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Old 08-22-2006, 08:42 AM
 
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I still pump at night, every two hours, just like during the day. I am EPing for 10 months now, so that means I never sleep more than one hour and forty minutes at a time. I did learn to sleep while I pump, though. It made things much better for me. I prop up with pillows, hook up using a sports bra with holes to go hands free, and go back to sleep. I have a cooking timer next to me to ding when 20 minutes are up, so I can disconnect and go back to bed. I also have a mini fridge in my bedroom so that I don't have to go downstairs to drop off the milk. I sleep with the pump in my bed so I don't have to set it up each time. I do not wash the flanges between uses, I just store them in the mini fridge.

Why do I pump at night... I did have an enormous over supply. At 3 months I had 120 oz a day. By 4 months I had 75. At 8 months I got a raging case of mastitis and dropped to 50 oz a day. So I still freeze about 15 oz a day... But if I get mastitis again my supply will drop again. If I drop 25 oz a day again from mastitis... I will not have enough for my dd (averages 35 oz a day, she will not eat much solid food). So I do not want to lower my supply for fear of the "what if's". I do look forward to when she eats some food so I wont worry if I drop in supply.
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Old 08-22-2006, 11:40 AM
 
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I gradually started spreading out my pumping around 4 months. I was making plenty of milk for my dd (about 50 oz per day) and she had been "sleeping through the night" since ten weeks. I just went from pumping every 3-4 hours around the clock to making 5 hours at night, then 6, and now I can go 9 hours. I make 12 oz in the morning and my breasts are REALLY full when I wake up. I now only pump 5x's per day and am making a little more than my baby needs.

Gooey-OMFG!!! I can't believe you still pump that much. What dedication I'm not sure I would still be pumping if I had to do that. I'm loving my sleep and sanity at this point.

Forgot to add. If you aren't making A LOT of milk, I wouldn't dramatically cut out the night pumping. You've got to make sure you'll still be making enough milk when your babe is older.
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Old 08-22-2006, 12:15 PM
 
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Old 08-22-2006, 04:11 PM
 
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I have never set my alarm to pump!

My LC (who is Wondreful) said that a sane mommy is just as importaint as MM. In the beginnining I had a severe problem with a major under supply. I kept upgrading Hospital grade pumps when ever my supply would plateau. Each pump slowly increased my supply until I now surpass her needs and have a nice freeser stash. Yes, in the beginning I had to suplement with formula but those precious few hours at night that I could just sleep when my daughter slept was the trade off.

I am so glad that my LC told my that I should not set an alarm, she said pump when my daugher woke and only if my body woke me due to painful engorgement. I think if I had to wake to an alarm to pump I would have "lost it" in the beginning when we were dealing with all the other stresses and pressures of being a new parent and loosing the BFing relationship. I don't know how you galls do it, waking to an alarm every few hours! WOW

It is amazing how each persons body responds differently to the same stimulus. :


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Old 08-22-2006, 04:37 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BakerALM
I have never set my alarm to pump!

My LC (who is Wondreful) said that a sane mommy is just as importaint as MM. In the beginnining I had a severe problem with a major under supply. I kept upgrading Hospital grade pumps when ever my supply would plateau. Each pump slowly increased my supply until I now surpass her needs and have a nice freeser stash. Yes, in the beginning I had to suplement with formula but those precious few hours at night that I could just sleep when my daughter slept was the trade off.

I am so glad that my LC told my that I should not set an alarm, she said pump when my daugher woke and only if my body woke me due to painful engorgement. I think if I had to wake to an alarm to pump I would have "lost it" in the beginning when we were dealing with all the other stresses and pressures of being a new parent and loosing the BFing relationship. I don't know how you galls do it, waking to an alarm every few hours! WOW

It is amazing how each persons body responds differently to the same stimulus. :


Andrea
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My LC (who I love!) told me that I would have to pump a MINIMUM of 8 times preferably 12 times a day, with no longer than 3 hours between pumps in order to have a full milk supply. So thats what I went by (and still do). I later learned that everyone is different and responds differently to the pump. I was devastated about the loss of the BFing relationship (and how much easier life could be w/o a breast pump involved) I did kind of loose it mentally for a little while (maybe ppd?) in the beginning months since dd woke every hour and i pumped every 2 hours. DD had colic and we both cried every evening.

