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Thread: New mom, lots of questions.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
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    83

    Default New mom, lots of questions.

    Hello everyone. Some of you might already know me since I've posted some in the other forums before I saw the EP forum. I have decided to exclusively pump after my LO was about a month old and realized shortly after that there's not much info/help/support for EP mothers.

    I'm a new mom to a 7 week old healthy baby girl. She was born thru an uncomplicated c-section. We tried latching within an hour with no success due to flat nipples. I was given a nipple shield but it was such a struggle. Since I had a c/s, milk was to no avail the first 2 days and she seemed so miserable and lost almost a pound so hubby and I decided to supplement. When milk came, I pumped and would try latching her but she tore me up that I was just miserable. I would not look forward to bonding with her and that made me depressed. When we got home, I decided to EBF and was doing so for a week despite the pain and open wounds. When she hit her growth spurt which she wanted to nurse more which made me more miserable, I gave up and decided to give it a rest for the weekend. The weekend turned into a week and the week turned into EP.

    I reluctantly chose to EP because LO has such a bad latch. Now some of you will probably reply to this post telling me how to fix it and don't want to be rude but I've accepted the fact, much to my dismay, to just pump because fixing her latch would require much financial burden to us. A LC who I fully trust has recommended a chiropractor since she has jaw tightness and a dental consult for posterior tongue tie both of which we can't financially take on at the moment. Fortunately, despite the hardships in the beginning, I would like to think I'm successfully EP for the last 3 weeks. It was a very hard struggle. And here are a few I faced with some questions...

    1. Cleaning. I pump 8-9x/day and sometimes I get so exhausted I leave pump items until the last minute to clean it. I'm a big believer of soap and water and refuse to use dishwasher or instant cleaner bags for the microwave. Any other EP mothers out there that have a quicker way of disinfecting pump supplies?

    2. How much to give. Now I know that there's a formula (2.5 x weight) but my LO seems to have gotten her father's appetite. Since she is bottle fed, we could count her intake but sometimes, she would still root. Now I know it's an instinct but I would then give her a paci after 3-4 ounces but she would spit it out and cry which I take as hunger cries. Is that what it truly is? Now another issue I started facing is, she is now on the 98th percentile (which I'm probably exaggerating but haven't been back to MD to verify) due to this excessive eating. Is it ok for me to also not give in? I feel absolutely guilty and feel like I'm starving her.

    3. Milk output. Recently, I have started pumping out clumpy, gelatinous milk with thick, stringy discharge on top. I read it could be mastitis but it comes and goes from one breast to the other. I don't have any lumps, redness, open wounds or pain on either breast and it doesn't seem to get better with moist compress or extra pumping. What exactly is it?

    4. Increasing output. Unfortunately, I don't have quite an oversupply. I have tried fenugreek which gave her diarrhea so I stopped taking them and bought mother's milk to give it a shot. I eat oatmeal for breakfast, green leafy vegetable smoothie for lunch and a high protein dinner. Anything else I should try?

    5. Storage. Since I don't have an oversupply, every drop counts. How safe is it for me to put the leftover milk back in the fridge? And in doing so, how long is it good if I take it back out? Can I give cold milk to the baby? What are the repercussions doing that?

    6. On-the-go. My LO will be getting her first set of shots in a couple of weeks which means we can now be out and about. I have a Medela Pump In Style and it small and compact but I feel like it's still limited to where I can go with it. Any advices on pumping outside the house? Do you pretty much just carry the pump just like carrying a diaper bag/purse?

    7. Pumping times. I will be going back to work on Labor Day. I don't quite have a desk job but I can still pump on my coffee and lunch break. However, that decreases the amount of times my breasts are used to pumping during the day. Will that decrease my supply? How do I go about transitioning from pumping 6x before it's even noon? I read that you gradually decrease it but when do you start? My supply is lower than what I would like for it to be that I'm afraid any decrease in number of times will diminish my supply further. Any suggestions?

    Thanks in advance for even being patient to read my very long post.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    24,794

    Default Re: New mom, lots of questions.

    I have decided to exclusively pump after my LO was about a month old and realized shortly after that there's not much info/help/support for EP mothers.
    Agreed. I think it's because EP can be so hard- either people don't make it very long or they don't have time to talk about it!


    I reluctantly chose to EP because LO has such a bad latch. Now some of you will probably reply to this post telling me how to fix it and don't want to be rude but I've accepted the fact, much to my dismay, to just pump because fixing her latch would require much financial burden to us
    I totally understand why you chose EP, and I wouldn't argue with any mom in your shoes.

    But (you knew there was a "but" coming, right?) if your baby will still latch on, I really encourage you to nurse maybe just once or twice a day. It's good for supply and it keeps your options open for the future. New babies are difficult to latch at the best of times because their mouths are so small. But babies grow and so do their mouths, and most of them grow out of their latch problems even without the expense of LC and doctor visits. No pressure, just a suggestion!


