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Thread: Starting to pump, no idea what I'm doing. Help please!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    10

    Default Starting to pump, no idea what I'm doing. Help please!

    My baby is 4 weeks old. I am returning to work after 12 weeks and was told to wait no longer than 4/5 weeks to introduce bottle so baby has time to get used to it. Plan is for DH to feed her 1 bottle a day AFTER a nursing session with me for introduction purposes. Then, as she gets used to the bottle, he can feed her with the bottle in lieu of a nursing session either once/day or once every other day. Does that sound okay?

    Also, am not entirely sure when to pump. Do I just pump after my daytime feedings to give us the milk we need for that one evening feeding we're planning on? I pumped once today already and got 1.5 ounces. If I'm only planning on giving her a bottle after one nursing session just to introduce her, shouldn't that be enough? Once I start going to one bottle/day in lieu of feeding, it seems like I would only need a couple of pumping sessions a day to build up that supply and not necessarily after every, single feeding. How often should I be pumping right now?

    When I do return to work, I plan to simply pump in lieu of the feedings while I'm at work and then when I'm home, revert to breastfeeding. That seems pretty straightforward.

    Lastly, when the nipple shield is on, should it be sucking in part of my breast itself too? Or just the nipple? It wasn't uncomfortable but it did pull in a decent amount of breast tissue and I'm not sure if it's b/c I was pushing them on my boobs too tightly or if they're the wrong size or what. Thoughts on making sure the breast shield fits correctly? The nipple do not rub the sides at all.

    Thanks in advance for any advice you can give me!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
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    58

    Default Re: Starting to pump, no idea what I'm doing. Help please!

    We started introducing bottles at 4 weeks. I have never given her a bottle; we wanted her to associate mommy with nursing only. When we introduced the bottle it was with a small quantity of EBM (about an ounce) and I just stopped her short of a normal nursing session so DH could give it to her. She took to it fine. After we knew she would accept the brand of bottles that we're using, we started doing a bottle in lieu of a nursing session.

    Honestly we only gave her about 2 bottles per week until I went back to work. Once we knew she'd take them we didn't see much reason to try to give one daily. I did pump while DH fed her on the days she got a bottle; whatever I pumped went into the freezer. To accumulate the fresh milk for the bottle I pumped for about 5 minutes after each nursing session earlier in the day.

    We discovered that if she knows I'm around, she will either refuse the bottle entirely or will drink it down and then demand to nurse (and spits up because she's then overfed). She takes bottles just fine for daycare or for a babysitter or DH as long as I'm not there, but she prefers to drink from the tap.
    Katie - mom to Lily, 8/5/2010

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
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    Illinois
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    Default Re: Starting to pump, no idea what I'm doing. Help please!

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*jef3r View Post
    My baby is 4 weeks old. I am returning to work after 12 weeks and was told to wait no longer than 4/5 weeks to introduce bottle so baby has time to get used to it. Plan is for DH to feed her 1 bottle a day AFTER a nursing session with me for introduction purposes. Then, as she gets used to the bottle, he can feed her with the bottle in lieu of a nursing session either once/day or once every other day. Does that sound okay?

    Also, am not entirely sure when to pump. Do I just pump after my daytime feedings to give us the milk we need for that one evening feeding we're planning on? I pumped once today already and got 1.5 ounces. If I'm only planning on giving her a bottle after one nursing session just to introduce her, shouldn't that be enough? Once I start going to one bottle/day in lieu of feeding, it seems like I would only need a couple of pumping sessions a day to build up that supply and not necessarily after every, single feeding. How often should I be pumping right now?

    When I do return to work, I plan to simply pump in lieu of the feedings while I'm at work and then when I'm home, revert to breastfeeding. That seems pretty straightforward.

    Lastly, when the nipple shield is on, should it be sucking in part of my breast itself too? Or just the nipple? It wasn't uncomfortable but it did pull in a decent amount of breast tissue and I'm not sure if it's b/c I was pushing them on my boobs too tightly or if they're the wrong size or what. Thoughts on making sure the breast shield fits correctly? The nipple do not rub the sides at all.

