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Thread: lost here, need guidance/reassure desperately

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
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    Virginia
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    Default Re: lost here, need guidance/reassure desperately

    pandora, the other moms have given great advice, I just wanted to jump in with my experience this time around. I pumped for DS1 and could always get milk no matter when I pumped, but this time I cannot pump after a feeding and get anything. As in not even one drop...if little one nurses he gets some though. The pump is not the same as your baby and there will be days that have a little lower output than others. When I am away from baby at work I have no issues pumping plenty for him. I actually had NO stash when I returned to work (last time I had about 3-5 days worth) and just pumped enough for that first day. There is plenty of milk for him each day. The beautiful thing about nursing is that if you tell your body you need more it starts to produce more. Try not to stress out too much - keep at nursing and enjoy the time that you do have before returning to work. I completely understand that resentful feeling as many moms are forced back to work way too soon after having a baby. I was supposed to return at 6 weeks, ended up being able to return at 7 weeks. Keep asking questions and before you know it you will be through the first year and sooo glad you made it

    ETA: I pump as often as my LO eats during the day. So I end up pumping 3-4 times.
    Last edited by @llli*5ofus; January 14th, 2013 at 02:09 PM.
    FT working momma to a 9/11/10 busy boy. Not quite weaned, but slowly getting there.
    New little one born 11/13/12 nursing great and making us all smile! Back to at work , , and LO finally enjoying

    Also wife to hubs since 8/23/08, bonus momma to H (girl) -99 and G (boy)-03
    Our family blog
    And my own blog - my avenue of release these days!

  2. #12
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    COUGARTOWN Baby! From here on in!
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    Default Re: lost here, need guidance/reassure desperately

    Pandora, CALM DOWN.
    2oz per feed is TOTALLY NORMAL. And Yes you should let the baby nurse on demand. So far you have listed no actual problems with your supply AT ALL. Only problems in your head. Which while it's very normal to feel apprehensive about going back to work while your child is so young, there is NOTHING about ANYTHING you have posted that suggests that your anxiety should having you supplementing OR quitting your job! You are projecting. Your breasts are never empty. Babies cry. And are fussy. For all kinds of reasons. And to think that every cry or fuss is related to your obviously empty breast is ridiculous. Now, BREATHE. Your baby's weight is FINE. You are making enough milk and nothing you are suggesting about cycle is real. You will NOT have just fed your baby while you are pumping. It will be in the middle of your work day. And 3oz in any sitting is a VERY HIGH amount from a pump yield. DO NOT try to talk yourself into low supply. Because if you supplement because of a problem you IMAGINE, it will be a self fulfilling prophecy. For Sure. RELAX. It's going to be fine.

    Way too lazy for formula

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
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    Default Re: lost here, need guidance/reassure desperately

    Hi pandora. First, realize that stress inhibits letdown. Your temporary difficulty with the pump may well have to do with that. Otherwise, you have GREAT pump output, as has been pointed out, if you are able to get 3 oz between feedings. (And also good supply, if you're getting a 2 oz difference before and after.) Second, I've always found that thinking about going back to work, and that first day or two of being back, is really stressful. But then when I get back into my usual routines things get a lot better, and I remember that I actually really enjoy my job and have spent many years and a lot of effort getting to where I am. So don't make any big decisions about work until you go back and spend a few weeks doing it. Maybe you'll find that you don't want to be working all the hours you did before, and that you do want to make a change; or maybe you'll realize that the things that made you like your job in the past are still enjoyable to you, and you figure out the rhythm of balancing work and baby that keeps you happy. Either way, you want to base the decision on what is actually going on, not what you think may happen once you go back - because you really don't know until you get back how you will feel about it.

    And I absolutely agree that you should NOT use formula! There is really no reason for you to do that at this point and it will completely counteract everything you are trying to achieve right now.

