Re: Exclusively pumping ... questions
It's not bad, but it's not fabulous either. I'd put your supply in the "could be better" category. My understanding is that a mom with a good supply should be supplying around 2 oz every time her month-old baby eats. And since most breastfed babies eat every 1.3-3 hours, your supply sounds like it's on the low end.
I usually get about 3 ounces on each breast in the morning and about 1 to 1.5 ounces one each throughout the day. I am wondering if this amount is normal.
Some things you can do to boost supply include:
- See a lactation consultant, preferably an IBCLC.
- Pump more frequently. The more you pump, the more you will make.
- Use the best available pump, which often means a hospital-grade rental pump.
- Make sure you have the proper size of breastshields (your LC can help).
- Herbs- Fenugreek, Blessed Thistle, and oatmeal are all useful for increasing supply.
- Drugs- Reglan (available in the US) and Domperidone (Canada) are anti-nausea drugs which can increase milk supply as a side-effect. Both have additional side-effects, and are not right for every mom, so discuss use of either drug with your LC and your doctor or midwife.
Possibly. It is often harder to increase your supply by pumping than by nursing. A nursing baby boosts her mom's supply every time she goes through a growth spurt, which usually means that she nurses nonstop for a few days. Mimicking the frequent stimulation and ultra-thorough milk removal of a growth-spurt using a pump is a difficult task, especially when you need to care for your baby at the same time.
I also heard that once my baby starts eating more, if I am only pumping (not actually nursing) I will not be able to make enough to meet her feeding demands. Is this true?
Absolutely! Here are some things you can to to increase the likelihood that your baby will go back to the breast:
Finally, if I wanted to try to BF again now that my DD is a little older and more alert during feedings, is this possible?
- Start as soon as possible.
- See an IBCLC. Nothing beats hands-on help!
- Do lots of skin-to-skin contact.
- Before attempting to latch baby on, express or drip a few drops of milk onto the nipple. The taste of immediate gratification may prompt longer sucking.
- If you're not co-sleeping, consider trying it. Many babies who will fight the breast during the day will latch on at night when they are too sleepy and relaxed to put up a fuss.
- When bottle-feeding, use the slowest-flow nipples available, and make bottle-feeding as much like breastfeeding as possible. When it's time to bottle-feed, open your shirt, cuddle your baby close to your bare chest, and tickle her lips with the bottle nipple until she opens wide. (Don't let her learn sloppy latch habits from getting a bottle slipped into a half-open mouth.) Try to pause after every oz or so of fluid, to get the baby accustomed to the natural ebb-and-flow rhythm of breastfeeding.
- Consider using a supplemental nursing system so that your baby gets used to getting all her meals at the breast. With a SNS, you can ditch the bottles and help eliminate the risk of baby coming to prefer bottles.
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