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Thread: Am I doing ok?

  1. #1

    Unhappy Am I doing ok?

    My son is 3 months and I just have a few questions. I want to BF for 1 year but its starting to seem impossible.
    First off - yes, he wets diapers and as of his 2 month appointment had gained 3 lbs and 2 inches compared to his 1 month appt. I feel like this has slowed down in the last month. We don't see the doctor for 3 more weeks.
    I work 8 hour days and have an hour commute. I pump when I get to work, at lunch, and before I leave. He nurses 2x before bed and 2x in the morning, and sometimes he co-sleeps in the 2nd half of the night and I let him nurse.
    Here's my problem. I can, on a good week, pump 6 oz per day (2 pathetic oz each session) I'm sick this week and also fighting my 3rd bout of thrush, and its about 4 oz now.
    When he's at the nanny's, he's on formula. I know, I hate it.. Like I said I had thrush twice before and pumping killed me so I couldn't store enough milk. Hes eating 5-7 oz of formula each feeding!
    The only reason I feel like he's not getting enough is when I take him off and go to burp him he cries like he's mad and didn't get enough.. He never has been the kind to tell me he's full, he'll nurse for hours if you let him..
    Help. I'm trying so hard but working and trying to feed him is really hard!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
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    Default Re: Am I doing ok?

    Hi mama, that's great that you've been nursing for 3 months!

    A couple thoughts. First, baby is getting way too much formula with each feeding. A typical meal at the breast is 2 or 3 or maybe 4 oz, what baby gets in the bottle, whether formula or expressed milk, should be similar. If he's getting too full during the day, on expressed milk or formula, he'll nurse less with you, which is bad for your supply. Here are some resources for bottle-feeding baby in a breastfeeding friendly way:
    http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...astfedbaby.pdf
    http://kellymom.com/bf/pumpingmoms/f...ottle-feeding/

    The total amount of milk + formula baby should be getting for the length of your separation is about 10-15 oz. If you can keep that on the lower side (which would still be perfectly healthy for baby, providing you do lots of nursing when you are together), then it will be easier for you to keep up.

    The total number of times you demand your breasts to make milk is on the low side - around 7, maybe more when he nurses at night. If baby were nursing all the time, typically he would be nursing 10-12 times or more, but at least 8. So I would definitely encourage the nighttime nursing to try to up your total number of nursing + pumping sessions per 24 hours.

    What kind of pump are you using?

    If he wants to nurse for hours, let him nurse for hours. That is what maintains your breastfeeding relationship and your supply. It probably won't go on forever - even later in the year baby may be too busy to do all that nursing. But restricting baby's time at the breast, especially when you are separated for a good part of the day, is a recipe for decreasing supply. This time passes quickly!

    I know it's really hard to work and breastfeed baby. Especially that first year of baby's life can be EXHAUSTING. But it is so worth it! Hang in there, you're doing great!

  3. #3

    Default Re: Am I doing ok?

    Thank you. Up until this week, he was eating 5 oz of formula or expressed milk each feeding but he seemed so hungry afterwards. If we cut him back to 3-4 oz per bottle feeding, I feel like we'll be starving the boy and he'll want to eat more often, resulting in the same amount of formula being ingested daily anyways, and a wore out sitter trying to feed him so often.. Or am I wrong? He was in the 98th percentile last checkup for length and head circ but the 34th for weight so he should gain some, I definitely don't want to sacrifice him thriving in order to continue BFing, though I really, really want to go for a year..
    I use an Ameda Purely Yours.
    Would adding a pumping session at work be helpful? I'm not sure when I can do it but I can certainly try..

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    Default Re: Am I doing ok?

    When supply is an issue, adding sessions- whether that means nursing sessions or pumping sessions- is always the most helpful thing you can do. More stimulation + more milk removal = better supply.

    Would it be possible to upgrade to a better pump? I personally found the APY to be a bit underpowered.
    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!"

  5. #5

    Default Re: Am I doing ok?

