Pumping Woes....

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-x-Amber-x-'s picture
Joined: 10/08/06
Posts: 642
Pumping Woes....

So I have to exclusively pump for Bria since she cant nurse yet because of her size. I usually go about 4 hrs in between and get 9-10oz each pumping. I dont want to pump any more often as she is only getting 5mLs every 2 hours and I am getting out over 250 mLs each time I pump. My boobs are getting so full and sore just 2 hrs after I am done pumping and I am extremely uncomfortable by the time I pump again. Its really frustrating to me and I dont know how to "slow" my milk production per say. Im not upset that I am making the milk and if she were normal size and eating every 2-3 hours it would be different. I have so much milk frozen already that I had to take some to my friends house to keep in her deep freezer, not to mention the 3 bins that are full at the hospital! I know I will appreciate it in the future when I have a nice stash built up, but for now I feel like I live on the pump and if Im not pumping my boobs are ungodly big and sore! UGH! I dont know what to do. I am not going to stop as she really needs the breastmilk with her being a preemie, but I am getting really sick of it already! Any ideas???

Kier's picture
Joined: 03/12/12
Posts: 1973

May I just say YAY for great production Smile Most momma's in your situation struggle to get, and keep a supply. You were born to lactate mamma Wink Unfortunatly, the only thing that is going to help with the mass production is time. Keep doing what your doing, and eventually your supply will normalize. One thing you could try doing is only pumping for less time. Dont pump until you are completly empty, just till you are comfortable. This will help tell your body not to make so much at one time. Other things you can try for the engorgement is cabage leaf in your bra. One thing I did was stand in a hot shower and just let yourself drip. And, at night, dont wear a bra. Make sure that you have a towl under you as you will leak. Hang in there. Soon she will be able to nurse and stimulate the supply she needs. Also, she wont be this little for long. Before you know it she will be taking more per bottle per time. you could also look at donating some of the milk you have stored. I am sure that someone at the NICU will know where you can go to do it Smile

alwayssmile's picture
Joined: 08/26/07
Posts: 14483

Are you planning on switching to BFing once she's stable enough and able to handle it?
Are you pumping both breasts at once? One thought is to just pump one breast at a time every 2-3 hours. This will simulate block feeding some (when nursing DS for the first year he only ever got 1 breast at a time). You don't want to go too long between pumping because that will signal to your body to make less. If you're hurting from engorgement between sessions, hand express enough to relieve the worst of the pain and pressure. Shouldn't produce the same demand to make more as pumping. You're getting closer to the point where production normally goes down unless the demand is there, so wouldn't do too much right now to lower production. If you can't find a place to store the BM, why not see if anyone locally wants donor milk? Overproduction is a problem most women would love to have!
Great job on pumping - it's hard work!!

-x-Amber-x-'s picture
Joined: 10/08/06
Posts: 642

They actually dont let you donate at the NICU where she is. I already asked them that. It stinks! I usually dont even pump until I am empty! I will still have spray coming from both sides when I stop. I know that I am blessed to have such a great supply, but at the sime time I feel cursed because I get the let down feeling ALL THE TIME! When I am in public I dont want to sit and hold my boobs all the time! Its so embarrasing!

alwayssmile's picture
Joined: 08/26/07
Posts: 14483

I'd check other local resources - like LLL if you have a chapter there and such. Smile

claireCJ's picture
Joined: 04/04/12
Posts: 742

(((HUGS))) I know that must be uncomfortable and hard. It will even out over time, but I know it hard when you are constantly miserable. My DS was in the NICU for a little while and I hated pumping. It truly was a relief to finally be able to BF him. Just hang in there and know you are doing a great job! What kind of pump do you have?

-x-Amber-x-'s picture
Joined: 10/08/06
Posts: 642

I have a medela advanced personal double breastpump. It is great! I used it with DD and it kept my supply up really well when she was hospitalized for a week with RSV at 6 weeks old. I know that it will all be worth it in the end, but I dont know if she will ever be able to breastfeed with as small as she is. If she will be able to it wont be for a couple more months! I really want to keep nursing her, but not physically nursing her and nursing the pump is hard! I want her to get all my immunities and anti bodies so I will continue. Just frustrated!

Joined: 04/30/09
Posts: 2257

((HUGS)) Just wanted to give some support and say what a great job you're doing! I agree I'd talk to the hospital's IBCLC's or a LLL leader about your milk production normalizing, but most of what i was told was waiting it out and not over pumping (which you're obviously not doing). DD was late pre term so we had to teach her to latch and finger feed for the first week and a half or so. It was such a pain to pump, I can't imagine doing it more long term as you are now, but how awesome that you're able to do that for her. Thinking of you and your little peanut!

Joined: 08/11/11
Posts: 262

I don't have any advice other than what everyone else has said, but just wanted to say what a great job you're doing! I hope your supply levels off soon so you can get some relief!!

Joined: 12/11/02
Posts: 485

I agree with what everyone is saying. As a follow NICU mom and this is my 2nd go around. Pumpng is hard but worth it in the end. I am back at work now and it's miserable but keep up the good work. I would agree with whoever mention check other sources. They are a lot of places what will take donor milk.

Good luck and soon she will be big enough to try. With my son they are talking about finally trying to breast feed