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Thread: needing to start pumping, have questions

  1. #1

    Default needing to start pumping, have questions

    So, breastfeeding started off well in the first month, but after that my supply went down. I started having some post partum depression issues and it was difficult to get my son to stay on the breast long enough to eat/stimulate milk production, etc. and it became a vicious cycle. I thought my supply went up and we introduced a bottle of BM(because I am going back to work in a month) and the boy seemed to get nipple confusion and refused to nurse at the breast. I am assuming my supply was still low. I tried to get him back on the breast for over a week, supplementing with feeding him BM with a dropper, etc. I saw a lactation consultant and she said my supply was low. I started taking fenugreek and pumping 3 times a day. Things did not improve and I think my stress level went up because I was constantly worried if my son was getting enough to eat. Then yesterday, my supply really seemed to tank and I ended up taking my son to the doctor because he only had 2 barely wet diapers in a 15 hour time span and he would not eat at the breast. He had lost 10 ounces in a day and a half. The doctor stated that I needed to at least supplement with formula, which I really didn't want to do, but given the state of affairs and my mental state, I agreed. I am wanting to try and get him back on the breast, but It seems unlikely. I am seeing the lactation consultant tomorrow to see if anything can be done. My son is 8 weeks old tomorrow.

    If I can't breastfeed, I would like to try and exclusively pump.My questions are about what type of pump is good to use if I end up pumping? I have an older model Medela pump in style that does not seem to do a good job.

    Also, since my supply is low right now, how often would I need to pump to get my supply up to try and feed him exclusively with breastmilk?

    I am trying to not feel horribly guilty about this. I felt so good about having a natural, drug free labor and breastfeeding my son... I guess you never know what sort of curveball life will throw you.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,236

    Default Re: needing to start pumping, have questions

    Hi Mama! Sorry that you've had such a rough ride so far. IMHO, you absolutely did the right thing to start formula after your baby lost so much weight- feeding the baby and keeping him healthy is the first step. Getting your milk supply back can come second!


    If I can't breastfeed, I would like to try and exclusively pump.My questions are about what type of pump is good to use if I end up pumping? I have an older model Medela pump in style that does not seem to do a good job.
    If your child will still take the breast, you can still breastfeed- and combine it with bottles as necessary. I would ask your LC for advice on the right pump for you. You might want to start out with a hospital-grade rental pump while you rebuild your supply, and then switch to something else. If your PIS isn't doing a good job, you might want to try a newer model or at least get yours checked out. If yours is second-hand or even just older it could have lost suction and power.

    Also, since my supply is low right now, how often would I need to pump to get my supply up to try and feed him exclusively with breastmilk?
    The answer to that question is different for every mom. Some moms get their supplies back with minimal effort, for others it takes a lot more work. When I had supply issues, my LC had me pump for 10 minutes per side every 2 hours during the day and every 3 at night, and I saw good results in just a couple weeks.

    I am trying to not feel horribly guilty about this. I felt so good about having a natural, drug free labor and breastfeeding my son... I guess you never know what sort of curveball life will throw you.
    I hear you! Breastfeeding is natural but that doesn't mean it's easy, so please don't feel guilty. You're really not alone in struggling! So many of us have been where you are.
    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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