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#1 of 146 Old 07-06-2012, 10:48 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hello All!  I hope it's ok that I decided to start a new thread, but the old one hadn't been updated in over a year and it's super long so I thought we could start a new one.  Maybe I can link to useful tips from that thread?  Or copy them to this thread?  I'm not very computer savvy winky.gif   I'm hoping this group can be very incluse to everyone wherever they are on their journey. 

 

Well, I start with my story I guess from the beginning.  Maybe we can each share how we've gotten to where we are.  My daughter was born on 4/24/12.  She was induced with a midwife due to failing a NST and BPP after going over due (I was 41 weeks and 3 days I think).  I was induced using a foley balloon and cervidil-- no other drugs were used.  The birth blew my mind because it wasn't at all what I prepared for.  It was precipitous-- the balloon feel out after having light cramps all night (which meant I was around 5 cm) and then about 1.5 hours later my daughter was born!  It was beyond intense!  It was crazy!  She was almost born into the toilet, but luckily the midwife saw her head starting to poke out because I couldn't verbalize anything and I didn't not believe I was that far.  I couldn't hold her at first-- I was in shock.  I attempted to nurse the whole first night and she didn't really latch.  The next day her billi level was high so I started pumping and finger feeding.  I did that for 1 week.  Saw a lactation consultant who told me to try a nipple shield and I did that for 2 weeks until my LO started fussing and refusing it and didn't gain enough.  At that time I went back to pumping and feeding bottles.  That was 7 weeks ago.  She is now 10 weeks old.  I've tried everything and I mean everything and I will continue to try everything as I pump and feed.  I'm taking it one day at a time because I get overwhelmed and depressed when I think about doing this until she is a year old.  It has been my dream for a long time to nurse-- I'm actually a lactation counselor and have assisted many other mothers to nurse successfully.  This has basically been my worst nightmare come true greensad.gif

 

So far my supply is good and I pump about 9 times a day on average.  I'm staying ahead of my LO as of now and have some in the freezer too.  

 

Please share as much or as little as you would like of your story... 


Me = Healer, yogini, lactivist, step-mom, and wife to my dream come true joy.gif So grateful-- baby #1 April 2012

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#2 of 146 Old 07-07-2012, 07:15 AM
 
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My DD was born on 30/4/12, via cesarean due to a breech position.  When I found out that I had to have a cesarean I must admit that I cried.  Although i'm not really a crunchy/emotional person I really wanted to have the most natural birth possible, let it be the worst pain ever, I just wanted to bring my daughter into this world.  As it happens the cesarean experience was better than I thought, the gyne and midwife team were just amazing.  The recovery though was very difficult, I didn't have much pain but I just felt completely drained, I lost a fair amount of blood on day 3.  To be honest though I often wish it was the morning of the cesarean again, best day of my life, would do it again in a heartbeat!

 

I was able to BF her exactly one hour after she was born, she latched straight away.  The first night, she/we barely slept she had to be laying on me or nursing, the midwives said she just had the need to suck constantly, they gave her a little drink of water to see if she was really hungry or not and she gulped it down.  On day one it seemed I nursed her constantly.  On night 2 they came and took her so that I could sleep but promised to bring her back when she needed feeding, they didn't bring her back for 6 hours, i'm convinced they gave her formula even though they said they wouldn't, she also slept a lot the next day, I woke her every 3 hours to BF her.  After this it went back to her only sleeping on me and wanting to nurse constantly.  She starting gaining weight the day we left the hospital.

 

The midwife visited me for the next 10 days and weighed her every couple of days at one point she had only gained 10gms in 3 days.  I was feeding her literally all the time.  She had always been a sleepy baby during feeding since she was born.  I would feed her, she would fall asleep, I would put her in her crib and she would be awake and hungry within 10 mins.  The midwife lent me a pump and said to pump after feeding and give the extra milk with the next feed, the pediatrician said to start supplementing.  The next day she had gained more than 100gms!  The midwife said 'you don't need to supplement any more', see you on Monday.  By Sunday things were back the same, I phoned someone from LLL, she said I should just be putting her on the boob as much as possible, take her paci away and not pump.  By the next day I was exhausted and she hadn't gained any weight, this is when I had to start EPing to see just how much milk I had (not enough) and also supplementing.  I have read all the tips, had two visits from a lactation consultant etc but every time I try BFding she will suck until the milk comes in and then use me as a paci but get annoyed that she's not getting milk.  I will then give her formula/pumped milk, pump straight away and I always still have milk.  For some reason she just can't/won't drain enough of my milk.  I'm not sure if this is how my low supply started or if that was a problem from the beginning.  If I read one more article about how nearly ALL women can make enough milk for their baby I will scream!  I pump 600-700ml a day and at the mo she is drinking 900-1000.  I don't BF her at all.

 

The nights i spent breastfeeding her in bed are some of the best times i've had.  I feel like i'm missing out on something I wanted to do so badly and that should come so naturally.  Sometimes I feel like i'm defective as a women, couldn't give birth, couldn't breastfeed.  I hate it if people ask if i'm breastfeeding, or if other mothers are together swapping birth/feeding stories.  Other times I tell myself to suck it up and thank god I have such a beautiful healthy baby who is above the curve on length and weight :)

 

It wouldn't bother me to pump if I just had enough milk, it kills me that I can't give it to her and I have to give frigging powdered cows milk.

 

If I see everyone elses posts I am not pumping enough, 6 times a day after each feed.  How on earth do you pump more than this and cook, clean, shop, shower etc?  My little bunny also seems to know just when I want to pump and will get fussy or the hiccups, the one thing I can't do when I pump is hold her so if anyone has any tips on how to make this easy I would love to know them.  Maybe I should learn how to pump handsfree better so when i'm pumping I can at least do something around the house.  I do pump in the back of the car on long journeys and I have made myself a fleece poncho for if family comes over that i can still pump.  I was looking into the Whisper Wear but some of the reviews say their not strong enough and it's very expensive.

 

I'm so in awe of many of you who have pumped so long.  My goal was to BF for 6 months, longer if I was still off work, so far i've only been EPing about 8 weeks! 
 


