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So, I have a great pump, the PIS double pump. Anyway, I SAH with both my kids, but I'd like to build up a supply so I can leave the baby with a sitter at some point. I can't figure out how to get started though! Every time I pump, I end up having to give the baby the bottle that I've just pumped because I can't produce enough to make up for it. When is the best time to pump, and should I do it daily even though I don't really need to? Other people have told me just to pump before I leave or pump only when I need to, but I can't see how that works..isn't it a supply and demand thing!?
 

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Remember that the baby is much better than the pump at getting milk. So the advice I've heard for starting a supply is to pump an ounce or two first thing in the morning before feeding Baby (not sure how this works if Baby wakes you up, but anyway), so then Baby takes over and gets the needed milk, and your supply increases. If you wait til Baby is done, then the pump can't get much. I'd start small, maybe an ounce or so, and see how it goes.
 

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A method that really worked for me is to pump on one side while baby nurses on the other, and then switch, both baby and pump, so each breast gets a workout, lol. Do it for the very first feeding in the morning, that is typically when you have the most milk. Also, eat a lot of oatmeal cookies.
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Oatmeal really works to increase supply!
 

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This was my situation - too - I wanted a supply for the occasional night out and times when I needed to have a sitter give him the bottle so I could work.

I did the first thing in the morning pump - and also - I pumped anytime after he had been asleep for an hour. I'd only get a few oz at a time but I could build it up. Then, I'd just pump whenever he took an unusually long nap. Or also - if I nursed him on the right side for,say, the 4 am and 6 am feeds, I could pump the left in the AM.

It's a little complicated at first - but worth it! (Of course, now mine won't take a bottle at all ...) I would reccommend getting someone to give him a bottle every few days - you get out of the house for a few hours - or at least a few times a week so that he stays in the habit of taking the bottle! We did it for a while and then let it slide and now he's like
grossedout.gif
 

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I work partly at home and partly away from home, and nurse DS when I am home. When I need to increase the fridge/freezer stash, I start adding a pumping session every day, even when I'm home nursing. For me, either when he is sleeping in the morning or after he's gone down for his nap works well. The first day or two I might not make very much, but after that my body gets used to making more and I can make enough for a bottle.

Then, since the milk is only good in the fridge for 7-8 days, if it's going to expire soon I typically have someone give him that in a bottle while I pump more, so that I can keep the supply fresh. This also keeps him used to the bottle as the PP mentioned.

I also try to put some in the freezer from time to time when I have a bit extra.
 

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After 8 months I'm a pumping machine but had a lot of angst about it when i started. Here's my advice.

Pump at night sometime after you feed baby and before you go to sleep. If you co-sleep, get baby sleeping, sneak out and pump. If you can do this an hour or so after baby is down you will get a few ounces and usually (at least with my baby) when she wakes to nurse, even if it's an hour later, it's not as much about the supply as the comfort, so it's no big deal if you just emptied your breasts. If you're just starting and you are at home a lot, pump after every nurse. You'll only get about half an ounce from each breast, but at the end of the day you'll have 4-6 ounces. store it all in one bottle in the fridge til the end of the day, then put it in the freezer. It will keep for months or a day, your choice. Whenever you are unsure when you will use your pumped milk, put it in the freezer. There's no harm and it's safest there. It's easy to thaw and use within minutes.

In about 4 weeks your husband is going to ask if maybe you should buy another freezer to store all the milk you've made.
 

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as a regular pumper i'll tell you what has worked for me,

for a while i was pumping after i nursed and was then turning around and feeding that in a bottle to my wee ones. now i was doing this becasue they were too tired to nurse long, but it was amazing how my supply responded to being "pumped dry" a few times a day. i get that normally the baby is better than the pump, but with the pump you know when you have gotten every last drop, and that is a big part of triggering a larger supply so you can start storing some.

now that my supply is really good i pump at times that i am not feeding, best for me is late night after they have gone to bed, i wait at least a hour if i am staying up or as long as i can if i want to crash early and then pump. late night your supply starts ramping up for morning feeding and i get tons then.

i also pump in the middle of their longest nap, that way i have feed them recently but have had a bit of time to rebuild my supply.

my favorite bags by far are Lansinoh, they lay really flat and seal well and since they spread the same few ounces over a thinner larger area, they thaw FAST and store really compactly standing up after they've frozen in a bin i found.

its debatable how much this matters but some folks say to mark if it is am or pm milk and only feed am milk back to your babe in the am, so they are getting the right mix of hormones and stuffs at a time when they are not needing to go into a long night sleep.

crap, typed too much and overflowed a bottle on my pump! blah
 

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All the advice above is awesome! I'll give you my 2-cents in case it helps.

I've got a 7-week old and began pumping during our 12-day stay in the NICU, so I had a ton of lactation support in getting started (very helpful!). Though he does breastfeed now, I still pump at least once a day to build up a supply for when I'm away.

Thus far, here's what works for me...

- technique is important... rapid pumps until the milk begins to come out, then slower (3-second holds) from there. Sometimes I go for a 5-second hold if it's really coming out well.

- per La Leche League... massaging the breast in circular motions (like a breast exam), followed by gently strokes, followed by leaning over and shaking the breast, will encourage let down more rapidly. I've also found that warm compresses help.

- pumping at night: my son tends to only feed on one side at night before dozing back off, so I take the opportunity to pump the other side which is typically quite full.

- though I have a dual sided electric pump, I only use the manual one as it seems to be just as effective and quick when only pumping one side (night pumps take 10-15 mins max). It also helps that it's quiet enough to use in my bedroom and/or right next to baby.

- occasionally, after pumping the full breast, I'll return to the one from which he fed and completely drain whatever is left there (typically 1/2 to 1 ounce).

- definitely practice emptying entirely (or as close as you can get) -- it really does help to increase supply.

All that said, hands down the best advice I ever got... don't stress out over supply. Whether that be building your supply for storage or having enough to feed your little one after pumping. Even when your breasts feel empty to you, chances are that the baby can still get a bit of milk out. And, if not, simply use what you've pumped. No harm no foul, just good practice.

Otherwise, keep up the good pumping and breastfeeding work and the milk will come!

Good luck!! Oh, and I totally agree that the Lansinoh storage bags are the best.
 
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