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Pumping and working...oh my...Questions Answered Sticky - Page 2

post #21 of 58

For the mamas with a big freezer stash

I am so inspired by you pumping and working moms. with DS1 I was lucky to be home for a year, but for this LO will have to be back quick and so I'm encouraged to hear of all this success.

For those of you with big freezer stashes that look like you might not need them because you're keeping up, there's a great National Milk Bank that will pay for your blood tests, send you bottles and coolers with thermometers and everything. And if you want one, they'll even send you a pump! I had to work pretty hard at it but donated 60 ounces and it was one of the most gratifying things I've ever done (I work in philanthropy and that beats the heck out of any money gift you can give!)

The milk is actually prescribed to preemies or LO's whose mamas can't give them their own milk for whatever reason. I was inspired to try when the website said "it only takes 2 oz to feed a preemie for a whole day" I figured, "heck, even if I can only do a little that will sure make a difference!" and it did. The folks are so nice and send you thank you notes and everything. It really made me feel wonderful to be able to share that way. Just google National Milk Bank and you'll find out everything you need to know.
post #22 of 58
Hello,

1. I've been told that nipple confusion only happens in the first weeks after birth (before about 3 weeks) so there shouldn't be any confusion once you start using bottles at 6 weeks. One problem I had, however, was that if I breastfed them and then wanted to give them a bottle right after they had trouble switching over. There is a bottle made by The First Years that is supposed to be easier because it is shaped like a breast and also is made so that the milk slow is similar to that of the breast let down. I use Dr Brown's by the way.

2. You should start pumping right away. Pump one side while you feed your baby on the other. That will get a better let down for you and you will be able to pump more. the more you pump the more you will make. I wasn't able to do that much though because I have twins. It was just impossible to get a good stash.

3 + 4. I can't tell you how much because again, I have twins so I pump alot of milk (every 2 hours.) but my girls typically eat about 8-11 oz a day while I am gone so give yourself a goal for how much you want to pump at work.

Hope that helps. Good Luck!!!
post #23 of 58
I only have a second and haven't read all of the responses so forgive me if I repeat...

1) With #1 we used Avent bottles because I'd been told they were best for bf babies. Baby #2 would only take orthodontic shaped bottle nipples so we settled on the Medela bottles and nipples. Neither of them had any confusion but they didn't take bottles regularly until I returned to work after 12 weeks.

2) The only way I was able to pump at home was to pump one side while baby nursed the other. I'd do this at the first feeding in the morning when my milk supply was high. I'm not sure when I started... maybe 1.5 months? (I took 3 months off with each) Basically as soon as we settled into a good bf routine. With dd that took a few weeks, ds was pretty much good to go from birth.)

3) I pumped twice at work (8 hr day) and once at home in the beginning. Later on when they were taking less at day care (more solids) and I had a good freezer stash I dropped the home session. I'd usually pump 8-10 oz at work and a few more at home.

4) I can't remember what my kids took at first but they never didn't really take more than 3 4oz bottles in a day ever except for a rare growth spurt. We'd send the 3 4oz bottles each day and the day care provider had an extra 4oz frozen in her freezer just in case.

You can do this! I've had 2 babies and each time I was able to pump enough to meet their needs. I used to be a member of a pumping moms yahoo group. I'm sure they're still around, it might be worth a look. It was a great resource for me while I was pumping.

Random BTDT pumping advice:
Lubricate the horns with a bit of olive oil. Buy a small bottle that you can keep in your pump bag. The oil will give you a better seal and make it more comfortable.
Put some zip-top milk bags in your pump bag just in case you forget your lids. Sounds crazy but it happened to me a couple of times.
Buy extra horns and bottles so you don't have to wash parts during the day. You can put a plastic grocery bag in your pump bag and bring all of the parts home dirty then put them in the dishwasher. It will make things much faster and easier.

Good luck, you can do this!!!
post #24 of 58
Quote:
1) What are the best bottles to get to avoid nipple confusion?
we used the Playtex drop ins. We tried lots of different bottles and those were the only ones he'd take.

2) Is it possible to get a good freezer stash going before returning to work (since it's so early) when should I start pumping?
I kind of tried that. I had to go back after 6 weeks as well, but I didn't have a huge supply. I'd pump after he nursed or pump one side while he nursed on the other. It is possible though.

3) How much milk can I expect to pump in a day at work (I will be pumping at least three times during my shift, possibly four)?
That's hard to say. It differs so much. For me, pumping 3 times a day, I got max 12 oz. Usually it was closer to 9.