I was so upset about screwing up the BFing that I wanted to do something to "make it up" to dd. So I told myself that she will not have a drop of formula if it is within my power. If I did everything possible and didn't make enough milk, of course I would give her formula. But I could not forgive myself if I let my supply diminish due to my needs/wants. I survived working nightshift with extreme insomnia during the day for a few years, surely I can survive getting up every two hours to pump. Some disturbed sleep sure beats very little sleep.

My dh laughs at me, since when I am determined to do something, NOTHING gets in my way. He picked on me b/c I would not allow myself to get even one "b" grade while in college. I guess its just my personality. Im a bit screwy when I am determined. After I am done EPing I wonder what my next goal will be... :
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Old 08-22-2006, 07:20 PM
 
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Gooey- I think what your LC told you is true especially for the first few months. However, I think you might be unecessarily torturing yourself. (Yes, sleep deprivation is torture) You are an amazing woman and obviously very dedicated to your baby, but you might be able to at least space out your nighttime pumpings.

Ok. I won't pester you about it any more.
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Old 08-22-2006, 08:57 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GooeyRN
My dh laughs at me, since when I am determined to do something, NOTHING gets in my way. He picked on me b/c I would not allow myself to get even one "b" grade while in college. I guess its just my personality. Im a bit screwy when I am determined. After I am done EPing I wonder what my next goal will be... :
I think anyone who sucessfully EPs has to be a determined woman and have a supportive family by her side!

( I also am a 4.0 college grad and I have the under eye circles to prove it! Electrical & Computer Engineering 2003 )

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Old 08-22-2006, 10:19 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mamanurse
Gooey- I think what your LC told you is true especially for the first few months. However, I think you might be unecessarily torturing yourself. (Yes, sleep deprivation is torture) You are an amazing woman and obviously very dedicated to your baby, but you might be able to at least space out your nighttime pumpings.

Ok. I won't pester you about it any more.
You aren't pestering. I am just paranoid about not making enough. When is it safe to decrease pumping? Do you have to pump for longer at each session when you drop pumps to maintain supply? I think that would bother me more than frequent pumping, since its so hard to entertain dd while I pump. I guess I wouldn't worry about supply so much if dd would eat some food so I didn't have to make so much. She has days where she takes 40 some oz. She is still such a skinny thing. She is 10 months old, and today she ate 3 green beans total for the day. Yipee. Yesterday she had 4 carrot wheels. I planned on hanging up the horns when she was a year old and giving her WCM. I can't do that if she isn't eating. I have a feeling I will be pumping a LONG time...
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Old 08-22-2006, 11:03 PM
 
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The session that takes me the longest to get my 8 oz yield is this session in the early evening. It takes me about 20 minutes to get 8 oz. All the other sessions take about 10-15 minutes. I also thought you had a plethora of milk in your freezer. So, if you find that you don't make quite enough after spacing out pumping then you could use your stash and go back to what you're currently doing.
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Old 08-23-2006, 12:03 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by mamanurse
So, if you find that you don't make quite enough after spacing out pumping then you could use your stash and go back to what you're currently doing.
Yeah, it seems like it's worth a shot. I tried dropping a pump back when I was quite ahead, but found that dropped my supply below intake for the day. So went back to 8x day.

And now I'm not always making enough again--my supply drops after I ovulate, and comes back up somewhat once AF comes, then I make plenty right before ovulating. Extra pumping doesn't seem to help during this supply dip.

But yeah, if you're keeping track, and after a few days to a week of spaced out pumping at night your supply is dropping significantly, then some power pumping should get it back where you want it.
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Old 08-23-2006, 08:54 AM
 
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Thanks for the tips! Positive Pumping Vibes to all!
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Old 08-23-2006, 11:26 AM
 
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Gooey,I would definitely try to cut out some pumps. I think it is for the first 3 months that it is really important to pump frequently. I personally have never made enough milk for DD, making around 26 oz/day. I was pumping 9x/day, taking all the lactogenic herbs and foods, dom, nothing increased my output. I now pump 5x/day and still pump the same amount. I think for a lot of women, they don't see drastic decreases in supply until they go below 4 pumps a day.
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Old 08-23-2006, 12:00 PM
 
