Happy Mothers Breastfed Babies
Results 1 to 9 of 9

Thread: Addicted to pumping?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    40

    Default Addicted to pumping?

    So a little back story. In 2010 my DD was born. I had always planned on breastfeeding. Thought it would just come natural, so imagine my surprise when I was leaving the hospital with a baby and a nipple shield in tow. I have inverted nipples (dun dun dun). I was seeing a lactation consultant twice a week for about 3 months. I was using the shield as well as pumping. She would fall asleep within minutes, put her down she'd wake up and then back to the boob I would put her. I felt so confined to my couch I forgot what my bed looked like. I also became very obsessed with her weight gain that I was bringing her in weekly. I gave her a bottle of formula once when she was 2 months old on our way to a consultation. i cried standing right there on the sidewalk feeding her because I didn't want her having formula at all. I remember the day I was finally able to latch her on with no shield. I threw my hands in triumph and quit. I pumped for her first year.

    Now fast forward to Feb of this year, my DS is born. Again my plan all along was to breastfeed. Had the same problems with my nipples, couldn't get him to latch. Again I went home with a nipple shield and this time my pump in tow. Since I knew what to expect this time I put myself on a pumping schedule as soon as I got home. I would try and latch him from time to time but the majority was pumping. He loves nursing when I am able to get him to latch. I tried stopping the pumping about 2 months ago and had the starting of mastitis. mind you I tried going cold turkey.

    At this point I can latch him without the shield, usually I do it for his bedtime feed lying in bed after bath, but I can't seem to let the pump go. I'm obsessed with seeing the amount I pump at each session. I panic if my bottle supply in the fridge goes below 6 at any given time. I feel like when he nurses and comes off if he cries 20 minutes later I have to put him back to the breast because unlike a bottle you can't see what they have gotten. I feel like I'm going crazy because I keep making the poor boy go back and forth from bottle to boob. Am I doing more harm then good and just choose one or the other/

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,341

    Default Re: Addicted to pumping?

    Welcome to the forum! I am sorry nursing has been so stressful so far, but the problems you describe are usually fixable. Please don't worry that you need to choose either pumping or nursing- many babies get both from a very early age and it is not in any way damaging to them! But we'd love to get you to a place where your relationship with the pump becomes an optional one.

    I have some questions for you which may help us figure out whether or not pumping is necessary...

    It sounds like your baby is still using the shield most of the time. Correct? If so, have you been trying to offer the bare breast more often than just 1x per day, in the bath, and how is that going?

    It also sounds like you must be offering a fair number of bottles. How many bottles are you giving per day, and how often do you give them? Do you give them after every feeding or most feedings? Do you ever offer them in place of a feeding? And how much milk are you offering in the bottles?

    How often are you pumping and how much milk are you getting?
    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!"

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    298

    Default Re: Addicted to pumping?

    I don't have a lot of practical advice, but I wanted to just tell you that I can relate to this feeling a little bit. I was pumping and then pumping and nursing using a shield at the beginning (my daughter was in the NICU at birth and was not able to breastfeed at first) and I can relate to the feeling of being obsessed with that pump output and with seeing those bottles in the fridge. It's natural--that milk is how you are keeping your baby alive!! So it takes on a huge significance, and why shouldn't it?? Then, we were finally successful at just breastfeeding on demand full time with no pumping. What happened is that I got my pumping output to the point where all of her supplements were expressed breast milk, then we did before and after feeding weights that showed that she was able to transfer milk effectively, then I was told to stop pumping and we came back after no pumping and saw that she had gained weight. So we kind of "graduated" in stages and it took a lot of reassuring me on the part of our lactation consultant that it was going to be OK for me to go home and put away the pump. Once we finally got there, it was glorious, of course, but also kind of crazy-making because it took me a long while to get comfortable with the idea that she could possibly be getting enough from me.

    What helped me, honestly, was weighing her weekly. That and monitoring her outputs closely. I felt a little bit like a crazy person at the time weighing her so often (obsessed is a word I would have also applied to myself) but in retrospect, I should have been easier on myself. Each week that I weighed her and her weight gain was good, it reinforced the idea in my head that breastfeeding was in fact working how it was supposed to. And that was very positive for me. And it was something proactive that I could do that reassured me a lot. There was a baby scale at the community center where I went to a weekly new mom group and all the moms weighed their babies, so that helped because it made me feel more normal.

    Also, it's OK to put him back to the breast 20 minutes after he comes off. The best thing you can do for your supply and for your nursing relationship is just nurse. So if you're not sure if he's had enough, just offer him more. It's not really possible to breastfeed "too much" so I wouldn't worry about that.

    I see no harm in what you're doing--going between breast and bottle frequently--if that is what is working for both of you. But pumping is so much work--it would be great if you didn't feel like you had to do it!! I think you're doing great and you will get there!! Hang in there!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    40

    Default Re: Addicted to pumping?

    I'm pumping about 4X a day, getting about 8-10 4oz bottles. He feeds roughly every 2-4 hours. I've been trying to nurse him in between pumping since I know my supply will only dwindle if I don't up the feedings somewhere. I'm no longer using the shield. Once I got him latched without it I pretty much went skipping to the garbage and threw it out. He is bottle fed about 90% of the time. If I try to nurse him other times he'll sometimes get frustrated and just cry. Then I get frustrated and just go and grab a bottle. My supply in one breast is also pretty low. Always has been. I'm lucky if I can pump 2 ounces out of it where as the other one I will get between 5-6 ounces. So When I nurse I always nurse him on that one breast, then I'll pump after he feeds so I can make sure both are empty. the first hour after pumping I'm at ease and relaxed, and then once that hour is up it's almost like I'm on edge counting down for the next session. It's so frustrating when you expect something to be one way and it ends up being polar opposite. In the end my concern is him being on breastmilk, so weither it's through pumping or nursing I'll be happy.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Addicted to pumping?

