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Thread: Pump one side or two?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2009
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    Default Pump one side or two?

    Due to oversupply and forceful letdown issues early in nursing (an continuing, actually), I ended up being a one-sided nurser with my daughter. In preparation for going back to work, around 3 weeks of age we started giving her one bottle a day, and while she ate from the bottle, I would pump on whichever side I was due to feed at that point. I never had any problem banking the 4 oz that she demands at a feeding, even though I was generally doing the bottle/pumping session in the evening when supply is generally lower.

    Today was my first day back at work (my daughter is 8 weeks old today), and I came up a little short on my morning pumping session (3.5 oz) on the right, then my husband brought my daughter to nurse on my lunch break (despite having nursed in public many times before, it didn't go well--she was unlatching and latching over and over and over), which was on the left, and then I just pumped on the right for my afternoon break, but this time I barely got 2.5 oz. I have a really good freezer stash built up, but obviously, coming up this short on my pumping is not a good thing.

    For the record, I did watch videos of my daughter while pumping to help with letdown.

    So after that long winded setup, my questions are these:

    1. Should I be pumping both sides while I'm at work to keep my supply up?

    2. If I do pump both sides, will I come home to my daughter "emptied out," since each side has previously gone 4-6 hours between feedings, and now will only have 2-3 hours?

    I'm really concerned that I'm only back for one day and I'm already starting to dry up! I guess it could just be stress?

    Any insight or advice would be greatly appreciated...

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2009
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    32

    Default Re: Pump one side or two?

    Ate oatmeal and still came up short on my morning pump session...

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    20,952

    Default Re: Pump one side or two?

    1. Should I be pumping both sides while I'm at work to keep my supply up?
    If you're coming up short while pumping, you should definitely pump both sides. Many moms with oversupply notice that their supply decreases as their babies get older- supply dips in order to meet the baby's needs more exactly. Your difficulties in pumping enough may, in part, result from this natural change in your supply.

    2. If I do pump both sides, will I come home to my daughter "emptied out," since each side has previously gone 4-6 hours between feedings, and now will only have 2-3 hours?
    No, not in the long run. The first few days you pump both sides you may find that your baby is fussy, and requires both breasts in order to get a full feeding, but as time goes on, your body will adjust and learn to make more milk.

    I'm really concerned that I'm only back for one day and I'm already starting to dry up! I guess it could just be stress?
    Stress could definitely be the culprit. Don't worry that you will "dry up"- as long as you continue to pump and nurse, that doesn't happen.
    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!"

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2009
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    32

    Default Re: Pump one side or two?

    Yeah, day four of pumping at work, and this time my morning pump only yielded 2.5 oz. It's getting worse and worse. I'm going to have to start adding an evening pump or figuring out how to pump two sided without leaving my baby hungry in the evening. Otherwise I'll have to make up the missing oz from my freezer stash, and I've heard that will decrease my production, too.

  5. #5
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    May 2006
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    Default Re: Pump one side or two?

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*jenna.alive View Post
    I'm going to have to start adding an evening pump or figuring out how to pump two sided without leaving my baby hungry in the evening.
    Either course of action, or both, will be helpful. I would go straight to double-sided pumping. It won't leave your baby hungry in the evening- not in the long term, anyway. You might have one or 2 evenings of fussiness while your supply adjusts, but double pumping should rapidly build your supply.
    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!"

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2009
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    64

    Default Re: Pump one side or two?

    i only feed on one side due to OS, but i always pump on both sides at work. seems to work better that way! on weekends, i'll pump on one side while he feeds on the other once or twice in the morning, just to keep from getting plugged ducts (the bane of my existence!) good luck, and i hope that your supply comes back up!
    Love my baby boy born 3/5/2009
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  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2009
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    32

    Default Re: Pump one side or two?

    Had a three-day weekend of exclusively nursing and then worked a half day today due to having to take my daughter to the doc (UTI, poor thing) so I got to nurse her all morning, and my one pumping at work today yielded a full four ounces (still just pumping one side), so that was awesome!

    I think I'm just going to watch my supply really closely for any more decreases. Right now, if I come up a little short on my pumps, I can make it up by collecting my letdown on the unused side when I do nurse at home. So far I haven't had to break into the freezer stash at all, and was even able to freeze a few oz over the weekend (again, by collecting my letdown on the unused side), so basically I just need to stop panicking until there's actually a REASON to panic.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    20,952

    Default Re: Pump one side or two?

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*jenna.alive View Post
    so basically I just need to stop panicking until there's actually a REASON to panic.
    That applies to all aspects of motherhood, I think! So glad you found something that's working for you!
    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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