Pumping advice(28 Posts)
3 week old DS (4 weeks on Monday). Weighed last Saturday at postnatal clinic, still not back up to birthweight and had only put on 15g in a week as opposed to the 200gish they look for. Midwife was v rushed as clinic running late and clearly not massively concerned as DS is good colour, alert, good output etc.
Rang HV and she advised me to pump after each feed to up my supply, and feed the EBM to him to fill him up more (he gets v frustrated at the breast, boobs feel empty, never leak, never get hard, he kicks and cries etc). Pump finally arrived yesterday so so far have only had 2 goes on it. Both times pumped for about 15 mins on each side and only managed a little bit, not enough to cover the bottom of the bottle. Was told that's to be expected at first so will keep trying.
I planned on also pumping while he naps, but he's only sleeping for 5 min stints these last couple of days, because he is hungry I guess, and the rest of the time wants to be on the breast. Feeding at least once an hour.
So how the heck am I meant to pump?? It's so difficult to pump one side and hold/feed DS at the same time, last night DH held the pump while I fed DS (need 2 hands as he's only 3 weeks old so doesn't have the head control to latch himself on really), but DH is away all weekend from this afternoon so what am I going to do?? He's only happy in bouncy chair for a few minutes and like I say only sleeps for a few mins too. Unless we are out and he's in the pram, but can't pump then obviously!
Been to breastfeeding cafe a couple of times, and children's centre drop in clinic, everyone says latch is good and no tongue tie. Going to postnatal clinic again tomorrow, hopefully will be back up to birth weight and we'll be discharged, but don't suppose I'll get much advice from the midwives there if last week is anything to go by. HV coming round again on Monday. But I hate the thought of DS being hungry until then
So I guess I'm just looking for any tips that can help me!
Have you tried switch feeding? Thats moving him from one breast to the other every few minutes
Hiya! Thanks for replying. Yes I seem to spend all day doing that along with breast compressions.
Switch feeding will increase supply. If he's hungry and wants to be at the breast he will be more efficient than any pump so I would encourage his feeding more rather than worry too much about pumping if it was me. If you do get time when he's off the breast of course you could pump if that's what you've been advised to do.
If he's 3 weeks he's likely going through a growth spurt so will want to feed feed feed, encourage this as much as possible, switch sides often and feed often in the night (milk production highest at night).
Oats increase supply - hobnobs do work, get eating biscuits! - do you like porridge? Also fenugreek tablets apparently work but you have to take lots, like 5 a day and they make you smell of curry.
Skin to skin increases supply, in this hot weather having a bath together naked might be nice? Feed in the bath too.
Also if you do get any time away from DS try having a warm shower and hand expressing in the shower. Seems counterintuitive to chuck milk down the drain but the warm water and expressing together encourages production - so you'll be rewarded with making more than you threw away, IYSWIM.
Don't worry about going out or doing anything else other than feeding him and skin to skin (co-sleeping naps?) if you can get help with shopping etc do, or maybe use online shopping?
Once production is up feeding will get so much easier so put everything else aside and just feed for the next few days.
Oh it's just so depressing not going outside or seeing anybody for one day let alone the next few days! Going on a picnic tomorrow and really don't want to cancel, for my sanity. I should be able to feed throughout though.
I will keep up the switch feeding then. I'm not sure it's had an effect on my supply over the last 3 weeks though. He has been like this since birth so I'm not sure it's growth-spurt related.
I did buy some fenugreek nursing tea yesterday so maybe that will help!
I guess I will just keep going then. I got ready to go out just now but I suppose it's best to stay in. The temptation to fill him up with nice, thick, satisfying, slowly-digested formula is immense though! I am not anti formula at all but don't want to give up BF and think if I start on the formula that would be the beginning of the end of BF.
How is he feeding at night? When I was breastfeeding and pumping I found my supple really increased with night pumping. Since my son would have a last feed at 11ish and sleep for 5 hours I would pump at 2.
If your supply is low formula would risk making that worse, yeah, but do whatever is best for your sanity. No pressure from here!
One thing I would say though is that breastfeeding is harder initially but so easy later on. No bottles, no sterilising, no faff, just put on boob. It can get better and often does for most women.
Also remember that ff babies tend to suffer worse wind and colic. Sadly there is no easy way to feed a baby
Last night he woke every 2-3 hours for a feed. If I pumped between his wakings would I then have enough for his next feed? Omg I am 'feeding' him now and he seems to just not be getting anything, I can't see any milk or hear any swallows and he seems so frustrated. I can't get anything out by hand expressing but I haven't had much practise so that might not mean much.
