Breastfeeding

How do you do it?

My LO will be 3 weeks on Friday and my milk supply is still pretty low. We give half formula and half pumped milk since the pediatrician wanted to know exactly how much she was getting for weight monitoring she wasn't getting enough from me. When I pump I get between 1 and 3 oz total and only 3 if I've waited a few more hours between sessions. I'm supposed to be pumping every 2 hours, but LO has been pretty fussy and I haven't had a chance to pump as much as I need to to build my supply! Yesterday I only got to pump 3 times for a total of about 5 oz.

I'm really anxious to get her back to EBFing, but I can't go back to her cluster feeding for 24 hours a day like she was before.

If you've experienced something similar or have any any advice: how do you juggle feeding LO, finding time to pump, and sleeping? If I choose to pump while she sleeps, by the time I finish she's up again to eat leaving me with no sleep!

Sorry for the long post, but I'm struggling with this process. Thanks f

Re: How do you do it?

  • I pump right after I feed LO, while she is sleeping or content from having just eaten.  My LO obviously must sleep longer than yours.  Is there anyone to help you with her while you pump?  Do you swaddle her?  My LO sleeps better/longer when she's swaddled.  I also made a hands-free pumping bra by cutting holes into a crappy sports bra.  This way, I can unhook quickly and deal with LO if she needs me and get hooked back up without too much messing around.  Basically, almost all of my day is spent feeding, pumping, soothing, or cleaning bottles/pump parts. 

    I only get about 2-3 ounces every 2 hours.  I'm trying to increase that supply by double pumping every 2-3 hours, taking Fenugreek, eating cookies with oats and brewers yeast, drinking lots of water.  Do you massage your breasts while pumping?  I find that I get quite a bit more milk this way.  Others have recommended "power pumping", where you pump off and on for ten minutes for one hour.  I haven't done this yet, and it sounds like maybe it wouldn't work for you yet, either, but it seems like good advice. 

    Others here will probably have more/better advice for you as I am still new at this, too and also struggling.  But hang in there, it slowly gets better and any BM you are able to give her is better than none!  This is hard, but you can do it!  :)

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  • My lo wasnt able to latch for most of his first two months...he is three months now...and he had problems sucking from a bottle in his first ten days. I was pumping and feeding him half bm half formula as well since we were having to overfeed him for a while. During night feedings, some times we took care of him in shifts so we both could get a few hours of uninterupted sleep. Other times, dh feed him while I pumped so we both could get back to bed quicker.

    As far as pumping during the day, I had to make pumping a priority even if I could only pump for a few minutes while doing other things like eating.

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  • CLLDLLCLLDLL
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    The best way to increase your supply (and get baby back to EBF'ing) is to nurse, nurse, nurse.  Yes it's hard when they cluster feed all.day.long, but that is what establishes a good supply for the future months of BF'ing.  And at 3 weeks, cluster feeding all.the.time is totally normal.  There's a big growth spurt at that age and again at 6 weeks.  Then things get a lot better.

    Also, no offense to your pedi, but supplementing just because you want to know how much LO is eating is a bad idea.  It's starts the slippery slope that you are now on.  Supplementing when you aren't pumping at the same time basically tells your body that you don't need that milk.  So your milk supply goes down. 

    The good news is, you can get your supply back by nursing on demand.  Get yourself a good book, some DVR'd shows, a big glass of water, and some snacks.  Spend a the next few weeks doing nothing but nursing, sleeping, and the occasional bath/shower.  Learn to nurse side-lying so you can get some sleep when baby does.  All that nursing will pay off with a good supply, a good nursing relationship, and eventually a healthy happy baby who will start to space feedings out to every 2-4 hours as she grows.

    If you pedi is still concerned with weight gain, rent a scale from a durable medical equipment company and do weighed feedings.  (Change baby's diaper.  Weigh baby with just the clean diaper on.  Feed baby.  Weigh baby with that same diaper on, even if baby has pooped/peed. Take the difference in the two weights.  That's how much baby ate.) 

