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Thread: "To pump or not to pump" and other ?'s

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
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    Default "To pump or not to pump" and other ?'s

    Hey ladies,

    We just had our third baby, and although I have breastfed all my babies, I am still stuck with questions. Hope some of you can help!

    Some background: I tend to struggle with oversupply with each baby. I'm assuming this is normal because we all get engorged at first, and then our babies hunger helps us regulate how much we produce. Well, with baby #2, I was really struggling with OS and OALD which was partially due to me being concerned I wasn't making ENOUGH in the early days so I was pumping at least once a day. I then went to block feeding, which quickly led to undersupply, and I honestly never recovered from that (in spite of doing everything under the sun to try and increase it again).

    Newest baby girl is 3 weeks old and seems to be nursing pretty well, but we are dealing with green poop on and off. At first she was nursing from both sides, but for about the last week, she is only eating on one side for 8-10 minutes at most and I can NOT get her to eat more. Sometimes she is even pulling off and fussing (just started last couple of days). She is definitely gaining weight and having her wet/poopy diapers.

    So what I'm assuming is happening is that my body is still making too much and trying to regulate the amount for her needs. So, for my questions:

    How long does initial milk regulation from engorgement normally take?
    Should I be okay with her only taking one side for such a short amount of time?
    How long should I wait before trying to pump at all (just to have some stored away in case I need to leave her in the next month)? I don't want to start while my body is trying to figure it all out and then end up struggling with OS for even longer than necessary.

    It's such a tough balance, because I do NOT want to end up with undersupply after finding out how hard it is to get it back once it's lost. But I don't want to encourage OS issues either!

    Thanks for any and all advice!!
    Rachel

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
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    169

    Default Re: "To pump or not to pump" and other ?

    I've had a similar experience (minus the part about having 2 other kids...this is my first baby!). My LO would only nurse off of one side for about 10 min from the beginning as well. In restrospect, she did seem to have gotten the latch thing down pat pretty easily, so I'm sure that was a big part of it. She is now a super efficient nurser, and will be done in 5 min. or less usually, still taking one side. I also dealt with OS and OALD. I think I can safely (maybe) say that now, at 4 months, I've finally gotten to a place of regulation. I get worried sometimes, I might have block fed too much, because just like that, my boobs have gotten SO soft (haven't been engorged for a while now, just full feeling from time to time if I didn't block feed enough), and the leaking has seemed to dissipate just within the past week. (knock on wood!) It's a really strange feeling, and I had to read over and over one of the stickies in the undersupply forum about how lots of women think they have undersupply when it's just their milk production regulating. Like you, my LO is having plenty of wet/poopy diapers, gaining beautifully, etc. So I've decided to trust that I don't have undersupply, and that finally, after 4 months, my milk supply has regulated. Hmm, I think that touched upon all of your concerns...oh! For what it's worth, I also haven't pumped at all to deal with any of this, if that is helpful as well... Good luck, OS is no fun!
    First time mommy to Anika Jo, born 6/27/11 at home
    Love to , and . Cloth diapering full time, and part-time ECing-- my baby pees and poos in her little pink potty!
    I blog: www.the-whole-life.blogspot.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
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    Default Re: "To pump or not to pump" and other ?

    Thanks for the input! That does help...although I hope my supply can regulate before that long! It's just stressful to have to worry about whether they are getting enough, or too much or...yeah!

    And when I asked about pumping, I guess what I meant was...if I decide to pump once a day, is that risky to do this early? and if not, when is a good time to pump?

    And another issue is the sleeping through the night thing...how long should they be woken up at night to eat? I ask because my first two were sleeping through the night by 9 weeks, and it definitely affected my supply, but I didn't know better then and welcomed the sleep with open arms, haha.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
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    169

    Default Re: "To pump or not to pump" and other ?

    Not an expert but I have read over and over that nursing through the night is one of the best thngs you can do to boost your supply- perhaps that could be a factor undersupply for you in the past if your LOs were STTN early on. I think if I remember, 6 hours or more at night and your prolactinlevels will drop enough to affect supply. Don't quote me on that though. All I know is I haven't had to worry about DD going too long at night between feeds! :P (and yay I helped someone- all I feel like I do on here is ask a million questions!)
    First time mommy to Anika Jo, born 6/27/11 at home
    Love to , and . Cloth diapering full time, and part-time ECing-- my baby pees and poos in her little pink potty!
    I blog: www.the-whole-life.blogspot.com

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    Default Re: "To pump or not to pump" and other ?

    How long does initial milk regulation from engorgement normally take? I am sure this differs a great deal from mom to mom, although as a guess I would say 6 to 8 weeks? Someone on here more technically minded might have a better answer. But in any case, the way to get your body on track most quickly is to nurse very frequently in the early weeks-a minimum of 10-12 times in 24 hours. This does not mean nurse every 2 hours, as many babies will prefer to cluster feed (nurse every hour or 1/2 hour or even more frequently for some time, and then take a break.) Yes, nursing frequently is a suggested method of handling OALD and oversupply. Short, frequent nursing sessions is the way many babies nurse and that is fine as long as baby is gaining well and mom is not left overfull.
    Should I be okay with her only taking one side for such a short amount of time? If baby is gaining well yes, unless it is causing you to feel overfull. When you feel full, that is telling your body to make less milk. So if you still feel full after a nursing session, that may be a time to pump or hand express until you no longer feel too full.
    How long should I wait before trying to pump at all (just to have some stored away in case I need to leave her in the next month)? There is no reason to totally avoid pumping as long as you are only going to pump occasionally-once a day or less. In fact, as I mention above, if you are engorged and baby is not taking enough to relieve the engorgement, pumping may be beneficial to relieve the engorgement/over fullness. On the other hand, pumping is tiring and extra work, so, unless there IS engorgement or a LOW supply issue or you know you are facing separations and need the milk stored, there is no reason to pump either. Think about how MUCH millk you will need, and when you will need it by, to come up with a pumping schedule that will not be too disruptive. I belive www.kellymom.com has a milk calculator that may be helpful in figuring how much baby will need.

    There are many ways to handle OALD other than block feeding. Also, OALD is not a problem unless it is a problem, if you know what I mean. A few green poops does not neccesarily a serious problem make. See this article for more on ways to handle OALD. http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...ggrimacing.pdf

  6. #6
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    Jun 2009
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    Default Re: "To pump or not to pump" and other ?

    You know I just realized the article I linked above does not give you other options besides block nursing for handling OALD, except nursing more. This article does: http://kellymom.com/bf/supply/fast-letdown.html

    Many moms I have talked with find that nursing 'up-hill' (with baby more on top of you-look up 'laid back breastfeeding' or 'biological nurturing' to see some sample positions) helps quite a bit, and also, if baby is choking or gasping or getting upset at the initial let down, expressing the initial letdown into a towel (or bowl if you want to save the milk) helps. You can do this by letting baby suckle until she brings the let down on, take baby off just for that initial let down, and then bring baby back on, or by pumping or handexpressing just through that initial let down and then letting baby nurse. These are techniques to help baby handle the flow that does not involve reducing your supply with block feeding. Block feeding is a good idea in some cases but it does REDUCE supply.

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