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Should I just keep pumping?

post #1 of 46
Thread Starter 
I have read that pumping several times a day will keep the milk coming and bring it in more. I have been pumping at night because its convenient but read that its liable to produce the least amount of milk so I tried to pump this morning. My breasts weren't very full but I tried anyways and got an oz from each breast. At night I was getting 2 oz per breast. Then I pumped again around 3 today when I got home from shopping and barely got an oz combined! Should I keep pumping every few hours even if I'm not getting much or should I wait until my breasts begin to feel hard? I'm confused.
post #2 of 46
If you are trying to increase the milk supply- then it doesn't matter if you get milk out when you pump- what matters is that you consistently place a demand on the breasts... the stimulation is what sends a message that the breasts are empty but there is still something sucking them... IE: make more milk. So you are doing the right thing by pumping every few hours to increase the supply.
post #3 of 46
Thread Starter 
I forgot to mention that. I had a breast reduction and although the pump can get milk out and our son was latching on correctly... he wasn't getting enough to eat and lost too much weight so I am now pumping exclusively. I still put him to breast to cuddle and he sucks some milk out but not enough for a meal. I am having to supplement formula right now until I can pump upwards of 20 oz per day to feed him. I am getting about 5-6 oz per day right now. He is 10 days old and my milk began flowing 9 days ago.
post #4 of 46
To really establish supply, you should be pumping at least 8-10 times a day with a good electric pump, preferably a hospital-grade pump. Keep in mind that the average woman pumps .5-2 oz. per session, both breasts combined.

How much weight did he lose initially? Did you receive any IV fluids prior to delivery? Sometimes that can artificially inflate birth weight, so the weight loss seems greater than the actual loss of body mass, if that makes sense. I'm not sure if this applies to you or not.

I hope some of this helps...keep asking questions!
post #5 of 46
Thread Starter 
Oh... that makes me feel better! When I was only pumping once per day (trying to get used to the milking machine lol ) I was getting about 2oz per breast but then today when I did it several times it only gave me about an oz combined. I thought something was wrong. How do I make the 20 oz he needs per day at this rate and what about when he'll need more than that?

8-10 times a day is a lot... I'm not sure I have time to sit down and pump that many times a day. Is that 30 mins each time? That's how long I've been pumping at each session. I do have a hospital grade electric double pump. I think I need to invite the lactation nurse over though because half way through my session it seems to lose its suction and turning it off for a break and re wetting the flanges doesn't make it go like it did in the beginning. I don't know if this is normal because the pump has a dial that controls the rate at which it sucks or if its losing suction somehow half way through and I just don't know how to use it properly.

I was given lots of fluids during the birth. I was high risk with preeclampsia so I had fluids, magnesium and something else going for 2 days before they decided I needed a c-section. He lost over 10% body weight while he was breastfeeding. Once we started formula he gained it all back and is doing well now but I really want him to get those nutrients only I can supply. And seeing as how my breasts work despite the surgery I hate to lose that opportunity. I worried so much for years that they wouldn't function. They don't function properly... but they work well enough to pump the milk out on full suction.
post #6 of 46
Plus, pumps suck (no pun intended) at getting milk out. I can have steel softballs of doom and no milk comes out! If I pump one side and nurse the other I get up to 2 oz from the breast that previously acted like there was no milk!

When I feel like I need a supply boost, I eat oatmeal, drink water like a camel and pump while I nurse.
post #7 of 46
Congrats on your baby, Mama!

Have you thought about supplementing baby at the breast? You can feed the extra pumped milk (or formula if needed) through a tube at the breast - that way baby learns how to breastfeed, gets as much of your milk as possible, and gets all the goodness of feeding at the breast.

There are a couple of types of at the breast supplementers - the Lact-aid, the SNS, and just a plain tube (5 French feeding tube). You can see the tube in use here: www.drjacknewman.com - go to the video section and scroll down. Also you will see a video on breast compressions. They may help your baby get more while at the breast.
post #8 of 46
Putting the 10% weight loss aside, who said your son wasn't getting enough? Was he weighed after feedings? Did you do a count of wet/dirty diapers? That is the true measure of output/intake. With your breast history I would definitely have the LC weigh baby after several feedings.