    Thanks in advance for any advice you can give me!
    1. Congrats on sticking with it even with the challenges of going back to work! It isn't easy but its worth it
    2. Pumping: Pump right after every feeding for 10-15 minutes to start tricking your body into producing more milk. If possible (and if your baby is sleeping!) try to pump once between the hours of 1-5 am when your milk supply is at its peak. At least for me, when I first started working I was unable to pump right away the exact amount my baby was eating for the next day (if you want more details on my experience, you can check out my blog link in my siggy), so building a supply before you leave would be great! Meanwhile you may need to know that your milk supply and your pump yield are different: there is no way to really gage your milk supply except by healthy weight gain and diaper counting. Gaging your pump yield is easier (obviously, the amount you pump per session)--BUT its a bad indication of how much milk you actually produce. (MER=Milk ejection reflex is a huge factor in how much you're able to express in one session; see my blog on this as well, if you want).
    3. Shields; you may need to upgrade to a larger size breast shield. What kind of pump do you have?
    Exclusive , ,Christian mommy!
    Bloggin' Mommy


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    10

    Default Re: Starting to pump, no idea what I'm doing. Help please!

    Thanks for the replies.

    My DH fed her a bottle of 1 oz of EBM last night and she took it with no problem even with me sitting in the room with them. In fact, she downed it in five minutes and that was after a full nursing session. Made me wonder if maybe she's being underfed at her nursing sessions...

    I was thinking about the whole building up a supply in the freezer thing and wondering how to do that. Maybe I'll start freezing some of the stuff I pump and having DH give a bottle every other day for now. I pumped 1.5 oz again today. I am really not wanting to pump after every session b/c as it is, breastfeeding takes me almost an hour and she eats pretty much every two hours so to pump after each session would just kill me...I am already exhausted with the amount of breastfeeding as it is. But I might add one more session a day to start building a supply. What I don't want to do is increase my supply too much b/c I don't want to deal with issues of engorgement and whatnot.

    Regarding the breast shields, I have a Medela PISA. When the pump isn't on, the nipples fit in the shield without touching the sides at all. Then when it starts, it draws them in and the aereola is drawn in with it. It's the aereola that is touching the sides inside the shield. The nipple itself never touches. Not sure if larger would be beneficial or if that's the way it's supposed to fit.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    21,266

    Default Re: Starting to pump, no idea what I'm doing. Help please!

    In fact, she downed it in five minutes and that was after a full nursing session. Made me wonder if maybe she's being underfed at her nursing sessions...
    As long as her diaper output and weight gain are normal, there's no need to worry about underfeeding. It's very typical for babies to take large amounts of fluid from a bottle even after a full and satisfying nursing session. Babies love to suck and, unlike the breast, the bottle delivers a constant supply of fluid even when the baby is sucking gently for comfort, and not eagerly seeking nutrition.
    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!"

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
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    1,056

    Default Re: Starting to pump, no idea what I'm doing. Help please!

    Sounds like your shields are the right size. Some (but not much) of the areola can be pulled in. If your nipple already isn't touching the sides as it's being drawn in, your shield definitely isn't to small.

    I would pump one extra time per day. The best time for me personally to do that was in the morning for two reasons: 1) your supply is best in the morning when compared to late afternoon/evening 2) my son took his best nap in the morning; 45 min-1 hr vs 20-30 min.

    I would leave 1-2 bottles in the fridge for in case my hubby wanted to give him a bottle; the rest I combined into feedings of 3-4oz and froze.
    Little SW, Aug '09
    Miss MW, Jan '11
    Sir RW, Oct '12
    3 kids in 38 mos

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    Default Re: Starting to pump, no idea what I'm doing. Help please!

    As long as her diaper output and weight gain are normal, there's no need to worry about underfeeding.
    Well, there's my concern...prior to her two week weigh in, she was not showing steady weight gain. She went from 7lb, 10oz at birth to below 7 pounds by her first doctor visit. They wanted me to supplement. I refused. Instead, I nursed her CONSTANTLY for the next 2-3 days. By her next appointment, she had gained several ounces. Went in the following week for a lactation consult and she had, once again, gained almost no weight in one week (I think she had gained one ounce). They again told me to supplement. I refused again. Went back a few days later for her two week appointment and she'd gained an ounce/day again and was now back up to a couple ounces below her birthweight.

    Since that two week weigh in, we haven't had her weighed again. Her next appointment is not until the two month mark. So we don't have any idea if she's gaining weight or not. That's my only concern with her eagerness to be drinking these extra bottles...cause we really DON'T know if she's gaining weight appropriately.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    Default Re: Starting to pump, no idea what I'm doing. Help please!

    I would pump one extra time per day. The best time for me personally to do that was in the morning for two reasons: 1) your supply is best in the morning when compared to late afternoon/evening 2) my son took his best nap in the morning; 45 min-1 hr vs 20-30 min.
    Do you mean one extra time/day in addition to the one I'm already pumping?

    I tried to pump this morning but she was awake almost all damn day today and I couldn't get any time to do it until almost noon. In fact, she spent most of today awake...it was kind of weird. Only took one long nap of about an hour and that was it. I hope that means she'll sleep a lot tonight but I'm not going to hold my breath...

