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Thread: Pumping and Quantity concerns

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
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    23

    Question Pumping and Quantity concerns

    My lo is 6.5 weeks. I just started pumping for the first time this week. I only get about 1.5-2 oz per breast at a time (15-20 minutes per breast) and the instructions (medela swing) say this is what you can expect to begin with, so I have a couple questions:

    1- If this is a normal amount for a novice pumper what can I do to improve yield - I'm wondering how anyone can possibly pump enough to spend any amount of time away from their lo at this rate.
    2- How much would you expect a male 6-7 week old to drink per feed? Mine just quaffed 6 oz down really quickly (a friend at work was feeding her), I didn't realize and then saw the already empty bottle and was amazed - I thought it would have lasted several feeds. Do babies extract milk more or less quickly than a pump? After my friend fed him he just fell asleep for hours and hours - he doesn't normally do this and would normally want to nurse more and would only sleep in short naps.
    3- this has me a bit concerned that maybe I'm not producing enough milk. At my 1 month ped visit the dr said my lo was well nourished but would be a small person due to his measurements all being low percentiles. This, of course, got me very anxious. I REALLY don't want to introduce formula but of course don't want a starved undersized baby either.
    4- Does age affect milk production? I'm almost 40 and this is my first lo.
    Advice would be much appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    2,866

    Default Re: Pumping and Quantity concerns

    1- If this is a normal amount for a novice pumper what can I do to improve yield - I'm wondering how anyone can possibly pump enough to spend any amount of time away from their lo at this rate.

    That's a good amount, especially in addition to nursing full time. Remember that a baby is far better at extracting milk than a pump is.

    Here's a page that explains how to pump in preparation for work:
    http://www.workandpump.com/pumping.htm

    Here's a video that shows how you can increase your pumping yeild:
    http://newborns.stanford.edu/Breastf...roduction.html


    2- How much would you expect a male 6-7 week old to drink per feed? Mine just quaffed 6 oz down really quickly (a friend at work was feeding her), I didn't realize and then saw the already empty bottle and was amazed - I thought it would have lasted several feeds. Do babies extract milk more or less quickly than a pump? After my friend fed him he just fell asleep for hours and hours - he doesn't normally do this and would normally want to nurse more and would only sleep in short naps.

    Babies are more efficient than a pump.

    Six ounces is quite a bit for one feeding. In the future, perhaps try 1) filling the bottle with about 3 oz 2) assuring that the bottle nipple is slow flow 3) being sure that the feeding is paced. Remember that babies can't control the flow of a bottle like they can the breast, so it can appear that they are gulping down the bottle "hungrily" when they are actually gulping it down to keep up with the flow.


    3- this has me a bit concerned that maybe I'm not producing enough milk. At my 1 month ped visit the dr said my lo was well nourished but would be a small person due to his measurements all being low percentiles. This, of course, got me very anxious. I REALLY don't want to introduce formula but of course don't want a starved undersized baby either.

    Did your baby grow in length and head circumference? What was his lowest weight? What is his weight now? About how many wet and poopy diapers does he have in 24 hours? Does he seem content? Is he alert? Active?

    4- Does age affect milk production? I'm almost 40 and this is my first lo.

    The general concensus is no. What makes you concerned about low production?

  3. #3
    @llli*emama is offline Shares Widely And Frequently
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
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    Default Re: Pumping and Quantity concerns

    Funny, I asked the same question about age a few weeks ago. I am 39 and was wondering why I seemed to only pump 2oz at a time. It seems that the answer to that is "no" - age makes no difference. And for some reason, I am now pumping 3 1/2 - 4 oz each time I pump during the day. At night I'm back to 2 oz.

    I was yielding very little milk when I first started pumping. One thing that seemed to help a little bit was getting larger breast shields, which was a suggestion I found on the Medela web site. I don't think they're just trying to move more flanges - it seems to work. I am chesty and the shields that come with the pump set just didn't work for me. I do seem to be pumping a little bit more now that I have the large size.

    Also, as your LO nurses more, your supply will increase. I know it can feel like you don't have a lot some times. My DH read the following and I keep it in mind: it is rare for a woman not to have enough milk for her LO while the LO is nursing.

    Very important: The pump extracts less milk than a baby can so don't use the pump as a measure. It can give you a general idea but it won't be good for measuring output at all.

    Good luck!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    23

    Default Re: Pumping and Quantity concerns

    Thanks - these are really helpful replies. I guess I am producing enough and hopefully the amount I pump will up over time. I was worried about production really because of what my ped said about "he will always be a small person" and I've spoken to my sister and other mums about this and they don't agree - due to comparing my Lo's measurements with what their now grown up children are like and what their lo's infancy measurements were. In response to Home Exec (who helped me a lot before with a reply) he was 7lb 12oz at birth - down to 7lb3.5oz a few days later, only back up to 7lbs 8.5oz at 2 weeks then 8lbs 5oz at one month. Monday, at 7 weeks I'm taking him to a new ped (I've moved country) so will get the latest measurements then - but I know he's grown a lot - and has been guzzling too! I'm with him all the time really and feed on demand. I just need to have some EBM on hand now and then as I work from home and the office, where I can usually breastfeed anyway but need a bottle on hand incase of non-breastfeeding compatible visitors. I was also concerned about production as I never really get engorged and have never leaked yet. But I always have milk - even when my LO has been feeding for ages I still have some when I squeeze - they never seem to drain. And he latches on really good and feeds really well. So hopefully everything is just fine, I just worry about things of course and the ped's comments made me pretty anxious.

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