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Thread: building a supply...pump before or after feedings

  1. #1
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    Smile building a supply...pump before or after feedings

    I'm trying to build my supply..should I pump before or after I feed??

  2. #2
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    Default Re: building a supply...pump before or after feedings

    What makes you feel you need to build your supply? How old is your baby? How many wet and dirty diapers are you seeing in a 24-hour period? Are you returning to work? Is this why you want to pump and build a "freezer stash?"

    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
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    Default Re: building a supply...pump before or after feedings

    Hi anna.noahs.mom,
    i see from your previous posts that you are returning to work and you want to be sure you have enough expressed milk to cover the hours you are away.
    There is good information on working and breastfeeding on this website, look at the grey tabs and click RESOURCES.
    DD#1 July 1986 VB
    DD#2 April 1988 c/sec
    DS#3 April 1990 VBAC
    DS#4 June 1993 VB
    and suprise!
    DD#5 April 2001 c/sec
    BTDT scars and stretchmarks,: wrinkles and grey hair

  4. #4
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    Default Re: building a supply...pump before or after feedings

    You won't need a lot of milk, just a few days worth. Plan to leave 1 to 1.5 oz of milk per hour of separation.

    For this small amount, many moms find pumping one side and nursing the other works. Or pick a time of day and pump then, eventually building your supply at that time of day. It may work to get up a little before your baby and pump in the morning, or you could pump at night after baby has gone to bed. I found it easiest to pump every day while baby was happy in the afternoon; mine always wanted to nurse nonstop from 3 to 5, and I had to get up at 5 to go feed the horses, but then they would nurse again from 6 to 8 before getting up. Then they were crabby and cluster feeding at night. Afternoons just worked best.
    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
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    Default Re: building a supply...pump before or after feedings

    I'm confused. You said this in your other thread:

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*anna.noahs.mom View Post
    Thankyou. I have been pumping for a little over a week now. I have probably 8 or 9 freezers bags from 2-4 ounces saved right now...think I should be good??
    That's a very respectable amount to pump in just over a week and should be enough for your first day of work. Keep in mind that you are pumping in addition to nursing right now, so you can only expect to get small amounts of milk when you pump. When you pump at work you will be replacing nursing, and it will be much easier to get more milk during each pumping session.

    It sounds like you are doing just fine. If you have problems once you are back at work then we can certainly help you with that, but it sounds like you don't have anything to worry about right now.
    K. Sophia - Mama to my little lactivore, the amazing Mr. X (11/10).

  6. #6
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    Default Re: building a supply...pump before or after feedings

    It is hard to type on the kindle, and that's what i was on last night...so I wasn't able to fully write everything I wanted to. I was pumping before feeding and she didn't seem to be as content and wanted to eat more frequently.....then I was reading on another site that said to pump after you feed, so I didn't know if that would make a difference. All I know is that I don't want to feed my baby girl formula. She has acid reflux and the dr. said it would only make it worse to feed her formula. I had a nightmare of a time breastfeeding my son 2 years ago, and has many problems with him so I am bound and determined that I am breastfeeding for 12 months with my daughter.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: building a supply...pump before or after feedings

    How old is your baby?

    If she is having adequate wet diapers, then there is no reason to worry about your supply. It is best to pump after a feeding to boost supply, but you can't expect to get much milk at first.

    Your body is only supposed to produce just enough milk to feed your baby. It is not meant to produce extra.

    Having battled a nasty oversupply for several months, I don't recommend over doing it with the pump. Producing too much milk comes with it's own set of problems. Oversupply is often associated with gas and lots of spit up which probably isn't terribly good for a baby with reflux either.

    The best way to ensure a successful breastfeeding relationship is to nurse on demand and keep the breast a comforting place to be. Pumping often causes more problems than it solves.

    That said, if there are specific reasons causing you to suspect low supply, then certainly share them and I'm sure that there are many ladies here that can give you some good suggestions.
    K. Sophia - Mama to my little lactivore, the amazing Mr. X (11/10).

  8. #8
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    Michigan
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    Default Re: building a supply...pump before or after feedings

    I dont fear that I have a low supply, I just want to make sure I have enough when I go back to work. I hear a lot of ppl say once they return to work their supply goes down. And that just worries me. Like I said, I just wanna be sure she gets breastmilk only. I dont want to supplement with formula and I hope I won't have to. I can't find any answers on how much a 7 week old is supposed to be eating? My son only ate 2-4 oz at a time for almost 8 mos because of how bad his reflux was..

    I didn't know that an over supply could cause issues. That is good to know. I just want enough to go back to work with. I guess there is no need to worry. Seems like what I have stored is good. I will be able to pump at work and to BF on my lunch break so I think I'll be all set. :-)

  9. #9
    Join Date
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    Default Re: building a supply...pump before or after feedings

    Most people don't pump quite right when they get back to work, and a lot of moms try to go back to their pre-baby routine and therefore miss a lot of nursings, which is why they lose their supply

    1 to 1.5 oz per hour is what most babies take during separation from their mothers. For breastfed babies, this is 2-4 oz per feeding.
    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!

  10. #10
    Join Date
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    Northern Cal.
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    Default Re: building a supply...pump before or after feedings

    You do need to make pumping a priority and be sure to get enough pumpings in at work, or your supply WILL suffer. Most women do best pumping for about 20 minutes every 2-3 hours. You may have to tinker with your schedule for the first couple weeks to get things just right. So that you're not stressed if you have a bad day, it's nice to have SOME back up milk in the freezer, but a lot of women think they need a GIANT stash, and that's just not necessary. A small stash is all you need, and a larger one will likely go to waste. If you are dedicated and make the time at work, you shouldn't have major problems with supply.

    To build up a stash, I'd pump after feedings, focusing on the morning, when supply is highest. Or pump on one side and feed on the other. But I agree, you generally won't get a ton if you're pumping in addition to nursing. Resist the urge to start pumping after every feeding all day long, because you'll send yourself into crazy oversupply doing that. Try to pump just a couple times a day at most.


    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.

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