Re: First time using this forum
Hi mama, you have been doing a great job so far! I don't exclusively pump, but I pump for work and maybe I can help with a few of your questions. And there are several moms around here who have EPed and can give you some btdt advice.
If you are giving rice cereal, you can use water to make it if it's sucking off your supply. But she also really doesn't need cereal yet, unless there is a medical reason you started early. The AAP recommends starting solids at 6 months. So depending on your preference, you don't have to use your milk to make the cereal.
Breast milk is OK for 8 hours at room temperature. I think that time goes down once it's been heated. My husband used to warm a bottle and if it didn't all get drunk he'd give it another 4 hours before he'd toss it. Usually if it doesn't smell or taste bad it's fine to give. Baby will usually let you know if there is something wrong with the milk. Or you could separate the milk into smaller quantities so you are only warming maybe 2 oz at a time. That way if you have to toss an uneaten bottle, you aren't wasting much.
Keep in mind that breastmilk isn't like formula. After the first few months they will even out the amount they take in, it doesn't keep increasing. You milk gets more concentrated, so they don't need to drink more and more of it. Your body's response to the pump may change over time, though, so it is a good idea to pay attention to drops in your pumping output.
If you are only pumping for 10 minutes at a time, you could probably go a few more minutes to get a second let down and get a few more ounces per session. Does your pump have a let down button? Or can you adjust the speed? If you turn the speed up and let it go really fast for a few minutes after the initial flow stops that should stimulate another let down. You may have to let it go fast for a minute or two and then once the flow starts again you can turn the speed down.
And then there are also things you can do to increase your supply, like eating oatmeal or taking herbal supplements. Fenugreek, mother's milk tea, there are several options.
Keep up the great work! You are doing a wonderful thing for your child!
“We are not put on earth for ourselves, but are placed here for each other. If you are there always for others, then in time of need, someone will be there for you.”