Breast/formula feeding Q&A and support — The Bump
January 2016 Moms

Breast/formula feeding Q&A and support

I know as a FTM I have questions and concerns regarding feedings and love the support this board has brought to many women. Wanted to make a place for everyone to ask their questions regarding feedings no matter whether LO is breast or formula fed. Hoping this can be a place of only support which we all need!

I was wondering if anyone had any tips on how to pump while breast feeding to increase my saved supply. I'm trying to pump in the morning and during LOs morning nap after a feeding but I'm only getting about 4oz between those two pumping sessions. Ive increased my water intake and eating oatmeal daily. I've tried to pump for a short time after every feeding but I've found that DS gets mad bc he's not getting enough during his feedings then and I end up having to feed him part of what I pumped. Also was just wanting to vent about hating the MOTN feedings. DS is 5.5 weeks old and breast fed and the 3am and 5am feedings are brutal! I think my month plus of sleep deprivation is finally catching up to me bc it's so hard to stay awake for the almost hour it takes to feed, change, feed and rock to sleep. Idk what Id do without my phone to keep me awake, but I've still dozed off a few times and it scares me.

Thanks ladies and bring on those questions and awesome support!
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Re: Breast/formula feeding Q&A and support

  • STM here. With first baby, I built in an extra 1-2 session of pumping in the beginning and it was a lifesaver long term. Make sure when ur pumping that you pump until there is no more milk coming out and then a little longer, it signals your body that it needs to make more milk. Alao, not sure which pump You have, but I sometimes make it go through another "let down series" to tell my body we need more milk also and that seems to help. Also keep drinking lots of water. Morning is the best time to pump for me because I have so much milk . Good Luck and keep up the good work feeding your baby (whatever that looks like)
    kwentelafragglemom
  • STM and EP. I like you eat oatmeal in the morning and keep up the water but I also drink coconut water in the afternoon and try to eat a snack bar with flaxseeds. Pumping is precise so I know my output but for him being 4 weeks I get anywhere from 4-9 oz per pump and I pump every time he eats give or take2-3 hours. I notice if I haven't had enough water for sure and even if I skipped my coconut water. 
    kwentelaHipshaker
  • Thanks for starting this topic @kwentela!

    FTM here and my baby is little over 2 weeks. I EBF and want to start pumping so that when she's 4 weeks, we can bottle and breastfeed. Is it too early to start pumping? Any advice in general for pumping and storing is much appreciated! TIA!
    Hipshaker
  • @MBourne14 As far as I know, it's never to soon to start pumping.  My son spent time in the NICU so I was pumping within 2 hours after birth, because I couldn't nurse him right away.  I began pumping ever 3 hours as if he were nursing from me, during the time he spent in NICU.  I'd also nurse when I was up there, but he took to a bottle nipple right away. 

    Once we got home, I'd nurse him and then pump and I never seemed to get much after pumping.  Not sure if LO was emptying my breasts, but I barley got enough for another feeding.  I had to give him expressed milk every other feeding and pump then, so that I could get a good amount.  He was still getting breast milk, just not exclusively by nursing from me. 

    Cluster pumping is something that many women do too.  10 min. of pumping, 10 min. off, for a total of 1 hour.  Often times that produces a lot of milk for storage and some women don't need to pump as often.

    Hipshaker
  • kwentela said:

    I was wondering if anyone had any tips on how to pump while breast feeding to increase my saved supply. I'm trying to pump in the morning and during LOs morning nap after a feeding but I'm only getting about 4oz between those two pumping sessions. Ive increased my water intake and eating oatmeal daily. I've tried to pump for a short time after every feeding but I've found that DS gets mad bc he's not getting enough during his feedings then and I end up having to feed him part of what I pumped. Also was just wanting to vent about hating the MOTN feedings. DS is 5.5 weeks old and breast fed and the 3am and 5am feedings are brutal! I think my month plus of sleep deprivation is finally catching up to me bc it's so hard to stay awake for the almost hour it takes to feed, change, feed and rock to sleep. Idk what Id do without my phone to keep me awake, but I've still dozed off a few times and it scares me.

    Thanks ladies and bring on those questions and awesome support!

    I would stick with pumping once a day after the first feeding in the morning. It will take some time, but eventually your body will get the message and you'll start making more.

    This is my second and it's been going much better than it did with DS in the beginning but hasn't been without its challenges. DD latched within minutes of skin to skin contact but my milk came in a few days later and I've been painfully engorged the past couple days and ended up with mastitis in both boobs! I got on antibiotics which cleared it up in a day and am feeling much better now other than some seriously roughed up nipples.

