Pumping help

i had to deliver emergency c section July 21st. I have been trying to exclusively pump for my little one who is still in the nicu and isn't eating yet. My supply is tanking. I have read everything, upped sessions, length of time, etc and am getting less. I am super sad, have a three year old to take care of too, can't be at the hospital much as we don't have help, etc. I'm sure these are all factors but I would love to hear from moms who formula fed too and things were just fine. I hate that I'm hooked up to a pump constantly it takes time away from my toddler and my time at the hospital with my baby plus sleep, etc. only to get 2 oz each time maybe.

BabyFruit Ticker

Re: Pumping help

  • First off, congrats on your LO! Secondly, hang in there! A baby in the NICU is extremely stressful, especially with competing priorities at home. I was pretty ambivalent on the whole breastfeeding thing - due to a medical condition, I didn't really think it was going to be possible. I was in the hospital for several weeks before my twins were born and I felt like the nurses and lactation consultants and other staff were bullying me into breastfeeding! I even had to lie to the lactation consultant once to make her go away lol. But then they were born and they were tiny and helpless and there wasn't much I could do to help them. Providing breastmilk - as much or as little as I had - was one thing I could do. And I was glad I did. But it was sooooo hard. I also had another LO at home and not very much help and travel to the hospital was over an hour. I spent all day, every day, either in the NICU, traveling to the NICU, or pumping. No sleep, no time with my other LO, and definitely never any "me" time. I felt guilty when I wasn't in the NICU and if I skipped a pumping session to get an hour of sleep, felt like a terrible mom. I eventually learned to take it a little easier on my self, not feel guilty if I couldn't make it to the NICU all the time, and just do what I could pumping. Hopefully you will get there too. And when I had enough, I had enough. I stopped pumping and breastfeeding altogether after 5 weeks - I had surgery that week, my DS had surgery and to be honest, I was over it. With preemies you rarely just get to give them breastmilk without supplementing with something. It was making an already hard situation much harder. A happy momma = happy baby. And that is most important. I had the NICU nurses start giving them formula once a day at 3 weeks old. They bullied/pushed me on that, too, but I refused to budge. Anyway, suuuuuuuper long story short, my LOs are now 14 weeks, at home, 100% FF, happy and overall healthy! Do what you think is best for you and your family.
  • I agree with PP. I pumped for 7 weeks and by that time I was so miserable. My mom assured me that it was ok to go to formula and reminded me that both my sister and I were FF and turned out just fine. But if you still want to try, I would suggest having a pic or a piece of clothing from the NICU (like a hat or blanket) that smells like them during your pumping sessions. That seemed to help me. There are also herbal teas and lactation cookies that some people swear by that help your production. Hang in there mama!
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  • My fav NICU nurse told me that breast milk is only best when it works for the mom. I found that comforting. If you decide to keep pumping, have you tried using the next size up? That did the trick for me. Good luck!
    Together since '07
    Married since '12
    Off the pill since 5/14
    BFP: 8/10/14 -- CP 8/22/14
    BFP: 12/10/15 -- Prayers requested

  • Baby was born at 28 weeks. She's now 10 months

    Quitting pumping was the best thing I've ever done. I pumped for 2 months and I was miserable. Formula is just as good. From the day I stopped i felt so much better. So happy. Not depressed anymore. Well, after I fought off all the nurses and made it clear to them I'm not doin this anymore.

    After I stopped pumping I noticed other women in the NICU who were all so miserable cuz they were having a hard time with their supply too. And the lactation consultants were just making us all feel worse and guilty. I wish there was a formula consultant there too who would say it's ok to stop.

    I'm not going to bother breastfeeding/pumping at all next time. I don't need that stress in my life.
  • I had a preemie who was also in the NICU for the first week and half.  I was not able to produce much milk and it was a huge source of stress for me.  My little girl was actually struggling to gain weight so they put her on a high calorie formula.  I worked with several lactation consultants and nurses and really never got my production very high.  Even now, with my girl at home, I can barely get more than 2 oz at a time.  I feed her formula or fortified breast milk.   Because she is struggling to eat (or was she is much better now), I had to always give her at least a handful of her meals as the special formula.

    I still try to pump and feed her what I can with the breast milk (she is still trying to figure out the breast feeding thing).  I still want her to have those benefits but am OK relying heavily on formula.  For the record, my mom was not able to produce a lot of milk either and ended up switching me to formula.  I turned out perfectly fine.  
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