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#3 of 146 Old 07-07-2012, 04:12 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Claire~  Congrats on your baby girl to stary with.  I share so many of your sentiments.  This especially hit me hard:

Quote:

The nights i spent breastfeeding her in bed are some of the best times i've had.  I feel like i'm missing out on something I wanted to do so badly and that should come so naturally.  Sometimes I feel like i'm defective as a women, couldn't give birth, couldn't breastfeed.  I hate it if people ask if i'm breastfeeding, or if other mothers are together swapping birth/feeding stories.  Other times I tell myself to suck it up and thank god I have such a beautiful healthy baby who is above the curve on length and weight :)

I feel this same way exactly.  It's such a horrible feeling sometimes that what come so easily to some and not to others just seems unfair.  And, I also totally feel like I'm missing out on such a huge part of mothering.  It took awhile, and I still struggle with feeling like I'm not really mothering my daughter because nursing is a huge part of mothering to me.  And explaining pumping and feeding is exhausting after awhile.  No one understands how hard this is unless they've done it!  I pump on average 9 times per day and you're right, I get nothing else done.  Some days I think to myself that I just have to accept that I will have no life until I make it to my goal of a year.

 

It does sound like your daughter wasn't draining your breasts well.  Sounds just like my LO when I was using nipple shields (which she won't even try anymore)-- she would nurse non- stop and not gain well at all!  So frustrating.  At least when she nursed all them time though I didn't have to wash supplies!!!!!  We should definitely share tips.  My LO also cries while I pump sometimes and I hate it.  I haven't figured out the hands free thing-- I don't want to have to change bras everytime I pump!! I hope someone else has ideas on this... I wish I could get my LO to latch at all so I could just see how we would do :-(

 

Do you ever attempt to nurse anymore?  Could anyone ever figure out why she didn't transfer well?  Would you be sore after her nursing?


Me = Healer, yogini, lactivist, step-mom, and wife to my dream come true joy.gif So grateful-- baby #1 April 2012

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#4 of 146 Old 07-08-2012, 07:58 AM
 
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Congrats to you too Jessi!  Our DD's are nearly the same age winky.gif

 

It's so good to know someone is feeling/experiencing the same in all of this.  I had tried explaining to someone how difficult it is and she asked why I don't just pump all the milk at one go in the morning!   Sheesh if I could pump a litre in one go...  One good thing is that i've had very good reactions from my gyne, health visitor etc, they know how hard it is and they think it's fantastic i'm persevering, that's so good to hear.  I do feel under pressure though, my husband has coeliacs disease so to minimize the chance of my daughter getting she has to get breast milk as long as possible.  Your doing so well to pump 9 times a day!!

 

I'm still not entirely sure where it went wrong for me, lazy baby, low milk supply, wrong technique, don't know, maybe if I had more help in the beginning I wouldn't be so far down this road.  My husband doesn't seem to mind that I have to supplement but I hate it!  The pediatrician and lactation consultant have both checked for tongue tie but say she has enough movement in her tongue, i'm not sure though.  She can stick her tongue out but the end is definitely heart shaped.  Also when I first started bottle feeding she would choke really badly with each bottle, I had to feed her lying down like a premi.  Maybe she just can't co-ordinate suck swallow breath very well.  It's gotten much better the last two weeks but I watch her like a hawk when she's drinking and would never let anyone else feed her.

 

At the moment i'm not offering her the breast at all.  I know it stimulates more production but she gets so fussy that I end up giving her the bottle, often she drinks then too much (she's a greedy bunny!) get's cramps and out of her routine.  She gets 6 x 180ml a day and drinks most of it!  The first week in the hospital my nipples were sore enough to put cream on them, she would suck so strongly I would have to break the seal with my finger but after that, no pain at all, I was even bragging about it, duh!

 

What pump are you using?  I have a Ameda Lactaline, double pump, it works really well, you can adjust the suction and rhythm.  I have rented it from my health insurance but I have just purchased a second hand model to keep upstairs (save me dragging it around), the rented one broke a few weeks ago and I was pumpless!  I literally have a basket downstairs and before I go to bed I fill it with bottles, water, formula in-case I can't pump enough, the pump itself, notebook to write down how much she drinks.  It's such a hassle, then in the morning washing sterilizing.  at least when I get the second pump I will have two sets of bottles.  I'm using a soft shield on the pump, it's so much kinder on your boobs.  Yesterday I squeezed in an extra pumping session after reading your post so I was able to pump about 700ml.  I also made one of these...

 

http://www.google.com/imgres?um=1&hl=en&client=firefox-a&sa=N&rls=org.mozilla:nl:official&biw=1600&bih=720&tbm=isch&tbnid=UVKsgLnuA_lGxM:&imgrefurl=http://bestnursingbrasreviews.com/pumpease-classic-collection-hands-free-pumping-bra-review/&docid=Z5T9bGc_qltWnM&imgurl=http://bestnursingbrasreviews.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/PumpEase-Classic-Collection-hands-free-pumping-bra.jpg&w=450&h=447&ei=7p35T6ykHKeV0QWFsIXdCQ&zoom=1&iact=rc&dur=282&sig=109299849982097075377&page=1&tbnh=169&tbnw=170&start=0&ndsp=23&ved=1t:429,r:20,s:0,i:138&tx=104&ty=54

 

No I didn't have time to sew!  I still had three support bandages/wraps from the cesarean, basically really strong gauze with a velcro closing.  I cut them in half lengthways and cut two slits in it.  It is so handy!  You can relax your arms and if my daughter needs her paci or something I have my hands free.  Today I put the blinds down, locked the door and power pumped leaving the horns and bottles attached to me each time.  Ten mins pumping, ten mins tidying.  I think it really helped.  We had church this am 10-12, visits this pm so who knows how much time I will have to pump today, i'm trying to clear my schedule this week and just focus on pumping.

 

I haven't tried nipple shields because i'm worried they will make my supply even worse.  I tried letting her use my nipples as a paci to see if it would help to stimulate more milk but then she either manages to get a bit of milk she doesn't want or just gets fed up.  She is now used to drinking such big bottles (recommended by silly doctor) that I don't think i could go back to BFding, she wouldn't be able to get used to drinking little and often.

 

Oh well, sorry for the long post, how are you doing?

Good weekend!
 


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#5 of 146 Old 07-08-2012, 08:26 AM
 
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I'll share my story, maybe it will give you guys some hope!

