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Thread: First Time Nursing Mom... HELP!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Huntsville, Alabama
    Posts
    3

    Unhappy First Time Nursing Mom... HELP!

    Hey Ladies!

    I have read through a lot of the other threads and am going to start implementing the suggestions as much as possible.

    Here is my dilemma.

    My LO is now 7 months old. I have been back at work since he was 7 weeks old. (Yes I hate it but I have to work!) I have had to supplement with formula. I have been pumping at work since I have been back. I am only allowed 2 pumping sessions for about 20 minutes. I am getting 6 ounces with both pumping sessions. I exclusively nurse him on weekends and at night but I am not producing anymore than I am at the moment. Most of my friends are getting 6-8 in one pumping session. I would love to stop supplementing with formula. He is eating 6 ounces of breastmilk and roughly 14 ounces of formula with rice cereal plus solids at the daycare. On weekends and at night then I nurse him. He does not seem to be hungry but does fall asleep a lot while he nurses. (This is more now then before.) I have to switch breasts when he falls asleep.

    I finally broke down and bought in the Medela In style advanced and love it. I just want to know what I can do to increase my supply tri-fold. I would love to pump more at work but it's not possible.

    PLEASE HELP! I feel like such a failure at this!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
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    2,207

    Default Re: First Time Nursing Mom... HELP!

    Hi mama, welcome to the forum! First off, you're not a failure! You've been breastfeeding him for 7 months so that is a great start.

    I'm not completely clear whether you are getting 6 ounces at each pumping session, or 6 ounces total over your two pumping sessions? But I would say that 6-8 ounces in one pumping session is a lot, so your friends may happen to be mamas with very good pump outputs. Pump output really varies a LOT between mamas so I wouldn't drive yourself crazy by comparing yourself to other mothers. What you should focus on is how can you get as much breastmilk as you can for your little one. It sounds like you absolutely cannot pump more at work. So that means adding in pumping sessions at other times of the day. Before work, after work, at bedtime, during your commute - whenever you can squeeze it in. Also, it's great you got yourself a Medela PISA. That's a great pump and you may see that just by using a better pump, you will increase the amount you get out at work. Also, you do want to encourage him to nurse as much as possible when you're together, so definitely give him open access to the breast all night long and on the weekends.

    The other issue is that your baby is probably being overfed while you're at work. For exclusively breastfed babies, we say 1 to 1.5 ounces per hour apart. Your baby is getting 20 ounces so unless you're apart for a really long day, that is probably too much. This works against you in two ways. First, most mothers are going to have a VERY hard time pumping 20 ounces of milk at work. But you may not need anywhere near that much! For example, if you are apart for 10 hours, you only need between 10 and 15 ounces. Second, if baby is getting stuffed full of milk and formula while you're at work, he's going to be less hungry when you are together, therefore he'll want to nurse less - as you've observed he does not seem to be that hungry when you are together. The less he nurses when you're together, the less stimulation to your breasts to make milk, and therefore when you pump, less will come out. For babies getting only breastmilk, you want the bottle size to be 2-3 ounces, or maybe 4 ounces maximum - that's how much baby gets when he is at the breast! So if baby is getting bigger bottles than that, you might want to see whether you can gradually cut back on bottle size. For example, if he's getting a six ounce bottle, see if you can have the caregivers back down to 5, then 4.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
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    206

    Default Re: First Time Nursing Mom... HELP!

    You don't sound like a failure--I think you're doing an awesome job working full time, nursing, pumping, and trying to do what's best for your LO.

    I agree with PP that 6-8 oz for 1 pump session would be a lot. When I was working pt, I only had about 20 min, and I usually pumped about 4-5 total per session. What I would recommend is pumping a little extra in the morning, preferably right after you've nursed LO, if you can work that into your schedule. I stay at home now, but I always pump in the morning with the goal of getting about 3-4 oz of milk to use for my LO's cereal/food for the rest of the day. Seems to work out good, and I am always able to nurse him to his contentment about 1.5 hrs later. You might also try to get in some extra pumping on the weekend, after nursing baby of course.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Nashville, TN
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    Default Re: First Time Nursing Mom... HELP!

    Not sure if this is an option for you but a month after I returned to work I had to rent a hospital grade pump because I could not keep up. So I have been using it since Nov and my LO is currently 9.5 months. I rent the Medela Symphony. i also use Pumpin Pals flanges, the set with 3 sizes as somedays I do need a different sized flange. In a single good pump session I can get 6 to 8 oz in under 20 min. With my Medela PISA I was getting very little even at 30 min. I also hydrate constantly from the time I wake up till about 6pm and I take Fenugreek.