    1. Cleaning. I pump 8-9x/day and sometimes I get so exhausted I leave pump items until the last minute to clean it. I'm a big believer of soap and water and refuse to use dishwasher or instant cleaner bags for the microwave. Any other EP mothers out there that have a quicker way of disinfecting pump supplies?
    I agree, soap and water is best! Here are some things that may help:
    - Get a second or even a third set of pump parts.
    - Get a big basin, fill it with soapy water, and set it next to the sink. Throw used bottles and pump parts in as necessary, and leave them to soak. That way you can leave everything and just do a few big washing-ups per day, instead of a million little ones.
    - After pumping, leave your pump parts screwed onto the bottle and stick the whole thing into the fridge. Then use the assembly the next time you need to pump- my LC said that you do not need to wash your pump parts every single time.

    2. How much to give. Now I know that there's a formula (2.5 x weight) but my LO seems to have gotten her father's appetite. Since she is bottle fed, we could count her intake but sometimes, she would still root. Now I know it's an instinct but I would then give her a paci after 3-4 ounces but she would spit it out and cry which I take as hunger cries. Is that what it truly is? Now another issue I started facing is, she is now on the 98th percentile (which I'm probably exaggerating but haven't been back to MD to verify) due to this excessive eating. Is it ok for me to also not give in? I feel absolutely guilty and feel like I'm starving her.
    I think that 2.5 x weight is the formula for a formula-fed baby, who will take increasing amounts of milk as time goes on. Breastfed babies tend to max out their daily consumption at 19-30 oz. If you're significantly over that, it's time to increase your use of paced feeding techniques and pacifiers. And you could always try putting her to the breast after she is done with her bottle- it might be a good time to have her practice and it is unlikely to result in additional milk intake because comfort sucking doesn't stimulate a lot of milk flow.

    I wouldn't worry about her percentile too much- she may just be a big baby!

    3. Milk output. Recently, I have started pumping out clumpy, gelatinous milk with thick, stringy discharge on top. I read it could be mastitis but it comes and goes from one breast to the other. I don't have any lumps, redness, open wounds or pain on either breast and it doesn't seem to get better with moist compress or extra pumping. What exactly is it?
    Stringy and gelatinous milk is generally caused by proteins and fats sticking together. It could be caused by something like trauma to the breast from pumping or nursing. It could be caused by infection- some moms have subclinical mastitis (that is, mastitis without clear symptoms of same). And it could just be your normal! We don't produce pasteurized, homogenized, filtered milk. We produce a natural product and some variation and weirdness is to be expected.


    4. Increasing output. Unfortunately, I don't have quite an oversupply. I have tried fenugreek which gave her diarrhea so I stopped taking them and bought mother's milk to give it a shot. I eat oatmeal for breakfast, green leafy vegetable smoothie for lunch and a high protein dinner. Anything else I should try?
    Things to try:
    - Pump more often.
    - Use a better pump. I personally am in favor of exclusively pumping moms using hospital-grade rental pumps.
    - Combine pumping with hand expression and massage.
    - Visualization techniques.
    - Relaxation techniques.

    5. Storage. Since I don't have an oversupply, every drop counts. How safe is it for me to put the leftover milk back in the fridge? And in doing so, how long is it good if I take it back out? Can I give cold milk to the baby? What are the repercussions doing that?
    Milk can be re-refrigerated once, and used at the next feeding. I'm not sure how many hours that would work out to, though.

    Feel free to give your LO cold milk if she will take it cold!

    6. On-the-go. My LO will be getting her first set of shots in a couple of weeks which means we can now be out and about. I have a Medela Pump In Style and it small and compact but I feel like it's still limited to where I can go with it. Any advices on pumping outside the house? Do you pretty much just carry the pump just like carrying a diaper bag/purse?
    Nursing covers are good for covering up when pumping in public. If you know where you're going, you might call ahead and ask if they have an accomodation for you- some place that's clean, with an outlet.

    7. Pumping times. I will be going back to work on Labor Day. I don't quite have a desk job but I can still pump on my coffee and lunch break. However, that decreases the amount of times my breasts are used to pumping during the day. Will that decrease my supply? How do I go about transitioning from pumping 6x before it's even noon? I read that you gradually decrease it but when do you start? My supply is lower than what I would like for it to be that I'm afraid any decrease in number of times will diminish my supply further. Any suggestions?
    Any time you decrease the frequency of milk removal, your supply is likely to respond by going down. It might happen very quickly, or it might happen gradually- it all depends on your individual body.

    How much milk are you getting in the 6 pumps you have in the morning? That might help us determine how fast you could drop those sessions.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Posts
    83

    Default Re: New mom, lots of questions.

    I've tried to latch my LO one more time about a week and a half ago but she has started doing a chewing/biting motion even when she's not eating. So when I did try to latch her, she bit my nipple and I wasn't ready for that new motion she started doing that I pulled away so fast and it open up old wounds and then some.

    1. Putting the pump parts in the fridge causes condensation in them. Doesn't that cause bacterial growth?

    2. We have been doing paced-feeding but she still eats at her hand or my shoulder when I burp her. However, she did start this new thing as well where she seems to be rooting but won't take a bottle or a paci but will suck on her hand/shoulder. What does it mean?

