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Thread: Pumping, Feeding, Supply outputs

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    5

    Default Pumping, Feeding, Supply outputs

    I've been struggling to pump* enough milk during my work day to hand off to the sitter for the next day ( I average 8 ounces, baby is taking 10-11 ounces). Originally I assumed what I pump while away from him 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 feel like the more I nurse him, the less I can pump, and the more I try to fit in extra pump sessions- the less I have to nurse him with. Our schedule looks like this: 6:30-7am- feeding with baby, 9:30-10am- pumping (3-4 ounces), 12-12:30pm- pumping ( 2-2.5 ounces), 2:30-3:00pm- pumping ( 1.5-2 ounces), 4:30- 5pm feeding 1 side only with baby, 5:30 bath followed by side 2 feeding ( he's asleep by 6:15pm), 9:30-10pm- pumping ( 2.5 ounces), 2am- feeding with baby 1 side only, 2:30-2:45am- pumping other side, 4am- feeding with baby 1-2 sides depending, repeat

    Questions:
    Is he getting enough milk total when my night time production after work is only 1 ounce per side? He always takes more if offered ( breast or bottle ( when I'm away from him)) especially lately he's been sucking harder and faster and our last feed before bedtime he usually seems to be sucking really hard and getting very little, sometimes I can feel tiny pangs in my boobs from the sucking... he's got wet diapers, poops daily, healthy, happy, gaining weight ( still a peanut though) Baby boy is 18 weeks, about 14.5 lbs ( up from 11 lbs @ 8 weeks)

    Shouldn't I be bringing in MORE milk for him since he's demanding it/ emptying the breast?

    He goes to bed so early that I don't get the opportunity to nurse him much during the week, thoughts?

    may be good to know: I eat oatmeal every day, make lactation cookies every other week, add flax to recipes, snack on apricots, I only drink water ( 100 ounces easily per day)/ milk and will have a beer or glass of wine now and then + mother's milk tea, eat leafy greens/ high protein diet, whole grains. Have started to add a couple workout in each week... I just feel so frustrated by my pumping output and feel like the more nursing or pumping I add in the less and less I am producing; today he nursed before work, both sides drained, and my first pump session only yielded 3 ounces, second was 2, third will be 1.5-2 so I am only at 7 ounces! Sorry this is so long, and all over the place, I was not sure where to post within the forums, so hopefully here is good....

    *I use a double electric Medela pump.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Central FL
    Posts
    1,158

    Default Re: Pumping, Feeding, Supply outputs

    Many women find it is hard to produce enough by pumping. There is a forum section for Pumping and you can look in there for links to articles about increasing pumping output.

    In general to increase supply people might pump after every nursing session to signal the body to produce more milk (probably need to do that for a few days to see the results.)

    If baby is gaining well and producing plenty of wet/dirty diapers then your supply is not low and just because you only get one oz per side when pumping doesn't mean that is all baby can get. You would need to use a scale and weigh baby before and after a feeding to know how much baby is getting at a particular feeding.

    I rarely get much more than 1 oz total when I pump for 10-20 minutes but I've done weighted feedings where baby has gotten over 3 ounces at a feeding.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    NY
    Posts
    597

    Default Re: Pumping, Feeding, Supply outputs

    I have a couple of questions for you--is the "schedule" you describe something you have implemented, or is this something the baby has naturally demanded? Because it does seem to me as though baby is nursing relatively infrequently on the whole--am I counting correctly that there are only about five feeds at the breast a day?

    I do think one thing that might help is to encourage baby to nurse more. Perhaps eliminate some of the pumping you are doing outside of work--which must be exhausting for you!--and replace it with nursing.

