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Thread: SAHM - Pumping / Bottles

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
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    13

    Default SAHM - Pumping / Bottles

    Hello all,

    I am a SAHM and my daughter is 7 1/2 weeks old. Due to anatomy issues, she was bottlefed for a couple of days in the first week, then on the nipple shield. She was bottlefed again then due to poor weight gain. She has been eating directly at the breast, no bottles, for a little over 4 weeks.

    I am writing because I would like to start pumping a little to build a supply for emergencies etc. I know pumping for a SAHM is not the same game as folks who are pumping to go back to work, so I am looking for thoughts/suggestions/advice/resources that are geared towards stay at home moms who are in my position. Questions I need answered are whether you need to pump daily, when, how long/much? Do you need to offer a bottle daily to keep the baby accepting them? We have never had issues getting our dd to take bottles/pacifiers, though she has not had them in over 4 weeks as I previously mentioned. We were using the Medela Calm nipples/bottles.

    I have a doctor's appointment in 2 weeks that I do not want to take her to, simply to limit her exposure to folks while flu season is at such a high level here. I think I need to plan on having my husband give her a bottle while I am there, because I don't think it will be a short trip. And, if he's defrosting the milk anyways (we have a little in the freezer from when I was having to bottle feed her), I don't want it to go to waste even if I do get back on time. How do we know how much to give her? And when he bottle feeds her (this time or any), do I need to pump as well? I assume yes, but people keep saying "Let hubby give her a bottle once a day so you can get a break!" but I don't see how it's much of a break if I have to pump anyways. And how does that work if I am somewhere I can't pump (ie doc office)? Should I just pump some before I go, even if it's not her feeding time?

    Thanks for your help, I know it's a lot of questions.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    212

    Default Re: SAHM - Pumping / Bottles

    Good questions. It can be confusing can't it? If you want to build up a bit of a stash, you can pump on one side while baby nurses on the other. Even if she wants to switch sides, you can just stop pumping and let her finish nursing on that side.

    You don't have to give a bottle every day, but you might want to offer one every few weeks or so or just so it is not a totally foreign experience. You don't have to pump daily if you're just trying to get a bit extra. If you want to systematically build a stash, you can be more disciplined about pumping a particular time each day and that will actually build your supply to meet that demand.

    As for how much to give, the rule of thumb is 1-1.5oz. per hour of separation. But I've found that if I'm only gone for 2-3 hours my son doesn't really need the bottle at that point. The way we work it is my husband leaves the milk in the freezer until kiddo is showing hunger signs. Then he calls me to figure out how close I am to home. (If I don't answer that means baby will get the bottle). It only takes a few minutes to thaw the bottle and get ready to feed.

    Since you're not trying to maintain supply while out working consistently, it is not so crucial that you pump at a particular time. I typically try to make up whatever he ate at some point during the day. I often find myself pumping at the end of a meeting or whatever just before I head home. That works for us because even when I finish pumping little guy can still get what he needs by nursing.

    I agree that bottles "for a break" are more of a pain than they're worth. When I need a break I ask my husband to take over something else (dishes maybe?) and I take a co-sleeping nap.

    All the best!!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    5,298

    Default Re: SAHM - Pumping / Bottles

    I assume yes, but people keep saying "Let hubby give her a bottle once a day so you can get a break!"
    This is dumb. the fact is, a sahm need never ever pump. ever. Nor do their babies need to get used to bottles. why? If baby ever needs to be fed via something besides mom, they will either learn to take a bottle at that point or an alternative to bottles can be utilized.

    I wonder if exhausted bottle feeding dads are told 'can't you just hand that baby to you wife to nurse so you can get a break?"

    Anyway, you are overthinking it. As long as nursing and milk production are now normal, If you are going to have a single, very occasional short separation of, say, up to 4-5 hours, for a doctors appt or to go see a movie or whatever, you do not NEED to pump. you may begin to feel full and want to pump (or hand express) but you do not need to.

    For a separation of this length the most a baby would 'need' is 3-4 ounces. I put 'need' in quotations because a healthy baby will not starve in 4 or 5 hours, and you can nurse right before and right after (presumably.) However, we do not want baby or dad unhappy. Leave one or two bottles of about 2 ounces each depending how long you are gone. Don’t worry about defrosting. When in small amounts, Frozen milk in a sealed bag or bottle defrosts under cool running water in a couple minutes.

    as far as when to pump, i suggest pump as infrequently as possible in order to have the amount of milk you need for the expected separation. So not worry about if its before or after baby nursed, whatever. Just pump when it is convenient. And NEVER gage your milk production by how much you are able to pump at a time.