 

My daughter was born (9 years ago!) by emergency c-section after 3 failed forceps attempts. She passed meconium and aspirated it deep into her lungs. She was rushed to a NICU about 6 hours drive away from us. About 8 hours after she was born, I finally said to a nurse, "I planned on breastfeeding, so don't we need to do something?!" (Turns out they had been told that my daughter was going to die, and they were completely uncomfortable even coming in to our room, let alone dealing with the future of our baby.) So, that was the first time I pumped. I got only drops, but the nurse encouraged me, saying that it was totally normal. A few days later I joined my daughter at the NICU and began pumping regularly. DD was in the NICU for 6 weeks, and was on a vent for at least 2, so my supply had to be completely maintained by pumping. I pumped every 3 hours, including during the night for those first 6 weeks. I used the Medela Lactina Hospital grade pump, at the hospital and privately. 

 

So, my DD struggled with eating in the NICU, so learning to latch got pushed to the side. We just wanted to get her home! We left the hospital with a 10 lbs baby, who had never latched, and a good supply of leftover milk. I made an appointment with a LC, she looked at my flat nipples and recommended a nipple shield, but didn't seem too hopeful about DD learning to latch because she was already so old.

 

Long story short, she never latched a single time, but we made it to 14 months with pumping! She never had formula.

 

I used a hospital grade pump the entire year, it made a huge difference. When my supply wasn't keeping up with her, I would pump longer, and wait for the second letdown. Make sure you are pumping at night, that is when your hormone levels are the highest. I also used fenugreek, it may have helped too. 

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#6 of 146 Old 07-08-2012, 09:54 AM
 
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My son was born at 27w5d by c-section.  I exclusively pumped until we were "allowed" to try nursing at 36 weeks.  I only had one really successful nursing session with him.  Honestly giving him bottles was the way to make him come home faster.  And after 3 months of him being in the NICU we just wanted him home.  I knew it wouldn't be easy, but I thought that I would be able to transition him to the breast once we came home and were in a relaxed environment.  That didn't work out.  He screams and bites if I attempt to latch him on.  He is now 9 months old and I'm still pumping.  My supply hasn't kept up with him and so he usually gets 2 bottles a day of formula or donated breastmilk when we have it.  I'm pumping 7 times a day.  I know I should be pumping more, but I just can't make it work and be a sane person.  I will continue pumping until we get through the next flu/rsv season so.. the end of next April.  Some days that seems like SO far away.

 

I breastfed my daughter until she was 2 1/2.  I somehow feel like I'm depriving my son of that nursing relationship that his sister and I had. 
 


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#7 of 146 Old 07-09-2012, 08:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Claire~  I'm not entirely sure where it went wrong for us either, I think it was a combination of things-- a perfect storm.  If I could go back and do things differently...  it kills me to think about it.

Quote:

she would choke really badly with each bottle, I had to feed her lying down like a premi.  Maybe she just can't co-ordinate suck swallow breath very well.  It's gotten much better the last two weeks but I watch her like a hawk when she's drinking and would never let anyone else feed her.

My DD does this too!!!!  Isn't that strange?  It totally freaks me out and I'm a nurse!  Makes me nervous to leave her with anyone!  I'm not sure if I'm doing the math right-- does your DD drink 6 oz bottles 6 times a day?  How big is she?  My DD drinks 3 oz bottles 9 times a day...  I would like her to take more less often, but I'm not sure she will.  I think she would just take more at the same intervals!  It's hard to know how much is right with pumped milk.  Thats what I love about bfing-- you don't have to worry about bottles and numbers.  Your DD is taking quite a bit already!  I would love to have one of your hands free things!  I haven't tried making one yet, but I know I should.  I keep thinking this isn't going to be a long term thing :-(  I really don't want it to be.  I'm using a Medela Pump in Style.  The last few days my nipples have been very raw/tender?  I have no idea why?

 

Faire~  Good for you that you made it that long!  I just can't imagine.  I get totally overwhelmed at the thought of it.  It's exhausting, it makes me feel trapped and I'm so sad that I'm missing out on the closeness of bfing (I got to feel that even with the shield for a couple weeks and I really want that).  I do feel good giving my DD mm tho.

 

Madeline~  Good for you that you've made it so far!!!!  Must have been so disappointing to have a successful nursing relationship and then such a difficult time :-(  This actually deters me from wanting another child-- I don't think I could do this again (I mean, if I end up doing this for a whole year), but I would love the chance for things to go differently.


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#8 of 146 Old 07-10-2012, 01:32 AM
 
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Jessi I can't think about going back and doing things differently either, makes me too angry at the nurse that prob gave her formula and the doc who said to give her such large bottles.  Yes 6x6oz bottles a day, I have to say she probably only empties about 4 of them.  She was having 6x150ml until Monday when 1 1/2 hrs after feeding she was hungry again, I guess it was a growth spurt so I started offering 180ml bottles.  During the day she still drinks every 3 hours but she sleeps a lot at night so I don't mind.  It is sooo much more complicated with bottle feeding!  You are totally in charge of how much she drinks and it's hard to know when to offer more, my DD doesn't always show real hunger signs either, so I stick to every 3 hours and at the moment i'm trying to get her into some kind of solid bed-time routine.  I guess at some point she will only need 5 bottles a day, no idea how you go from 6-5.  At the last weigh in she was 60cm and 5kg.  I figured she drank so much because she didn't gain a lot of weight early on and she was just 'catching up', turns out she's just a greedy bunny!  Ooh those Medela pumps look nice in a bag, mine is always totally on show when someone comes around!  Hopefully today I have the used pump to leave upstairs...

 

Madelainesmama- I also have to supplement two bottles a day, I hate it and am also trying everything to get a bigger supply, my next target is to pump 7 times a day like you and see if that helps.

 

Fairejour-I'm so in awe of how you managed it!  How many times were you pumping a day?  How did you get anything done?  I pump after the night feed but when she's older and sleeps through the night i'm not sure if I would have the stamina to wake up to pump!  Didn't it wake your babe up each time?
 


