Post # 1
I am a FTM and am finding this all a bit overhwhelming. According to our pediatrician, I should be feeding every 2 hours. I am doing a combination of breastfeeding, pumping and formula supplementing (they need baby to gain weight). So according to the doctor I should do 10-15 minutes on each breast, pump the remaining, and then formula feed 1-2 ounces. This breaks down to at least 20 minutes breastfeeding, 10 minutes pumping, 10-15 minutes formula feeding, 5 minutes changing baby, 5 minutes burping, and they also want me to hold her upright for 30 minutes after the feed. That’s almost an hour and a half of feeding related things. Then I’m supposed to lay her down for 10 minutes then do it all over again?!
I could use some tips and tricks to multi-task. How do I hold baby upright for 30 minutes… is there some kind of device that can do this while I pump? I’m still trying to look into the hands free pump as well. I need some serious help ladies!
Post # 2
- Wedding: October 2011 - Bed & Breakfast
Can you baby wear or put her in a rock and play (not really “upright” but her head would be elevated)? A hands free pump set-up would allow you to simultaneously pump and give the formula, which sounds like it could be a big help for you. Have they also given you tips for increasing your milk supply so you can wean off having to do the extra formula feeding? I would think that would be the biggest help of all for you in the long term.
As a less practical, but still important thing, just keep reminding yourself that, as draining as it may be right now, this is a short-term thing. A few weeks from now, when your milk supply is up and she’s gaining weight well, this will be a memory. The dishes can wait. The dusting can wait. It’s okay to let non-essential things slide. It’s also okay to hand your LO off to your husband for the formula feeds and changing just so you can enjoy a hot shower and a few moments of quiet. You don’t have to be superwoman.
Post # 3
Get a bouncy chair or swing with an incline. Wear a pumping bra do you can feed her formula while you pump.
But the best advice I got was to throw out the clock and learn your baby’s cues. She’ll tell you when she’s done with each breast. She’ll tell you if she’s still hungry when she’s done nursing and needs supplementation, and she’ll tell you when she’s hungry to begin it all over again. Unless she’s grossly underweight, I’d probably just stick to a time schedule that seems right for you and her.
Post # 4
Pumping after every feed in unsustainable. You can see for yourself how it doesn’t allow for any rest for you. My pediatrician and lactation consultants both advised me to pump no more than 4-6 times a day for my health emotional stability, and that stress and sleep deprivation wereb’t good for my supply either. i too had to pump and formula feed on top of breastfeeding and it was exhausting. I ended up cutting back to pumping just twice a day after awhile and I came close to eliminating formula, but just when I was about to, he had a growth spurt and my supply couldn’t meet the demand at the rate I was pumping. I decided for my sanity to be ok with supplementing. I still breastfeed at 6 months and I honestly didn’t think I’d make it this far. I’m not suggesting that you give up as I did, but just keep in mind that you are doing your best and don’t be too hard on yourself if you don’t end up giving up formula all together.
Post # 5
hspw714: I’m not a lactation consultant or anything, but I’m confused by the advice/schedule you were given. So you nurse for 10-15 minutes and baby is still hungry and still getting milk. You stop nursing and feed baby formula while pumping to hopefully increase your supply? Is that correct?
The reason I ask is this. I had some difficulties in the begining with nursing, and this is what I was told. The baby is so so so so much better at getting milk out then a pump. If baby is still hungry, and still nursing let them keep going. Even when baby gets to the point that they aren’t getting a lot out, they are way better at signaling your body to make more milk then a pump. From a calorie/weight gain perspective, formula isn’t going to make them gain faster then breastmilk. So I’m not sure why you would be giving formula if you are getting that 1-2 ounces of breast milk when you pump. If you weren’t making any milk, or baby has an issue with nursing like a tounge tie, then supplementing can make a difference in weight gain.
This is what worked for us. We nursed on demeand for as long as Little One wanted. Sometimes especially at the begining when we were establishing supply, this could be for an hour straight. Sometimes we cluster fed. You are never completely empty, so as long as baby is sucking they are getting something, just at a slower rate when they have been nursing a while. I did keep an eye on the clock in terms of not going more then 3 ish hours without feeding, but I think that happened maybe once where I had to wake little one to eat.
