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Thread: Working Mother Needs Help

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    6

    Default Working Mother Needs Help

    Hello all! I'm new to this post, my DS is 18 weeks, 16 lbs 12oz and 27 inches long, and growing fast!! I've successfully breastfed for the first 18 weeks of his life. Now I'm running into some obstacles. I CAN'T PUMP ENOUGH TO SUFFICE HIM THROUGH THE DAY!! I have a wierd shift, I work 12 hour days for two weeks, and then off for two weeks. During my two weeks off, my supply is fine and my DS seems perfectly content. But while I'm working, I can pump at most 18 ounces. As of late, he has been eating 5 ozs of baby food (Applesauce) and almost 24 ounces of milk. Which to my complete horror means he has to drink formula!! It truly breaks my heart not to be able to provide for my baby so if anyone has any suggestions or ideas I would greatly love to hear them!!! For details, I can usually pump 7-10 ozs in the morning, but the next three pumping sessions, i can only get about 3 ounces each time.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    1,198

    Default Re: Working Mother Needs Help

    Wow; you have your hands full and are doing a wonderful job with all of it! You should be very proud of yourself for doing so much for your baby while keeping this kind of demanding schedule!
    Just a couple of quick thoughts... I would have been (and would still be!) lost w/out the supply of milk that I was able to stash away in the freezer before I went back to work and that I was able to keep building in the first 6-8 months of BF'ing. Is there anyway that, during the two-weeks that you are home, that you could try to pump a little extra so that each day you are putting away a few ounces that you can thaw and draw from when you need them? Please don't write this off as a crazy suggestion. I know it may sound a little rough to do, but your body will just about always make milk for baby, so, if your milk supply is really good first thing in the morning, can you try pumping some before you nurse? When you put baby back on the breast, it might take just a little longer, but chances are you'll still have a perfectly good let down and flow. Alternatively, an hour after you put baby down for the night (or, I should say, the first segment of the night!), you might try to pump an ounce or so. I did both of these things and really augmented my stock - the only way I got through growth spurts and then later times when stress or whatever made for lesser supply. Meanwhile, stay hydrated and all yourself....!
    Good luck....please come back and update on how it's going.
    Jsmom

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    140

    Default Re: Working Mother Needs Help

    i agree with the other poster. stay hydrated, try not to stress too much, and if you can find in between times the weeks that you are home to pump a bit and build a reserve. that was the main way that we survived when i was working and i know that i will have to do that again if we end up moving and i get a new job. this is a great place, welcome!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    222

    Default Re: Working Mother Needs Help

    I've been very lucky in getting a good freezer stash before I started back to work and have only had to dip into it a few times. Somehow, no matter how little I get one day, DD can almost always be satisfied with it til I get home. That's more her stubborn personality, though--she really prefers the real thing.

    A friend of mine who's nursed 4 children, though, isn't so lucky with the pump. For what it's worth, she usually leaves one "real" bottle and one formula bottle for her little one when she's at work. AND she's a lactation consultant, so you know she's tried every technique out there! If you're really not getting what you need and it comes down to the wire, I can think of worse things than having to supplement with a bit of formula when you're away and pumping.

    Just wanted to put that out there since we moms have enough to feel guilty about as it is. The last thing you need is one more thing to beat yourself up over when you're doing the best you can!

    Try to get some extra pumping in the evening if you can, that was my secret to building my stash in the first place. For a while there, I even got out of bed every night to pump around 2:00 a.m. when DD was skipping that feeding.

    Good luck, hope everything works out for you!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    30

    Default Re: Working Mother Needs Help

    I agree with the previous poster regarding the extra pumping on your time away from work. I work part-time and have developed a regimine for pumping just to have extra milk stored up. I pump each morning when my supply is plentiful and again in the evening before I go to bed. I did that for a year with my first daughter and have been doing it again with my second daughter. It works well for us! Good luck!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    683

    Default Re: Working Mother Needs Help

    Hi there -- I didn't have time to look it up, but it's quite possible that your daycare provider is over-feeding your baby. Have you seen this? (not a LLL source) -- How much expressed milk will my baby need? and this (again, not a LLL source)
    I'm not pumping enough milk. What can I do?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: Working Mother Needs Help

    Thank you for all who replied. It feels so nice to actually talk to other mothers who have been there. I'm planning to try the pumping during my vacation, I was always fearful I would take the baby's milk if I pumped before he nursed!! And I'm also going to check out that my baby is not being overfed. I never even knew that was possible!! Thanks to everyone! And I'll keep you all informed.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    3,900

    Default Re: Working Mother Needs Help

    Moving this to working for more replies.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    259

    Default Re: Working Mother Needs Help

    we went thru the "not enough milk" for about 2 days on my first returns to work, i do 3 12 hour shifts/week, here, dh was overfeeding ds. also, make sure provider isn't wasting your milk. use 2-3 oz portions. if db still wants more, you can always heat up more after. i also try and pump at least every 2-3 hours, i usually pump most at morning, and i usually will pump thru night at home, i am lazy on my days off and don't pumpl, although i should at least once. don't worry about baby not getting enough, if my son sleeps thru night, i usually wake up between 4 or 5 ready to explode (bed and towel soaked) so i will pump (mostly 10 or 12 oz then) and then ds will usually wake as i am finishing, and he will still nurse happily. i am a milk machine. if i pump every 2 -3 hours at work, i usually get 5-6 oz each time. sometimes i feel like all i do at work is pump, but my sessions are only about 10 min long, i guess i am very lucky. good luck, ps don't stress if you have to use formula, just remember you are doing your best.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    8,591

    Default Re: Working Mother Needs Help

    How long have you not been able to pump enough? I go through ups and downs in my supply--eating oatmeal seems to help (may be just in my head, but I had heard it worked, tried it and it did!) keep my supply more constant. I also had to limit what the sitter was giving dd. She seemed to push the extra (that's the problem with bottles is you know how much baby is eating). You say that when you are home with db you don't have supply issues so I suspect that it may be the dcp is overfeeding. I make up our bottles for 3 oz then tell the sitter if dd isn't satisfied to give her more, at 1/2 oz increments (I know it sounds a little over the top, but I had to do it that way or she was wasting), until dd was satisfied. Turns out most of the time she is satisfied with the 3 oz. anyway...good luck!!!

    Erin
    Wife to a grizzly
    Mama to my little deer (12/05) my loving bear cub (9/07--), and our little tiger (3/22/10)
    Born by one c-section and 2 amazing VBACs


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