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Thread: Burning through milk stash

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
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    Nashville, TN
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    534

    Default Burning through milk stash

    Been back to work 2+ weeks now and I'm not pumping enough out to get my DD thru the next day. Our nanny has been going into the freezer stash nearly everyday, only for about 3 oz, but that stash is going down down down. I'm gone 9 hours most days, I nurse right before I leave and when. I come home, but on my best day I pumped 10oz and that's due to me buying a Medela PIS to replace my Tommee Tippee pump that was severely underperforming.

    Spoken to Nanny about pace but really using the 1 to 1.5oz per hour rule things are as they should be for 9 hours. I just don't get enough volume and I can't meet up with them to nurse during the day.

    I've searched the forum for this issue but I'm not seeing my solution. With the amount I nurse at home, including overnight (we co sleep) and pumping 3x at work I honestly don't think I can find anymore time to pump. I got a mere 1 oz in my 3rd session today and brought home about 9.

    No way I want DD to have anything but breast milk. Do I just need to bite the bullet and pump 4X at work and try to get an overnight session in too even tho I nurse during sleep hours? There is very little spare time right now unless I give up more sleep.
    1st time mom over 40 to Alex(andra) b: 7/14/12

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    California
    Posts
    416

    Default Re: Burning through milk stash

    How long do you pump each time at work? Are you using breast compressions and pumping until empty? 3x a day at work should theoretically be enough, if you're nursing immediately before and after, but if it just isn't, then the options are to add another pump session, or possibly rent a hospital-grade pump. The PISA is good but not as good as a hospital-grade pump so if there's a way you can rent one and leave it at work, it might save you from having to add a fourth pumping session. Otherwise, adding another session is really the only other option. Many moms, including me, pump in the car on the way to work. Even if you just nursed, your supply tends to be best in the morning and it might net you a couple extra ounces without adding much time to your day. That's my best suggestion. Sorry you're struggling. Good luck
    First-time mama to Joshua, 10/29/11. 29 months and going strong! for 14 months; now finished with pump weaning!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
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    Nashville, TN
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    Default Re: Burning through milk stash

    Thanks. I pump 15 to 20 min but that 3rd session can be so unproductive I sometimes get impatient.
    Not sure I can safely pump in car but I think I will pump right when I get to work and then again 60 to 90 min later, which would be my normal time for first pump. I haven't been doing that because it's a bit difficult to be productive and lead a business and team when you disappear right as you arrive, but DD is of course the priority for me so it's worth a try.
    1st time mom over 40 to Alex(andra) b: 7/14/12

  4. #4
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    California
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    Default Re: Burning through milk stash

    I have personally found that adding breast compressions to my pumping ups my output quite a bit, so if you're not doing that, try it. It makes a difference if you really completely empty the breast at each session and breast compressions and/or hand expression at the end help you get milk out that the pump alone won't get to. As far as pumping in the car, obviously you should do what you're comfortable with. What I do is I have a hands-free bra, and I hook up the pump and turn it on in the garage before I start driving. I have a black poncho-like cover that covers up the whole set-up so other drivers can't see what I'm up to. Obviously I don't do breast compressions if I'm pumping while driving, I keep my eyes on the road and my hands on the wheel, and don't disconnect or turn off the pump until I get where I'm going. So I feel pretty safe doing it and it's legal where I live. But, adding in a session right when you get to work should be just as good for your milk production, just not quite as convenient since you have to disappear right away, like you're saying. Whatever works for you though
    First-time mama to Joshua, 10/29/11. 29 months and going strong! for 14 months; now finished with pump weaning!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Northern Cal.
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    Default Re: Burning through milk stash

    You are so close to what you need - 3 oz is not a ton, you can do this! I am another big fan of pumping while driving (get a hands free setup so everything is safe, and then cover it up, so you're reasonably comfortable). Or, you could add a session early in the morning, pumping the side your baby's not drinking from (supply is highest in the morning).

    I find that longer pumping sessions are more productive for me - closer to a half hour. This can be challenging at work, but it is especially worth it in the mornings, when I can get a lot more if I do a longer session, use lots of compressions, and try to coax a second letdown. It's less critical in the afternoon.

    It's common for a mom to have to add an extra session in to make enough for the next day. It's just not as effective as nursing. If you could increase your output to 12 oz, I bet that would be enough, so you are very very close.


    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.