To exclusively pump is very time consuming, especially for the first 3-4 months. You MUST pump a minimum of 8 x a day preferably 10-12 but at least 8. The pump does not work as efficiently as a baby and you may never be able to produce 20 oz. I EP'd for 3 months and always had to supplement. I was able to stop supplementing only when I got my DS back to breast so that is always preferable.

There are some women that produce wonderfully for the pump but it is not common. This is not said to discourage you but just to give you realistic information. I really think you should verify what your son is getting at the breast first though.

Good luck and remember that any breastmilk is a good thing!
post #9 of 46
I agree that if you want to get up to full breast milk only feeding then you need to up your pumpings. I esclusively pumped for a year for dd1. Its alot of work yes. I pumped every 2 hours for the first 3.5 months plus extra if she was hungrier than normal. Its good that you have a hospital grade pump. Definatly check with a LC about the suctions thing. Best of luck!
post #10 of 46
I also recommend getting a board certified IBCLC.

Here is a site to find the closest one to you, http://www.kellymom.com/lcdirectory/index.html.

It sounds like you are doing great, make sure you keep pumping a lot. 8-10 times a day to establish your milk supply.

Babies between the ages of 1month and 11 months only need between 19-30oz of breast milk per day with the average being 25oz per day.
post #11 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by PatioGardener View Post
Congrats on your baby, Mama!

Have you thought about supplementing baby at the breast? You can feed the extra pumped milk (or formula if needed) through a tube at the breast - that way baby learns how to breastfeed, gets as much of your milk as possible, and gets all the goodness of feeding at the breast.

There are a couple of types of at the breast supplementers - the Lact-aid, the SNS, and just a plain tube (5 French feeding tube). You can see the tube in use here: www.drjacknewman.com - go to the video section and scroll down. Also you will see a video on breast compressions. They may help your baby get more while at the breast.

I really prefer the Lact-Aid system and would wholeheartedly recommend it.
Have you considered trying domperidone, too?
There's lots of good info for moms breastfeeding after reductions at bfar.org
Good luck, mama.
post #12 of 46
I found a good article that helped get my milk supply up. It might help you as well. http://mommysupportgroup.blogspot.co...ping-tips.html
post #13 of 46
Thread Starter 
Wow. Lots of good info! Thanks everyone. His weight had dropped at his 2 day check up and his diapers weren't enough. He was also having trouble staying awake during his feedings or waking to eat but he seems to be past that now. I am going to keep putting him to breast and see if he can get more out now that he is more alert and awake. Maybe that was the problem. I really hope that was it and not nerve damage.

If it's happened already, how can I combat nipple confusion? He might not like the breast anymore because he has to work at it. Could I hand express a little to get them primed and then put him on or just let him work at it if he wants his meal? I know there may be some frustration and crying (from both parties) but I don't want to give up on him breastfeeding.
post #14 of 46
Hi Darryen,

Just so that new mamas reading this in the future know the signs of baby getting enough milk as a newborn I'm linking a good kellymom site below. Often breastfeeding moms are given bad advice at hospitals, so hopefully this will help a new mom in the future.

http://www.kellymom.com/bf/normal/newborn-nursing.html

Here is a summary:

Pees: babies should have at least 1 heavy wet diaper for each day of life. So in the 1st 24 hour of life, baby needs one good wet diaper, day 2 = 2 heavy wet diapes in 24 hours etc, up until day 6, when 6 heavy wet diapers are normal. Baby then should stay at (at least) 6 heavy wet diapers in 24 hours for several months. Heavy wet = the same as 3 tablespoons of water in a clean diaper.

Poops: Babies should have at least a poop for every day of life until day 4, when they should settle at at least 3-4 poops a day. A poop is as big or bigger than the size of a quarter (25 cent coin in North America). By day 5 the black/green tarry meconium poops should be gone and yellow poops take over.

