When and How etc and so on!
Hi there. I have a three week old newborn. BF is going well and her weight gain is good. I think I have an OS issue on the left side (it's twice the size as my right breast and DD chokes on the left) so I am starting block feeding for three feeds (I know you're supposed to do it by hours but she only eats every three hours during the day and that's because I wake her). I am going back to work in three weeks-ish and am planning to introduce the bottle and start pumping at week 4. My question is when and how long to pump? Before nursing? After? What about my mega boob? I def don't want to make that worse. I will be working eight hour shifts overnight and in the evening. How much EBM should DD take during a feeding and how much should I leave DH with? Thank you. These forums are very helpful!
Re: When and How etc and so on!
I am VERY familiar with all your questions!
I went to work after 8 weeks off (sniff) and I had already had a tough time pumping/producing early on (very long story). ANYWAY, here are some things that helped me:
1. Starting now, after every feeding, pump for 10-15 minutes. Don't pump less than an hour before your NEXT feeding to make sure your baby has enough milk. Save whatever you pump (even if its just drops) in a storage bag/bottle and freeze. You'd definitely build a supply by the time you have to start working.
2. Once at work, make sure you're drinking enough water. Until your pump yield is established, try pumping for short periods as often as you can per day. With both FT jobs I had, I was able to pump when/however long I needed; I started out 4 times per day (for 10-15 minutes each), and now am only pumping 2x a day. Keep in mind that your supply will grow along with your baby; I used to only get 2oz total in an 8 hour day, now I get 12-14 oz in 8 hours. Do NOT be discouraged and do NOT give up! The first few months are crucial; once you get past them and set up a routine at work, its smooth sailing!
3. Try pumping at night between 1-5 am, when your supply is at its peak. Especially if your baby is STTN (which mine is 6 months and never, ever has), wake yourself up to pump. Not only does this beef up your freezer stash (milk bank, we call it), but it triggers your body to produce more.The goal is to trick your body into believing your baby is nursing more than he/she actually is.
4. Consider (after talking to your doctor) Mothers Milk tea or other Galactagogues (see: http://www.askdrsears.com/html/2/T022800.asp) to increase supply. This is NOT suggesting that you have a supply problem (most women don't), but it will (hopefully) increase your milk supply so you can pump what you need for the next day. I used Fenugreek and Blessed Thistle together 3x per day and it worked WONDERS! Some people swear by them, others claim they don't do anything, but its worth a try.
5. Bring an item of your baby's clothing (or a picture, etc) to work with you while you pump to help trigger MER (milk ejection reflex, ie "let down"). So many women have a hard time letting down to a pump--myself included--so the "MER trigger" of a baby's sock or picture really helps.
Over the past 6 months I've become a pumping pro so feel free to ask if you have any questions!
Re: When and How etc and so on!
Oh one more thing--about the engorged side--its fairly common for one side to over produce. I would recommend having your baby nurse on the weaker side first ALWAYS instead of switching it up. That's what our lactation consultant recommended and it worked! My left side is still bigger than the right but its better than it was!