Pumping exclusively - Questions!
My 3 month old daughter did not nurse from me since the day she was born. I had flat nipples and hence found it difficult to nurse. Since she was a low birth weight baby ( 5 lbs 9 oz), the nurse at the hospital gave her formula to make sure she does not lose much weight. Once milk came in, I started pumping the milk and feeding her EBM in a bottle. After trying for several days, my daughter continued to resist feeding directly from me. To avoid frustration, I continued giving her the bottle of EBM after trying (and failing!!) to nurse. I even tried using nipple shield after my visit to the LC. For the past 3 months, I have tried to pump upto 8 times a day (every 3 hours) and luckily, I have been able to produce enough milk to meet my daughter's intake. I used a hospital grade pump for about a month and I have been using a Medela Pump in style since then.
I am planning to go back to work in April. I want to feed her breast milk for a year. I am able to freeze upto 10 oz of milk everyday after feeding my baby. Is that good enough to meet her needs later ?
1. How many times should I pump in a day to make sure the milk supply does not drop ?
2. How much maximum duration can there be between 2 pumping sessions ? (I pump before I go to bed and then pump after 7 hours - Is that okay? )
Also, I have been having sore nipples (in the tip of the nipple) due to pumping. I have changed the flange of the pump to a bigger size ( 30 mm instead of a 24 mm) After every pump session, the tip of my nipples hurt a lot when something touches it. It becomes very hard on some occassions - feels very brittle! I use Lanolin cream on it. But there is no improvement. Does it hurt while pumping ?
I would appreciate if someone can answer my questions! Thanks in advance for your response.
Re: Pumping exclusively - Questions!
How great that you have been able to provide milk for your daughter! You obviously tried very hard to nurse her. I commend you for making it this far.
To answer your question about pumping milk for later use:
Ideally, when you go back to work I would suggest that you use fresh milk for dd. Are you going to be able to pump while away from dd? You would need to continue to pump as much as you would at home to maintain milk supply. Then, what you pumped for one day, you should be able to use the next. No freezing and storing up needed! DD will benefit from the freshest milk you have, as her developmental needs change and your milk changes to suit those needs.
Because of individual differences in women, it is difficult to say how many times you should be pumping or will need to pump in the future. You may need to experiment. According to LLLI's Breastfeeding Answer Book, "mothers should begin by pumping 6 to 8 times a day during the first week and then experiment with her own schedule to determine how often and how long she will need to pump in order to provide for her baby." (You are already doing 8 times per day-so this sounds right on the money!) After supply is established "one woman may only need to pump four times a day while another may need to pump six times per day to get the same amount of milk".
I would think that you would be fine for those 7 hours between feeds-as many babies who nurse from the breast will sleep this long and moms do not nurse them. As long as your breasts adjust and you have had no problems with plugged ducts/mastitis this should be ok.
About your sore nipples, a few questions:
Is your PIS a new pump? How high do you set the suction/speed?
Can you describe the pain more for me? How long have you had it? Hurts between pumpings, during, etc.