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Pumping at work - not enough for baby

  1. #1
    peainpod is offline Registered User
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    Pumping at work - not enough for baby

    My baby (now 5 mths) has been exclusively breastfed from birth and since returning to work two months ago, I have been pumping during the day so that my helper can feed EBM when I'm away.

    For the first month or so, I was able to pump enough to meet his demands (and even freeze the odd bag with the surplus) but for the last few weeks, we have increased his daytime bottled EBM feeds to three 5oz bottles and one 4oz bottles (fed at approx 10:30am, 12:30pm, 3:00pm and 5:30pm). I then breastfeed him twice before he goes to bed (around 7 pm and 9pm) and also during the dream feed (1:30am) and then 6:00 a.m. when he wakes and a short nursing at 8:30 a.m. before I go to work. That adds up to 19 oz of EBM plus 4-5 breastfeeds.

    We also just started him on solids so i have been feeding him 2 tbsp of cereal at around 7 pm and as of today, another 2 tbsp of cereal at 8:30 a.m.

    My problem is I cannot pump 19 oz of EBM during workhours so I've been topping up with my freezer stock (which is now diminishing rapidly). I used to pump twice and now I pump three times (double pumping) at work. Each time yields around 4-5 oz in total (and even if I upped it to 4 pump times, it still only yields an extra oz or two). I already use a fantastic pump (Medela Pump in Style) and I really can't squeeze in any more than 4 pumps during my work-day! Also I can't really pump once I get home either as I'm bfing instead (and if I pump afterwards, I barely get anything at all!)

    My questions: I know baby cereal is more for the food-experience and not a main nutrition source but should I increase his cereal intake to fill him up a bit more? Is 19 oz of EBM between the hours of 9am-7pm considered a lot (or too much) and if so, can/should I decrease his EMB amts during the day? (will he then just drink more when I'm nursing him at home?)

    I'd love to hear from other working moms who are pumping at work, and what your experience is like.

    Last edited by peainpod; 08-13-2008 at 12:59 PM. Reason: addition

  2. #2
    LeahH is offline Registered User
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    Hi,

    I had the same problem, but was pumping at home with the PiS. Just couldn't keep up once we got to the 5 month mark and didn't want to squeeze more pumps in.

    if you go to the 'exclusively pumping' forum on ivillage they are excellent at providing advice on increasing milk production (without increasing the number of pumps). It's a system called 'power pumping' and something to do with stopping and starting every 10 mins - can't quite remember but it's pretty effective.

    Good luck.

  3. #3
    noc
    noc is offline Registered User
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    I am a working mom too. I also had this problem where after feeding and pumping for 6 months with excess milk for freezing, I could only just keep up with my baby's daily intake. She had a sudden increase in appetite, and I had a decrease in milk supply. I heard this from other exclusively breastfeeding moms too, and I think some of it has to do with exhaustion from feeding for so many months as well as a growth spurt around that time.

    I did a couple of things ?
    - increasing pumping times (sometimes you can get an extra letdown after a couple of minutes),
    - increasing times my baby fed directly (since I find it much easier to get milk out by feeding rather than pumping),
    - pumping before feeding when at home ? this is much easier than pumping after a feeding, and
    - finally, going into my freezer stash when the above did not work.

    I also tried increasing the amount of cereal she took, but this did not seem to have much effect in reducing the amount of EBM she took. Anyhow, I didn't feel comfortable doing this, as cereal is not as nutritious as BM and she became quite constipated too. As things progressed, I naturally had to give her more water, juice, fruit, and other solids to solve her constipation problem. She is now 9 months, and while two meals have been replaced by solids, her milk intake is still basically the same. Not sure if this is a problem? Anyhow, this is what I have done.

    Finally, I think that unless your baby wakes up himself, you can consider dropping the dream feed now, since your baby is 5 months already. But be careful, because I found that after I stopped night feeds, this decreased my milk supply.

  4. #4
    peainpod is offline Registered User
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    Thanks Leah and Noc for the feedback. I really appreciate the advice.

    Leah: I went to the iVillage site and got some great suggestions. I'm going to try power pumping at work to see if it will help. (It is basically as you said: pump for 10 mins, wait 10 mins and pump for 10 mins again.) One of the posts also suggested putting a heat pack against the breast while pumping as it may help increase letdown. (Not sure how I'm going to do that while holding on to the flanges at the same time but I'll figure it out...)

    Noc: While exclusively breastfeeding, I didn't need to give my baby any water - but now that we are starting solids, I'm not sure if that's still true. Also he used to always have one poo at least per day, but now, there's the odd day when he won't pass a poo. Does that mean I should start giving him water? How much should I give him? When is the best time to give it?

    Thanks!

  5. #5
    Kawai is offline Registered User
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    I am a working mom with 2 kids (4 & 1and1/2 respectively), both breastfeed till 1 year old. Fully understand your frustration caused I come across the same problem at that time.

    Below is what I did....
    - RELAX, RELAX, RELAX. stress >>> less milk
    - feed baby and bump milk simultaneously whenever possible. It will greatly increase the volume.
    - increase the bumping frequency.
    - drink fish + papaya soup > Traditional Chinese method, but really work.
    - bump milk in mid-night. (really tired, I won't do it unless the inventory is really tight!!!)

  6. #6
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    limantari is offline Registered User
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    Hi girls,

    I just wondering what pump is the most effective for working woman? considering the cost, size and easiness to clean?
    I used to pump with Ameda Lactaline, but not very satisfactory since the motor work weaker and weaker in less than 6 months.
    Thanks.

  7. #7
    noc
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    Dear Pea,

    While exclusively BF, my baby had 1 or 2 plentiful poos per day, it became less regular after solids, and after a few weeks of more cereal mixed with more breast milk, her poos became hard and painful to pass. We had to give more water, beginner fruit, juice, etc. to help move things along.

    Since my baby didn’t like water, we just gave it to her whenever she would take it. We definitely offered it at meals, but also throughout the day.

    For the use of heat to stimulate an extra letdown, I sometimes took hot showers during a lull in, e.g. my morning pump before work. It definitely works.

    Finally, I also pumped during weekends to keep up my supply and for extra stock. You can consider adding a pump, say before your 6 am feeding on weekends. If you can get even 3-4 ounces on both Sat and Sun, this should be a comfortable buffer for the rest of the week.

    Hope that helps!

  8. #8
    Kawai is offline Registered User
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    Limantari - I rent the Medela Lactina. Really heavy, but performance is very good - fast and quiet. Hope it help.

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