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Thread: Frequency or duration?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Posts
    9

    Default Frequency or duration?

    I am two weeks into being back at work full time - pumping 3 times a day. I am noticing my output decreasing slightly each day. In the beginning, I was bringing home 3-4 extra ounces (DD gets three 5 ounce bottles while I'm at work). Yesterday, I produced exactly 15 ounces - not a drop more. I am worried that if the pattern continues, I won't be able to keep up.
    Hopefully, it won't be necessary, but if my output continues to decrease, is it better to add an additional pumping session during the day? Or to pump for longer at each of the three sessions?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    19,881

    Default Re: Frequency or duration?

    It's usually better to add the extra session. But increased duration won't hurt, so if you have the option of increasing both frequency and duration, take it.

    What sort of pump are you using?
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    1,900

    Default Re: Frequency or duration?

    Hi mama, I agree, I'd go for the extra session. But one thing I wanted to comment on is that 5 oz is a large bottle size for a breastfed baby. A typical "meal" at the breast is 2-3 ounces, maybe 4 - so the bottle should be similar. You might want to see if you can back down to 4 oz bottles. It's common for overfeeding to occur with breastfed babies because a lot of care providers are more used to formula-fed babies, who tend to take in larger amounts less frequently. Also, it's easy to just tip the bottle up a bit to get baby to take in that last ounce, etc. Here are some resources from kellymom about bottle-feeding the breastfed baby, including some information you can print out and go over with your care provider:

    http://kellymom.com/bf/pumpingmoms/e...reastfed-baby/
    http://kellymom.com/bf/pumpingmoms/f...ottle-feeding/

    In general, the rule of thumb is 1 - 1.5 ounces of milk per hour apart. So if you're apart for 10 hours your baby is hitting the upper limit of that, and if you're apart for less than 10 hours, you're above that range. 15 ounces of pumped milk is actually great pump output.

    Also agree with mommal that the pump you're using can make a huge difference! The other thing that makes a difference is lots of nursing when you're together with baby - including nighttime nursing.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    middle of IA
    Posts
    1,885

    Default Re: Frequency or duration?

    i agree with PPs, and add that 15 oz in 3 pumps is normal-to-high production. most mamas have to pump an extra time to get enough - either early in the morning, or weekends, or at work. sometimes all of those, when supply dips or baby has a growth spurt. pumping sucks but it's worth it
    DS1 6/7/11
    DS2 10/29/13

    Nursing, pumping, cloth-diapering, babywearing, working professor mama with the awesomest SAHD ever.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    463

    Default Re: Frequency or duration?

    Agree with all of the above (especially dropping bottle size down to 4 oz or less). I would also add that, having been pumping at work now for 8 months, I sometimes see week-to-week fluctuations in my pump output. I think it is different for everyone, but some things that seem to effect my pump output are if I am sick or at all under the weather; if I am well rested; stress level; nutrition and hydration. If I have a week with lower pump output, I try to address those issues (drink more water, do earlier bedtime for a few days, etc), and I also put more conscious attention on baby's nursing habits for a week or so (by things like: make sure I'm consistently offering to nurse right before I leave for work; make sure I'm offering to nurse at least twice between daycare pickup and bedtime). Usually if I just put my mind to taking better care of myself and giving baby lots of opportunities to boost my supply, the pump output jumps back up to normal.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Posts
    9

    Default Re: Frequency or duration?

    Thank you for your responses!

    I am away from DD for 10 hours, so I know I am on the upper end of the limit with 15 ounces. I was originally leaving 4oz bottles, but 2 out 3 times, DD was still hungry - I was home with the nanny for 2 weeks before returning to work, so I witnessed myself that she was being properly fed, etc. That being said, I'll try dropping back down to 4oz and will leave frozen "toppers" in the freezer, just in case.

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