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Hello, I am new here. My son is 20 days old, and I am exclusively pumping. I thought I was going to exclusively breastfeed, but when he was born he wouldnt wake up for feedings no matter how drastic I got with taking all his clothes off, rubbing him, lights on etc. Then he started to become jaudice a little, dehydrated, and lost 9% of his weight. I was concerned. The nurses brought in a pump and showed me how to use it, and I ended up renting one. Now I feel so much more comfort actually seeing how much he recieves and loging down the ounces he drank. Plus my husband is a very active father and not the type to sleep while baby cries, so having bottles on hand for him to participate at night is wonderful. I'm just not sure why I thought I was going to EBF, I dont think I thought that through. Expecially since in two months I have to go back to work .
But, anyway, to my question. Everything I read, even my week by week books talk about breastfeeding and bottlefeeding but rarely if ever mention bottlefeeding breastmilk. And there is this reoccurring comment "when your milk comes in". The woman that I have spoken to (who were all mostly breastfeeeding and then pumping after to store milk) say they had so much breastmilk frozen it was crazy. One bought a seperate freezer for all she stored. And while I'm sitting here pumping my 2 - 2.5 oz I'm at a loss. How the heck? so then I think, maybe my milk hasnt come in.
Right now it is all over the place. Sometimes I pump only 1 oz from each side (I have a double sided, electric Medela rented fromt he hospital) and some times I get 1.5 oz - 2oz on each side. Then last night hubby went to bed very early and got up with the baby all night so I could sleep. After not pumping (becasue I was sleeping) I woke up at eleven and pumped right away. I ended up overflowing and had put new bottles on and keep pumping for a total of 7oz in one session. Thats never happend before. I kinda wish it was always like that.
For the past two days I've been trying to pump every 2-3 hours, play music and massage. When that happened this morning I thought WOW my milk must have "come in". But then again, it could just be because I didnt pump, and now when I try to pump at 6 am and 9 am tomorrow I will ahve less because I missed those two pumps today. Sigh.
With all this information, can someone please help me? I really want to know how to get more milk to come in. Because with what I'm pumping right now, I am only feeding the baby and sometimes I find myself supplimenting with some of the premade formula bottles the hospital sent home with us because he is eating up to 23oz already and hes only about 8 lbs. (the doctor told me about 2oz per pound)
I would say that if you're pumping any milk, your milk has definitely come in (usually happens within a few days of birth), and before it comes in, all you are producing is colostrum, which looks different than breast milk. I think that the 7 oz was probably because you had not pumped in a while.
Everyone is definitely different in how much they pump. I remember hearing/reading about how people had such a stash built up, too. Especially once I started back to work, I never had much of a stash...I was just trying to keep up. I'd pump maybe a couple of ounces on each side, in a "good" session. I will say, though, that there are a few things that really helped me:
1. Pumping for 20-30 minutes per session. At first I was just pumping until no more milk was flowing out (about 10 minutes), but what I kept reading was that you can often get multiple let-downs if you keep on pumping, and that you should pump for no less than 20 minutes. This really helped me.
2. Hand-expressing after a pumping session. After my 20 or so minutes on the pump, I would hand-express each side, and would sometimes get an additional 1 to 1.5 ounces out. This also ensures more complete emptying, which will stimulate your breasts to produce more.
3. Power pumping sessions. This is essentially where you pump for 10 minutes, rest for 10 minutes, pump for 10 minutes, rest for 10 minutes, pump for 10 minutes, etc...for at least 30 minutes to an hour. Just one power pumping session a day can help.
4. Pumping around the clock. They say to BF or pump every 2 hours for a few months (even through the night) to establish good supply. I struggled with this one. I found it very difficult to get up during the night to pump on those nights when my little one actually started sleeping through. But...they say the early morning (like 2am) pumping sessions are especially important, because that's when your hormone levels are highest.
5. Brewer's yeast/lactation cookies. Brewer's yeast really seemed to give me a boost. It doesn't taste all that great, but I used it to bake lactation cookies (I can look up the recipe if you want, or you can Google it). I noticed a difference when I ate them.
7. Massaging while pumping...which you said you are doing.
Those are the main things I can think of. I think the most important thing is to get as much stimulation as possible in order to establish a good supply, especially in the early months. Later on, once supply is more established, you may be able to cut out some pumping sessions.
Good luck to you...I know what a struggle it can be. If you have any other questions, feel free to ask away!
You got good advise. How often are you pumping? You should pump every 2 hrs for a minimum of 15 min, but ideally 20-30. Drink tons of water, and eat! We all want to loose weight and we watch what we eat, which is great, but you need the calories.
Also, I wanted to mention that I do EBF, and pump and it works great for us.
Check Kellymom, there are tons of good advise there. Good luck
That's a good question...I think its really different for everyone. For me, I pumped more in the more in the morning and then progressively less throughout the day. I might get 4 oz total in the morning, 3 oz mid day, and by night time, maybe 1 oz.
I too get more in the morning than at night. But I find myself having to supplement with formula at night because the 1oz or 1.5oz isnt enough for him. He is hungry again right away. How is it that your baby was feed well on 1oz at night?
Well, I wasn't exclusively pumping...I'd breast-feed her in the evenings, and then pump 1oz before I went to bed (2-3 hours or so after she went to bed). But eventually I did have to supplement some here and there (around 9 months or so), until she started eating more solids (around 12 months).
I know you mentioned having difficulty waking your LO in the beginning. Will he latch on and BF now? That would be a great way to boost your supply because you could just feed him, then pump in between feedings and save what you pump in the freezer or for a bottle for DH to give later.
You got lots of awesome advice from everyone else though for exclusively pumping!
I'm going to add my two cents because I really think you should try to get the baby to latch. I never understand how people think they can bf long term by exclusively pumping and never having contact with the baby. How will your body know how much milk to produce ie. supply/demand???? Get a shield and make that baby latch!