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Forum: Pumping Mommies


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December 9th, 2010, 11:13 PM
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Hey there, I just had my first baby. He was born 6 weeks early, and is still in NICU. They've got him trying to breast feed, and they're getting me working on pumping. They have me using a Medela Symphony, and I'll be renting one also, so that I can pump while baby is still in NICU. The nurse gave me size 24mm breast shields. I didn't know they came in different sizes, but I found 27mm ones, and I'm using those. I THINK they're still a little too snug, and I need the next size up, but I'm not sure.

When I pump, I center my nipple in the tunnel, and I turn the machine on, and, it pumps my colostrum (baby is 2 days old now). Yet, not much makes it into the bottle. Instead it ends up all around my nipple, and a little dribbles down the tunnel, but.. it's not enough. Am I doing something wrong? Is this how it usually is with colostrum?
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December 10th, 2010, 12:03 AM
shortlette's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: New Zealand
Posts: 18,681
Hi and welcome. Thanks for posting. Did you see this? It might help you with the sizing ... it's easier than trying to explain because it has pictures. It does sound like perhaps your nipple is taking up too much room in the shield so the milk can't go down like it should.


Remember that you're not going to have a lot of colostrum but it's wodnerful stuff and baby doesn't need much. Also .. your LO has a tiny tummy buit doesn't need much.

I haven't had a NICU baby but you need to consider if you are going to BF whether you want to introduce a bottle or use an alternative feeding system. Whether you're feeding or pumping do do it regularly. It will help your milk come in and build your supply. Good luck and let us know if you have any more questions.

I've asked that this post be moved to the main board because I don't want it to be missed .... don't take it personally

Thanks Jaidynsmum for my siggy
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December 10th, 2010, 11:07 AM
greenchild's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: MN
Posts: 15,839
Kaiden was a 6.5w early preemie Is your LO being tube fed? That's great they are trying to get him to BF!!

If the nurses aren't having you do it yet - make sure you are pumping for 15 - 20 minutes around the clock. You want to mimic your LO's feeding schedule.

Make SURE you tell the nurses to NOT give your LO a fast flow nipple!!!!!

I'll be back later and post more, phone call + screaming kiddo . . .
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December 10th, 2010, 11:19 AM
-erin-'s Avatar Co-Host of the May2010 PR
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Florida
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I never pumped that early on, but your LO doesn't need a lot in volume at first. I don't know exactly how it works with a premie, but I would assume their tummies stay small for a while. For a full term baby their tummies are only the size of a marble at first - Will my baby get enough milk before my milk ?comes in?? | Ameda.com

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December 10th, 2010, 12:06 PM
greenchild's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: MN
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okay, I'm back

another thing - you can pump directly into the collection containers. I was pumping into the bottles that came with the pump, then trying to pour those tiny driblets into the collection containers for the NICU, which probably wasted half of the tiny amout of colostrum I was producing. Your milk will come in soon and then you'll get more out of pumping.

Make sure to take a stand with the NICU nurses if you have particular wants or needs. You CAN tell the supervisor to keep a particular nurse off your LO's case if you don't like one or more of them

If your LO needs therapy to learn how to feed better - remember that the therapists will want baby to work for it, while the NICU nurses only want the easiest feeding possible so baby doesn't have to work for it. Contradiction, yes. Always a battle between the two. In my case, this is where the nurses upgraded Kaiden to a fast flow nipple without my permission, and that effectively ended our BF'ing relationship.

If you have any questions, we're here to help I hope your LO's stay in the NICU is short and he gets to come home very soon!!
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December 10th, 2010, 12:19 PM
JaxonsMom2010's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: The Lone Star State
Posts: 4,937
I agree with Anne about the fast flow nipple. Make sure they don't give your LO one. When I first went back to work, I was wondering why my baby would fuss and refuse the breast when I came home at lunch and at the end of the day. But after a few nursing sessions, everything would be fine. I soon discovered that hubby had found the fast flow nipple and had been using that one instead. He told me that Jaxon liked it better. Well of course he is going to like it better - the milk comes out faster and he don't have to work for it. Once I "lost" that nipple, everything worked better.

We don't have any NICU experience but we did have to be back in the hospital when he was 6 days old. I had to constantly fight the nursery nurse with feeding. I won all of the battles.
Hoping and praying that your lo will get to home soon.
Christy - Mom of 5

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December 11th, 2010, 04:38 PM
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Thank you ladies!! I'm sorry I posted in the other forum!! I thought I got out of there and was on the main forum!! I am teh embarrassed..

See, I thought newborn tummies were tiny, too. But they're pumping him full of 20mL every 3 hours! Isn't that a lot!?

I'm finally producing SOMETHING. I got 2.5mL out of the right boobie today!!! I was so excited. I'm so thrilled to take it to him! They've told me to pump 15 - 20 minutes every 3 hours. I should be doing it every hour? I'll check on the nipple to see if it is fast-flow or not. Thank you!
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December 11th, 2010, 06:01 PM
greenchild's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: MN
Posts: 15,839
20 ml sounds about right if you were to pour that out into a bowl, you can see it really isn't much. The NICU gets all excited when they reach 40 ml feedings!

you can safely stick with pumping every 3 hours If you end up EP'ing, you will want to stick with this schedule for the first 6 - 8 weeks. Let me know if you have any questions about EP'ing, I've been at it for 22 months!
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February 19th, 2011, 11:35 AM
Bellemom06's Avatar Mommy of two princesses
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Location: Missouri
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Thank you so much for this. I didn't realize that the reason why my nipples hurt so bad was because I was using the wrong size shield. I never would have thought about that myself.
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