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Thread: Freezer stash: how much is too much? & other pump questions.

  1. #1
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    Default Freezer stash: how much is too much? & other pump questions.

    Need a little advice on managing part time work, pumping, and freezing...

    Here's the situation: My baby (my first) is 12 weeks old, and we've been breastfeeding very successfully, but my maternity leave is over and now I have to go back to work. Luckily I start back part time, three days/week. For the last half of my leave, I did one pumping session per day in the morning and froze most of it. I discovered I'm one of those "high capacity" gals and get 10-12 oz per session. I am wondering, once back at work, is it necessary or beneficial to continue with the once daily morning pump sessions? Or at this point, should I just leave the pump at the office and use it only on those three days/week when separated from baby?

    My freezer stash is about 450 oz, which seems like a ton to me, but my friends all say "You'll be surprised how fast it goes!" Some sources warn that supply can drop once you go back to work... so should I keep pumping daily to keep saving more milk, in case my supply suddenly drops due to being separated from the baby? Or should I trust that my little piglet will keep the supply up just fine during the 4 days (and 7 nights) per week we are together? I don't mind the pump, per se, but there's no point taking it to extremes if I'll just be accummilating excess that will go to waste (and I can think of better things to do with that 20+ mins each day).

    If I do cut out the extra daily morning pump session, should I expect engorgement? Will there be an unevenness in my breast fullness between the days I work/pump vs the days I'm home with baby and don't pump?

    Thanks for the advice.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Freezer stash: how much is too much? & other pump questi

    At this point I'd only pump for missed feeds. Make sure then to rotate your freezer stash since you have so much at this point.
    Mommy to Maxwell 10-9-07 weaned with love (a party and a remote control monster truck) on his 4th birthday
    My Boy 3-16-10
    And my sweet pea Sam 2-12-11

    Watch Your Language

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Freezer stash: how much is too much? & other pump questi

    I agree with PP... the only time I could see an issue with not having enough ready is for over-feeding baby while you are away or your supply plummets. With the pumping output you have so far it seems you respond well to the pump so I would not stress about that. I pumped about 45oz in 3 oz increments before returning to work and I ended up just rotating that out. I never really needed that freezer stash. Everyone is different, but for now, I would just pump missed feedings and if for some reason you need to pump more in the future, you can increase your sessions.
    FT working momma to a 9/11/10 busy boy and 11/13/12 happy little man.
    Also wife to hubs since 8/23/08, bonus momma to H (girl) -99 and G (boy)-03

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Freezer stash: how much is too much? & other pump questi

    I agree with pps.
    For me, I personally pump more each day than baby eats (4-8 ounces extra usually). I just feel better knowing there will be extra for a rainy day so to speak. Like, if I get sick or my supply dips or something later on, that freezer stash will be there. But, I am probably being paranoid. With my second child my supply took a dip around 9 months and I almost ran out of ebm for her a couple of times...

    Molly

    Loving mama to JP (DS, 1/03 ~ nursed 6 mos), EL (DD1, 9/05 ~ nursed 4 yrs), EJ (DD2, 3/08 ~ nursed 3 yrs 9 mos), and
    JM (DD3, 6/12 ~ currently nursing), all born naturally
    Devoted wife to SAHD P, my hero
    A few of my favorite things that I've discovered on the forum: co-sleeping, baby-wearing, tandem nursing, baby-led solids, cloth diapering, APing, selective vaccination...the list goes on

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Freezer stash: how much is too much? & other pump questi

    If you do end up having extra that you can't possibly use, there's a milk bank there, you could donate some to needy moms: http://www.milkbank.org/
    mama to a little raccoon, born under the full moon, Nov '11

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Freezer stash: how much is too much? & other pump questi

    i agree with pps, 450 oz in the freezer is a ton, since to keep your supply long-term you have to pump to replace feeds while you're at work. 450 oz would only go fast if you're not keeping up with demand on a daily basis, so keep that in mind. and it'll only stay good in your freezer for 3-6 months, so you likely won't use it all before it expires. i donated mom-to-mom through human milk for human babies (hm4hb) and eats on feet, both on facebook locally.

    also - you should feel really awesome for having 450 oz!! i know how comforting it can be to have that freezer stock. good for you.
    DS1 6/7/11
    DS2 10/29/13

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

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Freezer stash: how much is too much? & other pump questi

    thanks for the reassurance ... my sense was that i already had enough frozen, but just felt that inkling of doubt around the "what ifs" now that i'm back to work. but now i feel more confident that i can stop the extra pumping and just pump for missed feeds.

    milk banking is a great idea! i think there is a milk bank here in town, and i will look into it. thanks!

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Freezer stash: how much is too much? & other pump questi

    yep, the link I posted is for that milk bank! (I'm from there)
    mama to a little raccoon, born under the full moon, Nov '11

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Freezer stash: how much is too much? & other pump questi

    You probably have way more stored than you will ever need, TBH. You will be pumping next day's milk while at work. You really only need enough for the first day or two at work while you settle into a routine and then you will have fresh milk every day. Fresh is best. Freezing kills some of the good stuff in it.
    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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