Re the pumping while feeding. Do you have or can you get hold of one of those really soft stretchy vest tops? If you can cut a + where your nipple is and you can use it to hold the expressing kit in place while you pump and feed.
I did go out (bad) but bought some hobnobs (good)! I shouldn't really eat them though as have a huge thrush problem (not in the boobs thank goodness!). In fact I had planned on 'only' breastfeeding for 3 or 4 months so I can get back on my treatment plan, but as it is I'd be delighted if I ended up feeding for that long!
Will try and make porridge in the morning.
Also I realised I went out just in a strap top, no bra, and was totally comfortable with no leaks. Is that normal?? Gah. Maybe I am looking for problems and stressing out unduly.
Thanks for the advice!
Are you absolutely sure there's no tongue tie - this sounds quite like my experience with DD. I was reassured by breastfeeding drop in clinics until a lactation consultant diagnosed posterior tongue tie at 4 weeks. Have you looked up the symptoms? Amongst others, flattened nipples, clicking when feeding, windy, fussiness and importantly slow/no weight gain. Worth reassessing to be sure...
Flat nipples on the baby or on me? He does have flat nipples but I guess all babies do. and all the other things you mentioned but not terribly badly. I will definitely ask tomorrow!!
I cut slits in one of my old bras and popped the pump through so I had my hands free. Looked ridiculous but it worked.
I was in a similar situation with dc1, you need to try fenugreek it really helped me. Don't think the tea is strong enough, take 3 capsules
3 times a day so 9 a day. Get them
At holland and barrett (who can do next day delivery). You will notice a curryish smell to start but you'll get used to it and it's not that bad.
DS let me pump! I did 15 mins each side and for most of the time nothing was coming out but still managed to get another couple of teaspoons. Another session like that before the end of the day and I'll have almost 1oz!! Ha, better than nothing I suppose. HV suggested pumping 80mls after each feed and topping up with that after each feed no way am I getting that much!!
Looking up pics of posterior tongue tie, I imagined it would be a tie at the back of the mouth but it seems not! Anyway I don't think DS has one but what do I know, will ask tomorrow for sure. He never has gaped very wide though. Pic should be above anyway, not v good one.
Thanks for everyone's advice so far!
Flat nipples on you after a feed - the side of the nipple nearest his chin. With tongue tie he'll tend to squash your nipple as he feeds.
Can you arrange to see a lactation consultant? I found it was a huge difference seeing one compared with going to the breastfeeding groups. Specifically ask about posterior tongue tie - the latch can look fine, the tongue can look like it moves ok but it's the function that matters. If it can't move correctly then the baby won't be able to feed properly. As you can't see swallowing and your baby is fussing and needing to feed constantly, this is a possible explanation.
It may not be the case but a proper lactation consultant can help you. The bf support groups are good, but either question someone there further (maybe write down every symptom you're experiencing?) or seek out a LC for their help.
Posterior TT can be hard to spot. You really need to feel under the tongue while lifting it. Just looking isn't enough so I would be sceptical if someone rules it out without feeling under the tongue.
About the gape - TT can cause tension and therefore a narrow gape - this is why treating TT often needs osteopathic treatment too.
Please don't be afraid to push for an answer - it may not be TT but make sure they properly rule it out and explain why they don't think that's the problem. Because if that is the answer, it needs treating for bf to have a chance of working out.
Good idea, I have just contacted some local lactation consultants after the suggestions above. Thing is we are moving out of the area next month so that's annoying.
In my experience pumping increases supply so pumping an hour or two after a night feed should still allow enough time for more milk to be produced.
The other thing that helped me was drinking loads and loads of water, I was always thirsty!
Good luck. Be kind to yourself and please do what is right for you
My boobs leaked this morning!!!! Feeding from one side, the other leaked. Wow! Is it down to the hobnobs? I hope so and they can become an integral part of my diet haha
Hmm, this is progress!
Yay! Haha keep eating those hobnobs - I used to notice a difference when I didn't have them! A packet a day, just to be on the safe side
DS back up to birthweight, hurrah! Only took him 4 bloomin weeks! And does not have tongue tie. Sti BFing all the time but I really want to achieve something and maybe BFing is it. Thanks for everyone's advice, I heart mumsnetters.
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