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Any other moms exclusively pumping?

post #1 of 68
Thread Starter 

Due to latch issues I have been pumping for DD since she was about 2 or 3 weeks old. now she is 12 weeks. Most of the time though I don't make enough milk for a full bottle so we have to mix with formula, which I hate  :-( .. but ya gotta do what ya gotta do. I'm only able to get about 2 oz per pump session sometimes only 1 1/2. Anyways I'm just curious to know if there are any other mamas who pump full time? Share with me how things are for you.. do you supplement? How do you keep a good full supply? I hate pumping and it can be really.. well, annoying for lack of a better word.. but I want the best for my daughter. :-)

post #2 of 68

I am more or less with you.  DD nursed last about 4 days ago.  I can still occasionally get her to nurse at night, but it is not reliable.  She has not nursed while awake in over a month (She's now 4.5 months). I am totally devastated by it. I am just barely making enough for her, and that is while being on dom peridone, fenugreek, blessed thistle.  But I can't give her formula because of her food sensitivities.  We tried a hypoallergenic formula and it made her so gassy.  And the big problem is that the gassier she is, the less likely she is to nurse from me, so I really hate doing anything that is going to reduce the likelihood of her nursing.

 

I think what I hate the most about being an almost exclusive pumper is the pumping in the middle of the night.  While all I want is that sweet blissful half-awake nursing, instead DW is feeding her and I am bonding with the pump at 1 am.  I don't know how long I can last at this, but at the same time, I don't really know what alternative I have!

post #3 of 68

I have been EPing for just over 15 months now (since DD was 4 months old).  I have never had a supply problem, but I was pumping every 3 hours around the clock at first.  My DD is tube fed, so now her feeds are mixed with blenderized foods and my milk.  I plan to keep pumping until she is 2.  I have a love/hate relationship with my pump, some days I think it requires more commitment than my marriage.  At first I did a lot better with the pump when I could get in a quiet place and focus on the baby.  Now it does not reallly matter.  I will say that my milk production varies during my cycles, so right before menstartion my production plummets, so I freeze some when I am more productive.

post #4 of 68
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ktcl View Post

I am more or less with you.  DD nursed last about 4 days ago.  I can still occasionally get her to nurse at night, but it is not reliable.  She has not nursed while awake in over a month (She's now 4.5 months). I am totally devastated by it. I am just barely making enough for her, and that is while being on dom peridone, fenugreek, blessed thistle.  But I can't give her formula because of her food sensitivities.  We tried a hypoallergenic formula and it made her so gassy.  And the big problem is that the gassier she is, the less likely she is to nurse from me, so I really hate doing anything that is going to reduce the likelihood of her nursing.

 

I think what I hate the most about being an almost exclusive pumper is the pumping in the middle of the night.  While all I want is that sweet blissful half-awake nursing, instead DW is feeding her and I am bonding with the pump at 1 am.  I don't know how long I can last at this, but at the same time, I don't really know what alternative I have!


Where do you get the domperidone?
 

post #5 of 68

Poor dear. It is quite a hard thing. I have been exclusively pumping 6 months straight. Little one wouldnt take the boobie, she hated it! I wanted to feed her so bad, the natural way, but ended up only giving her bottles of my milk. I'm in the same boat. My milk is not enough. I have tried everything under the sun except the medication to increase milk supply. I wonder if it actually works?

post #6 of 68

Dom Peridone obtained at inhousepharmacy.com (or.biz). This was with DW doing lots of searching, and with our ped. saying not to take it.  Does it make a difference?  I think so.  I was generally pumping about 2 oz. in a session, and now I can get 3 or 4.

post #7 of 68

I have to jump in and say IME the domperidone really works. I'm in Canada, so we have easy access to it. I was on it for low supply from when DS was 4 mos until I weaned off it when he was about 15 mos. No side-effects whatsoever that I noticed, and it definitely improved my supply, no question. For about four months I was on the highest dose - 160 mg/day. It's actually a very safe drug. It's 'on-label' use is for digestive issues (the other name for it is Motilium), and people who are on it for that often take it for many years. I think the issues with it in the US and why the FDA keeps such a tight hold on it is b/c of heart irregularities with people who were on an IV dose that was much much higher than what you would take for increasing milk supply. It saved our nursing relationship - I'm sure DS would have needed to be supplemented otherwise. If you can get access to s supply source, I would recommend trying it.

post #8 of 68

i'm an ep mama. lil one is 15 months old now and due to bottles in the nicu never did latch. thankfully the only time i had to use any formula with him was what the nicu nurses put in his feeding tube when they didn't have my milk handy to give him (grrr)

post #9 of 68
I do not EP but I do pump about half the time because I work 35 hours a week and I just wanted to appulad you for doing all that you can for your daughter. Pumping is hard!! And not fun smile.gif.

