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Thread: Questions about starting to pump

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    5

    Default Questions about starting to pump

    Hi there,

    My lkittle baby is three weeks old and I'd like to start pumping to build up a good supply that I can keep in the freezer. I have a few questions about how to get started... (I should mention that my pump is a Medela Pump in style...)

    1) He isn't on a feeding schedule yet, but he'll usually go at least 3 hours, usually 4 - 5 hours between feedings (per my doc, the long time bxt feedings seems to be ok since he's gaining about 2 ounces a day). Right now, the times that my breasts are really full are not in sync with when he wants to eat. When should I pump? I'm worried that I'll pump and then he'll want to feed again and I won't have milk for him.

    2) When I pump, about how much milk should I be trying to pump out (in ounces)?

    Any advice would be great! Many thanks!

    Kathleen

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    71

    Default Re: Questions about starting to pump

    Hi there! Congratulations on your new little one!

    In those first weeks its hard to pin point when is a good time to pump. Try to pump in the morning or whenever you can around that time. Most women (I know I do) have more milk then.

    I only pump ten minutes (I have a PISA). Then I stop. I haven't pumped in a while, but I was getting 5 ounces in ten minutes (combined from both sides).

    That reminds me...I need to start pumping again to have a stash. Right now I only have a couple of bags in the freezer.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    52

    Default Re: Questions about starting to pump

    Congrats on the baby!!

    I started pumping around three weeks, but never was able to keep very much ahead of the game for another couple weeks. It seemed like I fed baby until my breasts were empty and within a couple hours she'd want to eat again. A couple of times I pumped and she got hungry when I was empty and I felt terrible (and silly for getting DH to feed it BACK to her from a bottle ). So, it was pretty much hit and miss for a while.

    I ended up building up a good supply, and within a couple weeks was able to feed her from one side, and simultaneously pump 4-6 oz from the other. (I know some will say they only pump a couple ounces... but apparently it varies quite a bit from woman to woman).

    The more you feed, the more you build up a supply. So, if you work on building it up you can pump and feed more easily.

    Good luck!

    ~Tina~
    Mom to Avery Rose 12-09-05

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    436

    Default Re: Questions about starting to pump

    I remembered that I really wrestled with this question at the beginning, and also had some misses where I pumped right before my son unexpectedly decided he was hungry and then got frustrated at the slow flow. Right now I pump regularly twice a day, the first time right after my son's 4-5am feed (he's waking up usually once in the night now), on the side he HASN'T fed on, and then again after he goes to bed at night (between 8-9pm). I usually do about 4-5 ozs in the morning and 3-4 at night, focusing on whatever breast he hasn't just fed on. I use the Avent Isis manual pump, otherwise if I was using a dual electric pump I would pump simultaneously as he nurses from the other breast. This works well, as it gives enough time to build supply back up by the time he is ready to eat again.

    Your son is pretty young, though, and it might take some time to figure out what works best in your schedule. I don't think I got it figured out until about 3 months.

    Oh, one more thing, I found that eating and napping soon after pumping helps to build supply back quickly. Good luck!

    Annie

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    436

    Default Re: Questions about starting to pump

    Oh, yet another tip -- before freezing, I combine the morning milk with the evening milk. The evening milk is usually much richer (with more hindmilk) than the morning milk, which tends to be thinner. That makes the day's brew a good balance. Then I freeze in two Lansinoh bags before I go to bed or the next day.

    If your purpose is to have a freezer stash, I don't think you'd want to pump much more than that in a day! It builds up really quickly.

    Annie

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    52

    Default Re: Questions about starting to pump

    Quote Originally Posted by annie
    Oh, yet another tip -- before freezing, I combine the morning milk with the evening milk.
    Annie
    Great idea! But also make sure the milks you mix together are the same temperature. I ran into some problems early on mixing warm milk with refrigerated milk.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    436

    Default Re: Questions about starting to pump

    Yes, I chill the evening milk separately and then mix them right before freezing. Then I freeze about 4oz per bag, sometimes leaving some chilled in the fridge for outings. If he gets a bottle (i.e., when I'm gone for a few hours), I make sure to pump the amount he drank so as to keep my supply steady.

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