    When my newest baby was 6 weeks old I went to my hairdresser. I left baby with my husband and a small amt of frozen breast milk. As I was rushing out the door, my husband asked 'where are the bottles?" We realized we no longer had one in the house. I brought up the cup feeding video on Jack Newmans website and my husband cup fed baby great, to the delight of our older boys, who keep asking us to 'do it again.'

    how the bottle is given is more important than type of nipple if you are trying to avoid a too fast flow or 'nipple confusion' this can alsp help with bottle refusal http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...astfedbaby.pdf
    Last edited by @llli*lllmeg; February 6th, 2013 at 10:48 AM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    13

    Default Re: SAHM - Pumping / Bottles

    Lehall
    Thank you for the prompt and thorough response! This is all very helpful. She is not going more than 2 hours between day feedings right now, frequently less than that, so I don't think she'd make it.

    Okay, this will sound really stupid but... I don't understand how you can pump and feed as the same time? I guess use the football holds and ditch the breastfeeding pillow? Otherwise the pillow and/or baby are in the way of the pump and bottle etc... or am I being dense?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    212

    Default Re: SAHM - Pumping / Bottles

    Umm...it's kind of a learned art. I had to figure it out with my first and it has proved useful. I've done it with manual and electric pumps. First get your pump setup and park pump, yourself, and baby in a good area with a comfy chair and some sort of table. Next focus on getting baby latched. I don't remember the names of the positions, but I have baby across me belly to belly and once I get him latched, I use my elbow to kind of hold him in place then use my other hand to turn on the pump and hold it in place. It's hard to describe, but if you want to try it out you can play with it and see if it works. If that's too much acrobatics, I would suggest pumping a little bit before feeding. You're likely to be fuller then so may pump more. Baby is more efficient than the pump so she can eat just after. (this advice is for very occasional pumping with good supply. I really don't know if that's a good idea for increasing supply or supplementing)

    I agree with Mommal that for the most part you should just not stress about it. If you know you're going to be out, pump about what baby would need before, after, or both. My kids rarely go 2 hours with me around, but without the boobs around to remind them they do sometimes go longer.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    206

    Default Re: SAHM - Pumping / Bottles

    I had many of the same questions, so I can tell you what's worked for me after almost 8 months of experience.

    Pumping to build up stash: After the first-of-the-morning feed, I can use my double electric pump (sometimes using only one side so I have less parts to wash) and make it a goal to pump at least 2 oz. I start with whichever breast baby last nursed on because he will have taken less milk and therefore that breast will have more to give. I think 2 oz is a good amount to have as "extra".

    Freezing: no above poster has addressed this, but you will want to freeze milk in quantities of 2-4 oz. In your case, with a newborn who doesn't eat much but eats often, I would aim for freezing 2 oz at a time (hence why getting 2 oz at the pumping session is a good goal). That way, when you unfreeze milk it's likely that baby will consume all of it and waste none. Yes, BM is a precious commodity not to waste!

    Being away from baby: I always make it a goal that when baby eats, I either nurse or pump. If baby will be eating while I'm busy at the dr's, etc, I just pump either before or after I get back or when I get a chance. I usually nurse right before leaving, so I pump when I get back if baby ate while I was gone. If baby is hungry when I get back, I just nurse. If you nurse before and after and still feel "full", then you could try pumping just a few oz. I still feel uncomfortable leaving baby for 4 hrs if I will be in a situation where I can't pump, so that he takes a bottle and I don't pump. Doing this rarely/occassionally is ok, but doing it too often will negatively affect supply. Being a SAHM, this shouldn't be a problem. If you are leaving and can't pump where you are going, you could nurse, then pump a few oz, then leave. You don't have to pump exactly when you know baby is taking a bottle, just somewhere close to that time will be ok. Eventually you will figure out what works for you.

    Bottle to "get a break": My husband has often offered to get up in the middle of the night to feed LO with a bottle so I can sleep, but I would still have to get up to pump, which would be more disruptive to my night than quietly nursing. Sometimes, on the weekend, I can go out shopping and leave LO with DH. Then if I'm late getting back, he can give a bottle and I just pump upon my return. But really, nursing is easier, there's no clean up, and babies love nursing more than bottles .

    Babies and the bottle: I was teaching part-time when LO was 2-5 months, so he learned, after a few frustrating afternoons, how to take the bottle and became a regular user of it 2 afternoons a week. Now that he's about 8 months, he knows how to take the bottle, but he is just so interested in the rest of the world that he drinks about half of what he used to. Today, for example, he played around with the bottle, then fussed when my mom (grandma helps watch him during the week while I work on my dissertation) tried to put him down for a nap. Unable to stand hearing his cries, I picked him up and nursed him to sleep. I think he was hungry but had been too much of a busy body to eat from the bottle. Guess he just prefers the breast .

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