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Thread: EBF- Keeping Supply Up/ Pumping at work

  1. #1
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    Default EBF- Keeping Supply Up/ Pumping at work

    I've only been back to work a couple of days, so I'm trying to find a good balance of how often to pump. I have the Medela double electric pump, I decided on 3 times a day since LO eats on demand or about every 2 hours. I had no idea how many ounces he was getting per session, but based on what I pumped in my 3 sessions at work it's 10-12 ounces. I feed him around 6:30a if he is awake/ takes it then pump around 9:30a, 12p, 2:30p and have him again to feed around 4:30p. Can I just pump 2 times a day at work, since I will be fuller, and get the same amount, or will my supply drop? How can I get the most out of my pumping sessions? I usually pump for 15 minutes and notice 2 letdowns... I'd given our sitter some frozen stash the first day ( like 20+ ounces) and instructed her to give him 1.5-2 ounces at a time so we could figure out what he actually eats. She told me she warmed up a full 4 ounce bottle for a feeding though and he took it all so now I'm worried he's going to over eat, is that even possible?, and if so then I won't be able to keep up with him at 4 ounces 4 times a day. Baby is 12.5 weeks old, around 12 pounds and 23"

  2. #2
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    Default Re: EBF- Keeping Supply Up/ Pumping at work

    I'd say make 2 or 2.5 oz bottles and 1 oz toppers.
    Make sure your sitter understands, and uses paced bottle feeding techniques. If baby is allowed to just suck down the whole bottle without pauses, he very well can overeat. And wind up getting lazy and liking bottles better. And having been over stuffed with bottles may not be as interested in nursing which would further hurt supply making it even more difficult for you to keep up.

    Most moms need to add more pumping sessions as time goes on and pumping more frequently even if for a slightly shorter time will be better for supply than letting yourself get over full.

    Hands on pumping with massage and compressions can help with pumping effectiveness. As can doing some hand expression. Heating pads can help speed let down and milk flow. Thinking of nursing or looking at pictures or video of baby can help some women, as can smelling something that smells like your baby. For other women distraction from the pump helps. Unfortunately for me, I don't respond well to the pump and am suffering from some low supply issues so I am just repeating what I have read.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: EBF- Keeping Supply Up/ Pumping at work

    Baby can definitely overeat at the breast. I agree with PP, use paced feeding techniques. I'm putting some links at the bottom of this post. Your instincts are right to start with a 1.5 or 2 oz bottle - a typically meal at the breast might be just that, or maybe 3 oz and max 4, so you definitely don't want to be starting with 4 oz.

    Although the first day you try to do two pumping sessions you might get as much as you previously did with three, if you continue to pump with lower frequency, your supply will go down. 10-12 ounces over the course of three sessions would be quite typical and definitely would NOT decrease, if anything as PP suggests some moms need to increase over time.

    Some moms do need to pump longer to maximize output, so you might want to experiment with a longer pumping session and see whether that increases output. (Although 10-12 ounces may be plenty for your 10 hour separation, the rule of thumb is 1 - 1.5 ounces/hour apart). If you have to choose between shorter, more frequent sessions or longer less frequent ones, go for shorter/more frequent.

    If baby is not awake when you need to leave, I would suggest waking him to nurse. It can seem counterintuitive but it won't harm in any way and you really do want to maximize nursing as much as possible when you are together. That also includes trying to make sure you include some overnight nursing sessions as well. Nursing is generally more effective at maintaining supply than pumping.

    Paced feeding techniques:
    https://www.llli.org/docs/0000000000...astfedbaby.pdf
    http://kellymom.com/bf/pumpingmoms/f...ottle-feeding/

  4. #4
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    Default Re: EBF- Keeping Supply Up/ Pumping at work

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*bfwmomof3 View Post
    Baby can definitely overeat at the breast.
    I hope you intended to say bottle.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: EBF- Keeping Supply Up/ Pumping at work

    I'm pretty sure bfwmomof3 meant bottle. I would agree with her excellent advice, as well!
    Apologies for the short responses! I'm usually responding one-handed on my smartphone!

