Re: Exclusively pumping- need help increasing supply
I totally understand what you mean when you say you have more of a relationship with the pump than your baby. It is really, really difficult to balance needing to pump against the unpredictable needs of a baby.
If you don't have a hospital-grade pump with correctly sized shields, I, like the PP, would strongly suggest getting one. Hospital pumps get more milk with less effort, and you really need less effort in your life right now! That being said, when it comes to milk production, there is no substitute for effort. All the herbs and drugs in the world won't do you as much good as pumping frequently. And when you're EPing, there's really no telling how long you're going to need to pump frequently. I know you'll read about some EPing moms who managed to go down to just a few pumping sessions per day and still provide enough for their babies- but believe me, they are the exception, not the rule.
If you are scheduling your pumping sessions, it may help to ditch the schedule. Aim for 8-10 sessions per day (or more, if you can), but if you happen to have a break in baby care just 30 minutes after you last pumped, use that break to pump even though it's not on your schedule.
Another thing that might help is power pumping. You pump both breasts for 10 minutes, rest for 10, pump for 10, rest for 10, and pump once more for 10 minutes for a total of 30 minutes of pumping in a 1-hour period. Power pumping is supposed to mimic the way babies feed, and boost supply, during a growth spurt.
One of the most onerous parts of EPing is the washing. 3 things that may help:
- Leave a large basin of soapy water near the sink and throw bottles and pump parts in as they get used. I found that doing a few larger wash-ups per day was less draining than doing a whole bunch of small ones.
- Buy a second or even third set of pump parts, so you only have to wash them once or twice a day.
- Wash your pump parts only every 2nd use. Simply leave the pump screwed onto the bottle after use, pop the whole thing in the fridge, and re-use the same set-up the next time you need to pump. My LC said it was safe to pump new milk on top of old, but if you're not comfortable with that you can always swap in a new bottle.
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!"