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Thread: Pumping issues and sleep issues...help please!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
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    16

    Default Pumping issues and sleep issues...help please!

    I've recently started pumping and although I know it takes a while for your body to get used to it, I am not getting much milk and feeling quite disheartened. The first night I pumped for an hour and got 1 oz the second night had more success in pumping for 25 min and getting 3 oz then tonight, the third night, I pumped for over an hour and got nothing. I'm beginning to feel like giving up and just supplementing with formula, as much as I don't want to. Could I be doing something wrong? I don't have the money to buy a new pump.
    As for the sleeping issues, my 9 month old still wakes every 2 hours at night to nurse. WTF?! WHY?!!!!! Does she really NEED to nurse that often at night still and if not, how do I make this stop?! I feel like I'm going to crack. I neeeeeed sleeeeep!

  2. #2
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    Nov 2012
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    Ontario
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    Default Re: Pumping issues and sleep issues...help please!

    Is there any way that you can try pumping in the morning instead? That's when a lot of women tend to have a bit more milk to pump. Are you using an electric pump? The only reason I ask is that my SIL cannot get a drop of milk when she uses her double electric pump, but does just fine when she uses her little hand pumps, and those tend to be a lot cheaper than the electric ones...

    Can I ask why you started pumping in the first place? Are you going to be away from baby and that's why you'd have to supplement with formula?

    As for the night thing, how often are you nursing during the day? From what I understand, a lot of babies that age are so busy playing and exploring during the day that they forget to nurse, and then make up for it at night. Can you try offering the breast more often during the day to see if that helps?

  3. #3
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    Oct 2012
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    Default Re: Pumping issues and sleep issues...help please!

    It sounds like you are actually doing quite well with the pump. Like you say, it's common not to get much when you first start out - and you got 3 oz on your second try! I agree with carm3 though that you may get more in the morning.

    My LO will also be 9 months old next week and is also waking every hour or two for much of the night. Part of it is what carm3 said - she's so busy playing during the day, and is so distracted by everything going on around her, it's hard to get her to nurse for very long. So I think she is making up for it at night. But I think she's also teething. If I give her motrin or tylenol she'll go for a longer stretch - last night after motrin she went for 4 hours. Something to consider if you think that might be a factor with your LO. Of course, there might be other factors too. She might want to nurse for the comfort of knowing you're there, or to help settle herself back to sleep after waking at night. Many mamas find that the quickest and easiest way to get LO back down is to nurse. Some mamas find that co-sleeping helps them fall back asleep quickly too. Also, finding ways to get more rest despite the frequent awakenings - like going to bed earlier, or napping with LO - can help you feel saner despite the frequent awakenings. Finally, having DH handle some of the nighttime awakenings can let you get a longer stretch of rest (though he would probably have to do that in a space AWAY from you - a lot of babies won't settle for dad when they know mama's breasts are nearby!)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
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    1,293

    Default Re: Pumping issues and sleep issues...help please!

    if you are pumping to create a stash because you will be working and away from your lo you will need a good electric pump. i know it can seem very expensive.. but it is worth it not to mention formula is much more expensive.

    i got mine from this site and it was much cheaper than you usually see, it was aboyt $220. I also recommend getting the simple wishes hands free bra, that will make pumping so much better. you will be able to relax more, do compressions while you pump, and even pump in the car if you need to add in sessions while you are back at work.

    i promise you will be happy if you invest in the pump. keep in mind the yellow vallves with the white membrane need to be changed semi frequently

    pumping is best in the am like pp said, our production is highest then. wake up, nurse, then immediately pump. just pump for about 15-20 min. you will collect small amounts but it will add up and you will get into a routine of pumping. also you will be getting your body used to the pump a little. do compressions and try simple hand expression at the end for just a min or two. it increased overall production.

    try to stay positive. pumping is hard and we can be here to support you through it. you can do it.

    as for the lack of sleep, just try to go with it. there will be periods where your lo just needs you more throughout the night. it could be many things. if you think it is teething then give meds if you are comfortable with that, but no need to give them excessively.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Pumping issues and sleep issues...help please!