  • Are you on FB? I've been recommended a great group that is local to me, but has ladies from all over as members. It's called "BRAS - Breastfeeding Resources and Support". The LC I saw in the hospital (she also did our birthing class) helped to found it. I feel so much better knowing that lots of women have questions and struggle in the beginning. It also helps to see so many success stories, even women making to 2+ years.
    It was recommended to me that as soon as I wanted to, I could start pumping. In the first couple days of being home, I pumped on the side he wasn't eating from. Now, at 3 weeks, he wants both boobs, so that doesn't work. I have tried pumping when he is done, but usually he wants to be on me again within 30 minutes or so, and would get frustrated. 
    Recently, he is getting frustrated in the later afternoon/early evening. We have been offering him a bottle at these times, sometimes expressed milk and sometimes formula. I pump when he gets the bottle, and still manage to get 3-4 oz, so not quite sure why he's getting frustrated. Overnight and morning, he breastfeeds without a problem. The most important thing is to figure out what works for your LO and you. I actually like the afternoon bottle feedings, because it gives DH an opportunity to feed and feel a little more involved.
    Lilypie First Birthday tickers
    Lilypie - FiGB
    Married DH 11/15/08
    Formerly MissMheMhe
  • My baby is 2 days old and hasn't been able to latch properly and hadn't gotten much to eat since being born. The lactation consultants just tell me to keep trying and she will get it eventually. But We are going home tomorrow and I feel like I don't have a reliable means of feeding her. I want to stay motivated and attempt to breastfeed but I just get more discouraged with every attempt. Not to mention all of the older people in my life never breastfed and keep insisting that I just give her a bottle already. Any advice?? 
  • @tyidin1 check out the "tips for establishing milk supply thread" one of the ladies posted a great informative video about latch! It's a funky technique and isn't really instinctual. If latch is still being a problem you could talk to a LC about using a nipple shield. It helps with latching sometimes but they don't recommend using them long term if possible bc it can possibly interfere with your milk supply bc your breast tissue doesn't get as much stimulation but they can be wonderful for practicing getting latch better
    tyidin1
  • @tyidin1 I found a lot of useful videos on the internet just googling. My pediatrician has a lactation consultant I was able to meet with only a few days after leaving the hospital. I would ask if yours has one or can recommend one! It's overwhelming and at 3 weeks I still don't feel fully confident but my baby is gaining weight great so just stay calm and keep trying :) I felt like I got NO help with breastfeeding in the hospital but the LC I saw after discharge was great so try not to get discouraged! 
    tyidin1
  • @kaym6 @kwentela thanks ladies, I actually saw the other threads right after I wrote this. And I will definitely talk to my pediatrician at her first appointment. 
  • My LO was also not getting enough from me at the hospital and the LC suggested supplementing with formula using the Finger Feeding method. She said it shouldn't affect his latch, and so far it hasn't. So now every 2-3hrs I BF and then finger feed him using formula. He seems so much happier, is gaining weight and producing a normal amount of diapers. I'm hoping my milk will come in soon, but until my milk is enough to satisfy him I'm going to continue this method. Just another option for all the moms who may be struggling  :)
    anightintunisia
  • @tyidin1 you could also call your insurance to see if they cover a visit with a lactation consultant outside of the hospital, many insurance companies do cover LC's. It is SO helpful for someone to actually show you how to get a good latch (how to hold baby, how to hold yourself, and how to actually get babies mouth onto your nipple successfully-- I didn't realize how forceful you have to be!), what to look for in a good or bad latch, nursing positions, etc. Babies are born with a natural suck reflex, but they are not born knowing how to latch properl. If you don't feel like you're getting the help you need from the LC you have, seek out another! Like you, I hadn't seen many people breastfed around me so I definitely needed that hands on, in person help. Good luck! 
    tyidin1
  • My milk just really came in today. I now can't get him to latch at all. I don't know what to do. I've pumped and still can't get him to latch. I'm about to burst into tears I'm so upset. He won't stop crying. I fed him the pumped breast milk but even the slowest nipple was too fast for him. Help please 
  • @hannahduff3 is he having a hard time latching bc you are engorged? What the LCs taught me is its pretty normal for you to get home and then back slide a little with latch and feeding when your milk comes in. They said to go back to basics... If baby is upset or frantic ur not gonna get a good latch and ur both just gonna get frustrated, go completely skin to skin again with baby to get him to calm down. If you're engorged making it hard to latch they said try to hand express a little to soften the tissue around the nipple to help latch but if that isn't enough try and pump for a few minutes before attempting to latch to soften that tissue to make it easier to latch. Keep trying when baby is calm. Maybe you can finger feed done drops of your pumped milk to help calm him a bit? Anyone else have any other ideas? 
  • @hailees Yes to the not realising how forceful you have to be with them! When one of the nurses showed me how you have to guide him in it was crazy!

