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Practical Pumping Tips Wanted

  1. #1
    thanka2 is offline Registered User
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    Question Practical Pumping Tips Wanted



    Well....

    I'm breastfeeding my second child who is 6-weeks-old today. Breastfeeding exclusively and I need to go back to work in 2 weeks.

    I would like some practical advice on how to go about preparing to go back to work as far as pumping goes. Specifically--if I am trying to pump extra milk to freeze how to go about doing that. Should I be pumping after I breastfeed--for how long and how long would it take to actually be able to get say 200 ml extra from each pumping session? Any other pumping and storage tips are also appreciated.

    With my first child (who is now 3+ years-old) I did pump a lot but it was a different situation. I pumped milk every day because I couldn't physically breastfeed him. I only actually breastfed at night after awhile but not because I was working but because I we had some issues that couldn't be resolved with him actually being at the breast. So, he was bottlefed breastmilk and that meant actually that I never had the luxury of storing milk because I could barely keep up with his demand on a day-to-day basis--especially because of some other health-related things. But, I never pumped at work and froze milk and stored it for it to be used while I was away.

    This is what I think I'm going to try to do with my daughter. I plan to nurse her in the morning before I leave for work. Then I will pump mid-morning, nurse her again at lunch (we live near my workplace so my helper will bring her over on my lunch break), pump mid-afternoon and then nurse her when I return from work in the late afternoon and through the night.

    She drinks quite a bit of milk in the mornings actually between 6 am and noon she probably nurses at least 5-6 times. She nurses less throughout the afternoon (maybe 3-4 times) and probably the least in the evenings.
    “Many women have described their experiences of childbirth as being associated with a
    spiritual uplifting, the power of which they have never previously been aware …
    To such a woman childbirth is a monument of joy within her memory.
    She turns to it in thought to seek again an ecstasy which passed too soon.”

    ~ Grantly Dick-Read (Childbirth Without Fear)

    Mother of Two
    JMW, boy, born November 29, 2007, 9:43 pm, USA
    MJW, girl, born March 17, 2011, 4:14 pm, HK

  2. #2
    Shenzhennifer is offline Registered User
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    Hi thanka,
    The only pumping tip I have that I do when I actually get around to it(and no need anymore as little one now refuses a bottle as I waited too long to re-introduce but...), I find that if I pump while I'm breastfeeding it's best. It takes a bit of management but is possible, at least with a manual. This way I let down for sure and then lots of milk comes.
    Otherwise what about pumping in the evening times when your girl doesn't want it and your milk is just sitting there.

  3. #3
    thanka2 is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shenzhennifer View Post
    Hi thanka,
    The only pumping tip I have that I do when I actually get around to it(and no need anymore as little one now refuses a bottle as I waited too long to re-introduce but...), I find that if I pump while I'm breastfeeding it's best. It takes a bit of management but is possible, at least with a manual. This way I let down for sure and then lots of milk comes.
    Otherwise what about pumping in the evening times when your girl doesn't want it and your milk is just sitting there.
    He he he...pumping while I nurse probably won't work as my baby wiggles a lot and easily distracted (I can't just stick her on my breast and expect her to just sit there contentedly and drink unless she's asleep at night) so just the noise of the electric pump (no way I can use a manual one) will be too much for her. My electric pump has a letdown function that actually stimulates letdown before the pumping begins so that part should be okay.
    “Many women have described their experiences of childbirth as being associated with a
    spiritual uplifting, the power of which they have never previously been aware …
    To such a woman childbirth is a monument of joy within her memory.
    She turns to it in thought to seek again an ecstasy which passed too soon.”

    ~ Grantly Dick-Read (Childbirth Without Fear)

    Mother of Two
    JMW, boy, born November 29, 2007, 9:43 pm, USA
    MJW, girl, born March 17, 2011, 4:14 pm, HK

  4. #4
    Biggie is offline Registered User
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    Nursing 5 times in a morning sounds lot - I guess you are feeding " on demand" and don't mind comfort sucking. Would you consider getting her on a more scheduled feeding time so it would be easier to give her bottles when you are at work? eg instead of feeding like every hour now, get her to wait longer and longer between feeds.
    And consider start pretending you are at work, ie follow the pump and nurse schedule you envision BEFORE you actually start working so you can make sure it works instead of leaving your helper with a crying baby that she have no way to console. This way you can also know in advance how much milk you can pump and tryout different ways to help pumping. My friend said looking at picture of the baby helps.
    Posted via Mobile Device

  5. #5
    TNT
    TNT is offline Banned
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    Nursing 5 times in the morning for a 6 week old baby is totally normal, it is not a lot for that baby (although it might be more or less than other babies the same age). Thanka2 it sounds like you have a well established milk supply by now so hopefully you should not have the issues you had with your first (in terms of not being able to store some extra). Also as you obviously realise the more you can give your baby the breast and/or pump the better your supply with be. So your plan of feeding morning, lunchtime and evening/night and pumping in between sounds really good and should really help you in keeping up your supply.

    I can totally see why pumping at the same time as breastfeeding would not be really practical and distracting for your baby, so your plan sounds ideal in your circumstances. Your may find that her feeding pattern changes as she adjusts to having a combination of bottle and breast eg. she might start feeding more in the evenings and at night when you are home, that's quite common. But babies feeding patterns continally change and adapt as they grow anyway so who knows? Best of luck with it and hope it all goes smoothly.