4) How much milk does an infant of 6wks need to sustain them for an entire day?
Again, that differs. I believe my son was drinking 12 oz most days and sometimes he'd need a little more.

You absolutely can pump and bf and not use formula. We had to for awhile once he got older because my supply kept dropping after months of pumping. We also reverse cycled for awhile as well and that helped a ton. You can do this. Pumping sucks, but its totally doable. Good luck!
post #25 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Breeder View Post

1) What are the best bottles to get to avoid nipple confusion?

We used Dr. Brown's and they worked well.

2) Is it possible to get a good freezer stash going before returning to work (since it's so early) when should I start pumping?

Sure! I was off for 12 weeks, and I started pumping when I had 6 weeks left of maternity leave...so maybe start at 4 weeks? I don't think you want to start pumping any sooner than that. Anyway, I pumped in the morning after her morning feed, every morning. Throughout the day, if I felt full, I pumped again. I got trickles here and there - never more than 3 ounces total for a pumping session. But it helped to know that there was milk there to fall back on.

3) How much milk can I expect to pump in a day at work (I will be pumping at least three times during my shift, possibly four)?

I don't ever get more than 10 ounces. DD will starve herself to wait for me and take the bare minimum to stave off her thirst/hunger. I will usually pump 4-6 in the morning, and 2-3 in the afternoon and I nurse her at lunch. She will take 2-3 in the morning and 1-3 in the afternoon, depending on how hungry she was @ lunch.

4) How much milk does an infant of 6wks need to sustain them for an entire day?

See above (I jumped the gun ).
Drink tons of water, limit caffiene, eat well, take blessed thistle and fenugreek if you need to (but be prepared to sweat like a man), believe in yourself, don't EVER look at the bottles while you're pumping (seriously), take something that smells like your baby with you to sniff, take a soft cloth to rub gently on your breasts for about 30 seconds prior to pumping...I think that's all...oh, and good luck! You can do it!
post #26 of 58
I didn't get a chance to read everyone else's responses, but here is my experience:

I will be getting a Medela PIS (secondhand from a friend, I will of course replace the tubes and what not).

I replaced the entire face plate too (I'm a little nutty). Also, my LC and LLL both said that they're only good for 200 hours, so if your friend used it extensively, you might be better off saving for a new one. If you notice the amount your pumping really going down or that your breasts aren't getting empty after pumping, then that might mean your pump isn't working well.

1) What are the best bottles to get to avoid nipple confusion?
My LC recommended Playtex Naturalatch. We've been using those (the silicon ones) with the dropins and have had moderately good luck. No nipple confusion, just a stubborn baby...

2) Is it possible to get a good freezer stash going before returning to work (since it's so early) when should I start pumping?
I had 100+ ounces in the freezer after 2 months. I had oversupply and pumped off a bit before each feeding so I didn't drown him. If you have 'normal' supply, you could try pumping the 'nonfeeding' breast (if you feed one at a time) or take a couple of ounces after each feeding. For me, what I pump at work is more than adequate for his needs.

3) How much milk can I expect to pump in a day at work (I will be pumping at least three times during my shift, possibly four)?

I pump 3-4 ounces per breast per session. I pump once/day, so I end up with 6-8 ounces per day. The lame 'diaper bag' that they gave me in the hospital is great for holding a large ice pack & pumping bottles.

4) How much milk does an infant of 6wks need to sustain them for an entire day?
My LO was drinking about 2 oz every 90 minutes or so at that age I think.

HTH & congrats!
post #27 of 58
Quote:
believe in yourself, don't EVER look at the bottles while you're pumping (seriously)
Absolutely. I read, watched tv (I went home to pump) or did anything so I wasn't sitting there thinking about pumping. In the beginning I kept pictures with my pump of my baby so I'd have him to think about and look at. It really does help.
post #28 of 58
We used Dr. Brown's bottles, and have had no nipple confusion issues. She is still, at 15 months, using the newborn sized nipple.

I started pumping around 2 weeks PP, and had a decent freezer stash going when I went back at 7 weeks PP. It was hard to know what to leave, so I left 3 4-ounce bottles for DD. She usually took all of that when I was gone 8 hours. Be prepared to use a LOT of your freezer stash the first couple months - and add to it as often as possible!

I pumped 3 times at work and once at home and usually got the 12-16 ounces DD needed for the next day.