  6. #6
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    Feb 2012
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    California
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    Default Re: Burning through milk stash

    I agree with JoMo--pumping for longer works better for me, too If you're able to pump until you get a second letdown (this doesn't work for everybody but many can get one) that will also up your output. For me, I get a 2nd letdown somewhere between 20-23 minutes. I usually switch the PISA back to the 'letdown' mode to trigger it, if it doesn't happen on its own.
    First-time mama to Joshua, 10/29/11. 29 months and going strong! for 14 months; now finished with pump weaning!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
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    297

    Default Re: Burning through milk stash

    I hate to tell you to spend more money on pumps since you just bought the PISA (which I think was the right thing to do) but we are a little bit in the same boat and I've been renting a Symphony for the last 3 weeks after pumping with the PISA and it has helped a LOT. You could try that and just see if it helps. It has been worth it for me.

    Also, what do your evenings look like? With inspiration of one of other the moms here, I've developed an evening routine where I pump just before bed that has resulted in another two or three ounces for me most nights. I put the baby to bed with one last nursing, then go do whatever needs to be done like clean up the kitchen. Then I take a long hot shower and sit down in front of the TV and pump for a good 1/2 hour to 45 minutes. Even if I'm getting nothing, I just let the pump run. I bring a huge glass of water and some ice cream or sometimes DH and I share a beer (oops, did I just say that out loud?). And I just really try to relax. It actually feels like such a treat!! Who knew? And this allows me to usually get a little closer to my goal of replacing what my baby ate for the day which feels good.

    Also, on weekends, I try to pump after some feedings. Especially with the Symphony, if I pump right after the first nursing of the morning on the weekends, I will get often almost as much as I'd get in a regular pumping at work.

    Especially when I'm pumping on evenings and weekends, I try not to focus on volume so much as just pumping as long and as often as I can to stimulate my supply.

    I rarely bring home what I need to replace what my baby ate for the day but I generally cobble enough together this way to come out a little bit ahead for the week. You don't have much ground to make up, but I would definitely try to do it or I would worry that your supply might suffer over time.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
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    Default Re: Burning through milk stash

    Any way nanny could bring the baby to you to nurse at some point during the day? During lunch for example? That way you could get an extra nursing session in (usually better than the pump), decrease the amount of pumped milk your baby needs to drink, and of course, spend a little time with baby!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
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    Nashville, TN
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    Default Re: Burning through milk stash

    Ok lots of helpful stuff above. It's motivating. The only thing I'm not up for unless I get desperate is the hospital rental. The Medela PIS is WAY better than what I had, now I just need to focus on this like it's work. Very important work. Someone asked if I can see DD during day - no, the traffic situation in Atlanta makes that an impossible thought. At that point my time in the office would start to be so skewed it gets a bit ridiculous.

    So despite this morning's 'slightly' earlier (i was in demand immediately upon arrival at the office) and longer AND with compressions work pump session i did not net much more (slightly over 5 oz). However I managed to get in a short 8 pm and 11 pm session last night, which netted 2 oz a piece. I think that extra 4 oz was enough to make today's supply need. Wildly enough at 11:30 pm I started dry heaving followed by vomiting and diarrhea simultaneously. Now that's a fun night! I haven't thrown up in 10 or more years - i cant even remember the last time (i had no morning sickness) - so clearly my body was unhappy with something and wanted it out. I hydrated best I could thru the night and morning, but given that odd event which thankfully was over by midnight, I'm actually relieved I got the 5 oz I did today after nursing DD. And feel surprisingly good today.
    1st time mom over 40 to Alex(andra) b: 7/14/12

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Cleveland, OH
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    525

    Default Re: Burning through milk stash

    Here are a few other things to think about.

    Being stressed or anxious during pumping can affect your pump output, so do everything you can to relax. Don't worry about the ounces, or the work sitting on your desk, just relax (and maybe look at baby pics ). I also found that being cold made pump output go down, too.

    Also, make sure you are very well hydrated. I see in the previous post that you focused on hydration after your stomach incident, but do this every day and it might help.

    Keep changing up the compressions until you find the best method. It took me a while but when I eventually mastered breast compressions my output went up significantly. I found there were certain parts of my breasts that really needed some direct pressure to empty, and both breasts were different.

    Good Luck!
    Last edited by @llli*sassypants; October 18th, 2012 at 11:26 AM.
    My little man was born 12/17/2010.

    Baby girl was born 4/30/2014.

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