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Thread: Question about pumping...

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    13

    Default Question about pumping...

    I am nursing my 6 week old ds on-demand & i occasionally pump & my dh gives my ds a bottle so i can get some extra sleep. when i pump in place of bf, i notice that i don't fill back up for the next feeding. my breasts are saggy & the baby doesn't get enough. it's like the pump fully empties me-so much more than the baby does. i'm wondering....should i not pump until i'm fully empty or maybe i'm turning the pump up too strong???? i turn it all the way up & it only takes me like 3-5 minutes to fully empty my breasts. during the night last night, i pumped 5 oz (my ds only drinks 3-4 oz) but then i was still empty at the first feeding this morning-when i'm usually the fullest!!! i had this same problem with my dd, but also had other issues with milk supply, so i was hoping this time would be different. has anyone else experienced this with the pump??

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,387

    Default Re: Question about pumping...

    If the pump is emptying you more fully than your baby, this is not something you need to worry about in the long term. Every time you drain your breasts really, really completely, your body gets this message: "Lots of demand here! Hurry up and make milk- and make more than you did the last time!" So pumping really thoroughly actually increases your supply.

    In the short term, I can see how the pumping pattern you are maintaining could cause problems. If you empty yourself thoroughly and then nurse shortly thereafter, it's quite possible that you are emptier than you usually are, and that can cause your baby to become frustrated. But don't worry- even if your breasts feel "empty" and "saggy" there is still milk in them, because milk is constantly being made. It may not be as much milk as your baby would like, but there IS milk available to her- it may be coming out at a trickle instead of a gush, but she's not going hungry.

    I am curious: when your husband gives the bottle, are you pumping at the exact same time, or are you pumping at some random time? If you're pumping kind of randomly, what may be happening is that your body is getting mixed messages. Most days it's humming along, making just the right amount of milk at the right time. But then there's a night where you sleep through a feeding/pumping, and your body says to itself "Not much demand, better ratchet production back." And then there's another night when you pump when you would usually sleep, and your body gets the message to make more milk, but when your baby wakes up your milk supply is still playing catch-up.

    Since you're experiencing this frustration, I can think of a few things you might want to do to improve the situation:
    1. Shelve the bottles and battle through the sleep deprivation.
    2. Pump at the same time that your husband gives the bottle. (Does not improve the sleep situation, though!)
    3. Sleep through the bottle, but schedule your pumping sessions better. Maybe pump after nursing throughout the day and pump thoroughly right before you go to sleep.

    HTH, and hang in there!
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    13

    Default Re: Question about pumping...

    thanks for your reply! i usually would pump at the same time my dh would be giving a bottle, except for occassionally pumping right before i go to bed when i anticipate the baby will be waking to feed within a couple of hours. i pumped at 3 am while my dh was giving a bottle & went right back to sleep (it only takes me 5 min on the pump to become completely empty). it's 12:30 pm now (the next day) & i'm still having to nurse every 1-1 1/2 hours on both breasts-whereas normally my baby is satisfied every 3-3.5 hours & is done after one breast. it's just weird to feel this when normally the morning/beginning of the day is when i have the most milk....

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,387

    Default Re: Question about pumping...

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*avis.grey View Post
    i'm still having to nurse every 1-1 1/2 hours on both breasts-whereas normally my baby is satisfied every 3-3.5 hours & is done after one breast.
    This sounds like a textbook growth spurt. 6 weeks happens to be a prime time for one, as well. Just nurse on demand and don't try to space out the feedings or cave in to the temptation to supplement, and your baby will quickly boost your supply up to where she needs it to be. She'll probably go back to a less demanding nursing schedule, too, once your supply has increased.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

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