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Thread: 1st time pumper here! Looking for advice or input.

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Default 1st time pumper here! Looking for advice or input.

    Hello! I'm glad I found this forum because I am sure I am going to have lots of questions. I am exclusively pumping my 3rd child. This will be my first time exclusively pumping. It was not an easy decision as I was hoping to BF. I'm not even sure if it's too late to still try.

    My son is 2 weeks old today. I tried to BF for the 1st week but we had serious latch issues and my nipples were instantly cracking & bleeding. It was so painful. Plus, he'd fall asleep after just a few min on one breast so I'd be walking around totally engorged on the other side and in even more misery. So along came the free double electric pump from my insurance company and I've been pumping since. I like the freedom it has given me as my husband can now feed the baby if I want to run errands or help my kids with their homework, etc.

    I've been trying to religiously pump every 3 hours. I'm not sure if my supply is where it's suppose to be. I pump about 6-8oz (both breasts combined) in about a 15-20min period. I think I pump about 25-30oz a day? I see posts of women who pump up to 80oz a day and I think how the heck is that possible?!? I am trying to build up a nice supply and freeze some for emergencies & growth spurts. Does the amount I am pumping seem normal??

    Also, my nipples are soooo sore! I have no clue how to tell if I am using the correct breast shield or not. When I look at the picture it shows that you should have a small gap from the nipple & shield, which I do, but I am so sore! When my boobs leak during the day, it actually hurts when they leak!

    Also...those storage bags are getting pricey. Are you able to use Glad freezer bags or something similar?

    My first goal is to make it to 6 months of exclusively pumping. If I can make it 6mo, I'd love to try for a full year. Any advice or input from experienced pumpers would be GREATLY appreciated!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    Default Re: 1st time pumper here! Looking for advice or input.

    Welcome to the forum and congratulations on the new baby!


    Will your baby still nurse? If he will, I would encourage you to continue to nurse him a couple of times a day, even if it's really painful- and believe me, I am totally aware of how painful nursing on bad cracks can be!!!! The reason I would try to keep him nursing is that it's almost always easier to transition back to exclusive nursing or more nursing if the baby has not forgotten how to latch and nurse. Keeping your options open for the future makes sense to me.

    The second thing I would do is to see some specialists. You shouldn't be so badly cracked that you're looking at the pump as your sole option- that points to something being wrong. It could be something like a tongue tie, or poor positioning, or thrush, or a bacterial infection. So I would see the following providers: a LC, preferably an IBCLC, your pediatrician, and your midwife or obstetrician. If someone suspects a tongue or lip tie, it may be necessary to see a pediatric dentist or otolaryngologist.

    Can you tell us some more about the pain/cracking you're having? For example:
    - What do the cracks look like, and how many of them are there per nipple? Are they small and slit-like, or more like large gaping wounds?
    - When the baby would unlatch, what shape was the nipple: symmetrical, like a pencil eraser, or asymmetrical/wedged/ridged/creased/shaped like a new lipstick?
    - Have you had a c-section, a recent course of antibiotics, or a vaginal yeast infection?
    - Has the baby had antibiotics, oral thrush, or a yeast diaper rash?
    - How would you describe the pain- more of a stabbing, pinching pain, or more of a burning pain?
    - Have you seen changes in the skin of your breasts/nipples, including: skin appearing more red or shiny than normal, flaking, peeling, or dry-looking skin?

    I've been trying to religiously pump every 3 hours. I'm not sure if my supply is where it's suppose to be. I pump about 6-8oz (both breasts combined) in about a 15-20min period. I think I pump about 25-30oz a day?
    This is awesome. The very reliable kellymom.com says that milk intake for breastfed babies averages 19-30 oz per day throughout the first year. So your output is right on target. However, if you are pumping 6-8 oz at a time and pumping every 3 hours... My arithmetic suggests that you must be going some pretty long stretches without pumping, perhaps at night? If so, this could have a negative impact on supply in the long run, and you might want to consider setting your alarm so that you can get up 1-2 times a night to pump.

    I see posts of women who pump up to 80oz a day and I think how the heck is that possible?!?
    They have oversupply.

    Also, my nipples are soooo sore!
    This suggests that something may be wrong- and again, this needs to be figured out. Pumping should not hurt any more than nursing should.

    I have no clue how to tell if I am using the correct breast shield or not.
    This is something an IBCLC can help you with. But you can experiment with different sizes of shields- if larger or smaller ones mean less pain, then your shields weren't the right size.

