How do I tell if I have enough? I am never to engorged like I was with DS and I never feel like Nicholas is getting much but I know he is gaining weight. His doctor gave me the ok to starting pumping and bottlefeeding and I tried for the first time and could barely get any out. I am getting kinda frustrated because I really wanted my SO to start doing some feeding because I am so tired. I have a manual pump that worked great when I was engored with DS but isn't working so well when I never feel engorged this time. Maybe I need to do some things to up my milk supply? I drink a ton of water and have been eating oatmeal cookies. I also have the mothers milk tea I drink.
I always try to just focus on wet/poopy diapers, and behaviour after feeding. Remember that you'll never pump as much as he's taking out of you.
DD Annabelle 04/08/10 DD Gillian 09/29/11
I have no experience because I was nursing my first when I had my second, but I wasn't engorged at all. I usually could only pump in the morning on one side with my first. I would feed her from that side (the left, as it was my 'under producer') for the last feed before I went to bed. Then when she woke up in the middle of the night, I'd feed her on my right side every time. Then I would pump the left side when I woke up. I could get 5oz like that.
I think if he's gaining and having good diapers, your supply is fine. The best way to increase your supply is to nurse more. Also you can always pump after you're done nursing him. You probably won't get much for a while, but it will trigger your body to make more milk. You need to pump I think about 15 minutes extra, even if you aren't getting anything.
Make sure the pumping cone things (god my mind is so bad right now, sorry) are the right size too. If they aren't that could cause you to not be able to get as much out. Also you can pump one side while he nurses the other to help letdown.
For the cookies/oatmeal..I think it needs to be the "real" oatmeal and not the quick stuff, so you can always change to that.
It may just take a while for your body to respond to the pump, keep trying.
I nursed for only 2 months and then exclusively pumped for another 3 with DD. I had an old Medela double electric pump and it worked great for me. If you're thinking about pumping a lot, then my advice is to go ahead and buy/rent the electric pump. Also, I always had a better pumping session while relaxed. (and BTW every time I typed pumping this post, my fingers typed pumpkin! LOL. I guess I have October on the brain!)
I've never been good at pumping. It doesn't matter what kind of pump it is, my body just does NOT respond to it. I can actually be heavily engorged and still not get out more then a drop. That being said... one way that I have been able to pump in the past (I didn't even bother pumping with my last two), was to nurse on one side, and as soon as my milk let down to use a manual pump on the other side. I was able to get a few ounces that way. I wouldn't worry too much about your supply. It sounds like you are doing all the right things.
Just so baby is satisfied really the only way to tell if he is getting enough is at your well baby checkups if he is gaining weight. And ditto, full diapers.
Kai Robert 10/14/11
I was worried about my milk supply as well because I haven't felt any engorgement, but she's gaining weight and has a lot of full diapers so I think maybe I've just been good at staying on top of feedings. I usually pump in the morning about 30-45 minutes after her last feeding. I can usually get 2 oz. that way. I guess that is when I have the most milk. I am also taking Fenugreek to help with milk supply. I'm not even sure if I actually need it, but it hasn't hurt anything so far. I'm going to just finish the bottle I have and then stop taking it to see if I notice a difference.
I think your body has to adjust to pumping since its different than the way baby nurses. With DS1 I pumped a lot because he had trouble nursing in the beginning, I had no problem pumping at all (I had so much milk I ended up donating it). With DD I avoided pumping as much as possible to avoid the over supply I had with DS and when I did pump it was harder. Even if I was engorged hand expressing was usually easier. I think it was just because I never got used to the pump having tried it so infrequently. If Nicholas is gaining I definitely wouldn't worry about not making enough!
So yesterday we had people over to watch football and I decided to have a few beers. I had heard that beer is good for milk supply, but I thought it was only dark beer. I was drinking light beer and I have to tell you, my milk has doubled since yesterday!!! Not sure if it really was the beer, but it wouldn't hurt to try.