We did use a rock and play to help with reflux sometimes, as it keeps baby sitting up right ish. Other times I just snuggled with little one on my chest.
Is there a lactation consultant you could work with? Or a La leche league in your area? I found some pediatricians are great at supporting breastfeeding, and others aren’t as knowledgable about it. A second opinion from someone who specializes in breastfeeding couldn’t hurt.
Post # 6
Hi. My son will be 6 weeks old tomorrow. I am not a lactation consultant, but that sounds crazy to me unless you are completely determined to get 100% off formula ASAP. Personally, I would just be sure to nurse OR pump each time your baby eats (i.e., pump if you give her formula or bottled breast milk). This will make sure that you demand milk from your body each time she eats regardless of whether or not she nurses.
Personally, I pump overnight to give my nipples a chance to heal. (My son is a bit of a chomper.) I refuse to try and feed him or watch him while I pump because I can’t manage to do that while tethered to the pump. So, we nurse during the day while my husband is at work, and then my husband gives him bottles of pumped milk overnight.
If you are worried about your low supply, try taking a fenugreek supplement.
I agree with the PP that a hands-free pumping bra is essential: http://www.simplewishes.com
If you are worried that your baby isn’t getting enough from nursing, get a baby scale. Weight the baby before and after a feed. (Don’t change his clothes or his diaper between weighings.) That should give you more confidence about whether you’re producing enough milk during a feeding.
Post # 7
Have you seen an IBCLC to get some expert advice on bf’ing and supplementing? Nursing is all about supply and demand and allowing your LO unlimited time at the breast can be a great way to stimulate supply, unfortunately pumping doesn’t always stimulate demand like nursing can.
My other advice is to get hold of your local La Leche League and get yourself along to a meeting. The ladies at LLL are always very knowledgeable and from my experience they’ll be able to provide you with support and tips for managing your schedule.
You might also want to sign up for the LLL Newborn BF’ing forum, the members there will also be able to provide you with some great advice – here’s the link:
Post # 8
I agree with pp that you should see an LC. I’m not sure why your ped has recommended what she has do take what I say with a grain of salt. I don’t think you should limit baby at the breast. They need the fatty hind milk. Switching breasts too early limits this. So if it’s a weight gain issue I would think you would want to leave baby on one breast until she pulls herself off.
Post # 9
I agree that maybe the pediatrician means well, but the advice seems a little strange.
I had a small preemie baby that had difficulty gaining weight at first too. I was told that the baby’s feeding routine shouldn’t take more than 30 minutes, because otherwise she might get tired and then not have energy for the next feeding. (I did notice this when she suckled for 45 minutes once.)
I would either breastfeed (without time limits on each breast) or my husband would bottlefeed. They recommended that I offer a bottle after breastfeeding to see if she’d take any more, but she was never interested (she was full from the breast). We’d bottlefeed a lot when we were most anxious about how much she was intaking, but like someone else said, you can buy or rent a scale to know how much she’s been eating from the breast.
We did feed every two hours. It didn’t take long for her to jump up in the percentile charts and become a super chubby baby.
I know it’s stressful. Wishing you good luck!
Post # 10
I am an exclusive pumper and I supplement with formula for my twin boys. They also have reflux so they benefit from having being held upright for 30 mins. Unfortunately since there is two of them its just impossible to hold them each. My only difference is that they feed every 3 hours. So I bottle feed one with my breast milk supplemented with formula, burp them and then put them in a boppy pillow. I then move on to the next one, and when he is in the boppy I hook up and pump for 20 mins using a very ghetto hands free pumping bra. I pump while sitting on the floor since thats where I place the boys so I can tend to them spitting up, etc. Usually they fall asleep so when I’m done pumping then get placed in a crib and that leaves me with about an hour-hour in a half to eat, get a load of laundry in or just sit back and relax.
I agree with the PP that said laundry and all that jazz can wait. See if you can feed her every 3 hours. If I can do it, then you can too! Relax and enjoy your baby! Good luck!