Post # 1
Hi all!! Ok, so as some of you might remember, before I had my Livi-Bug, I was very set in my ways to not Boyfriend or Best Friend. Wellll as soon as she was born, mommy guilt kicked in (or my natural instincts) and I decided to give it a shot. I had a bad reaction to some of the meds from my c-section, so for the first 14 hours or so after my surgery I was out of it (especially the first 7…) and I didnt tell the nursing staff that Id changed my mind, so LO was started on formula. Luckily for me, my milk came in on day 5-which is when I started pumping and BFing – and I had a lactation consultant come over to teach me and her to latch, etc. But because so much time passed between when i started and when my milk came in, I feel like my supply is lacking. I definitely dont make enough to feed her exclusively, so we have to supplement with formula. Im currently taking fenugreek and mothers milk tea and eating oatmeal and every other trick in the book. My quesiton is-if I pump multiple times a day, even after feedings, will it keep and/or build my supply??? Its just discouraging to pump and only be getting 2-4oz total…I still have some guilt that I cant make enough to feed her. I know I shouldnt, but I just keep thinking that if Id started immediately this might not be an issue. Sigh. Nobody warns you about the mommy guilt =o)
Post # 3
Yes, you NEED to pump after feedings, through the night, and if you can inbetween feedings. That is really the only way to increase supply, increase the demand. Make sure you are nursing as long as your little one will because babies empty the breast better than the pump.
Also, try renting a hospital grade pump for a short time. They also empty the breast better than other pumps. Good luck!
Post # 4
I did an extra pump or two per day, after feedings when my milk supply went low a few weeks ago. Only a few oz. came out total and yes, it was sad. But I’m happy to say, it took less than a week with fenugreek and 2 packets of oatmeal a day and now I’m back in business, better than ever in fact, even though I’ve been back to work, have more stress than normal and haven’t done fenugreek and oatmeal ever since. I have a strong double pump (Medela PISA), which I turn all the way up, not sure if that matters. I dropped to 3-4 oz total and back up to 9 oz in just a few weeks. I was at 6-7 oz for a long time but I don’t pump until completely dry, except when I was doing 3 oz.
Post # 5
@KellyV: Are you getting 2-4 oz per pumping session after you have breastfed her? If so, that doesn’t sound like you aren’t making enough at all. From what I’ve read women that are pumping usually only get around 2 oz per pumping session, some obviously make more, but 2 oz isn’t considered a low amount. Is your baby girl showing signs of hunger after you nurse her? I’d definitely add pumping sessions to your day and I’d also try switch nursing or switching sides frequently during a session to stimulate production. Here is a good link: http://www.kellymom.com/bf/supply/low-supply.html
I’d also try slowly backing off on the formula if you are hoping to go over to nursing full time so that your baby will want to nurse more thus increasing your supply. Just remember that the amount your baby is getting when nursing is not going to be equal to what you are able to get when pumping (pumping usually produces less). You might also consider renting a hospital grade pump for a few weeks or so. The hospital grade pumps really do have better suction than even the nice personal pumps you can buy so you might see a quicker increase in supply by using one. (I use a medela lactina at work and I can usually get double the amount of milk with that pump compared to my medela pump in style).
ETA: This is from kellymom.com “Most moms who are nursing full-time are able to pump around 1/2 to 2 ounces total (for both breasts) per pumping session. Moms who pump more milk per session may have an oversupply of milk, or may respond better than average to the pump, or may have been able to increase pump output with practice. Many moms think that they should be able to pump 4-8 ounces per pumping session, but even 4 ounces is an unusually large pumping output.” http://www.kellymom.com/bf/pumping/pumping_decrease.html
Post # 6
If you are nursing your baby and pumping afterward, your milk won’t necessarily recharge as quickly for a full feeding as you want but it doesn’t mean you don’t have enough milk. I thought similarly to you before I went back to work and was only getting 2 oz per pumping session between feedings but once I went back to work I was able to get 4+ oz per pumping session because it was a full “recharge” of my milk supply and baby wasn’t eating half of it before I pumped. Also, try fully emptying your breast with hand expression after you pump. You’d be amazed at how much more milk you might get. In the stickied Breastfeeding Tips at the top of the Babies board, the link DerbyBride posted (http://newborns.stanford.edu/Breastfeeding/MaxProduction.html) made a difference for me. Granted, I can only watch in amazement at the woman in the video and how much milk she is getting but I just have to be happy with what I can get.
Also, I posted this on a different thread about 2 weeks ago but my supply unexplainedly dropped a few weeks ago and even with taking 24-30 capsules of fenugreek per day, nothing was helping. My lactation consultant suggested I switch glactagogues to more milk plus by Motherlove. Only 4 pills a day and total turn around of my supply. The addition of the blessed thistle, nettle, and fennel seed that are in it seemed to be what I needed. Also, the capsules are liquid filled instead of powder filled. I can’t help but think that gets absorbed by your system a little better but I have no medical support for that theory.
Post # 7
If you get 2-4 oz AFTER a feeding, then you should be making more than enough for her! I would suggest backing off formula, and nursing more often – the nursing stimulates your supply a lot better than pumping. And of course, a lactation consultant or a breast feeding support group (facilitated by an LC) could probably be super helpful!
Post # 8
Pumping should definately help, especially if you try to pump around the time you give her the bottle to make sure your body isn’t skipping a feeding. The only time I can pump 4+ ounces is if someone is giving her a bottle of expressed milk so I’ve missed that feeding. Otherwise I usually make around 1-3 ounces, unless it’s the morning, I make a lot more in the morning and I think I read that’s true for a lot of people.
