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Thread: confused about pumping

  1. #1

    Default confused about pumping

    hi. my LO is 6 weeks old and still nursing every 2 hrs every night. the pediatrician suggested that during the day to do the "eat-sleep-play" schedule so i can elongate the nursing a night, at least by an hr but that's not working. so to give myself a break, my hubby will provide formula 1-2x during the night at the 2 hr mark. but then i go 3-5 hrs without nursing. should i be pumping somewhere in between? thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
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    Default Re: confused about pumping

    If your DH is giving baby a bottle (whether formula or expressed BM) and you don't pump, your supply will drop. If you don't want that to happen, then you need to either nurse or pump each time the baby eats. But I don't see the point of giving formula and getting up to pump - why not just nurse? Rather than using formula, try to catch up on sleep by taking naps during the day when baby is napping. Or co-sleeping with LO which increases maternal sleep. See if you can have DH, family members or friends help with tasks like cooking and cleaning so you can get some rest. Or let things slide a bit in that department.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: confused about pumping

    Hello. Yes you need to pump for every missed feeding especially with baby still so young. A bottle at night may seem great but it means your body is signaled to make less milk than baby needs to drink, and that's a slippery slope to a loss of supply. Have you tried co-sleeping safely? Are you able to nap during the day while baby does at all?
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  4. #4
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    Default Re: confused about pumping

    I don't know what the "eat-sleep-play" schedule is, but it's very normal for babies at that age to want to eat every two hours at night. Their tummies are very small still, so they eat frequently.

    If you are supplementing your infant at night, then they will be eating less from you, and your body will get the signal to produce less milk. So if you want to keep your supply up, you would need to pump to replace the feeding that your infant is getting from supplement instead of from nursing. If you're waking to pump, it would be a whole lot easier to just nurse the baby. One alternative is to pump during the day so that your husband can feed the baby that milk at night. But 6 weeks is still very young. Introducing a bottle when it's not necessary risks nipple-confusion etc., so unless you're really desperate, I'd really avoid the bottle-at-night solution and hang in there. At 6 weeks I know if feels like you've been sleep-deprived forever, but babies are only small for a short time. Eventually they all do start sleeping.

    Sorry, I know that's probably not what you want to hear!

  5. #5

    Default Re: confused about pumping

    thanks everyone. i will keep going!!! forgot to mention i still nurse but supplement before we all go to bed as it seems my milk decreases by end of the day - am chugging the water i'm suppose to. i also still nurse every 2 hrs but 4hrs is my max without nursing during the night. thanks for the advice!!!

  6. #6
    Join Date
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    Default Re: confused about pumping

    What does the "eat-sleep-play" schedule entail? Schedules that artificially space out baby's feedings are the enemy of successful breastfeeding- except in cases where the baby is very non-demanding and the schedule results in mom offering the breast MORE often than the baby seems to want.
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  7. #7
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    Aug 2012
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    Default Re: confused about pumping

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*babyk1345 View Post
    thanks everyone. i will keep going!!! forgot to mention i still nurse but supplement before we all go to bed as it seems my milk decreases by end of the day - am chugging the water i'm suppose to. i also still nurse every 2 hrs but 4hrs is my max without nursing during the night. thanks for the advice!!!

    It is SO NORMAL to not have as much milk at the end of the day. And this is almost never a reason to give a supplement.

    If you don't have a ton of milk when baby wants to nurse at 6 pm, baby will get a little snack and will want to nurse again at maybe 6:30. He/she might even seem unsatisfied but that will just encourage you both to nurse more, which is what will bring up your supply to match. Giving a formula bottle is going to do the opposite.

    This is really normal at 6 weeks and it doesn't last forever. You kind of have to push through and let the baby do all the sucking and nursing he wants and over the next several weeks, your supply will even out and become matched to your baby's needs, but only if you allow your baby to tell your body what he needs!!! Supplementing interferes with that.

    As for getting more sleep at night, I would encourage you to try some different strategies before resorting to a formula bottle at night, which, again, will be detrimental to your supply over time. Co-sleeping and nursing side-lying SAVED my sanity. It took me some time to figure out how to do this but once I did--life-changing!!! I don't think I was doing it so much at 6 weeks, but as they get a little bigger and have better head control and you get more comfortable at nursing in different positions, it will get easier and easier. With practice, you will learn to hear baby rooting around, open one eye, get baby started nursing and both of you will go right back to sleep. I work full-time now and my baby usually eats around 11, 2, 4 and 6 and most days I feel as well-rested as I did before I got pregnant--not kidding!

    I don't have a problem with formula. My baby needed supplements when she was first born because I had low milk supply due to some medical issues and I know a lot about struggling to increase your milk supply. Believe me, it's much harder to get it up when it's low than it is to maintain it when it's at the right level. The best thing you can do for your milk supply is to forget the schedules, and just give baby free access to your breasts. And nurse nurse nurse. Hang in there, it gets so much easier!!

  8. #8
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    Default Re: confused about pumping

    Totally agree!

    Everyone has less milk at the end of the day. That's why babies tend to cluster feed at that time.

    For some reason I didn't really catch on to side-lying with my first baby early on. I would turn the light on, sit up in bed, etc. Very tiring. With babies 2 and 3 I did side-lying from the beginning at night. I mean, even in the hospital. No lights, dozing as baby nursed. Much less tiring! So if you haven't tried it yet - give it a try!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    Default Re: confused about pumping

    Also agree with PP! At 6 weeks, your baby is working hard to get your supply up, but that means s/he needs to be on you and eating as much as possible to do this. I would ditch the formula and nurse nurse nurse in the evenings, and try co sleeping at night. At 9m my DD still cluster feeds before bed, usually 3 or 4 times between 5 and 8, so that kind of behavior from a 6w old is TOTALLY normal. If for w/e reason you do need to supplement, make sure you are pumping. I know it's tough, but stick it out and you'll have happy baby and and healthy supply of milk!

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