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Expressing, stressing and supply

(16 Posts)
mollycuddles Fri 05-Nov-10 12:12:46

I started back at work on Wednesday. I do 3 full days - away 8.30 to 6.30 and 2 half days - away 8.30 to 2. dd2 is 24 weeks and ebf. She is 75th centile and still growing along her line. I'm holding off on any solids until 2 weeks tomorrow. She feeds 2 hourly in the day usually and happily takes a bottle of ebm. She wakens 1/2 times a night. Yesterday she drank 19oz of ebm between 8.30 and when I got home at 3.30 (early finish as my first week). I can't keep up with that - I managed about 15oz all day. I do have a freezer stash of about 250oz but I am worried about my supply. I think dh overfed her a bit yesterday as she puked when I got home and didn't feed much in the evening by her standards. I did express 3 times in the evening at home last night to try to keep my supply up. I was less engorged than usual this am. I'm trying to expressing every 90 mins at work today to boost my supply and I'm now off for 3 days during which I'll feed and express loads and do switching regularly. Normally when I wasn't working I was feeding her and freezing at least 4oz a day. Is it all going to go wrong from here? I really don't want to ff at all. I know it's not poison but I never ff dd1 and she bf to 14 months and I really want the same for dd2. But I worked very part time then. dd1 was on solids from about 20 weeks as it was 2001 when she was born (before the weaning recommendations changed).

I am stressed - which I know isn't helping. Please help.

stinkypants Fri 05-Nov-10 21:50:00

oh bless you! what hard work! all that expressing and being back at work too. my advice would be to start weaning now (2 weeks won't make much difference) so you can fill her up a bit with that and then she wont need too much milk. maybe if she uses more milk than you've allocated for a day she could have a small top up with formula? i know you'd prefer not to, but it might make it more manageable. dont feel guilty that you are working - in these times it is amazing that anyone can manage not t0- and you;ve done a fantastic job so far. she will not suffer by having the odd glug of formula, and you will be able to rest of an evening - she needs a mummy who is rested and well enough to play - far more important!
good luck (:

ClimberChick Fri 05-Nov-10 22:24:44

What we did was to limit how much she was given.

As BF babies like to suck they consume more than required when bottle fed (generally speaking), if they suck then they can't help but swallow milk (so different to BF).

DD at less than 7 months was offered 1oz per hour since the last feed (maybe with an added .5-1oz). If she was still cried afterwards she was offered more, but this rarely happened. She would however always want to finish the bottle regardless of amount, so the extra milk to added to the bottle afterward.

This is not starve her, BF need about 25oz per 24 hrs (19-30oz range) and she can catch up in the night or mornings.

Even with weaning it takes a few weeks to have an effect and it's gradual tbh (well was for DD). She's now 8 months and has 6oz a day, but if offered more would certainly have it. (I've been working full time since she was 4 months)


mollycuddles Sun 07-Nov-10 00:43:50

Thanks climberchick. I have suggested to dh he tried to feed her less quantity in her bottles from next week. In total yesterday she had 22oz ebm and I brought home 12oz. But she was fine today so my supply is holding up for now. Part of the problem is she feeds like a newborn until lunchtime. She is just not satisfied at all whether she is getting bottle or breast. I know solids won't necessarily help but I'm hoping she will take some sort of breakfast and this will reduce her demand even a little.

Thanks stinkypants for the support too. I'm trying to hold off with the solids because of family history of allergy and wanting to help dd avoid the dreadful eczema I have intermittently.

Anyway i've ended the week with dd exclusively on breast milk still, no solids and with 2oz more ebm in the freezer than I had a week ago. I've just got to stay calm and keep on going and we should be ok.

kickarsequeensbonfireburnup Sun 07-Nov-10 00:50:52

Mollycuddles, I just wanted to say a very big well done! I've been b/feeding for a long time, but I think I would have really struggled with what you have acheived! Good on ya!

gaelicsheep Sun 07-Nov-10 00:52:45

Well done you!

ClimberChick Sun 07-Nov-10 02:28:52

22 oz shock I used to make DH give me a full run down if she went over 15 (at the start) and 9 (later).

Your two half days is it possible to switch them to the afternoons?

How about a dummy?

If she drops evening feeds in favour of eating in the day you might want to have a readjustment week (hard I know)

As others have said, you're doing really well. Could you pump for 5-10mins longer each time, over a few days this would hopefully increase yield. (I used to do evening expresses as well just to make sure there was enough).

