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Does anyone have experience with BFing/Pumping and then going back to work? I am hoping to exclusively BF this time around, even after going back to work. I'm not sure how to establish a good BF routine and then pumping routine in the 8 weeks I have off. Does anyone have any advice?
Well I would say bf only the first 2-3 weeks. Then do your early am feed around 5/6 and then pump an hour later. Every 2 feeds after she finishes eating pump what's left. Bout time u return to work u will have a nice stash. Once you return remember to pump every 3-4 hours for at least 15 min.
When u finish work go home and nurse. The bedtime feeding let her finish any thawed unused milk first then nurse/pump.
You don't wanna waste ur liquid gold...
As she gets older you can take cues to. Increase or decrease pump sessions
I pumped and nursed at the same time when I had my first. I got so much milk that I donated to my local children's hospital for 6 months. Breast milk freezes well and so you can start working on your stash anytime. The more you pump and nurse the more milk you will have. So baby will not go hungry. I can't remember how much milk is needed each day while you are at work. I always just left a good supply in my moms freezer so she could thaw it as needed if she ran out of fresh milk.
My advice won't be by the books. I can only share what has worked for us with long term pumping, given that we have had to get over so many hurdles, it's what I wish I had known ahead of time.
Here is what I would do from day 1, if I could do it all over again.
1) Make sure your breast shields fit right.
2) 1-3 Lactation Cookies per day (plus they are yummy). Ask me for the recipe if you want it. I made 4 dozen and froze them after baking. (helps supply)
3) Fenugreek and Alfalfa 3x a day (helps supply and helps clogged ducts, so better to take as a preventative)
4) Probiotics 1x a day (it's good because it keeps you healthy which you pass on through your breast milk to your baby.
5) Stay hydrated. Drink a bottle of water each time while you are pumping/nursing.
6) Apply lansinoh to your nipples before pumping to help avoid friction that will lead to dry/cracked/sore nipples.
7) Have the reusable gel breast pads, they are more comfortable than the disposable ones. Cloth breast pads work too!
When to Pump
1) I say you want to express milk every 2-3 hours at first, then you can move to every 3-4 hours, and 1 5 hour stretch at night is okay.
2) I would breastfeed first (when baby is around) and then pump after. If you are "dry" after, still pump. Pump for 5 minutes on each side. This will tell your body to make more milk. This way, you can build up a little of supply for once you start back at work. Once you are back, you should be fine since you will be pumping instead of feeding and that can be the milk for the next day, but having some extra milk stored is always a wise thing!
If you are having a hard time building a milk stash while breastfeeding (during those first few weeks before you return to work) try any of the following:
1) Pump Side 1 and Nurse Side 2. At the next feeding, Nurse Side 1, Pump Side 2.
2) Express milk more often, but alternate between breastfeeding and pumping. For example, if you nurse at 11am and baby isn't hungry at 12:30pm, pump at 12:30pm. Then nurse baby at 2pm. (Obviously don't have to feed on a schedule; I'm trying to illustrate the idea of pumping between baby's feeding, IF baby isn't hungry and needing to nurse again at that time).
Note: You will also want to introduce the bottle before you return to work. A lot of people say to wait 2-3 weeks, and I think that's fine, but I think you could also do breast most of the time and then give your baby a bottle once a day, to get her used to it early on but with her main source still being the breast.
1) Make sure you have your bottle of water and a snack on hand.
2) Apply a warm rice-sock heating pad to your breasts.
3) Massage your breasts.
1) Massage breasts while pumping can help, too!
2) Use the lowest suction possible to get a flow. If the flow goes away, turn the pump up a little higher. Don't do this to the point of pain, though. But sometimes it can be uncomfortable when you turn it up for a second but then rights itself. The lansinoh helps.
3) When pumping at work, if you don't have a double pump, try this:
Pump Side 1 for 5 minutes, then Side 2 for 5 minutes. Pump side 1 for 3 minutes then side 2 for 3 minutes. Pump Side 1 for 2 minutes, then Side 2 for 2 minutes.
4) MANUALLY EXPRESS *using your hands* after you finish pumping, because the pump most likely won't get all of your milk out. If you get all the milk out, your supply will increase. If you don't, your body will stop making that milk, thinking it's extra and unnecessary. (You can manually express after breastfeeding, too, if you don't get anything from the pump then).
5) Number 4 is important and worth mentioning twice!!! Baby is more effective at getting out all the milk compared to a pump, which means if baby needs 4 oz, it will get all 4 oz out of your breast and your body will keep making 4oz. BUT if you are exclusively pumping, you might only get out 3oz or 3.5oz, which means baby will be eating more each feed than you are pumping. Your body will then make less (only 3-3.5oz) but then the pump will get out less again (maybe 2.5 to 3), and your supply starts to go down--see the problem here? It's a cycle... so you have to get out all that milk!
NOTE: IF you end up with over supply, pump for a few minutes FIRST, THEN breastfeed, so your baby gets more of the hind milk, then pump the rest after the feed. But I would only do this IF you have an oversupply.
FWIW, you will probably have the most milk in the morning, especially if baby sleeps longer periods at night (ie: a 5 hour stretch) and that is when you will most be able to build up your stash. For example, If I nursed Isabel in the morning, then pumped, I would STILL have an extra 6-7oz to store. But during the day, if I nurse her first then pump, I might only have an extra 0-2oz to store.
That sounds like a lot of work, and it's definitely harder than breastfeeding directly, but once you get into the practice it just SOUNDS like more work than it actually is.
Hope this helps! I feel like I'm missing something; I will come back to update if I remember what it was!
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