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Thread: Need advice on when/how to start making freezer stash

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    19

    Default Need advice on when/how to start making freezer stash

    Hi,
    My baby is 6 weeks old today and I'm going to go back to work in 4 weeks. I need some advice on how and when to start making some freezer supplies - it seems like now would be a good time. But when should I do it during the day? He feeds 7 times a day, no strict schedule - on demand, which goes about every 2.5 hours during the day and then longer stretches (4-5hours) during the night (i;m very thankful for that). When i wake up during the night to feed him i feel that my breasts are very full and i could've pumped in between. But first of all, i never know how long he will sleep (sometimes it's only 3 hours between feedings). Also, I really don't want to wake up just for pumping. He usually eats at least 30 min altogether on both sides. How many times a day should I pump? When during the day should I do it? For how many minutes or Oz should I do it? Should I do it after breastfeeding?
    Thanks!!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    84

    Default Re: Need advice on when/how to start making freezer stash

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*newmomdo View Post
    Hi,
    But first of all, i never know how long he will sleep (sometimes it's only 3 hours between feedings). Also, I really don't want to wake up just for pumping. He usually eats at least 30 min altogether on both sides. How many times a day should I pump? When during the day should I do it? For how many minutes or Oz should I do it? Should I do it after breastfeeding?
    Thanks!!!
    I've been just making my best guess about when DS will wake up. I try not to pump from a full breast because there'll be a lot of foremilk. But if he has a session where he eats less than normal, I run to the pump when he's done and get an ounce or two. I am trying not to exacerbate an oversupply problem, so I have been building a stash very slowly. I don't get more than 2 oz per day, more than 1 oz at a time. Also, to avoid DS waking up unexpectedly and being hungry right after I pump, I only pump one breast at a time and I only pump when the non-pumping breast is full and ready to go if he wakes up.

    However, this is the slowest stash build in world history. I can only make a bottle once every two days at best. On the other hand, DS has never been left with nothing to eat and (knock on wood) I haven't exacerbated the over supply problem.
    Mom to Jack 11/27/08 (Our Thanksgiving Baby!)




  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    8,018

    Default Re: Need advice on when/how to start making freezer stash

    To build a stash before going back to work, I started pumping when DD2 was about 4 weeks old, about one bottle (4+ ounces) mid-morning. My breasts were fullest in the morning so that worked best for us. I think that's true for a lot of women. Don't worry about using up milk, your breasts will make more for your baby's next feeding. Our breasts are never really empty and they will adjust to the demand.
    For a while I was pumping more than my DD2 would eat and I built up quite a freezer stash. I did not mind at all because I've been in the opposite situation with DD1 (going day-to-day and almost running out of pumped milk) so I loved having plenty of extra milk.

    Molly

    Loving mama to JP (DS, 1/03 ~ nursed 6 mos), EL (DD1, 9/05 ~ nursed 4 yrs), EJ (DD2, 3/08 ~ nursed 3 yrs 9 mos), and
    JM (DD3, 6/12 ~ currently nursing), all born naturally
    Devoted wife to SAHD P, my hero
    A few of my favorite things that I've discovered on the forum: co-sleeping, baby-wearing, tandem nursing, baby-led solids, cloth diapering, APing, selective vaccination...the list goes on

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    633

    Default Re: Need advice on when/how to start making freezer stash

    DD2 was born on Thanksgiving... I started pumping on Jan 1st, first thing in the morning. She only eats from one breast each feeding, so I simply pump from the other breast, which is VERY full in the morning (provided she sleeps a bit during the night)! I have no problem pumping 4-5 oz from just one breast each day!

    Some mamas like to pump at night, after LO "goes to bed". This is more difficult for me, as DD2 tends to cluster feed in the evenings, so my breasts are less full and I don't get as much when I pump!

    Also, don't overestimate what baby will eat at each feeding. We gave DD2 a bottle for the first time a day or two ago, just to make sure she'd take it before I go back to work (on Saturday). Anyway, she'd only eat 2 oz! I guess that means I have quite the stash built up already! Oversupply can be a blessing in disguise, I guess!

    Anyway, I agree with Molly- your breasts are never empty, and baby will be more effective at removing the milk than the pump will be! So, if baby does wake soon after you've pumped, rest assured that he will be able to eat! Good luck!
    ~Jaden Mae 04-05-06~
    --Self-weaned at 21 months--
    ~Avery Lynne 11-27-08~
    --Self-weaned at 23 months--
    ~Elise June 02-12-11~
    --Nursing like a champ--

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    51

    Default Re: Need advice on when/how to start making freezer stash

    I agree with the advice to pump in the am when supply is often best. I would feed both my DDs in the am and as soon as they fell asleep for am nap, i would pump. This gave me plenty of time to make more milk so they would be satisfied at the next feed. I got small amounts with DD1, often only a couple of oz, but every oz helps and thats how i got my stash started. Once she started going to bed without me (ie earlier), i would also pump at 10pm before i went to bed. Again, small quantities but better than nothing. My DD2 is 13w now and i have way more milk this time - i do the same thing, minus the 10pm pump for now. I also pump if i have time whenever i feel she hasnt completely emptied me. I think that especially in the am, you dont have to worry too much about "not having enough" at the next feed- just feed anyway and the milk will get made.
    HTH

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    19

    Default Re: Need advice on when/how to start making freezer stash

    Thank you everybody for replies and suggestions!
    I've started pumping in AM like everybody recommended. I get anywhere between 2.5 and 3.5 ounces. The thing is he usually eats in the middle of the night - 3-4am, then next one in 3 hours(approximately) and i've been pumping after that session. However, he usually is quite awake after that AM feeding and doesn't fall asleep (if he does then only for 20min). And it seems like he's hungry again in 2 hours! even though i pump after feeding him.
    Also, i'm not sure what to do with such "uneven" number of ounces of milk - how to store them. I know it is recommended to do 2Oz or 4 Oz...but i really dont want to throw away extra 0.5 Oz! how do you guys achieve even amount for storage? Or you pump until certain amount rather than number of minutes of pumping?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    30

    Default Re: Need advice on when/how to start making freezer stash

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*newmomdo View Post
    Also, i'm not sure what to do with such "uneven" number of ounces of milk - how to store them. I know it is recommended to do 2Oz or 4 Oz...but i really dont want to throw away extra 0.5 Oz! how do you guys achieve even amount for storage? Or you pump until certain amount rather than number of minutes of pumping?
    don't throw it out! i store mine in bm freezer bags marked with the ounces to the nearest .5 oz, so if its 2.5, thats what i write on the bag. you can always thaw and combine with another thawed bag to make the right-sized bottles for later as long as you follow the bm storage guidelines. they say to freeze in small portions so that 1)its easy to thaw & 2)you don't waste any b/c thawed bm has to be used w/in 24 hrs.

    hth!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    30

    Default Re: Need advice on when/how to start making freezer stash

    also - i pump until there's no more milk, sometimes i get two letdowns & sometimes i don't but i don't go by a certain amt of time or ounces b/c for me it varies based on time of day.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Need advice on when/how to start making freezer stash

    My daughter is 12 weeks and I went back to work 3 days ago.

    I slowly built up a stash by pumping after she was done eating. My doc suggested I pick 2 feeding times after which to pump and stick with that schedule. So I would pump after her last feeding at night (around 10 pm) and then again after she had her longest stretch of sleep (around 4:30 AM).

    I did this for about 5 weeks and at last count I had 120 oz frozen. A tip for freezing. I use the freezer bags and lay them down on a solid surface in the freezer. This way the milk bag freezers flat and takes up less room in the freezer. Works like a charm!

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