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Thread: Engorgement on Weekends, Pumping Just Enough During Week

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    21

    Exclamation Engorgement on Weekends, Pumping Just Enough During Week

    I am frustrated and confused. I pump just a teeny bit more than enough for my 8.5 month old son by pumping at 7a, 11a and 3p Monday-Friday. We nurse at bedtime at 7, he eats at least once overnight but does not usually want to nurse first thing in the morning, hence the 7am pump. I've been doing this for 5.5 months and have been able to freeze about 20 ounces per month. He eats about 16 ounces when I'm gone 8-5. We nurse on weekends and vacations.

    Now, the past few weekends, I am suddenly painfully engorged. My son has spread out his feedings and is taking a lot less from me on the weekend, or so it seems, while keeping up eating the same amount from his bottles during the week. My pumping abilities seem to be slipping (I'm getting a bit less each week) but come Saturday morning, I'm dying in pain and having to pump.

    Any thoughts on what the heck is going on? Thank you.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    6,564

    Default Re: Engorgement on Weekends, Pumping Just Enough During Week

    How much are you pumping every day? And do you think he needs 16 ounces?

    Are you pumping every Saturday and Sunday?
    Tracie

    Mommy to
    Lilah 10/08 nursed 25 months
    Beatrix 01/11 nursed 30 months

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    20,999

    Default Re: Engorgement on Weekends, Pumping Just Enough During Week

    Babies tend to eat more from bottles than from the breast. It's one of many reasons why moms who pump sometimes struggle to meet their babies' expressed milk needs. I am guessing that your baby is taking just the amount he needs when he nurses, but when he takes a bottle he takes more than he needs. Dessert with every meal! . Since you're busting your butt to fill those weekday bottles, you have created a supply that's higher than your baby needs. When the weekend rolls round and he nurses, he leaves the extra milk in the breast, ergo the need to pump come Saturday morning.

    If you've been freezing 20 oz per month for 5.5 months, you must have a nice stash to fall back on. Therefore, pumping a little less each week might not be a big problem for you- you have just 3.5 more months before your LO is a year old and you can start supplementing with cow's milk or whatever if you run short of the good stuff. Nevertheless, here are some things you can do to boost your pumping output:
    - Check your pump- it may have worn down, need replacement parts
    - Pump more often- squeeze in extra sessions until your output is where you want it to be
    - Herbal remedies to increase supply: fenugreek, blessed thistle, oatmeal
    - Review your birth control choices- hormonal contraception can have negative impacts on supply
    - Review your fertility status- often moms notice a drop in pump output right before their period returns
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    21

    Smile Re: Engorgement on Weekends, Pumping Just Enough During Week

    Thanks, ladies. Maybe he does not need 16 ounces. I think you are 100% correct that he is taking more than he needs from the bottle. Mommal, your explanation makes total sense.

    Mommy2lilah, I pump 3x per day M-F and on Saturdays and Sundays only recently and only to relieve engorgement. I get between 16-24 ounces per week, average 18 I think. 8-10 at 7a session and 4-5 at each of the other ones.

    I have been thinking of cutting back on pumping because I have a nice stash. Perhaps I can just deal with this for 6 more weeks and when he is 10 months start to drop a pumping session during the day.


    Sincerely appreciate the thoughts.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    20,999

    Default Re: Engorgement on Weekends, Pumping Just Enough During Week

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*babyben2011 View Post
    Perhaps I can just deal with this for 6 more weeks and when he is 10 months start to drop a pumping session during the day.
    I think that's quite a good plan! You'll be so close to 12 months at that point that you should be able to predict your baby's milk needs pretty accurately, and balance those against your pumping output and your stash.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    21

    Default Re: Engorgement on Weekends, Pumping Just Enough During Week

    Thanks so, so much!

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