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Thread: Pumping frequency + going out

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2007
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    38

    Default Pumping frequency + going out

    I am pumping full time as my baby is a premie. She is 7wks old. I hear the more you pump the more supply you get which is great. However, do I need to keep up with it i.e every 3-4 hours? I find it quite controlling and feel I have no life sometimes i.e when I go out I have to be back in 4hrs the latest. Will it do any damage if a go out for the day and not express. Will my body store the milk for me for when I arrive (this will only be a one off) i.e once every 3 wks or so. I just fear that my body might be upset and start reducing my supply if I play games with it. I have been invited to parties, wedding, etc but have to express every 3-4 hrs how do I do it?

    HELP

    Bel.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2007
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    1,864

    Default Re: Pumping frequency + going out

    I'm not sure if this holds true for everyone, but my LC recommended that I pump every one-and-a-half to two hours initially (my baby was in NICU and I wasn't able to breastfeed him for several days). Pumping often definitely got my supply up, which I needed. Hopefully someone else who has more experience will chime in, but I would think you probably would want to pump at least a time or two during a day out if possible. If I don't either feed or pump, I get very uncomfortable. I'm not sure it would make a difference if it's only every 3 weeks or so, but I would be hesitant.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    1,987

    Default Re: Pumping frequency + going out

    Well, if nothing else, you would be extremely uncomfortable if you go all day without pumping. You can end up with plugged ducts and that sometimes leads to mastitis. None of those are fun ways to spends your day. You might consider getting a Medela hand pump. It's easy to take with and mine works really well for me.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    289

    Default Re: Pumping frequency + going out

    Skipping one pumping session once every 3 weeks or so probably won't affect your supply- but you will likely be miserable. And I definately agree with pp about risk of plugged ducts, etc. And should you go an entire day without pumping you would likely be desparate by the end of the day for some relief.

    I've had to go to some social events sans baby and I carry my electric breast pump with me. I have a car adapter and I just quietly slip away to my van and do what needs to be done. Another thought if that's not covenient is the hand pump suggestion- but if even that isn't convenient you can always slip into a private bathroom and hand express. You may not be able to store the milk- and I know everyone hates washing it down the drain- but if you are simply expressing to relieve engorgement it works in a pinch.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    258

    Default Re: Pumping frequency + going out

    I think you should treat pumping like you would feeding a baby. You wouldn't be able to skip feedings with the baby. and it's important to pump frequently to maintain supply. No, your body won't just store the milk if you don't pump. Production would slow.

    FWIW, I have a 5 month old that I breastfeed exclusively, and breastfeeding IS my life. And it is restricting in a lot of ways.

    If you want to go somewhere, take your pump and a cooler and ice packs. Just excuse yourself to someplace private and pump at your scheduled time.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    32

    Default Re: Pumping frequency + going out

    Quote Originally Posted by belly-ice View Post
    I am pumping full time as my baby is a premie. She is 7wks old. I hear the more you pump the more supply you get which is great. However, do I need to keep up with it i.e every 3-4 hours? I find it quite controlling and feel I have no life sometimes i.e when I go out I have to be back in 4hrs the latest. Will it do any damage if a go out for the day and not express. Will my body store the milk for me for when I arrive (this will only be a one off) i.e once every 3 wks or so. I just fear that my body might be upset and start reducing my supply if I play games with it. I have been invited to parties, wedding, etc but have to express every 3-4 hrs how do I do it?

    HELP

    Bel.
    I too am pumping full time - it can be quite draining. Pumping does not always have the same emotional rewards as breastfeeding - you're clinging to the knowledge that you're doing what's best for your baby, but ultimately you're hooking yourself up to an annoying, noisy machine every couple hours to be milked like a cow. Not exactly how you'd envisioned feeding your baby while you were pregnant. It's frustrating and draining - physically and emotionally. that's hard for people to understand. the advice to bring a hand pump or to get a car adapter is good. You will probably be uncomfortable if you go too long without pumping & there is the risk of lowering your supply. Since my baby won't latch, I've adapted a new philosophy: I NEED to feed her every couple hours and I'm going to do my best to pump every three. I'm not quite as rigid with pumping though. If i go a half an hour or an hour past - it's not the end of the world, I'll just get back on schedule the next time or pump every hour and a half for a few sessions. I'm not sure it would be recommended by many people, but I'm not having any supply problems and the peace of mind that this new philosophy has given me has helped me relax and helped me to continue pumping for longer. If I had continued to pressure myself to pump every 2 1/2 hours as people had suggested...I would have given up by now and given her formula. It was just too stressful to have that pressure on myself and I was even starting to feel bitter which made me feel like a rotten mom. Now I can relax and do my best to get all my pumping sessions in without stressing out - she's still getting my milk and I'm sane - doing my best without the feeling guilty! sorry this is so long! Keep up the good work! Not many moms can keep up pumping full time for 7 weeks! Your LO is lucky to have you working so hard for her!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    38

    Default Re: Pumping frequency + going out

    Thank you so much for the encouraging words.

    Bee.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    789

    Default Re: Pumping frequency + going out

    I've pumped in the rest room at a hockey game, a restroom in a hospital and who knows where else! It can be done for those rare outings you are craving! And the best part is the breast milk can be left out for 6+ hours so you don't never need to worry about a refridgerator right away! Exclusive pumping is extremely tough and you should be proud of yourself for doing it- you're truly doing what's best for your baby! Do you think you'll be able to try to get your daughter to the breast soon?

    Anne- Mom to two active boys: Henry 10/06 and Jamie 4/09


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