Pumping Mamas-need advice! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 15 Old 09-06-2010, 08:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quick background: I'm 37w3d pregnant with my third baby. With ds2, my milk took a long time to come in (5 days) and I was never able to pump a lot. We still have a great bf relationship though, at 3 yrs.

The thing is, I am looking at going back to school next spring. This little one will be around 4mos old, so I want to make sure I have a nice big freezer supply of milk.

With ds2, the most I ever pumped at a sitting was 5-6 oz from BOTH breasts, combined. Usually more in the 4 oz range. It took about 2 pumping sessions to equal one feeding session.

I really want this baby to be EBF for at least 6 mos.

What can I do to make myself more 'responsive' to the pump? I have a Medela PIS. Are there any supplements/pumping regimens, etc I should follow?

Any help is greatly appreciated.

Ami

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#2 of 15 Old 09-07-2010, 12:31 AM
 
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I think the amount you averaged pumping is above and beyond what most women get, although I average about the same.

If you're going to be making a stash while he is with you, I'd just pump after he was finished and freeze that. I'm sure you'd have an adequate supply by the time you go back. Also, wouldn't you pump while you were at school too?
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#3 of 15 Old 09-07-2010, 12:41 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prone_to_wander View Post
I think the amount you averaged pumping is above and beyond what most women get, although I average about the same.

If you're going to be making a stash while he is with you, I'd just pump after he was finished and freeze that. I'm sure you'd have an adequate supply by the time you go back. Also, wouldn't you pump while you were at school too?
Really? I kept wondering about those 9oz baggies/boob for pumped breastmilk. Made me feel so inadequate.

I would try to pump while in school, but that would depend on the class/schedule. I have a lot of lab courses to take, and I'm not sure if, in the middle of a 4hr lab, I will be able to run and pump.

I noticed, with ds, that the older he got, the harder it was to actually get anything unless he skipped a feeding. I was wondering if I 'tricked' my body into producing enough milk for twins, if I could avoid that. I'd rather have too much milk stored than not enough, which happened with ds.

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#4 of 15 Old 09-07-2010, 12:56 AM
 
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That is a very reasonable amount to pump. Many woman can't get that much. And most SBC babies never need more than a 5 oz bottle ever so you are right in line with those goals. The best way to build a supply is to add a regular pumping session to your day when. You are home with the baby and do it every day, I.e. Pump ten minutes one hijr after morning nurse every day. Your body will quickly adjust. I found it really helpful to pu,p ten minutes, take a shower, and the pump ten. You'll catch a second let down. Every day at about the same time. If you really need a stash do it at night too.
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#5 of 15 Old 09-07-2010, 01:03 AM
 
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I always hear that women don't get as much as their children really eat when they are pumping. Getting anything consistently is an accomplishment. And of course the more you do it, likely the more you will get. At least enough to stay comfortable and keep up your supply. I think this is different for exclusively pumping moms, but I'm not sure. I exclusively pumped while my DD was in the NICU and by the end, I was getting about 10oz a sitting. But I had trouble getting my breasts to respond to the baby, so I guess my body was confused.

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#6 of 15 Old 09-07-2010, 01:08 AM
 
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The average woman pumps .5-2 oz. per session, so you were way above average! A breastfed baby typically needs no more than 4 oz. in a bottle feeding anyway:
http://www.kellymom.com/bf/pumping/milkcalc.html

In your shoes, I would focus on just getting baby nursing well at the breast before worrying about pumping. Let baby establish supply, and then at maybe 2 months old, start trying to build your stash. If you want to get maximum output, you may want to consider renting a hospital-grade pump. If you've had your PIS since your first, it may not be as efficient as possible, as single-user pumps are only designed to work optimally for about a year.

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#7 of 15 Old 09-07-2010, 02:42 AM
 
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You could also check the membranes on your pump parts. I read that when they're old they don't create thee best suction.

