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Thread: Supplementing and Nursing and Pumping

  1. #1

    Default Supplementing and Nursing and Pumping

    Hello. I'm new here and I need some advice. My little man is 3.5 months old and was born 5 weeks premature. He was in the NICU for 8 days and I had to pump to bring in my milk, since he wasn't with me. He never had a great latch, but we did ok. I also pumped and gave him breastmilk bottles pretty much from the beginning. Starting around 8 weeks I wasn't able to keep up with his eating, so supplemented with formula. Unfortunately, his intake of formula has gone up and my supply of breastmilk has gone down. I'll admit that I didn't pump as much as I should have. But, I've rectified that and now I'm pumping 6 times a day. The problem is that I am only getting 2 ounces of milk ( if that) in the course of a whole day. At my peak I was getting 5 ounces a session, and that was only a few weeks ago. Is there anything I can do to bring my milk back? I really want him to have half of his meals as breastmilk a day, and right now that just isn't happening. He pretty much won't go to breast anymore - he gets frustrated and would rather have a bottle - so I really can only pump now. Plus, I'm back to work, so that limits things. Any advice is appreciated. I am not ready to be done with this. Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
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    555

    Default Re: Supplementing and Nursing and Pumping

    Hi there! You CAN do this! It is NOT impossible! I've gone from 4 oz a day to 26+, so you can too!

    I hope you don't mind, but I'm going to copy and paste some of the things that I advised another mother on. . .

    "2 months is right when I started exclusively pumping (with some random nursings in the tub for comfort), and I was only pumping about 4 oz a day. Now, 5 months later, I *think* I have enough for all his needs! (I'm also using a stash from when I was away for a couple days so I'm not sure- it's definitely close!!!) So you CAN do it!

    I did many things. I got a hospital grade pump, and I pumped every two hours during the day and at least once at night (tbh I didn't always do that, but your supply will increase more the more you pump). I got a hand pump for outings. Even if I could only pump for a few minutes, I did it. What is important is removing breast milk, any amount, as often as possible.

    Also, I didn't mix my bm and formula. I made up a bunch of formula bottles the night before, let them accumulate in the sink during the day, and ran the dishwasher. Even if there wents any other dishes. . .lol! Make bottlefeeding as easy as possible.

    As far as galactogogues, I am taking domperidone. If you can get it is it great. If not, there is an herb called Shatavari that is supposed to be pretty good too. I also took More Milk Plus a few times, but stopped as it is expensive. I baked lactation cookies for fun 2-3 times, Oatmeal, etc. Anything and everything!

    Check and see how much breastmilk you actually need. The kellymom.com website says anything from 19-30 oz is typical. You can also ask a LLL leader or IBCLC what they think. I would only give about 3-4 oz in a bottle at most. So maybe you are covering more of his needs than you think!

    You should totally try to get your baby back to the breast though! I bet some other mamas can chime in with that. For me, taking a nice warm bath with my baby often got him to nurse.

    Last thing is your mindset. I had serious depression sometimes when it felt like I wasn't making anything. It sucked. So I have been there. I would recommend reminding yourself each time you pump or try to nurse that you are a breastfeeding mother. I would also try to think of special things I do for my son like sing to him that make me a good mother no matter what I fed him. It's so easy to freak yourself out, and the more relaxed you are, the better for everyone."

    Again, apologies for the copy and paste, but you CAN bring your milk back!!! Pump, pump and pump some more! And come back on here!

  3. #3

    Default Re: Supplementing and Nursing and Pumping

    Thank you so much for your advice! He takes about 30 oz on an average day - baby boy is a piglet. My work just set me up with a lactation room, so I can pump when I need to. I don't think I can do every two hours - i think I would get the side eye on that one. But, right now I am shooting for every 3. I really want to breastfeed him in the morning and then again before he goes to sleep at night, and then pump enough to supply him with bottles for the day. I do have some frozen (for when I was producing more). My goal right now is to get him to 4 months - which is only 2 weeks away. If all goes well, I hope to increase that goal month by month. I think I am going to pick up some Fenegreek tablets. And, some oatmeal. And I've been trying to up my water intake. Wish me luck. I really want to do this for my son. It makes me so sad to think that it could be over. I'm not ready!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    19,878

    Default Re: Supplementing and Nursing and Pumping

    This link on increasing supply when pumping should be useful: http://www.kellymom.com/bf/pumping/p..._decrease.html

    You can do this! Just pump as much as possible, nurse as much as possible, and you will get it back.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
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    1,293

    Default Re: Supplementing and Nursing and Pumping

    just wanted to tell you you can do this...we are here for you

    maybe this can help:
    http://www.kellymom.com/bf/concerns/...to-breast.html

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
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    10,440

    Default Re: Supplementing and Nursing and Pumping

    To rebuild supply, pump a LOT. Figure on 120 minutes a day, distributed across 24 hours. And make sure one session, if not two, is between midnight and 5 AM to take advantage of your natural prolactin levels.

    Take a computer into your lactation room at work. You pretty much are going to need to pump every 2-3 hours to get this restarted. And make sure you have help at home so you can pump at night. Do some power pumping at night too. I set the pump in the family room and then watch TV for an hour and turn the pump off and on every 10 minutes sometimes.

    What kind of pump do you have? If you don't have a hospital pump, GET ONE.

    Don't give up. And also, cosleep. It's good for your supply, even if you are not nursing.
    Susan
    Mama to my all-natural boys: Ian, 9-4-04, 11.5 lbs; Colton, 11-7-06, 9 lbs, in the water; Logan, 12-8-08, 9 lbs; Gavin, 1-18-11, 9 lbs; and an angel 1-15-06
    18+ months and for Gavin, born with an incomplete cleft lip and incomplete posterior cleft palate
    Sealed for time and eternity, 7-7-93
    Always babywearing, cosleeping and cloth diapering. Living with oppositional defiant disorder and ADHD. Ask me about cloth diapering and sewing your own diapers!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    555

    Default Re: Supplementing and Nursing and Pumping

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*aprilsmagic View Post
    Take a computer into your lactation room at work. You pretty much are going to need to pump every 2-3 hours to get this restarted. And make sure you have help at home so you can pump at night. Do some power pumping at night too. I set the pump in the family room and then watch TV for an hour and turn the pump off and on every 10 minutes sometimes.
    Not to hijack the thread (though maybe OP has the same question), but why turn the pump off at all? Why not just pump for an hour? Does it do more than give you a break? Sorry I've always wondered this.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    10,440

    Default Re: Supplementing and Nursing and Pumping

    Because it imitates cluster feeding that a baby would instinctively be doing. There's something about the cluster nursing that stimulates more milk production rather than just hooking up and letting the pump run and run and run. I'll let it run and run and run if I'm still getting a lot of milk out, but the cluster pumping, aka power pumping, does stimulate supply very well. Just like cluster nursing does for a BFing mom.

    It also is a lot gentler on your nipples.
    Susan
    Mama to my all-natural boys: Ian, 9-4-04, 11.5 lbs; Colton, 11-7-06, 9 lbs, in the water; Logan, 12-8-08, 9 lbs; Gavin, 1-18-11, 9 lbs; and an angel 1-15-06
    18+ months and for Gavin, born with an incomplete cleft lip and incomplete posterior cleft palate
    Sealed for time and eternity, 7-7-93
    Always babywearing, cosleeping and cloth diapering. Living with oppositional defiant disorder and ADHD. Ask me about cloth diapering and sewing your own diapers!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    555

    Default Re: Supplementing and Nursing and Pumping

    Thanks for the info Susan- for both of us and anyone reading!

    Let us know how it is going jennyfleur!

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