I have a preemie and am pumping to bottle feed or tube feed him at this point. He’s a 34 weeker now four weeks old. We practice bf, but our main goal is for him to gain weight right now.
My supply is really low. I can only pump about 30 ml per session total. My right breast gives me twice what the left puts out and the left breast doesn't really get started until about 3 minutes after the right. I massage my breast during pumping and I hand express after to try and empty them.
I'm trying very hard to pump every 3 hours, but I hit a wall and became completely exhausted with my preemie. For the past three or four days, I've missed a few pumps and have gone without pumpuing for 5 or 6 hours a few times because I've slept through them. Once I think I went 7 hours.
I've tried fenugreek, tea and drops. My dr. just prescribed some meds to help.
Have I permanently jeopardized my already low supply by going without pumping so many times? How long does it take for your supply to disappear?
After I pump, when would i have milk again for my baby? If I pump and he happens to wake a half hour or so later, will I have milk for him?
How can I tell if my breasts are empty? All I can feel right now is a tingling sensation in my nipples every three hours or so. I can sort of tell they're full, but I can't tell when they're empty.
How long should i pump? Right now, I'm doing 15-20 minutes but if I can squeeze out a few more drops I'll work at it for another 5 or 10. Is it supposed to take this long?? Can I damage my milk ducts by over massaging or expressing?
Should I power pump just the left breast? Is my left breast abnormal? Should I not worry about it?
If I refrigerate my milk and then use some of it, can I re-refrigerate the rest for later? or, if my preemie doesn't take the full bottle of breast milk, can I refrigerate it for later? If I warm up my breast milk in the bottle how long can it sit out and be used?
Thanks for all your help!!