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#9 of 146 Old 07-14-2012, 08:58 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Claire~  Yes, it's so hard to know when to give more/less, etc.  I think you generally don't drop the amount of feedings for awhile.  And pumped milk is different then formula, but I use that as a guide to how much to feed.  Here is a link to an article on bottle amounts:

 

 

 

 

Quote:

There are high and low limits, however. Most babies are satisfied with 3 to 4 ounces (90–120 ml) per feeding during the first month and increase that amount by 1 ounce (30 ml) per month until they reach a maximum of about 7 to 8 ounces (210–240 ml). If your baby consistently seems to want more or less than this, discuss it with your pediatrician. Your baby should drink no more than 32 ounces (960 ml) of formula in 24 hours. Some babies have higher needs for sucking and may just want to suck on a pacifier after feeding.

http://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/baby/feeding-nutrition/pages/Amount-and-Schedule-of-Formula-Feedings.aspx

 Does anyone else have any good resources to how much pumped milk a baby should have?  I've also heard take the weight in lbs times 2.5 to come up with ounces per day.  So, for my 11 lb baby she would need about 28 oz per day.


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#10 of 146 Old 07-14-2012, 10:06 PM
 
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Kellymom.com has a milk calculator.


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#11 of 146 Old 07-15-2012, 07:46 PM
 
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Hi EPing Mamas,

 

I'm so glad to see a new thread and want to start by sending big cheers and hugs to all of you.

 

Here's my story briefly: My DD appeared to be breastfeeding fine in the first few days of her life, but she was really, really tired, to the point of lethargy. We took her to the emergency room and she was so severally dehydrated that her systems were beginning to shut down. (The ER docs, who were amazing, said if we had waited six more hours, she likely would have had permanent damage or have died.) Our DD was admitted to the hospital and that was a very difficult experience as the peds (outside the ER) who saw her initially focused exclusively on "you're not breastfeeding correctly" and "most women aren't cut out for breastfeeding because it's too much work, so it's fine to just admit that." After we showed them the log we kept of how much breastfeeding I had done and had them watch me breastfeed (after which the docs, nurses, and LCs agreed we were doing it correctly), I continuing feeding my DD for 2.5 hours straight. When I stopped, she was crying in hungry. My DP gave her a bottle of pumped milk and she ate all of it immediately. I called the docs back and explained this to them and finally one of them said "huh. I guess you're right. You are breastfeeding correctly and doing it often enough. It must be something else. You'll need to go to formula." I asked why I couldn't pump and give my DD instead of formula. To which they responded, "you can do that for a few days or a week, but no one can keep that up!" Well, that just made me furious! And I thought to myself, I'm going to prove it's possible and pump for at least a month.  

 

After my DD was released from the hospital, I switched peds and worked with the new ped and a new LC (who was great). It took another 4 weeks (during which I EP'ed) to figure out what the issue was. In our case, the issue was that my DD had a posterior tongue-tie *and* that her mouth (inside) was a slightly unusual shape. The shape of her mouth is not something that's noticeable in terms of how she looks, but it does make it more difficult to create suction. So, though she was trying and though we had the tongue-tie clipped, she was still unable to drink milk directly from my breasts. She even struggled to drink milk from a bottle (we didn't realize this at first because we were watching how much she ate (and she was eating an average amount), not how long it took her, but we learned from the LC that it was taking her 3-4 times longer to drink than an average baby, even with a bottle) and we did have to teach her how to shape her mouth and tongue to get the best suction she could, given her mouth's structure and after about 4 months she was really began drinking more efficiently and by about 6 months was drinking at the about same speed as average babies at 6 months. During this time, she was meeting all other milestones and gaining weight at the same rate as other breastmilk-fed babies, so we didn't worry that it took her longer to learn how to suck; in fact, she inspired me in how she overcame the challenge she had with the shape of her mouth!

 

As for me, after a month of pumping, I felt like things were going well and set a goal of pumping until she was at least 3-6 months old. I knew I could keep going at that point, but I wasn't sure for how long. For a long time, I held 3 months or maybe longer as the goal in my head and then I realized that I was so close to that and then officially switched the goal to 6 months. It was in this time that I began reading stories of other EPing mamas and that inspired me and I got tips that helped me with my EPing. As I neared 6 months, I thought to myself "when I was pregnant, I planned to breastfeed for a year or longer, so I'm going to pump for a year." When I reached the year mark, I decided to just continue as long as I could and as long as my DD was continuing to drink my breastmilk. Ultimately, I EP'ed for 2.5 years (at which point I was having a lot of complications due to recurring thrush and my DD wasn't drinking much milk anymore) and although I'm no longer pumping, having other EPing mamas on MDC was such a support to me that I hope I can pop in from time to time and offer some support.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jessimaca View Post
I'm taking it one day at a time because I get overwhelmed and depressed when I think about doing this until she is a year old.  It has been my dream for a long time to nurse-- I'm actually a lactation counselor and have assisted many other mothers to nurse successfully.  This has basically been my worst nightmare come true greensad.gif

 

So far my supply is good and I pump about 9 times a day on average.  I'm staying ahead of my LO as of now and have some in the freezer too. 

 

hug.gif Jessimaca. At first, I was one pump session at a time! And then one day at time was what I did for at least 3 months and then I got more toward one week or one month at a time. You are doing awesomely in the face of your worst nightmare and I think your DD is so lucky that you are her mama.

Quote:

Originally Posted by clairebear3 View Post

I have read all the tips, had two visits from a lactation consultant etc but every time I try BFding she will suck until the milk comes in and then use me as a paci but get annoyed that she's not getting milk.  I will then give her formula/pumped milk, pump straight away and I always still have milk.  For some reason she just can't/won't drain enough of my milk. 

 

...

 

I feel like i'm missing out on something I wanted to do so badly and that should come so naturally.  S

 

...

 

I hate it if people ask if i'm breastfeeding, or if other mothers are together swapping birth/feeding stories. 

 

...

 

How on earth do you pump more than this and cook, clean, shop, shower etc?  My little bunny also seems to know just when I want to pump and will get fussy or the hiccups, the one thing I can't do when I pump is hold her so if anyone has any tips on how to make this easy I would love to know them.  Maybe I should learn how to pump handsfree better so when i'm pumping I can at least do something around the house.  I do pump in the back of the car on long journeys and I have made myself a fleece poncho for if family comes over that i can still pump. 

 

 

 

I'm so in awe of many of you who have pumped so long.  My goal was to BF for 6 months, longer if I was still off work, so far i've only been EPing about 8 weeks! 
 

