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*jersey* and other EPers

I have been pumping and giving DS EBM in a bottle for the past 2 days.  We struggled with breastfeeding for 3 weeks.  He was never able to latch on correctly and I was told by the LC that it was mainly due to my "challenging nipples".  I really want him to get BM so I think it is time to become an EPer. 

Can you tell me the ins and outs of EPing?  What are the positives/negatives and things you struggle with?  What pump do you use?  How do you keep up with DC?  And any tips you have would be fantastic!  tia!

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Re: *jersey* and other EPers

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    I'm not an EPer but I see posts about it all the time on the Breastfeeding board...I would post these questions there too.  HTH!
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    Mason Louise
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    Oh honey.  I'm sorry you're going through this, and believe me I've been there.  Based on what the LC said to you, I might by tempted to try a different LC and try BFing again.  Have you tried nipple shields yet?  They may help.  You know yourself though... do what is going to work for you and your baby.  I EP, and it took a while for me to get the hang of things, and even longer to build my supply up.  I still struggle now and then, especially lately because DS has started demanding so much more EBM, but that's another story.  I use a PISA.

    It really is hard work to EP!!!  It requires a ton of discipline at first to get your supply under control.  The hardest thing is trying to take care of DS and pump at the same time.  It's also hard leaving when you have family over because you have to go pump. 

    Here's my list of tips:

    My best resource for info when I first started was this board on ivillage devoted to EPing:  https://messageboards.ivillage.com/iv-ppexcluspump  Every woman on there has gotten to where they are for some reason or another and they are very supportive.  When you first start pumping, they say to pump every 2-3 hours around the clock (8-12 times/day) to trigger your supply correctly.  I will tell you that I had to supplement with formula until about 8 weeks pp, and I also have this past week because B's eating so much.    

    1.  Go hands free when you pump.  This will enable you to read a book, piddle on the computer (which is what I'm doing most times I'm on here), and distract you from the fact that you are doing the most disciplined chore of your life.  Ways to do this:  use the rubber band trick described on kelly mom (https://www.kellymom.com/bf/pumping/hands-free-pumping.html), cut holes in an old sports bra where the horns go, or buy a hands free bra- either the easy expressions bustier https://www.easyexpressionproducts.com/ or the one la leche league international sells https://www.amazon.com/Leche-League-Pumping-Nursing-Softcup/dp/B0011ETOE2

    2.  Try to relax about pumping.. stress decreases supply.  I know this is hard, but that's where doing something other than pumping helps

    3.  A hospital grade will be the most similar to a baby at the breast.  You may want to consider renting one for a few weeks if you're having supply issues.  My PISA does do the job, but I know I would have a better supply with the hospital pump. 

    4.  Get multiple sets of pump parts so that you don't have to wash all day (just every other pump session or every 3rd).  Try the fridge trick- when you're done pumping, put your parts in a ziploc bag and pull them out of the fridge for the next time you pump. 

    5.  Try massage/compression when you pump.  This will help open up ducts and increase supply... sometimes dramatically.  It will also help you pump faster.  Here's a video:

    https://newborns.stanford.edu/Breastfeeding/MaxProduction.html

    Also, click some of the other links.. they have a ton of good information.

    6.  Make sure you're eating enough.  Remember BM is 20 cals/oz, and it comes from you.  Protein, lots of water help me a ton, and supposedly oatmeal does too.

    7.  Remember you need to be pumping every 2 -3 hours around the clock.  Your prolactin levels are highest between 1 and 5 am, so be sure to pump a lot then.  Try power pumping- pump 20, take off 10, pump 10, off 10, pump 10.  This simulates a cluster feed and triggers more milk.  Even if you aren't getting any milk, it triggers your body to produce more.  Also, I usually have to pump for 25-30 minutes.  My last let down comes at about minute 22, and I usually get 1/3 of my output then. 

    8.  Develop a pumping schedule.  When your body knows when you're going to pump, it really does help your milk production.

