Re: Leaving 10mo old for ten days! Need help w/ freeze stash
My first thought when a mom posts with a situation like this is "Can you take the baby with you?" And my second thought is " Can you delay the trip until your baby is over a year, and less dependent on your milk?" If the trip is unavoidable, it's okay! It's just that a lot of moms seem to get... Pushed? Lured? into baby-free trips that they don't actually need to take. Often it's a vacation with their spouse, during which they're supposed to reconnect and have baby-free fun- and I am all for that, unless it is causing unreasonable levels of stress about milk supply and pumping and separation from the baby!
Your goal of 35 oz per day of absence is probably about equal to your baby's needs. Most babies need about 1.5 oz per hour of separation from mom, and 1.5 oz x 24 hours = 36 oz per day. When a baby is nursing, milk intake generally maxes out around 30 oz, but babies tend to take more from the bottle than they do from the breast. Now, with an older baby who is eating a fair amount of solids, the total milk need may be less, but I still think your goal is fairly reasonable.
2 oz after nursing is excellent yield for a mom who is also nursing. It's pretty common for moms to get nothing at all with the pump when their supplies are well-matched to baby's demand. When you're pumping instead of nursing, you'll likely get more.
Don't worry about draining yourself right before baby nurses. Supply = demand. The more the pump and baby demand from the breast, the more you'll make. Pumping right before nursing, and being very empty when baby feeds, may lead to a fussy feeding, and to baby wanted to eat again much sooner than average. But it's not harmful and all that stimulation and demand will let your body know that it needs to increase supply. Basically, if you want an oversupply you are going about it in the right way.
Your plan to pump just 3 times a day while you're gone does not sound adequate to me. In order to maintain supply at the level the baby needs, you want to pump about as often as baby nurses, or even more often because pumps aren't as good at emptying the breast or maintaining supply as babies are. And I don't think you should look at your time away as an opportunity to skip the nighttime sessions, even if the baby is sleeping through at that point. I know that sounds super mean, but I'm serious. I know when my girls were weaning and dropped down to 3 nursing sessions per day, my supply pretty much vanished.
Now, if you pump just 3 times a day and your supply takes a major hit- and I suspect that it would- then you can still reestablish it when you come home, provided that your baby is willing and eager to do the work it takes to make that happen. Nurse more, and you'll make more.
Breastfed babies typically need just 2-4 oz of milk per feeding, compensating for the small size of the average speeding by nursing quite frequently. Your bottles should probably contain only around 2-3 oz, with a 1-2 oz "chaser" bottle for your care provider. That way the feeding must pause while the care provider reaches for the second bottle, enabling baby to have a chance to decide whether or not he's really hungry for more.
Has baby taken a bottle before?
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