 

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Originally Posted by clairebear3 View Post

I have read all the tips, had two visits from a lactation consultant etc but every time I try BFding she will suck until the milk comes in and then use me as a paci but get annoyed that she's not getting milk.  I will then give her formula/pumped milk, pump straight away and I always still have milk.  For some reason she just can't/won't drain enough of my milk.

 

clairebear, I really related to what you said above. I felt like it was so hard when I learned that my DD wasn't transferring milk because I had tried so much, read so much, seen LCs, etc.

 

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I feel like i'm missing out on something I wanted to do so badly and that should come so naturally. 

 

I went through a lot of feelings of grief about the loss of the breastfeeding relationship that I had assumed I would have. For me, finding other ways to connect with my DD, that I didn't expect, helped ease the grief. And now I have a DD who remembers her mama pumping for her and still talks about how she used to help by bringing the milk to the fridge and putting it "in the queue." (I dated the milk, but also kept in a long line in order of oldest to newest, so it was easy to grab the right bottle when needed.)

 

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I hate it if people ask if i'm breastfeeding

 

I really disliked that too and at first I said "well, my daughter is breastmilk-fed, but I have to pump" and people would look at me odd or start telling me how I could make direct breastfeeding work or suggest I switch to formula. So after a few times of that, I just said "yes, I'm breastfeeding" unless it was someone very close.

 

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How on earth do you pump more than this and cook, clean, shop, shower etc?  My little bunny also seems to know just when I want to pump and will get fussy or the hiccups, the one thing I can't do when I pump is hold her so if anyone has any tips on how to make this easy I would love to know them.  Maybe I should learn how to pump handsfree better so when i'm pumping I can at least do something around the house.  I do pump in the back of the car on long journeys and I have made myself a fleece poncho for if family comes over that i can still pump. 

 

In the first few weeks, I did ask for help from family and friends, so I could focus on pumping, but after I got the pumping down, I was able to have my daughter next to me and though I couldn't pick her up, I could keep her safe and occupied. Things that helped me: pumping hands-free (I got a few Easy Expressions pumping bands and they made such a big difference; at first I just had one, but then I realized it was worth the investment to have more than one, so that I could wash one and not be worried about having a one to pump in.), feeding my daughter and changing her diaper before pumping, keeping things to entertain both my DD and, if she fell asleep, me occupied.

 

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I'm so in awe of many of you who have pumped so long.  My goal was to BF for 6 months, longer if I was still off work, so far i've only been EPing about 8 weeks! 

 

 

hug.gif clairebear, I'm in awe of you. You have done so much already!!!

 

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No one understands how hard this is unless they've done it! 

 

 

yeahthat.gif

 

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I haven't figured out the hands free thing-- I don't want to have to change bras everytime I pump!! I hope someone else has ideas on this...

 

I used the Easy Expression band and I used the same one several sessions in a row, but would throw in the wash if I felt like it has been several sessions or if I felt like I had sweated a lot or if I spilled a lot of milk on it. As I got my pumping routine down, I didn't spill much milk (thankfully!).

 

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It's so good to know someone is feeling/experiencing the same in all of this.  I had tried explaining to someone how difficult it is and she asked why I don't just pump all the milk at one go in the morning!   Sheesh if I could pump a litre in one go... 

 

 

I can't tell you how many things people said that I had to just work hard at not rolling my eyes at. Like "It's not going to make a difference if you wait a few hours to pump. It will all still be there." Sheesh!

 

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Long story short, she never latched a single time, but we made it to 14 months with pumping! She never had formula.

 

I used a hospital grade pump the entire year, it made a huge difference. When my supply wasn't keeping up with her, I would pump longer, and wait for the second letdown. Make sure you are pumping at night, that is when your hormone levels are the highest. I also used fenugreek, it may have helped too. 

 

Congratulation fairejour! That's awesome!  hug.gif

 

I primarily used a Medela Lactina (which I rented). Having a hospital-grade pump made a huge for me. I also used another hospital-grade pump (when my DD was in the hospital). When our of the house, I occasionally used a Medela Pump In Style, but more frequently, I brought the hospital-grade one with me. If I was doing it all again, I would have gotten at least 2 hospital-grade pumps, one for my house and then one that I could keep packing up and ready to go.

 

I also bought extra bottles and flanges, so that I enough for a full days of pumping sessions. It was an expense, but it saved me tons of time in washing and sterilizing. I was able to wash and sterilize everything in the dishwasher (which we run daily). When I stopped pumping, my DP and I joked about how many more dishes we could wash in one dishwasher run because for 2.5 years, the top of the dishwasher was pretty much reserved for pump parts!

 

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I breastfed my daughter until she was 2 1/2.  I somehow feel like I'm depriving my son of that nursing relationship that his sister and I had. 

 

 

hug.gif MadelinesMama. My DD was my first child, so I didn't have the comparison, but I worried about that too. For me, as I found more ways to be close to her, that eased me from missing the nursing relationship.

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Kellymom.com has a milk calculator.

 

I found this calculator helpful. I also looked at books that talked about formula consumption, but assumed my DD would drink less based on what I read about formula-fed and breastmilk-fed babies.

 

PS As I said, I'll try to check in this thread from time to time, but if anyone who is EP ever needs support or a listening ear, please PM me.


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#12 of 146 Old 07-17-2012, 05:25 AM
 
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Answers - I finally got some!

 

We took DD to her ped yesterday to get some advice on when to start solids (DH has coeliacs), I had explained why I was EPing and when he looked at her before he weighed her he said 'ah I can see what the problem is' DD has a very small, very receding chin and it's this that would make it difficult for her to suck!  No-one ever mentioned this so I was just latching her on like normal and wondering why it wasn't working.  At least I know something now!  This is the same ped that also clips tongue ties, previous ped stuck her finger in DD's mouth and said there's no problem with her sucking.  This ped at least examined her all over, looked and felt in her mouth a lot and said that although she isn't tongue tied her tongue tie is very thick and fleshy and 'could' be a problem later.  It wouldn't make any difference to her ability to BF though.  There's no way of knowing whether it will be a prob or not.  She can stick her tongue out but the end is heart shaped.  He said he would do it now but it would be very uncomfortable for her because it's so thick, if she has to have it done when she's older it will be under anesthetic, maybe it will be no problem at all, what to do!  I have no idea, I hate the though of her being in pain now but absolutely do not want her to have anesthetic in the future...

