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Thread: Issues with coordinating feeds/pumping

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    17

    Post Issues with coordinating feeds/pumping

    So breastfeeding was going pretty well except for a few bumps in the road, which were resolved, and I have now started to pump at 4 weeks. I just bought a Phillips Avent, which I really like so far. My biggest issue is figuring out when to pump and the best way to do it to build up a milk supply. I will be going back to school in the spring, and there will be some times when I will not be home and a babysitter will need to be able to feed the baby using a bottle so I would like to have a decent amount of milk in my freezer.

    About a week before I got the pump, I was producing so much milk I was flooding my bed at night and soaking through my clothes during the day. Now I suddenly feel like my milk production has toned down which is unfortunate because I now need to have this extra milk to pump. What I have started doing is pumping on the opposite side the baby is on while she nurses. The baby also used to be completely satisfied and full from feeding off of only one breast. So this is why I started pumping the opposite side because it seemed like such a waste when I would let down on both sides and LO only used one. I can sometimes get up to 4 ounces at a time on one side.

    About a day after we started doing this, LO now seems like she is still hungry after one side and she will scream and cry until my boyfriend feeds her what I just pumped. Last night I fed her from one side, pumped the other, then had to feed her what I pumped and then another 4 ounces that I had previously pumped that morning. So as you can imagine, building up a backup supply isn't really working because she just drinks it! We never had this problem where I felt like she still needed to eat again after a feeding, but once I started with the pump the problem began. I can't imagine the pump is making me produce less milk, but I feel like my milk production has slowed down considerably. I don't even have the excess milk flooding the bed at night anymore (which I once hated but now wish was still happening!). I am trying to pump pretty frequently, but it seems like I hardly have any milk now. In the mornings I am able to get a lot of milk and LO is still satisfied feeding from one breast. This morning I got almost 4 ounces on one side and LO ate off the other and fell right asleep after for several hours. In the afternoon, my milk supply seemed like it had been cut in half from what it was in the morning. So now I am not sure what to do because it seems like LO is no longer getting full and pumping seems to not be getting me too far. I do not think it is my pump, because I am able to get so much at times and the suction feels fine. So what is the deal with my milk supply? I need it to build back up! How long does it usually take before a pump help increases your supply? What can I do?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    20,935

    Default Re: Issues with coordinating feeds/pumping

    I suddenly feel like my milk production has toned down which is unfortunate because I now need to have this extra milk to pump.
    Just so you know, it's 100% normal for milk production to decline so that it meets baby's needs very precisely, without a lot of extra left over. Making extra is convenient for pumping, but it's not really something your body wants to be doing because it's a waste of energy and increases your risk for plugged ducts and/or mastitis.

    I can sometimes get up to 4 ounces at a time on one side.
    Wow, that's a LOT of milk to get from just one breast. This link explains what typical production is (and also how to boost your production using the pump, if that's what you choose): http://www.kellymom.com/bf/pumping/p..._decrease.html

    About a day after we started doing this, LO now seems like she is still hungry after one side and she will scream and cry until my boyfriend feeds her what I just pumped. Last night I fed her from one side, pumped the other, then had to feed her what I pumped and then another 4 ounces that I had previously pumped that morning.
    Okay, this is probably not a good idea, for the following reasons:
    1. Any supplementing you do, even if it's with your own milk, can impact your supply because the baby empties the breast better than the pump. When you supplement, you tell your body "Hey, don't bother increasing production, you're doing just fine."
    2. 4 oz is a large amount of milk to offer by bottle, especially if the baby has just nursed. At just a month old, most babies are still eating 2-3 oz during an entire feeding.
    3. Your baby may be hungry- or she may just be fussy. Fussy evenings are very typical in young babies, and while a large bottle of milk can put them to sleep, there are other strategies you probably should try first (nurse more, rock, wear baby in a swing, take her outside, give her a bath, etc.)
    4. Your baby may be going through a growth spurt (You'll hear that there's a big one at around 3 weeks but they can come at any time) and during a spurt you want to be nursing as much as possible, in order to boost production.

    What I personally think you should do if this situation repeats is to just keep putting the baby to the breast, even though you may have just nursed and pumped and you may feel as if the breast is empty. But it's not. Milk is always being made and your baby can get it if she tries hard enough, which she may stop doing if she discovers that fussing gets her a bottle.

    I am trying to pump pretty frequently, but it seems like I hardly have any milk now. In the mornings I am able to get a lot of milk and LO is still satisfied feeding from one breast. This morning I got almost 4 ounces on one side and LO ate off the other and fell right asleep after for several hours. In the afternoon, my milk supply seemed like it had been cut in half from what it was in the morning. So now I am not sure what to do because it seems like LO is no longer getting full and pumping seems to not be getting me too far.
    It's normal for milk production to fluctuate over the course of the day, as Prolactin levels rise and fall. Most moms notice they have the most milk early in the morning, which is when many moms who are building a stash choose to add a pumping session- just because the milk is so easy to get at.

    I think what you may want to do is stop pumping while nursing. Nurse, make sure your baby is satisfied, and then pump both sides after she's done. That might help you balance baby's need to nurse with your need to pump.

    I do not think it is my pump, because I am able to get so much at times and the suction feels fine.
    You said you had a Phillips Avent. I googled and they make 3 types of pump. Do you have a dual electric or a single electric or a manual? I don't know for sure but just from looking at the pics I'm thinking this isn't the most hard-core pump on the market. You may need to try a different make/model- I know a lot of moms who must really rely on their pumps use a Medela Pump in Style.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
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