    As far as pumping goes, if you are EBF'ing you should really only be pumping once maybe twice a day. A "good" pump when EBF'ing is 1-2 oz., but don't be surprised to only get 0.5oz. once in a while. When you pump to replace a feeding expect to get 2-4oz depending on the time of day, how old LO is, and how long it's been since you last nursed/pumped.  

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  • Did you nurse in addition to pumping 3x?  If you're only pumping 3x per day for your 3 week old, your supply is going to crash fast.  Both of my babies nursed every 1-2 hours all day and gave me 4-5 hour stretches at night.  The best way to increase your supply is to nurse and do lots of skin to skin.  Make sure you're eating and drinking enough.  It's not uncommon for newborns to want to nurse all the time, so get comfortable on the couch!
  • Talk to an LC. and think about finding a pedi who is more knowledgeable about breastfeeding. 

     

    2013-01-22 15.31.11




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  • JJ_13JJ_13
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    image CLLDLL:

    The best way to increase your supply (and get baby back to EBF'ing) is to nurse, nurse, nurse.  Yes it's hard when they cluster feed all.day.long, but that is what establishes a good supply for the future months of BF'ing.  And at 3 weeks, cluster feeding all.the.time is totally normal.  There's a big growth spurt at that age and again at 6 weeks.  Then things get a lot better.

    Also, no offense to your pedi, but supplementing just because you want to know how much LO is eating is a bad idea.  It's starts the slippery slope that you are now on.  Supplementing when you aren't pumping at the same time basically tells your body that you don't need that milk.  So your milk supply goes down. 

    The good news is, you can get your supply back by nursing on demand.  Get yourself a good book, some DVR'd shows, a big glass of water, and some snacks.  Spend a the next few weeks doing nothing but nursing, sleeping, and the occasional bath/shower.  Learn to nurse side-lying so you can get some sleep when baby does.  All that nursing will pay off with a good supply, a good nursing relationship, and eventually a healthy happy baby who will start to space feedings out to every 2-4 hours as she grows.

    If you pedi is still concerned with weight gain, rent a scale from a durable medical equipment company and do weighed feedings.  (Change baby's diaper.  Weigh baby with just the clean diaper on.  Feed baby.  Weigh baby with that same diaper on, even if baby has pooped/peed. Take the difference in the two weights.  That's how much baby ate.) 

    As far as pumping goes, if you are EBF'ing you should really only be pumping once maybe twice a day. A "good" pump when EBF'ing is 1-2 oz., but don't be surprised to only get 0.5oz. once in a while. When you pump to replace a feeding expect to get 2-4oz depending on the time of day, how old LO is, and how long it's been since you last nursed/pumped.  

    This. And get a Lactation Consultant. They're amazing.

  • The first month was soooo hard but it gets better. I was either nursing or pumping for what seemed like 20 hours a day. LO is growing at rapid rate and your body needs to know to build supply so if you want to EBF you have to just camp out with something attaached to your boob ALL the time. In the moment I know it seems horrible and never ending but it does get better.

    image

  • image CLLDLL:

    The best way to increase your supply (and get baby back to EBF'ing) is to nurse, nurse, nurse.  Yes it's hard when they cluster feed all.day.long, but that is what establishes a good supply for the future months of BF'ing.  And at 3 weeks, cluster feeding all.the.time is totally normal.  There's a big growth spurt at that age and again at 6 weeks.  Then things get a lot better.

    Also, no offense to your pedi, but supplementing just because you want to know how much LO is eating is a bad idea.  It's starts the slippery slope that you are now on.  Supplementing when you aren't pumping at the same time basically tells your body that you don't need that milk.  So your milk supply goes down. 

    The good news is, you can get your supply back by nursing on demand.  Get yourself a good book, some DVR'd shows, a big glass of water, and some snacks.  Spend a the next few weeks doing nothing but nursing, sleeping, and the occasional bath/shower.  Learn to nurse side-lying so you can get some sleep when baby does.  All that nursing will pay off with a good supply, a good nursing relationship, and eventually a healthy happy baby who will start to space feedings out to every 2-4 hours as she grows.