Hard to say. I think DD took 12 ounces in the beginning then switched up to 16 ounces, but my sitch is a bit different because I work nights, so my DH wsa putting her to sleep for the night and she likes to really tank up.

Just wanted to say, it CAN be done, and it can be done in the context of AP living! You have to be very dedicated, but lots of familes do it everyday! DD went 6 months exclusively on breastmilk and still nurses 6-8 times a day at 15 months.
post #29 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alyantavid View Post
Absolutely. I read, watched tv (I went home to pump) or did anything so I wasn't sitting there thinking about pumping. In the beginning I kept pictures with my pump of my baby so I'd have him to think about and look at. It really does help.
Good point! Everyone said to look at pictures, think of baby, etc. but for me what worked best was reading and not thinking about pumping or nursing.
post #30 of 58
my lactation consultant recommended naturalatch bottles by playtex.
post #31 of 58
I have now been working and pumping for a couple weeks and a couple things that have helped me:

I have a portable mp3 player (a zune) and I have been downloading free podcasts. As I have a double pump, I don't really have a free hand to turn pages of a book or anything so the podcasts are really entertaining and fun to listen to.

I also just treat it like going to the bathroom. Its something I have to do and I make no apologies or excuses for it. There are lots of people at my work that "don't get it" so I don't even give them the opportunity to say anything negative. When its time to go pump, I just say "I'll be back in a few" and leave. End of story.

Also, I am going to follow the tip that a previous poster gave and order duplicate pump parts so I don't have to wash during the day- just rinse and then wash at night. I think this will save me some time.

This whole thing is daunting, especially when everyone I talk to at work is like "oh well, I tried to pump for my kid and it just didn't work out/I couldn't make enough milk/it was too annoying/blah blah blah.

We can't listen to these nay-sayers!
We can do this!!!
post #32 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by p.s View Post
Your co-workers and colleagues resent your pumping, even though you produce (not just milk) but as many beans as they do? Doesn't matter. 50 years from now you won't even remember what they looked like.
I LOVE this! I try to say the same thing to myself when I start taking things too personally at work. Hehe.
post #33 of 58
This thread really helped me tonight. I was stressing about not having enough fresh milk for tomorrow, and I realized it is okay for me to dip into my stash if I need to. It will be okay.

Then later, I needed a mindless chore I could do with DD in the sling (it helps her to sleep sometimes if I wear her and just walk around the apartment). I decided to go through my stash of frozen milk and write down the dates and how many ounces I've got. I've got 64 ounces! That's a whole gallon! I didn't think it was that much. All those little bags add up.

Right now I'm away from DD for two days a week while her grandparents watch her, and then I bring her in the office or work from home the other three days. I'm trying to pump almost every day to keep my supply high: I'll be transitioning soon to being away from her four days a week and pumping a lot more. I start pumping fresh on Sunday to leave her with 16 oz fresh for the first day away on Wed, and then pump about 10 oz total at work for Thur, and her grandparents use frozen milk to make up any shortfall that day. Then I freeze the milk I pump on Thurs, since it'll be another six days or so until she needs fresh milk again. This week I wasn't getting as much as I usually do and it was starting to depress me. I feel better now.

We can do this!
post #34 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by jbirdbrain View Post

I have a portable mp3 player (a zune) and I have been downloading free podcasts. As I have a double pump, I don't really have a free hand to turn pages of a book or anything so the podcasts are really entertaining and fun to listen to.
That is a great idea and I sometimes listen to audio books at home while nursing, but at work I also use the La Leche League hands free pumping bra. It really does work, and you can nurse your little one while wearing it, too.
post #35 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by jbirdbrain View Post
This whole thing is daunting, especially when everyone I talk to at work is like "oh well, I tried to pump for my kid and it just didn't work out/I couldn't make enough milk/it was too annoying/blah blah blah.

We can't listen to these nay-sayers!
We can do this!!!
I am so glad this thread is here. Today will be my third day back to work; I'm going in for half days to practice pumping, to see how much time we need in the mornings, to figure out how much DD will drink from a bottle while I'm away. So far, we are doing well, especially since I can come home for lunch and I have an office where I can lock the door and pump in privacy.

My biggest problem, I fear, will be lack of support from a team member/coworker who seems determined to sabotage me! She has a 9mo, and just gave up pumping because it was too much of a pain. Yesterday she informed me that my idea of pumping/BF for a year will NEVER work, I'll have to give up and supplement at some point, etc... So, I'm glad to see that there ARE women out there who DO pump and provide enough milk for their babes

I CAN do this! I CAN. I WILL!!

Does anyone have any tips on making time at work for pumping? I've already blocked off a half hour in the morning and afternoon on my calendar for the next year so that it will be hard to schedule me during pumping times. How do you excuse yourself from meetings to pump?

Also, do you HAVE to pump at the exact same time your baby eats? I thought I just had to pump as much as they eat. So far, DD seems to be waiting for mama to come home so she can get a fresh dinner! She nurses almost non-stop from when I get home till we go to sleep!
post #36 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by mishka77 View Post
Also, I have a very negative "friend" from work who isn't so successful with breastfeeding. She has told me that since I don't have a big freezer stash (I just started freezing milk last week) that I will HAVE to supplement with formula, and that by pumping my milk will dry up soon anyway. Is that true? My babe is a really good eater, and seems to like to cluster feed a night anyway.

thanks!
Tell her Thanks for the vote of confidence, but that you have spoken to lots of women (us on MDC) that had no problems making it work at all. They were commited to making it work. You will figure out how to make it work if you are commited.

I have been pumping for 4 mos now, yeah, my supply isn't what is was when I started, but my DD is eating more foods. I was fortunate to be able to stay home for 6 mos. DD wouldn't not take any bottles (and still doesn't really take much out of one). We tried Gerber NUK, Advent, orthodontic, born free. I pumped a lot during the first few months, since my DD wouldn't take the left side much (still doesn't, and I barely make any milk on that side), and I had an oversupply on the R. So I would try to pump at home at least 2x a Day. I ended up dumping so much of my freezer stash down the drain, b/c 1. it was older than 3 mos, and 2, I had a high level of lipase in my milk which made it taste funky. So before you get a huge stash going, I would taste a sample (I know it sounds gross), but if it tastes kinda funky, you can scald it prior to freezing. So I have no stash now. I pump 2x a day and get about 5-6 oz, (used to be more like 8-10oz) but I only double pump for 5 min at a time. My DD is 10 mos, and it is used mostly in cereal, and she gets some water (the measly 2-4 oz she will drink from a bottle or sippy). I have never supplemented with formula and refuse to. I do worry she isn't getting enough fluids.

I was so petrified at first to leave her alone knowing that she wouldn't take a bottle. She never really reversed cycled, sometimes she gets up once a night to nurse, but sometimes she sleeps 12 hrs straight. That might have something to do with the fact that I had 6 mos home. I do make sure I nurse her well just before I walk out the door and then as soon as I see her when I pick her up. (It is at my mom's house, so it is easier).

I see so many women stop BF because they feel it is too difficult or a PITA. I feel sad. It IS difficult, but so is Mothering. It is just what we have to do for our babies. Don't give up!!! Pumping isn't easy either. It is a pain to have to clean parts. I like the idea of having 2 sets of parts, that is a great suggestion. I tend to just put them in a plastic bag and reuse them in the afternoon without rinsing them, I just wipe them w/ a paper towel (I know, not very hygienic). Then having to clean them at night and pack it up. Schedule it into your routine.


A pp posted about adj the pump to different levels? I didn't know about that. I just use the fastest pulse and almost the highest level of vacuum. I didn't realize it was more efficient to go slower. I have the PIS, so there is no adj for warmup (letdown).

I got to go eat lunch and then pump!
post #37 of 58
You guys seem to have covered it, so I'm not going to add.

But I would like to say that we need to make this thread a sticky. We answer these questions for new WOHMs every few months. I can't recall how many times I've re-typed my advice . . .

Good Luck, OP!
--LEE
post #38 of 58
I have a post written up on my blog about pumping at work that you might find helpful. It goes through my routine, how to save time, etc.

http://ewokmama.wordpress.com/2007/1...e-working-mom/

Another good site is workandpump.com

The bottle you choose should have a wide nipple base and a slow flow (generally they are called newborn). We used the wide version of the Playtex Nursers and Ventaire Bottles.
post #39 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by leewd View Post
But I would like to say that we need to make this thread a sticky. We answer these questions for new WOHMs every few months. I can't recall how many times I've re-typed my advice . . .

Good Luck, OP!
--LEE
That would be GREAT!

Thanks for helping us newbies, 'specially those of us with few role models/support.
post #40 of 58
Thanks Lee for recommending this for a sticky. It's perfect! We can direct members to it in the future in case they don't see it.
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