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Will I ever pump enough for one feed?

(26 Posts)
greeneone12 Wed 31-Aug-11 09:09:51

Hi All

I am now looking at going back to work and I have a LO that will only drink water from a cup and no bottle. I wanted to wait until she was on 2 feeds a day to go back but our personal circumstances means that's not possible now.

So I was thinking of pumping milk just for one feed a day and cut out the 11am before I go back. Prob is I can never seem to get more than 2oz after a feed. Is there anyway to pump more? Or should I just leave her with water on the days I am working? That just feels so cruel when I know she should be having milk feeds from me sad

I hate this situation sad

Cosmosis Wed 31-Aug-11 09:14:54

Don’t forget when you are working you are pumping instead of a feed not as well of, so you may well find you get more – I certainly did. In the mean time, you can add to what you pump each day to make up a full feed – although a full feed for a bf baby is generally around 3-4oz anyway.

greeneone12 Wed 31-Aug-11 09:21:16

Is it? I didn't realise that! I was thinking I would need 8oz or something crazy like that.

mistlethrush Wed 31-Aug-11 09:24:34

I often found expressing first thing in morning from side I didn't feed from was a good start. Expressing during the day you're at work also possible - and if you have a fridge at work, this is feasible.

I went back to work when Ds was 6mo - 3 days a week. When I was with him I fed whenever he wanted - I didn't purposefully cut out a feed or anything - I think that would just result in lower supply - which if you're trying to express enough for a feed, is not helpful. He gradually fed less - and I managed to express less, but by that time he was well into solids so it wasn't as important. I did carry on feeding (down to one feed per day) until he was 22 mo though, so it can work OK.

Cosmosis Wed 31-Aug-11 09:25:19

There is a calculator on kellymom somewhere which tells you how much you need to leave for a bf baby if you have a look on there. Iirc it’s something like an oz per hour and an extra oz for good luck! When I started back at work I used to leave my 7m old with 2 x 4oz bottles per day, which was plenty for him. I used to get around 100z per day with a double pump at work, but never got that much when I was expressing along with feeding.

With bf, because the milk changes as the baby gets older, the quantity needed per feed doesn’t need to increase like it does with an ff baby.

lilham Wed 31-Aug-11 09:27:04

What cosmosis says is right. You need a lot less breastmilk than formula for a feed. Have a look on There's a page on how much ebm you need for a day/feed.

greeneone12 Wed 31-Aug-11 09:30:53

Thanks so much. I haven't tried her with breastmilk in a cup yet but I am guessing she would take it if it was the only option available! I did have a problem at the start of weaning with my milk going bad really quickly (something to do with some enzymes) but I am happy to give it a go again. Otherwise I really will feel awful leaving her. I just keep hoping she will drop her days feeds soon but know really this won't happen until she is at least 12MO!

Cosmosis Wed 31-Aug-11 09:32:57

Was it the lipase thing that makes it smell a bit soapy? Did you try her with it anyway, as some babies don’t mind it. Otherwise you can scald it as soon as you express which sorts it out (if you have the time!!).

greeneone12 Wed 31-Aug-11 09:45:29

Oh cool. Yes the lipase thing. I didn't try her with it as I was scared it would make her ill. I have checked KellyMom and it says 6oz. I just don't think I can get that much to keep up a stock of what she would need.

I am so angry and upset that we are in this situation. I just feel as if I am going to have to leave her miserable and hungry (she is on 3 meals but I know how impt milk is)

JiltedJohnsJulie Wed 31-Aug-11 09:50:23

greenone how old is your DD? Just wondering as when I went back to work both of mine refused any milk at all and just had food and water. They then had feeds as soon as they saw me. My situation may be different though as I only work 2 days a week.

I was never able to pump much either, the best I ever managed was with a secondhand Ameda lactaline. Have you tried different pumps?

Cosmosis Wed 31-Aug-11 09:57:46

What hours will you be working? And how old is your dd and how well established on solids?

