Pumping and stressed — The Bump
January 2016 Moms

Pumping and stressed

Does anyone else pump at work and not produce enough to send the next day with your LO?  I can't seem to pump enough to have a stash in the freezer and barely make it during the week when I'm away from her.  She is fine when I am nursing her at night and on the weekends but I can't keep up with pumping so we have begun to supplement with formula.  I'm so stressed and am having thoughts of giving up breastfeeding all together! I really don't want to give up though.... Help!!  Any advice?
kwentela

Re: Pumping and stressed

  • nackienackie
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    member
    I've only been back to work for a week, so I'm still trying to figure out exactly how much DS needs, but last week I was able to pump enough for 4 out of 5 days.  I'm lucky that I have an office, so I can close my door and pump 4 times a day.  I'm also pumping after I nurse him in the morning, after he goes to bed at night and after his MOTN feeding.  So it takes me 7 pumping sessions to get him through the 9 hours I'm gone.
    There's nothing wrong with supplementing with formula though.  As long as your little one is getting fed, you're doing good.
    anightintunisiaflutterflutter
  • Thank you, I guess I just feel like a failure.  Good for you for pumping as often as you do.  I feel like I can never find time to do it and currently my LO is waking up quite a few times at night so any sleep I can get, I take!
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  • Have you tried compressions and massage when pumping? I feel like it helps get more out during each session.
    me328
  • I'm in the same exact situation! I can't pump nearly enough during the day to supply what she eats at daycare. I have my own office, I just can't relax enough to get a let down. I cry more days than not, and totally feel the mom guilt for not being able to feed my baby. My rational brain knows that babies thrive off formula, and it's totally normal. Buttttt, irrational me gets so upset at the idea of it.

    You aren't alone, mama! You are doing the best you can, keep reminding yourself of that.
  • @jessjuhnke I do massage before each pump.  I felt like it was working for a couple days but then it stopped.  

    @m6tonner It's nice to know that I'm not alone but I'm sorry you are in this situation too!  I feel the same way, I know it's fine to give formula but I also know how many more benefits breast milk provides.  I just need to get over it and know that what I'm doing is fine and she's growing and thriving like she should be.  Thanks for the pep talk :smile:  
  • I'm struggling with this to. My daughter eats more at daycare than I can pump during the day. She is eating 15 oz at daycare, while I'm only able to pump 11-12oz while I'm at work. I starting pumping 1x/day when she was 1 month just to stock, but now that I've been back to work for about a month what was saved is almost gone. She will be 4 months on Saturday and I'm hoping I can at least get through this week before I have to start sending formula to daycare. 
    I have no issues keeping up when nursing her and have not had to supplement. 
    I had the same issues when I had my first daughter. I ended up pumping at work until she was 6 months, but towards the end it was only 1 bottle of milk and 2 bottles of formula while at daycare. At 6 months I quit pumping but continued to nurse in the morning and at night until 8 months. Your body will adjust and you will still be able to nurse even if you do not pump during the day. 
  • cyanopecyanope
    Eighth Anniversary 1000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
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    I have the same issue. I only pump 10-12 oz. per day (in a 7 hour period) and LO is drinking 15 oz. It's so frustrating because I can continue to hand express milk after I'm done pumping, so I KNOW I still have milk. Plus, when she nurses, she gets plenty. My boobs just don't like the pump, which I've heard is pretty common. I'm REALLY lucky that my sister in law has a 6 month old and a massive oversupply. We're talking 25 oz. PER pumping session. It's crazy. She's actually feeding several babies because she donates her milk. She's also my daycare provider, so when I'm short on milk (which is most days), she just tops off LO's bottle with her own milk. For my own supply, I do one power pumping session a day, and do multiple "let down" phases per session as well. That seems to help bump my supply up a bit. 
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  • @lyndz74115 that is exactly my plan.  I want to make it until 6 months before I stop pumping for her.  I pump about the same as you each day and she drinks the same as your daughter.  It's very frustrating.  Today, I sent her two breastmilk bottles and one formula bottle and it's the first time that I actually feel somewhat ok about it.  I just need to realize that she's still getting plenty of breastmilk and it's only during the week because I also nurse her with no problems on the weekend.
    lyndz74115
  • @lyndz74115 that is exactly my plan.  I want to make it until 6 months before I stop pumping for her.  I pump about the same as you each day and she drinks the same as your daughter.  It's very frustrating.  Today, I sent her two breastmilk bottles and one formula bottle and it's the first time that I actually feel somewhat ok about it.  I just need to realize that she's still getting plenty of breastmilk and it's only during the week because I also nurse her with no problems on the weekend.
    Good Luck! It's helpful to know there's a lot of Momma's out there dealing with the same issues.
    katievw311
  • KFrobKFrob
    Long-Lasting Membership 1000 Comments 500 Love Its Name Dropper
    member
    edited May 2016
    I've been EPing since LO was 5 days old and done a ton of research. I know these might be things you've tried already, but make sure the breast shields are the right size, watch videos of LO being cute and/or crying while pumping, bring dirty clothing with you for LOs scent, distract yourself so you don't think and stress about let down and the amount, and massage your breasts while pumping. It takes a while to get used to and get the hang of just like breast feeding. 

