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Thread: Not sure what I'm doing wrong, but I think it's something

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    1

    Default Not sure what I'm doing wrong, but I think it's something

    Hi,
    I've never posted on one of these boards before, but I read them all the time. I'm hoping you can help. This is going to be long because I am trying to get ALL the information in at one time.
    Thank you soo much!!

    I have just come back to work for the past few weeks after 14 weeks at home with my baby. I am trying to keep my son exclusively breast fed, but am having so much stress about pumping and keeping up with his demand that I'm starting to wonder if it is worth it.
    He was 3.5 weeks early and we had some sucking issues in the beginning but we worked through them and now have a pretty decent thing going.
    I am working 3 days a week. 9-5, but leave my house at 8 and don't get home until 7. when I am at work his schedule is like this:
    Eats at:
    7:30 am - BF
    between 12-1 - breast milk in a bottle 5-6oz
    between 4:30 - 5:30pm breast milk in a bottle 4-6oz
    between 8:30-9:30pm BF
    between 2-3am BF
    Except for the 7:30am feeding he is fed on demand. At night I won't let him go past 9:30pm without eating, because i want to feed him and I have to get sleep and the Dr. said that was ok.
    On the days that I'm home he eats at:
    8am
    11:30-12
    4ish
    7ish
    9ish
    2-3ish
    again always fed on demand, unless I know we will be somewhere that will be too difficult and I will feed him a little early.
    I am pumping 2x at work a day between 11-12 and 3-4.
    I'm pumping after he eats, I pump in between feedings, I pump 2-3 hours after his last feeding. (but that has been new since he just started being consistant about his sleep)
    I'm only getting 6 oz a day when I am home and that's a struggle and I'm not getting much more on the days I work. and it seems to be getting less and less. I'm worried that he will need more than I can get for him. I have a Pump In Style Advanced pump.
    I have tried every thing I have read on these and other boards and I just don't know what else to do.
    Am I pumping too much? Am I pumping at the wrong times? I pump until I'm empty at home (2 minutes after I stop seeing milk) and when I'm at work I pump for as long as I can (I borrow an office, so I can't just move in forever)
    Any thoughts on things I can do before I throw in the towel. I really don't want to give him formula, but I just don't know what else to do.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    1,601

    Default Re: Not sure what I'm doing wrong, but I think it's something

    Hi there! There are a couple of things that are sticking out to me.

    It looks like he's eating about 5 times a day, all babies are different of course, but you might try getting him to the breast a little more often and pumping a little less while you are with him. if he's draining the breast more often, you body will respond by making more milk.
    I know you are pumping to make up the extra amount that he drinks, but your pump is probably not nearly as effective as your baby at getting your milk out!
    You might try more frequent and less oz's for his feedings away from you. So instead of 4-6 oz bottles 2x a day, you could try 3-4oz bottles 3x a day. You would also reflect this pumping at work, so you'd want to try to pump every 2-3 hours - it will probably end up being about the same amount of time, but instead of two long sessions you are breaking those up.
    Also I know it's REALLY hard to not stress about this stuff, but it can have an impact on your supply! If you are stressed out while pumping, you will surely pump less. Over the course of my pumping career (lol!) I pumped the least while I was playing a game on my phone Stress!! - 2oz each side. I usually pump about 3oz each size when it's a normal pumping day. And then once i was in a room full of women talking about the joys of nursing and pumped over 4oz each side. No lie!
    Couple other things to check, make sure all your pump parts are in good condition, and there are ebbs and flows to pumping, so some days you will just pump less, others more.

    I am trying to keep my son exclusively breast fed, but am having so much stress about pumping and keeping up with his demand that I'm starting to wonder if it is worth it.


    You CAN do this, and it IS worth it! You are doing a good job, keep it up mama.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Swartz Creek, MI
    Posts
    1,776

    Default Re: Not sure what I'm doing wrong, but I think it's something

    I get the most when I pump in the morning... I try to pump b4 he feeds. Only because I know I am not totally empty after pumping, he can pull out a lot more than the pump. I also pump 1-2x while at work. This video has really helped!!!
    Married mama with 4 kiddos...2 girls (11 & 6) and 2 boys (21mo & 3mo)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    548

    Default Re: Not sure what I'm doing wrong, but I think it's something

    I've always had better luck getting more milk out if I limit pumping sessions to no more than 20min, pumping more often instead. That video babygurl recommended is awesome too, using your hands really helps.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    72

    Default Re: Not sure what I'm doing wrong, but I think it's something

    i think you have gotten some good advice so far.

    i have a similar schedule. i get up at 5am to feed DD and leave the house by 6:30am. usually return around 6pm, and i pump twice at work. this is sometimes enough for what she needs during the day, and sometimes not.

    here is what has worked for me:
    1. pump after AM feeding (or pump first thing at work).
    2. pump after putting LO to bed, and before I go to bed.
    3. give myself enough time to pump at work (at least 30 min of private time)

    you said that you stop pumping when you are empty (2 min after the flow stops). i have found that sometimes when the flow stops, it doesn't mean that i'm empty. if i pump another 5 or 10 min, even if NOTHING is coming out, i will often get another letdown that yields another ounce or more!

    so, what i do is pump until i get a second let-down. my first letdown will last maybe 5 min, and then the flow will stop. but i stay on the pump until i feel a let-down again, or the flow suddenly starts strong again. sometimes it takes a lot of patience, and i have to be pretty relaxed (which is hard if you don't have a lot of time). so i make sure i have a solid 30 min to myself, and i look at pictures of the LO, and daydream. I've had that second letdown take as long as 15 min sometimes.

    i always wait for the second letdown at all 4 pumping sessions, even the night one. i think this has helped me a lot with maintaining my supply and having enough pumped milk. The other thing I do is breast compressions at the very end. When the second let down starts to slow, I spend about 1 minute on each breast and compress and massage to get that extra little bit out.

    HTH!

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