The things I do to keep my milk supply up are drinking lots of water, forgoing some activities so I can get enough rest, staying mellow in my attitude toward myself and others and drinking herbal teas designed to help.

Good luck and keep at it!! A bottle with half BM and half formula is WAY WAY better than a bottle with simply formula. Good job mama!! smile.gif
post #10 of 68

I have been exclusively pumping since I had my daughter a week ago.  We had a lot of BF latch issues, and after talking to several lactation specialists it was determined I have very flat nipples, and wouldn't be able to BF.  I have been a little stressed about pumping enough, as we're just getting started and she seems to be able to eat more and more in one sitting every day.  I am just barely able to pump enough for her to eat every day. 

 

I have been drinking a lot of fluids, and I'm trying Mother's Milk Tea.  I hope to be able to continue exclusively pumping at least until I go back to work in 12 weeks.  At this point, I'm starting to realize that means that DH gets to do most of the feedings because I end up pumping while she eats.  Not exactly how I thought this would turn out, but I'm grateful I am able to do this now before turning to the inevitable formula later on.

post #11 of 68

Hi:) Though I'm not pumping anymore, I thought I'd share my story here. I had flat nipples when dd was born and she could not latch. I EP'd for 15 week and somehow, perhaps miraculously, she latched, and we never looked back. I think it must have been because the pump really changed my nipples and brought them out more. Nowadays (she is 9 months) they are far from flat!! Exclusively pumping was the hardest thing I ever did in my life. Supply was never an issue, I was pumping 30-40oz a day. The night pumpings, as pp said, were the worst. I honestly don't know how I made it out of that time, but I did, and I am just so glad I hung on to the desire of bfing.We did it. It is the story I am most proud of.

post #12 of 68

I had to pump exclusively for all three of my children. My first refused to latch, and I have fairly flat nipples so she just couldn't learn no matter how hard I tried. My second nursed (surprisingly) for 2 months but then developed severe reflux and a feeding aversion. And my third refused to nurse from birth, and later developed such a severe feeding aversion due to reflux that he also refused the bottle. I had to pump around the clock and spoon feed him his breast milk. It was either that, or a feeding tube.

 

So, I can commiserate with you. I hated that pump and it sometimes felt like it was sucking the life out of me, along with the milk. But, I'd do it all over again if I had to. I did what I had to to give my babies the food nature meant them to have, and that was worth the extreme effort it took to pump all of that milk.

 

 

I'll give you a few tips to increase supply.

 

1. Don't let more than 5 or 6 hours go by without pumping at night, and always pump in the wee hours of the morning when supply is highest. I used to pump last at around 11 pm or midnight, and then start again between 4 and 5 am.

 

2.Pump for at least 2-5 minutes after the flow stops. Often times you will tap into a reserve supply and get another ounce or more, and this extra pumping will tell your body that the baby is still hungry and to increase supply.

 

3. Do a session of cluster pumping once per day, preferably in the wee hours of the morning when supply is highest. Cluster pumping means you pump very frequently for a period of time. This also tells the body that the baby is not getting enough and to increase supply. I used to pump at approximately 4 am, 6 am and then right again at 7 am. Then I'd rest for a bit and begin pumping every 2.5 -3 hours for the rest of the day. If you do this for a week or so it may increase your supply enough that you can slow down and not lose too much. 

 

Using the 2-5 extra minutes every time, and the cluster pumping I was able to increase my supply from 25 ounces per day to a whopping 50 ounces per day. I froze half so I could quit pumping at 6 months and still have another 6 months in the freezer.

 

Hang in there. I know how hard it is.

post #13 of 68

i have been ep for 10 weeks now (i use an sns at the breast with the twins but i don't know that it will ever transition to ebf) and i only pump 4 times a day and still get 60 ounces a day (and have like 1200 ounces in the freezer). guess my body knew i had twins. i have heard that there is a really great ep support group on i village. i too hate pumping all the time but it's the best i can do right now. who knows how long i can keep it up. you are doing great and try not to beat yourself up for using formula, every drop you pump for your sweet baby is beneficial.

post #14 of 68

I EP'ed for my oldest now 6 years old, who never latched because what I got when I asked for help in the hospital was "What are you going to do with him when you get HOME?!" in the snottiest tone imaginable and I believed them when they told me my baby would end up blind and mentally retarded from jaundice if he was not fed *now*...

