Pumping extra milk

Discussion in 'The First Year' started by Camp.Brittany, Jul 30, 2013.

  1. Camp.Brittany

    Camp.Brittany Member

    So, I got an electric double ameda pump through my insurance last week. I'm really wanting to get some pumped and stored, but not sure how or when to go about it.
    Throughout last week, I was able to get about 18 oz stocked up. This was from pumping after some feeds (1 to 1.5 oz per pump) and through a couple long naps (2 to 3 oz per pump).
    Since I've had a cracked nipple that hasn't healed in a long time, on saturday, i gave that breast 24 hour nursing rest to try to heal. SO used stored milk to feed a bottle to a baby each time I breast fed on the healthy side. I pumped the cracked side each time I breast fed as well (every 1-2 hours throughout the day). We've never fed them from bottles so had no idea how much they eat. Well, we found out they seem to like about 4 oz per bottle. They want more with 2-3 and are really content with 4 without spitting up. My girls turned 5 weeks yesterday, by the way.
    The amount I pumped through the day almost keep up with what SO bottle fed them, but I ended up shy about 4.5 ounces by the end of the night. Also, i was only getting 1 to 1.5 ounces at a time. And they slept wonderfully. They normally are up every two hours ( sometimes three) to eat. After getting a little more milk per feeding, they slept almost the entire night.

    So, I'm wanting to use pumping to help increase my milk supply, and also to stock some up ( because I really need a little break soon and maybe a drink or two.) So, any ideas how to go about this? I've heard pump after they've eaten, but my problem is that sometimes they eat, sleep for 30 minutes and then wake up wanting to eat again. Also, one of my babies wants to be held almost constantly and barely goes over an hour between feeds. So I feel like I'm taking away all their milk if I squeeze a pump in and then they wake up.
    And another thing, do you think it would be bad for me to try breastfeeding teas and or fenugreek pills since my milk production has been enough to feed them? I don't want to somehow mess up what supply I have... but I think they could def eat more and with more milk I could store some.

    Okay, I know I had some other BF questions, so ill add them later when I remember. TIA!
  2. daisies

    daisies Well-Known Member

    There is no harm in bfing teas or fenugreek. I used fenugreek with very good success. Another thing that can increase milk production is oatmeal. Really made a difference for me.

    I am sure someone will chime in with schedule recommendations..
  3. cheezewhiz24

    cheezewhiz24 Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    Since they are 5 weeks I bet soon they will have a growth spurt-I always used those to start pumping more to build a stash. For me, pumping worked better in the daytime (9am ish) or once they were in bed for the night about an hour later (7pm ish). Drink more water than you think you should, then drink another glass. As daisies mentioned, oatmeal is great for supply, too. I preferred mine in cookie form. :lol:

    Rachel may have some information on drinking. A far as I know alcohol doesn't pass to the babies in large enough quantities to affect them unless you plan on getting hammered (and then childcare isn't safe anyway.)
  4. slugrad1998

    slugrad1998 Well-Known Member

    There is no perfect schedule for adding pumping in with 2 hungry babies. I will say that there is no such thing as using up all your milk. You are never "empty", sometimes it just comes slower and takes a little longer for a let down. That being said, you are going to get the most satisfaction out of pumping when you have the most supply. For me, that was first thing in the AM. I could feed and then still get a good amount after that first morning feeding, where later in the day it seemed like I had less extra. Another option is to ride out the growth spurt and afterward, you may notice that you are getting slightly longer nighttime stretches where you can pump. We always did bedtime around 7 PM and once they started sleeping longer, I could get from 7P-midnight without a feeding, so I would pump before I went to bed.

    Also, 4 oz sounds like a lot for 5 week olds. They may seem to sleep longer because it stretches their stomach and they are in a little bit of a "food coma" but it is normal at this age to wake every 2-3 hours to feed. The frequent nighttime feeding helps your supply more than frequent daytime feeding because of the circadian rhythms of your own hormones. Look at Kellymom for a good calculator of how much milk a baby should need for their age.

    I agree it doesn't hurt to try fenugreek or teas. They never really helped me, but no harm in trying! But definitely be on the lookout for growth spurt behavior. It's easy to doubt yourself and worry that your supply is decreasing when really it's that the babies are telling your body to produce more for them. When we went through our first growth spurt I sat on the couch and spent the entire day with at least one baby attached to a breast, sometimes both!
  5. Camp.Brittany

    Camp.Brittany Member

    Daisies, I had been eating a pack of instant oatmeal every day for breakfast. Yesterday, I just made some rolled oats instead, ate for breakfast and afternoon snack, and it seemed to make a huge difference. I felt 'full' all day. I don't know why the packets wouldn't do the same. Maybe it's because I wasn't eating as much. I'm gonna order some fenugreek soon and see how it works for me!

    Cheezewhiz24, my babies are normally cluster feeding from about 530 to 9 and then adelynn is back up at about 10 - 10:30 to eat again. So once they sleep, I'm normally dying to get some z's. I don't know how it happened to work, but I wanted to try for a 7 bedtime after i read your post; i got caralynn in bed at 7 and adelynn in bed by 830. I didn't pump, but that was the most sleep I've got in one night since they've been home! If I can get them down at that time again, I'm gonna try pumping then.

