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Expecting in January, seeking advice


Forum: Pumping Mommies

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  #1  
August 30th, 2011, 02:44 PM
Blue-Jay's Avatar Jenny
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Maryland
Posts: 2,229
Hi! I'm Jenny, and I'm expecting my first baby in January. We're super excited! I will have 6 weeks of maternity leave, and then I have to go back to work (I'm a teacher). I want to breastfeed and want my child to have exclusively breast milk until weaned. So I'm wondering:

- Can I start pumping about a week after the baby comes home? (or would you recommend that I start sooner?)
- How often can I pump? I realize that I will need to create a supply that is larger than actual demand. I was wondering how often it takes for the reserves to fill back up? If the baby needs to eat every 3 hours, can I nurse, wait 1.5 hours and be able to pump, and then be able to feed the baby in another 1.5 hours? Or do you nurse and then pump immediately afterward?
- Will it be possible to keep up with what my baby needs as he/she grows and starts to need more?

I'm sorry I have so many questions; I just really want this to work, and feel a little anxious about it! Thanks for any advice you can offer!
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  #2  
August 31st, 2011, 06:30 AM
-erin-'s Avatar Co-Host of the May2010 PR
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Florida
Posts: 10,040
- Can I start pumping about a week after the baby comes home? (or would you recommend that I start sooner?)
since you'll be off a relatively short time, I'd probably suggest starting to pump by 2-3 weeks, to get used to the pump, boost your supply a bit and have a bit of a stash. Technically, you only need to have enough milk pumped to get your LO through the first day, then what you pump that day can be sent the next, and so on. But a lot of moms feel more comfortable with some extra.

- How often can I pump? I realize that I will need to create a supply that is larger than actual demand. I was wondering how often it takes for the reserves to fill back up? If the baby needs to eat every 3 hours, can I nurse, wait 1.5 hours and be able to pump, and then be able to feed the baby in another 1.5 hours? Or do you nurse and then pump immediately afterward?
milk is made by demand and supply - the more you ask of your body, the more it will make. Sometimes it may take a couple days to catch up, but that is how it should work. Empty boobs make milk faster than full boobs. It may take a little longer for your LO to get milk if they nurse after pumping, but they should still be able to get some. Technically we are never truly empty. My DD nursed off one side per feeding almost right away, so once I got her napping on her own (not on me), I tried to pump the other side while she was sleeping. Around 6 weeks I started pumping once per day, usually morning during nap, to build my supply. You'll need to a bit earlier since you'll be back at work at 6 weeks. Many people also pump right after nursing to help boost supply some. And some coordinated people (not me ) are able to pump one side while baby nurses on the other.

- Will it be possible to keep up with what my baby needs as he/she grows and starts to need more?
Yep! Keep in mind how tiny a baby's tummy is, they don't need huge bottles. Also, breastmilk changes to adjust to baby's needs as they get older. So while you may hear about formula fed babies taking more/bigger bottles as they get older, a breastfed baby takes in approximately the same amount of breastmilk daily from 1 month - 6 months. (according to kellymom: kellymom.com :: How much expressed milk will my baby need?) The general rule is they need about 1oz/hour they are away from you, I am away from my DD for 11 hours and sent 12oz per day from 3 months - 9 months, then decreased her down to 9-10oz/day til a year (she took in a good amount of solids by then)
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  #3  
August 31st, 2011, 03:36 PM
Blue-Jay's Avatar Jenny
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Maryland
Posts: 2,229
Wow, that's SUPER helpful! Thank you so much! I love the idea of pumping on one side and feeding on the other (either simultaneously or after the baby falls asleep). Somehow, I felt like the milk could be drained totally out, and then I'd have to wait until it filled all the way back up again before feeding/pumping. But somehow you made me understand that it's more like I'm emptying some from the tank so more can be added; more of a "the cup is half full" way of seeing things!

I'm very grateful. Thanks for taking the time to answer all my questions!
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  #4  
September 1st, 2011, 03:39 AM
Rae-of-Sunshine's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Florida
Posts: 2,211
Hi and welcome You can definitely do this ... here is my two cents:

- Can I start pumping about a week after the baby comes home? (or would you recommend that I start sooner?) I was pumping from the very beginning, but that was to get my supply to come in and then because we were syringe feeding for the first two weeks as we taught them to breast feed. If you able able to get the baby breastfeeding from the beginning though, most people seem to recommend starting to build a stash 2-3 weeks before you go back to work. I agree with the PP, that you only need one days worth of milk, but it is definitely nice to have a few more put away just in case.
- How often can I pump? I realize that I will need to create a supply that is larger than actual demand. I was wondering how often it takes for the reserves to fill back up? If the baby needs to eat every 3 hours, can I nurse, wait 1.5 hours and be able to pump, and then be able to feed the baby in another 1.5 hours? Or do you nurse and then pump immediately afterward? I pump immediately after each feeding .. or rather once I get them relaxed and either sleeping or playing happily in their swings. This way if they are hungry a 3 hours instead of their normal 4, then I didn't just pump away all their milk. I tried in the beginning to wait an hour or so and pump, but this did bite me a couple of times and I ended up having to give them the milk I just pumped back in a bottle, so I started pumping right afterwards instead. You can definitely nurse one side and pump the other if you can make it work. I don't generally, because I usually have one on each side, but there have been a few times where only one was eating for whatever reason and I pumped the other side. What I find works great for this is a pumping bra (either buy a real one, or I had DH cut nipple holes in an old sports bra and that works just as well). I can put it on, pull up the cup on the side where someone is feeding and put the pump cup on the other side hands free. I think the hands free part is an absolute neccessity when you are pumping both sides at once also. It lets you do other things while pumping (like type on here, which I am doing now).
- Will it be possible to keep up with what my baby needs as he/she grows and starts to need more? Definitely. It is a supply and demand issue. Having said that though, I will tell you I have tried all the tricks and I am still not quite pumping enough, but then again I have two. (and I know plenty of moms with two or three even that had no supply issues, so it is definitely possible, especially if you are willing to work on upping your supply if you need to). I have heard the 1 oz per hour rule also. I can tell you I am gone for about 11 hours also, and I leave 15-18 oz each for them of milk (depending on what I have managed to pump that day). Some days this is enough, but most days they get a few oz of formula. I don't stress about it, but I do try to pump more. I think though that DH (stay at hom dad) uses food to calm them sometimes, because with two at home they drive him crazy some days and if he can get one quiet with a bottle he can deal with the other. So they may be eating more during the day than if he was only dealing with one

Again, you can do this ...
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