump it will literally be 10 minutes but if you have a single it will be 10 minutes per breast).

Eventually the baby will will space their feedings out so that you'll be pumping like this (for a 2 hour feeding schedule): 11am feed 1140 done feeding 1230 pump 1pm feed.

Remember that when you go back to work you won't be on that schedule and you WILL swell up a bunch and you'll be SHOCKED at how much you pump, lol. Try to pump 3 times during your work day. Once before lunch, once during lunch, and once about an hour before going home.

If you're not sure how much your baby is eating off of your breasts go to your pediatrician (or lactation store) just before a feeding. The nurse or store assistant will weigh your baby. Then you nurse and the nurse/helper will weigh the baby again. The difference in weight is how much your baby ate and you'll know how much to put in a storage bottle :)

Oh, personal story: I didn't get my pump until a week before I went back to work. I cried almost every day because I just wasn't pumping much. I barely had a thing stored. It took a few weeks of establishing a good pumping schedule (and then, of course, being absent from the baby and pumping at work - where you'll get more) for me to actually get anything close to an actual stash. I tried to be diligent about pumping on the weekend. Eventually I got tired of all the pumping and started slacking, lol. I eventually decided that I would shoot for pumping half of what my baby would need for the week and supplement the rest. A lot of breastfeeding advocates would be horrified to hear that but I never supplemented when I could nurse (on the weekends I never noticed a change in my supply, even during the times when I normally would have pumped or skipped) and when I was getting more sleep instead of pumping I didn't feel guilty, lol.

Kim3 May 7th, 2013 10:04 AM

Re: Getting anxious over breastfeeding.
You can do it. Just tell yourself that any amount you can give your child is a benefit (you should not feel judged). I EBF with our first. He hated a bottle and my parent had to squirt it into him when I went back to work. Lession - start a bottle early. My second nursed from me. However he would only accept a bottle of 1/2 bm and 1/2 formula. We went with it. With Ellianna I am going back to work in just a couple of weeks. She will nurse when I am with her. She will have a bottle when I am at work. I hope to express enough for her. Reality is that I have a hectic day at work. She is likely to get a little formula as well. I know that we all have to work together. My goal is not to feel guilty. :p

eshute May 7th, 2013 10:05 AM

Re: Getting anxious over breastfeeding.
About EPing without having to go back to work - I just wasn't sure how I felt about it in general and wanted other people (SO mainly) to be able to help with feedings and get some bonding time with the baby. After doing research, it looks like EPing from the get go isn't a great option, so I'm going to try breastfeeding for a few weeks at least.

MeriSun - Thank you for all that!! It really helps me get an idea of how it's going to work. :)

navywifey2003 May 7th, 2013 10:22 AM

Re: Getting anxious over breastfeeding.
There are a million other ways for SO to bond with her without feeding her at first, yes that break is nice for sure but even though my husband didn't meet our first until he was 4 months old they bonded so quickly. You will really be amazed at how instant it is. Don't let others discourage you from nursing if that's what you want Hun. And don't feel guilty either. Hugs!

TeresaV May 7th, 2013 02:40 PM

Re: Getting anxious over breastfeeding.
I know how you feel. I think I"m more nervous about BFing than labor.

MrsLat May 7th, 2013 02:45 PM

Re: Getting anxious over breastfeeding.
Thanks for asking questions! I have a billion, I just never have any idea where to start, LOL. So keep them coming, I am busy taking in all the information too :)

QueenCrafty May 7th, 2013 03:20 PM


Originally Posted by navywifey2003 (Post 27346221)
There are a million other ways for SO to bond with her without feeding her at first, yes that break is nice for sure but even though my husband didn't meet our first until he was 4 months old they bonded so quickly. You will really be amazed at how instant it is. Don't let others discourage you from nursing if that's what you want Hun. And don't feel guilty either. Hugs!

