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Thread: Help! Not sure if I should pump or not

  1. #1

    Default Help! Not sure if I should pump or not

    Ok first time mom here! My baby girl was born on Monday the 14th! Everytime I tried to get her to nurse at the hospital she would latch and fall asleep. On our second day they had me start pumping and supplement with formula. The longest i ever got her to nurse was 10 and 15 minutes on the same feeding. We came home today! Our first feeding was 28 minutes on each side. On this feeding we are up to 30 on both sides. (She's telling me what to type. This is Riley's daddy!) when I would pump at the hospital I would barely get any colostrum in the bottle. Now at home she's still nursing on this session. How long should I let her go? She's still latchedu and sucking. Should I still pump? The reason at the hospital for it was to stimulate my milk? What should I do? How do I know if she's getting anything. Please help!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    5,408

    Default Re: Help! Not sure if I should pump or not

    HI and congratulations on new baby!

    So the simple answer is that as long as baby is nursing often and starting to get something, there is no need to supplement, and if you are not supplementing, there is absolutely no need to pump. Supplements and pumping is for when a baby cannot nurse at all, or cannot nurse well, or milk production is lacking. (Some times a mom may need to pump or hand express if she has extreme overproduction and is getting engorged even when baby is nursing well, but that is a different concern.)

    It is entirely normal for colostrum to be very very scant. Many mothers find hand expression works better than pumping in the very early days when expressing colostrum, but even then it is going to be a tiny amount. Drops at a time. This is entirely normal and does not mean there is anything wrong with your milk production or that baby is not getting enough. Remember your baby was born well fed and hydrated, so in most cases there is no need to be overly concerned about how little there seems to be. Nature designed us this way so baby and mom can start to get the hang of nursing before there is lots of milk to deal with. Baby nursing often will help your milk production, but it will increase anyway due to normal hormonal changes in the next few days (if it is not already.)

    If baby is being supplemented, How much is baby being supplemented at this point? While of course in some instances supplements are needed, they should only be given in very small amounts at a time. half an ounce is a nice big feeding for a 3 day old. Supplementing when it is not necessary can interfere with breastfeeding. Again, if baby is nursing ok now it is probable you can stop any supplements, but of course that all depends on who ordered the supplements and why and what instructions you were given.

    As far as how long, no need to time baby. Short sessions, long sessions, nursing more than once an hour, nursing one side at a session, nursing both sides at a session, and many other variations are all entirely normal. The key is that baby should be nursing ALOT. You can expect a newborn to want to nurse 10-15 times each 24 hour day in the early weeks. Sometimes babies are a little sleepy and won't wake often enough to nurse frequently. If baby is not nursing at least 10 times a day, you may want to try waking baby more often to nurse. Nursing often does three very important things. 1) enough milk for baby 2) creating normal milk production for now and for the future and 3) helps prevent mom getting uncomfortably full or engorged.

    You can tell a baby is getting enough by weight gain and output. (poops) By day three, it is good to see 3 or more poops each day, and the poops should have started transitioning from the tarry black merconium poops to a more yellowish or green, much more runny consistency. Formula interferes with the look of the typical transition so if you are seeing some unusual colors don't worry.

    For weight gain, you can expect a newborn to LOSE weight the first few days and then start gaining once milk becomes more abundant (usually around days 3-5.) If baby loses weight initially, you want to see baby regain her birth weight by day 10-14.

    The only other issue to watch for in the early days is how nursing feels. Nursing should be painless and comfortable for mom, but of course sometimes something is a little off and it hurts. There is much you can do to fix that.

    Hope this helps. In next post I am going to link info for further reading should you like.
    Last edited by @llli*lllmeg; April 17th, 2014 at 12:10 AM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    5,408

    Default Re: Help! Not sure if I should pump or not

    LLL's tear sheet toolkit has many helpful tipsheets. Some I suggest for now are "Laid back breastfeeding and other ideas" (about positioning and latch) , "Diaper log", "waking a sleepy newborn," and "feeding cues" Here is the link to the toolkit: https://www.llli.org/toolkit

    This is a very nice article about the early weeks: http://kellymom.com/bf/normal/newborn-nursing/

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