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Thread: Pumping Schedule -- Help!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
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    736

    Default Pumping Schedule -- Help!

    I had to return to work earlier than I planned (I could only stay out 6 weeks).

    My daughter is 7 weeks old. I'd been pumping about every 3 hours. But it's getting hard to keep that up with work and sleeping. Getting up every 3 hours at night and being up for half an hour+ is draining.

    I want to increase it to 4 hours, so that I only get woke up once in the middle of the night to pump, and then pump once before work.

    I tried doing this last night (I was so exhausted and could barely stay awake to pump) pumping at 12:30 am, 4:30 am, and 8:30 am. I'm still planning on pumping 3 times at work (though I'd like to get this down to 2 as well for break reasons).

    I went from pumping about 4-5 ounces to 7-8 ounces both times last night. If I continue to drain my breasts each time, can I expect that I will still pump this amount? It's a little less than I'd be getting if I'd pump every 3 hours, but as it is I'm pumping about 8 oz a day more than she eats, so I for now I'm ok with losing an ounce or two (especially since I have about 150oz in a freezer stash so if I need to try to increase it I can go back to 3 hours each day and it should go back, right?)

    Any advice / experience from other mothers is welcomed! I need to be able to sleep for work (especially since we semi-frequently have 50 hour weeks required!) but I don't want to start not being able to keep up with her.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
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    102

    Default Re: Pumping Schedule -- Help!

    Are you pumping at night because you're not pumping enough during the work day? Are you nursing at night in addition to pumping? It doesn't always work out this way, but you should really only have to pump to replace the nursing sessions that you are missing while you're at work. That usually means only having to pump during the work day, not at night (when you should nurse instead).

    I pumped at work till my daughter was 12 months old, but we continued to nurse until 16 - 17 months. I always had ups and downs in my pumping supply. To keep up during the "lean times", I would sometimes pump at night, but never more than once a night. And I would stay VERY well hydrated, and drink fenugreek tea. During the times of plenty, I would freeze down the extra milk to be used in a pinch if I ever needed it.

    Also, as time went on, I was able to drop from 3 pumping sessions at work to 2 pumping sessions. Depending on what you do at work, and where you are able to pump at work, getting a pumping band can help, because you may be able to strap yourself in and then work on the computer or make calls, or something.

    Keeping track of what I pumped and what she was drinking every day helped me to deal with the emotional response I always had to the low supply weeks. Once I realized that it was a cycle, and that it didn't mean my supply was drying up for good, I could relax some and not worry so much about it.

    Good luck. Good for you for keeping it up during work.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
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    736

    Default Re: Pumping Schedule -- Help!

    I suppose I should mention I exclusively pump.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
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    59

    Default Re: Pumping Schedule -- Help!

    Are you completely opposed to nursing at night? I can't imagine what you are feeling like. I myself had to pump 4-5 times a day when my dd was that little and I felt like a guinea pig on one of those little wheels. My days were crazy with fitting it all in, but at night I had a little break b/c I just nursed and could go right back to bed. Pumping takes a little longer. I don't know much about Exclusively pumping, but I will tell you that things will get easier as your lo gets older and isn't as demanding with feedings. Make little goals for yourself to keep you going! My only concern for you if you drop a pumping or push the hours between when you pump at this point (considering your lo age) that your supply will decrease and then you will be back to having to pump more. I would pay attention to what your LO is truly eating and assess from that what you can do.

    Good Luck!

    Megan

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
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    736

    Default Re: Pumping Schedule -- Help!

    Despite trying multiple times, using bottles with special nipples to not confuse her, using a syringe to pull out nipples, a pump to pull them out, a breast shield, and anything else I could possibly think of she refuses to nurse. My pump and I are well aquainted.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
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    621

    Default Re: Pumping Schedule -- Help!

    i am exclusively pumping right now - i do not have an answer to your question, but wanted to let you know you are not alone. i pump once or twice during the night, every 3 - 4 hours. my baby is about 10 days old.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
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    3

    Default Re: Pumping Schedule -- Help!

    I would look at how often the baby is waking at night. You should not be having to pump more often than that. If your baby is getting up that frequently still ( I had one that did for a long time ) you may want to try pumping and then see if your partner can give the bottle so you can get at least a little more sleep. The most important thing to keep in mind though is that this won't last forever. It only feels like it when you are in the midst of it. You are doing a great thing for your baby. If your fatigue level gets to be too much though it could start impacting your milk supply, it is a balancing act.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    48

    Default Re: Pumping Schedule -- Help!

    You are to be applauded! I have been exclusively pumping since day one and baby is almost 3 months. At this time I'm lucky if I'm able to pump 4 times a day, much less every 3-4 hours. I have a toddler to care for as well, and the lack of sleep is definitely crazy. And can cause a decrease in your supply as time goes on. So give yourself a break at night! Especially if you have stored milk already.
    My supply was awesome too, giving more than was needed. I gave myself 8 hours off at night, although the lactation consultant recomended no more than 6 to prevent blockage. But as long as I go at most 4-5 hours I still get about an ounce and hour. What makes it hard for us exclusive pumpers is that our body doesn't get to increase supply according to the growing baby's demands as easily as those who do get to nurse. That's where I am right now.
    However, I am trying not to completely drive myself crazy with it. If keeping both kids sane and happy means I have to give baby formula 1-2 times a day, i can live with it.
    I feel your pain Krystal. And I applaud all of your efforts.
    Last edited by mandimum; July 14th, 2007 at 08:59 PM.

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