I totally agree!! Because I nursed Abri constantly, DH was in charge of bathing her. He found his own way to bond that worked for them. If you do end up going the EPing route, you may want to consider a long term rental of a hospital grade pump. A mom in one of my PRs pumped an entire year. One of the tips she had was to get up in the middle of the night to pump. Even when her son was sleeping all night, she'll still got up to get one additional session in. She ended up with a surplus of milk that lasted past his first birthday. It is doable, but it is work.

MarylandMama May 7th, 2013 08:05 PM

Re: Getting anxious over breastfeeding.
I switched to EPing with DD after about 2 weeks of struggling with BFing. I plan to BF and pump this time if things work out better. I built a killer supply with EPing and was able to store a ton. By the time she was 8 mos old, I had the next 4 months in the freezer. The big thing to being able to stash pumping is doing it at regular intervals for consistent lengths of time. When I first started pumping, I barely got anything. I kept at it and pumped every two hours for a couple of weeks until I started getting more. Over the 8 mos, I pumped 8-10 times a day for 20 mins each time. Bc of my job, I worked in 1.5-3 hour session (depending on the kid I was working with) and pumped in the car while I drove from one session to another. I kept a cooler in my car. I pumped into bottles and transferred to bags when I got home.

One thing I read about storing milk is not to put fresh milk on top of frozen b/c you don't want it to melt and refreeze. Once it is thawed, it should be used. So If you don't have enough to freeze, store in the fridge, cool the fresh, and add cold to cold and freeze when you have enough, if that makes sense.

Being diligent about my pumping schedule allowed me to make sure DD got all breast milk and no formula for the first year. At the beginning, I met several times with a lactation consultant. She told me that BFing and pumping don't operate on the same milk ducts, so you should be able to both BF and pump to store milk for when you go back to work. Like PP mentioned tho, you don't want to try to pump colostrum. It's too thick. Wait until you're really having milk. And you may want to wait to intro the bottle to establish BFing. I have read conflicting info, all from reputable sources on this, but I figure it can't hurt to establish BFing first, just in case.

Being able to pump for work is a God-send. But it does take a lot of work. There is no reason tho that you should be able to both BF and pump if it works for your baby. (The BFing didn't work for DD despite my best efforts and working with a lactation consultant. Hoping for better luck this time!)

MerinSun May 7th, 2013 08:20 PM

Re: Getting anxious over breastfeeding.
Oh! A big time saver: When you pump put the pump parts (the flanges) into your cooler bag as well. The breast milk on the pump will stay cool. So, when you go to pump again you don't have to sanitize/wash. Just do it when you get home.

I used to sanitize mine at work using Medela's microwave sanitizing bags but it became too much of a hassle and lengthened my time off the clock. I just washed my stuff when I got home and sanitized as I felt they need them to be.

Pumping at home just put your pump parts (not the pump itself!) into the fridge until its next use. Clean once a day.

eshute May 8th, 2013 05:34 AM

Re: Getting anxious over breastfeeding.
Wow. I don't know if you ladies know how much I appreciate all this information! I will be returning to this thread often for it all!


Originally Posted by TeresaV (Post 27347137)
I know how you feel. I think I"m more nervous about BFing than labor.


Kalynas_Mom May 8th, 2013 06:49 AM

Re: Getting anxious over breastfeeding.
I don't have any information about EPing because DD would never take a bottle and I didn't respond well to the pump. Just wanted to send you lots of encouragement!! Breastfeeding IS hard but I think the payoff is well worth it :) I know numerous people who EP during the day while at work and then breastfeed while with their babies at home. I think if your baby switches between bottle and breast easily it'll probably be really nice bonding time after work. As much as I often wished someone could help with feedings, it was much easier in the middle of the night to doze while I fed DD instead of having to worry about getting bottles etc. I hope that whatever way it works out that your content with the situation. EBFing seems like a breeze compared to pumping so kudos to you for wanting to give it a go!

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