    @hannahduff3 have you tried massaging right around your areola before getting your LO to latch? Use 2 fingers to massage your areola and you should feel your nipple area start to soften up. It helps push some of the milk back and softens up your nipple so they aren't trying to latch on to what feels like a grapefruit. This helped me so much in the first week! Good luck!
    hailees
  • @kristanoah that's so my life for the past 6 weeks. DH is happily asleep next to me as I cluster feed a fussy gassy baby for the last 2 hours ... I keep offering to trade with him and he keeps insisting he doesn't have the right parts! Oh well worth a shot 
    mamakculbbabybluu
  • @hannahduff3 here is an article about the technique that PP is referring to http://kellymom.com/bf/concerns/mother/rev_pressure_soft_
    Can you try and visit a lactation consultant? Most insurance companies cover it. They might be able to help you determine exactly why your latch isn't working (enforcement? Forceful letdown? Etc) 
    If bottle feeding isn't working, you can use a dropper, like the ones that come with liquid baby meds. You could also try using a spoon. Keep trying, momma! Hope things get better soon!! 
  • I had an awesome maternity nursing staff when I had my son 2.5 years ago.  He was born at 36 weeks and had dropped from 6lbs to 5.5lbs during our time in the hospital.  They were very supportive of my desire to breastfeed.  Because of his low-ish birth weight and loss of weight, they gave me a very strict regimen to make sure I would produce enough milk.  Here's what they had me doing that led to my long-term breastfeeding success (Successfully breastfed for 11 months and never had any breast infections/mastitis. Hoping to breastfeed my daughter for 15 months when she arrives any day now):

    - Breastfeed 15-20 mins/side (keep waking baby if he falls asleep while eating)

    - Pump 15 mins/side (I used a double electric pump so I was able to pump both sides simultaneously) while bottle-feeding baby the pumped milk from the last pumping session (in the beginning, I needed hubby to feed the baby while I pumped.  After a while, I was able to figure out how to pump and feed baby from a bottle at once)

    - Give baby the tiny pre-mixed bottle of Similac formula for supplementing (this extra step was just because he was losing weight.  Once his weight increased, we dropped the formula).

    Repeat every 2 hours 24/7 (might be ok to stretch to 3 hours at night).

    I dropped the formula after a couple of weeks and loosened it up to every 3 hours at night around the same time.  When I went back to work, I pumped every 2.5-3 hours.  During the times that my supply started to dip, I would continue to pump for 1-2 minutes after my milk stopped coming out.  This would sometimes spark a second let-down. 

    The best piece of advice I received during my breastfeeding journey was that breastfeeding is supply and demand.  That's why it can sometimes be counterproductive to supplement with formula and that's why it's important, if you're going to pump, to do it on a schedule that's very similar to baby's eating schedule.  Your milk will react to how much it thinks it needs to produce.

    Also, lactation cookies are yummy and can help!  Google a recipe.  The best ones for lactation contain oats and brewers yeast.

    If I were you, I'd also see if there's a local breastfeeding support group, either at a local hospital or independent La Leche League meetings, or call the maternity ward at your hospital and make an appointment to see the lactation consultant that works there. She might have some additional suggestions for you.

    Good luck!  You can do it!!

    ambercakes92babybluu
  • My milk just really came in today. I now can't get him to latch at all. I don't know what to do. I've pumped and still can't get him to latch. I'm about to burst into tears I'm so upset. He won't stop crying. I fed him the pumped breast milk but even the slowest nipple was too fast for him. Help please 
    I had this exact same problem! LO breastfed great until my milk came in. We ended up supplementing with formula which was a horrible decision since she got bad nipple confusion and her tummy didn't like the formula at all. On day 5 I just decided no more bottles and we muscled through the breastfeeding. I would suggest waiting until both of you are calm and relaxed, and then helping baby latch and see where it gets you. If it's not working, try the bottle, but keep offering breast every single feeding before and after. What finally worked for us was waiting until she was partially full from the bottle and happy, and then cuddling her and gently trying to get her to latch. Good luck!!!
  • My milk just really came in today. I now can't get him to latch at all. I don't know what to do. I've pumped and still can't get him to latch. I'm about to burst into tears I'm so upset. He won't stop crying. I fed him the pumped breast milk but even the slowest nipple was too fast for him. Help please 

    Have you read "The Motherly Art of Breastfeeding?"  I found it at my local library.  It's got some great diagrams and tips on latching. 

