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Thread: How to exclusively pump- please help

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
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    14

    Question How to exclusively pump- please help

    Hello. My baby will be 6 weeks old on Saturday and I am having trouble nursing him because he pinches my nipples due to a high palate (at least I'm hoping it's the high palate because that is something he will grow out of in a few weeks or so). I will continue to try to nurse 1-2 times a day but for now I am having to exclusively pump. Please tell me how to make it work! I'm mostly concerned about my supply staying high enough to meet his needs. I would like to increase my supply to have some extra to freeze also (currently pumping just enough at each session for one feeding). So how many times a day should I pump? Also, it seems that my breasts are emptied after just about 5mins of pumping. Is that long enough? I am using a Medela Pump In Style.

    How do you know how much breast milk the baby should be eating? He seems to want to eat again right after he's fed (not sure if that's just a comfort thing or not) and he spits up a TON so I think he is eating too much. (3-4 ounces at a feeding and he weighs 8 pounds and gaining over an ounce a day)

    Please offer any information, advice or experience you have...I would really appreciate it. Thank you!

    PS- Has anyone found the fenugreek or mother's milk tea helped them with their supply?
    Last edited by Laurap; May 18th, 2006 at 05:04 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    3,900

    Default Re: How to exclusively pump- please help

    While pumping exclusively, you may find that you yeild more milk with a hospital grade electric (rental) pump. These kinds of pumps have powerful motors and are made to induce/sustain milk production. Many mothers do well with the PIS for exclusive pumping, while some mothers find that they have better results with a rental. If you can afford to, you might consider trying the hospital grade, especially if you're concerned about your milk production.

    Perhaps after he's finished eating, he still wants to suck? You might consider pacing his bottle feedings so they will be more like feeding at the breast. Also, if nipple confusion is not a concern, you could consider offering a pacifier for comfort sucking. Here is some info on paced feedings:
    http://www.kellymom.com/bf/pumping/bottle-feeding.html

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    25

    Default Re: How to exclusively pump- please help

    You may want to try the Medela PISA, I have it. It works very well and expresses better & faster than a manual pump. However, at 8lbs portability is a bit difficult if you're frail. It does have many great, easy to use features and the best part is that you can change the shield size. Good luck!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    24

    Default Re: How to exclusively pump- please help

    First of all, kudos to you for taking up ep'ing! We've been doing it for almost 4 months now.

    Anyways, as for the amount of times you should be pumping? The simple answer: every time your DC has a bottle. For me, it was about every 3 hours. When she slept for 5 hours (during the day) I would pump an extra time. Even in the middle of the night you should pump after baby eats. So at 6 weeks, that is likely 8 times per day (less, if DC is still nursing).

    The amount? Every woman is different. But in general, supply=demand. The more you empty your breasts, the more you will get. It may not be instantaneous, but over a day or 2 you will see the difference. The first 12 weeks or so of bf'ing supply is mostly generated by hormones. After that, it is slightly more difficult to maintain supply (again, supply=demand). At first, I personally would pump about 6 oz total at each session (I can't remember how much daily- it's all a blur). Eventually I was up to about 38-42oz per day before DD was 12 weeks. It took a few weeks before I could build up enough/pump enough to freeze some. Now, DD is 24 weeks and I pump 4-5 times per day and get about 36-38 oz per day.

    ** Some tips: you will usually get several let-downs so definitely pump past the 5 min mark and you should see an improvement in supply/let-downs. Try sitting up straight or leaning slightly forward to assist gravity and alternate bw that and sitting normally. I also try to drink as much water as humanly possible!

    HTH!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    64

    Smile Re: How to exclusively pump- please help

    Just to offer you some words of encouragement. I went through something very similar. My son wouldn't nurse until he was 6 weeks old so I had to pump. (He nursed about twice a week for the first 6 weeks). I kept trying to nurse him with most feedings but then I ended up pumping because he wouldn't nurse. Around 6 weeks, he was able to figure out what he was supposed to be doing. I was able to pump enough to feed him. (It was about 2-4 oz. at that time.) Now I work full time and pump 3 times a day when I'm at work (I work 9 hours w/1hour lunch so really 8 hours). When I get home I nurse him the rest of the time. He's 7 months old and 16 pounds so there is hope. You don't have to give up on the idea of breastfeeding and pumping. I'm sure your baby will get enough to eat. It takes a while for things to get established and fall into a routine. Just don't give up on nursing or pumping.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    25

    Default Re: How to exclusively pump- please help

    Quote Originally Posted by hcary48101
    He's 7 months old and 16 pounds so there is hope.
    Uh oh, so is my baby too fat? He's two and a half months (3 months on June 14) and currently 15lbs. The doctor says he's fine, but I may worry a little. The public nurses also say he's okay. Well...

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    14

    Default Re: How to exclusively pump- please help

    Thanks for the advice ladies. I do pump whenever he gets a bottle. It's been difficult though b/c he has been fussy and has been snacking off and on. I think he might have reflux.
    But I pump 7-8 times a day.
    I would like to be able to pump more than what he eats so I can freeze some. Sometimes I even fall behind and have to supplement altogether.
    I am still working on trying to nurse him- he pinches me every single time. Soo frustrating. If it doesn't fall into place by around 12 weeks or so I might end up going to about half formula. I just can't take all the stress of being able to pump enough to feed him at every feeding, but I figure if I give him whatever I pump and the rest formula he will still get some benefit of the breastmilk....
    He is 8 weeks old now, drinking 4-5oz about every 3 hours with a 5 hour stretch of sleep at night. Looking into the reflux issue b/c he spits up gallons and arches his back and cries at feedings. Poor little guy.

    Thanks again!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    132

    Default Re: How to exclusively pump- please help

    Keep up the good work! I ebp for 10 months for my first child because we never got the hang of nursing. At first I pumped every two to three hours and would refrigerate the milk this actually caused me to have a lot of extra milk which I would freeze. I finally wised up and realized I could pump it and give it to him right away instead of always having to heat a bottle. I would still pump on a regular basis, therefore building a good milk storage in the freezer. The bonus of all this pumping is that someone besides myself can feed the baby easily. I would probably just give baby a pacifier if he still wants to suck after eating. Good luck! Remember it's still nursing no matter how the milk goes into baby.

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