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pumping vs. off the breast

  1. #1
    kellyst is offline Registered User
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    Red face pumping vs. off the breast

    hi all,

    i guess it really is tougher than it sounds like. my almost 2-week old has been quite the textbook case so far, i'm breastfeeding her anywhere between 1-4 hours. on a good day (for me), she sleeps for 3 hours until the next feed. today, she was eating consistently at 1.5-2 hours interval. she has plenty of wet/dirty diapers. so from reading everything, i think we're doing ok.

    my family keep asking me if i can pump so the helper can help with some of the feeds to relieve me sometimes, i know off the breast is the best. so my questions are:
    1, how do i time pumping WITH feeding at the same time? i.e. if i pump before a feed, i won't have enough for her before the next one. or is it just not advisable to do so?
    2, she is still dozing off in the middle of feeds, which makes feeds longer, since i have to spend the time to wake her, is this still normal for a 2-week old?
    3, when can i expect for her to move to the 3-4 hour feeding schedule? i guess i just need to know there is light at the end of the tunnel :)

    she's been a joy otherwise, diaper changes are a breeze compared to feedings.

    thanks,
    kellyst

  2. #2
    saralee is offline Registered User
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    Hi!

    1. Pumping and feeding was exhausting for me. I was feeding at 2 hour intervals a lot during the early days and adding in the pumping on top was all too much. Whilst in theory pumping before feeding gives you the flexibility to get your helper or someone else to help with the feeds (assuming the baby takes the bottle), you will find yourself probably consumed more with feeding than now. If you are going to pump then pump before a feed so you are all prepared when she is hungry. You may find you can pump more than she drinks in which case you will be ahead of the game.
    2. Dozing off is very normal. I was constantly tickling my daughter to get her to wake up and finish the feed!
    3. She will move to a 3 hour schedule as she grows but may well resort to 2 hour days or longer when she is going through a growth spurt. There is light at the end of the tunnel but I would suggest you hook up with a breastfeeding support group since it can be very difficult in the first few weeks especially if you have a frequent feeder.

    Hope this helps. Breastfeeding really is exhausting and it sounds like you are doing a great job so far.

  3. #3
    DRW
    DRW is offline Registered User
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    Hi

    I do breastfeed and doing the breast pump at the same time. This trick really work for me as at the same time the baby and pump do the same job; means i got the milk from breast pumping about 4 - 5 oz. I fed my baby by bottle only in the midnight afterwards so I only pump for 3 to 4 times a day. And some of them I put in freezer just in case I need it.
    In the day time sometimes I ask my husband to feed David so I can got some nap. About the growth spurt: David really made me exhausted too but after 6 weeks should be getting a lot better.
    But right now David sleep still not long period one. He is 2 months old but he will sleep 2 to 4 hours(in some nights) each time. I read some babies after 3 months they getting better with sleep time too. Tho some babies already do sleep for longer hours mine not.
    Breast feeding it is a hard job. I did felt really desperate when it was first time. But somehow I think we can tru this. I really hope you do.

    (Sorry if too long) Maya



    :breastfed

  4. #4
    kellyst is offline Registered User
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    Red face pumping vs. off the breast

    thanks both for your remarks.

    just knowing that other people have been through the same makes me a bit more at ease already. i think pumping while feeding could be a great solution, but given that i need 3 hands on the baby while she's feeding and another 2 on the pumping bottle, that sounds pretty impossible! Maya, how did you manage to do that?

    thanks again, will try to hang in there...

    --kellyst

  5. #5
    DRW
    DRW is offline Registered User
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    Hi Kelly

    Sorry not to mention how long it's takes for me to become a bit expert to do the breast feeding - I need at least 1 month to getting better to do the BF. But the first few weeks is painful as David not latch on correctly.
    What I did is I put David on my left breast and I used the medela mini breast pump on my right breast and vice versa (as David only fed on one breast in each time). And I used the cradle position so your other hand free. If you need more info and help the La Leche League is good for advices and support.

    Keep doing it and not long you gonna be another expert of BF.

  6. #6
    JennyB is offline Registered User
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    I can also recommend pumping while the baby is feeding from the other breast. It is a big time saver and many people get much more milk while they have the baby stimulating their glands or whatever. But it is tricky to get the position right. You have to wait until they are old enough to stay latched on during feeding, and it helps for them to have some head control, so that you can support their head with the crook of one arm. The "football hold" also makes it easier to pump from the other side.

    BTW if you pump separately, don't worry about there not being enough milk for your baby. Your breasts will adapt and produce more on demand. It's better to pump at the same time each day so that your breasts learn to produce more at that time of day. And don't be discouraged if you don't get much from the pump at first. Although your breasts are very full in the early days, the milk may not flow very fast, and it will get faster as your baby becomes a more efficient feeder and hence stimulates a faster flow.

  7. #7
    Sylvieng is offline Registered User
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    Hi,

    You seems to be doing good with your breastfeeding ! :cheerlead

    I was exactly in your situation 3 months ago, so tired and hurting too because of sore nipples. :'-( Now, I'm still breastfeeding and so happy to still do so.

    Like your family, mine also advise me to pump so that my husband or helper could help me feed her, but I found out that it wasn't helping me so much at all. In fact, even hurt, I found breastfeeding much more easy as we didn't have to pump and manage the bottles. What more, I found pumping not only so tiring but also quite upsetting : did I pump enough milk ? And then, if she didn't eat all, I would feel like my effort have had gone to waste ! :-/... Even the fact that she cries while waiting for the milk to be ready stressed me. How can I rest peacefully knowing that my baby is crying of hunger just 10 paces from me ?

    So to rest, I have found a another method : breastfeeding her in the laying down position. At first, it was to releave my sore nipples, but then I discovered that I could doze off and so rest in this position ! It felt so good
    My mission was to feed her, my helper and husband will do the rest of the chores in the household. The burping and diapers changes were also my husband duties when he was home along with the bathing. So In fact, I did have many times to rest !

    My husband even told me once that I have nurse her while sleeping ! It was nearly midnight and I was sleeping, so when she cried he took her and put her on my breast. Even asleep, I took the "nursing position" and when she finished he took her right to bed ! Mind you, it only happen once and I didn't believe him at the time, but since then, I have read some other peoples sharing this same experience.

    I think that the other reason why I was less tired/stressed after a while is because I didn't want to see my nursing time as a chore anymore but as a special moment with my baby. :-D

    As for your questions :
    1. I would say like the others : pumping one breast when nursing from the other. If you cannot manage alone, just ask your husband or helper to help you by handling the breastpump. A electrical pump may help also.
    2. Yes, very normal. Mine has been dozing off all the time till she was nearly 1.5 or 2 months. I kept tickkling her feet.
    3. It really depend of the baby, and as the others have said, it won't be the same from on week to the other. Mine is 4 months old and in the morning, she nurses quite often, let say every 2 hours or less. Mind you, she sleeps all night now so I guess that she is just making up for the night.

    Hope this helps you :-)

  8. #8
    snowball is offline Registered User
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    I find my breast got smaller after many times of pumping, infact smaller than pre pregnancy. Does any of you have the same problem?

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