January 2013 Moms

Pumping help? Trying to figure this out...

My DH and I have come to the conclusion that I need to figure out pumping (now that someone got me the Medela hand pump) so that we can have a night to ourselves. 

I read while researching online not to put more in a bottle than your baby takes at each feeding.  I have no idea, though, how much she takes at each feeding!  Is there a way to find that out short of purchasing a baby scale?

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Re: Pumping help? Trying to figure this out...

  • I would prepare a couple bottles. One with like 2.5 ounces and another with an extra ounce incase she's still hungry for each feeding you'd miss, at least until you get a good idea of how much she'd actually take.
  • try checking out www.kellymom.com and http://www.llli.org/ . I'm not sure of the official rules, but I pump 15-20 minutes until I'm empty and just store it all. I do it once a day (most days) and just freeze it for later. I usually get 7 oz about an hour and a half after she's eaten and I guarantee she's not eating that much.

    Fair warning, I had to use a hand pump after the hospital before I got my electric pump and it sucks to pump for that long. You may want to look into getting an electric. I think there are programs to get them for free and my insurance covered mine at no cost. GL! 

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  • Start small.  Like, half an ounce.  If she's not used to taking a bottle, she may fight the first few bottles and only take in a few fractions of an ounce before "figuring out" a bottle.  DD really fought taking BM by a bottle and we lost quite a few ounces at the beginning.  Have a few plans for how to get her to take a bottle.  Nurse first, then introduce a bottle for the last little bit seems to be the easiest way, since they are pretty relaxed after nursing and less likely to fight a new thing.

    Once she has the hang of it, I would do what PP suggested and start with 2 oz bottles and have ~1 oz bottles as back up.  I think as long as you get close to about what she would take by breast, you're okay.  If she's not totally full, she'll likely just be hungry again sooner.

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  • I'd just start with small bottles and try maybe once a day. Go slow and see if LO seems hungry after finishing. If so, just nurse and try a slightly bigger bottle the next day.

    You'll need to get LO used to the bottle at home before leaving LO home with bottles, anyway since that could be super stressful for the person watching her. At one month I would assume 2-3 ounces, FWIW.

  • I have a baby scale and my 4 week old takes a variable amount through the day. Up to 4 ounces in the early morning and later at night and then he feeds more frequently and takes 2 to 3 ounces during the day. I would agree with pp about the 2 ounces to start. Nothing is worse than wasting bm, and once they start sucking on the bottle you have two hours before you have to trash it. Therefore I wouldn't fill up a four ounce bottle just in case she's done after two.
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  • When DH gives DD a bottle I have pumped she takes about 3 oz. She is 5 weeks old. I would try different amounts to see before you leave a bottle with whoever is watching your LO.
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  • Thank you all!  Your suggestions are very helpful.
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