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Gooey,I would definitely try to cut out some pumps. I think it is for the first 3 months that it is really important to pump frequently. I personally have never made enough milk for DD, making around 26 oz/day. I was pumping 9x/day, taking all the lactogenic herbs and foods, dom, nothing increased my output. I now pump 5x/day and still pump the same amount. I think for a lot of women, they don't see drastic decreases in supply until they go below 4 pumps a day.
You have the same output pumping 5 times a day as when you pump 9 times a day!? That sounds great. I could probably pump for 2 years if I only had to pump 4-5 times a day. Pumping every 5-6 hours wouldn't be too bad. It would give me a huge window of time to go shopping, to the parks, whatever without dragging the pump with me. I hate pumping in the car and spilling milk and having my car reek of sour milk. Do your breasts ache or get lumpy between pump sessions? The one time I messed up the clock at night and slept 5 hours I woke up with rock hard, lumpy, sore breasts. (my breasts are pretty small) Does your body adjust to storing the milk for longer? Thanks so much for telling me your experience!
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Old 08-23-2006, 12:07 PM
 
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Originally Posted by kathteach
Just bumping up the thread and wondering how everyone is doing.
I also have a question: what are all of you doing at night? My DS has started to sleep longer but I am still waking up every 3 to 4 hours to pump. It's starting to really affect me emotionally but I"m nervous about losing my supply. The couple of times I slept in I woke up with hard boobs and blocked ducts.

Any advice would be welcome because honestly I want to throw the pump out the window and buy some formula. I do, but I don't.
I still pump once in the middle of the night. I cannot take the drop in supply that would result as I already have an inadequate supply. It is different for everyone.
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Old 08-23-2006, 12:26 PM
 
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There is no reason a woman with such a great supply should still be pumping 12 times per day. I thought I was obsessive! I know you are doing what you feel is best for your baby, but I think we who have failed BF relationships and who pump can develop a bit of an obsession or even a martyr syndrome. Women who nurse and whose babies sleep through the night don't usually nurse every two hours, so you really don't have to do so either (especially with great supply).

I started out pumping 7-8 times per day, and would get ~24 ounces. She only ate maybe 20 ounces, so that was good. She then nursed with a nipple shield (yay!) for two weeks (then rejected it : ), and the nipple stimulation increased my supply to ~33-35 ounces per day (I still pumped after every nursing session). I now pump for 20-25 minutes, 5-7 times per day (most usually 5 or 6, rarely 7 times), and I get exactly the same amount no matter how often I pump.

My pump schedule is usually: (I try to be flexible during the day)
8:30 am
12:30 pm
4:00 pm
7:00 pm,
10:15 pm
3:45 am

On weekends, I may pump at 10:30 or 11:00 pm, and then stretch it until 4:30 am, and sleep until 9:00 am afterward. I can change the 4:00 pm pump to 5:00 or 6:00 and drop the 7:00 and actually usually get more milk for the day that way. I just can't always do that as I pump in advance of her meals and lately she eats so much I have to pump at 4:00 or so to get her next meal ready.

My boobs rarely get engorged anymore. Her horrible reflux is much better these days, and her appetite is starting to chase my supply. (yesterday, she ate 32 ounces, and I only made 35 & 1/2). I am worried that after this long (six months), I won't be able to increase it. I eat oatmeal almost every day, but hate mother's milk tea. Fenugreek gives me night sweats like mad, but I may try it.

I offer her the breast daily, and she latches occasionally. When she does latch (usually only flat on her back on the bed, with me curling over her), she does it so perfectly. It makes me both elated and sad. Other times she just plays with me or pushes my breast away and cries like I am trying to kill her. I always hope she will make the switch to breast. I also hope her noodling around with my breast will maybe stimulate more milk production.
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Old 08-23-2006, 01:15 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Swirly
but I think we who have failed BF relationships and who pump can develop a bit of an obsession or even a martyr syndrome.
: Yep. I know I do.
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Old 08-23-2006, 02:18 PM
 
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I think it's a really good idea to post our pumping "schedules." Mine is centered around Livi's sleeping times and when dh gets home from work.

