I am away from my 23 month old for 3 days. I nurse on demand, but that is usually at bed, at wake up, and at her one daily nap. I brought my pump with me. I just pumped for half an hour and only got a few drops.
I know that doesn't mean anything as far as what she's actually getting...but I am worried about getting plugged ducts or even mastitis. Am I going to have issues if I can't empty them like she does?
Should I only be pumping those 3 times she would nurse, or should I do more often?
Also...if I am only getting a few drops each time...and my breasts aren't "empyting"...will that make my supply dwindle down?
I don't know the answer to whether to pump only those times or more often, but if you are feeling engorged I would pump more, both to protect those breasts and to keep supply intact. I think 3 days is about the amount of time it takes for your supply to significantly change, so by the time you get back, you might be low for a few days but as long as kiddo keeps at it, it will come back.
To help you get more out when you pump, have you tried what my sis refers to as "baby porn"? It just means pictures or videos of your little one to look at while you pump, and if you have any to listen to, ideally a recording of her crying when she was small. Not only does this help with let down (esp crying) but it can help you relax and not stress, which helps with let down. Well, ok, the crying audio might not help you relax, but pictures and videos and generally feeling mama-ness does...
"That's the way it is, if that's the way it seems to you."
"Cosi e se vi pare."
I would possibly increase the pumping frequency (5x?). As you mentioned, actual nursing drains better than artificial sucking. As the previous reply mentioned, that is enough time to affect supply. It is hard to say definitively what to do since every situation is different - some kids may be more reluctant to start nursing again and other may return with voracity! Do you feel that the nursing was providing a decent amount of sustenance to her or was it more for comfort? Go with your gut instinct.
Have you ever been away this long before? If you don't already, I second looking at videos or photos of your LO to help with let down. You could possibly search the Le Leche League site too to see if any similar topics/advice are available.
Hope all goes well during the remainder of your time away and upon your return!
Thanks so much ladies for the advice!
So far I have been doing ok mentally. And my daughter is actually having a blast as she is spending the time with my sister, while hubby is at home working on a playhouse :).
My sister says she only asks where I am at naptime and bedtime. My sister tells her I'm on a trip for a couple days, but when I get back she'll get her milkies again :). I told my sister to keep reminding her!!
I've never been away for a night, although hubby has put her to bed or woke her up with no issues. If I'm not there she doesn't even ask about milkies.
So, overall we're doing good as far as that...just the pumping issue.
I've pumped 3 times so far today and still just drops. Even if I try to hand express. I can get a few more out that way, but not much at all.
I'm feeling just a bit full, but not engorged at all. I just wish I could empty so my supply doesn't wane. That's really what I am most worried about.
I do think she will go right back to the 2-3 nursings a day...I just don't want my supply to be gone and her get discouraged or give up!!
Whenever she is ready to quit, that's OK, but I personally don't want it to be because of me (this trip).
I did the baby porn...cute name for it BTW...I am getting a good, relaxed feeling, but not sure a true let down is happening. I even try to start the pump over in the let down phase again, but no luck.
Anymore ideas...please feel free to share.
Even if your supply does decrease, you're only away for three days. When you get home and start nursing again, it will likely pick back up quickly.
Midwife (CPM, LDM) and homeschooling mama to:
14yo ds 11yo dd 9yo ds and 7yo ds and 2yo ds