Happy Mothers Breastfed Babies
Results 1 to 8 of 8

Thread: Pumping quantity/sleeping thru the night

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    13

    Default Pumping quantity/sleeping thru the night

    Hi everyone

    I went back to work about a month ago, when DS almost 4 months old (so he's now 4.5 months). At his 4 month check up, he was 14lbs 7oz, perfectly on track. He's been exclusively BF with no formula (yay!) but obviously is fed via a bottle when I'm away. Here's my schedule so far (it's pretty rough, though he's been eating between 5:30 and 6 pretty consistently):
    ~5:45am LO nurses
    ~6:45am pump while eating breakfast
    7:15am, 7:30pm leave for work
    ~9:30am pump
    ~12:30pm pump
    ~3:30pm pump
    5:45pm arrive home
    ~6pm LO nurses
    7pm, 7:15pm LO goes to bed

    So, that means at most, I'm emptying my breasts 6x per day. Is that enough to maintain supply? The "breastfeeding & the working mom" class I took said you have to empty 7-8 times to maintain supply. Complicating things, he just started sleeping through the night 2 weeks ago, and he used to wake up 2-3 times to eat. It was like, from one day to the next, he slept for 10 hours.

    I feel like I'm really struggling to keep up as things are. Partly, I think he's being overfed while I'm away. Basically I pump maybe 15 oz total with 4 sessions, but like today, he had two 7oz bottles, followed by 2 other 3-4oz bottles. My husband is home with the baby, and just bought variable flow nipples instead of medium (and we're going to start giving him smaller bottles).

    My questions are:
    - Is 6x per day enough to maintain supply?
    - If not, then how should I make up for it? I'm thinking my options are to pump before bed or to DF the baby. I'd really rather not wake up at 3am if I can avoid it!! Right now, I'm really feeling empty at the end of the day. Will my body start producing more in the evenings if I pump before bed?
    - Would fenugreek help me to produce more during the day?

    Sorry this is all over the place. I'm on one hand trying not to stress about it, but I'm worried that my supply will keep going down.

    Thank you so much for any help/advice...

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Denver, Co.
    Posts
    1,164

    Default Re: Pumping quantity/sleeping thru the n

    First off, congrats to you for making the commitment to pump!

    I pumped three times a day while at work when I pumped there. The general rule of thumb is that you need to leave your baby 1 oz to 1.5 oz for every hour you are away. So, 15 oz is right in the normal range.

    One thing I will say is that a 7 oz bottle is massive, in my opinion and experience. It may be normal for a formula-fed baby, but a 7 oz bottle of breastmilk seems huge to me. I never ever left my daughter more than 4 oz in one bottle EVER. Most of them were 3 oz to 2.5 oz. If that's the size you are leaving and you suspect he's being overfed, I'd tend to agree with you.

    I wouldn't wake up at 3 am. BTDT. I did it for months out of paranoia and fear. Sleep and enjoy the sleep! For me, it ended up being a waste of getting up. I actually donated a ton of milk, but heck, I sure could have used the sleep!

    I would try to nurse your baby once more before he goes down at 7 pm. One way a lot of working moms keep their supply up is to co-sleep and nurse at night. It had a lot of benefits for myself. But if your baby is SSTN, I'd leave well enough alone and just try to nurse once more.

    Christine
    Baby Girl Born 2/17/10 to her two mommies
    BF from day one. I looked up one day and realized I'm nursing a toddler!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    13

    Default Re: Pumping quantity/sleeping thru the n

    Thanks! I'm so glad to have stuck with it this far - totally worth it.

    Basically DH fills up a bottle with, say 3-4oz, feeds the LO, then gets another 3-4oz bottle and offers it. DS will just keep sucking (and thus eating). So I'm hoping that the slower nipples and smaller bottles will help him to eat more when I'm home. Hopefully! And yeah - maybe I'll try and give him a bit more before he goes to bed. I'll have to re-up my supply. He'd been sleeping from 7pm-1 or 2 am for a month or more, so I'm very low after his 6pm feeding. But I think it'll come back in a few days, yeah? I do get nervous about nursing him to sleep (something I've tried not to make a habit since I was going to back to work) but since it's only for one sleep, maybe it won't become the only way he goes to sleep at night....

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    10,440

    Default Re: Pumping quantity/sleeping thru the n

    Eek. 7 oz is too much. My almost 11 month old doesn't take but 4 oz. just about all babies will keep eating if a bottle is offered.

    You could try doing some power pumping in the evening if baby won't nurse. Sit down with the pump, pump for 5-10 minutes, shut it off and pump again in 5-10 minutes. Do that for an hour or so, and it will help increase demand.
    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!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Denver, Co.
    Posts
    1,164

    Default Re: Pumping quantity/sleeping thru the n

    But most everybody feels "less full" after 6 pm. It's normal. I wouldn't worry. I would just nurse.

    I would only use newborn flow nipples on the bottle and stop at 3 or 4 oz. I might offer a pacifier if you feel he wants to suck. Babies will just keep eating if offered from the bottle, as Susan said. It would be different if he were nursing at the breast and switched to comfort nursing thus not pulling much milk.

    Christine
    Baby Girl Born 2/17/10 to her two mommies
    BF from day one. I looked up one day and realized I'm nursing a toddler!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Northern Cal.
    Posts
    4,983

    Default Re: Pumping quantity/sleeping thru the n

    7 oz. is too much. Even when Joe was a much older baby, the most he took at a sitting was 4 or maybe rarely, 5 oz.

    I wouldn't worry too much about your supply at night, if you're keeping up with your baby's demands during the day. But just to warn you, if you're sleeping and not nursing through the night, your fertility is likely to return sooner. Just something to be aware of.

    A friendly warning: Many babies sleep better at 4 months than 6 months. Once teeth start coming in, all bets are off. So enjoy it while you can and be grateful for every good night!


    You can call me JoMo!

    Mom to baby boy Joe, born 5/4/09 and breastfed for more than two and a half years, and baby girl Maggie, born 7/9/12.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Denver, Co.
    Posts
    1,164

    Default Re: Pumping quantity/sleeping thru the n

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*joe.s.mom View Post

    A friendly warning: Many babies sleep better at 4 months than 6 months. Once teeth start coming in, all bets are off. So enjoy it while you can and be grateful for every good night!
    My daughter's teeth started coming in at 3 months.

    Sleep while you can!

    Christine
    Baby Girl Born 2/17/10 to her two mommies
    BF from day one. I looked up one day and realized I'm nursing a toddler!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    13

    Default Re: Pumping quantity/sleeping thru the n

    Thanks all! So, what I've done is added a pumping session in the AM while I eat breakfast (assuming LO slept through til 5:30/6) and I get 4-5 oz from that. Then 3 sessions during the day while at work (I get anywhere from 3-5oz). When I get home, he eats right away at 6ish, then I feed him one more time on the couch at 7:15ish before bed. So far, so good.

    Also, DH has been giving him about 4.5oz in each bottle with the slow flow, and that's working well too. LO has gotten used to the slow flow, so still finishes a bottle in about 10 minutes. Pretty quick (I guess? at least compared to nursing) but that's a lot better than before!

    So again - thanks I so appreciate the advice and support. And, I am *loving* every night of sleep I get. Even one night feeding/wakening is glorious

    Oh, and joe.s.mom - thanks for the reminder! I totally didn't even think about the fertility aspect - something to keep in mind!

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •