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Thread: Never ending supply!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2014
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    Default Never ending supply!

    Hi,

    I've been pumping milk as my 14 week old refuses to breastfeed and I had to supplement her as she wasn't gaining weight.

    I've hired a hospital grade pump but I never seem to be empty. I can pump for 45-60 minutes and I still have milk coming out. I can't find the time to pump more than 2 or 3 times a day as it takes so long and I have 3 children. When I do pump I get about 1-3oz per breast before I give up because I'm exhausted or have other things that need doing.

    There doesn't seem to be much hindmilk in my milk either. I've attached a picture. After she has a bottle of breastmilk she is very irritable and get mucous in her poop. I'm worried that she's not getting enough hindmilk but I really don't know what to do.

    She will only breastfeed first thing in the morning and I feel like just giving up the pumping and just stick with the 1 breastfeed.

    image.jpg

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    Default Re: Never ending supply!

    Welcome to the forum!

    This link may help you get your baby to the breast: http://kellymom.com/category/ages/adopt-relactate/

    I never seem to be empty.
    Normal. The breast is never empty because milk is always being produced. In theory, you could pump literally all day long and never get to the bottom of the well!

    I can't find the time to pump more than 2 or 3 times a day as it takes so long and I have 3 children. When I do pump I get about 1-3oz per breast before I give up because I'm exhausted or have other things that need doing.
    It's usually better to pump more often than to pump for longer time periods. Instead of pumping for 45-60 minutes, try pumping for 10-20, and strive to pump much more often. About 8-12 times a day would be ideal.

    EP can be very time-consuming because there is so much set-up/take-down time. Here are some tips that may result in less work and more time to pump:
    - It is okay to pump new milk on top of old 1 time before washing everything again, using the same pump set-up as last time. Simply pop the pump/bottle assembly into the fridge and reuse it the next time you need to pump.
    - Get a second set of pump parts. This will reduce your wash load by 1/2!
    - Keep a large basin of soapy water by the sink, and throw bottles and pump parts in as necessary. I found it far less onerous to do one large wash-up per day than multiple small ones.

    There doesn't seem to be much hindmilk in my milk either.
    Your picture shows a bottle with a normal amount of fat. If you want to increase the proportion of fat you're seeing, pumping more often will probably make that happen. Fuller breast = lots of watery milk, relatively small creamy fraction. Emptier breast = less watery milk, more cream.

    After she has a bottle of breastmilk she is very irritable and get mucous in her poop. I'm worried that she's not getting enough hindmilk but I really don't know what to do.
    Don't look for a 1:1 correlation between baby's behavior, poop, and what is in the bottle. If your baby were on a 100% breastmilk diet, we could talk about things which could be causing mucusy poop and fussiness, but right now she's taking both brestmilk and formula and that means there's no way to pin down what is causing her fussiness.

    She will only breastfeed first thing in the morning and I feel like just giving up the pumping and just stick with the 1 breastfeed.
    I completely understand! What you're doing is frustrating and a lot of work, and all I've done is suggest that you work more. :/ Did you nurse your other kids? If so, you know just how worthwhile nursing is, and how much easier it becomes as time goes on. That's why I think it's worth continuing on with the pumping, and striving to get your baby to take the breast more often.
    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
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    Jun 2009
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    Default Re: Never ending supply!

    I agree with mommal. I wonder if you were told that you have to 'empty' the breasts each time you pump. You don't. In fact, we know that typically, when mom is trying to increase milk production by pumping, the frequency of the pumping is more important than duration.

    She will only breastfeed first thing in the morning
    ? This means baby is able to nurse. If you can nurse your baby once a day, what is happening that baby wont nurse other times as well do you think?

    Many moms find that just nursing, even if it means baby nurses very often, (as is normal) is far easier than pumping and supplementing. Do you have any idea what led your baby to not want to nurse, and/or why nursing in the morning IS something baby will do?
    and I feel like just giving up the pumping and just stick with the 1 breastfeed
    You certainly could try this, and baby would benefit, because any time spent nursing at the breast and any amount of breastmilk has some benefit. But be aware that it is very likely a baby who is primarily bottle fed will eventually refuse the breast entirely, and/or your milk production will falter to the point there really is no more milk for baby to get. Milk production depends on frequent removal of milk from the breasts. How long your body will make milk if milk is only removed once a day is unknowable, but such infrequent nursing will surely reduce your production.

    You are dealing with a lot, so I want to reiterate that the absolutely last thing you need to be worrying about is foremilk-hindmilk and whether or not your milk is 'fatty' enough. This is the biggest non-issue in breastfeeding and you can forget all about it. If your baby was not able to gain well exclusively nursing, unless the poor gain was due to some illness or condition, it was because baby was not getting enough milk, not the quality of the milk. The question then is, why? Once that is answered effectively, solutions can be found.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2014
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    13

    Default Re: Never ending supply!