  6. #6
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    Default Re: EBF- Keeping Supply Up/ Pumping at work

    Thank you for the input! Now that I've been back working almost 4 weeks- I have a better grasp on pumping, and what the baby is taking. The sitter feeds him 3 times a day about 3-4 ounces a session. She says the first two he takes 4 ounces and the last is around 3 ounces. I have told her that I feed him at 4:30 when we get home so his last feeding should be smaller so I can keep my supply up. That being said, I increased my 3 pumping sessions to 20 minutes each, but I've only been averaging only 8 ounces total... which means I have to supplement the sitter with 3-4 additional ounces each day. I've almost depleted my freezer stash because we're in this "4 month sleep regression phase" where I'm afraid to pump an extra session at night because baby is waking up so frequently. Not helping is all this stress I feel thinking about and trying to make sure I can pump enough- sad about being away from my baby all day ( he goes to bed 1.5 hours after we get home), navigating the working full time with life marathon ( my husband and I manage all the cooking/ errands/ laundry/ cleaning together but that means less quality time for us since we're trying to get it all done!), and on top of it all we're dealing with MIL issues. Suffice to say, I came down with a cold 2 weeks ago and I've had my period back since week 5, both things I am sure equate to lowering my supply. After this weekend of cluster feeding, focusing on relaxing with our baby, and making lots of lactation cookies I produced 9 ounces today. Originally I assumed what I pump equals exactly what the baby needs, but then I've heard that pumping is not as efficient as my baby nursing so it is possible for him to need more than I am pumping. I need help figuring out how to pump 2 more ounces a day as it stands- and maybe even build my emergency stash up... I eat oatmeal almost every day for breakfast, lots of leafy greens with lunch and dinner, protein with each meal ( lots of eggs/ chicken/ quinoa) I drink lots of water ( maybe too much). I just invested in a manual pump and I am going to try to add in a quick session after a feeding each night/ morning, but any insights/ tips/ support are very welcome.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: EBF- Keeping Supply Up/ Pumping at work

    How long is your separation from your baby?

    One suggestion I have would be to add a pumping session into your work day. I generally had a 9-9.5 hour daily separation from my infant, during which she drank 12 oz. Three pumping sessions over an average working shift is what is generally recommended for most moms, but some of us need a bit more frequent removal to keep up--I certainly did! My breast storage capacity is small, and I couldn't keep up or stay comfortable at work without 4 sessions a day. It sounds like you are very, very close to your target, only 2 oz. short a day, so I would definitely start by adding a fourth work session in. (I would have come up about 2-3 oz short a day if I pumped 3x/day, too!)
    Apologies for the short responses! I'm usually responding one-handed on my smartphone!

  8. #8
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    Default Re: EBF- Keeping Supply Up/ Pumping at work

    I work 7:30am-4pm. He's dropped off at 7:15 and picked up/ home around 4:30 so I feed him one side only around 4:30-5am waking then the other side around 6:30/7 am when he wakes for the day, then at work pump around 9:30am, 12pm, 2:30pm and have him again to feed around 4:30pm. I've noticed that my first pump session output is between 3.5-4 ounces then the next one is only 2.5-3oz and the last one is no more than 2oz.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: EBF- Keeping Supply Up/ Pumping at work

    Yeah, that is pretty typical of what my pump outputs looked like at work. Which is why I am suggesting you squeeze in a fourth pump session if at all possible! That fourth session in my day yielded 2 oz, which was exactly the extra amount I needed to keep up with my baby's intake. I generally pumped at 9:30, 11:30, 1:30, and 3:30 pm when I worked an 8-4:30 shift.
    Apologies for the short responses! I'm usually responding one-handed on my smartphone!

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