Breastfeeding

Back to work soon how to build a small stash?

I am going back to work February 4 and want to make sure I have a small freezer stash. I also want. To up my supply so I can pump enough.

What is the best way to build a stash and increase supply? Thanks!

Also, LO will be 11 weeks when I go to work. Should I make 3oz bottles or 4oz?

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Re: Back to work soon how to build a small stash?

  • Pump for 5-10 minutes immediately after each nursing session while you are still home.

    I'd try out bottles for one or two feedings a day before you go back to work. My LO is 5 months and only drinks enough to take the edge off, then he will nurse like crazy when I get home from work. He hates bottles.... He probably drinks 4 or 6 ounces the entire day I'm gone. Every baby is different.

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  • I pumped once a day to build a stash. I pumped at night because DS was a cluster feeder in the mornings so I didn't have time. But your supply will be highest in the morning so that is a good time to pump. Pumping consistently at the same time and for the same amount of time will help.

    Has LO taken bottles at all yet? We did a little experimenting, but he started out on 3 oz bottles. I think it also kind of depends on how long your LO will go between feedings, DS wanted to eat every 2.5-3 hours so we didn't start with 4 oz. He now takes  4 oz bottles every 3-3.5 hours at 6 months. 

  • I would pump anywhere from 30-60 min after a feeding, morning will probably be best (that's typically when people have the biggest supply). You will probably get anywhere form .5-1 oz by doing that (this is normal).  It will take a few days of doing this (possibly longer if you only do this once or twice a day) to have enough for an entire day of being gone.  You really don't need a huge freezer stash before you go back to work.

    Do you currently have an under supply?  If you don't then don't worry (or at least try not to worry) about increasing your supply for when you go back to work.  You really won't know how well you respond to the pump at work until you are back and give it a few days.  Your body has to adjust to being away from LO and the pump.

    If you do not pump enough when you do go back to work there are things you can do to increase your supply at that time (oatmeal, fenugreek, adding a pumping session when at home to cover the amount you are short at work, etc).  But, if you try to increase your supply and really don't need it you could end up with an oversupply which could lead to clogged ducts and mastitis.

    Kellymom has a good calculator on the size of bottle your LO will need.  Basically, you take 25 oz and divide it by the number of times LO nurses throughout the day, that will tell you the size of the bottle.  Most babies take an oz for each hour (1.5 oz on the high side).

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  • Whatever you do, DON'T pump after every feeding like PP suggested.  That's a good way to give yourself an oversupply.  Yikes.

    Pick one feeding to pump after.  As PP said, mornings are a good time because most women have a higher supply then.  I found waiting about an hour after the feeding worked well.  I'd feed baby, put him down for a nap, take a hot shower and then pump. 

    Pump for around 20 minutes, or 5 minutes after your milk stops flowing, whichever comes first.  The reason you want to pump after your milk stops is that some times you can get a second letdown if you keep pumping a little longer.  Try to pump at the same time each day.  After a few days to a week, your body will start making more milk at that time.

    At first you may only get 0.5 to 1 oz.  Don't panic.  As  you pump more and your body gets more used to the pump you'll gradually get more and more milk.

    To up your supply eat oatmeal (real not instant), drink Mother's Milk tea, drink plenty of water (80-110oz a day), make sure you get plenty of calories - around 500 extra calories a day from things like olive oil, almonds, avocados, etc., and get as much rest as baby will let you. Also try looking at pictures of LO or listening to baby's laughs/crys while you pump.  That helps with letdown.  Finally try massaging your breasts or using a hands free pump bra to help get out more milk.  This will also help prevent clog ducts.

    I went back to work when LO was 10 weeks.  We started with 3 oz bottles.  The first few days he only ate 2.5 oz during a 9.5 hour day.  Now at 16 weeks he's eating  3 3.5 oz bottles during that time.  I always send the three bottles and then a fourth bottle with 2 extra ounces just in case LO is extra hungry that day.

    Good luck!

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  • I would pump after your first nursing session of the day for a week to get a small stash. To increase your supply, eat protein, oatmeal and drink tons of water. Don't worry too much about getting a freezer stash. Once you start pumping at work, you will be making enough for the next day. Hopefully you won't need to dip into your freezer stash often, just the first day of dc.
  • Agreed to pump for a little after you nurse.  This way you won't be pumping out before you're feeding.  Chances are this will stimulate your supply and you'll end up getting more milk as you go.
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