Pumping... help!!!

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VixB's picture
Joined: 05/07/08
Posts: 1435
Pumping... help!!!

So I'm BF and I want to express milk so I can leave my daughter more then 2 hours at a time. I always had a hard time with pumping with my first pregnancy and I stopped bf at 4.5 months. I was using a manuel Avent breast pump and could only express 1 to 2 oz at a time. Frustrating!!
So this time, I bought a electric pump (Medela) and same thing... how frustrating!! I just took a hot shower to help with milk flow and started pumping... well I could only extract 1 oz! I was also massaging my breast as I was pumping.
I hate pumping but wish I had a stash of bmilk for my daughter...
Any suggestions??? I know I have plenty of milk when my daughter (and son was) bfeeding... so what's the problem? Any one else dealing with that?
I was hoping to have a full night sleep (and DH could bottle feed her with my milk) but it seems I will have to give my daughter formula earlier then I wanted... Sad

VixB's picture
Joined: 05/07/08
Posts: 1435

And a question? I have in my freezer a bag of 1 oz, a bag of 2 oz and a bag of 1 oz. So 4 oz all together. Can I thaw them and put them all together in a bottle for one feeding?

And.... If i pump 1 oz at a time, can I put it in the fridge, pump again later, add th together and them freeze them? Thanks!!!

nurseamanda's picture
Joined: 10/11/09
Posts: 353

For me when I pump, I usually only get about 1-2oz as well... unless it is first thing in the a.m., then I might get more. It's super frustrating, because it takes like 3 pumping sessions just to get one bottle-full. We also do formula though too, so it's not too big of a deal if I don't have enough pumped.
As for freezing, yes you can thaw them all and put it all in one bottle. And for refrigerating, you can't put fresh milk in with already chilled milk, you have to have them in separate bottles/bags, but once they are both chilled, you can put them together. (this is info I have from a pamphlet I got at the hospital from my LC)

mom2robbie's picture
Joined: 01/20/07
Posts: 2541

:lurk:
To answer your questions - yes you can thaw and combine the breast milk for one bottle - they do that all the time in the NICU. Amanda is correct on the fresh/chilled milk.

As for pumping. The only time I got more then 1-2 oz at a time was when Robbie was in the NICU and I was pumping every 4 hours for 10-15 minutes with the hospital grade pumps, then I would get a total of 5oz. I did find that I would get more milk when I would feed him on one side and pump the other at the same time (this takes practice).

And here is some tips from a friend who pumped for her NICU babies The Preemie Mile: Wow! You have a lot of milk

Joined: 04/21/08
Posts: 1063

Keep it up. Some breast milk is better than none. I am getting more than an ounce, but only because I am not pumping or BFing overnight... my first two pumps in the morning are very productive (not enough for twins, though). Giving some formula is not going to ruin them and if there is ever a time to do it, it is at night since they stay fuller with that longer. Just a thought.... that is why mine don't get breastmilk at night - they barely make it 2.5 hrs anyhow. P.S. My boys are no where near satisfied with anything less than 4 oz of breastmilk so keeping up with two boys who like to eat that every 3 hours or less is crazy. Did you at least get a pumping bra so you can do it hands free? How long are you pumping?

Go to kellymom.com for lots and lots of advice on this topic.

Tiffany

Joined: 03/19/05
Posts: 338

Only getting an ounce or two is perfectly normal especially if you are nursing. When I went to work and pumped during what would have been a nursing session, I got a lot more.
If you pump after nursing, the added stimulation may help your body decide to produce more milk. I got the most milk in the mornings. I would pump one side WHILE he nursed the other. Sometimes I would need to bottle feed him what I pumped, but not always.
I just put all my tiny bottles in the fridge then at the end of the day I would pour it all into a bag and freeze.

Keep at it!

Joined: 04/30/09
Posts: 2257

I agree with everything that's been said about pumping 1 to 2 oz being normal and the thawing and fridge storage. Pumping can be really taxing emotionally when you're going over the numbers all the time. Besides nursing and feeding, being as relaxed as possible could help your milk flow while pumping too. I always pump more when I'm not watching the pump and am reading or watching tv and have my mind off of it. You'll get there!