  4. #14
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    163

    Default Re: lost here, need guidance/reassure desperately

    Hi mama. I agree with the other posters that you really sound like you are doing great, so please try not to stress yourself out. Returning to work IS really hard; regardless of how breastfeeding is going and I think that it is normal to start to worry when you are anticipating the change. For me, I found that the anticipation of the return to work was so.much.harder than the actual return. Where will LO be while you are at work?

    I have a couple of thoughts, that aren't perhaps quite as connected with your original questions, but which might warrant some thought....you noted that you have struggled with (what sounds like) clinical levels of anxiety and that you are currently not taking medication (it sounds like you used to). How were you coping when you were initially off the medication (I am guessing during pregnancy)? Is there any chance you might be experiencing some PPD which may be exacerbating your anxiety? And, why are you no longer taking the medications? (Depending on how you were being treated for anxiety, it might not be unsafe while breastfeeding. Many anti-depressants, for example, are used cross purpose and are safe and there is some evidence to suggest that even benzodiazapines might be safe, too: http://www.womensmentalhealth.org/po...nes-good-news/). You could always call InfantRisk to ask about the meds you were taking. You can also talk to your doctor about trying a different type of medication that is compatible. I, personally, think it could be worth exploring (if you haven't already).

    Also, you mentioned that you work 80 hours/week. Is much of this at home? Is there a way to more gradually ease back into work? That might help you feel more at ease with the changes as well. (I started back working at home, then half days in the office, then a couple of full days--it made the transition much more comfortable--though still hard--for me. LO, it should be noted, did GREAT from day 1!!).

    Good Luck! And, keep telling yourself...You are doing GREAT, this is NORMAL, and there is NOTHING to worry about! (And, if you aren't convinced, come back for a daily/hourly pep talk!!)

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
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    Default Re: lost here, need guidance/reassurance desperately

    dear all,
    thank you very much for the encouragement and help. i have been able to peek into the forum only once in the last two weeks, and was eager to come back to report back! needless to say the transition is AWFUL, LO is still adjusting with the caregiver. we are all giving this a shot. and as one of you says, it is good to bring the good energy from the good parts of work (i am a teacher) back to my home.

    update on pumping at work:
    so far I am pumping twice in a 4 hour period at work: after the 45 minute drive, just as soon as i get in (say at 10 am), then during a break 12-12:15 or so, and then pick her up at 2, and bring her home to feed at 3. on the longer days, such as today, i added on a third pumping, at 3 pm, and then got home to feed her at 6. the caregiver is feeding her on demand, in a way, tries a few times and notes how much she will eat, and she ends up taking almost as much as i pump. is that supply leading demand rather than the other way around? i am able to pump between 3 and 4 oz in 15 minutes. and today, with 3 pumpings, have about 10 oz. it lets down very fast, so it feels efficient, but i wonder if the quantity is not enough (alas, couldn't get the medela, even the insurance just gave me the ameda Purely Yours). this makes me think that if that's all my LO will be fed over the span of 8 hours of being away from me, isn't that too little? how is she not supposed to make up at night? and doesn't my supply dip in the evening, hormonally, so to speak? i have noticed recently her wakings are more clustered in the middle of the night, between 2 and 5 am, and if i am unable to nurse her to sleep (i.e. if she wakes up more or is fidgety) we can write her off from sleeping for a good amount of time, which is hard on everyone. it isn't the waking, as much as it is the ABSOLUTE unpredictability of her sleep, and not being able to tell if that is chronic hunger or habit or what...and the fresh concern that nursing isn't quite reliably doing the trick all the time. and then an hour or two of tension and rocking takes, with mumbled prayers to make her sleep, take over. it's truly awful at times.

    any assessments from you all?

    also, the LC has called to check in and i am afraid she will say i am not pumping enough. so i am wary of calling her back and needed your take first.

    thank you also for the thoughtful advice about the medication,. i have certainly looked into it, and was prescribed ativan which i have taken for 3 years before getting pregnant ((i stopped sleeping at night when my aunt who raised me passed away, back in 2008, and then we tried an antidepressant for the severe fibromyalgia and for the sleep, but i reacted badly to it, so they chose ativan which helped some). i gave it up all last year, and now was told to get back on it, but the condition is to have some space from nursing at night in order to have it dwindle in my system and not get to LO. and it still will. which makes me nervous. of course, right!?


    with much affection and thanks.
    pandora
    Last edited by @llli*pandora; January 30th, 2013 at 07:29 PM.