6:30 am
9:30 am
1:30 pm
5:30 pm
9:30 pm

I also only pump five times a day. I found that I get the same yield when I pump five times as I did when I pumped 6-8 times a day.
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Old 08-23-2006, 03:28 PM
 
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I cut out the night pump a while back and found that I just started making more at the first pump. I also notice that during the day if I get more at one pump (if I pump longer) I just get less at the next one and the same total by the end of the day. I even find that on the odd day that I skip a pump in the afternoon when I'm out with the kids, that I can just pump for longer when I get back and it evens out. Nursing babies don't always eat at the exact same times for the exact same amount of time so being late with a pumping time doesn't stress me out anymore. I also notice the supply fluctuations with my cycle that Carly noted and since I'm a few days ahead of her in the fridge w/ some extra in the freezer it really is okay if day to day I'm up or down a few ounces.

These days I'm pumping at 8am, 1pm, 4pm, 7pm, 10pm ---I was doing noon, 3, 630 but am trying to shift to better coordinate w/ nap schedules and dinner time.

Dd also has horrible reflux so I think maybe I worry more about her intake/feedings than I do the pumping.

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Old 08-23-2006, 04:16 PM
 
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Originally Posted by GooeyRN
You have the same output pumping 5 times a day as when you pump 9 times a day!? That sounds great. I could probably pump for 2 years if I only had to pump 4-5 times a day. Pumping every 5-6 hours wouldn't be too bad. It would give me a huge window of time to go shopping, to the parks, whatever without dragging the pump with me. I hate pumping in the car and spilling milk and having my car reek of sour milk. Do your breasts ache or get lumpy between pump sessions? The one time I messed up the clock at night and slept 5 hours I woke up with rock hard, lumpy, sore breasts. (my breasts are pretty small) Does your body adjust to storing the milk for longer? Thanks so much for telling me your experience!
Yes, I pump the same. I don't know what the deal is. I wouldn't be considered low supply, but I cannot pump enough for DD no matter what. I don't think my problems is storage capacity (although I would say my storage capacity is 4 oz/breast unless I want more plugged ducts and mastitis cases than I have already have), but more production capacity. My breasts cannot seem to produce more than 1.1 oz/hour. I cannot go more than 6-7 hours without getting full to the point where I can have problems with plugged ducts. Sometimes I will oversleep during the night (I don't set an alarm, too much of a rude awakening) and my breasts will wake me up. They don't get rock hard, but kind of feel stingy around the nipple when they are full. I also have small breasts (think they are a B cup now, was an A pre-preggo). I think your breasts can get used to storing milk for longer. The important thing is to spread out your sessions gradually until one drops off then give your body time to get used to the new schedule and watch your output for 2 weeks before deciding to drop another.
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Old 08-23-2006, 04:22 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Swirly
I know you are doing what you feel is best for your baby, but I think we who have failed BF relationships and who pump can develop a bit of an obsession or even a martyr syndrome.
This is so true. BFing and trying to get it to work was an obsession with me, and in a sense pumping became an obsession, too. I felt like I would be a failure if I didn't pump, and I have felt like a failure because I cannot pump enough to meet her needs, so I had to try to increase my output. But I couldn't. I feel like since I failed at BFing, it doesn't seem right to "fail" at pumping, too. But, I know I have done my best, so I try not to beat myself up about it anymore.
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Old 08-23-2006, 10:22 PM
 
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Just thought I would share a bit more of my story...


Here is how I increased my supply...
I had supply problems right from the beginning. I was told not to pump or BF since I was having soooo much pain for 2 days to let my nipples just "rest" when I was only 3 days pp. As you can tell that was very bad advice!!! I was so engorged I sware they were going to burst! By the time I got some good advise my supply was almost non existant! (Which did not help the BFing relationship!!!! I pumped and pumped and pumped and managed to get my supply up to 15-18 oz but it just sat there for weeks! I was getting frustrated and more pumping did not seem to be the answer and was not working anyway. So I began upgrading pumps. I went from a Ameda hospital grade duel electric to a Medela Lactina and now I have settled on a Symphony. My supply increased substanially everytime I changed pumps. That was the only thing I changed! My theory is (in laymens terms) that each pump stimulates the nipple differently and that difference just told my brain that something new was going on and it should respond with more milk! I think I just got de-sensitised to each pump.

