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Thread: making it work...

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    11

    Default making it work...

    Hi there -- not sure to post this in "Increasing your supply" or "exclusive pumping" or "working and breastfeeding," so here goes (this might take a little while).
    I have a 10 week old and we've been plagued with issues from the start...from inverted nipples (conquered w/ pumping and the shield); poor latch; clipped frenulum and PT for her tongue/jaw; poor weight gain; and then issues with supply due to a very inefficient nurser all around.
    I've been able to maintain somewhat of a supply and haven't supplemented w/ formula thus far. But we do have to supplement almost every feeding with expressed breast milk because she's such an inefficient nurser. Already taking all the herbs, did a round of reglan, and have learned that I need to drink more water and eat oatmeal thanks to these forums.
    Will it get better or is it already downhill since shes' almost 3 months. How should I prepare to up my supply via pumping before going back to work? I am completely willing to pump 3-4 times a day for 15 minutes at work. I can feed her first thing in the am and in the evenings, but we know from our scale rental that she sometimes only gets less than 2 oz after 30 mins on the breast, so I'll need extra milk at home, too. She's gotten 4 oz in one session a few times, but it's very, very inconsistent.
    Would it be easier just to become exclusive pumpers? And can I keep up that supply for several months (optimally until she's 1 next May)? I wake up in the middle of the night and give her a bottle, because I can pump 4-6 oz during that time. I've been pumping other times throughout the day for weeks and get anywhere from 1-3 oz, but that's usually after I've fed her, so it's not exclusive pumping. If I skip a feeding for her I sometimes get 3-5 oz. Sometimes less.
    Does anyone find that being on a schedule they are able to get more? (ie does it help to "train" your breasts). And finally is there anyone out there who actually found their inefficient nurser to improve after 3 mos?

    Thanks,

    Keri

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Deep in the heart of Texas
    Posts
    14

    Default Re: making it work...

    Wow, mama! You've been through it all!

    As a working mom who has upped her supply more than once, you can totally maintain your supply while working. Pumping at the same times every day will help a lot- especially if you can pump in the same intervals as your lo would nurse, ie. every 2 hours (I proved that theory when I went back to work and only pumped when I "felt full" and my supply promptly took a nosedive). I can't tell you if exclusively pumping would be easier because I haven't done it (though I've thought about it), but I know I definetly look forward to the weekends when I can nurse my son on demand and not be a slave to the pump.

    You can start pumping before you go back to work to go ahead and boost your supply to maybe get a freezer stash going. A good way is just to start pumping before bed and a couple of times during the day- right after a feeding or two, if possible. That will signal your body that you need more milk at those times- even if in the beginning you don't get anything out.

    As far as an ineffiecient nurser-- my son is pretty darn lazy and often falls asleep at the breast even now (7mo). I think it's because my flow isn't fast enough for him. I've found that doing some breast compressions (squeezing your breast) while nursing gets it moving faster (I also do it while pumping, too). If you find a pocket and she starts swallowing quickly, don't let go until her swallowing slows.

    I hope that helps a little! I'll check back to see if you have any other questions!
    Sara, Clint & Carter born 01/03/2009


    Full-time working, part-time pumping, absolutely in love with life, booby mama to Carter.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    11

    Default Re: making it work...

    Thank you so much! Just knowing you were able to up your supply helps and thanks for the encouragement regarding the lazy nursers! Do you try to pump on his daytime schedule? I find that she can go 3 hours if she eats 3 oz; but I think I wouldget more milk if I pump every two hours, which would have us on opposite schedules...would that be ok for the weekends?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    2,349

    Default Re: making it work...

    Exclusively pumping is really, really hard work. If you can manage to juggle both (pump away from home, and nurse at home) it will be much easier with your supply.

    I am confused about your question. Do you mean you are going to pump on the weekends once you're working, or now? Instead of or in addition to nursing?

    Here's one thing to consider (after I give you for having overcome so many challenges already). Your little girl is a "lazy nurser", but she KNOWS that she can be because you're going to give her a bottle to finish filling her up. Have you considered dropping the bottle for a few days, and having a "nursing vacation"? (That's where you close the blinds, take off your shirt or at least wear an unbuttoned shirt, put your LO in just a dipe, and hold/nurse all day long.) That is not only great for your supply, but if you nurse her often and do breast compressions to increase what she gets as she sucks you will be able to get more bm into her. Babies are smart, and a 3mo is plenty able to realize that she doesn't have to work too hard to nurse because the bottle's coming. I am NOT saying to starve your baby, but let her get a little hungry, and then provide boob, boob, and more boob.

    Just a thought. I know it's not for everyone, but I had a friend who did this, and was able to go cold turkey with the supplementary EBM. (Her LO was about 2.5mo at the time.)
    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

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    11

    Default Re: making it work...

    Thank you so much for the input and encouragement. Yes, I've wondered whether or not she's just pacifying me waiting on the bottle...so I'm constantly looking for the hardest bottle for her to get the EBM out of and I make sure I try to keep the process slow.

    I appreciate the encouragement to keep up the nursing on evening and weekends....so that's the plan. I hadn't really thought about a nursing vacation, but I'm not opposed at all. I will actually probably try that. She's had a great weekend thus far and is getting a little better - it seems -- putting forth the effort. HOPEFULLY, this means we're headed in the right direction!

    Thanks so much. I'm sure more q's will come up along the way. 1 more week of mat leave

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    17

    Default Re: making it work...

    Don't know if this has been suggested yet but maybe you could try using the Breastflow bottles. They are super Slow. My lactation consultant recommended these when I was having trouble with getting my first at the breast and my second to latch on correctly. They worked like a charm both times. They supposedly feel like the real breast and they are so slow that even my baby sitter complains about them.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    56

    Default Re: making it work...

    If you can keep her on the breast and encourage her, then do; it is easier then being an exclusive pumper. Trust me! Been there, done that. And I choose to pump due to my weird work schedule.

    You can maintain your supply by only pumping. It is hard work. You will need to pump at every feeding, as if she was up to the breast. You can train your breasts to certain pumping times. I started pumping every 3 hours, then after a month or so went every 4, then after time went to 6, and finally to eight. I never had a drop in my supply by going longer times, but I've read of women on this board that wasn't able to maintain their supply.
    Missy MooCow
    - Mom to DS 03/2003 & DD 07/2008
    - - Ex-Exclusive pumper
    - - Yeah!! Full time nurser since December!!

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