 

I had a plugged duct this week, felt like my book was filled with concrete!  I followed the advice here of latching DD with her chin on the lump and she cleared it out!  It was in the rugby hold and she seemed to drink really well, maybe this is also a better position for her chin?  I'm going to keep doing as i'm doing though until we get back from vacation at the beginning of August, it seems to be going quite well now, she also sleeps loads at night and I wouldn't imagine going back to BFding every 2-3 hours through the night!

 

Happyhappymomma-thanks for your post!  It was so encouraging to read, i'm def going to set myself a target for 6 months and then see, maybe I can reduce pumping sessions so that she still gets some milk for another few months.  In some ways I do feel like I miss quality time with DD and DH because trips out are always planned around pumping.  I will just have to see how it goes :)


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HappyMommy~  Thank you so much for your words of encouragement!!!!  I really appreciate you taking the time to pop in here.  Its nice to hear from someone thats been there.  I can't believe you made it so long!!!  Wow!  You deserve some kind of medal :-)

 

ClaireBear~  If your LO can nurse and clear a plugged duct can you just nurse all the time?  Was she not gaining weight with nursing?


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Answers - I finally got some!

...

In some ways I do feel like I miss quality time with DD and DH because trips out are always planned around pumping.  I will just have to see how it goes :)

 

I'm so glad to hear that you got some answers! And I empathize with the feeling that trips out were always planned around pumping; that was really hard for me. Once I got really comfortable pumping (after about 6 months), I decided to try pumping while out on outings beyond work and my parents' house (something I hadn't been comfortable with) and I had some mishaps, but I felt like I didn't need to plan all our outings around pumping. Of course, I became more of an expert in lugging the pump with me than I had ever planned to become! The first time I traveled (it was an airline trip) after I stopped pumping, I kept feeling like I was missing something because I didn't have the pump.

 

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HappyMommy~  Thank you so much for your words of encouragement!!!!  I really appreciate you taking the time to pop in here.  Its nice to hear from someone thats been there.  I can't believe you made it so long!!!  Wow!  You deserve some kind of medal :-)

 

Well, I think all of you are awesome and doing so great! joy.gifAnd, for me, the last 18 months or so combined of pumping were easier than the first 2 months, so I hope that you all have an easier time as time progresses. (And if anyone is reading this thread and just starting pumping, the first week was the hardest for me, so if you're in your first week, I am sending extra hugs and support to you!)


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#15 of 146 Old 07-18-2012, 01:54 AM
 
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Jessimaca - No in the beginning I was constantly feeding her and she wasn't gaining weight, she would fall asleep at the breast all the time, maybe it was just too much effort.  When she cleared the duct I had her in the rugby position and that seemed to work better.  Problem is she drinks more than i have at one sitting, thanks to a silly docs advice to give her really big bottles.  My midwife was here yesterday and she said that I didn't have enough patience to get her back to the breast!  The nerve!  What she wants me to do is just stop supplementing and put her to the breast and let her CIO for 3-4 days, I don't think so!  I would go crazy because I never ever let her cry, great advice huh!
 


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#16 of 146 Old 07-18-2012, 01:13 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Wow Claire!  Well, I don't think that's good advice either.  But, pumping and feeding is a hard road that if you can avoid at any cost you should.  Even though you don't have enough milk now, you will with time.  She will adjust.  If I were you I would nurse her first and if she still acts hungry then give her some supplement after you nurse until she is content.  The more you nurse and empty your breasts the more milk you will make.  And she will need less and less supplement with time as your body catches up.


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#17 of 146 Old 07-20-2012, 02:32 AM
 
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Well I have been trying to breastfeed her at a time when I know I usually pump 90ml, I BF her, then top her up with formula, then pump and I can always pump 40-50ml, she just gets frustrated and pulls away at the end and I'm over trying and trying to then get her back on when she's like that, i'd just more rather she be happy at the mo than both of us stressed trying to get her to BF again!
 

Maybe with her chin it's just too much effort?  Sometiles she pulls away and I can see the milk dripping out, strange eh?

 

Now the plugged duct is also back greensad.gif


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#18 of 146 Old 07-21-2012, 08:14 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Claire~  I know, it's so hard and frustrating isn't it? hug2.gif Hugs to you!  To all of us struggling with this grouphug.gif  Glad I have people to talk to here.  A friend of mine was visitig the other day and she was kind of like-- big deal?  This is a short time in the long duration of motherhood.  Which is true and I try to remind myself of that.  The problem for me is I work with moms and babies.  Breastfeeding was a HUGE deal to me.  Having a nursing relationship was the number 1 thing I hoped for-- I'd helped so many others attain it.  How depressing that I don't know what it's like myself.


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#19 of 146 Old 07-22-2012, 04:58 AM
 
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Hi Jessi

 

I can't imagine what it must be like to be around/helping so many other nursing mothers!  I find it bad enough if I see someone nursing on TV...

 

Our LO will be three months tomorrow winky.gif  I really hope I can keep this up for another three months.  Sometimes it can just be so exhausting, i'm used to pumping exactly the same amount every three hours and if I sometimes have 10ml less I freak out!  The best thing for me is if we have to go somewhere that's more than 30mins I pump in the back of the car, LO always sleeps or is happy in the car and I feel like i'm saving time because sitting in the car is kind of wasted time anyway.

 

We're off to the UK in two weeks so goodness knows how it will go pumping there.  Everyone is just going to have to be really patient with me!

 

I understand what your friend was saying but it's all too easy to say if you haven't been there.  It's like when you make a too rigid birth plan and something changes drastically, it's just not what you hoped it would be.

 

Still trying to focus on the positives too :)
 


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#20 of 146 Old 07-24-2012, 01:40 AM
 
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So how does everyone handle the logistics of pumping and storing milk?  I ended up throwing away 80ml of milk which is awful when i'm already supplementing!

 

My MW told me that BM keeps out of the fridge for 10 hours.  If the bottle hasn't been finished and has NOT been warmed you can keep what's left.  Milk that is in the fridge can not be topped up with milk at room temp.