Weight gain: Baby will typically lose 5-7% of birthweight after birth. Usually day 3 is the lowest weight. This is normal. Any weight loss over 7% should be watched carefully and breastfeeding needs to be carefully examined to make sure milk transfer is good. Some babies may safely lose more weight (if mom had a lot of IV fluids in labour, for example) but should be carefully watched for breastfeeding (latch/transfer) issues.

Most babies regain birthweight by 7-10 days. If baby is not up to birthwieght by 2 weeks a good breastfeeding check is a good idea.

-----------
As far as your last questions - first of all congratulations! Sounds like it is getting easier for both of you!

Hand expressing a few drops before latching is a great idea! So is feeding before he gets frantically hungry as well (which happens so fast at that age!!) If you are going to supplement, not using a bottle is the best way to prevent bottle preference. Babies tend to like the fast easy flow, so if you can give your milk by cup, spoon or tube at the breast you'll prevent that.

Keep going, Mama! You are doing great!
post #15 of 46
small world- i am in fbks too- not sure if you have heard about LC Joanne Spears but she is wonderful. works out of public health clinic, does home visits, calls, is basically amazing and knows her stuff. her number is 451-1639. i was a complete wreck in the beginning... and at various points throughout, and she is always there when you need her!
post #16 of 46
Thread Starter 
Awesome guide. Thanks for linking it. I was on a lot of IV fluids and they gave me until Friday (day 6) for him to plump up but I was a nervous wreck so we supplemented. Our hospital is very good at encouraging natural birthing techniques (unfortunatly I was very high risk with my bp high and then plumitting during labor) and breastfeeding. I will give Ms Spears a call. I have a couple others I can call too who work through Bassett Hospital.

I put him to breast today and I don't know that he was really hungry since he drowzed off quite a bit but there was milk coming because he had some dribbles down his chubby cheek! We're working on it and daddy is very supportive so I am sure we'll get this down. Maybe I won't need to pump before too long. I am hoping as he gets stronger he'll be able to get the milk out well enough to eat without supplementing.
post #17 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Darryen View Post
I put him to breast today and I don't know that he was really hungry since he drowzed off quite a bit but there was milk coming because he had some dribbles down his chubby cheek!
That is awesome! Go Mama and Go Daddy! You guys are doing great! Hopefully soon you can relax and let baby nurse and not have to pump etc. Then you can really settle down to enjoy your 'babymoon'!
post #18 of 46
Thread Starter 
So last night he SCREAMED at the breast. I laid in bed with him next to me and he drank lazily from the left one but when I offered him the right one he was irrate. I tried the left again after calming him and he refused it too even though he was obviously hungry. I am guessing this is a normal growing pain? I tried several different holds but nothing made him happy. There are some I didn't have the patience or heart to try after he was turning red and horribly upset.
post #19 of 46
Thread Starter 
Here's an update and a bit of an explanation about my last post:

Well I put him to breast a couple times and although he is now able to suck out milk, (I guess he was too small and tired to before) he doesn't want to. I was laying down on the bed with him a couple days ago and he ate from the left breast but then when I put him on the right one (and every time since to either breast) he takes one suck and screams! I tried holding him on it to see if he would calm down and drink but he just gets hysterical and I have to cuddle him a while to calm him down. He would rather starve than be breastfed and it makes me want to cry every time I try. I really want to breastfeed him but I don't know what to do. Should I keep trying and if he refuses and becomes hysterical offer him the formula or should I only offer the breast and eventually he'll be hungry enough to eat?

I am going to ask the Dr and talk to the lactation consultant tomorrow at my check up. If worst comes to worst I'll just keep pumping and feed him breast milk as much as I can and formula when I can't produce enough milk but I'd really rather not have to if he is able to feed at the breast now. /sigh This really isn't easy at all. I knew it wouldn't be but you'd think something so natural would be easy.
post #20 of 46
I would highly recommend talking to a LC. She would be able to access the situation better. I also suggest to help get him to take the breast is laying back in the recliner with him on your chest and let him lead...its called biological nurturing. its a pretty new thing so I'm not sure how many LC know about it but she might be able to show it better. Good luck.
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