You may well find that in a childcare situation that she isn’t bothered about having milk and will just feed when you are with her instead.

I really would try not to worry about it too much – easier said than done I know! but you with both find a way through. The worrying about it is probably much worse than the reality of it, it was for me.

Cosmosis Wed 31-Aug-11 10:02:03

Will she take formula? Would a mix of what you can express plus formula be an option for when you’re at work?

MotherPanda Wed 31-Aug-11 10:09:44

remember that you will be able to express more milk at night and early morning due to prolactin levels - i get tons of milk (5oz) if i express at 3am and 7am, but am lucky to scrape 1oz if i try at 2pm.

When my 5 week old has expressed milk, she usually drinks 4oz.

RufflesKerfluffles Wed 31-Aug-11 10:39:07

The Kellymom calculator is for babies who are only having milk- older babies will be having less. Like Cosmosis said, you may well find you can express more when you've missed a feed. I would always need several sessions to get enough milk if I was going out and leaving DS, but when I got back would inevitably express more than he'd actually drunk!

greeneone12 Wed 31-Aug-11 11:23:36

Thanks all. She is 10MO jiltedjohnsjulie and I will prob be doing 3/4 days. She won't have a bar of formula. She tends to get constipated as well and I hate to think what reducing her milk will do to her system. She is on 3 meals a day and likes the cup for water only. I guess I can try to pump and see what happens...thank you all.

JiltedJohnsJulie Wed 31-Aug-11 17:52:26

Both off mine were 10 months when I returned and were happy with food and water in the day so don't worry too much. They did tend to catch up a bit in the evenings and the days I didn't work though.

greeneone12 Thu 01-Sep-11 18:21:17

Did they catch up at night JiltedJohnsJulie?

JiltedJohnsJulie Thu 01-Sep-11 19:12:00

Erm, do you really want me to answer that one? grin

Actually, it can't have been that bad as I've had to think about it. They did feed at night anyway at that age. About twice in the night, once if I was lucky. Seem to remember they just had a huge feed when I picked them up and then lots of little feeds before bedtime.

greeneone12 Thu 01-Sep-11 20:05:27

How many feeds were they on when you went back? She is still on 4 but sleeping through. It's just so crap to know that me going back will mean feeding overnight again when I have got used to lots more sleep!

RitaMorgan Thu 01-Sep-11 20:32:01

I doubt she will drink more than 3oz from a cup - my ds is 13 months now and doesn't drink more than 3oz of cow's milk at a time! Their tummies are only used to taking a few oz per feed.

By 10 months I could leave him for a day and he'd just not have any milk (was refusing milk from a cup/bottle at the time. He even went overnight to my mum's and had no milk the whole time. It didn't affect his sleep, he just had a big dinner.

greeneone12 Thu 01-Sep-11 20:39:48

Hi Rita - how are you?! As you can see I am still in a whirl about this whole issue and I am having interviews now so going back to work is seeming very real! I think my DC is slightly different to yours as I took out the 11am feed and she started waking at night. Brought it back and she has settled again so I think I will definitly need to replace both those feeds somehow unless I want broken sleep everynight sad

RitaMorgan Thu 01-Sep-11 20:59:32

Will she eat much dairy in food? You may find that when you aren't around she will compensate by eating more.

RitaMorgan Thu 01-Sep-11 21:01:32

Oh, and ds has just gone to bed without his bedtime breastfeed for the first time - had 3oz cow's milk instead (I always put 5oz in his cup but he never drinks more than 3). I bet you'll find 3-4oz ebm will be plenty for a feed.

greeneone12 Thu 01-Sep-11 22:02:07

Thank you smile Very kind of you to help again. We shall see how we go...

ninedragons Thu 01-Sep-11 22:39:18

Could you borrow a different pump from somewhere? I am finding my Avent much better than the Medela Swing I used with DD1. I have just expressed 250mL in one go with the Avent, whereas I used to get about 15mL at a time with the Medela.

Good luck!

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