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Thread: increasing time at the breast

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2007

    Default increasing time at the breast

    Hi everyone. i am a long-time reader but a first time poster.

    i have a 31 weeker, born august 4. she has been home with us for 3 weeks. every 3 hours i wake up my little girl to breast feed for 20 minutes and then finish up with a bottle. those are the instructions given to me by both the NICU and our family pediatrician. all in all she should take in about 90ml per feeding. she takes in from 10-40 ml at the breast and then i will finish up with EBM in a bottle, so that the total is 90ml. ( i weigh her before and after breastfeeding to see how much she got that way).

    i would love to breast feed her more often, and see if she "gets better" at nursing but they keep telling me to give her a break, and keep it to 20 minutes each time. so could i then feed her every 2 hours instead, without exhausting her? i do physical therapy with her 4-6 times per day, right before i feed her. i am not sure how i could keep her on a 3 hour therapy and feeeding schedule and pump in between every 2 hours. that would look like: 3pm-3:20 therapy/3:20-3:40 breastfeed/3:40-4pm pump/5pm-5:20 pump...and then start over at 6pm. i think this would exhaust ME!

    also i pump after everytime i feed her to keep my milk supply up, but after pumping diligently for 2 and a half months, the MAXIMUM i get is 100ml per pumping session...usually 70 on the right breast and 30 on the left. sometimes not that much.

    i am concerned that her needs are about to pass up my ability to supply...i have tried massages, hot compresses, pumping at night, pumping more often, increasing fluid intake...

    any thoughts on the schedule, supply or increasing time at the breast?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2007

    Default Re: increasing time at the breast

    100 ml = 3 oz, which is, from what i understand, normal?

    good luck!! congrats on having such a strong baby

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006

    Default Re: increasing time at the breast

    As for pump output (which is actually pretty good, I think! ), you might find this resource about maximizing milk production helpful:

    One thing that might help your baby to take in more at a feeding is breast compressions. You can find information (and a link to videos that show you how) on this page:

    Here's some info on kangaroo care that you might find helpful:

    Here's some basic info about nursing a preemie:

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