    My son is going through the sleeping thing. He is 6 months old and we are just now moving him from the cradle in our room to his crib in his room-- mostly because he is rolling over now and I'm afraid he will pull himself out of the cradle. He was still waking up at least once in the middle of the night to nurse. We started adding a little bit of his oatmeal cereal to his veggie at his dinner feeding and that seems to help him not feel hungry in the middle of the night. I still breastfeed him before bed or daddy gives him a bottle. It helped to soothe him to lay him in his bed and read a book or two next to him-- I usually let him play with my fingers while I'm reading. The biggest thing is to get a nightly routine going and stick to it. Our pediatrician has said that he doesn't really need to be up anymore in the middle of the night and as long as you're sure that your LO has eaten enough at dinner, try letting her cry it out just a little. (when my LO doesn't want to sleep, I check on him every minute or two to assure him I'm close and I still love him). It tears at my heart everytime he cries, but sticking to our routine has really helped and it's only been 4 days since starting this.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
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    California
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    Default Re: Pumping issues and sleep issues...help please!

    I am a really good pumper and I still get almost nothing when I try to pump at night--like 1/2 an ounce or 1 oz at the most. That is drastically different than in the morning, when even pumping immediately after a feed I can usually get 3 oz or so. Most women notice this pattern with pumping of their production being much better in the morning than in the evening, so I would try moving your pumping to the morning if possible. As far as the sleep, no she probably nutritionally doesn't NEED to be eating every 2 hours all night at 9 months old, as long as her weight gain is good and she's eating enough during the day, but many 9 month olds do wake every few hours at night. It's really normal. It's also really tough on mom. However, refusing to nurse her when she wakes is probably not going to help anybody--it will just make it harder to get her back to sleep as you will have to comfort her in some other way. Usually nursing is the easiest way to get a baby back to sleep. Sleep training doesn't really work, and she will eventually learn to sleep through the night even if you do absolutely nothing to 'teach' her to sleep. My LO is 13 months now and just this week has started sleeping through the night totally spontaneously--I haven't done anything different than before. Sleeping through the night is a developmental milestone that they reach when they are ready, and for most breastfed babies it occurs somewhere between 1-2 years of age. The frequent waking every 2 hours should start getting better in the next couple of months, though you may have to deal with 1 or 2 night wakings awhile longer. (There will also be sleep 'regressions' where they wake more often when they are reaching exciting new milestones or are teething. I expect my son to start waking at night again when he starts getting his one-year molars, but I'm enjoying the sleeping-through-the-night while it lasts!). Anyway, hope this helps, and hang in there--it will get better!
    First-time mama to Joshua, 10/29/11. 29 months and going strong! for 14 months; now finished with pump weaning!

  7. #7
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    Nov 2006
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    Default Re: Pumping issues and sleep issues...help please!

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*kipstersmom View Post
    Our pediatrician has said that he doesn't really need to be up anymore in the middle of the night
    It is absolutely not true that a 6 month baby doesn't need to eat int he middle of the night. It may be true that some babies don't need to eat at night, but that is not typical. Until a year old if they are waking at night it is either because they ARE HUNGRY and need to eat or because they are teething and are in pain and need the comfort and pain relief that nursing gives them. Until a year old breastmilk or formula should provide the majority of a baby's nutrition. Solid foods should not replace nursing or formula until your baby is over one.
    “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

  8. #8

    Default Re: Pumping issues and sleep issues...help please!

    I agree that a six-month-old baby probably does need to nurse during the night, but I would ask your pediatrician what he or she thinks about the frequency of waking. It may not be bad for the baby, but it does seem to be bad for you, and that matters too. You are (understandably!) exhausted. See what the pedi has to say about sleep training. It's the third rail of parenting, but it helped us a lot and my daughter seems happier (and more well-rested) for it.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
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    16

    Default Re: Pumping issues and sleep issues...help please!

    Thanks, I like that quote, it's a good reminder. =)

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    16

    Default Re: Pumping issues and sleep issues...help please!

    Thanks for the feedback everyone.

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