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Thread: pumping output question

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    15

    Default pumping output question

    Hello!

    We are giving our DD 1 bottle a day to get her used to taking one for daycare when I go back to work. I'm a little concerned about what I will be able to produce when pumping at work however. Typically my husband gives her the bottle and then I pump at that time - but the quantities I'm seeing vary from 1-2oz total . I'll be able to pump 2-3x a day while at work but I don't think it will be enough for the next day at daycare without supplementing. I don't think I have a supply issue because she has a good number of wet and dirty diapers every day. Her weight gain was slow in the very beginning but she had her tongue tie cut and has been fine ever since.

    Is it possible that with time pumping will produce more? Any advice is very appreciated!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,119

    Default Re: pumping output question

    Definitely possible that as you gain expertise with the pump, you'll see production go up.

    What sort of machine are you using, and do you think you have properly sized shields?
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    15

    Default Re: pumping output question

    I have the medela pump in style advanced. I was using the shields it came with but it seemed like part way through pumping my nipples would really be rubbing on the sides so I bought the next size up which I am using now. I typically pump for 10-15 minutes. I'm not sure about the let downs because I don't always feel them. Is another way to tell let downs just when more milk starts to be pumped? Sorry I'm such a rookie!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,119

    Default Re: pumping output question

    Not all women feel letdowns. I have been nursing for 6 years total and have yet to feel a letdown, ! But you can definitely identify them when pumping- when all of a sudden you see a lot more milk streaming into the collection tube, that's a letdown.

    If the old shields were only marginally too small, it might make sense to try them again and see if you get more milk. Lube your nipples with a drop or two of olive oil- that should allow them to slide more freely and prevent chafing.

    If you try the smaller shields and don't see an increase, then I would try using breast compressions during pumping and see if that helps. If it doesn't, then it might be time to see a lactation consultant and/or to try a different pump. Meanwhile, try adding more pumping sessions into your day, particularly in the early morning when most moms have a little additional milk.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    14

    Default Re: pumping output question

    I'm actually having a similar issue - but hopefully I am able to give a little helpful info. I EBF'd while I was on leave, so I really didn't know how much she was consuming in ounces.I have the Medela PISA but I also bought an Avent manual hand pump. I love that little hand pump! About a month before I started back at work, I started using the hand pump here and there (like in the middle of the night when she's sleeping and my boobies are full) sometimes I could get an ounce out in about 5 minutes. It was faster, quieter and more convenient to use then hooking up to an electric pump for 20 minutes, so I was able to build up a stockpile with small amounts of milk (one or two oz at a time) for a freezer stash.
    Previously, I was only freezing milk when I had larger quantities (such as 4 oz), and it was accumulating very slowly. Freezing in smaller quantities really helped me in this area. I would recommend getting a hand pump. You may get milk out faster with one of those. I was really surprised how much I liked the hand pump that was a fraction of the price of the Medela. I would also try to build up your stash with smaller amounts rather than large ones so that precious milk will not go to waste if you have to thaw it or supplement with formula. This is only my second week back at work, but I try to feed her right before I leave in the morning, then I pump mid-morning at work. I have her in a daycare near my office, so I BF during lunch, then I pump again in the afternoon, and immediately when we get home we nurse (and nurse and nurse and nurse..). I usually get about 7 or 8 oz during the workday pumping sessions and I send her with 10.5 oz (3 3.5 oz bottles) because we have a 45 minute to an hour commute home.

    I'm not fully keeping up with her eating just yet from these two pumping sessions, I have to try to squeeze in an extra pumping at night and/or in the morning to meet her needs. Is nursing her during the day an option for you? Initially, you may want to try sending her with a few smaller bottles 1-1.5 oz for every hour she is in daycare. The first day or two I sent her with 3-4 oz bottles (she'll drink that much, even though she may not need that much) and she slept nearly the whole day! I think it was like a food coma. Then I sent 4-3 oz bottles, and she went through all of them + a bottle that had 4 oz of "emergency" formula. I don't know if that was a growth spurt day or what, but 16 oz in 8 hours was a lot (I did not bf her during lunch that day) I now send 3 bottles with 3.5 oz's in them. She seems to do ok with this amount, plus our lunchtime bf'ing session.

    I am going to try doing a quick pumping after I do our lunch time nursing, and I am also taking fenugreek and blessed thistle to boost my supply. Beyond that, I am just going to be pumping whenever I have the chance, whether it is with the manual or electric. I have some mental issue with her getting formula or using up the freezer stash too quickly. I guess it makes me feel inadequate or something.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    14

    Default Re: pumping output question

    Oh, and the 2nd "sticky" post on this page is how to maximize your pumping output video - it shows you how to compress and massage while you are pumping to get more milk...I sometimes do this anyway, but I am going to try their techniques more and see how it goes.

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