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Thread: HELP! Pumping at work

  1. #1

    Default HELP! Pumping at work

    Hello! I am brand new to LLL! I am very excited I came across this site! I love gaining knowledge and learning more about breastfeeding. Here is some background info. Currently my son is 8 months old. I went back to work when he was 4 month so old. Prior to coming back to work I was exclusively breastfeeding until a month before I came back to work. I started bottle feeding a few times a day to get a feel for how much milk he would need while I was at work. Everything went great when I returned to work. I've been very disciplined with my pumping schedule to make sure my supply stays strong. I would breastfeed him in the morning and evening (before and after work as I work full time). Within the past month or so I became very obsessed with ensuring I have enough milk for him. Basically what I pump today will be used for his bottles while I am at work tomorrow. There are times where I feel I have plenty of milk and times like the past month where I feel I might not have enough. The past month I haven't breastfed my son very often. It must have been about 2 weeks when I realized I haven't breastfed him. I guess I kept worrying if I breastfeed him it will mess up how many bottles I will have for tomorrow. Well this past weekend I went to breastfeed him and he wouldn't take it. He fussed and fussed. I was in shock. Since then I've tried 2 more times. The second time same exact thing. The third time I let him sit up and tried to see if he would take it on his own. He started to suck a few times then just stopped and wouldn't take it. I have since read numerous articles. It's hard to find information that is for someone in my situation. I primarily pump and my son is bottle fed the majority of the time. I feel bad because I felt like I was so focused on my milk supply that I forgot about the connection we have when he does breastfeed. I am looking for advice on how to re-introduce breastfeeding if this is even possible. I plan on breastfeeding at least until he is a year old, possibly longer. Additional information that may be helpful about his daily schedule... he sleeps throughout the night, wakes up around 6-7:30am, has on average 4-5 bottles each 6oz per day, we give him a bottle then a few hours later follow up with solid foods. He has also has snacks occasionally. After reading some posts on here now I am fearful that I am over feeding him since his bottle size is 6oz and he has 4-5 per day. Typically I pump when I wake up getting about 9-10oz then I pump every three hours getting 3-4.5 oz with each session. I would say I typically have 6 pumping sessions in a day. I am hoping to find a way to get him back to accepting being breastfed but if I have to I will continue to pump because my priority is to not have to give him formula ever. I have been very fortunate to be able to only feed him breastmilk so far! Where this gets even more tricky is the fact that next week we have an 11 hour international flight, my plan was to breastfeed him on vacation to make it more convenient and not have to worry about keeping the milk cold, dealing with security checking the milk at the airport, washing/sterilizing bottles while on flights etc. Any and all help is very much appreciated! Again, I am new to this, sorry if I have rambled on I just want to list as much info as I can think of for the best advice on my current situation. Thank you in advance!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: HELP! Pumping at work

    Hi and welcome! It is usually possible to get a baby back to the breast even if it has been a long time since they nursed, but it will take some patience and persistence. This article has many suggestions to try. You may need to try quite a bit, even at night, in fact since comfort nursing usually comes first, encouraging your baby to nurse when they are sleepy is often a good idea. http://kellymom.com/ages/newborn/nb-...ack-to-breast/

    Unfortunately you and by extension, your baby, have fallen victim to the much promoted idea that breastfeeding is all about the milk, rather than about nursing at the breast. Also, working during the day, you understandably were encouraged to have baby not nurse overnight. But in fact, nursing at the breast is typically and normally a 24 hour experience well into toddlerhood. When there are daily separations, overnight nursing becomes even more vital, because otherwise baby nurses so little that baby is inadvertently taught that bottles are the way to get fed, not the breast. This is called "nipple confusion" but in fact there is no confusion, baby is simply going where they are led.

    Many times I have encouraged moms who work to make sure they are nursing baby MORE frequently than baby gets bottles, and to try to ensure that the majority of baby's nutrition comes at the breast, at least by a little, even if mom and baby are separated daily for long periods. Your experience shows exactly why. If this does not happen, overtime, babies become habituated to bottles and gradually stop nursing. It happens over and over again, and yet moms are never given the information they need to avoid this. It is frustrating.

    As far as the trip goes, of course the best thing would be to forget it. At this delicate time of trying to get baby back to the breast, it would be best if you and baby could spend your time relaxing in private together so you can freely try to gently encourage nursing. Most likely, baby and you are not going to be well served by stressful international travel. However, I assume this trip is unavoidable. So I would suggest start using the ideas on that kellymom article right away and avoid as much as possible any bottles until then. If bottles must be given, try making them smaller and more frequent like nursing would normally be, as well as encouraging baby to nurse as much as you can.
    After reading some posts on here now I am fearful that I am over feeding him since his bottle size is 6oz and he has 4-5 per day.
    Overall this amount (24 to 30 ounces per day) would not be too much milk for most babies if this is all baby is getting (if baby is not nursing at all.) So yes, this is enough that it would act to discourage nursing, because those numbers represent the average amount total a baby needs in 24 hours. Understandably, full babies are not going to want to nurse much. Reducing the size of each bottle makes sense and hopefully that will also help baby want to nurse more, and if baby nurses, you can decrease the bottles more.

    I guess I kept worrying if I breastfeed him it will mess up how many bottles I will have for tomorrow.
    Hopefully you now understand that this is not how milk production works. "Saving" milk for the pump sessions does not work and in fact may reduce production. The more frequently milk is removed from the breasts, the better for overall production. many moms who need to pump make this mistake because they think per session pump output equates exactly with milk production, and so they try to decrease the frequency of milk removal so they get more each time they pump. In fact this it the worst thing you can do for overall production.
    Last edited by @llli*maddieb; June 29th, 2017 at 08:57 PM.

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