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#8 of 15 Old 09-07-2010, 10:44 AM
 
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That really is a very good amount to get especially if you weren't even replacing a feeding. I wouldn't worry too much. Once you get things established, to help build a bit of a stash, pumping at the same time each day helps tell your body you need more at that time, morning usually gives more milk and if you can manage to pump the other breast while your baby is feeding, that helps too.

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#9 of 15 Old 09-07-2010, 11:28 AM
 
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I agree that sounds like plenty. I'd get about that much when I was pumping at work (so replacing feedings even) and ds never had any formula. I did have to be a bit ah.... forceful with the dcp about it though.
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#10 of 15 Old 09-08-2010, 02:59 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for all the responses.

I really thought I was on the low end, especially when looking at all those 9 oz breastmilk freezer bags attached to *one* flange. And a bunch of the pumping videos showed women pumping those things full of milk.

I am replacing the membranes, but everything else looks good. I didn't use it full time with ds2 (that's when I got it), only for the first month regularly, then after that, maybe once a week to keep some sort of freezer stash going.

So, to compile the advice:

Pump at the same time every day

Preferably in the morning

Right after a feed/between feeds.

I'm wondering if one pumping session a day until I start school will build up enough of a stash that I can continue with just one session thereafter. It's odd but I had more problems with pumping (cracked nipples, sores, sore nipples) than when I nursed ds.

Anyone find that fenugreek/lactation cookies helped with supply at all?

Ami

Wife to dh, Mommy to my heavenly angel, J (06), and my earthly angels, S (07) and E (10)

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#11 of 15 Old 09-08-2010, 11:01 AM
 
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It sounds like your supply is definitely FINE! If you want to be a bit more responsive to the pump, something that might help is to stimulate your letdown with breast massages, warm compresses, sweet baby pictures or a sweet-smelling bib, etc.

I also do one pumping session in the morning (very productive) and add a pumping session before bed. That night session isn't that great, but it makes me more comfortable overnight and gives me an extra ounce or maybe 2 for buffer. Plus it's just easier to fit into my routine in the evening.

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#12 of 15 Old 09-08-2010, 10:51 PM
 
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You are getting a ton more than me! I would sometimes only get a half ounce! Anyway, what has been been working for me is pumping while feeding DS. It requires some dexterity, so maybe your DH or someone can help you. I put DS on one side in the football hold, then pump the other side at the same time. I get double the amount I was getting before, even with all the tips mentioned here. Plus, my fidgety little boy gets a longer feeding because let downs are being triggered one each side.

I think I read somewhere if you pump the same time every day, it's almost like you trick your body into thinking it's another feeding, so in essence you're "placing an order" for more milk at that time. I was never really able to do that so I don't know if it works, but it sounds like it makes sense.

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#13 of 15 Old 09-09-2010, 02:31 PM
 
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I found Earth Mama Angel Baby's "More Milk Tea" helped up or at least keep up my supply. I got about an extra ounce a day that way.
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#14 of 15 Old 09-09-2010, 10:31 PM
 
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i worry that going long periods without nursing or pumping once you are back in school will effect your supply.

I only pump about 2 oz per session. I used to stay up late for two night sessions and then set an alarm for 2 am for another session. It got to be exhausting. I had no idea I was the norm. I know someone who pumps 9-12 oz per session and I felt extremely inadequate. I took all the herbs, teas and donperidone. I rented a hospital pump too. I ended up having to supplement with organic formula. But my baby also had tongue tie and I struggle to get him to gain weight.

Good luck to you and school.

Low supply mommy to Lucas 3/17/2010
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#15 of 15 Old 09-09-2010, 11:14 PM
 
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I started pumping to build a freezer stash when DS was around a month old, at first I only got around 3 oz. per session, but after several days of constant pumping, I got 11 oz., the problem was that if I missed any pumping session I got HORRIBLY engorged. I always got more milk around an hour before DS woke up for the day. Right now I rarely pump, since DS won't drink pumped milk, but when I do I get around 0.5 to 2.5 oz., unless DS skips a session and then i get 4-5 oz. Ohhhh, and eat oatmeal, that always works for me!
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