    Edit: another thing! I've noticed I have trouble emptying completely w my hands free pumping bra. It's like it squashes my boobs too much. I get much better results using an old sports bra I cut holes in per the suggestion of another bump user
  • I have been having issues as well. I'm still getting enough but just enough. It wasn't making sense to me because I know there is still plenty of milk. Well I was lurking on Dec 15 board and saw a post about this and come to find out my shields are way too big!  I've been using the standard 24mm that come with a medela pump but I am hoping to get 21mm this week. I hope things get better for you.  I know I don't really enjoy pumping especially when I'm only getting a few ounces.
  • KFrobKFrob
    Long-Lasting Membership 1000 Comments 500 Love Its Name Dropper
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    tfrangul said:
    I have been having issues as well. I'm still getting enough but just enough. It wasn't making sense to me because I know there is still plenty of milk. Well I was lurking on Dec 15 board and saw a post about this and come to find out my shields are way too big!  I've been using the standard 24mm that come with a medela pump but I am hoping to get 21mm this week. I hope things get better for you.  I know I don't really enjoy pumping especially when I'm only getting a few ounces.
    I had to get those too! They were hard to find and I ended up having to order them and they did make a big difference! 
  • @KFrob I was afraid of that. I am going to check out a couple local medical supply stores first then order if I can't find them.  
  • tfrangul said:
    @KFrob I was afraid of that. I am going to check out a couple local medical supply stores first then order if I can't find them.  
    I had to get the 21mm as well. I couldn't find them anywhere so I called Medella. They ended up sending them to me for free because they were not available anywhere relatively close to me.
    KFrob
  • I chug TONS of water before pumping session, compressions and massage, and even pump on the weekends when I can to freeze some. Before I went back to work I had a 10 bag stash that I use/replenish as needed.

  • Also I find the calmer I am the better. I EP and I noticed sometimes at work or when out and about I'm so anxious or watching the clock that it actually takes much longer and if I can distract myself and relax I get much more faster.
  • tfrangul said:
    @KFrob I was afraid of that. I am going to check out a couple local medical supply stores first then order if I can't find them.  
    I had to get the 21mm as well. I couldn't find them anywhere so I called Medella. They ended up sending them to me for free because they were not available anywhere relatively close to me.
    I had to do this also... my left was very inefficient pumping. I switched to 21mm and it definitely helped!

  • Hi ladies, I've been back to work for a month, and for the first three weeks everything was going great, and for the most part I was able to equal out what LO had eaten while I was gone.  Over the past week my supply has DRAMATICALLY dropped and I'm an emotional wreck over it.  I did some research and I found this company that makes oral supplements to help replenish low or lost supply and the testimonials are out of this world.  It's called euphoric herbals, you can find them on Instagram.  Use code EBP to get 15% off...they are selling out fast!! I just placed my order for lush leche and milk diva (I think that's all she has in stock right now).  I'm desperate to continue my breastfeeding journey till at least 6 months...I hope this helps some of you too.  I spent 45$ total with shipping and discount code for a 120 day supply.  I will let you know how it goes after week one!!
  • Is LO eating more at daycare than they would with you at home? I've read that some caretakers will offer milk as the first defense against crying when baby could have been consoled by something else. 
  • Im also pumping just enough at work to supply LO for the next day, but its stressing me out on days when it comes close to not being enough. I'd really like to build a stash, what are your tips for pumping and nursing? For example when I get home from work or on weekends?
  • I pump 3x a day at work and once after LO goes to sleep. I do the night time pump even on the weekends. It's close most days, but with the weekend sessions I'm able to keep up.

    Just remember it's not all-or-nothing. If you are not producing enough and have to supplement, your LO is still getting breastmilk. We've had to supplement a few times. It's just important that our babies are fed and growing.
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  • @Mamabeagle she gets 3 bottles a day totaling 15 ounces.  I was sending 3.5-4 oz bottles for a while and she was consistently crabby.  I began sending the bigger amounts and supplementing with the one formula bottle and things seem to be getting better.  
    Her caregivers do not feed her right away because I have stressed the issue several times.  She is definitely a fussy baby a majority of the time so they know it's not always because she's hungry.
    I had a pretty rough two weeks with being stressed, which made it worse and I was producing less, but I am starting this week out good!  No more stressing and if she only has to have 1 formula bottle a day while I'm at work, that isn't so bad :smile: 
  • In the morning when my LO starts to wake up on and off for a few hours I feed her from one side, wait as much as I can and pump before I leave work from the other, I also pump during and after work for next day, but the biggest stash I get is from the a.m pump since I 'save' one side more. Another trick that I use when my letdown is low is papaya - its supposed to help increase supply, I eat it in soup form and just stock up on liquids(soups,water,etc). But it is tiring, especially if you have an extra errand to do you always worry about LO, Good luck mamas, you're doing the best you can, and ultimately when they grow it's not gonna matter who had what as long as they're loved and nourished in some way!
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