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
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    15

    Default Re: lost here, need guidance/reassure desperately

    also, one quick question:

    i go in on MW from 9-3 (pumping at 10, 12), and on TTh from 12-6 (pumping at 1, 3:30), and a longer day one of those days when i am gone from 9-6 (pumping 10, 12, 3).on the days that i work from home, can i nurse exclusively, or must i pump in order for the other days to become more "productive"? how can i do both? this stems from my concern that i am not making any extra milk really (or the pump isn't getting it), and i am feeling a bit empty in the evening for her. but it is likely that this is all in my head.

    thanks for your insight.

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
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    Default Re: lost here, need guidance/reassure desperately

    Hi pandora, your LO needs 1 to 1.5 ounces of milk per hour apart. So 10 oz over 8 hours apart is just right. It doesn't sound like your caregiver is overfeeding. And your pump output is great - a typical feeding would be 2-3 ounces, so the fact that you are getting 3-4 ounces every 3 hours is right on target. It sounds like you are doing fine with the Purely Yours. And your pumping frequency is good too. You don't NEED to pump "extra." If you do, that's nice. But as long as you are keeping up then you are okay. If you want to have a little extra in the freezer, you could consider an evening pump or some weekend pumping. But I wouldn't make that a primary focus right now.

    Your baby's sleep pattern sounds normal. And will likely change. Try to hang in there. I know it's hard not to get a good night of sleep when you are working, but it will get better, and just think of it this way - all that nighttime nursing is REALLY good for supply. (That's what I always tell myself during nighttime feedings!)

    On the days you work from home, it's fine to just nurse. Nursing is usually a more effective signal than pumping in telling your breasts to make milk.

    With regards to the ativan, the Infant Risk people can help you with how long you would have to wait before nursing. www.infantrisk.com They have a number you can call: (806)-352-2519. 8am - 5 pm central time.

    You are doing GREAT! Keep up the good work.

  8. #18
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    Jan 2013
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    Default Re: lost here, need guidance/reassure desperately

    thank you for everything so far. i am in a desperate place all over again.
    so, the first four weeks of work ended with me getting my period. and i didn't know that would be connected to the change in routine (pumping half the day instead of BFing), and result in lowering the supply. since the week following we were on break, we just nursed and ifelt were in a good place. however back to work in the week she turned six months was horrible. she was obviously on a growth spurt, we slept little and i pumped pathetically little. supplemnted with some frozen milk at daycare, and she guzzled it down. this last weekend was worse, i was evidently ovulating; my body reacts to these shifts significantly, couldn't pump, fed often, she fussed, but we kept nursing through the night as well. changed pump parts. back at work today with new pump; pumped 1.5 oz in one sitting, and i have now been pumping for the last 35 minutes to get only 3.5 oz i think. i would do 4-5 oz on a good sitting. she takes a couple of spoonfuls max oz of vegetable/fruit/or cereal once with the caregiver just to try textures, but that's about it. i am beside myself; taking fenugreek, calcium for the past couple of days after i read about the lowering of supply when the period returns. worse, her weight gain is slower than before and i am worried at her 6 month (which is next week; she already turned 6 months on the 1st), i will feel bad about how she didn't keep up with her "beautiful" weight gain. any help/advice/guidance? much appreciated.
    warmest,
    pandora

  9. #19
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    Oct 2012
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    Default Re: lost here, need guidance/reassure desperately

