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Thread: How to survive growth spurts when pumping?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
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    Default How to survive growth spurts when pumping?

    Hey y'all!! (again)

    This is my other question...
    I am pumping at work every 2 or 2 1/2 hours for a total of 4 sessions. This gives me about 3oz per session, just enough for my baby, who sometimes I feel is not satisfied with that amount.
    My mom is taking care of her while I am at work, and yesterday when I got back she was feeding the baby, and after she finished the 3oz bottle she started crying for a little while, although she stopped after a few minutes and acted OK then.
    But to go to my question... it seems that I am producing just enough for my baby. I remember the 4, 6 and 8 week growth spurts and she feed constantly for probably 1 hour every time. I am wondering what is going to happen when we get to the 3 month growth spurt, and 6 month growth spurt, etc... since I am pumping and I will not be able to be there when she wants to eat or just to comfort nurse her.

    Is there anything I need to do differently to survive the upcoming growth spurts since I am mostly pumping?

    Thanks again!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
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    10,440

    Default Re: How to survive growth spurts when pumping?

    This is what the freezer stash is for, or you may need to work in an extra session or two. Some moms find they need to pump at night, in the car on the way to work or on weekends to have enough.
    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!

  3. #3
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    Mar 2010
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    Default Re: How to survive growth spurts when pumping?

    When you're dealing with a growth spurt, make sure to spend your weekends and evenings just chained to that baby, nursing. If your job has any flexibility, this would be a good time to take a personal day at home to nurse, work from home, put in a half day, whatever you can do to spend more time actually breastfeeding (this is optional, but nice if you can do it). This will help up your production when you're at work too. And you may need to lengthen your pumping sessions or add one during this time too.


    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.

  4. #4
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    Jul 2012
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    159

    Default Re: How to survive growth spurts when pumping?

    How would lenghtening the pumping session help? I usually pump for about 15 minutes and that's it, nothing comes out anymore after 15 minutes. I know the breast keeps producing milk and there's really no "pumping dry" but to me 15 minutes is it...
    I may be able to take a few hours in the afternoons, but my job is not really that flexible I had to really push to get a private place to pump at work!
    I hope I can tell when she starts the growth spurt so I can figure this out!
    My freezer stash is not that big, it pretty much went away the first day I returned to work. And sometimes my mom needs some extra milk to give to my DD so I may have a few ounces in the freezer, 6 or 7 oz at most! from the extra milk I pump sometimes at work. Now I'm freaking out!!!

  5. #5
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    Default Re: How to survive growth spurts when pumping?

    Even if pumping dry, your body will get the signal to make more milk if you extend your session by 5 minutes or so. If you can add in one more pumping session (early a.m., pump on your way to work, etc.), that will help.

    In your original post you mentioned your mom was feeding baby when you got home. If she can hold off just a few minutes at the end of the day before feeding, she will both use less milk and then you can nurse right away when your LO is super hungry and let her nurse as long as she wants to. I would definitely see if she can time it that way. When mine was going through a growth spurt, I would just prop my feet up and let her nurse all evening!

    I felt like I got a boost when I ate oatmeal and I did also take Motherlove for awhile too.
    Lisa

    Mom to Aimee, born 8/22/11
    for 20 months!

  6. #6
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    Default Re: How to survive growth spurts when pumping?

    Oatmeal definitely helps with a little supply boost now and then. Are you getting two letdowns when you pump? If not, stimulating a second letdown might net you another ounce or so each session.

    I agree with jomo about just nursing more when you are together though. That really does up your production and will ensure baby is getting what she needs when you are together and maybe will be less demanding when you are gone. I never noticed my kids eating more at daycare during growth spurts, but they definitely nursed more when I was home.
    “We are not put on earth for ourselves, but are placed here for each other. If you are there always for others, then in time of need, someone will be there for you.”
    --Anonymous

  7. #7
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    Default Re: How to survive growth spurts when pumping?

    I eat oatmeal almost every day! I got used to it when I was pregnant because it didn't hurt my stomach, mostly at night. So probably haven't noticed any changes in supply...
    I do nurse when I get home in the evenings, but my mom does feed here right before I get home, maybe 1/2 hour before because she just gets hungry around that time and my mom doesn't want to let her cry if there is no need for it. I'll see if we can try to time it better so I can nurse as soon as I get home.
    I may need to wake up sometime in the night and pump, I noticed my baby started sleeping longer (5-6 hours) and I actually got painfully engorged last night! so that maybe be a good time to pump some extra...
    Thanks for your tips!

  8. #8
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    Default Re: How to survive growth spurts when pumping?

    You could also have your mom give her like a half ounce or something small to tide her over until you get there so she's not upset.

  9. #9
    Join Date
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    Default Re: How to survive growth spurts when pumping?

    This varies a lot from woman to woman, but if I pump longer and really massage my breasts, I'll usually make a bit more milk. It doesn't always happen on the first try, but if I do it regularly over several days, I'll see a difference. For some women, however, adding a session is more helpful than lengthening sessions (because everyone has a different "storage capacity").

    I would hate to see you having to pump at night regularly, because you need your sleep! But I often pumped early in the morning when Joe was little and sleeping well (those phases were usually short lived, mind you ) and night/morning tends to be a high supply time for a lot of women.


    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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