    Also, you could make an appointment with the lactation consultant at the hospital where you delivered.  She can give you hands-on support. 

    I had a friend with latching issues and it turned out that her nipples were inverted (she never knew, but they just didn't stick out as far as I guess they  needed to).  Her lactation consultant suggested she try nipple shields and it worked awesome.  Maybe shields would help you?

  • hannahduff3hannahduff3 member
    500 Love Its 100 Comments First Anniversary Name Dropper
    edited January 2016
    Thanks everyone for the advice! I decided to make an appt with the LC at his pediatrian. I can't get in until 2:30 so I've decided to keep pumping all day and feeding him that way until our appt.We are both getting too stressed which isn't helping. I might need nipple shields. I have large nipples but since the engorgement the areola has become so swollen that they don't pretrude out as far! Hopefully the LC can come up with a plan. I really don't want to be forced towards formula. I would rather feed straight from the breast but I am willing to exclusively pump if that's what it comes down to. At the end of the day whatever it takes to keep him healthy and nourished is what I will do! I'm hoping this is just a bump in the road and in a couple weeks I'll be laughing at this!!
    Life is Excitingkwentelahailees
  • My milk just really came in today. I now can't get him to latch at all. I don't know what to do. I've pumped and still can't get him to latch. I'm about to burst into tears I'm so upset. He won't stop crying. I fed him the pumped breast milk but even the slowest nipple was too fast for him. Help please 

    Have you read "The Motherly Art of Breastfeeding?"  I found it at my local library.  It's got some great diagrams and tips on latching. 

    Also, you could make an appointment with the lactation consultant at the hospital where you delivered.  She can give you hands-on support. 

    I had a friend with latching issues and it turned out that her nipples were inverted (she never knew, but they just didn't stick out as far as I guess they  needed to).  Her lactation consultant suggested she try nipple shields and it worked awesome.  Maybe shields would help you?

    Do you mean The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding by the LLL? Or is this a different book?
    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
  • @hannahduff3  so glad there was a good solution for you and your little one!
    hannahduff3
  • My milk just really came in today. I now can't get him to latch at all. I don't know what to do. I've pumped and still can't get him to latch. I'm about to burst into tears I'm so upset. He won't stop crying. I fed him the pumped breast milk but even the slowest nipple was too fast for him. Help please 

    Have you read "The Motherly Art of Breastfeeding?"  I found it at my local library.  It's got some great diagrams and tips on latching. 

    Also, you could make an appointment with the lactation consultant at the hospital where you delivered.  She can give you hands-on support. 

    I had a friend with latching issues and it turned out that her nipples were inverted (she never knew, but they just didn't stick out as far as I guess they  needed to).  Her lactation consultant suggested she try nipple shields and it worked awesome.  Maybe shields would help you?

    Do you mean The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding by the LLL? Or is this a different book?
    Yes. That's what I meant. Pregnancy brain!
    claireloSC
  • A warm shower helps soften the breasts also. 
  • Are we allowed to hijack this post with questions? Lol. I hope so. 

    So dd is 2 weeks old and is still 2.5 oz below birth weight, and that's after a feeding. I weighed her with a baby scale before and after and she only gained an ounce and half even though she ate for 45 minutes combined on both sides. Which is weird because I can usually pump more than that when I skip a nursing session and give her a bottle. But when she's done eating, I can't get anything out anymore with the pump. I'm trying to increase my supply so I can pump to create a stash for work. I'm drinking extra water and Electrolyte drinks, and pumping after each feeding, for 5-10 min after the last drops of milk come out. I'm even massaging. But it's like I can barely cover the bottom of the bottle. I'm scared to try fenugreek because I heard it can cause gas for baby, which she already has a ton of that I'm trying to deal with. I just don't know how to up my supply. I nurse at least every 2.5 hours except at night when it stretches to almost 3 hours. 
  • @babybluu maybe try coconut water to hydrate yourself instead of electrolyte drinks? Those usually have a lot of sugar and coconut water is so hydrating you can actually use it as an IV fluid in an emergency. I have heard great things about fenugreek too. I'm sure you know this but the more you feed the more you will produce. 
    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
    Hipshaker
  • So this is just my little rant for today.......

