Should I just keep pumping? - Mothering Forums
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Breastfeeding > Should I just keep pumping?
Darryen's Avatar Darryen 02:05 AM 12-15-2009
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.

Sunstone's Avatar Sunstone 03:08 AM 12-15-2009
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.
Darryen's Avatar Darryen 03:19 AM 12-15-2009
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.
Bokonon's Avatar Bokonon 03:29 AM 12-15-2009
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!
Darryen's Avatar Darryen 04:01 AM 12-15-2009
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.
kriket's Avatar kriket 11:29 AM 12-15-2009
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.
PatioGardener's Avatar PatioGardener 12:35 PM 12-15-2009
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.
Latte Mama's Avatar Latte Mama 12:44 PM 12-15-2009
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!
Bellabaz's Avatar Bellabaz 12:50 PM 12-15-2009
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!
hotharmony's Avatar hotharmony 01:33 PM 12-15-2009
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.
Megan73's Avatar Megan73 01:39 PM 12-15-2009
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.
jansari's Avatar jansari 03:49 PM 12-15-2009
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
Darryen's Avatar Darryen 10:56 PM 12-15-2009
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.
PatioGardener's Avatar PatioGardener 11:31 PM 12-15-2009
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.

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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!
aksign's Avatar aksign 12:49 AM 12-16-2009
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!
Darryen's Avatar Darryen 02:18 AM 12-16-2009
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.
PatioGardener's Avatar PatioGardener 10:46 AM 12-16-2009
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'!
Darryen's Avatar Darryen 06:20 PM 12-16-2009
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.
Darryen's Avatar Darryen 01:46 AM 12-17-2009
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.
mommy2one0326's Avatar mommy2one0326 03:30 AM 12-17-2009
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.
Darryen's Avatar Darryen 04:44 AM 12-17-2009
I'd never heard of that before but I'll give it a try. He is very calm and at home curled up on my chest. Thanks for the idea.
Megan73's Avatar Megan73 12:32 PM 12-17-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by Darryen View Post
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?
No lactation consultant will tell you to starve a baby to the breast. Babies can't learn to breastfeed well if they're not getting enough to eat. You really need to eliminate the bottles and supplement at the breast with a Lact-Aid or Medela SNS. You can order them online or get a Medela SNS from a LC or some drug stores.
Did you check out bfar.org? There's lots of info there.
kriket's Avatar kriket 03:57 PM 12-17-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by Darryen View Post
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.
My DS used to do this too. I think he just preferred eating a certain way. I couldn't hardly get him to even latch on the right! The ONLY way he would nurse on righty for about 4 months was in a football hold. So try different things!

Also, if you have a friend in the medical field ask them to get you some small tubing, it and a bottle with the tube shoved in the nipple hole will get you through (if you want to try and supplement at the breast) until you can find a lact-aid. I wish I would have known this. I had to supplement and we had issues with nipple confusion. You could tell, his latch was difficult at the breast, and you could see the little gears turning like "why are all these boobies different!"
justKate's Avatar justKate 07:44 PM 12-17-2009
Darryen,

DO NOT STRESS OUT YET. I want to share my story with the hope that it will comfort you and strengthen your resolve!

DD refused to eat for 24 hours after she was born. She wanted to sleep! But the nurses wouldn't have it, so that combined with no wet diapers landed her in the NICU. While there she still refused to eat, and ended up with a tube up her nose being pumped full of formula. She finally decided to eat after a 3 week stay.

I had an augmentation on one side, and the augmented breast only made 1/2 as much milk as the un-augmented one initially. I pumped every 3 hours during the day and every 4 hours at night--so that was, ah, about 8 times a day. My milk came in on day FIVE.

Here's the good news: Aubrey didn't latch until she was more than three weeks old. She didn't care if she got formula. What we did was lay down in the bed (both on our sides) when she wasn't too too hungry, and let her try to latch on her own. It took two tries. We both just needed to relax. She was EBF thereafter.

So anyway, the point is, you're doing great. Keep offering him the breast in different ways and keep supplementing as needed to keep him full. Keep pumping! The milk is there, it just takes a little while for your body to figure it out sometimes. Especially with augmentations.

