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Thread: Danger in pumping too early?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Posts
    16

    Default Danger in pumping too early?

    Hi, I have an 9 day old who is nursing very well. 8 or more poopy diapers per day and he was back at birth weight at day 7. I saw an IBCLC on day 7 because of engorgement even though he nurses all the time. She suggested I pump 5 minutes when feeling very engorged, with a manual pump, just to relieve discomfort. I've actually only been pumping for 3 minutes, twice per day at the times I feel uncomfortable. I've been getting over 2 ounces with 3 mins so I was nervous to do 5 minutes as she suggested. So in other words, I'm pumping about 4 ounces a day above what baby needs. Is this too much? Will his appetite eventually increase so he wants these four ounces, or am I just creating a situation where I'll always have to pump? I'm not trying to create an oversupply. I will be returning to work in an office one day per week but I'll be pumping there, so I'm not trying to stockpile a freezer stash. I would say it takes me about that much to feel comfortable but maybe it's because he's so young. What do you think? Thank you!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    10,601

    Default Re: Danger in pumping too early?

    Hi jollycat.
    I would say it takes me about that much to feel comfortable
    In that case, you are probably pumping the perfect amount.

    Here is a situation where the problem is the numbers. Every mom is going to have different numbers. And they are probably going to be at least a little different each time for each mom as well.So, rather than thinking about pumping for X amount of time or until you get Z amount of milk, it is better to think about how your breast feels. After all the reason you are pumping at all is because you are uncomfortable. Right? So pump until you feel more comfortable- not until you are "empty," and not all the time. Only when baby is not nursing enough to get you to where you feel ok.

    You are not creating a situation where you will always have to pump by only pumping a little when you feel you really need to in order to be comfortable. Many moms make more than enough at this stage of the game. It might help to encourage baby to nurse more often, this is the best course as there are no potential drawbacks- but it does not always do the trick. So when it does not, some moms hand express as needed, some pump as needed, and some just allow the breast to feel full for a while, or some combination of these. All of these are entirely fine, it is all a matter of degree.

    Over the next couple weeks, your baby may want more at a time and will probably be taking more overall, although that will only be up until about 5 or 6 weeks. At that point, babies do not need more each day, (a one month old and a 6 month old need about the same amount of milk daily) and so, milk production at that point tends to level off, and, when mom is making too much, it will reduce. As long as you are not pumping too much, or perhaps by that point are finding you do not need to pump at all, then your production will get to the level your baby needs and no more. In other words, usually overproduction is no big deal and mom and baby get into sync after a few weeks.

    Of course some moms do experience over production that is ongoing and problematic. Yes "overpumping" causes this but it can also just happen. When that happens, she may have to take more active steps to reduce production. But that is nothing to worry about yet.

    hth!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Posts
    16

    Default Re: Danger in pumping too early?

    Yes, that makes a lot of sense. Thank you!

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