    Crazytwinmomma, stuck on the couch all day feeding is exactly how I feel. But adelynn has been doing all day cluster feeding for over a week now. Like I said, she did go down earlier last night (yay!) But we cluster fed this morning from 730 to almost noon. But that's normal so far, and so much better than the constant evening feedings. Thank you for reminding me the night time feeds are so necessary. I've been so sleep deprived that I've been in a very bad mood every time I have to get up. I just need a more positive outlook on things... I need to remember it's all for a good reason.

    I heard from someone that gatorade helps with milk production because of the electrolytes. Has anyone heard of this?
    And, this might have more to do with schedules than bf, but do you think me laying down and 'sleep feeding' them when they've recently eaten at night will cause problems?
    1 person likes this.
  6. Mom2VLS

    Mom2VLS Well-Known Member

    I have no science to back it up but a gatorade a day does seem to improve my supply slightly.
  7. cheezewhiz24

    cheezewhiz24 Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    mommy2be, I should have stated that I didn't even attempt pumping extra until they were more predictable and and not tiny (2-3ish months?!). I will say that the first 6 weeks for us were SO FREAKING HARD. I went to bed every night around 6:30pm and took a nap every day! So then it started getting easier day by day... eventually nursing is the easiest thing in the world (I promise!) but the first 6 weeks are intense. :youcandoit: You are really doing a great job!

    I've never tried the Gatoraide thing as I can't stand the taste. But if it works, go for it!

    I also never was one to feed in bed. I'm too paranoid about that kind of thing. :pardon: If it gets you more sleep and you do it safely, go for it.
  8. paperclippy

    paperclippy Well-Known Member

    Just a suggestion, if you're willing to let your SO handle a nighttime feed you might get more sleep and also work on building up your milk supply. We have one nighttime feed where the babies wake up, I pump while my husband soothes them, then I hand over the milk to him and he feeds them while I sleep. Pumping doesn't require being as awake as breastfeeding for me, and you can pump out more than they're going to eat and stash the extra. So if they're taking 4oz per bottle, you can try to pump 5oz for each of them and save the extra oz.
  9. slugrad1998

    slugrad1998 Well-Known Member

    Yes, this! I went back to work at 8 weeks and only started pumping the week before I went back. I never had a stash, just enough to get me through the next day.

    I'm glad the early bedtime seemed to work for you. I read "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child" when the twins were 8ish weeks old, and IT CHANGED MY LIFE. After implementing an early bedtime (7 on good days, earlier if they were overtired), I started seeing longer stretches of sleep and better quality sleep. The long stretch of sleep seems to be that first stretch and then feeds every 2-3 hours after that, but if you're not opposed to giving yourself an early bedtime it gives you a good stretch of sleep too. Another option that works for some is to implement a dream feed. We did this starting around 2 months. We put them to bed at 7 and fed them around 10-11 even if they weren't awake. I didn't even have to wake them completely...they would just stir enough to latch on and feed. It doesn't work for everyone, but for us it reset the long stretch of sleep, so that we would get a stretch from 10P-3A or something similar.
  10. twin_trip_mommy

    twin_trip_mommy Well-Known Member

    Not sure I should be jumping in here, it has been forever since I pumped or breast fed.
    One of my twins never breast fed (cleft palate). She was all pumped milk and my other twin only started breast feeding at 9 weeks (she was low birth weight and had difficulty and no desire to feed).
    I found that pumping in the morning and then having the baby feed worked well, once she started feeding. Also if you can do it pump one breast while a baby is feeding on the other. Doing this produced a lot of milk. I was upwards of over 16oz from one breast doing this.
    I had a calm quiet area I pumped in with music, a drink, sometimes a warm damp towel and a heating pad, all my supplies, and a comfortable rocker.
    Gosh ,I miss those days. Great memories.
  11. Camp.Brittany

    Camp.Brittany Member

    Thank you everyone for all the ideas and encouragement. I haven't tried handing over a night time feed yet. SO hardly gets 5-6 hours of sleep at night with his work schedule, so it doesn't seem right to get him up on his one or two days he gets to sleep a little more. He has taken over a couple day time feeds so I can relax a little and pump instead.
    Twin_trip_mommy 16 oz at one time?! I've only been getting four to five and so proud of it.

    So, I've been eating oatmeal every day for breakfast (with some peanut butter-i heard extra protein may help), along with a 12 oz gatorade. Then a small lunch at noon. At about 3 I eat a smaller serving of oatmeal with another gatorade. And then dinner at about 6. Also drinking about 6 quarts of water daily.
    I've managed to get 25 oz frozen! It still feels like the girls are wanting to feed every waking moment, but they've been sleeping a five hour stretch at bedtime, which is awesome. After that, there are 2 stretches about 3 hours each.
    We had them weighed yesterday. 6 weeks 2 days. At 2 weeks, carolynn was 6# 15 and adelynn was 7#5. Yesterday carolynn was 10# 1 and adelynn was 9#9! Carolynn went from the 8th to 55th weight percentile. I couldn't believe how big they've grown. It's a huge relief knowing they are eating enough and growing well.
    Thanks again everyone!
    1 person likes this.
  12. carriesmithee

    carriesmithee Member

    Avoid getting stressed. Getting stressed makes one tense and too on edge for her body to function well. This is why a mother should avoid getting stressed at all costs, so she can be sure that what she does in increasing breast milk supply breastfeeding will work.
    Take it easy okay :)

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