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Thread: Pumping at Work

  1. #1
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    Sep 2014
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    Question Pumping at Work

    My pediatrician ordered me to pump 4 oz per bottle for my 4+ months old baby for daycare. But usually I only get 3.5 to 3.75 oz per bottle on average. She said I should supplement with formula if I cannot get 4 oz, but I don't want to because baby is happy and sleeps well at night.

    Her excuse is that baby dropped from 50th percentile to 25th percentile in weight and head circumference (but maintained her 75th percentile in length) during her 4-month check-up. But then again, my husband and I are both on the small side. That is, at 4 months, baby girl was 13 lbs 2.5 oz, 40 cm head circumference, and 25 inches long.

    I read about ways to increase supply, like fennel supplement, oatmeal, etc -- but are there real scientific studies to support this? Or is it just a waste of energy and money? I also read about reverse cycling -- is it true; do all babies do that?

    What should I do?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Pumping at Work

    I pump every three hours, and I can only pump about 3 oz per session. I am away from home for about 10.5 hours, so I'm leaving 15 oz, but asking the sitter to try to do about 4 3 oz bottles. The guidelines I was given was 1 to 1.5 oz for every hour way from home. So that's about 15 oz max for us. You don't want baby to overeat from bottles because then she won't nurse when you get home, which is bad, as well. I don't want to speak to much to the weight, since that's not my area of knowledge -- but your baby is gaining weight, not losing. My baby is only in the 30-something percentile for weight, and he has a double-chin and fat rolls.

    It might not hurt to check with another doctor if you can find one who's breastfeeding friendly. But I live in VA, and I have yet to find one that's really great in my area.
    Mom to my sweet little "Pooper," born 10/12/11, and "Baby Brother," born 6/23/2014, and married to heavy metal husband. Working more than full-time, making healthy vegetarian meals for family, and trying to keep up with exercise routine.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Pumping at Work

    Oops, what I was going also going to say was that if you do decide to do the 4 oz. bottles, then maybe make up an extra session or two on the weekend or try pumping in the car if you drive to work. I just started that recently. It is a bit time consuming setting up and breaking down everything, but I tend to get the most at that time, which is a little after my LO nurses in the morning.
    Mom to my sweet little "Pooper," born 10/12/11, and "Baby Brother," born 6/23/2014, and married to heavy metal husband. Working more than full-time, making healthy vegetarian meals for family, and trying to keep up with exercise routine.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Pumping at Work



    Babies do shift percentiles- my kids went from the 20th %ile at birth to the 95-99th at 2 months and were back in the 75-85th range by 4-6 months.

    When it comes to increasing supply with oatmeal and fenugreek and fennel and what have you, there is good anecdotal evidence that some moms find that use of those products results in increased supply. Since they're not harmful, I think it makes sense to try them. Just remember that they don't boost supply anywhere near as much as more pumping or the use of a better pump.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
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    Default Re: Pumping at Work

    The difference between 3.5oz and 4oz could vary between different bottle brands, too. For instance, the bottles I pump into I have to collect up to the 4.5oz mark to equal 4oz in the bottle DD eats out of. These baby bottles are not precision measuring vessels, so I wouldn't sweat it.
    My little man was born 12/17/2010.

    Baby girl was born 4/30/2014.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Pumping at Work

    doesn't sound like a very breastfeeding supportive Dr.
    Why not have them feed more frequently instead of giving larger bottles? What if baby doesn't want to finish 4 oz bottles? Are they to force feed her the rest of the bottles and cause all sorts of food issues for the poor child for the rest of her life?

    Just because a 4 month old formula fed baby should be getting 4 oz bottles doesn't mean it is appropriate for a breast fed baby.

