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Thread: Need help with pumping

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    Default Need help with pumping

    Hello! I am new to this site but have been reading through some of the questions and responses and am in need of some assistance. After exclusively breastfeeding my daughter for five weeks, I have switched exclusively pumping and giving her a bottle. This was a very hard decision but one that I am now glad I made. She would nurse non-stop during the day to the point that it was difficult to sit her down just to go to the bathroom. I believe this was because she would nurse for a minute or two, fall asleep then awaken and nurse again. Anytime that I tried to remove my nipple from her, she would wake up and get very upset with me. Not to mention that she would spit up an awfully lot when on the breast and isn't spitting up so much now that she's on the bottle.

    Now that she's taking a bottle, she's more satisfied and I am able to get a break from those non-stop feedings. However, I've run into a new problem. When I first began pumping, I was able to pump a total of 4-6 ounces every three hours. Now, I'm only able to pump a total of 3-3.5 ounces every three hours. I'm not sure what has caused the dip in supply as I'm still pumping on a strict schedule. I do allow myself to go a little longer in the evenings/early mornings as my daughter has just recently started sleeping for a 6 hour stretch each night. I have recently changed from an Evenflo electric pump to the dual PIS Medela pump, could this be the reason for the decreased supply? At the moment, I have enough milk in the freezer to add to my daughters bottles to make up for the difference she needs but am starting to deplete my reserves!

    I REALLY would like to avoid introducing any formula into her diet even as a supplement but I can't just let her go hungry. I should also mention that she's currently gaining weight well. She weighed 7lbs. 10oz at birth (on 12/20/05) and she's presently 12lbs, 8oz. She just seems insatiable sometimes, I think this may be because she was born two weeks early and is making up for lost time but, that's just speculation on my part. Any suggestions that any of you have would be greatly appreciated as I'm not sure how to correct this.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    108

    Default Re: Need help with pumping

    The pump doesn't stimulate your milk supply as the baby does so that's probably why you have a decrease in supply. I don't see a reason to supplement with formula unless you truly don't have enough for your baby and from what i have just read, you have more than enough..the problem is that you can't handle your baby's demand.

    If you want to continue to give your baby the best nutrition you should continue to nurse, at least some of the time. Nothing wrong with pumping and feeding as well, but it's a lot more trouble to exclusively pump than to exclusively nurse

  3. #3

    Default Re: Need help with pumping

    You didn't mention what kind of pump you're using, but if it's not hospital-grade rental pump, it won't keep your supply up where it needs to be.

    Pump as often as you're feeding baby a bottle, and wait for two or more letdowns each time. Since your baby is still young, you also need to be pumping at night, too.

    Watch your diet for supply-busters, like the herb sage, and peppermint. If you're starting on a BC pill, those often cause a drop in supply, even the minipill.
    Shannon
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  4. #4
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    Feb 2006
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    Default Re: Need help with pumping

    I am using the PIS Medela pump currently. This is something else that I'm curious about. Up until about four days ago, I'd been using a single Evenflo pump and was getting the 4-6 ounces of formula each session. Ever since I've been using the PIS, I've seen the decrease. I'd been hoping to get a higher volume of milk with the PIS since it's a much more expensive, dual pump but evidently that's not the case. In addition to these two things, I've also seen the return of my menstrual period these last few days and have read that you can have a drecreased milk supply during your period, does anyone know if that's the case? Is there anything one can do to avoid that?

    I am going to try to nurse my daughter at least once a day now and am dedicated to giving her breastmilk for at least the first six months of her life. But, I am not mentally capable of being a slave to the couch all day for four weeks like I was in the beginning. That takes A LOT out of a person, kudos to those who can keep that up but, it's just not for me.

    Also, does it sound normal for a baby her age (almost 9 weeks) and her weight (12.5 pounds) to be taking 4-6 ounces of milk every 2-4 hours and then going for the 6 hour stretch at night? I just wonder if she's taking in enough. At night, she'll usually take 6-7 ounces right before her big sleep, I think she knows she's going to be sleeping and binges a bit to get through.

    Thank you for your help!!

  5. #5
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    Jan 2006
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    Default Re: Need help with pumping

    Good for you for nursing at least once a day! It will help with your supply

    I think it's normal for her to take that much..every baby is different..you're so darn lucky your baby sleeps such a long stretch..lol..keep at it girl, you will do great and you will be giving your baby the best there is..congrats

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Need help with pumping

    Yes, we're counting our lucky stars that she's sleeping that long stretch now. Up until about five days ago (when the great sleep started) she was up about every hour and a half to two hours. It's about time we get some sleep, we're actually starting to feel human again! Thanks for your suggestions concerning the breastfeeding. Hopefully nursing her that extra time each day will help out with my supply. There's nothing more frustrating that feeling like you're not making enough milk to satisfy your baby.

  7. #7
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    Jan 2006
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    Default Re: Need help with pumping

    Yeah it seems like you are making enough milk for her just fine, just that the pump is not a good indication of milk supply. Hang in there like i said, after a couple of weeks i'm sure you will find a good balance between nursing and pumping..just remember she's coming up on 6 wks and there will be a growth spurt, don't think you don't have enough milk, it's totally normal for your baby to want to nurse/feed more than usual

  8. #8
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    Feb 2006
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    Default Re: Need help with pumping

    Well, she's actually coming up on 9 weeks this Tuesday (she'll officially be two months old tomorrow-time sure flies!)! I remember the 6 week growth spurt though, seemed like we couldn't satisfy her. It was eat, eat, eat, non-stop!! But, ever since she hit the 12 pound mark, she's been a lot more content.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    Default Re: Need help with pumping

    I've also seen the return of my menstrual period these last few days and have read that you can have a drecreased milk supply during your period, does anyone know if that's the case? Is there anything one can do to avoid that?
    It's possible that your milk supply is temporarily low because of the onset of your period. A calcium/magnesium supplement may be helpful. Here's some info on that (not LLL approved, however): http://www.kellymom.com/herbal/natur...s.html#calcium

  10. #10
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    Feb 2006
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    Default Re: Need help with pumping

    LLLCarol,

    Thank you for your reply. You mentioned other dietary items that could also affect my supply. Are there any other common things I should be avoiding? I have been drinking peppermint tea (decaffinated) quite a bit as well so I am cutting that out now. I'd read that oatmeal may improve or at least help maintain your supply so I am eating oatmeal every day. Are there any other foods that I might try eating to help?

    Thanks again!

    Amber

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