I am really starting to get depressed about how much milk I am producing! Sometimes I don’t even get ½oz from each breast. Logan is 2w3d and I have been pumping every 3hours since the day he was born. I do go as long as 3-4 hours at night depending on what time he gets up to feed at. And there has been times when I am out and about, so I would have to pump at the 5hour mark. I have notice that the longer I wait to pump the more milk I get. But I shouldn’t wait that long, Right? I have even tried pumping every hour for a few hours to see if I would see an increase, I have yet to see that increase….Normally I will get ½ oz from my left side and just under that from my right side if pumping in the 3 hour mark. Now if I wait 4-5 hours I will get just under a oz from my left and just over ½ oz from my right…..
I read on here about women getting anywhere from 4-8oz at one pumping. And this makes me sad! Here, I am willing to do the work and I get nothing! I mean, I get over the moon happy if I even get close to pumping 1oz from each breast! Which isn’t often…. It just gets really discouraging! I have tried taking Fenugreek, which maybe helped a bit.
As of right now Logan gets about 3-4 breast milk bottles a day, Which is better then nothing, But once he starts to eat more there is no way I can keep up! I know its only been just over 2 weeks now but when should I talk to someone about this? And who would that be? My Ob? I mean am I over reacting, will my milk come in more or am I hopeless? Some days I just want to give up!
Some women do not respond well to the pump. Some women don't respond well to specific pumps. i used to belong to an exclusively pumping forum and I do recall that there were women there who did much better on a different brand. I don't know if you want to make the investment to try, but it is a thought. I know you are using medela, but there is also the lansinoh or ameda that gets good reviews. I think there is also a newer one- the playtex embrace, that is also considered hospital grade.
Believe it or not, I have also heard of women who have more success using manual expression. can't hurt to try that either, especially since it's free. it may take a little practice, but it's good to know in case of emergency anyways.
i think i've asked this, but are you doing compressions while you pump? have you tried different settings? also, do you think you have the right horns. of course, it's not always such a simple fix, but those are ones that are easier to try.
how quickly do you let-down? and do you have more than one? we should try to figure out if it's a supply problem or problem getting a let-down. it's definitely early enough in the game to try to improve the situation. it is also possible that your milk is just slower to come in. but i would recommend not waiting much longer.
people to call- la leche league is free and i have heard wonderful things about those ladies. you can contact the hospital where you gave birth and ask to speak to a LC there. You can see if your insurance would pay for a LC consultation, although most won't. You can ask you OB or pediatrician for the name of a LC for private consultation. That is what I did and I was very lucky to find one who was both supportive and knowledgable about pumping. Prior to meeting/paying her, I'd make sure she supports pumping, as I have heard some do not. My LC is the reason why I was able to pump as long as i did with my first. She was worth every penny.
Finally, know that your feelings are completely normal. Even though I made enough, I still often felt like quitting. We put so much pressure on ourselves because we want the best for our babies, that there is never a point where we are satisfied with what we produce. If you have extra, you wish you could freeze more. Take it one day at a time and know that you are doing the best you can a great job. 3 to 4 bottles of ebm a day is more than so many babies get in their lifetime. Every drop you give him a wonderful gift that noone but you can provide. So don't look at what you aren't getting, look at what you ARE giving him and feel proud. Even if it gets to the point where you feel you have to quit, you have given him such a strong start to a healthy life.
Good luck, and please let us know if you have any more questions or just feel the need to vent. Those first few weeks are so hard and stressful and exhausting. And don't forget your hormones are still doing wacky things too. It does get easier.
When I was in the hopsital we made sure I was using the right horns. I have also started playing with the settings, but really have no idea on where the setting should be set at?
Once I start pumping my let down is with in seconds but only lasting about 5mins or so, then its just drops. Since I have been doing compressions, I have been getting what I guess is another let down but that only last second or two.
I have just Email a women in my area from the la leche league, hopefully she will call me today.
