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Totally confused about when to pump(7 Posts)
I don't know why but pumping has me totally confused- can anyone advise?
My baby is 6 weeks old, EBF and all going well. He feeds appprox every 2.5/3 hours during the day (sometimes cluster feeds in the evening) and at night he'll go 3/4 hours between feeds. I want to start pumping just to start getting him used to a bottle and for my husband to do one or two of the evening feeds.
I fed him at 3.30am this morning and when he woke at 6.30 I fed him on the opposite breast and put the pump on the breast id fed from at 3.30- I only got a really small amount of milk. The breast I was feeding him from was full of milk but obviously I fed him from that one. I just don't know when I'm meant to pump! If my breast is full that's the one I feed him from! Am I missing something very obvious?!
No you aren't missing anything!
If you are used to feeding one breast at 3 and then the other at 6 your body has come to recognise this and is providing how much you need and a little more. To create a bottle of expressed milk is to add to your overall output. Therefore you need to tell your body this is what you want.
Either pump for longer on the breast beyond that of milk coming out, this stimulates the body to think the baby is still feeding and hungry so will make more. Or continue with pumping the milk at the same time each day and the amount will start to build as your body thinks the baby is wanting an additional breast at that time of day. Hand expression can also help empty the breast beyond that of a pump. for pumping even 1Oz is a good output initially so don't get disheartened!
Read up on Kellymom and La leche league. posting in infant feeding may get some good responses.
You're not missing anything! If you keep pumping at the same time your body will start to produce more for that feed so you will start pumping more. It's all about consistency if you do it like that. I struggle to pump at the same time each day so I tend to pump from the boob which is full and put baby back on the same one they had last time. This way I can pump a lot more and baby still gets plenty of milk as she is more efficient at getting it than the pump. Your boobs are constantly producing milk so they're never empty.
Also give different timings a try and see how you get on, I can pump more in the evening than in the morning.
Thanks for the replies, this makes sense and was what I was thinking, just wasn't sure. I'll persist! Part of me wants to just forget about pumping and keep feeding but it would be really handy to be able to hand over some of the feeds.
I'm using the haakaa pump, would an electric one be better? I did try to post on infant feeding but couldn't find what topic it's under!
A electric one may be better. Some people get more with a manual pump, but not sure how easy that is when you are also feeding a baby. It might be easier if you can use an electric one and go a bit more hands free to do it.
But realistically, you don't get much to start and it takes time to build up. When I started with my first, I got maybe 30ml at a time, if that. Eventually I could closer to 60-100ml per breast. This was between 6-10 weeks.
I never had much luck with either a traditional manual or electric pump as, aside from not gettting much, I found it too fiddly to do while feeding and (for me) it defeated the purpose to sit and pump when I wasn't feeding. I used a naturebond which I think is similar to a Haaka and, while I still never got huge amounts, if I used it a few times a day I could usually get enough for a small bottle that night, plus some to freeze if I put a bit more effort in.
I tended to get best results first thing but I'm sure it varies for everyone. Is there a time when your boobs leak more? I found during the morning feed the 'spare' boob would leak loads so I'd stick the pump on then. A little bit of hand expressing to start with seemed to be effective if not leaking. I tended to put DD on the boob I'd last fed on through the night and the pump on the fuller one, then swap after 10 minutes or so. Just keep having a go and see when works best.
I'd also recommend trying to forget it's there. Don't fiddle with it and resist temptation to check it, as the more relaxed and less conscious I was of it the more milk I seemed to get.
I think I paid about £12 for my nature bond on Amazon and once I started to have some success with it I bought another one - it's much easier to express a few times per day if you aren't having to immediately wash it and wait for it to dry between feeds.
Unfortunately this expressing routine became a lot more difficult once DD got big enough to kick it off or twist round and play with it. No advice for once you hit that stage
Oh and infant feeding is under 'feed the world'. Took me ages to find it too!
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