    9.  Using my hands-free bra and a car adapter for my PISA, I actually pump while driving (I have a hooter hider).  This saves me time and allows me to feel like a human being.  I know it sounds crazy, but it is the biggest time saver ever.  I have in the past had DH drive, and I'm in the backseat pumping and feeding DS at the same time.   I've also had DS in the carseat and fed him while I was pumping thanks to being hands free... even at home.  I've also played with him.  It works really well to be hands free! 

    10.  Remember that even though you may have enough milk now, to truly have enough you want to beat your baby by some ounces each day.  Freezing it for those growth spurts is very helpful.  Once my son hit 4 months, his daily intake increased by at least 5 ozs/day.  During his 4 mo growth spurt, he went up to 40 ozs/day for several days and before that he had eaten just 24-26 ozs/day.  Now he's at about 30-34 ozs/day.  I'm struggling to keep up as my production is leveled 30 ozs/day. 

    I wish you luck!!!  EPing is hard work, but I remind myself that my son loves my "magic milk" and look at a picture of his precious face and it enables me to continue pumping. 

    Also, jersey has an EPers check in on the breastfeeding board every Monday.  If you decide EPing is the route you want to take, then get yourself added to that list.  There's also a lot of good info there.  HTH!!!

     

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    EPing is really hard work.  It's very demanding and takes up a ton of time, but for many people it is worth it.

    I used rented a hospital grade pump - which I highly recommend.  You'll pump more milk in less time with a hospital grade pump.  And I totally agree with getting a hands free pumping bra.  First, it gives you opportunity to do other things (play on the computer, make phone calls, even pick up your baby).  And it allows you to be able to massage your breasts, to help get out milk. 

    In the beginning, I would pump a minimum of once after every feeding.  When I needed to boost supply for whatever reason, I'd go on a pumping marathon for a weekend where I'd pump every 2 hours during the day and every 3 at night.  I drank a bottle of water every time I pumped to make sure I was staying hydrated.  I always tried to pump a few minutes past the time I was dry to signal to my body that I needed more milk.  After I established my supply, I dropped one pumping session every few days until I was pumping about 5 times a day (occasionally 4) and was still able to maintain my supply. 

    I found kellymom.com to be very helpful. There is a board devoted exclusively to EPers.  Best of luck.

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    Ditto everything Kel said, especially the part about getting a consult with a different LC. EPing is not the route I would have chosen. If you can get back to BFing, that's great! If you can't and you decide to EP, that's great, too! We'll be here for you!
    Charlie 8.06.08
    Emeline 5.28.13

    My Blog

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    Post-Baby PRs
    Esri 5K 7.16.2014 - 21:30
    Heart Half Marathon 3.16.2014 - 1:43:30
    Canton City Marathon 9.8.14 - 3:30:56
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    Thanks so much for all your help!  I really really wanted the BFing to work.  We tried really hard but with my "challenging nipples" (as the LC put it) DS never latched on properly...even with using the nipple shield.  Every nursing session, for 3 weeks, resulted in him screaming and getting upset to the point of putting himself to sleep he was so worn out, and me crying because I felt like a failure.  I decided that it wasn't worth seeing him struggle and be so unhappy about eating.  I felt like eating was something that he should enjoy and should make him happy.  Plus since he would get so upset and eventually fall asleep, he wasn't eating enough and was losing weight.

    EPing is not the route I want either...but for right now I feel like it is best for our situation.  For DS to be healthy and happy.

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    I understand your frustration, trust me! Anyway, like I said, we'll be here if you need us! Whenever you get frustrated and want to quit come vent to us. Take it one day at a time, set small goals to start with. You can do it!
    Charlie 8.06.08
    Emeline 5.28.13

    My Blog

     image

    Post-Baby PRs
    Esri 5K 7.16.2014 - 21:30
    Heart Half Marathon 3.16.2014 - 1:43:30
    Canton City Marathon 9.8.14 - 3:30:56
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