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Thread: Pumping Question

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Posts
    16

    Question Pumping Question

    Hi y'all,
    I have a 9 week old and just returned to work. She is EBF and I have a small storage for her in the freezer. I'm able to pump at work, but I don't know how often and for how long I should pump? Yesterday I pumped 3 times during my work hours. My first pump yielded a large amount (3 and 2.5oz), the second yielded fair (2.5, 2oz), and the last a small amount (1 and 1oz). Am I pumping too many times? Is 1oz out of each sufficient? Please help !!! Thank y'all !!!


    Mom of 2 beautiful girls

    Michelle Antoinette 7/1/12
    Mia Ann 12/27/13

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    NY
    Posts
    583

    Default Re: Pumping Question

    First of all, your pumping outputs sound totally normal. Second, to answer if you are pumping enough, I have to ask a couple of questions! Most importantly, how long are you separated from your baby? The amount of pumping you need to do is dependent on that. On average, EBF babies will need 1-1.5 oz of milk per hour of separation. So if you are separated from baby for 10 hours a day, it's reasonable to assume baby will need 10-15 oz of milk. How much is your baby drinking during your separations now?
    Apologies for the short responses! I'm usually responding one-handed on my smartphone!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    2,209

    Default Re: Pumping Question

    The bottom line is that you need to pump however often it takes to maintain supply and provide baby with what she needs, and that's going to vary to some extent from mom to mom. But pumping three times in the day would be fairly average for an 8 or 9 hour workday. And how long will also vary. 15-20 minutes is average but some moms need longer - 20-30 minutes, and others less. It's also really typical for pump output to decline over the course of the day.

    One thing is to make sure baby is not being overfed with the bottle, which is easy to do. You want your baby's caregivers to used paced feeding techniques, and you want to use the slowest flow nipples you can find (a "0" or a "1" depending on the brand). Typically baby should get a 2 or 3 oz bottle, maybe give the caregiver some 1 oz "toppers" to use as needed. Here are some links about bottle-feeding the breastfed baby:
    http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...astfedbaby.pdf
    http://kellymom.com/bf/pumpingmoms/f...ottle-feeding/

    And definitely give us more specifics as sonogirl mentions so we can give you more specific suggestions!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Posts
    16

    Default Re: Pumping Question

    Thanks for the advice and the peace of mind. I was bewildered as to why my milk supply was dwindling after each pump.

    I’m separated from my LO for 10 hours. I’ve been trying to keep an early morning schedule for her, but her sleeping habits aren't stable. She can sleep for long periods of time and I have to wake her to eat because she can sleep past the 4 hour mark. Sometimes she wakes up at 4:30am and 5:30. I’ve been working on our night time routine as well so I can get her to eat by 6am; she feed for 30-45min.

    My caregiver (a close friend of mine who also EBF her child til 2yo), said if she sleeps for 3-4 hours she will consume the full 3oz, but if she sleeps 2-3 hours she’ll take 2-2.5oz. She also said it takes her 15-20min to eat (I don’t know if that helps much).

    Another question: how far apart should each pumping session be if I do indeed need to pump 3 times a day? I leave the house at 6:45am and am back home at 4:30pm

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    2,209

    Default Re: Pumping Question

    That's great that your baby's caregiver is an experienced breastfeeding mom! Sounds like her bottle amounts are right on target. Also normal for feedings to take a while, especially when baby is younger. Older babies often become more efficient at the breast. Also normal for babies to have variable sleep patterns.

    So, let's say you nurse at 6:30. You could pump at 8:30 am, 11:30 am, and 2:30, for example. Or 9 am, noon, 2:30. Basically you just want to spread them out somewhat evenly through the day but also according to your work schedule - like a lot of moms will pump during their lunch break, so you can plan around that. And it doesn't have to be at EXACTLY the same time every day if you have something that comes up, but keeping a somewhat consistent schedule helps - it's like your breasts "know" when it's pumping time!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
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    16

    Default Re: Pumping Question

    Lol thanks

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    NY
    Posts
    583

    Default Re: Pumping Question

    It sounds like your caregiver is doing a great job with feeding. That's so, so helpful!

    And if for some reason, your pumping output isn't keeping up, you can always tweak your pumping schedule. It took me a couple of weeks back at work to figure out exactly what I needed to do. In my case, it was necessary to pump a bit more frequently than the "average" mom, and to pump for longer durations than the "average" mom, too! Let us know if you run into any issues, and we can figure out what to do to work through them!
    Apologies for the short responses! I'm usually responding one-handed on my smartphone!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Posts
    16

    Default Re: Pumping Question

    I ran into a problem at my 1st session today. Originally my LB had less output than my right and now it is reverse ... is that normal? I pumped for 20 min today and my RB was still engorged after pumping. I decided to hand express and that was a relief. I message both breasts as i pump but my RB was not releasing as much; pumped 1oz out and hand expressed another oz out.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
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    2,209

    Default Re: Pumping Question

    Which breast has higher output can vary - if baby starts preferring one over the other and nursing more off of it, that can increase output on that side. But I guess the question is whether there might be some other issue - a plug on the right side or a problem pumping on the right side - for example could you have a tiny hole in the membrane that you used on the right side and that's why you weren't emptying the right breast with the pump? Next session maybe switch sides in terms of your flange/valve/membrane to see if that might be the case.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
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    I live in Jonesville, NC
    Posts
    25

    Default Re: Pumping Question

    I'm a working mother. I went back to work when my baby was about 10 or 11 weeks. He is now 6 months and still doing great. Here are some tips that help me. Breastfeed as much as possible when you are at home. This helps to keep my supply up because the baby removes alot more milk than a pump does. I nurse right before I leave the house and as soon as I get back to him. I was going to feed him a lunch, but my work location moved so now I pump three times at work. My breast will only responed to the pump for 10 minutes and then after that 10 minutes I get nothing even after I message, so I pump for 10 minutes then I hand express. When I pump at lunch I will pump 10 minutes and hand express. I will then eat and then go back and pump another 10 minutes. This helps me get more of an output at lunch. I have enough for his next day and some extra to put in the freezer. One day I had a really stressful day at work and my output was not good at all from being stessed. I fed my baby when I picked him up and then added an extra pump when I got home. After a while you learn what you need to do to keep up with baby. I believe someone else mentioned make sure daycare is not overfeeding. I was sending 2 four once bottles, but daycare was wasting a lot of milk. Now I send them in 2oz portions and he is getting what he needs and milk is not getting wasted. Also one more tip make sure that your pump parts get changed often. This will help keep a good output.

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