    If you pedi is still concerned with weight gain, rent a scale from a durable medical equipment company and do weighed feedings.  (Change baby's diaper.  Weigh baby with just the clean diaper on.  Feed baby.  Weigh baby with that same diaper on, even if baby has pooped/peed. Take the difference in the two weights.  That's how much baby ate.) 

    As far as pumping goes, if you are EBF'ing you should really only be pumping once maybe twice a day. A "good" pump when EBF'ing is 1-2 oz., but don't be surprised to only get 0.5oz. once in a while. When you pump to replace a feeding expect to get 2-4oz depending on the time of day, how old LO is, and how long it's been since you last nursed/pumped.  

    This. 

    This is all good advice!

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  • You make pumping a priority and you pump at least 8, ideally 12 times a day....you hold the baby while you pump. That's what I did when I was pumping and bottle feeding while trying to get LO back to birth weight. I pumped every 2 hours during the day and every 3 at night...no questions asked.  I fed LO her bottle on the boppy while I pumped or held her while she napped. 

    Cluster feeding for 24 hours a day might be the very best thing for your supply.

    Also, I agree about finding a new pediatrician. Do weighed feedings if you need to, and only supplement when LO does not get 2 ounces or so from you -- and pump any time you supplement. That is how we got my LO back to the breast from weeks 2-3.  And lactation consultants can be super helpful as well in providing an individualized plan for you.

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  • image CLLDLL:
    The best way to increase your supply and get baby back to EBF'ing is to nurse, nurse, nurse.nbsp; Yes it's hard when they cluster feed all.day.long, but that is what establishes a good supply for the future months of BF'ing.nbsp; And at 3 weeks, cluster feeding all.the.time is totally normal.nbsp; There's a big growth spurt at that age and again at 6 weeks.nbsp; Then things get a lot better.Also, no offense to your pedi, but supplementing just because you want to know how much LO is eating is a bad idea.nbsp; It's starts the slippery slope that you are now on.nbsp; Supplementing when you aren't pumping at the same time basically tells your body that you don't need that milk.nbsp; So your milk supply goes down.nbsp; The good news is, you can get your supply back by nursing on demand.nbsp; Get yourself a good book, some DVR'd shows, a big glass of water, and some snacks.nbsp; Spend a the next few weeks doing nothing but nursing, sleeping, and the occasional bath/shower.nbsp; Learn to nurse sidelying so you can get some sleep when baby does.nbsp; All that nursing will pay off with a good supply, a good nursing relationship, and eventually a healthy happy baby who will start to space feedings out to every 24 hours as she grows. If you pedi is still concerned with weight gain, rent a scale from a durable medical equipment company and do weighed feedings.nbsp; Change baby's diaper.nbsp; Weigh baby with just the clean diaper on.nbsp; Feed baby.nbsp; Weigh baby with that same diaper on, even if baby has pooped/peed. Take the difference in the two weights.nbsp; That's how much baby ate.nbsp; As far as pumping goes, if you are EBF'ing you should really only be pumping once maybe twice a day. Anbsp;"good"nbsp;pump when EBF'ing is 12 oz., but don't be surprised tonbsp;only get 0.5oz. once in a while. When you pump to replace a feeding expect to get 24oznbsp;depending on the time of day,nbsp;how old LO is,nbsp;and how long it's been since you last nursed/pumped. nbsp;


    All of this. The pump isn't an accurate measure of how much lo is getting from the breasts. Instead do a weighed feeding as described above. Or simply count dirty diapers. Here is what Kellymom says to look for to ensure your newborn is eating enough:
    http://kellymom.com/bf/gotmilk/supplyworries/enoughmilk/

    Sorry, it's not clicky.

    Definitely find a new pedi and start breastfeeding on demand. The more you nurse, the more milk you'll make. I would only supplement if a certified lactation consultant told me to. I don't even trust my pedi about bf advice and so far she hasn't had any strange suggestions like yours did.

    Only pump once a day, but if you do supplement, you need to pump each time. Other ways to increase supply aside from nursing on demand are Mother's Milk Tea, lactation cookies, one dark beer a day, and oatmeal. Also, make sure you're eating enough, at least 500 extra calories a day and drink plenty of water.
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