I was steadly increasing in supply since I got the symphony and was creaping into the 40oz/day range when I began to have consistent trouble with plugged ducts. I have since caped my supply at around 35oz since I found if I go over that I have to pump alot more frequently or I get stining nipples and plugged ducts. :

Currently I am 6.5 months pp and am working on dropping pumps. I am down to 5/day with a slight drop in supply. I never night pump unless my daugher wakes and I do not pump to a set schedule. I just listen to my body and pump when I can fit it in, within reason. I always keep track of my output and the time I pumped so I can aim for the time for my next pump, but most of the time I am within an hr each way of my goal time. Also never pump a certain amount of time, I just pump until my breasts feel totally empty. So sometime it takes 15min and sometimes 45. Oh and I almost forgot to say that I always use compressions to empty my breasts or else I am plugged up like CRAZY!! Also I really never look at the clock or it makes me insane!

Andrea :

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Old 08-23-2006, 10:36 PM
 
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Originally Posted by BakerALM
So I began upgrading pumps. I went from a Ameda hospital grade duel electric to a Medela Lactina and now I have settled on a Symphony. My supply increased substanially everytime I changed pumps. That was the only thing I changed! My theory is (in laymens terms) that each pump stimulates the nipple differently and that difference just told my brain that something new was going on and it should respond with more milk! I think I just got de-sensitised to each pump.

I was steadly increasing in supply since I got the symphony and was creaping into the 40oz/day range when I began to have consistent trouble with plugged ducts. I have since caped my supply at around 35oz since I found if I go over that I have to pump alot more frequently or I get stining nipples and plugged ducts. :
Hmmm....I wonder if that would make a difference. I started with the Lactina out of the hospital, then switched to a Symphony after 1 week, then gave up the Symphony at 1 month because DD started BFing. Then she started refusing at 4 months and I used the PIS. Then to try to get my supply up, I rented a Symphony and pumped 9x/day (was pumping 6x). It didn't make a difference. I wonder if the 2 pumps are too similar? I don't know. I am getting close enough to a year that I plan to start dropping pumps. I just can't do this forever. I will pump 1-2x/day after a year and the rest will have to be formula. Unfortunately she isn't too into solids.
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Old 08-23-2006, 10:57 PM
 
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Just wanted to add a note about the pump switching I mentioned above..

my supply increased at first dramtically (a few oz) then slowly after that over weeks. Then I would change pumps again when the increase stopped totally.

Andrea

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Old 08-25-2006, 01:15 AM
 
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Hello mammas!

I am new to bfing and already have challenges...

I havent had a chance to read everything yet, but i do have a question.

Is it normal to pump different amounts?
For example, i just pumped 3 oz from the left and 1 ounce from the right- in the same amount of time.
I almost always get more from the left than the right.
I am just afraid something is wrong with righty.

thanks!


Amy
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Old 08-25-2006, 01:44 AM
 
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Originally Posted by amybw

I am new to bfing and already have challenges...
Hi Amy,

I see your new babe was born just about 2 weeks ago, CONGRADULATIONS!!!.
I want to just add quickly that you really DON'T want to join our tribe unless you ABSOLUTELY HAVE to! TRUST ME it totally sucks! But if it is your absolutly last resort we will be here to help and support you completely!


Quote:
Originally Posted by amybw

Is it normal to pump different amounts?
For example, i just pumped 3 oz from the left and 1 ounce from the right- in the same amount of time.
I almost always get more from the left than the right.
I am just afraid something is wrong with righty.
As for normal it really depends upon your body. My output is completely even on both sides but inorder to get the same amount I sometimes have to pump longer on my left. It has issues; takes longer to let down, needs extream compressions to empty complelely and is prone to pluged ducts. Each breast has a completly different dynamic for flow.

I think each woman is different. The importain part is that each breast is draining completely else you could end up with problems with supply and/or plugged ducts/mastitis.

Get a Good LC (if you don't already have one) if you are having BFing problems at such an early stage!

Best of luck,
Andrea

Mountain Biking bikenew.gifMama of 3 little beans, .      Epumped 1pump.gif 22mths for dd1 (2006) notes.gif
Nursed fly-by-nursing1.gifmy homebirth.jpg babe, dd2 (2008) until self weaned at 3yrsbouncy.gif. We survived a major nursing strike.