  6. #6
    thanka2 is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by Biggie View Post
    Nursing 5 times in a morning sounds lot - I guess you are feeding " on demand" and don't mind comfort sucking. Would you consider getting her on a more scheduled feeding time so it would be easier to give her bottles when you are at work? eg instead of feeding like every hour now, get her to wait longer and longer between feeds.
    And consider start pretending you are at work, ie follow the pump and nurse schedule you envision BEFORE you actually start working so you can make sure it works instead of leaving your helper with a crying baby that she have no way to console. This way you can also know in advance how much milk you can pump and tryout different ways to help pumping. My friend said looking at picture of the baby helps.
    Posted via Mobile Device
    Well...I guess you could say I'm nursing on demand and I have no problem doing that right now. I may have mistyped because she does her feedings over about a 10-hour period. Also, it's not comfort sucking at all. I totally know what that is and not a big fan so if I sense it's going on, I break suction our session ends for the time being. She is 6 weeks old and weighs 5.5 kilos. She has been gaining weight really well as she 3.965 kilos at birth.

    Formula and bottle fed babies get full and stay full but not so much with babies just taking breastmilk directly from the breast so feeding frequently is not a bad thing at all. And it keeps my milk supply in tip-top shape as well. I don't think that 5 times during the morning is a big deal because she goes to sleep for the night at around 2 am with a feeding and then every 3-5 hours I feed her--not really "on demand" as she doesn't actually demand to be fed but I can notice her start to stir and root so I feed her and this keeps me from waking up with hugely engorged breasts so it's a win-win situation for both of us. And I get great sleep so I'm not complaining at all--I mean, having a six-week-old who pretty much sleeps for 10 hours at a time with very little disturbances inbetween--rock on! So maybe between 2 am and noon she feeds those 5 times but she's also sleeping at this time (babies are cool in the fact that they can sleep and eat at the same time--what a skill!). We're still working on her schedule but I'm not willing to stress myself out over it and I totally am not the type to try to put a baby less than 3 months old into a tight schedule.

    Yes, I think I will be practicing the pumping schedule starting soon. Thankfully, my helper is AMAZING with our baby and our baby is very mellow. Even if the baby is crying because she wants to eat, our helper has the ability to sooth her for a long time. Also, we know the baby will eventually take a bottle because we tried it a few weeks ago. I'm sure pumping at work won't take a lot too much--probably a welcome relief to be able to pump rather than be toting around two big "milk bags." :P
    “Many women have described their experiences of childbirth as being associated with a
    spiritual uplifting, the power of which they have never previously been aware …
    To such a woman childbirth is a monument of joy within her memory.
    She turns to it in thought to seek again an ecstasy which passed too soon.”

    ~ Grantly Dick-Read (Childbirth Without Fear)

    Mother of Two
    JMW, boy, born November 29, 2007, 9:43 pm, USA
    MJW, girl, born March 17, 2011, 4:14 pm, HK

  7. #7
    southside852 is offline Registered User
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    I pumped 75% of my milk for my baby who is now 6 months old. I just finished and he is now on formula. my schedule was this:

    1st of the morning - pumped as i had the most milk
    2nd feed: pumped
    3rd feed: nursed
    4th feed: pump
    5th feed: pump/nursed if he needed more
    i pumped one more time before i went to sleep at night
    night feed: nursed

    this schedule worked well for me and allowed me to build up a supply in the freezer. also, since you are going back to work soon, replacing just 1 feed with formula at the start of building up your supply then stopping it once you feel your supply in the freezer is adequate.

  8. #8
    thanka2 is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by southside852 View Post
    I pumped 75% of my milk for my baby who is now 6 months old. I just finished and he is now on formula. my schedule was this:

    1st of the morning - pumped as i had the most milk
    2nd feed: pumped
    3rd feed: nursed
    4th feed: pump
    5th feed: pump/nursed if he needed more
    i pumped one more time before i went to sleep at night
    night feed: nursed

    this schedule worked well for me and allowed me to build up a supply in the freezer. also, since you are going back to work soon, replacing just 1 feed with formula at the start of building up your supply then stopping it once you feel your supply in the freezer is adequate.
    Thanks, southside. It seems by your schedule that you weren't working outside the home because you had the ability to nurse in the afternoons. Am I reading this right?

    Unfortunately, I don't think I can replace any of her feedings with formula right now because we tried to give her some formula one time and she got incredibly sick--it caused so much tummy problems that she was screaming and in pain for over two days until she was finally able to clear all the formula from her system. It was really miserable. So, I guess I'd better get to work on putting some of that milk in storage. :)
    “Many women have described their experiences of childbirth as being associated with a
    spiritual uplifting, the power of which they have never previously been aware …
    To such a woman childbirth is a monument of joy within her memory.
    She turns to it in thought to seek again an ecstasy which passed too soon.”

    ~ Grantly Dick-Read (Childbirth Without Fear)

    Mother of Two
    JMW, boy, born November 29, 2007, 9:43 pm, USA
    MJW, girl, born March 17, 2011, 4:14 pm, HK

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