Good luck and congrats on your new little man!
Darryen's Avatar Darryen 11:10 PM 12-17-2009
I'll ask about the tubing when I go in on Monday. I'm afriad he already has nipple confusion but I def. don't want to make it worse. I am going to try that biological nurturing tonight when he's had something to eat and isn't starving. I'll let you all know how it goes. Thanks for the advice and stories. Your support is helping my husband and I so much.
sillysmile's Avatar sillysmile 02:20 AM 12-18-2009
I think that it is great that you are doing so much to try to establish your supply and get breastfeeding to work. I exclusively pumped for 5 months (7-8x/day) and then pumped and supplemented through 8 months, and then finally gave up pumping and switched to 100% formula. It was a LOT of work, and in retrospect I wish that I had done a few things differently to get my DD latched on to begin with.

I worked with ~7-8 different LC's (a mix of hospital, clinic, and home visits), and all DD ever did was scream at the breast. She was a VERY sensitive baby, and I think that my experience with the LC's defintiely complicated our situation because she was traumatized each time. She was very sensitive to bright lights and sounds, and would usually start screaming at the point where the LC decided to do the "pre-feeding" weigh, before we even got started with the latching. Most of them seemed to think that it was just a matter of technique.. once the baby was in the right position and you had enough milk (which I luckily did), she would instinctively latch. In retrospect, I don't think that my "technique" was the problem at all. I think that she just needed more time and space to practice before we started supplementing with an artificial nipple (which just complicated things further).

Anyway, I'm sure LC's are helpful in many cases, but in my particular case I feel that if I had just forgone the LC visits and spent MUCH more time in a quiet dark room having skin-to-skin contact and allowing her to slowly find the nipple on her own (as the PP recommended) we might have had a better shot. There are a few good videos online about how this is done, but you basically just lay the baby in the center of your chest and let him slowly work his way down, guiding very gently as needed.

I would also recommend syringe feeding or SNS feeding to avoid nipple confusion, though I realize that this is a ton of work when you are largely supplementing. There are few things more depressing than having your baby scream at your breast, so I feel your pain. I wish you the best of luck.. and unfortunately know way too much about pumping if you ever need advice in that area.
Darryen's Avatar Darryen 04:22 PM 12-18-2009
I tried letting him root around this morning but he got hysterical so we had to stop. I can't feed him without crying now. But I refuse to give up. I have DDD breasts so it was kinda hard. I had to hold my breast and he kinda fell off my chest getting to it. We'll keep working on it.
zirah16's Avatar zirah16 08:54 AM 12-19-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by Darryen View Post
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.
If you want production up the fastest, you need to put baby back on the boob. the pump is, imo, dreadful - everybody i personally know (iow, not online) has ended up drying up once they brought in the pump.
In order to get more information you can go through the link: http://besthealthcare.blog.com
sillysmile's Avatar sillysmile 02:45 AM 12-20-2009
I'm so sorry to hear that you're still having trouble latching your baby on. I would also break down in tears trying to get my LO latched.. she would get hysterical and start screaming in a matter of seconds, and I dreaded every time that we "practiced" because every time she got upset I would also start crying.

Some things that were more successful for us were sneaking the breast in to her mouth when she was just waking up (eyes still closed). Sometimes she would start sucking reflexively that way, and we'd get a little "practice" before she woke up and figured out what was going on (at which point she would usually freak out). If she was wide awake and alert, she usually got too overwhelmed by everything too quickly. HTH -
Darryen's Avatar Darryen 04:46 AM 12-20-2009
Tonight I tried all kinds of things and after an hour of him screaming, me crying, praying and pleading with him, and swaddling him, we found a position and he drank for a while. I think he is still hungry though. I fed him until he stopped and fell asleep but now he is in his bouncy chair (he normally sleeps well in it) and is crying again so I think we may need to try again. I hope this gets easier. He ripped my heart out tonight with the screaming. I felt like such a failure. Its such a horrible feeling.

Oh and when I rub him chin/cheek area to make him suck he doesn't. Any other reflex areas to try? Touching/squeezing his shoulder makes him wake up but not eat... usually just pisses him off.
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