Awesome homebirth.jpg for Baby #3 who turned out to be a babygirl.gif (Aug 2013)!   

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Old 08-25-2006, 08:33 AM
 
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Hi Amy!!

Congratulations on having a baby! It is very normal to have different amounts of milk come out of each breast. Mine were never equal. My right breast has always been slightly larger than the left. My right breast has always made SIGNIFICANTLY more milk than the left side. Its been like this for the last 10 months. Try to do some manual expression after pumping on your lesser producing side just to make sure there isn't anymore milk in there. Also feel it to make sure it is soft like the other side. If you don't get anymore milk by manual expression and it is soft, it just may be normal for you.

I agree with the pp you REALLY DON'T want to be joining this tribe yet. (hopefully never! Its not that we don't want you, we just want to see you have that BFing relationship we are missing out on, and we want your life to be easier than ours.) If your baby is only 2 weeks old its not too late to get them to the breast! You have a decent chance until they are around 2 months old. Its possible even until 3 months, and I heard of a 4 month old getting it. By then babies are pretty set in their ways, and its the same time many moms become exhausted with EPing. Its a long hard road! Keep in mind your baby will become mobile and sleeping less in a few months, which adds challanges to keeping them safe while pumping. PLEASE see one or two LC's and go to a LLL meeting before going down this path of EPing. Its very tiring and should be a last resort.

My baby and I had some major BFing issues, (she was a few weeks early, low birth weight, jaundiced and very difficult to wake to feed) and I screwed things up. I didn't realize what I was in for with pumping long term. I wish I could go back! Feel free to PM me if you would like to hear how I screwed things up and I would be happy to let you know what I should/shouldn't have done to avoid EPing.

Congrats again on becoming a mama!
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Old 08-29-2006, 12:31 PM
 
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Uggh, ladies - my boobs have been so sore lately. It is making it mentally difficult to continue pumping. I am hoping it is a temporary thing, but am curious if anyone might know why this would happen all of a sudden after so many months. When the pump starts on my nipples, even at a low setting, it just hurts terribly! I also feel full more often, as if my breasts are not emptying in the 20 minutes I have during the daytime pumps. (I am going to change the membranes today to see if that helps with that particular problem).

Boy, I was so hoping I could get this baby to transition to the breast by now
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Old 08-29-2006, 12:47 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Swirly
Uggh, ladies - my boobs have been so sore lately. It is making it mentally difficult to continue pumping. I am hoping it is a temporary thing, but am curious if anyone might know why this would happen all of a sudden after so many months. When the pump starts on my nipples, even at a low setting, it just hurts terribly! I also feel full more often, as if my breasts are not emptying in the 20 minutes I have during the daytime pumps. (I am going to change the membranes today to see if that helps with that particular problem).

Boy, I was so hoping I could get this baby to transition to the breast by now
Changing the membranes and tubing would be a good idea. Even a microscopic tear can cause problems. Do you feel lumpy at all? Maybe you have plugged ducts? Is the pain localized? If changing the membranes and tubing doesn't help, maybe switch pumps. Some people develop pump resistance after several months. Good luck and keep us informed!
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Old 08-29-2006, 02:13 PM
 
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I hate to say this Swirly, but maybe it's AF. My breasts/nipples hurt for about a week before AF comes. I also notice a drop in supply and pop fenugreek for the last half of my cycle.

Gooey- How's it going? Did you get up the guts to try spreading out your evening pumpings? And, I've been meaning to ask you what area you worked in when you were working as an RN?
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Old 08-29-2006, 02:24 PM
 
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I'm going to be buying some Fenugreek today. My output suddenly dropped a few days ago and hasn't gone back up.
Actually, I'm still making the same amount 20/day, but I have to pump more and longer to get there, it's really annoying because I was happy and comfortable at 4x per day. My breasts are no longer full in the morning, (I always sleep at least 9 hrs), and I'm down about an ounce total if I pump the normal duration. I really hope the Fenugreek works, because at 13 months I'm just not about to start Reglan or Dom, don't have the $$ for it anyways. I'm also going to make some oatmeal cookies today, thankfully the weather is cold enough to bake!

DD1 7/13/05 DD2 9/20/10
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