I have an odd BF/pumping ? — The Bump
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I have an odd BF/pumping ?

I've always heard that your baby is "more efficient" than the pump. What does that mean exactly?
If I pump say 2 oz in a 20 minute puming session, does that mean the baby can extrude that 2 oz faster (say in 10 mins) or that they can get more than the 2 oz? Or is it both? Like because they can get it out faster they also would take in more milk in a 20 min nursing session vs a 20 min pumping session....

I'm trying to estimate (though I may not be able to do this without a scale) how much H is getting at her morning nursing session which is only about 10 mins long vs what I know I could pump from that side in 20 mins.

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Re: I have an odd BF/pumping ?

  • Potentially both. Pumping is its own skill separate from BFing. I rarely pumped, which is probably part of the reason I rarely got more than an ounce or two in a pumping session when I did try it. People who are regular pumpers, on the other hand, sometimes pump way more in one session than a baby would eat in a single nursing session.

    Are you working with a lactation consultant? They have scales they can use to measure the baby before and after a feeding to measure how much the baby is eating.

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  • I wouldn't assume the baby is more efficient than the pump.  I don't think that's 100% true for all babies.  Like you said, you may need a scale to really be able to determine/measure this.

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  • I happen to own a baby scale - since I was so worried about weight gain in the early days of breastfeeing.  Let me know if you want to borrow it - and we can arrange something.  Right now it's just sitting in a closet - so someone might as well get some use out of it!

     

  • I read somewhere that babies can get an ounce or more of milk per session when compared to a pump. It probably depends on the individual baby.
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  • I usually pump pretty soon after I get to work. On the mornings when LO nurses right before I leave, I tend to get 3-4 oz less from the pump, so I kind of assume he is getting about that from that session.

    You are also more than welcome to borrow my scale. Just let me know.

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  • I think that is generally true, but I do beleive it depends on the baby.  For instance DD2 nurses for 5-6 minutes on one side in the morning (after 11 hours of sleeping/no nursing).  I pump the other side and it takes me 10-12 minutes to see a stop in flow and have the empty/deflated feeling I have when she's done nursing.  For DD1, that same scenario took her 15-20 minutes to nurse and and about 10-15 minutes on the pump.  If you really want to know, you need to do a weigh test.  Also, some people just don't respond well to the pump but have a good supply that their baby is able to access.  Repsonding to the pump is very much a learned behavior.
  • When I had DS weighted at about 1week old, he nursed for 10mins and took in 2oz so I knew he was taking in 1oz per 5 minutes.

    Do you get this amount every time or just at certain times? how much do you get in the morning? you should get the most amount in the morning.

    I think 2oz in 20mins is not that much. But it does not mean H is not getting enough when nursing! I'd do a weight check w/ an LC

     

  • I think it really depends.  A friend of mine can hardly ever get any milk with the pump even when she doesn't nurse, but her DD is growing like crazy so she obviously nurses a lot more efficiently than she pumps. She said she thinks her body just doesn't respond to the pump. For me, I think DS gets more when I pump because he'll tend to finish the whole bottle, but if I nurse and then pump I can still get an ounce or so.  I also started pumping as soon as we got home from the hospital because DS wouldn't latch so I think my body is used to the pump.
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  • I also think it depends.  The pump doesn't stimulate the breast the same way nursing your baby does, some people have trouble getting a let down at all with a pump.  Some people also use the pump to create more "demand" if they are having supply issues.  I'm sure it also depends on the pump you use and how you adjust the settings.  You should try using a scale as pp's suggested if you want to get a more accurate estimate.  But your baby isn't going to want or need the same amount at every nursing session either. 
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