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Thread: Can't pump enough to keep up with LO

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    84

    Default Can't pump enough to keep up with LO

    Hi,

    I was advised in the main forum to post this here, so forgive me if you read this there. DS is 4.5 mos old, exclusively BF, getting bottles of EBM at daycare. We have just discovered that he wants to eat a LOT more than we thought before. He has started napping much better since the daycare started giving him larger bottles before naps, and I have started not feeding him for a while before bedtime so he gets a large feeding right before bed and he has started sleeping a lot better at night. Yay!!!

    Here's the problem. I don't pump well. I just don't produce that much when I am pumping. To keep up with what he was eating at daycare before (about 20 hrs per week in daycare), I was pumping while he was at daycare PLUS again at night every night before I go to bed. And then I was just breaking even. Now he is eating way more than he was before and I am falling behind. I am using a $200 Playtex pump that is supposed to be hospital grade; I don't think it is the pump.

    The pediatrician and the daycare lady have both said that he is OK to start solids, by which they mean rice cereal. I am starting to think that I am stuck with a choice of either introducing solids or supplementing with formula while he is in daycare, because I can't keep up with him. The cooling pack that goes with my pump isn't even big enough to store that amount of milk. She is gave him 15 oz in 6 hours yesterday! And he is going to have to go full time from May 19 through the end of July and I will have less frequent opportunities to pump during that time; I don't think I can keep up.

    So is there a way to make the pump suddenly work better (I don't have problems when he is nursing, just when I am pumping)? Or should I supplement with formula or start him on rice cereal?
    Mom to Jack 11/27/08 (Our Thanksgiving Baby!)




  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    18,063

    Default Re: Can't pump enough to keep up with LO

    http://www.kellymom.com/bf/pumping/p..._decrease.html


    I'm not pumping enough milk. What can I do?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    18,063

    Default Re: Can't pump enough to keep up with LO

    this might help also

    http://www.kellymom.com/bf/pumping/milkcalc.html

    If your baby is taking substantially more than the average amounts, consider the possibility that baby is being given too much milk while you are away. Things that can contribute to overfeeding include:

    Fast flow bottles. Always use the lowest flow bottle nipple that baby will tolerate.
    Using bottle feeding as the primary way to comfort baby. Some well-meaning caregivers feed baby the bottle every time he makes a sound. Use the calculator above to estimate the amount of milk that baby needs, and start with that amount. If baby still seems to be hungry, have your caregiver first check to see whether baby will settle with walking, rocking, holding, etc. before offering another ounce or two.
    Baby's need to suck. Babies have a very strong need to suck, and the need may be greater while mom is away (sucking is comforting to baby). A baby can control the flow of milk at the breast and will get minimal milk when he mainly needs to suck. When drinking from a bottle, baby gets a larger constant flow of milk as long as he is sucking. If baby is taking large amounts of expressed milk while you are away, you might consider encouraging baby to suck fingers or thumb, or consider using a pacifier for the times when mom is not available, to give baby something besides the bottle to satisfy his sucking needs.
    If, after trying these suggestions, you're still having a hard time pumping enough milk, see I'm not pumping enough milk. What can I do?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    184

    Default Re: Can't pump enough to keep up with LO

    I had the exact same issue. My little guy (now 9 months) eats about 3-4oz more than I can pump each day. We do fine nursing, it's just the pumping that's the issue. I have the Medela PIS. I have been taking Fenugreek 3pills 3x a day for months. Eat oatmeal everyday. Drink a ton of water. Eat healthy. Just have never been able to keep up. I did slim down the amount he had at daycare (8 hours a day) from 21oz to 18oz and he didn't even notice. He also eats solids now, but the milk demand is still the same. I do supplement with organic formula those last few oz that I can't give him. Knowing that it is only a few oz mixed with BM I feel better about it. You could try to pump in the middle of the night for those extra oz. But as a working Mom I am sure sleep is just as important. Try not to stress too much about it, you can only do what you can do. Hang in there!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    14

    Default Re: Can't pump enough to keep up with LO

    I'm not sure what to tell you but I hope everything works out for the best. If you do wind up having to supplement with formula, remember you're doing what's best for your baby and providing the proper nutrition. I know we started Charlie with some rice cereal at about 4.5 months. She did well with it.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Toronto, Canada
    Posts
    2,339

    Default Re: Can't pump enough to keep up with LO

    Andrea has given you some great information to start with. It's helpful to remember that most babies need 1-1.5 oz per hour away from Mama. So if your little guy was in day care for six hours, he only needs 6-9oz of milk in that time. If you can pump that much, I'd say you're in great shape!

    Also, starting solids before six months is outdated advice. The latest research shows us that baby's gut is not mature enough for solid foods until six months, and starting earlier than that puts them at increased risk for allergies and diabetes. Your baby doesn't need anything more than BM until at least six months of age. In fact, many babies, when given the lead, will not take solids in any measurable amount for months after that. We are using the Baby Led Solids approach, and my DD is just starting to really take interest in eating now at 10 months. She played and tasted for a long time, now she's getting down to business!

    So I just wanted to say that you probably can make enough milk for your lo. Encourage your DCP to soothe baby in other ways, and offer that 1-1.5oz/hour and see how it goes.
    Jess

    Mama to my little Roxie Roo, 06/11/08


    April miles for TBTTW: 63

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    71

    Default Re: Can't pump enough to keep up with LO

    I just want to sympathize with how hard it is to pump enough milk. There is a lot of advice out there and not all of it is easy to follow. Whatever you choose to do will be the right thing for both you and your LO.
    We made it one year!
    Loving
    and blogging about it all here

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