 

I supp two bottles a day and was giving these in the evening to keep BM for the night feed so I didn't have to mess around mixing formula but as DD is sleeping longer the milk is getting fairly old by the time she has it and what's left has to be dumped.  Now I am going to supp in the day and leave the BM in the fridge until I go to bed.

 

How is everyone else doing it?  Coolers, ice packs what works for you... I've never given milk at fridge temp, sounds a bit mean shy.gif  I have a bottle warmer from Tommy Tippee but the thing is useless, you have to stand over it and time it otherwise it's scalding...
 


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#21 of 146 Old 07-24-2012, 08:09 AM
 
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I just leave our bottles in the fridge and throw one in the warmer.  Are you trying to avoid going to the kitchen for night feeds? 

 

I have never used the Tommy Tippee warmer.  We use this Munchkin one.  It was pretty cheap and warms up really fast.  We use glass bottles though, so it only takes about 20 seconds for the milk to get warm. 

 

If you are wanting to avoid getting up and warming up bottles how about filling a bottle with water  before you go to bed and then just adding the formula powder when she wakes up?   I would much rather waste formula than breastmilk. 
 


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Breastfeeding was a HUGE deal to me.  Having a nursing relationship was the number 1 thing I hoped for--

 

Jessimaca, I don't work with other moms/babies on breastfeeding, but I really related with the emotions in your post. Breastfeeding was so important to me and I definitely grieved the loss of what I expected I would have. hug.gif

 

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So how does everyone handle the logistics of pumping and storing milk?  I ended up throwing away 80ml of milk which is awful when i'm already supplementing!

 

clairebear3, I remember spilling some milk and bursting into tears and my DP said "it's ok, I'll clean it up" and I remember snapping back and saying "You don't understand how hard I'm working for this and then to have to lose it and throw it away is SO frustrating!" hug.gif to you.

 

After I pumped, I immediately put the milk in the fridge or in a cooler. We set up a queue of milk bottles in the fridge. The queue was on the top shelf. The front of the queue was at the right side of the fridge, at the front of the fridge. The queue went backwards to the back of the fridge and then partway along the back of the fridge. When I would pump, I put the milk at the back of the queue and when our daughter was hungry, we'd take the milk from the front of the queue. Having this worked really well for us because we always knew which was the newer milk and which was the older milk. The only things was that about once a day, we'd have to scoot the bottles up; we joked that it would be helpful to have a little conveyor belt in the fridge!

 

At first, I marked one bottle to see how quickly it took us to get to it and found that I was getting to things within 4 days, so I knew it was all fine. I was lucky, at times, to pump more than my daughter was eating, so if I noticed the queue was getting a bit long, then I would freeze the milk at my next pump.

 

We never fed our daughter milk at fridge temperature, we always heated it up. We had a bottle warmer that was great, but sadly is no longer produced (I think because it didn't get things very hot...of course I thought that was a bonus!). However, if we were away from home, we just heated the bottle in warm water. I first did that when I was visiting my mom and we used a bowl and filled it with hot tap water and stuck the bottle in that. My DP then got the idea of a travel mug. We found one that we already had, which was wider in width then the bottle, but also fit in the end pouch of our diaper bag and just took that everywhere. If we were at someone's house, we could fill it with warm tap water. And at restaurants or out doing errands, we never had a problem when we asked for warm water in the travel mug, if we explained it was to heat our daughter's milk.

 

If you have more questions about storing or heating, just ask; I can go on and on about this stuff.

 

Also, I found a post I wrote a while back with some thoughts on EPing and I wanted to link to it in case it's helpful to anyone: http://www.mothering.com/community/t/1129895/ep-tips-and-tricks#post_14331576


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#23 of 146 Old 07-27-2012, 01:28 AM
 
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I would love to have enough milk to form a queue!

 

Just wondering if anyone has used the 'freemie' system?  It looked really interesting but I just googled it and according to the Ameda site it's not compatible with my pump, rats!  I though it would be an easy way to squeeze another session in.  Wonder why it wouldn't work?

 

I just found out that 3 months is the cut-off point for establishing supply, wish i'd known that before greensad.gif
 


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I've never heard of the Freemie before, but I googled it.  It looks like a neat idea.  However it does say you aren't able to do breast massage while pumping, so that's pretty much out for me. 


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HappyMommy~  Thanks for your understanding.  Yes, it's been a long grieving process that I'm still in the midst of.  I just have started to accept that I may be doing this for a year-- that she may never get it gloomy.gif  I will continue with the exclusive pumping for hopefully 1 year-- that's my goal anyway.  I will continue to try and latch her here and there because the hope of her latching someday keeps me motivated to pump.  This all actually makes me leary about having more children.  I don't know...  It also makes me question my goal of becoming an IBCLC.  It's something I will continue to think about.  I question it being too painful helping others to suceed.  But, at the same time this process has just reiterated to me how important the nursing relationship is-- how much it means and how difficult it can be physically, emotionally, mentally.  So, we will see.

 

Claire~ I do a very similar as HappyMommy.  I have a queue that I rotate in the fridge and I freeze leftovers.  I am reading a very helpful book called Exclusively Pumping Breast Milk by Stephanie Casemore that I really suggest tracking down.  It really goes over the nuts and bolts and great suggestions for upping supply and problem solving.  

 

An update on me~  I'm hanging in there I guess.  I have real ups and downs.  I cry sometimes and sometimes I think "okay, I can do this.  This is a short time in my daughters life and I'm happy that I'm at least provding BM."  I don't know, I'm all over the map.  I just cut out 1 pumping (that book above helped me to figure it out).  So, I am at 8 pumpings now and I will see how that affects my supply.  It says in this book that you may start experimenting with cutting down pumping at 3 months and beyond. And that most successful EPers pump about 120 minutes per day now matter how many pumpings they do.  So, that's 8 pumpings at 15 minutes a session.  So, I'll let you know how it goes.  It says not to cut out more than 1 month if your trying to make it a long way. 


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I just found out that 3 months is the cut-off point for establishing supply, wish i'd known that before greensad.gif

 

 

clairebear, I kept track of how much I was pumping for several months and I still have the information someplace; I'll try to find in the next few days, but I am pretty sure that my supply increased later than 3 months. I had sort of a love/hate relationship with what I read because it was helpful to read and get more information, but so much stuff that I found was written with these negative definitive statements that were discouraging to me. Perhaps 3 months is the average for establishing supply? If so, perhaps your supply will increase after three months? After, EP mamas are not average...we are awesome in many ways! smile.gif Sending support your way!