    My only suggestion is to put him to breast as much as possible, and keep pumping you are a great mama and you are doing everything you can to give your baby breastmilk! Go you!!! Try to nurse him when no one is stressed out or even super hungry!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    5,892

    Default Re: Addicted to pumping?

    I'm pumping about 4X a day, getting about 8-10 4oz bottles.
    What the-are you getting 40 ounces total pumping 4 times a day!????How long do you pump for each time?

    Normal amount for a breastfed baby to ingest is about 25-30 ounces a day. And 4 ounces at a time would be baby's biggest meal, anything from 1-4 ounces at a time, 5 tops, would be "normal." A 4 or 5 month old baby would normally nurse about 8 times a day -many will nurse more often.

    It sounds to me as if you may have overproduction and your baby is likely frustrated due to the milk letdown being too MUCH. Not too little. This is called, forceful letdown.

    No wonder you are addicted to pumping. If baby won't nurse, if you don't pump you are going to explode!

    Does any of this sound familiar? You may have to adjust this in your mind to see if anything fits, most of the signs of forceful letdown are from how baby nurses, so if you are not nursing...
    http://kellymom.com/bf/got-milk/supp.../fast-letdown/
    BTW, even if you suspect overproduction, DON'T start block nursing or, I guess-block pumping! Not yet. The amount of times you are removing milk from the breasts is already really low. Just read this and see if it fits for you at all and let us know.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,341

    Default Re: Addicted to pumping?

    You are pumping a HUGE volume of milk. Obviously supply is not a problem for you- with so much milk, your baby probably gets way more than enough milk when he nurses, especially because you're not using a shield.

    What is your goal, mama? Are you comfortable with bottle-feeding and pumping, or would you prefer to simply nurse? If you want to nurse, then the best way to do it is to put in the time and effort and take away the bottles. I know this sounds easier said than done, and I recognize that it may result in a lot of frustration for you and baby as you make the transition from mostly bottle-feeding to mostly or exclusively nursing.
    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!"

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    40

    Default Re: Addicted to pumping?

    Some of that seems to fit. Sometimes when I've tried to latch him he would refuse it and just cry and cry and cry until I went and got the bottle. I'm not really sure what my goal is. Just like with my DD I seem to make up my mind about just exclussively pumping and then start feeling guilty and attempt to try to nurse more. Get frustrated with nursing and go back to pumping. It's a wicked cycle! I think what I want is finding a happy medium with doing both, but not being too fanatic and obsessive about it like I am. But I'm not sure how to embrace and enjoying nursing, not like I much enjoy pumping either. When he is done nursing from one side I go and grab my pump and start pumping both sides. I know I do this to see how much he has taken in. I guess I'm just not sure how to let go and just go with the flow.

    Now if I do try to go more towards just nursing how should I go about it? My last pump is usually 11-12 at night and I won't pump again until we wake up. At that morning pump is when I get the most; 15 ounces. Should I nurse him till he is done and then pump the rest? Or wait until a later feed? Also will the side I produce the least go up? The most I get from my right side is 3 ounces and that is in the morning. The rest of the day I'll be lucky if I get 1 1/2-2 ounces.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,341

    Default Re: Addicted to pumping?

    I think that lack of confidence- in the body's ability to make milk, and/or the baby's ability to get milk- is what dooms a lot of breastfeeding relationships. So my feeling is that you need to take a deep, deep breath and just trust that you and your baby can do this! And also keep in mind that as long as the baby is still willing to nurse, your options remain very open. Nothing you do in a few days or a few weeks is going to have a permanent negative effect. Right?

    If you decide to move towards more nursing and less bottles, the best way to do it is to remain very relaxed. You want this to be a positive, no-pressure experience for the baby. A lot of moms who are trying to get away from bottles simply get into bed with their babies, and take a "nursing vacation" where all they do is nurse, cuddle, nurse, nap, and nurse some more.

    Since you currently have a significant oversupply- seriously, you could probably just about feed 2 babies!- I don't think you need to worry about your milk production. It might even be a good thing if your production were to decrease, since oversupply can make nursing more difficult for the baby and lead to increased fussiness and/or bottle preference. That being said, you may need to continue to pump after feedings, just to keep yourself from becoming uncomfortable. The average baby usually takes about 2-4 oz when nursing at the breast. Let's say you nurse your baby first thing in the morning, and he takes in a huge feeding of 4-5 oz. That's still going to leave 10-11 oz in the breast, and I think you're probably going to want to pump a few of those oz out so that you're not terribly uncomfortable. Maybe not the entire 10-11. How about aiming for 9-10? That way if baby wants to nurse right after you finish pumping, you won't be worried that there's nothing in the breast, because there will be at least 2 oz in there.

    As you transition away from bottles, don't be surprised if your baby is suddenly nursing all the time. Babies who nurse tend to have unpredictable feeding habits- for example, they might sometimes go 2-3 hours without being hungry and sometimes want to feed 20-30 minutes are their last session. As long as diaper output remains normal, there's no need to worry about your baby's intake, even if feeding frequency goes way, way up.

    Your baby is already sleeping through the night. How do you feel about that? The reason I ask is that nighttime is often a wonderful time to nurse a baby who has some reluctance about nursing. During the day, when baby is alert and active, he may be willing to kick up a fuss in order to get a bottle. At night, the baby is often too sleepy to make waves about how he is fed. So night-nursing might be a great way to transition away from the bottles.
    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!"

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •