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Thread: Back to work and pumping amount.

  1. #1

    Default Back to work and pumping amount.

    I recently started back to work and have been pumping when possible. I have noticed when I return home with my pumped milk that it is no where near what my DS is consuming while I am gone, and when I am home his eating habits have got very out of sorts. He doesn't eat as scheduled as he used to and occasionally has been latching sucking a few times and then pulling off and screaming. I just don't know what to do. Is he not getting enough to satisfy his tummy or does he only want comfort and not milk? But eating this sporadically I am concerned will effect my milk supply. What should I do? When I pump after he refuses to eat I don't get much. I had a lot of supply issues with my first son and breastfeeding did not go well.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    middle of IA
    Posts
    1,885

    Default Re: Back to work and pumping amount.

    Hi mama, good job on breastfeeding your second!

    Can you tell us some more details, like:
    how old is your son
    how long have you been pumping
    is he exclusively breastfed
    how often are you away, and for how long
    how much does he take from a bottle during that time, and in what amounts and frequencies
    how much do you pump, how often, how long, what kind of pump
    have you had latch problems before with him
    what is his weight gain history
    how many wet diapers per 24 hours
    how much are you nursing him when you're home, for how long
    how much is "not much" when you pump after nursing, and how often are you doing that?
    and anything else that comes to mind while you write out these answers!
    DS1 6/7/11
    DS2 10/29/13

    Nursing, pumping, cloth-diapering, babywearing, working professor mama with the awesomest SAHD ever.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Back to work and pumping amount.

    My son is 13 weeks old. He was born at 36 weeks weighing 6lbs 4oz. He is exclusively breast fed. I started pumping about three weeks in to start building a freezer stash because I knew I would be returning to work. He has always had a great latch with bp nursing issues up to thus point. I work weekends only 12 hour shifts. I am usually able to pump every 4 hours or so, but when I am home my son nurses every 2 to 3 hours. While I am home during the week I nurse him on demand even if it is hourly. Whatever he wants he gets whenever he wants it. He usually eats 3 ounces by bottle ever 2 to 3 hours while I am gone. I work at a hospital so I am fortunate enough to be able to use a hospital grade pump while away from my son. I usually pump 2.5 to 3 ounces every four hours or so. I pump for roughly 20 minutes if schedule allows. His weight gain was not great at fiesta but now it is about an ounce a day which is what our pediatrician said they like to see. He usually has between 8 and 10 wet diapers a day and 3 to 5 dirty diapers a day. While at home I pump usually twice a day once in the morning and once at night using a pump in style advanced. I had been getting roughly 2 ounces out of the breast he did not eat from during those pumping sessions and half an ounce from the breast he ate from. Since I don't feel like he has been nursing well lately I would have expected to pump more, however I am now only pumping about an ounce total even from the breast he didn't nurse from. I struggled for 6 months with my older son to breastfeed and ended up having to just pump in the end, and I am committed to finding a way to make this work this time around. He has been doing so well to to this point. I just wonder if my supply has decreased and that is why he is so restless at the breast. I have increased my water intake by almost double and am using the herbal teas to help increase lactation.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    middle of IA
    Posts
    1,885

    Default Re: Back to work and pumping amount.

    ok, so it sounds like there are two issues going on:
    1) you're concerned about pumping enough for while you're away. but it sounds like what you're pumping is actually quite normal-to-good! pumping 2.5-3 oz in a session is way more than a lot of mamas pump, and it is normal to have to pump more than once to make up one feeding. your DCP is doing the right thing feeding him 3 oz bottles. and if you're ALSO pumping every weekday, even an oz - which is great, after a feeeding - then I don't see how you could be coming up short. but in any case, the solution is straightforward: you need to pump more than every 4 hours at work (does this mean you're pumping 3 times while you're away?). remember that milk is demand and supply, so really you need to be pumping EACH TIME he gets a bottle (every 2-3 hours). and after trying that, if it's still not meeting his demand, then let's strategize some more.