Oh how i wish I had thought to ask them well if he is so badly jaundiced, why isn't he in the NICU under LIGHTS??!

I also had flatter nipples, which started the difficulty.

 

6 months of exclusive pumping changed that.  I'm currently on my 3rd EBF baby, who is 1 month and 1 day old.  :D

 

I was on MDC  back before this board existed and I'm really happy it does.  :)  It was hard to be here with everyone else (it seemed) successfully nursing...

 

I got domperidone off a website out of Australia.  I tried Reglan, I'll never take it again.  It made me so sleepy I could not function.  I took tons of fenugreek and blessed thistle, ate oatmeal daily.....and STILL supplemented my baby with Nutramigen.  BUT...like I said, I have now EBF 3 children....so if you are like me, it's NOT YOU.  Our bodies don't respond as well to a pump as to the baby.  Do NOT think this means you will always be a low-supply and never try again.  My 4 year old, 2 year old, and new baby are all evidence that's not true.  (I also found it hard to make supply meet demand while pumping while working)

 

The others here are right about pumping often.  I also did not get off to a good start with my pumping because they told me I should "Try for every 3 hours"  Well, really, I would recommend every 2 during the day and 3 at night.  Because life is life and what is "ideal" in our minds is not always 'reality'  I found 3 hours becoming 4 easily and I think that was a big part of my trouble.  I tried to correct for it later and while I did increase supply some, it didn't go up the way I think it would have if done in the first couple weeks or so.

I also think it would be a good idea to try the cluster pump session in the day at least once.  I didn't think about this, but now that I have nursed a baby, all 3 of my EBF babies did this in the evening before going down for a longer period of sleep at night.  And this is what they do when they're on growth spurt, they'll nurse a TON for a day till the supply increases to meet what they are demanding. 

So in the future if you are finding the demand is starting to outpace the supply, I'd try simulating a 'growth spurt' for a day by pumping more often.

Also, more frequent shorter sessions are better than one big long session and then not pumping again for several hours.  It's more like what the baby would do.  (evidence?  just talked to a friend the other day who pumps at work--when she was pumping once a day for half an hour for her now 2 yr old, she pumped 8 ounces.  Now, during the same number of hours, she's pumping 3 times at 10 minutes each for her current baby and is getting 12-15 ounces.  Nearly *double*  Same total minutes spent at the pump.)

 

I know I remember doing the pumping for a couple of minutes after the milk stopped coming, that seemed to help too.  Also re-setting the pump when the milk stopped back to the faster paced 'sucking' would sometimes help get another let-down.  (Medela pumps do this, I don't know about others.)

post #15 of 68

Oh boy, I can so relate to all you ladies.  I ep'd with my son for 12 months.  I was on Fenugreek and something else to try and keep my supply up.  I was working at the time and it was difficult to go pump during the day.  So my supply tanked.  greensad.gif

 

It is so weird.  I had so many problems with my son, yet both of my girls latched from time they were born till 21 months of age (they self weaned).  I just couldn't get my son to latch.  I was PPD, confused, upset and didn't know where to turn or what to do.    

post #16 of 68

I also EP and have since DD was one month old. She's now almost 3 months. Luckily I make enough for her, right now anyway. I have a freezer stash of about 50 feedings and I start back to work in a couple of weeks. I fully expect I will have to supplement as she gets bigger and eats more. :( I'm taking Dom, after trying fenugreek for a few weeks. I would say the Dom has increased my supply but not super dramatically. I get about 4 ounces per pumping session (every 3 hours), total, and that is the amount that DD eats at each feeding.

 

I'm worried my supply might go down because DD has been sleeping 8 hours straight each night (and 10 hours straight the last 3 nights!!) and I was just waking up with her to pump while DW fed her the bottle. But waking up after not pumping for almost 11-12 hours was SO BAD! So painful and full and I pumped out like 10 ounces! So last night I set my alarm for 2am to get up and pump. And good thing, too, because DD slept 10 hours straight again. But it really does suck not to be able to enjoy a full night of sleep just because of my boobs. :(

 

post #17 of 68

Just wanted to say you are doing such a great thing for your little ones!  It is the hardest thing I have ever done, but worth it.