    Offer to nurse more and if you can get her to nurse more at night then it may help you with supply and her weight gain as well as helping you keep up with pumping. I'd say send some small top ups to day care if you think perhaps she needs more at day care but I would personally not want to encourage day care to try to push her to finish off larger bottles if she is not used to eating that much at one time and if you have trouble providing extra milk you wouldn't want them throwing out lots of milk in bottles she doesn't finish.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Pumping at Work

    Thanks for all your encouraging response.

    Now that you mention it, I do notice that Avent bottles have different 4oz marks for "US" and "UK" on the same bottle, and Medela 4oz is slightly more than Avent (!!!). So far, I have not encountered the problem where caregiver has to toss my milk (touch wood); although I would be very upset if that happens. I don't have enough frozen to provide "top up" bottles, and I don't have the luxury to pump more often at work (I already pump every 3 hours). I have not tried fenugreek yet because I read somewhere that it can make me produce too much foremilk, which is not good either. I tried oatmeal once and did not notice any difference. I already feed on demand at home.

    I called a lactation consultant. She also said that things "are probably okay" but I can have my baby feed longer from one side so she gets more hindmilk. She, too, discouraged formula supplement. So far, I have not succumbed to supplement yet. I plan to bring baby in for weight check when she hits 5 months old, and hopefully she won't drop anymore percentiles.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Pumping at Work

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*hayashi View Post
    I have not tried fenugreek yet because I read somewhere that it can make me produce too much foremilk, which is not good either. I tried oatmeal once and did not notice any difference. I already feed on demand at home.

    I called a lactation consultant. She also said that things "are probably okay" but I can have my baby feed longer from one side so she gets more hindmilk. She, too, discouraged formula supplement. So far, I have not succumbed to supplement yet. I plan to bring baby in for weight check when she hits 5 months old, and hopefully she won't drop anymore percentiles.
    Don't worry yourself about foremilk/hindmilk, that is only a problem for moms with HUGE oversupply and very forceful letdown. When that is a problem, babies are usually already gaining very rapidly, almost too fast and are climbing the charts.

    So go ahead and try the fenugreek, you can always stop taking it if it works too well. (Generally you need to take enough to start smelling like it before it is effective.)

    Eating oatmeal is also something that isn't going to work super quick or be drastically noticeable.

    Simply offering to feed just a little more often when with baby, like trying to dream feed before you go to bed or pumping once overnight if baby isn't into dream feeding so as to get one extra feeding/pump in per day could make quite a bit of difference in supply and weight gain.

    You mention letting baby nurse longer on one side?????? Does this mean that before now you have been limiting baby to a particular time at the breast?
    In general it is recommended to let baby finish the first breast first, that is let baby nurse as long as they want on the first breast and then offer the second breast if they will take it. Now to increase supply something called switch nursing is often done but that is basically letting baby nurse as long as baby is actively sucking/swallowing but when that stops, switch sides and keep going back and forth as long as baby is willing often doing breast compressions as well.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
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    Northern Virginia
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    Default Re: Pumping at Work

    If you're already pumping 3.5 to 3.75 oz on average that's pretty good. I am lucky to get 3 oz each time I pump. I took fenugreek a few times now and got oversupply, so please be cautious. It's not so much the foremilk you have to worry about as much as baby getting a forceful spray that they don't like or a potential for plugged ducts, especially if baby is sleeping well. Not everyone has a problem -- it apparently doesn't even work for some people. But it worked very quickly and too well for me. Pumping at work is tough -- we seem to always have too little or too much!
    Mom to my sweet little "Pooper," born 10/12/11, and "Baby Brother," born 6/23/2014, and married to heavy metal husband. Working more than full-time, making healthy vegetarian meals for family, and trying to keep up with exercise routine.

  10. #10
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    Jul 2012
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    Default Re: Pumping at Work

    Oatmeal and fenugreek worked on my supply when I had supply issues (which doesn't seem to be an issue for you at all!!). I also baked lactation cookies, which are made with oatmeal, flaxseed and brewer's yeast. I'm not sure if it all worked because I did it all at the same time or what, but something did
    All the suggestions from pp's are great!

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