    2) you're concerned he's not eating well from the breast at home. you say he's eating "sporadically" now, but you also say you're nursing on demand even if it's every hour. maybe you can tell us more about that? but it sounds like his weight gain is good and his diapers are good, whcih are the primary things you want to look at to see if he's getting enough. i hope someone else can chime in on the pulling away - maybe it's os/oald. but also remember that it's totally normal for milk production to stabilize around now, so if you had some oversupply before it might be regulating a bit which is why you're not pumping 2.5 oz after a feed anymore. that's normal.
    DS1 6/7/11
    DS2 10/29/13

    Nursing, pumping, cloth-diapering, babywearing, working professor mama with the awesomest SAHD ever.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    10,440

    Default Re: Back to work and pumping amount.

    The pumping amount is normal.

    But you could try pumping more often. Most moms need to pump every 2-3 hours to really maintain supply. And pump for at least 5 minutes after you see the drops most stop even with compressions. This may stimulate a second letdown, especially if you switch thief pump back to stimulation mode.

    Have you ever tried fenugreek or other herbs? It can be helpful, as most moms don't respond that well to a pump.

    Have you recently changed out pump parts, and are you using the right sized horns?
    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!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Shakedown St.
    Posts
    1,176

    Default Re: Back to work and pumping amount.

    with the above. Can you add an extra pumping session or two in the car to/from work? That might get you to where you need to be. It sounds like you're close. Breast compressions can help a lot. Try having oatmeal for breakfast for awhile.

    Evening fussiness is common at that age. My baby would scream when I tried to nurse him for a spell. I had to wear him in a sling or just hold him in my arms and walk around the room while nursing him for about two weeks when he was a similar age. It's tough, but it passes fairly quickly.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Back to work and pumping amount.

    Pumping more often at work is difficult at best. I work in a NICU, mainly with artificially ventilated babies. So time is a hot commodity to say the least. I'm really lucky to pump 3 to 4 times while I am away. It's an hour drive to work so I am gone a total of about 14 hours.
    As far as his sporadic nursing, he cues like he is hungry so I try to nurse him. He may latch and try for 5 minutes then pulls off and starts screaming. I make sure he is burped and changed so he is comfortable. I don't notice any milk leaking when he comes off so I am not even sure he has got anything. I just don't know what else to do for him. I can hand express milk so I know there is milk ready in the nipple but he is just too upset to eat. Is there anything else I can do to increase supply or keep what I have when he gets like this?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    10,440

    Default Re: Back to work and pumping amount.

    If you can't pump more often at work, then a car session while driving to work may be really helpful for you. Get a hands free bra to facilitate this.

    An empty breast makes more milk than a full one, hence the recommendation to pump more.

    If you have been able to successfully nurse when with baby but then start struggling with supply, it's from the pumping.

    For your son not wanting to nurse, I would wonder about nipple preference. Some babies get to where they prefer a bottle. Try the slowest flowing nipple you can find, make sure your caregiver is using a bottle properly, and offer nursing gently. Try dream feeding.

    Is it like this every day, or just on days after your weekend work?

    I work weekends too, and breastfeeding during the week and pumping on the weekends can be successfully done.
    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!

  9. #9

    Default Re: Back to work and pumping amount.

    I'll have to try a car session. My husband uses slow flow nipples from the NICU with our little guy. Our first son was 9 weeks early and when he came home they sent a massive supply if nipples with us. When he starts gulping my husband stops and paces him.
    He didn't start acting like this till after I went back to work. He only gets bottles when I am at work, during the week I wear him in my moby wrap to keep him close while I care for our 2year old, and I nurse on demand day and night. The first night after a weekend is usually constant nursing. I guess he just misses his mama.

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

    Default Re: Back to work and pumping amount.

    Could be. See if your DH can wear him. That may help with some of this fussiness and protesting.

    Maybe try a different kind of nipple though. Some work better for different babies.
    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!

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