View Full Version : Need Pumping Help
04-20-2006, 03:34 PM
I just started pumping yesterday. I should've started before, as I have to return to work in a week, but we had thrush and I was battling meds and pain. So, I followed the instructions in the book "Working Mother, Nursing Mohter" and tried to nurse on one side between 5-8 am and pump the other side. That went well. Then it says to pump both sides about an hour and a half after a feeding, but in the morning. Well, DS was up and cranky all morning, so I didn't get to pump until afternoon and by the time I waited an hour and a half and pumped, DS got up hungry. I tried to offer him the breasts, but he was very cranky and kept pulling off and crying. So, I ended up feeding him everything I had just pumped in a bottle. This morning I pumped one side at the 6 am feeding. I thought maybe I would try to pump one side and just offer him the other for my other pumping session today, but he has wanted both sides every feeding. And I'm afraid if I try to pump after an hour and a half after a feeding, he'll wake up right after I finish, hungry.
My question: how did you pumpers build up some kind of freezer stash while still feeding full time at home? I'm really starting to stress that I won't have enough to feed him while I'm at work. Also, how much should I be getting at each pumping session? This morning I only got 1 ounce from one breast, although it is the breast that seems less productive. I'm using the PISA.
Any help appreciated!
04-20-2006, 04:10 PM
Well, first of all, what are you trying to accomplish by pumping? Are you just trying to get the hang of it, or do you want a freezer stash (which is, honestly, tough to build in one week)?
What worked best for me was to pump once a day at the same time every day. Within a week, I got about 8oz or so at that pumping, and so I just pumped that much off every night (around 9-10pm, since DS1 was sleeping a long stretch at that point) and used that to build a freezer stash. In addition, I pumped at work when away from the baby, which often covered what he took in that day. But it took time to build the freezer stash, I didn't have it when I first went back to work.
With DS2, I don't have to go back to work for a while, so I just pump occasionally in the morning so that we have some fresh stuff for a bottle when needed (he's still a bit bottle resistant). I usually end up pumping 30-45 minutes after the first morning feed, and have enough for a bottle and then some.
Is your baby going through a growth spurt? If so, I'd give him a day or two to get through it and then try pumping again. I wouldn't wait 1.5hrs to pump, but rather pump one side before a feed (don't pump until empty, just pump off a couple of ounces). The breasts are like a faucet, always making milk, so he'll still have enough to eat. Try not to break down and give him what you just pumped off - trust your body to do what it is made to do.
If pumping during the morning feed worked for you, I would keep doing that. For another time of day to add a pumping session, I found that about an hour and a half after bedtime worked better for me thn during the day. DD's nap schedule was very varied during the early months so it was, as you experienced yourself, somewhat difficult to do. But my DD had a very consistent bedtime and she typically slept at least a 3-4 hour stretch so I pumped in the evening.
If you are starting to pump, it will take some time before yur body adjusts and treats that pumping session as a feeding and produces more milk. Give it a few days at least. Also when you are pumping, start with low suction but fast pumping then once you get a letdown switch to as high a suction as you can but slow the pumping speed down. That mimics your baby's sucking pattern and will help empty your breasts.
04-21-2006, 12:42 PM
First off -- you need to allow your body to get used to responding to the pump. Once I realized it's a bit like learning to nurse all over again, I think I relaxed a bit.
When I was trying to build my freezer stash (and get used to the pump as well), I would pump on one side in the morning (one time) each day. It was very discouraging at first because I didn't get alot out. But in the morning is when I had the most supply anyway. Later, once my body responded well to the pump, I was able to pump on both sides (at the same time) after a morning feeding session before I went to work each day. Then I knew I was really empty....
You need enough to make up the bottles for the first day you go to work. What ever I pumped at work usually got sent the next day...although in the beginning, I think I actually pumped a bit more than my DS consumed. I was actually able to freeze a bit of what I pumped at work every once in awhile.
I was told I had to bring prepared bottles to daycare, so I thought that meant I needed to defrost a lot of milk from my stash for the first day (since I had no idea how much he would consume) He didn't take as much as I thought he would. I now know I could have sent three bottles and enough frozen to make up a fourth that they could defrost if needed under warm water.
Do you know how to defrost the stash?
You need to take the frozen milk from the freezer about 12 hours before you need to make up the bottles and place it in the fridge to defrost. Once defrosted, it is only good for 24 hours. If you warm the milk (to defrost it or just to warm up a bottle)-- it should be discarded after that feeding.
04-21-2006, 02:24 PM
I never built up a stash before I went to work. It was almost impossible for me, as DD ate every 2 hours. So, the first morning, I woke up at 5am and pumped, then fed DD at 7am before I left for work. DH used the 5am milk and mixed it with formula to make it go through the rest of the day until I came home at 4pm. (I decided to work less than a full day that first week.) I pumped 3 times at work. The first few days, I'd only get 3 oz total for each session. Quite discouraging, but really, that's pretty normal everyone tells me.
So for awhile, I was always only a day ahead. But you get a lot of "extra" if you pump before feeding first thing in the morning. After a month or so, I started to build up a stash. Maybe 4-6 oz at a time.
It's exhausting, getting up so early! But I napped at lunch, etc. Good luck!
04-23-2006, 08:09 AM
My husband says I'm crazy but I pump at the 4 am feeding. I am totally overflowing at that point (he sleeps 6-7 hours) so he eats 1 side and a little of the other side and then I pump off the rest (usually 2 oz or so). I also have some luck with pumping in the mornings some days.
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