 

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HappyMommy~  Thanks for your understanding.  Yes, it's been a long grieving process that I'm still in the midst of.  I just have started to accept that I may be doing this for a year-- that she may never get it gloomy.gif  I will continue with the exclusive pumping for hopefully 1 year-- that's my goal anyway.  I will continue to try and latch her here and there because the hope of her latching someday keeps me motivated to pump.  This all actually makes me leary about having more children.  I don't know...  It also makes me question my goal of becoming an IBCLC.  It's something I will continue to think about.  I question it being too painful helping others to suceed.  But, at the same time this process has just reiterated to me how important the nursing relationship is-- how much it means and how difficult it can be physically, emotionally, mentally.  So, we will see.

...

An update on me~  I'm hanging in there I guess.  I have real ups and downs.  I cry sometimes and sometimes I think "okay, I can do this.  This is a short time in my daughters life and I'm happy that I'm at least provding BM."  I don't know, I'm all over the map.  I just cut out 1 pumping (that book above helped me to figure it out).  So, I am at 8 pumpings now and I will see how that affects my supply.  It says in this book that you may start experimenting with cutting down pumping at 3 months and beyond. And that most successful EPers pump about 120 minutes per day now matter how many pumpings they do.  So, that's 8 pumpings at 15 minutes a session.  So, I'll let you know how it goes.  It says not to cut out more than 1 month if your trying to make it a long way. 

 

hug.gif Jessimaca. Remember that you don't have to make any decisions about the size of your family or your career goals now. And when you need support, we are here for you. Keep us posted on how things are going as you start experimenting with your pumping schedule and length.

 

And to all the mamas on this thread, I have a non-pumping question. What fun and cute things are your babies doing at the moment? I remember in the early months of EPing, so much of what I was reading and talking about and being asked questions about was pumping and I wanted a break sometimes to just tell people the cool things that my baby was doing; it so neat when they smile and giggle and reach for things and try to roll over and so much more. So I'd be delighted to hear about what your babies are doing!


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#27 of 146 Old 07-29-2012, 08:13 AM
 
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It is so true that EPing can be all consuming!  I'm really trying just to pump at the moment and not trawl around 100 sites a day looking for tips and tricks and so forth, it was driving me crazy.  I'm really trying to get into other things just to get my mind of it.  I went to a lesson in baby massage, read the No Cry Sleep Solution and now i'm thinking of trying CDing.  I've also realised just how important it is to get out of the house!  It takes me an hour to change, feed and pump and then repeat after two hours, if I stay in the house all day I start to go stir crazy so I really make the effort to go for a walk or see a friend of something and it really helps.

 

Re my supply I think my milk wasn't really fully 'in' when things went wrong for us and I prob didn't start pumping soon/often enough.  I still only get about 600-700 a day.  I'm taking 90mg dom, Mothers milk tea, fenugreek tincture, more milk plus tincture and goats rue tincture.  I started taking 8ml fenugreek tincture a day but I still don't smell like maple syrup so I think i'm going to try some capsules to see if that helps, i'm not sure what the dosage should be though, I don't think there's much more I can do.

 

Jessi I feel just the same, I have good days where my DD is really content and I can just get on and pump and get some things done but then there are times when I just dread getting on the pump.  Or like last week it was really hot and DD wouldn't sleep during the day and I get stressed if I couldn't get her settled to pump.  That evening I had a really hard time, I try to focus so hard on the positives but it's hard sometimes.

 

Happyhappymommy I really hope that there's still hope for my supply!   I have given up on breastfeeding but I would be able to stick at this much longer if I didn't have to supp.  My DD had a crazy week, not sleeping much during the day, then today sleeping a lot, she normally takes her 'night' feed at 6am but today it was 3.30!  Not sure if it's down to a growth spurt or not but she also learnt 3 new things in one day!  Yesterday she reached and grabbed for a toy hanging above her, held her hands together and rolled onto her side!  It was so strange, like someone flicked a switch and she could suddenly do all these new things :)  I don't think she'll be rolling over fully yet because she HATES tummy time...
 


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#28 of 146 Old 07-29-2012, 12:02 PM
 
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Originally Posted by clairebear3 View Post
Happyhappymommy I really hope that there's still hope for my supply!   I have given up on breastfeeding but I would be able to stick at this much longer if I didn't have to supp.  My DD had a crazy week, not sleeping much during the day, then today sleeping a lot, she normally takes her 'night' feed at 6am but today it was 3.30!  Not sure if it's down to a growth spurt or not but she also learnt 3 new things in one day!  Yesterday she reached and grabbed for a toy hanging above her, held her hands together and rolled onto her side!  It was so strange, like someone flicked a switch and she could suddenly do all these new things :)  I don't think she'll be rolling over fully yet because she HATES tummy time...

 

 

I am hoping there's still hope for your supply too and sending lots of good supply thoughts your way. That's so cool that your daughter did so many new things yesterday. joy.gif


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#29 of 146 Old 07-30-2012, 08:46 AM
 
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Thank you!

 

Today is a bad day :(

 

My LO does not nap unless she's on me, she's too small for the Beco and I have a rough time with the Moby.  I have to clean, iron, shop, shower and pack for vacation on Thurs.  MIL will also be visiting, it's just times like this that EPing is so hard.  LO has kind of started grumbling constantly if not being held/sometimes even if being held.  I really need some kind of schedule, nap and otherwise.  Pff in some ways I know I will be sad and cry the last time my breasts will be full of milk for my babe but I will be so happy to stop EPing!
 


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#30 of 146 Old 07-30-2012, 11:39 AM
 
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Hi all!

 

We just got back from a weekend at the lake with friends.  It was the first time we have gotten away in the 9 months since Finley was born.  Due to being on a boat much of the weekend I was only able to pump 4 or 5 times a day on Saturday and Sunday.  On the one hand I'm always worried when I don't get all my pumpings in that it will negatively impact my supply.  But boy was it nice to not be obsessed with pumping.  4 times a day felt like I was living life and not planning life around my pumping schedule.  I'm back to my 7 time a day schedule today. It was nice while it lasted!


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Mama to Madeline (07-10-07) and Finley (10-17-11)

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