    It's not currently in the budget.. There is another question! I know how much you pump is no indication of how much you produce, but if you up how much you pump each session (better pump, etc), are you upping how much you're producing for your baby?
    To me, it doesn't seem like a stronger pump would be the answer as I pump best on the medium setting on my pump... And reduce it to very soft (priming I guess), then when it gets flowing I move it up but if I go too hard, it seems to pretty much stop all flow.
    I worked it out with my boss to do 4 sessions at work now, and told the sitter to take him down to at least 5 oz each feeding.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    Default Re: Am I doing ok?

    How much you pump is, to some extent, an indicator of production, especially for moms who are relying on the pump a lot of the time. Let's say a mom who is home with her baby and nursing successfully (i.e. baby is gaining well, producing sufficient diaper output) can't pump a drop- does that mean anything? No, because clearly she has enough milk when she's nursing. But let's say a working mom is struggling to pump enough and her baby isn't gaining the way he should be. That's definitely an indication that her supply might need some help.

    Making more milk is generally a matter of increasing frequency of stimulation to and milk removal from the breast. The more often you stimulate the breast and the more completely you empty it every time, the more milk you should make. So you start by increasing your number of pumping sessions, and you stay with the increased number for as long as necessary to see an increase. Don't expect this to work overnight!

    I would still consider trying a different pump, if you find the flexibility in your budget. Different moms respond very differently to the various makes and models of pumps, and it's pretty common for a mom to find that one pump works better for her than another.
    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!"

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Am I doing ok?

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*jackie.furlong View Post
    It's not currently in the budget.. There is another question! I know how much you pump is no indication of how much you produce, but if you up how much you pump each session (better pump, etc), are you upping how much you're producing for your baby?
    To me, it doesn't seem like a stronger pump would be the answer as I pump best on the medium setting on my pump... And reduce it to very soft (priming I guess), then when it gets flowing I move it up but if I go too hard, it seems to pretty much stop all flow.
    I worked it out with my boss to do 4 sessions at work now, and told the sitter to take him down to at least 5 oz each feeding.
    That sounds like a great plan - that's wonderful your boss is giving you that flexibility. And I like your plan to try to slowly back down on the bottle size. If baby does fine with 5 oz, then in a week you can try 4.

    One possibility with regards to the pump would be to try a rental-grade pump for a couple months. That would be less expensive than buying a whole new pump, but may let you bump your supply up a bit - some moms find that they can then return to the personal-use pump.

    I also had another thought after I posted last night - since you have a long commute, if you are commuting in the car, you could consider pumping while driving. Set yourself up at home under a poncho or nursing cover using a hands-free setup, turn on the pump powered by a car adapter/charger, and start driving!

  8. #8
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Am I doing ok?

    3lbs in a month is not even in the realm of worrisome gain. Anything from 3.5oz a week up to 14oz a week is in the realm of "normal." So even if your baby was only gaining ONE lbs in a month, that's still gaining and still normal. Your baby is gaining more than 2oz a day. It's MORE than OK.

    Way too lazy for formula

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
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    Cleveland, OH
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    Default Re: Am I doing ok?

    I was able to increase my pumping output by about 50% by mastering breast compressions. Are you doing that? Don't rely on the pump to do all the work. When the flow begins to slow, start squeezing your breast, in various positions, and watch for any increase in flow. When you see an increase in flow, keep compressing that area until it empties. And I don't mean gently squeezing, sometimes I could really bare down (not until painful, though) on a certain area and let loose a large amount of milk that the pump alone wouldn't have extracted. Practicing will make this go more quickly each time you pump.

    http://forums.llli.org/showthread.ph...n-When-Pumping

    Keep at it, you are doing great.
    My little man was born 12/17/2010.

    Baby girl was born 4/30/2014.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
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    Default Re: Am I doing ok?

    bfwmomof3 Pumping during my commute was VITAL for me, my supply, having enough for lo while away and my sanity! I used a nursing cover and once I had it down it was really easy and saved me time at work. I know that doesn't answer all your questions, but it may help you out.

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