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Thread: pumping questions- quantity, yield, etc.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2007

    Default pumping questions- quantity, yield, etc.

    My baby is refusing the breast, so I am pumping to keep up my supply and to continue giving her breast milk. ( ( I have to giver her a few feedings of formula, but mainly breastmilk.)

    I am worried about not increasing or maintaining my milk supply. I simply cannot bear to pump more than 4 times a day. I have found that longer pumping session yield more milk. I have very large breasts, and although everyone says this dsoesn't affect breastfeeding, I wonder if they don't hold more milk at a time, thus the higher yield when I pump longer, less often.

    My question is- will this maintain my milk supply? I am at about 14 oz a day, (pumping 3-4 times for a half hour or more) for my 4 week old. (she is small, born at 6 lbs) I think she is taking 16-20 a day.

    Any advice? If she won't take the breast, I want to give her at least some of my milk for as long as I can, so I need to make the situation bearable for me, her and my husband...

    thanks, JEssica

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2007

    Default Re: pumping questions- quantity, yield, etc.

    I'm not an expert, but the way I understand it, you may get more milk initially after waiting a long time to feed, but eventually your supply will drop if your breasts aren't stimulated to make milk more frequently. The down side of your breasts "storing" milk is that the more they "store" the less they make--the milk left there sends a message that you don't need as much.

    With a baby as young as yours, I would really strongly encourage you to pump at least every 2-3 hours, to simulate a nursing baby's frequency of feeding. Otherwise you really run the risk of significantly affecting your supply, and as someone who struggles with that issue periodically, I can tell you that's best avoided if you can.

    The first weeks are the hardest. Hang in there!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Not around here as much :(

    Default Re: pumping questions- quantity, yield, etc.

    The previous poster said some helpful things

    What kinds of trouble were you both having? What kinds of things have you done to get her on the breast? Would you like to exclusively be breastfeeding or are you okay with pumping. (maybe a little of both?)

    Incase you havent seen this resource - it might prove helpful to getting baby back on mama
    Click here to find an LLL leader near you...or call 1 877 4 LA LECHE for help now.

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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2007

    Default Re: pumping questions- quantity, yield, etc.

    When my DS was 4 wks I was also exclusively pumping due to some problems we were (and still are) having with poor latching and no weight gain.
    My LC suggested I pump every 2-3 hours and not go longer than 4 hours without pping. I was pping 7-8 times/day and 4 times was the minimal I would do on very busy days.
    I should mention that I was very concerned with not having enough milk because I had a breast surgery and everybody kept telling me I would either not be able the BF or have to supplement with formula. So, I became a little obsessed. By 8-10 wks I as pumping 30-35 OZ per day and I still have a lot in the freezer. At that time I started to pump 6 times/day and was able to maintain my supply for the day and still freeze 3-5 OZ.
    I do agree with you that longer pumping sessions yield more milk. I usually pump until I can't get any more milk out and I also find that if you turn off the pump and rearrange the flanges you can get more milk out. I hope this helps.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2006

    Default Re: pumping questions- quantity, yield, etc.

    Pumping four times per day is likely not enough to maintain your milk production. Some mothers who exclusively pump find that they can pump so infrequently, but some mothers cannot. Storage capacity does have a lot to do with that, but breast size is not an indicator of storage capacity.

    Here is some helpful info:

    Here's some specific info on pumping when baby isn't nursing:

    Are you in touch with an IBCLC or your local LLL Leader?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2007

    Default Re: pumping questions- quantity, yield, etc.

    Thanks for all the advice!

    I am in touch with a LLL consultant, and I am using some formula, as I am not keeping up quite with her demand- largely beacuse I can't seems to pump during the night. (she wants about 20 oz and I am pumping only 15)

    I find the kelly mom site very good. THANKS


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