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Thread: Trying to figure out a breastfeeding/pumping routine

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
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    15

    Default Trying to figure out a breastfeeding/pumping routine

    Hello!

    My baby will be 14 weeks old this Friday and currently I am on my 4th day back at work. I'm struggling a bit to figure out the breastfeeding/pumping schedule every day. At work I have been able to successfully pump 3 times a day and end up pumping a few more ounces than she needs for the 3 bottles the following day. Where I am struggling the most is knowing how many breastfeeding sessions I should be fitting in when we are together.

    She is typically going to bed around 6:30pm which is when I feed her last for the day and then sleeps until about 4 or 5am. When she sleeps until 4am I feed her right away and then try to feed her one more time before leaving by 7:30am. When we get home I try to feed her right at 4:30 or 5:00pm even if her last bottle was 3:30 and then again around 6:30 before she sleeps. Am I trying to cram too much in during the evenings? Also, every now and then (but so far not a day when I have been working) she sleeps until 6:30am. If she was to do this during a work day I would only get one breastfeeding session in before work for a total of 3 instead of 4. Is that ok or should I be making her wake up at 5:00?

    I hope this makes sense. I might be over-thinking this all, but I just want to make sure she is getting enough. I really want to make breastfeeding work even though I'm back at work. Thank you for your help!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
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    1,907

    Default Re: Trying to figure out a breastfeeding/pumping routine

    Hi mama, sounds like you've got a good pumping routine down, that's great!

    The short answer to how much to breastfeed at home: as much as possible! My LO is now 14 months but some evenings are still a nurse-a-thon!

    So, your LO is going a very long stretch at night. This may not last but I think you're right to be a little bit worried about not breastfeeding enough at home, because that really helps with supply. So one suggestion is to nurse her when you go to bed - let's say that's at 9:30 or 10. That will help break up that long stretch. And it's also perfectly fine to wake her in the morning for a feed.

    I guess one question I have is how much is baby eating during the day over how many hours? You want to be sure she isn't being overfed, leading to decreased nursing when you are together.

    But overall, sounds like you are doing great with the transition back to work. It does take some extra effort to make it all work out so I think it's good that you are thinking about it!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
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    15

    Default Re: Trying to figure out a breastfeeding/pumping routine

    Thank you for your response! I am usually gone from my daughter about 9 hours and she typically gets 3 4oz bottles while we are away, but occasionally she has only had two by the time I get there. I only bring what she should bring each day for her to eat instead of giving her a big freezer stash because I feel like it prevents the daycare from feeding her automatically when she is fussy (I don't know that they would - I'm just paranoid).

    I also forgot to mention I pump right before going to bed. I had tried for a while waking her right before I went to bed to feed her but it always resulted in a very fussy rest of the night with her waking more often instead of sleeping through. So between breastfeeding and pumping I am getting 8 sessions in each day and she typically gets 7 feedings in.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
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    1,907

    Default Re: Trying to figure out a breastfeeding/pumping routine

    Okay, so it sounds like her daytime feeding amount is perfect. I think it's good to be vigilant against overfeeding for fussiness! I think it's fine to pump rather than feed when you go to bed.

    8 sessions is at the lower end of the usual number of pumping+nursing sessions in 24 hours. Which may be fine for you, it may not be. Mothers vary in the frequency they need to keep up their supply. So, how is your pump output? Are you struggling to get what your LO needs, or are you freezing extra each day? How much do you pump in your first morning session?

    For your baby, 7 is also a bit below normal. Again, if you have a large storage capacity and baby's meals are on the upper end of normal - like if she is getting 4 oz at the breast each time, it may be just fine. But I think you just want to keep it in mind and if there is any concern about weight or diapers, do try to get another session in somewhere.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
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    15

    Default Re: Trying to figure out a breastfeeding/pumping routine

    My output is typically 4-6 ounces each time, sometimes slightly less. I am typically at least pumping just as much as she needs for bottles the next day but sometimes putting a few ounces in the freezer too.

    The diaper output has been fine and as of her 2 month appointment he weight gain was great. We actually had slow weight gain and a tongue tie in the beginning. At her 1 month appointment she was in the 18th percentile for weight, and by the 2 month appointment she had jumped up to the 57th - that felt pretty great .

    Thanks for the help -I feel like I'm always continuously trying to figure this out. The binder that the pediatrician sent home with me at her first appointment listed that from 6 weeks to 3 months that babies will nurse 6 to 10 times in a 24 hour period, and from 3 months to 6 months 5 to 8 times. I had read differing things online though so I was confused.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
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    1,907

    Default Re: Trying to figure out a breastfeeding/pumping routine

    If your pump output is 4-6 ounces per session, it's possible that your baby is more on the 4 ounce side of the feedings. That's great pump output! But ultimately it all comes down to weight gain and it sounds like she is doing great in that department. (yay, mama's milk!) As for the binder you got from your pediatrician - nursing 5 or 6 times sounds low. In any case, if you offer frequently, nurse on demand, and let your LO stay at the breast for as long as she likes, it's hard to go wrong!

  7. #7

    Default Re: Trying to figure out a breastfeeding/pumping routine

    5 or 6 times is low. In my experience, a baby nursing this infrequently means mom is not going to be able to maintain adequate production over time. When a baby is nursing this infrequently at 2 or 3 months, mom is calling me at four or six months with low production issues. Especially if mom is also working ouitside the home.

    There are two concerns when mom is back at work as far as breastfeeding goes. 1) pumping enough milk for baby and 2) maintaining adequate milk production overall

    Your pump out put is excellent-now. Your baby is getting plenty of milk-now. But pumping is not the same as nursing. It tends to not keep up production as well over time. So simply being back at work and pumping instead of nursing during the day is a risk to ongoing milk production.

    Baby sleeping a super long stretch at night/and or, infrequent feeds overall is also a risk to ongoing milk production. A typical 3 month old baby who is a very good sleeper might sleep as long as 5 hours in one stretch each night. Maybe as much as 8, on occasion. 10 + hours is very long for a baby of any age. Your baby may continue to gain fine, because you have great milk production and her feedings are thus on the large side. But that long stretch with no nursing is another potential risk to milk production.
    You might do fine with only one hit to your production, because it sounds as if you probably make more than your baby needs. Many mothers do especially in the early months. But over time, the two things together-working plus long stretch at night- are likely to cause an issue with your milk production.

    Here are things that can keep baby sleeping longer than ‘normal.’ Pacifier use for sleep, swaddling for sleep, and/or baby sleeping in another room from mom most of the night.
    So if you are using/doing any of these things at night, you could consider if you want to try not doing so and seeing if baby wakes to nurse more often.

    If not, or you are not doing any of these things and baby is still this long a sleeper, there is no harm in getting baby and putting baby to the breast in her sleep, or waking baby to nurse, maybe before you go to bed yourself.

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