VixB's picture
Joined: 05/07/08
Posts: 1435

Thanks everyone!!! I thought getting 1 to 2 oz wasn't the norm!!! Glad to hear everyone is in the same boat!!
At Tiff, I am thinking of FF at night, to give me a break and let her sleep longer too....
I don't have a pumping bra and to be honest, I don't really enjoy pumping at all...
I will continue bf but I'm thinking more and more of giving formula from time to time, so I can go out a bit more... But again, to be honest, I feel selfish doing so, am I normal?? Sad

VixB's picture
Joined: 05/07/08
Posts: 1435

double post

nurseamanda's picture
Joined: 10/11/09
Posts: 353

"VixB" wrote:

I will continue bf but I'm thinking more and more of giving formula from time to time, so I can go out a bit more... But again, to be honest, I feel selfish doing so, am I normal?? Sad

Your totally normal! It's ok to want some time to yourself, or to want help with feedings. With DD, I actually used to get very jealous of DH when he would get to go out and do stuff with his friends, or when he would get to sleep all night and I wouldn't because I had to feed the baby. This time around, I swore up and down I was not going to let those emotions take over, and if I started to feel like that then I would quit nursing. While I didn't intentionally quit nursing (my supply decreased when I was so sick a few weeks ago, so I stopped nursing and have been pumping/formula feeding) I feel good about being able to hand DS over to DH so I can either sleep, or spend some time with DD. Feeding time always comes at DD's bedtime, and I'm the one who she always wants to put her to bed (story, snuggles etc) so it's worked out well that DH can feed DS while I spend that quality time with DD. It's important to have YOU time.

Joined: 04/21/08
Posts: 1063

Good god! Who enjoys pumping. I call it a torture device!! The pumping bra allows hands free though which gives me some free time while pumping. Anyhow, I love that my boys get some breastmilk but I dont worry about the fact they are not exclusively breastfed. The time I spend pumping puts more responsibility on my husband and we are both pretty tapped out these days.

Joined: 04/21/08
Posts: 1063

Ps do you think she has colic? Getting any sleep at night?

AmberC727's picture
Joined: 06/05/06
Posts: 226

I agree with those who have said it's totally normal to get that little. I thought something was wrong with me with my last two kids because that's all I got, and so I gave up and just didn't leave the house. That led to some depression and I decided this time would be different. When I started pumping a couple of weeks ago, I only got 1-2 oz as well, and it made me angry. I have the added problem of excess lipase, so my milk has to be scalded before I can freeze it, otherwise it ends up tasting like soap :-(. So what I do is pump 2-3x per day and leave the bottle in the fridge until I have 4-6oz and then I scald it at the end of the day (my milk can go over 24 hours before it gets the soapy taste). I left my baby for the first time last weekend (at 3 weeks old). My hubby kept him all day so I could get a haircut and a massage and do some light shopping at Ulta. It worked well so it's inspired me to pump much more!

VixB's picture
Joined: 05/07/08
Posts: 1435

At Tiff,
I don't think Heidi has colic as of now (knock on wood)! The last 2 days she did a 4 hour stretch at night (last night from 3am to 7am and the night before from 12 to 4am) so that is awesome!!!
She sleeps good but sometimes stays up long at night (last night she woke up at 10pm then stayed up till 3am!_ not crying but just up.....
?
So for now, she is good, that's why I don't really want to give her formula, being scared changing her diet will affect her digesting sysytem... but I'm sure I will soon. Everytime she does a bad night (wakes up every hour) I wanna formula feed her the next day. But then the next night, she's better sooo....lol!!!
Anyways, I know I will need time for me soon so it's just a matter of time before I do it. I need my sanity too... especially with my son Hunter having some issues at school and at home (not listening, having calls and emails from his teacher for his bad behavior... Sad

Joined: 04/30/09
Posts: 2257

I agree making me time is really important. I told DH this morning I want to try giving John some pumped milk today so we'll know he will take one and so I can have some down time. I am really feeling the need for some one on one time with DH sans kids. Just going out to eat and shopping or a movie would be bliss! He works long days 10-11 hours then a 1.5 hour commute each way) so we don't get much downtime. Even when I'm pumping to get a break tr thought makes me cringe lol.

patricia2383's picture
Joined: 04/17/08
Posts: 458

I started pumping as soon as we got home from the hospital so DH could take one feeding at night. I pump at least once a day for the last 4 weeks and now I can get 4 oz in one pumping. I think it just takes time to build supply and you boobs get used to it.

Joined: 02/24/11
Posts: 1651

Im having the same issue with pumping i hear if you pump one breast and have the baby on the other it helps

Joined: 04/30/09
Posts: 2257

Patricia - that's awesome that you're able to get so much and have fit pumping into your day. When we were finger feeding in the first few days I pumped every feeding. I only took DS a day after coming home to figure out latching and staying on so I stopped after that. With DD (born at 36 weeks and much smaller) it took a good week and I didn't stop pumping (1-2 times a day out of habit) for a few months. I defiantly had an oversupply (not as good as it sounds) and would get 5-10 oz in a session. I never got around to pumping this weekend but it's okay as I realized i was having some oversupply issues that were effecting DS so were working on fixing that first.

I have heard a lot of women will just cut holes in a sports bra for a cheap pumping bra.

Pumping while nursing is not easy but having the baby nursing at the same time should help your milk flow more readily.

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