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Thread: How much should I be producing?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    23

    Unhappy How much should I be producing?

    A bit of background. I was unable to BF for the first 2 days of my ds's life because he was in the NICU, then they gave him formula--I pumped the whole time. We started BFing when we came home (when he was 4 days old), and had to deal with nipple confusion. However, within a week, he was latching on and feeding without a problem. Unfortunately, I had to go back to work when he was 8 weeks old. I had to supplement with formula while he was in day care because I hadn't pumped and frozen enough to maintain BM bottles for day care. I still nursed at night and on the weekends. From the beginning, the most I could ever pump was 5 ounces, and that was from both breasts for about 30 minutes.

    After I returned to work, I wasn't so diligent about pumping, so my milk started to dry up after about three weeks. I was heart broken. Well, after one horrible weekend of trying bottles only, I was miserable, ds was miserable--heck, even my df was miserable!! I decided to try to re-establish my milk. I started pumping twice a day at work, and spending all of my time with my ds with him on my breast. It worked! I went from pumping only one ounce out of both breasts after two pumping sessions (pathetic, I know), to an average of 9 ounces a day. I am currently eating oatmeal every morning and supplementing with Fennugreek and Mother's Milk tea. I also drink an average of 100 ounces of water per day and watch my diet.

    Even with all of these things, I am still only able to pump a maximum of 5 ounces out of both breasts per pumping session--and I pump 20 minutes per breast! Sometimes (like this morning) I'm only able to pump 3 ounces. Why is that? I'm afraid I'll never be able to get my ds off formula because I can't pump enough per day for him to eat! He is eating at least three 5 ounce bottles of formula per day at day care, and I send an extra bottle just in case. At this rate, I'll never be able to switch to BM only!!

    Any advice or suggestions would be GREATLY appreciated!! Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    26

    Default Re: How much should I be producing?

    Sorry I can't help byt maybe you can also post on the Working and Breastfeeding board

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    1,712

    Default Re: How much should I be producing?

    There is a lot of good advice all over these forums that can help. It has helped alleviate the stress just to know that what I am going through is normal. I think the amount you are pumping is normal. Unfortunately, I have found that pumping is very difficult. It usually takes me two pumping sessions to get one bottle. A frustrating hassle, I know. Just keep in mind that any amount of bmilk is good. I also think that babies want more from a bottle than Mom, because of the time it takes to empty the bottle verses the breast. It's the same concept as eating fast for us. What kind of pump are you using? I use a Medela Pump In Style. Some things that help pumping go better for me include being warm and relaxed, gentling massaging, and lightly tickling the breast. Even after that first letdown, when the flow slows down again, I tickle or massage some more and I will let down again.

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