The other thing you could try is a ‘nursing holiday’ where you lay in bed and watch movies or read all day and let the LO just suckle whenever they get even a moderate urge. Even if it’s right after a feeding most people will still produce a little milk and her suckling while you’re mainly dry will help your body realize uh oh we need to make more. I’m not sure if you’ve tried different nursing positions but when I’m in bed I just layon my side with my arm to the side and bent and lay her head on top of my elbow crook, that way she can turn and nurse if she wants or just lay on her back and kick and coo.
Post # 9
Thank you guys so much!! I’m getting 2-4oz per pumping session, but my LC only has me pumping 2-3 times per day, usually not right after a feeding. I think I’ll try pumping more often, especially every time she takes a bottle. There are very few times during the day where just my breastmilk is enough for her. First thing in the morning is one of them, presumably bc I haven’t pumped all night. But after feeding on both sides, most times she cries and snuffles and keeps rooting around. I started trying to keep some pumped milk in the fridge to top it off to wean off of formula and that seems to be working. Based on the links you guys sent, it does sound like I’m not producing as little as I thought I was, but I still don’t think I make enough. Maybe she’s just used to the formula making her more full or something. It just hurts that she is so hungry after a feeding, like I’m failing her. I never understood why women felt this way before I encountered it. I totally get it now :o/ luckily she seems to like to suckle even if shes not getting a lot… How are hospital grade pumps different? I have a Medela Pumo InStyle Advanced at the recommendation of her pediatrician. Thanks again ladies. You guys are the best!!
Post # 10
I rented a hospital grade pump while I was on leave and it had a better suction and it switched sucking patterns a little differently than my PIS. I got much more milk with the hospital grade. I wish I could have use the hospital pump the whole time. My Pump In Style was nice, but not as quiet or effective.
Are you going the entire night without pumping or breastfeeding? That could be one time you could get an extra pumping in or just letting the pump go a couple minutes after you are done expressing milk to stimulate more production.
Post # 11
. I’ll pump at like 10 or 11pm, just not at the 3am feeding. I’ll Boyfriend or Best Friend at night, 3am, then again at 6am (she has a pretty good schedule so far) but her ped and my LC found it unnecessary to pump during the middle of the night. Maybe I’ll try the hospital pump to see how that goes. My other issue is that I go back to work around mid to late October, and I want to build a frozen supply for the nanny to give her. Then I gotta worry about pumping a work. Oy vey 🙂 I work in finance. There are like no women, and those that are there are either past child bearing years or don’t have kids, so pumping is not something they’re used to :o)
Post # 12
You are doing a great job with whatever you are doing. Babies like to suck so she may be rooting just to have that comfort. Also, make sure you are on each side long enough so that she gets the hindmilk with all of the fat in it. Try switching her bottles to a super slow flow nipple. If she is used to bottle feeding she is used to getting the food much quicker and not having to work for it.
As far as pumping, you don’t need to have a large frozen supply when you head back to work (though it takes the stress off). You need just enough to get through the first day. Then when you pump at work, you will provide enough for the next day. I usually double pump while at work so that I can get the best results. Something that I have been finding is that we always talk about breastmilk like we talk about formula. We talk about the number of ounces produced. You could hook yourself up to a pump and pump all day and you probably will not produce more milk (there is only so much you can make and pull out). I know that I can only “hold” about 5 oz in a breast (that is what I can at most get with a morning pumping session). BUT I have been reading and it looks like what changes is the number of calories (fat) in your milk. To test that, store the milk in the fridge and see how much milk fat separates. This should increase as your child’s needs increase. Of course the child will need more for a few days before your body adjusts. Formula never changes in calories so that is why the child always needs more ounces. So all that frozen stash will no longer be calorically filling when you need it.
Pumping at work can be a challenge. Some things to remember are: ObamaCare has a stipulation that your work must provide you with the time (unpaid though if others get paid breaks you are allowed to use those to pump) and a place that is free from intrusion to pump and is NOT a bathroom. This is required of all companies but those that employ less than 50 can get around it if they can prove it will be a significant issue with their business. Read the regulations from the Department of Labor. I recommend getting the medela wipes to clean your parts after pumping it is alot easier than going to a sink. Also, if you put your pump parts in the fridge/cooler with the milk you don’t have to clean them quite as well. The milk that is in there will stay just fine. Milk can be left at room temperature for up to 8 hours as well. It is possible to keep up; I have been pumping for 6 weeks now and my child hasn’t starved.
Good luck with whatever you choose to do there are no wrong answers.
Post # 13
Something that really worked for me when I was afraid of this was power pumping. I pumped for 15 minutes on one side, then the other, then switched back and forth 3 times. If you google power pumping that should help. I really hate pumping so as soon as I get back to work I’m thinking that we might start a slow wean with Kayla….sigh. 🙂
Post # 14
Sometimes at first I’d feed her from each breast twice with maybe a diaper change in between. I haven’t done that for awhile now and I’m not sure why she needed that at first, maybe it was to build up a supply since I’m not sure there was much milk in each boob the 2nd time but it seemed to make her happy and calm down.
If you get one of the double pumps you might want to also just get a manual pump as well. They aren’t quite as efficient but they’re a bit easier set up if you just can get away for a few minutes. I’ve thrown mine in my purse when I was going to be away from baby for more than a couple hours but wasn’t sure where I’d have an opportunity to pump or didn’t want to lug something big around.