Sorry to here your having some problems with your expressing. On my 1st son (8 years ago) there was very little support for pumping out there. It was before my Internet days and my so-called midwife had NOTHING good to say about me trying to pump. I have inverted nipps so the breastfeeding dream has always been there but has never been practical. My only option has been to pump. 8 years ago I invested in a manual hand pump and so my son only got around 50 percent breastmilk per day til he was 6 months old. I know now and a while ago realised the lack of support in my community were to blame and the use of the WRONG pump. My second son had 80-90 percent breastmilk until he was 8 months (actually I was able to ditch the formula when he started solids) but that is what he averaged since birth. My third daughter has 95 percent breastmilk. I am using a medela mini electric (not the best out there bur a very affordable one. It's also a single).
what I'm trying to say is you need help and support to "master" breast feeding because it can be so challenging. It's great you've already made that call. The next is to try a new pump if you can afford just the mini electric from medela (I sugggest this as a non-high volume pumper, and it works for me)
the other thing is I would definately avoid leaving a 5 hour gap even occasionally between pumping, so early on. I have found if I rigourously stick to pumping exactly 3 hrs from when I last started, that is when I've produced highest. Yes go longer at night, but not during the day. Your body will get messages that it doesn't need to make milk with long gaps like that. I know it's hard with other children - I have two boys to look after too. But you seem very committed so I know you can do it :-)
Let us know what the LC says, and good luck!
Hang in there :-)
Can I add - it's the most amazingly fascinating thing for me - the moment it hits exactly between 2 hrs 55 mins and 3 hours since I last pumped (during waking hours), this is when I feel my milk coming in! You can tailor your body to produce the milk when you need it, simply by sticking to a routine. Your body will get used to producing milk when you need it. My body has clearly 'got the message' that it needs to produce that let-down every 3 hrs.
Thanks! the LLL ladie said I have to pump every 2hr. around the clock! I just....There is no way I can do this! I mean, I have my hands full as it is. and she said it would be hard for me to keep my milk up as I am not having baby at the breast.....
I am not going to stress about this any more... At least my baby has got in some breast milk. Im going to keep doing what I am doing...
I do have a medela mini electric, that is what I bring to work, it is an Older one since I have had it since my 4y/o was born.
Thanks you guys so much for all the infor. and help!!
I don't blame you for being negative about her suggestion!! But it's not an uncommon suggestion to make when it is how a directly-breastfed baby feeds. As often as every hour with newborns I've been told. That's why pumping is so much work, so exhausting.
What if you met her halfway?? Try 2.5 hr gaps in the day and get in 2 night pumps instead of 1 eg. at 2 am and 5 am.
Or, 3 hour gaps in the day, but get in 2 pumps at night (seeing as you produce the most at night).
Or, increase your time spent pumping by 10 mins (I did this recently and my supply is going up)
If you could try one out of these 3 ideas, you could experiment for maybe 2 weeks and see if that helps? If you're too exhausted, go back to your previous routine and tell yourself 'well at least I have tried it.' But I am only making a suggestion here, and I feel for your situation, it is probably still alot to ask..... I know how hard it is to pump often with 3 children to take care of, and you're back at work (which I'm not). I suppose the very fact you are back at work means it is near-impossible to pump to a 2 hour rountine, even if you wanted to.
Making small adjustments would be a good way to experiment if you wanted to and get your milk supply up - because the good thing is, once your body is prodcing more, you might be able to start spreading out the pumping a bit but continue to produce that amount of milk.
Thanks! I am pumping 2 times at night...Logan gets his last bottle at 9 or 930 and I pump after that, then he gets up at 2-3 and I pump then and then he's up 3hr later and I pump too. and Then I pump before work. Ive have started to pump longer and I have seen alittle increase.....
That's interesting because I can see we actually have a very similar pumping schedule. I find my schedule works well for me, (it allows me to pump the most I can - after lots of experimenting I have reached this conclusion) but still it is quite gruelling - life has had to be adjusted to fit around my pumping schedule - I even get quite panicky if I'm stuck out and need to get home to pump. It affects my mood considerably, gets me stressed out if I can't get back to pump! It's like a blessing and a curse in so many ways...
[the blessing] I couldn't live with myself quitting yet, it is something to be so proud of doing for your baby, but at the same time pumping is so much work, takes so much time, so much effort, so much energy [the curse].
When you are 5 months into it, it's part of your daily routine.
When my routine gets disrupted, it will play havoc with my supply. If I've rushed around or been stressed getting home, that too seems to affect my supply at the next pump session. But having other children and commitments with them does occasionally cause this to happen. So it is hard.
How did pumping go with your other boys? (assuming that is what you did) How much were you pumping? Did your milk take a little longer to come in with them?
Even know I am not getting much at all, I just cant quit...Parts of me thinks it will just be easier on me if I do but then I think about it and I dont want to quit just yet......
WIth my 1st born, I got my milk about 3days after he was born and my supply was good but I was young and I just quit after 2weeks...With my 2nd born I tryed again, I never got the feeling that my milk was in, I was getting less then I am now but I did pump for a month.
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