    Hi pandora, I was just thinking about you this weekend and wondering how things were going. Sorry to hear about the supply dips with your cycle. Do you want to review your current nursing and pumping schedule? I agree that 1.5 ounces in a pumping session is low (unless you just pumped or nursed an hour before), but 3.5 ounces is not. Remember, a normal "meal" for baby at the breast is 2-3 ounces, maybe 4. Also, it is VERY COMMON for weight gain to slow down at the 6 month mark, especially for breastfed babies. So don't freak out when you go to the appointment if that is the case. My babies all dropped percentiles at that time. For example, my toddler was 75% for weight in the early months and ended up at 25% for weight.

  10. #20
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    Jan 2013
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    15

    Default Re: lost here, need guidance/reassure desperately

    thank you for responding.
    so, the week prior to my period, the 2nd week of february was nuts, very difficult, and towards the end i was able to pump very little, and then the period came and i put two and two together. the week following, i was on break, so we had a great time. got on a healthy schedule, basically nursing roughly every three hours or so, and at night getting up maybe twice or max three times. she was sleeping well, but it could just be being tired prior to growth spurt. (but in any case, for my history, that was GREAT!!)
    then towards the end of that week, on saturday, she became a lot more cranky and then school was about to start again for me (and daycare for her). i tried pumping that weekend, but nothing much happened. i just focussed on nursing her every chance i got. and pretty much all last week, i just assumed she was on a growth spurt and taking a lot more milk at the caregiver's. and supplementing with the frozen milk was okay. but then came this last weekend.
    between thursday and friday, she slept awfully, but was able to go back to sleep without nursing. but saturday, something shifted again. trying to pump for this week (since i had nothing in the fridge), i got nothing--half oz, and such--and that sent me reeling. i looked up and realised maybe i hit another low due to ovulation. (i had felt off all week, achy and so on, and then again looked at the calendar and it was exactly two weeks after the first major dip).
    since the weekend, i have been nursing her every chance i get, not worried about schedule or her "sleep habit." when i have been with her, i have nursed her every 2 hours max, i think, even in the night. maybe in the day, we sometimes went for 2.5 or 3 hours, but i'd say not. i was afraid to pump worried it would make me more anxious and not help anyone at all.
    then the week started:
    this was yesterday:
    wake between 5:30 and 6 (if she hasn't already been up)
    nurse
    nursed her for a nap at 8
    nursed her when she awoke--8:45 or so
    left home at 9:30
    drop off at caregiver's around 10:15
    1 tbsp cereal.
    i pumped at 10:20 for 15 minutes (0.5-1 oz?), and then from 12:10-12:50 (3 oz?)
    between 10:15 and 1:00 at the caregiver's, she had 5-5.5 oz of milk, and the solid.was very cranky/hungry in the car on the way home at 2:30.
    nursed from 3:30-4:30 as she slept. and then when she woke up.
    bedtime at 6:30, nursed until 7:10, wouldn't sleep. kept waking up.
    nursed at 8:20.
    slept, woke up crying, perhaps gases.
    nursed at 10:00
    slept.
    woke up 2:40. nursed, slept.
    woke up 4:40. nursed, slept.
    woke up at 6:15. nursed. distractedly.
    nursed to nap at 8:00 (nursed for 25-30 minutes)


    today i will be at work in the afternoon, and will pump at 1:30 and at 3:30.
    before that, we will nurse when she wakes up next, and then hopefully one or two more times before leaving at noon. i have only 4 oz to give to the caregiver. maybe i will give some frozen milk to supplement.


    so, i am able to pump twice at work within 4 hours of being at work. everyday from Monday to thursday. (on M and W, 10:15 and noon; on T and R, 1:30 and 3:30). all other times i nurse. (we were averaging 7-8 times in the "good week"; but these past few days are different, hopefully not a new regressive norm).


    thanks for any insights!!
    warmly,
    pandora

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