    AS PPs said, you're no failure. The choreography of working/pumping is a whole other job itself.
    1st time mom over 40 to Alex(andra) b: 7/14/12

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Oklahoma
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    Default Re: First Time Nursing Mom... HELP!

    Somebody back me up here.....
    WHOA! That's alot of food for a 7 month old! Is he there 8 hrs in the day or do you work 12s? I agree with pp, that he is perhaps being overfed at daycare so when he's with you he's not interested in eating that much. LLL has a great printable document for daycare workers on how to bottle feed a breastfed baby. If you can get him to eat less and wait for you I'll bet that will also help get your supply back up. Be ready to marathon nurse though. Or maybe it's just your pump?

    My LO reverse cycles, in degrees depending on his mood. Yesterday he took 4 oz. of breastmilk at daycare plus some avocado. So he nursed a whole lot in the evening and last night. I can't limit his nursing time when we are together. He's hungry 30 minutes after a 45 minute nursing session? He gets nursed. He's 8 months old now and doing great.

    And way to go on getting to 7 months!!! That is hard to do, especially when you're supplementing. AND fantastic job on not supplementing in the evening and on weekends. A lot of mamas cave when they have to supplement at daycare and start doing it at home too which only makes things worse. You are a rock star.
    A non-granola Okie cloth diapering, baby wearing, sleep sharing, working mom, breastfeeding, plastic recycling mama.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
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    Huntsville, Alabama
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    Default Re: First Time Nursing Mom... HELP!

    I am getting 6 ounces total from the two sessions. It really does stink. I am trying to nurse as often as possible. I would like to stop supplementing with formula because he is getting more than enough solids where I could pick up the difference if I could pump more.

    In an ideal world I would love to stay home and exclusively breastfeed but unfortunately I cannot.

    I will try to squeeze in two more sessions (maybe one on my way to work in the car and one on the way home.) Do you think if I take a day where I feed him and then pump throughout the day would help?

    THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for your help!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
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    Huntsville, Alabama
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    Default Re: First Time Nursing Mom... HELP!

    I will try that. I could get up a little earlier and pump after I feed him before we leave. Even if I only get an ounce or less than it is at least a start.

    I thought it was a lot for him to eat as well. They have him eating something every 3 hours so... I will have to slowly cut back on what he has at the daycare.

    THANK YOU!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
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    2,207

    Default Re: First Time Nursing Mom... HELP!

    Eating every three hours is normal for a breastfed baby, what's important is that he should not be drinking more than 3 oz or maybe 4 at that interval. The extra pumping sessions will definitely help, and if you can take a day to just nurse and pump that should help too. The more you give your breasts the signal to make milk by nursing or pumping, the more they will increase their supply!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    New Jersey
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    Default Re: First Time Nursing Mom... HELP!

    No advice, but hugs to you! Keep up the good work- you're absolutely not a failure!!!
    Christina
    Proud First Time Mommy to Baby Joey, 12-13-12, via all-natural hospital Bradley Method, Hubby and Doula assisted Labor!
    Lactivist Babywearing International Member

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    80

    Default Re: First Time Nursing Mom... HELP!

    Speaking from experience, it's hard to put strict limits around baby's food with daycare providers. I picked my DS up from daycare yesterday and aside from being told he was very crabby (he's teething and growth-spurting), I was told they gave him 20 oz of milk in 9 hours. No way did I produce 20 oz of milk while I was at work! Daycares have a habit of hearing a miserable baby, knowing it's hungry and filling it up with a bottle to stop the crying. Which is counterproductive with a breastfeeding relationship, but some days I have to choose my battles. So here is what I've been doing: I feed boy in the morning. I pump both breasts immediately afterwards before I leave for work. I pump three sessions at work. And I fit one pumping session in at night after a feeding. Little by little I am building supply. It is definitely slow going. Another tip is to not look at your output while pumping. I have a habit of stressing out if I know that what is being output is not the equivalent to what I know is being input. So if I set the timer on my phone, cover up with my cardigan and relax, I always get more than when I watch like a hawk and tense up.

    You're doing great!! Being a full time working mom and breastfeeding is a hard haul. And a thankless one most of the time. Keep up the great work. Someday your little one will be able to understand just how hard you've worked for him

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