Hopefully when she starts solids this can be used to distract her for most of the morning (oats soaked in water, heated with a little bit of emb, 0.5oz, worked well for us).

also when DH feeds her, could he introduce little breaks, swapping her from side to side. Maybe try a sippy cup and let her try to lead the drinking. Is she on a slow teat still? Is it cold milk, DD drinks more if it's warm.

anyway only a few weeks to go, keep calm and carry on wink

Franup Sun 07-Nov-10 11:12:46

I have shamelessly used solids with mine to minimise the amount of milk left. If it is important to get to 26 weeks (I have always taken the current guidelines as the 'middle of the first year' so from 20-26 weeks, even using the 6 month guideline I would feel happy with 24 weeks), you may just need to ask you dh to calm it a bit and offer less milk and do a bit more with her, groups are often good distractions for small babies.

mollycuddles Sun 07-Nov-10 11:24:17

Thanks. I think I will see what dh can take her to this week. She's with her granny on Wednesday who isn't very supportive of bf and who previously threw out a couple of left over oz of ebm!!! I can't change to afternoons unfortunately on my half days although I'm hoping to start a bit later on one of them and at least once a week I'm trying to convince dh to bring dd in to work at lunch/coffee so I can feed her. I might start solids before 20th if I need to, if I'm struggling at all with the expressing, if I find I'm using tons of the freezer stash.

TruthSweet Sun 07-Nov-10 12:13:58

Well done Mollycuddles for doing some much for your DD. I wondered if you have tried the following (I did this whilst in hospital and away from DD3):-

Massage breasts
Pump until no more milk comes out (with some breast compressions)
Hand express 'dregs'

That seemed to get the most milk out. I also did block pumping - pump for 10 mins (regardless of yield), rest for 10 (or work in your casewink), pump for 10, rest for 10, pump for 10. That also seemed to help with increasing pump yield (can also be done after DD has gone to bed for the night <optimistic>).

I can also recommend covering the pumps up with a blanket/muslin/what have you as I've found the more I stare at the milk coming out the less that comes out.

Are you using an electric or manual, double or single pump. If you can get a double electric that may well be the most efficient way to pump.

If you do use an electric and have your own office/room you could alter/hack up a nursing bra to hold the pumps in place so you can use both hands to carry on working (I'm assuming you work in an office not doing a post round or sales assistant grin)

Hope some of my dribblings may come in handysmile

mollycuddles Mon 15-Nov-10 10:45:32

Well, it's all gone a bit wrong now. Hopefully I can rescue it, though

Fine, freezer stash untouched until Friday. Over the course of the day DH gave her 30 blooming oz. We had a big row about it last night. He says he can't not feed her when she's hungry and won't accept she's taking more than she needs. I didn't express as much as I usually do all day Friday as it was bedlam at work and was desperate to feed her when I got home but unsurprisingly she wasn't interested. She was persuaded onto the boob and her latch was a bit rubbish and mashed my nipple - back on the jelonet and nipple ointment. I should have expressed more Friday pm but I was so tired and woke really engorged in the middle of the night which dd took but since then my expressing yield is way down (0.5 - 1oz a session instead of 2-3.5) I'm trying to express as much as I can today and I'm back on the fenugreek which really helped before but I have a really busy work schedule the next 3 weeks and I just can't see it getting any easier. We're starting solids this weekend so I really hope she'll take to it (she is the full 6 months and very interested in what we're all eating) DH is willing to limit milk intake once there's solids on offer (maybe to 20oz in a full day and 10oz in a half day until about 8 months or so). He has also promised not to feed her when I'm on my way home so at least she's hungry when I get there. But I'm so stressed and annoyed and feel it's all getting away from me.

MamaMary Mon 15-Nov-10 20:03:47

Just wanted to say - very well done for your commitment.

Sorry I haven't any real experience or advice, as my DC1 is only 16 weeks old. I will have similar issues I imagine when I return to work in January (if I'm still bf - hopefully I am).

ClimberChick Mon 15-Nov-10 21:19:19

maybe to 20oz a day shock. I say again that 12-15oz is enough for her.

you're DH needs to do some reading and accept that babies cry not just because they're hungry and that FF amounts are nothing to compare to.

sorry its so stressful for you, must be hard to have DH not listen to you on this. BUT you've made it 6 months <massive round of applause>

No wonder it's starting to impact supply if she has her whole days needs met while you're at work. Feel free to keep coming and ranting

DD from 7 months was on 6oz a day (but only down from 12oz). Now at 8.5months she is on 3oz a day, but it is a bit of an effort, DH distracts her with fruit. It also means I have to be home on time.

ClimberChick Mon 15-Nov-10 21:21:05

here's a link for more info

mollycuddles Mon 15-Nov-10 22:00:33

Today has actually gone pretty well. I was at work this morning and then off the afternoon for a few hours and then at a meeting from 5.30 to 8.30. I think dh is getting the message as she only got about 12oz ebm in total and in total I've expressed about 10oz. My nipple is healing too. My last expressing session I got more normal amounts and flow. I have just 3 hours at work tomorrow and Wednesday so if I can keep expressing at home I should be able to build up a supply for Thursday and Friday which are two long days. Dh is bringing dd in to see me at lunch on Thursday.

mollycuddles Mon 15-Nov-10 22:06:13

Ps I really appreciate the support especially climberchick for the info to nag educate him regarding.

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