    This link may help you get your baby to the breast: http://kellymom.com/category/ages/adopt-relactate/
    I've tried almost every suggestion on that link but she's still not interested. We did have a good 2 days last week where she nursed 3 times one day and 4 the other, but she's now gone back to once a day.

    It's usually better to pump more often than to pump for longer time periods. Instead of pumping for 45-60 minutes, try pumping for 10-20, and strive to pump much more often. About 8-12 times a day would be ideal.
    Thank you for this and your other time saving tips! We've had a busy week so I've only managed 5-6 pumps a day but I'll be upping the pumps with a quieter weekend.

    Don't look for a 1:1 correlation between baby's behavior, poop, and what is in the bottle. If your baby were on a 100% breastmilk diet, we could talk about things which could be causing mucusy poop and fussiness, but right now she's taking both brestmilk and formula and that means there's no way to pin down what is causing her fussiness.
    When she was exclusively breastfed her poop was green and mucusy. When she was on mostly formula, her poop was yellow, creamy and had little curdled looking bits so I've ruled out a dairy intolerance. I'm thinking I either drank too much tea or she wasn't agreeing with something else I eat. Her poops have still been a bit mucusy this week but she's not really been as fussy and irritable so I'm thinking it's not a big deal.

    Did you nurse your other kids?
    Unfortunately I didn't do very well with my other 2 either. I had awful cracked nipples with my first and pretty much zero support so I gave up at 6 weeks. With my 2nd I think I had already convinced myself I would fail at breastfeeding so after 2 back to back bouts of mastitis, I gave up. I was so determined to get it right this time, but feel like I've failed again. I would love nothing more than to spend all day nursing her, but I can't even get her to latch on. It's been 4 weeks now, but I'm still trying!

  5. #5
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    May 2014
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    Default Re: Never ending supply!

    I wonder if you were told that you have to 'empty' the breasts each time you pump.
    Yes! as well as let baby empty one breast before offering the other! I've been managing 1-2oz per breast at each pumping session and am managing 10-12oz a day. Does that sound ok? I know its not enough to feed her for a whole day. She only has about 5 bottles a day. I'm assuming she would breastfeed more often though if I can get her back to breast?
    If you can nurse your baby once a day, what is happening that baby wont nurse other times as well do you think?
    She just refuses to even try for the rest of the day. As soon as I put her near my breast, she cries, arms go up in the air and she arches her back to get away from me.

    Do you have any idea what led your baby to not want to nurse, and/or why nursing in the morning IS something baby will do?
    I've really no idea! She used to nurse for 10-15 minutes and then pull off crying. I'm wondering if i wasn't supplying enough and she will only nurse first thing because there is more milk there. Sometimes I can get her to feed if she is just the right amount of sleepy but I don't often get it right and she's either to sleepy and won't open her mouth or not sleepy enough and she wakes and cries. I'm trying to up my production by doing the shorter more frequent pumps and I am taking Domperidone. I am hoping that if I can get a good supply, she will feed and trust that she can be satisfied with the breast.
    Last edited by @llli*ang9000; June 11th, 2014 at 05:31 PM.

  6. #6
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    Jun 2009
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    Default Re: Never ending supply!

    So is baby nursing once and being fed bottles 5 times a day, for a total of 6 times a day eating? Did baby always eat this infrequently? Yes, baby would probably nurse more often, but I wonder if baby should be eating more often anyway. How much is baby being given in each bottle? If baby gets 10-12 ounces of breastmilk each day, how many ounces of formula is baby getting?
    1-2oz per breast at each pumping session and am managing 10-12oz a day
    So you pump 2-4 ounces each session, and that totals 10-12 ounces...the per session output is ok, of course it would be easier if it were more each time, but that is a normal amount to pump. However, I really think you need to pump more often if baby continues to not nurse. edit: Ok, sounds like you are doing that.

    I am hoping that if I can get a good supply, she will feed and trust that she can be satisfied with the breast.
    I understand wanting to up your production and THEN hoping baby starts taking the breast. And that may work best for you. But I think it makes the most sense to continue to encourage baby to nurse as much as you possibly can. Babies learn to nurse by nursing, (and learn to bottle feed by being bottle fed.) It is a lot of work to pump lots, feed baby, AND try to get baby to nurse, but don't forget, the more often baby nurses, the less you have to pump.