    3. I do have antibiotics prescribed already but I fear thrush. Is it possible?

    4. I am looking into hospital grade pumps now.

    5. So there isn't any medical reason as to why people warm up milk? It's just a matter of baby preference?

    6. So pumping in public, do you just put the milk in ice and refrigerate once you get home? How long is it good for in ice?

    7. I typically would pump 3-4oz. per session except for an increase in the early mornings of 5-6oz.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    24,794

    Default Re: New mom, lots of questions.

    I've tried to latch my LO one more time about a week and a half ago but she has started doing a chewing/biting motion even when she's not eating. So when I did try to latch her, she bit my nipple and I wasn't ready for that new motion she started doing that I pulled away so fast and it open up old wounds and then some.
    I'm so sorry, mama. That sounds really painful. I still encourage you to try... Maybe with a shield?

    Are you still experiencing damaged/cracked skin in the nipple at this point?

    1. Putting the pump parts in the fridge causes condensation in them. Doesn't that cause bacterial growth?
    Yes, but the cold of the fridge and the general anti-biotic properties of breastmilk will retard the growth of bacteria. And you are going to wash the assemblage within a few hours- so there isn't likely to be enough time for bacteria to really take hold.

    2. We have been doing paced-feeding but she still eats at her hand or my shoulder when I burp her. However, she did start this new thing as well where she seems to be rooting but won't take a bottle or a paci but will suck on her hand/shoulder. What does it mean?
    Babies love to suck and sometimes even the slowest flow of a bottle is too fast. Bottles sometimes allow babies to get their hunger needs met long before their sucking needs are met, YK? So the hand/shoulder sucking may just be your baby trying to finish her sucking.

    3. I do have antibiotics prescribed already but I fear thrush. Is it possible?
    Thrush is always a possibility when mom has had a course of antibiotics, but it's not a guarantee. Lots of people take antibiotics and never get thrush. If you want to hedge your bets, taking some probiotics, practicing very good breast hygeine, and reducing simple sugars/starches in your diet might help you avoid thrush while you are using the antibiotics.

    4. I am looking into hospital grade pumps now.
    Excellent! I hope you find a good one.

    5. So there isn't any medical reason as to why people warm up milk? It's just a matter of baby preference?
    I think so.

    6. So pumping in public, do you just put the milk in ice and refrigerate once you get home? How long is it good for in ice?
    Yes, put the milk in an insulated bag or styrofoam cooler with some ice until you're home. Mother milk should be good as long as the ice is still somewhat icy- in other works, if the ice has mostly turned to water but everything is still nice and cold, the milk is probably good. If the ice has all turned to water and that water is warm, then the milk is probably not going to have a very long shelf life and you're going to want to use it ASAP. If you're in doubt, just give the milk a taste test. If it tastes/smells okay, it's probably fine for the baby.

    7. I typically would pump 3-4oz. per session except for an increase in the early mornings of 5-6oz.
    So, you're pumping 6x in the morning and you get an average of around 4 oz per pump. That means you're pumping about 24 oz of milk just in the morning. That's an entire day's worth of milk for an EBF baby! If you go back to work and you drop all but 1-2 of those sessions, I think there's a chance you could end up quite uncomfortable. So a week or two before returning to work, I think I would want to phase out some of those pump sessions and see how you feel.

    How are you spacing your pump sessions? If you're pumping 6x in the morning but only 8-9x in 24 hours, it sounds like you're probably going a long time without pumping at some point...

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Posts
    83

    Default Re: New mom, lots of questions.

    I have 2 long stretches at night and early morning since LO has been sleeping for longer periods then (THANK GOD!!!) but for the most part, I would go 2-3hrs in between pumps or when she doesn't need me. She has been extra fussy lately and refuses to nap. She would cry and you can tell she's sleepy (yawning, droopy eyes, etc.) but would get startled so I would have to rock her back to sleep which already takes a lifetime (only during the day though).

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    NY
    Posts
    662

    Default Re: New mom, lots of questions.

    I think you might be helped out a bit by spacing out your pumpings a little bit more equally over the course of the day. Generally speaking, it's long periods of time with milk sitting in the breast without removal that signals to the body to decrease supply. You are definitely doing well with pumping if you are obtaining the majority of your baby's milk needs in just a morning's worth of pumping, but for most moms, this will not be sustainable in the long run. So this will help with two things--one, it's going to help you maintain your pumping goals for a longer period of time, and two, it's going to get you to a place where you can be more comfortable at work so that you aren't holding onto massive amounts of milk waiting to get to a pumping break!
    Apologies for the short responses! I'm usually responding one-handed on my smartphone!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Posts
    83

    Default Re: New mom, lots of questions.

    How come sometimes I don't find the Exclusively Pumping Forum?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    24,794

    Default Re: New mom, lots of questions.

    I think it's one that shows up only if you are signed in.

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