March 2017 Moms

Exclusively Pumping

Hi, I didn't see a thread for exclusively pumping, so if there is already one, feel free to bump it and I'll use that one :blush:
I'm currently exclusively pumping for my LO while he is in NICU.
For those of you who exclusively pump, are there any suggestions or advice for how to do it for the long term? 
How long do you actually pump every 2-3 hours through the night? And how do you get sleep if you are doing that through the night but also feeding baby the pumped milk through the night? 
Any tips for pumping outside of home/work, for example if you are out running errands, etc? Or do you just have to make sure all errands are done with enough time to make it home within 2-3 hours so you can pump?
Any advice, suggestions, and tips are welcome and appreciated! Thanks, ladies! 
Me: 27
DH: 33
Furbaby: Walther, 4 year old Rottweiler/Coonhound mix
EDD: 3/7/17<img

Re: Exclusively Pumping

  • Hi!! We started pumping because DS was also in the nicu. I get up every 3 hours at night to pump and pump every 2 hours during the day. It's exhausting. I also power pump to keep my supply up. 

    I always pack my pump with me - it has a battery (spectra s1) so I pump in the car a lot. I never pump more than 20-25 minutes unless I'm in a power pump session.  I also massage to fully empty both breasts. Usually I'm done at the 15 minute mark but I use the extra 5 minutes to tell my breasts to make more. Sometimes I even get multiple let downs a session and essentially just go 5 minutes after milk stops flowing. 

    As as far as sleeping and pumping - it's just exhausting because baby and I aren't on the same schedule. I take the night shift for now (I usually worked nights anyways) and then DH takes him while I get some sleep (I still get up and pump but then just lay back down). Not sure if this is really the easiest method but it's been working for us for a few weeks now. 

    Good luck with your pumping journey. It hasn't been easy but it's worth it in the end to have a baby getting breastmilk. Last baby I didn't produce enough so I feel lucky this time to provide. As of now baby is 5 weeks but still won't breastfeed. Our LC said premies sometimes never learn to latch - so we've accepted that he may never latch like a normal baby. I'm ok with that. He's happy and fed
    Me: 32 DH: 34
    Baby #1 - January 2010
    Baby #2 - March 2017

     
    Foersty mcdonald-baileykaylaef
  • @marshmallowfarts how often do you power pump? 
  • @mcdonald-bailey I power pump once a day - usually after DS1 goes to bed. I saw some sources say it's best to do it at the same time every day. Not sure how true that is but I do it pretty close to the same hour every night. 
    Me: 32 DH: 34
    Baby #1 - January 2010
    Baby #2 - March 2017

     
    mcdonald-baileyFoersty
  • I EPed with my first. I pumped everytime she ate and by 5 weeks I didn't pump at night. I still got enough. Around 12 weeks my supply was well established so I could pump 5 times a day and get enough and by 6 months I pumped 3 times a day for the next 6 months. I stopped when she was a year. I suggest getting a car adapter and pumping while driving. 2 birds with one stone. You can make a pumping bra out of a cheap sports bra. I never power pumped and pumped for 20 minutes.
    mcdonald-baileyFoersty longliveregina
  • I'm EP while my trio is in the NICU. They were born at 33w1d and I have PCOS (a hormonal disorder), so pumping has been hard and slow to build supply. I currently make enough for about two full feedings for all three of them with partial amounts for a third feeding. They were born 2 weeks ago and I just got to that much today. It's been hard to work around the pump every two hours things, especially since I pump for a minimum of 30 minutes unless I'm power pumping. For my evening pump session it always seems to work out that I pump then wash and sanitize 2 sets of parts (so 4 of everything), then I have just an hour left until it's time to pump again. Ugh! And I feel like I can't go out and do much since I only have 90 minutes between when a session ends and when I start the next one. Last night I didn't get up when my alarm went off, so I only pumped once between 10pm and 7:45am. Oops! Luckily it didn't seem to affect me too much, though I'm wondering if I lost out on 2 ounces of milk because I skipped. Guess I'll never know.
    About us:
    Me - 27, Lean PCOS
    DH - 30
    Married June 2010, TTC since March 2014
    Blog: ourbinarystar.com

    FET cycle #3 Transfer July 28th 2016, Triplets born healthy on February 26th 2017 at 33w1d!

    marshmallowfartsFoersty
  • I'm EP while my trio is in the NICU. They were born at 33w1d and I have PCOS (a hormonal disorder), so pumping has been hard and slow to build supply. I currently make enough for about two full feedings for all three of them with partial amounts for a third feeding. They were born 2 weeks ago and I just got to that much today. It's been hard to work around the pump every two hours things, especially since I pump for a minimum of 30 minutes unless I'm power pumping. For my evening pump session it always seems to work out that I pump then wash and sanitize 2 sets of parts (so 4 of everything), then I have just an hour left until it's time to pump again. Ugh! And I feel like I can't go out and do much since I only have 90 minutes between when a session ends and when I start the next one. Last night I didn't get up when my alarm went off, so I only pumped once between 10pm and 7:45am. Oops! Luckily it didn't seem to affect me too much, though I'm wondering if I lost out on 2 ounces of milk because I skipped. Guess I'll never know.
    God this is exactly it. Only 90 minutes between sessions. Be careful of going too long on a pump though or you'll end up with blisters like I did - it was awful. And occasionally I sleep through my alarm too and feel so guilty about it. I also suffer from pcos and didn't have any breast growth during pregnancy so supply is always a concern for me. 

    Hope your littles are home from the nicu soon and may your longer breaks between pumps be restful! 
    Me: 32 DH: 34
    Baby #1 - January 2010
    Baby #2 - March 2017

     
    AandDM2014Foersty
  • Thanks for all the advice. It's definitely tough, but I'm determined to really try to provide food for my babe! 
    @NurseMama Thank you for sharing that-it's definitely encouraging to know that one day I might not have to pump every single time he eats and maybe only pump during daytime
    @AandDM2014 I have slept through my alarm a couple of times too. It's really nerve wracking and always makes me worried that it'll hurt my supply that I'm still working on building up. I also have PCOS, and my current pumping sessions are pretty all over the place-sometimes I make a lot, but sometimes I make a lot less. My LO is about 3 weeks old and finally has built his way up to full feedings-he takes like 90-100ml per feeding. 

    Me: 27
    DH: 33
    Furbaby: Walther, 4 year old Rottweiler/Coonhound mix
    EDD: 3/7/17<img
    AandDM2014
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