    I suggest, whatever you are doing in the morning when baby will nurse, try to replicate it other times of day. (Position, lighting, clothing, whatever. But NOT going a long time of no milk removal-that, you do NOT want to be doing.
    When encouraging baby to nurse again, Very often it takes trying the same things many many times before it works. So I suggest, Keep trying the things suggested in the kellymom article, especially the instant reward techniques of milk dribble, expressed milk on nipple, or bottle switch or pacifier switch ideas. and the offering when baby is asleep or sleepy or just waking techniques.
    Consider an at the breast supplementer. (Lactaid, SNS, homemade)
    Consider seeing an IBCLC. (or se one again, or a different one) A baby does not usually refuse to nurse for no reason. Maybe there is a physical issue or some other issue with baby's ability to latch and suckle effectively that an IBCLC can help you with.

    Here is the good news. You make milk, a pretty good amount considering that the advice you got about emptying the breasts was not really working for you and you were consequently not pumping often enough- and your baby CAN & does nurse. These are both good things that can lead to more of both, but it will take effort.

    BTW switching sides one or more times each nursing session is often a help in increasing milk production when nursing. I assume it would work when pumping too.

  7. #7
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    May 2014
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    Default Re: Never ending supply!

    So is baby nursing once and being fed bottles 5 times a day, for a total of 6 times a day eating? Did baby always eat this infrequently?
    Yes, 6 times a day, but the past few days she's been letting me breastfeed her twice in the mornings. Once at about 5.30am and then again at 7.30am. She will only take 1 breast though. When she was just breastfed, she would nurse about 12 times a day. It was almost every hour.

    How much is baby being given in each bottle? If baby gets 10-12 ounces of breastmilk each day, how many ounces of formula is baby getting?
    I give her 6oz in each bottle. She doesn't always finish it though. She has about 15oz of formula so in total, around 25oz of milk a day. I'm pretty sure she's getting enough. She weighed 10lbs 11oz last week and has been gaining on average about 13oz a week since I started mixed feeding!



    I understand wanting to up your production and THEN hoping baby starts taking the breast. And that may work best for you. But I think it makes the most sense to continue to encourage baby to nurse as much as you possibly can.
    I do offer her the breast first before every bottle. Sometimes she will have a couple of sucks before crying but 99% of the time she refuses. I try squirting it in her mouth too but it doesn't work. I'm just hoping that if there is more milk there, she will trust me more. I absolutely hate pumping and having to wash and sterilise bottles. Do you think it's even possible for her to get back to breast only?

    I suggest, whatever you are doing in the morning when baby will nurse, try to replicate it other times of day. (Position, lighting, clothing, whatever.
    I did try feeding her in bed in the day but it didn't work. Maybe I should spend a day without either of us getting out of bed at all. I will keep trying everything and see if I can get more advice. So far nobody can seem to figure out why she won't/can't nurse properly. I even had one health visitor tell me "well she's obviously more satisfied with the bottle so just keep giving her that". It just seems really difficult to find anyone around here who doesn't cost so much. I really can't afford £120 for an IBCLC.

  8. #8
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    May 2006
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    Default Re: Never ending supply!

    WHAT IS UP WITH THESE HEALTH VISITORS?!!!! There are so many UK mamas coming through here and reporting absolutely abysmal breastfeeding advice from their HVs.

    Where does your baby sleep at night? A lot of babies who resist nursing during the day will nurse at night, when they are too sleepy to kick up a fuss. Also, many moms have more milk at night than during the day, so if the baby gets frustrated due to slow flow/low volume, nighttime can be a good time to nurse and get baby into the nursing habit.

    It's great that your baby is now nursing 2x per day! Definitely a step in the right direction.
    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!"

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    NY
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    Default Re: Never ending supply!

    I would also suggest perhaps trying to cut back on the size of the bottles you are offering--6 oz is a really, really large feed, and baby might be more encouraged to eat more frequently if her meals from the bottle were a little bit smaller!
    Apologies for the short responses! I'm usually responding one-handed on my smartphone!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2014
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    Default Re: Never ending supply!

    Yes health visitors are awful! I've vowed never to see one again. A different one I saw told me that I should too up baby's feed and once her weight has caught up, she'll be almost 5 months and I'd start to wean her off the breast.

    Baby sleeps in a cot next to the bed. I'm too paranoid to have her in with me. I've tried to feed her in her sleep but she's one of those babies that won't even open her mouth if she's sleepy!

    I can try reducing her feeds but I'm not sure what I would do if she's crying for milk. She doesn't drink the whole 6oz in one go. She normally has 2 or 3 then plays about for half hour or so before having some more. She rarely actually finished the 6oz. Why is it important for her to have smaller more frequent feeds?

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