    I still can't get my baby to latch. She's 4 days now, and when she does latch she takes 2 sucks and comes off. It's like she doesn't want to work for it and just screams her head off. So I have to pump first, which is usually only a little bit and give her that then give her formula. Oh and I have to give the formula by syringe to avoid her getting used to a nipple in hopes that she may eventually decide to eat from the breast. I do this every time she wants to feed. It's very exhausting at night.....a 20 min feeding session takes at least an hour
  • tyidin1 said:
    So this is just my little rant for today.......

    I still can't get my baby to latch. She's 4 days now, and when she does latch she takes 2 sucks and comes off. It's like she doesn't want to work for it and just screams her head off. So I have to pump first, which is usually only a little bit and give her that then give her formula. Oh and I have to give the formula by syringe to avoid her getting used to a nipple in hopes that she may eventually decide to eat from the breast. I do this every time she wants to feed. It's very exhausting at night.....a 20 min feeding session takes at least an hour
    Have you tried a nipple shield? Or seen if LO has a tongue tie?
  • tyidin1 said:
    So this is just my little rant for today.......

    I still can't get my baby to latch. She's 4 days now, and when she does latch she takes 2 sucks and comes off. It's like she doesn't want to work for it and just screams her head off. So I have to pump first, which is usually only a little bit and give her that then give her formula. Oh and I have to give the formula by syringe to avoid her getting used to a nipple in hopes that she may eventually decide to eat from the breast. I do this every time she wants to feed. It's very exhausting at night.....a 20 min feeding session takes at least an hour
    We did this for a few nights when we first had our LO. The syringe was awful! But, she did figure it out, with the help of a LC, and now at 5 weeks she exclusively BF, and latches like a champ! Hang in there mama, you can do this!
    Me: 32 DH: 32
    Married 11/24/13
    DD1 born 12/24/15
    TTC #2 Aug. 16
    BFP for #2 11/22/16





    Aug17 December Siggy Challenge: Funny Pics of Kids Afraid of Santa



    tyidin1essentialpeace
  • @claireloSC I'm pretty sure I don't like coconut water but I will give that a try! And yeah everyone keeps saying the more I feed/pump the more I will produce but I seriously haven't seen an increase in supple yet and it's been 2 weeks of feeding on demand, and pumping 2-3 times a day. I don't know how long it's suppose to take to notice an increase 
    claireloSCcali1710
  • @babybluu - If you don't like coconut water (I don't either!) I'd suggest the kind that has pineapple juice in it.  I actually just picked up a few containers of it today at Target, thinking it might be good for breastfeeding hydration (if I ever give birth, that is, haha.)  I find it way more palatable than plain coconut water for whatever reason.  Good luck!
    claireloSCbabybluuashhsa
  • claireloSCclaireloSC member
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary First Answer
    edited January 2016
    @babybluu How many diapers does she have a day? That's the best indication of whether she is getting enough or not. It's actually pretty rare to have a supply problem, so I'm wondering if maybe she is getting enough? I think the increase in supply is pretty quick - within a couple days. kellymom.com has some great tips. http://kellymom.com/bf/got-milk/supply-worries/enough-milk/

    I would also check that she has a good latch with an LC and that she doesn't have a tongue tie so you can make sure she's feeding efficiently.
    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
  • When I was in the hospital I asked the LC about a nipple shield and they basically said there's no guarantee it'll work. But she has her first appointment on Monday and I'm going to ask my pediatrician to recommend another LC so we can really get some help. I always feel like I'm not giving her enough 
  • My LO is 5 1/2 weeks, and yesterday she had a huge drop in eating, only nursing for 3-5 minutes, and normally on one side only. She gets very upset mid feeding, and will scream until I put my boob away. 

    Prior to this she was a great eater.  

    My question is, do newborns have times when they eat less? Like the opposite of cluster feeding? She is still sleeping well, and is alert when awake, and still gets wet and dirty diapers. Should I be worried and try to force more feeding time, or let her do what she is doing? 
    Me: 32 DH: 32
    Married 11/24/13
    DD1 born 12/24/15
    TTC #2 Aug. 16
    BFP for #2 11/22/16





    Aug17 December Siggy Challenge: Funny Pics of Kids Afraid of Santa



  • We were dealing with either an over supply or forceful letdown or both??? Anyways after some feedings my little man was throwing up tons of milk, seriously like I dumped a couple ounces on us. I hate to pump because I want my body to regulate to his needs only (I have no need for extra stash and my body rarely responds to a pump anyways) so I started feeding him in a reclined position to use gravity to help keep things under control and give him more of a chance to control his intake. It has worked wonders for his vomitting episodes which have become more normal occasional spit ups than the explosions they were! I thought I would share in case someone is having a similar problem 
    Hipshakerashhsaekscopp
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