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Thread: pumping in ICN - how did you reduce the number of pumping??

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
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    50

    Default pumping in ICN - how did you reduce the number of pumping??

    How did other moms gradually decrease number of pumping sessions while transitioning to exclusive breastfeeding in NICU/ICN and keeping up milk supply?

    I started nursing Penga (now almost 1 week old (corrected)) while visitng her in ICN without supplementation (of my breast milk) except for giving her medication and vitamin/iron with small amount of breast milk. Penga usually nurses every 2 to 2 1/2 hours. Penga has reflux, which sometimes triggers desat and brady, so I usually hold her upright right for at least 30 minutes after feeding. With this schedule, it has been difficult to have an pumping sessions in between.

    I usually nurse her 2-4 times a day, depending on my and my family's schedule.

    My supply was decreasing I think it was because I was not pumping frequently enough not only in ICN but also at home + we were going through eomotionally challenging time with Penga's delayed discharge. So my LC prescribed me to reglan. I really want to keep up my supply.

    Please share your story. Thank you!
    - - - Penga (@ 32 weeks gestational) and my DH

    Mother of two girls:
    Sydney (born 10/31/01- nursed until 3 yrs & 10 mos)
    Penga (born 08/15/07 - former 25 weeker who loves to nurse)

    & no more!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    1,090

    Default Re: pumping in ICN - how did you reduce the number of pumping??

    My baby is 5 months birth age and about 3 months corrected as of today I never reduced any pumping season even when she came home... I used to pump when she finished nursing cause she was to weak to nurse all the time... I still do by the way ....I try to have about 10 pumping season of 15 min per day to keep my supply... my supply was never well stablish since all I did for about 6 weeks was pump pump and pump...
    (pumping or nursing)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    101

    Default Re: pumping in ICN - how did you reduce the number of pumping??

    This is what happened to me....I really did not reduce my pumping in the NICU. Sometimes I would be a little off schedule due to pretty much the same reason you have (feeding for a while then holding upright at least 30 min to avoid desat).

    When we brought dd home I basically pumped a few times a day in addition to her 12-16 feedings a day because she was not emptying the breast. After a few weeks of engourgement and occational pumping just to relieve the pressure my supply regulated to her demand.

    I am not saying this is the best way by any means! This is just what happened to me

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    22

    Default Re: pumping in ICN - how did you reduce the number of pumping??

    my babe was a 34 weeker, we spent a week in hospital, but due to my complicated nipples, we exclusivly pumped and used an sns then a bottle, for her first 6 weeks. We eventually transitioned her to a shield, then to breast (where she still is at 2 yrs old)

    I'm a bit unclear- you want to reduce the number of pumpings and increase your milk supply? When I startted to worry about my supply when i dropped a puming or two, i started taking fenugreek and blessed thistle ( 3 caps of each 3 times a day) but with that or the perscription galactogaugs- you need the stimulation. they won't just increase the amount of milk you pump at fewer pumpings.

    The way i've heard it put was you need to "put the order in" for the milk you want later- even if you're not getting any milk when you pump- the stimulation is "putting that order in". Also, try not to pump by the clock. ( i know how hard that is!) pump when you can- even if it's only for a few minutes a few times an hour- not the regularly perscribed x many minutes every x hours. no one is going to produce as much milk when they are under the crunch- and hating it- or feeling stressed about it. YOu don't want to stop - or let the total time you're pumping drop off, but if you have a minute- pump- don't make it an appointment that you have to keep (and end up resenting it).

    the more time you spend with her at the breast or in skin-to-skin contact will definatly help your supply, her bradys, and your stress levels- get as much as you can. Kangaroo care was the biggest factor of getting us out as soon as we did.

    When Lily reached her due date, things rreally started to turn around for us. it took a few more weeks to get all the way on track, but that was a big turning point. Its a hard transition to make from watching every drop to trusting that they will get enough, and it doesn't sound lilke you're there yet, but you will be. When it came time to let go and trust- we dropped a pumping at night, then streched them out in the day time, until she was nursing without the shield. Until she was nursing without the shield, and gaining weight, i kept pumping- even when it was down to a few times a day.

    You're doing the best for her, and she's going to be stronger for it. keep up the good work!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    422

    Default Re: pumping in ICN - how did you reduce the number of pumping??

    Quote Originally Posted by wakawaka View Post
    How did other moms gradually decrease number of pumping sessions while transitioning to exclusive breastfeeding in NICU/ICN and keeping up milk supply?

    I started nursing Penga (now almost 1 week old (corrected)) while visitng her in ICN without supplementation (of my breast milk) except for giving her medication and vitamin/iron with small amount of breast milk. Penga usually nurses every 2 to 2 1/2 hours. Penga has reflux, which sometimes triggers desat and brady, so I usually hold her upright right for at least 30 minutes after feeding. With this schedule, it has been difficult to have an pumping sessions in between.

    I usually nurse her 2-4 times a day, depending on my and my family's schedule.

    My supply was decreasing I think it was because I was not pumping frequently enough not only in ICN but also at home + we were going through eomotionally challenging time with Penga's delayed discharge. So my LC prescribed me to reglan. I really want to keep up my supply.

    Please share your story. Thank you!

    You mention that Penga eats every 2 - 2.5 hours yet then you say she BF only 2 - 4 times per 24 hours. Exactly how often is milk being removed from your breasts/each 24 hours?

    To maintain adequate milk for a young baby, most mom's find it necessary for milk to be effectively removed at least 8 (or more) times per 24 hours (as typical when BF a young baby) -- whether by an effectively BF baby or a good pump. When milk isn't removed often enough, production goes down. All the galactogogues in the world, such as Reglan, fenugreek, etc., cannot replace the need for adequate milk removal. It's simply how milk production physiology works -- adequate removal = adequate production; lower removal = inadequate production. Your body can only do what it's being asked to do. A galactogogue, such as reglan, is a booster -- not a replacement for thorough, regular milk removal. (BTW, reglan has been associated with depressed mood and mothers of premies are more at risk for some depression, so watch out for that.)

    Fortunately, increasing milk removal should increase milk production...

    I know you've been on an emotional roller coaster this last week and I can understand the desire for minimizing pumping sessions, but there simply is no way around adequate milk removal per each 24 hour period in order to make enough milk.

    Perhaps I should mention that I'm also a LC -- as well as a long time LLLL? Hope this all makes sense!

    Hang in and please keep us posted about Penga...

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    50

    Default Re: pumping in ICN - how did you reduce the number of pumping??

    Thank you everyone, for sharing your experience and/or advice!

    The good news is, that I see my milk production started to pick up. I now get a bit more than Penga needs and yesterday was the first day in a week or so that I had much easier let-down, lots of them, too.

    Slippy, during the last couple of days, when I had pumping sessions without increased amount of milk, I thought about what you said - "I am placing an order, I am placing an order......." That kept me in a positive light without focusing on NOT getting milk then. I also tried to pump whenever- and I managed to have about 9 sessions for the first time in a long time, plus Penga nursing 3 times

    Karen G. Yes, everything you say has been very clear and makes sense I was down to 6 or 7 times of removing milk - including Penga nursing - no wonder the milk production was decreasing I will try to keep up with pumping. And yes, thanks for the info. about reglan. So far, I don't see the sign of depression or drowsiness.

    Love you all
    - - - Penga (@ 32 weeks gestational) and my DH

    Mother of two girls:
    Sydney (born 10/31/01- nursed until 3 yrs & 10 mos)
    Penga (born 08/15/07 - former 25 weeker who loves to nurse)

    & no more!

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