I ep'd for DS until he was 4 months old.  I would try at almost every feeding to get him to nurse, with no luck.

When he was 4 mos, I went to a LLL meeting, and was telling them about my troubles.  The leader encouraged me to try then so that they could give me pointers, and he latched!!!  and nursed for several minutes!!!  It sounds silly, but I was actually sad he did, because I thought "he did it now, when I have help, but he won't do it again at home when I don't have anyone" but he actually started nursing after that day, and kept it up until 19 months.

 

   

post #18 of 68

question for all of you - my daughter is now 3.5 weeks old, and not latching due mostly to my inverted nipples and her habit of not opening her mouth enough. so, we're exclusively pumping with attempts at latching, but i'm feeling very house bound. how do you balance full-time pumping with having a life? i mean it seems like i'm always either feeding her, trying to make her latch, or pumping. i've only left the house once in the past 3 weeks and i'm starting to go nuts. in a practical sense, how do you go out? how do you prepare to go out (i assume you pump first), what do you pack with you, what if you're due for a pumping and you're out in public? what do you do, how do you make it work?

 

i'd like to at least go out to my healthy baby classes, but there's no place there to pump discreetly, and because of my breast size/shape/nipples, i have to bare all and watch what i'm doing the whole time, i show quite a bit of skin when i pump or else i can't see whether the nipple is in the pump correctly.

post #19 of 68

I have to admit that I have not read this whole thread, but have read it sporadically over the past few months.  I have been pumping (and not nursing) since DD was 5 months (she's 7 months now).  We tried so hard for so long, but after Thanksgiving, she just gave up completely.  So now I'm on Dom Peridone, pumping 4 times per day, getting 4-6 oz at a time, and supplementing with Alimentum (for food sensitivities DD seems to have).

 

First, to PP... it is SOO HARD to feel like you have a life when you are pumping for babe.  In some ways, I feel glad that I go to work and pump there ecause on the days I am home with DD by myself (and espcially felt this way when she was younger), she needs me, and I find myself attached to a stupid pump instead!

 

Here is my question... recently my pumping sessions have produced less milk, and I can't figure out at all why.  Sometimes it seems that there is more milk in my breasts that just isn't coming out.  I know it's not the pump because I just got a brand new PISA (lovely christmas present...).  What are the other reasons my supply could be tanking right now?  Or if it isn't the supply, and it's that I'm just not getting it out, why would that be?

post #20 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by myk View Post

question for all of you - my daughter is now 3.5 weeks old, and not latching due mostly to my inverted nipples and her habit of not opening her mouth enough. so, we're exclusively pumping with attempts at latching, but i'm feeling very house bound. how do you balance full-time pumping with having a life? i mean it seems like i'm always either feeding her, trying to make her latch, or pumping. i've only left the house once in the past 3 weeks and i'm starting to go nuts. in a practical sense, how do you go out? how do you prepare to go out (i assume you pump first), what do you pack with you, what if you're due for a pumping and you're out in public? what do you do, how do you make it work?

 

i'd like to at least go out to my healthy baby classes, but there's no place there to pump discreetly, and because of my breast size/shape/nipples, i have to bare all and watch what i'm doing the whole time, i show quite a bit of skin when i pump or else i can't see whether the nipple is in the pump correctly.


(((Hugs))) It's rough. I'm only pumping and not trying to nurse anymore, so I think that helps in some ways. I pump every 3-4 hours. And she eats every 3 hours from a bottle. Half the time DW has to feed her because it coincides with my pumping time. But the first month that I pumped (when she was 4 weeks to 8 weeks) I pumped every two hours to get my supply up. That sucked! I use a hospital grade pump at home and take a manual pump in the car if we're going to be out more than 4 hours. I also bring along a little insulated lunch bag with ice packs in it to hold the pumped milk. So far I've only pumped in the car while out, covering with a hooter hider or jacket. There is no way I could do it discreetly in public. I have huge breasts and need to see what I'm doing as well. I also pump right before I leave the house. I'm not usually out more than 4 hours at a time because DD likes her routine and sleeps longer and better at home anyway.

 

For your baby classes, can you pump at home right before you leave and then pump when you get home? You need to get out. How often are you pumping?

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