Pump it up
Posted on December 27 2015
Getting started with pumping can be difficult, just because it will run into your schedule with breastfeeding.
I struggled with this at first. I just couldn't figure out how to throw pumping into the mix, without messing up our nursing schedule.
The only time that it was easy for me was right after he turned 1 month old and I needed to try to give him the bottle. I wasn't really trying to build a supply then, and I was engorged. So I would pump out all the 'extra milk' to relieve the pain. I would have enough for his bottle and still have plenty to nurse him with.
But when it came time to start building a supply for when I returned to work, things got difficult. You don't want to pump too close to when you're about to feed because then when you nurse there will be close to nothing left. If you're trying to build up a supply for your fridge you don't want to give your baby what you just pumped.
Then if you try to pump right after feeding you're not going to get much. Although if you have the time you could do this and just deal with not having much pumped at first. If you do this your body will start produce more milk so eventually you will have enough to nurse and then pump.
This didn't work for me because my baby liked to be held for a bit afterwards then he would fall asleep...and then I would fall asleep. Ahhh nap time!
As you can see timing is everything. So if you can't do it before and you can't do it after what do you do???
Anxiety...just looking at the calendar. Only 1 month left I can't get this timing down right, I need to fill up that fridge before I go back to work. Ugh work, this blows.
While I struggled to build my supply all I could think of was this picture of this amazing amount of breast milk in a fridge. I found on Pinterest. All I kept thinking was "Oh God I must have that much in my fridge! Need to hurry before I get back to work, my baby is going to starve!"
If you find this amazing picture, and you start having the same anxiety, RELAX! You really don't need that much in your freezer. Although it would be nice. You seriously don't need that much if you're just going to be gone for around 8 hours a day. It was pretty silly of me to really think I needed close to that much.
Don't worry I'm not that crazy to think I really need THAT much.
So here's what I did. I nursed him on one side. Meaning he nursed, burped, then instead of attaching him to the other breast as usual, I placed him back on the same side.
After he was done nursing and we were done sleeping. I would pump the breast that he didn't nurse on.
Thank you Jesus! I got something going here. Milk in the fridge!
Now you want to make sure you pump enough during the day so that you can put towards your milk storage and some for his one bottle a day.
The reason you want to give your baby one bottle a day is because he needs to practice. Remember how he needed to practice latching on? Well he is also going to need to practice with the bottle.
Just like I said in my earlier post that you need try to give him a bottle when he's a month old if you're planning on going back to work or want to bottle feed him your breast milk sometimes. This will hopefully prevent him rejecting the bottle.
Very important. He needs to learn that sometimes he's going to have to drink from a bottle because unfortunately you won't be there all the time. Sigh.
If possible make sure someone other than yourself gives him the bottle. So he won't get confused. Then he can associate the boob with you, and the bottle with the caregiver when you're away.
Your baby is going to be stressed when you start leaving him for around 8 hours during the day. You want to try to ease his anxiety as much as possible. Having him practice with someone other than you can prepare him a little for what is going to come.
When he drinks his bottle, this doesn't mean you get a break. Sorry. Don't forget you're a slave to the boob. This is another opportunity to pump.
The benefit of this is to build your supply in the fridge and in your boobs. Remember if you skip feedings or pumps you're telling your body you don't need to produce as much. Not good.
So you know those wonderful long naps your baby takes?
Well you can also try to squeeze in some pumping then as well if you're up. I was never good at this because I was always afraid that after I emptied out my boobies he would wake up and want to eat.
Which also leads me to point out one of my failures with this.
DO NOT, I repeat DO NOT skip feedings and pumps if you have the chance and allow yourself to get engorged and then pump so you can pump a lot more milk.
Sure you'll be skipping with excitement about how much milk you have in the bottle. But you're actually telling your body it doesn't need to produce as much milk. Your milk will start to decrease.
I did this, and my milk decreased. I was drinking so much water afterwards and nursing like crazy to get it back up. Skipped pumping for a few days and just nursed to get it back up. Remember no pump is going to perfectly imitate your baby's suck. I can always notice that my milk will increase faster with straight nursing and not pumping.
So even if you don't fill up the bottle every time you pump don't give up! Just keep pumping train your body to produce as much if not more than what you need.
Yes, it is normal that you will get more milk out of one boob than the other. Don't be alarmed.
Make sure to date your breast milk and always use the oldest date first. I keep a large supply in the freezer and then put a few bags of what I pump at work in the fridge for the week.
So remember it's very important you keep your supply (in your boobies) up. So make sure you don't skip pumping while he's sleeping for a long time, or when he's drinking from the bottle.
Pump pump pump it up!
After all the goal of this is to have enough to pump when you get back to work. Don't run dry. Try to relax, you know if you really want this you can do it. I know you can. Most importantly your baby knows you can.
You're an amazing super hero boob milk mumma! You got this!
Are you a super boob milk working mumma? How did you get your supply up? How did you manage pumping and nursing?
Melinda Rodrigues from HappySoiree.com - a site for creative ideas on DIY’s and parties!
Mother of 2 boys and breastfeeding advocate.
Melinda had a breastfeeding website called Spilled Boob Milk.
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