    Your pump output at work sounds pretty normal. Some of us have a harder time keeping up with pumping than others. I cannot tell based on your original post exactly how long your separation from your baby is, but assuming it's a typical 9 hour separation, 11 oz is really quite on target for baby to be drinking, since the average intake is 1-1.5 hrs per hour of separation. Moms are generally given the recommendation to pump three times over an 8 hour shift, which works well for most moms. However, we all have different breast storage capacities, so some of us really need to pump more (or less) frequently than that to keep up. I happen to be one of those moms who had to pump 4 times over an 8 hour working shift to produce 11-12 oz. a day! If I pumped 3 times a day, I never yielded more than 9 oz. So if I am guessing at your work schedule correctly, I would highly encourage you to try to add a pumping session to your day. I think given enough time, that will really help you make up the shortfall in oz. you are currently experiencing!
    Apologies for the short responses! I'm usually responding one-handed on my smartphone!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: Pumping, Feeding, Supply outputs

    This is the schedule baby implemented along with my work schedule. I wish I could nurse him more but he's decided he wants to do his first sleep from 6:15pm- 2am and I work 7:30-4pm, so I get to nurse him when we get home and 2 night feeds plus a morning feed before I'm off to work again. We get home around 4:45pm and I nurse one side right away and save the other side for 5:30 after his bath, he'll generally fall asleep after 30-40 minutes nursing/ comfort nursing. I've added in pumping sessions before I go to bed 9:30-10, and then pump after he feeds off one side at 2am- Some nights he will wake up one additional time between 9pm-11pm for a total of 3 night feeds, he'll only take one side before passing out... it is exhausting!-carving out time to pump for baby is the hardest thing I've ever done, it's all I think about, but so worth it all at the same time! I miss the days home with him 24/7 nursing whenever he wanted, it was so wonderful! I have been making an effort to give him both sides rather than just the one at each feed and I will try to add in an additional session to pump at work, 3 times @ 30 minutes ( start to clean up!) really carves in to the 8.5 hour day. Maybe I can break it down to 2-15 minute sessions and 2-20 minutes sessions... I just noticed a second let down after 15-20 minutes so I've been allowing myself to continue to pump for about 20-25 minutes... I am typing as I pump right now

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,115

    Default Re: Pumping, Feeding, Supply outputs

    What would happen if you woke him during that long stretch of sleep? A lot of moms wake their babies for a "dream feed" right before they go to bed, which can help mom with supply and reduce baby's need for milk during the day. More calories at night can result in less need for them during the day.
    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!"

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    NY
    Posts
    292

    Default Re: Pumping, Feeding, Supply outputs

    I was also going to suggest nursing him in his sleep at night. Also, when he does wake up to eat in the middle of the night, I'd let him first wake up for a minute or two before offering the breast. I found that if my baby was fed the second he woke up, he was often too tired to get a complete feeding. Also, although frequent emptying of the breast is in theory a great idea for boosting supply, I sometimes found that keeping a decent space (2.5-3 hrs) between meals helped my baby eat MORE per feeding and kept my supply up a lot better. For example, I used to feed my baby when we got home at 5:30, then at 7 and then at 9 before bed. He never took much by any of those feedings. And my supply wasn't doing that great. I cut out the middle feeding and now feed closer to 6 and then at 8:30-45 and he eats SO much better then - and my supply is better.

    Mom to Samuel J.
    born 7lb. 10 oz. and 22" tall
    on Saturday, October 19, 2013.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    NY
    Posts
    597

    Default Re: Pumping, Feeding, Supply outputs

    I would also suggest, don't "save" a side for a later feeding if baby will take both. If you get home from work and baby wants to nurse on both breasts, let him!

    I personally did four 20 minute pump breaks a day. I usually did not get my second letdown until around minute 18 or so. If I didn't wait for the second letdown, I would have come up short, too! Some things that helped me keep my pumping time manageable was to refrigerate my pump parts between sessions so that I didn't have to wash them all the time; to leave my pump as set up as possible in whatever space I was allowed to pump in; and I also deliberately saved my documentation and reporting for my pump breaks so that I was in effect also doing some work while taking my breaks (I'm in the medical field, we have a lot of charting and report writing!).
    Apologies for the short responses! I'm usually responding one-handed on my smartphone!

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