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Thread: How to decide if you're storing too much?

  1. #1

    Default How to decide if you're storing too much?

    A little background before my question. I am a first time Mom to a 14 week old little guy. I've been breast feeding from the beginning. I started going back to work in December and have been slowly transitioning over the past 2 months from 2- 4 hour days/week to full time (5- 8 hour days/week). Right now I'm at 4 ~ 7-8 hour days but will back to regular schedule in the next couple weeks.

    I've been blessed as little Ethan started mostly sleeping 7-9 hours at night at around 2.5 months. When he wakes up (or I wake up because I'm so engorged) he doesn't drain my breasts at the first feeding (I'm guessing he takes about 1/3 to 1/2 of what I have). I've been pumping the rest in the morning and usually get 6-9 oz. On days that I work I nurse him (while he stays asleep but it seems to work) pump then out the door. When I work a full day I usually pump twice and come home with 8-12oz (more earlier in the week usually). Dad's taking care of him while I'm at work. He tends to take 6-7 oz while I'm gone. My gut tells me that's fine as he tends to catch up by nursing more when I'm home before he goes to bed and he is chunky, active, diapers look good, etc.

    Now to the questions. I have quite a bit of frozen milk. In addition to the morning pumpings, which go straight to the freezer on the weekend, at the end of the week I've usually froze about 20 oz more. My husband jokes about finding the veggies in the breast milk section of the freezer, but seriously, I'll be out of space soon. I've heard that nursing peaks between 4 and 6 months, but I'm wondering if I should back up on my storage capabilities and try to pump less but I don't want my supply to drop and not have enough in the future. Should I consider donating some of it? Any suggestions would be appreciated!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    1,106

    Default Re: How to decide if you're storing too much?

    You can always donate! I had over 300 ounces of milk and donated a big portion of that. I never once pulled milk out of my freezer stash. I would suggest keeping one weeks worth for an emergency or something that would require you to be away from the baby but other than that you probably won't need it. If you are pumping that much extra now you will not likely have issues keeping up with his demands later on. As he nurses more during that peak you spoke about your body will increase as well. I dropped pumping sessions after a few months and at 6 months I was only pumping once at lunch and once on the way home from work. By 9 months I only pumped once a day and had enough for 3 bottles the next day. I averaged 9 ounces during my one pumping session. I had to keep an eye out while driving because I overflowed the 5 oz medela bottles several times.
    Michelle

    Wife to Donnie , my best friend
    Mom to Trenton 1/9/97, Dillan 11/22/01, Ashton 6/19/09

    All boys, weaned at 15 months, at home with Ashton

  3. #3

    Default Re: How to decide if you're storing too much?

    I agree with 3boysmamma, keep about a week's supply on hand and donate the rest. I have a very large chest freezer at home (hehe chest freezer for my breastmilk) that I filled to the brim. Ended up donating all of it, as my oversupply caused me never to need it, and my husband wanted the space back for adult food, silly man.

    I sent over 9 gallons all told to the Mother's Milk Bank of Ohio. They were very grateful.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    8,272

    Default Re: How to decide if you're storing too much?

    Please consider donating!

    The milk banks recently sent out a plea for more breastmilk donors. See my siggie for link to HMBANA milk banks. There are also several "milk share" groups set up.
    Lynn
    DS1: bf 7/2006 -> 4/2009; multiple food allergies
    DS2: bf 9/2009 -> ???
    ; multiple food allergies
    Breastmilk Donor - http://hmbana.org/index/donatemilk
    Click HERE to learn about baby led solids (BLS) / baby led weaning (BLW)

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    6,467

    Default Re: How to decide if you're storing too much?

    Before you donate though, it was my experience that my supply took a dice at 9 months and I really wanted to pump wean, I was working out of the home full time and my huge stash dwindle to almost nothing.
    Mommy to Maxwell 10-9-07 weaned with love (a party and a remote control monster truck) on his 4th birthday
    My Boy 3-16-10
    And my sweet pea Sam 2-12-11

    Watch Your Language

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    maryland
    Posts
    131

    Default Re: How to decide if you're storing too much?

    i too keep a week supply on hand (rotating it regularly) and donate the rest. otherwise i'd need a second freezer already.
    the babies i've helped out really needed it and it feels so good to be able to help them out.
    Jenna, momma to Lillian (1/1/11)
    Cosleeping, cloth diapering
    milk donated to date: 3182 ounces

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    1,056

    Default Re: How to decide if you're storing too much?

    My supply took a hit at 6 mos when he started solids and AF came back, then another 2 mos later when I got pregnant. I had seriously considered donating, but when I noticed I wasn't pumping extra anymore (around 5-6 mos), I held off; then when I got preg, I blew through that stash. I actually had to use formula for a few weeks :'(

    Personally, I would decide how much freezer space you want to dedicate to breast milk and fill it up. Every two weeks or so, send the leftovers to the milk bank. You can also use your stash to make purees if you choose to make your own baby food.
    Little SW, Aug '09
    Miss MW, Jan '11
    Sir RW, Oct '12
    3 kids in 38 mos

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    intersection of Mommy Guilt and True Bliss
    Posts
    861

    Default Re: How to decide if you're storing too much?

    At 14 months, I have an entire deep freezer and part of my fridge freezer full. I'm overly cautios because at 2 months, my brand new fridge died and I lost a months worth of milk (2weeks for each boy). My supply has also gone from gross oversupply to barely enough some days. I'm thankful to have my stash.
    Lori
    Mom to daughter (8/17/07) and mom to fraternal twin sons (1/5/10)


    *Mom with chronic health issues, NICU babies, reflux sufferers, multiple food allergies (mom and kids)
    *DD birthweight 5lb, 14oz, now 26lb, 4oz
    *DS1 birthweight 4lb, 6oz, now 19lb
    *DS2 birthweight 4lb, 2oz, now 18lb, 12oz

    **An EXCELLENT speller, unless I have either a child on my lap or I'm using my cell phone!**


    EP MOM FOR 14.5 MONTHS - NOW USING UP MY FROZEN BM SUPPLY!

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