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Thread: Pumping While Block Feeding

  1. #1

    Default Pumping While Block Feeding

    I've been doing 4 hour blocks for feeding the past few weeks. I need to go back to work March 1st and want to have some milk in the freezer.

    How do I incorporate pumping into my feeding blocks, build a freezer stash and not increase my supply too much? How many times a day, how long should I pump? How much milk is a "good" amount to have in the freezer?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Pumping While Block Feeding

    I found that pumping a little less frequently than usually recommended for regular-supply moms, but for a little longer each time, mimicked blockfeeding. So I pumped twice during my workday rather than three times, but each session was about 30 minutes. This allowed me to get a second letdown and hopefully more hindmilk in my bottles (I also mixed bottles from the day to even out foremilk/hindmilk).

    This approach would not be recommended for a mom with normal supply, because going that long could reduce supply. But it worked for me. My body tends to respond to the pump a bit overenthusiastically (I think because it's both sides at once), so even on this plan, I would be making more milk by Friday than I had on Monday, and then block feeding on weekends would reduce it a bit, rinse repeat.


    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.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Pumping While Block Feeding

    You really only need the first day's in the freezer and maybe a little extra in case you spill it or leave it or something. Fresh is better than frozen, so it's possible that you might be able to feed fresh all the time; breastmilk can be kept in the fridge for up to 8 days if collected in a clean manner. Most moms pump milk for the next day while at work; some freeze Friday's to use Monday, while others just save it in the fridge over the weekend.

    But first, make sure you don't have a lipase problem before storing, or it can wreck your plans and make it all a bit more complicated. Do this by pumping and letting it stand in the fridge, tasting it every day, to see if it develops a vomit/sour/metallic flavor. It is FINE to feed, but it can make your baby turn his nose up if baby isn't used to the flavor.

    The bigger issue is pumping while trying to control an oversupply and using blocks. Try tacking a few minutes of pumping to the end of a nursing session. Don't pump to empty until you go back to work, and you might not need to pump to empty there either; you watch and see how your supply goes. It's sort of trial and error to see what works for you.

    There are a couple mamas here who I know have also had to pump and deal with OS and work, so I hope they drop in with their perspective.
    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!

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Pumping While Block Feeding

    I agree, you don't need much of a freezer stash. I created mine by pumping early in the morning for a couple of days. If you pump at the same time each day, you shouldn't aggravate your oversupply too much. Better if you can do it every other day. One good thing about oversupply is that (a) it won't take long to make enough milk for that first day and (b) you will rarely run short just pumping from day to day so you don't need much "backup." (If you do run short, just wake up in the middle of the night or early morning to pump that night, and that will probably cover you.) After a while, I NEVER froze breastmilk unless it was Friday before a long weekend - I just put it in the fridge for the next day. But agreed, a lipase problem can derail this approach.


    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.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Pumping While Block Feeding

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*aprilsmagic View Post

    The bigger issue is pumping while trying to control an oversupply and using blocks. Try tacking a few minutes of pumping to the end of a nursing session. Don't pump to empty until you go back to work, and you might not need to pump to empty there either; you watch and see how your supply goes. It's sort of trial and error to see what works for you.

    There are a couple mamas here who I know have also had to pump and deal with OS and work, so I hope they drop in with their perspective.
    A lot of the time when I have tried to pump after the baby eats, no milk at all comes out. He comfort nurses a lot, so I'm thinking he drinks until I'm empty and then just keeps sucking. Should I wait a few minutes or longer if that's the case? Or maybe that means I shouldn't even be doing block feeding anymore if nothing is coming out?

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Pumping While Block Feeding

    Well, what happens if you don't block feed Most moms dont need to block feed forever.

    Alternatively, try pumping between nursings just 1-2 times a day until you get what you need. Or pump one side, nurse the other, In the morning, and then start your blocks.

    I found pumping at night better for my OS; supply is naturally a bit lower then, and it didn't aggravate the whole issue, but I had controlled the OS better by the time I pumped for #2 and 3 by block feeding for some weeks to months before starting to pump.
    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
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    Default Re: Pumping While Block Feeding

    Well, what happens if you don't block feed Most moms dont need to block feed forever.
    This^. if you no longer have oversupply issues, stop block feeding or cut down on the length of the block, or you may begin to have LOW supply issues.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Pumping While Block Feeding

    If you're not longer feeling engorged even after feedings, and if it seems like your baby is emptying your breast, switch him to the other side! A lot of block feeding has to be watching your baby and following his cues, rather than adhering to a schedule. Because one growth spurt can turn your oversupply into just the right amount of milk. Blockfeeding isn't all or nothing. I did "real" blockfeeding for a while (going back to the same breast twice or three times before switching), but then eventually that settled down into just giving one side at a time but switching for the next feeding or if baby still seemed hungry. As usual, the rule is, watch your baby, not the clock.


    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.

  9. #9
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    Mar 2010
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    Default Re: Pumping While Block Feeding

    That said, I wouldn't have been able to pump a ton right after a feeding except possibly in the early hours of the morning, when my supply was totally ridiculous and over-the-top, and I was begging my baby to wake up and nurse some more before I exploded. A lot depends on the time of day. I had oversupply in the mornings but not the evenings. Turns out, this is pretty common.


    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.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Pumping While Block Feeding

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*joe.s.mom View Post
    If you're not longer feeling engorged even after feedings, and if it seems like your baby is emptying your breast, switch him to the other side! A lot of block feeding has to be watching your baby and following his cues, rather than adhering to a schedule.
    hmmm. Maybe I should stop my block feeding or at least do shorter blocks. I guess I'm also confused about how to tell if my baby has emptied my breast. They always seem to feel the same...never engorged or anything anymore.

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