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Thread: How often to pump?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    14

    Default How often to pump?

    Hi there, my DS is almost 8 weeks old and I have had to start pumping and bottlefeeding due to feeding issues. Long story short- he was doing great BFing until 2 weeks ago when he became hungry all the time and started biting and pulling off- so the pediatrician told me to pump and bottlefeed to monitor his intake. We've been doing this since Friday and he's doing great, finally satisifed.

    Now, I do have a supply in the freezer, I had started building up my stores when he was 4 weeks old because I have a steroid injection scheduled for this Tues. and I needed a 5 day supply for afterwards, which I pretty much have saved up and cannot dip into because I have just enough for those 5 days.

    So I've been pumping and bottlefeeding since Friday. He is currently taking 5 oz about every 3 hours (on his demand, not on any schedule), stretching every 4-5 hrs at night. I am pumping every 3 hours and only getting about 3 oz out of each breast each time, more in the morning and more out of my left than my right (but I think I have a clogged duct on that side, I have a loooong post in the 'breastfeeding your infant' section about that) Sometimes in the morning I'll get 5 oz out of the left side. The right side will give about 2 oz then stop, and the left seems to go on forever and never completely empty. I also noticed that where the left has about 4-5 "streams" coming out, the right only has 2, one strong and one weak (before when I would pump, they were pretty much equal)

    Anyway, how often should/can I pump? I can't seem to get ahead of the game to build any additional milk stores or even have an extra bottle on hand for traveling with. I'm worried about going back to work (although I don't know when that will be because my back is in bad shape) and not having any backup milk stored unless I stay up all night pumping for weeks!

    If I go for more than a couple hours, my breasts (especially that right one with the suspected clogged duct) get engorged but even when I pump then, I only get 3-4 oz. Is this amount normal? I'm guessing I will produce what he needs, which happens to be 5 oz, but will pumping more often bump up the production? I won't be able to pump every couple of hours when I return to work, I travel and my job is too demanding to allow for that.

    Thanks in advance for any help you can provide!

    Carly

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    2,349

    Default Re: How often to pump?

    *bump*
    Imma to AA, born at home 11/12/07 , juggling , working, APing , cloth diapering , - and . I'm done - yay!

    http://bf.lilypie.com/KmpEm6.png

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Pacific Northwest
    Posts
    56

    Default Re: How often to pump?

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*jerseymama01 View Post
    Sometimes in the morning I'll get 5 oz out of the left side. The right side will give about 2 oz then stop, and the left seems to go on forever and never completely empty. I also noticed that where the left has about 4-5 "streams" coming out, the right only has 2, one strong and one weak (before when I would pump, they were pretty much equal)

    Anyway, how often should/can I pump?

    If I go for more than a couple hours, my breasts (especially that right one with the suspected clogged duct) get engorged but even when I pump then, I only get 3-4 oz. Is this amount normal? I'm guessing I will produce what he needs, which happens to be 5 oz, but will pumping more often bump up the production? I won't be able to pump every couple of hours when I return to work, I travel and my job is too demanding to allow for that.

    Carly
    It sounds like you are clearly in the swing of things. Pumping every two hours is exhausing - I did that for a while. My production was weak once I started pumping. I think it was my stress level at the time. Your mention of going back to work and aching back makes me think stress may be a factor.

    You had higher production before... hmmm... Your observations on the reduction in the number of streams is a good observation. While I went through breast infections, I never had clogged ducks that I know of at least so I can't speak to that.

    Pumping more often should bring more milk. I would insure that you are relaxed. No multitasking. Exhale. Breath with enjoyment.

    I would not just count on your baby's doctor but give a lactation specialist or a LLLI leader a call about the duct or if your production does not kick back in.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    14

    Default Re: How often to pump?

    Thank you for your reply. I'm sure stress isn't helping. I'm feeling less stressed since the bottlefeeding because now I know he IS getting what he needs and he's not crying and fussing all the time. My back is in bad shape from slipped disks and its getting harder and harder to pick up my little porky man and I'm in pain a lot for which I obviously can't take medication for, except Ibuprofen which doesn't even touch it.

    Thankfully, I think I have freed up that duct again. I just kept pumping and massaging.... pumping and massaging....... then after a few rounds, I got about 5 oz out of that side and a better flow and it has not re-engorged since.

    I have been pumping every 2 hours and getting 2-3 oz per breast, hopefully my body will catch up and allow me a little extra so I can get a couple of bottles ahead. I got lucky this morning and he took the boob for a little snack, so I now actually have 2 bottles in the fridge, yay!

    Thanks again!
    Mom to George 02/08/09

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
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    7,065

    Default Re: How often to pump?

    Are you asking because you want to pump full time? Do you want baby back at the breast?

    Honestly, it sounds like the biting and pulling off could have been due to overactive let down paired with a growth spurt. OALD is very common and can be easy to overcome.

    Pumping and exclusive pumping is very hard work. I was forced to do this and going on 16 months I don't champion it at all. Of course if there is no other way, sure, pump away, but I would give anything to get baby back to the breast.
    I'm Hillary
    Wife to Gualberto
    Mom to Nolan
    Born at 32 weeks-3lbs/10oz
    11-25-2007
    Our precious early angel


    Remember, you are not managing an inconvenience; You are raising a human being ~ Kittie Frantz
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