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    1,421

    Default Re: Starting to pump, no idea what I'm doing. Help please!

    Congrats!!! I have a year and a half of pumping total experience, and I thought maybe I could help.

    First, this is not easy, but it IS totally worth it. not only can you feel awesome about what you are doing for your baby, it is financially easier.

    Pumping, believe it or not, takes practice. The first time I pumped, I got .5 oz. That was after 45 minutes! Now, my second time around, 10 min, 4 oz. With my first, I listened to too many people, and limited his intake prior to going to work trying to get a schedule. Well, that was bad for me (not everyone, but me) and i ended up pumping 5 times a day, 20 minutes, just to get 12 oz. I should have done more, not less! remember, demand is important for supply!!!

    My second baby was like yours, not so much a sleeper, especially during the day, but we co-sleep, and so he pretty well sucked all night...irritating, yeah a bit, BUT i feel like that helped boost my supply.

    Ok, pumping 101, you gotta find what works for you. I need to be warm (sometimes I even need a coat or blanket or whatever is around at work)comfort is key. second, something to make you think of baby while pumping-I sing "If you're happy and you know it softly (i don't want everyone to hear me lol) but a picture or something that smells like baby might work for you, that is a personal thing.
    Third, get as much stocked away as you can before going to work, that will do two things, it gives u a cushion, and it keeps you from freaking out, calmness will help with pumping, you cannot get anything out if your body is tense from worrying if baby will have enough to eat. this also helps with supply & demand. even if you pump 3x a day to get 2 oz, whatever you can get a day, add it in. Now u did awesome getting 1.5 oz, and no i don't think you need to pump after each feeding, you do NOT want this to be a chore (and there are plenty of times it will seem like one).

    I know there is more in my head, I just can't think of it now. I am glad I pumped for a year for my first boy, and I am 7 months strong with my second, I regret none of it, I'll be glad to be done, but I am proud to give my son what he needs, and I would hate to lose my supply and not be able to nurse him at home because I didn't pump.

    if you have any other specific pumping questions I will try to answer them

    yay for you!!
    Danielle

    Mom to Gage 12/28/06

    Wife to Trinity 6/21/03 my best friend

    ed for year, finally done!!!!
    for more than a year now!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Illinois
    Posts
    67

    Red face Re: Starting to pump, no idea what I'm doing. Help please!

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*gagewsmom View Post
    Congrats!!! I have a year and a half of pumping total experience, and I thought maybe I could help.

    First, this is not easy, but it IS totally worth it. not only can you feel awesome about what you are doing for your baby, it is financially easier.

    Pumping, believe it or not, takes practice. The first time I pumped, I got .5 oz. That was after 45 minutes! Now, my second time around, 10 min, 4 oz. With my first, I listened to too many people, and limited his intake prior to going to work trying to get a schedule. Well, that was bad for me (not everyone, but me) and i ended up pumping 5 times a day, 20 minutes, just to get 12 oz. I should have done more, not less! remember, demand is important for supply!!!

    My second baby was like yours, not so much a sleeper, especially during the day, but we co-sleep, and so he pretty well sucked all night...irritating, yeah a bit, BUT i feel like that helped boost my supply.

    Ok, pumping 101, you gotta find what works for you. I need to be warm (sometimes I even need a coat or blanket or whatever is around at work)comfort is key. second, something to make you think of baby while pumping-I sing "If you're happy and you know it softly (i don't want everyone to hear me lol) but a picture or something that smells like baby might work for you, that is a personal thing.
    Third, get as much stocked away as you can before going to work, that will do two things, it gives u a cushion, and it keeps you from freaking out, calmness will help with pumping, you cannot get anything out if your body is tense from worrying if baby will have enough to eat. this also helps with supply & demand. even if you pump 3x a day to get 2 oz, whatever you can get a day, add it in. Now u did awesome getting 1.5 oz, and no i don't think you need to pump after each feeding, you do NOT want this to be a chore (and there are plenty of times it will seem like one).

    I know there is more in my head, I just can't think of it now. I am glad I pumped for a year for my first boy, and I am 7 months strong with my second, I regret none of it, I'll be glad to be done, but I am proud to give my son what he needs, and I would hate to lose my supply and not be able to nurse him at home because I didn't pump.

    if you have any other specific pumping questions I will try to answer them

    yay for you!!
    I agree about not HAVING to pump after every session but it really does help boost supply--I completely understand the exhaustion; up until about 2 weeks ago, my son was nursing every 2 hours around the clock.

    Good luck!! Its totally worth the effort :0)
    Exclusive , ,Christian mommy!
    Bloggin' Mommy


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