Exclusive pumping - advice on supply needed(8 Posts)
I am currently feeding my 6 week old DD by exclusive expressing and have been since she was 4 days old. I was advised to pump at least 8 times a day but have reduced this to 6 due to oversupply. I usually get around 8oz per pumping session and so I am freezing a lot of milk as I am producing a lot more than DD needs. The problem is I am now running out of freezer space!! However, I am reluctant to drop a pumping session in case my supply drops more than I want it to and I want to continue with exclusive expressing for as long as possible. Do you think I would be causing myself problems further down the line if I drop a pumping session now? DH has suggested throwing away any excess milk but I can't bring myself to after I have worked so hard pumping it!
Sweetheart cut down your pumping. It only lasts up to 6 months in a freezer, and bf is nicer for both of you if you're just at home anyway. Whoever advised you to pump 8 times a day seems mental. I pumped twice a day and had plenty of frozen milk and enough to feed dd who is 6mo and still bf. You're supply won't disappear. As long as you pump/feed just above what they actually need, you can actually gradually increase your supply by doing an extra pump sess at night. And yes, if it goes out of date, your hard work will need to be thrown away. Stop stressing and get some you-time in while you have a good supply.
We'll done for keeping going! I exclusively pumped for a year with my ds so know how hard work it can be.
When I did it (2002) no one had heard of exclusive pumping so I made it up as I went along. What worked for me was to pump every time ds had a feed, so my pumping pattern was matching his feeding pattern if that makes sense?
Well done, and keep at it! If you have milk to spare have you thought about milk banking? You freeze your milk in special sterile bottles and they collect every so often, defrost/filter/pasteurise/re freeze and it gets used in SCBU and NICU across the country. Lots of info on this website www.ukamb.org/ just a thought to not let it go to waste! Good luck!
Milk banks would love you
You can cut down, usually you get your supply established then reduce the number of points whilst maintaining total pumped. If amount dips do an extra session. Some women can reduce down to just twice a day!
Oh and you were absolutely right to start at eight times, that has built your great supply
Thanks for the link Clearly, I didn't know about this but I will definitely look into it, there is a bank not far from me so it might be possible.
I find it hard to pump when DD has a feed as she feeds little and often so it can be difficult to keep track.
I think I might drop a session and see how it goes. I was worried about doing this too soon as everything I have read says that supply is not established until 12 weeks.
Nice job! I expressed for over three months for my prem ds before managing to get him to bf exclusively, so I know how hard and labour-intensive it is. Give yourself a massive pat on the back!
Like you I ended up with an oversupply and was able to drop down from 8 to 6 sessions at about 6 weeks. I then went down to 5 sessions a couple of weeks later. I can't guarantee anything, but I think by now, with your large supply, you'd probably be safe to go down to 5. The only time my supply dropped too much was one day when I suddenly only had time to fit in 3 pumping sessions - my supply dropped dramatically overnight, but I went back to 8 times for a couple of days and got my supply back to normal - I then went back to 5 sessions, as normal. The lowest I managed to go down to was 4 sessions, and that was after 12 weeks. Different people can drop to different numbers - I think the main thing is to drop the sessions fairly slowly and see how you get on. After six weeks, there's certainly a degree of flexibility.
I hope this helps. Good luck and let us know how you get on!
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