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Thread: Exclusively Pumping with Newborn. Help?

  1. #1

    Default Exclusively Pumping with Newborn. Help?

    Hello, Everyone. My son, Sebastian, was born on the 29th (this past Friday). The birth was wonderful and he's exceedingly healthy, but we are having unforeseen issues with breastfeeding. No less than four lactation consultants, my Hebamme (midwife), and an experienced nursing neighbor have tried to help me achieve a latch without success, even when I gave them full "control'. I still try several times daily, but for the time being we are exclusively pumping.

    I was sent home from the hospital with a rented medela single electric pump. My milk production has been fairly strong. I get most at night which I've read is normal. Even so, I'm having a bit of a hard time keeping up with my son who seems to want about 70 ml right now (a little less than 2.5 ounces). For instance, I just finished a pumping while typing this and got 65 ml- so I'm just about there and I'm pretty happy with production considering how many days postpartem I am. I'm certainly not getting ahead of the game, however.

    When I went home from the hospital I was instructed to do five minutes on each breast a total of three times for a total of 30 minute session. I was instructed to do this every 3 hours in the day and every 2 at night. I don't know when or how I should transition to a different strategy. He EATS every two hours (except at night, he surprised me last night by going 3.5 hours after a 70 ml bottle) so it seems like perhaps I should increase my pumping at least during the day to every two hours. Also, when can I move to doing a longer session on each breast instead of the five minute intervals? Any additional words of wisdom from anyone who's had to pump exclusively?

    We have a variety of breastshields coming in the mail, so that's our next step (besides for continuing to offer every day.) I'm so hopeful he'll get a latch when he's a little bigger. I don't know how scientific this is, but the other day I offered him the tip of my pointer finger. He took it, made a latch, and sucked for soothing's sake. Then I offered my thumb. He took it, made a face, and pushed it out forcibly with his tongue. My nipples are as large as my thumb tip. While there are other challenges (very large breasts with nipples that point out and down, which makes positioning a bit of an issue) I am thinking that the nipples might be the issue. Even the very occasional latch that might have been successful is being "rejected". If it's a size issue, I'm really holding on to hope that as he gets bigger he may stop having this reaction.

    Thanks in advance for any tips and advice.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Exclusively Pumping with Newborn. He

    I have never done the 5 minute session. I have always pumped for a minimum of 15 minutes. But in the early days, I do a few minutes past empty. That way I am getting all the hindmilk. Second, I would pump whenever it is feeding time, not necessarily on a times schedule. That way you are sure to meet his needs and get your body use to his schedule, not yours.

    As for the latch, what is the issue? Has he never latched onto you? Does it hurt? Is his suck not strong enough? In my opinion, the latch is what you should be concentrating on.

    I'm not sure if this will give you hope or not, but it took my daughter 2 months to latch and my son 3 weeks. I don't have any formula for it (bad pun) other than time, persistence and tons of practice. With both, I had to get to my wits end, toss the bottles and just go full force.
    If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun. - Katharine Hepburn

  3. #3

    Default Re: Exclusively Pumping with Newborn. He

    Frankly, I don't know what the problem with latching is. At first he wouldn't open his mouth very wide, but we've been working on that and he's got a big wide open mouth going on. Like I said, I rather think that in the rare moments when a true, deep latch is achieved that he is pushing the nipple back out again with his tongue (as he did in my thumb experiment.) The bottom line is that he's ONLY taking he nipple itself and not getting any of the surrounding tissue. He sucks for pleasure, and will stay on the breast for as much as 20 minutes on each breast, but directly thereafter is completely ravenous and if not addressed with pre-pumped milk he will wail and shove his hands into his mouth.

    It does hurt after some time, but i have very insensitive nipples. Also, i do not feel that 'let down tingle' so i do not have that as an indicator.

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    Default Re: Exclusively Pumping with Newborn. He

    Have you had him evaluated for tongue tie?
    “We are not put on earth for ourselves, but are placed here for each other. If you are there always for others, then in time of need, someone will be there for you.”
    --Anonymous

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    Default Re: Exclusively Pumping with Newborn. He

    If he will suckle at the breast you might look into getting an SNS system so you can feed him your expressed milk while he is nursing. That way your body is getting the stimulation of being nursed and little man is getting used tot he idea that suckling on your breast gets him milk.
    “We are not put on earth for ourselves, but are placed here for each other. If you are there always for others, then in time of need, someone will be there for you.”
    --Anonymous

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    Default Re: Exclusively Pumping with Newborn. He

    I was thinking tongue tie as well. A deep latch may be painful or uncomfortable for him. He may also have some nipple confusion at this point, so I would also suggest SNS. Although I would find a new LC. They are not all created equal.
    If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun. - Katharine Hepburn

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Exclusively Pumping with Newborn. He

    tongue tie

    I do have a question....if you leave him on, as you said he does suck at the breast, does he transfer any milk? Or is it just comfort sucking? Do you have big areolas? Sometimes it look like they are just getting the nipple, but they are actually getting enough of the underlying sinuses that they actually can get some milk out, even though it looks like a bad latch. What I'm saying is that it might not be as bad as everyone thinks.

    Why did they not get you a double electric HOSPITAL GRADE pump? That is MUCH more efficient than a single, will save you time, makes you a better supply faster and would be easier on you in the long run. I would highly suggest getting a Symphony.

    Keep trying. He might do it as he gets bigger. One of my babies really struggled at first and then was A-OK within a few weeks at latching. It was just his mouth size.

    I would also suggest the SNS -- I use a Lact-Aid myself and find it better to use than the Medela SNS system -- and a different IBCLC. Also, try while laying down, or different positions, things like that.

    I do pump on a schedule. I found that easier -- If I pumped just when baby ate, I would never have gotten ahead! So I set an alarm, and I pumped for about 30 minutes (both sides at once) -- once the milk got going, as I had a very difficult time getting a letdown in those early weeks to the pump -- and then pumped for 5 minutes after the vast majority of the milk stopped coming, even with compressions (do not forget to do those!). I did that every 2-3 hours around the clock for 12 weeks! That's about what it takes to really establish a good supply while EPing. I adjusted it a bit sooner than 12 weeks, but whenever you adjust, be sure to be ready to go back if you notice it's not working for you.

    I have never heard of the system you are doing, but that could be because you have a single...I've never heard of a single sided hospital grade pump. Or is it a Medela Swing?

    And DO NOT GIVE UP. You have a taste of what EPing is like. It's not fun. And it never gets easier. BFing does. Hang in there!
    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!

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