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Default Re: 1st time pumper here! Looking for advice or input.

    Here is a link that may help you find an IBCLC in your area
    http://www.ilca.org/i4a/pages/index.cfm?pageid=3901

  4. #4
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    Default Re: 1st time pumper here! Looking for advice or input.

    [QUOTE=@llli*mommal;1342695]Welcome to the forum and congratulations on the new baby!

    Thank you so much for all your answers! They were all very helpful! Here are some answers to your questions...

    First a little background on me. I have 2 other children. My first child was formula fed because I had to go back right at 6 weeks and BF'ing wasn't an option and I didn't even really consider pumping at the time. My 2nd child I was not working for while and I was able to breastfeed with no issues for 12 months. It was great. Now this is my 3rd child and the decision to pump was a hard one. But...I run a home daycare with 6-7 kids with me all day (I'm by myself with them), my 2 children also go to school at different times during the day, and as soon as school is out they have extracurriculars 3-4 days a week. So I just can't see how I can fit BF'ing into that schedule. When I would BF child #2...sometimes it would take 30min or more and there were days where he was literally attached to my boob all day.

    Will your baby still nurse?
    I tried the other night to nurse at night (because I dread the midnight pumping) but all he did was move his head back and forth a bunch and get frustrated and when he does latch, he clamps down just on the nipple and when I try to reposition him so get a better latch he just screams

    The second thing I would do is to see some specialists.
    I agree...but the support groups I have found meet during the day while I am at work (I am back at work already because I am self employed). So I can't make it to meetings and it's very frustrating. :-/

    Can you tell us some more about the pain/cracking you're having? For example:
    - What do the cracks look like, and how many of them are there per nipple? Are they small and slit-like, or more like large gaping wounds?
    **when he was nursing they looked like red bloody lines. Now that I am pumping the red is all gone and they are more like small slits.
    - When the baby would unlatch, what shape was the nipple: symmetrical, like a pencil eraser, or asymmetrical/wedged/ridged/creased/shaped like a new lipstick?
    **I have no idea :/ I never really looked.
    - Have you had a c-section, a recent course of antibiotics, or a vaginal yeast infection?
    **No antibiotics or c-section. But I did have issues with yeast infections on my 3rd trimester.
    - Has the baby had antibiotics, oral thrush, or a yeast diaper rash?
    ** At the baby's 4 day check up, the doctor said everything looked great.
    - How would you describe the pain- more of a stabbing, pinching pain, or more of a burning pain?
    ** a mix between stabbing & pinching.
    - Have you seen changes in the skin of your breasts/nipples, including: skin appearing more red or shiny than normal, flaking, peeling, or dry-looking skin?
    **I noticed that my nipples look a little white which is unusual.

    This is awesome. The very reliable kellymom.com says that milk intake for breastfed babies averages 19-30 oz per day throughout the first year. So your output is right on target. However, if you are pumping 6-8 oz at a time and pumping every 3 hours... My arithmetic suggests that you must be going some pretty long stretches without pumping, perhaps at night?
    *** I pump at 10pm...2am...and when I wake up at 6am. The baby sleeps 4 hour stretches so I just wake up and pump when he wakes up. Then during the day I try to pay attention to the time and do it every 3 hours.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: 1st time pumper here! Looking for advice or input.

    Thank you! There is one consultant near my city. I am going to send her an email

  6. #6
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    May 2006
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    Default Re: 1st time pumper here! Looking for advice or input.

    That's a really good idea. Based on your answers to my questions, my guess is that the cracks were related to a poor latch- and bad latches can be fixed. I'd encourage you to at least try- and to keep your options open for the future by nursing the baby at least once or twice a day- because babies often grow right out of their latch problems. The yeast infection in the 3rd trimester does suggest the possibility of thrush, though. So when you talk to the IBCLC, ask about latch problems, tongue ties, positioning, and yeast.

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    Default Re: 1st time pumper here! Looking for advice or input.

    Have your baby checked for a tongue-tie.
    Mom to Samuel J.
    born 7lb. 10 oz. and 22" tall
    on Saturday, October 19, 2013.

    My breastfeeding experiences: http://www.breastfeedinghacks.com/

  8. #8

    Default Re: 1st time pumper here! Looking for advice or input.

    In my first few weeks, I only got enough for my baby to eat - I didn't get to put much in the freezer. Now that baby is 8 weeks old, I pump almost double what my baby eats in a day - which is great for our freezer stash! Give it some time...

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