getting discouraged

Discussion in 'The First Year' started by lisagayle, May 5, 2010.

  1. lisagayle

    lisagayle Well-Known Member

    So I know it's only been less than 24 hours doing this, but I'm starting to wonder if I waited too long. The babies were born last Tuesday...and here I am 8 days later just now starting. When I pumped this morning I got about an ounce and a half. Then when I was at the hospital (about 2 1/2 hrs later) I tried with the lactation consultant and only got about half an ounce (between both breasts). Then around 5 I pumped again and barely got anything, just enough to cover the bottom of the bottle. And around 8 I tried pumping again after taking a warm shower, which the lactation consultant told me would help. And again I barely covered the bottom of the bottle.

    Is it possible I just missed the window of opportunity here? I'm going to keep trying to pump even though I'm not getting much but what are the rules about adding newly pumped milk to already frozen or refrigerated milk? Im not pumping enough to justify storing on it's own, but I don't want to toss it!

    Any suggestions?
  2. MeredithMM

    MeredithMM Well-Known Member

    Are you nursing too or just pumping?

    It took me awhile before my body responded well to the pump...maybe a week or so, I think.
    Also, what kind of pump are you using? That can make a big difference.
  3. teamturner

    teamturner Well-Known Member

    I am sorry that you are feeling discouraged, but any amount of BM is great for your babies, so good job!! I'm sure the women here can help you!

    You can combine milk as long as it isn't expired.

    Suggestions for increasing supply: drink a lot (A LOT) of water and eat oatmeal and dark leafy greens. Massage your breasts and use warm compresses prior to pumping. I know your babies are in the NICU, but once you are able to, hold them near your breasts as much as you can (babywear them, if possible). And BFing them will help!

    How many minutes are you pumping? I pump for 30 minutes, which is on the long side, I think, but I honestly don't know what others do.
  4. lisagayle

    lisagayle Well-Known Member

    I'm using a Medela Lactina hospital grade pump that WIC rented to me. I've been pumping 20 to 30 minutes every 3 hours or so.

    I didn't get squat out over night last night and this morning literally got a few drops between both breasts.

    I'm going to call the lactation consultant at the hospital later and see what else I can do, I tried showering right before, I tried using warm washcloths, I tried massaging them.

  5. beckman445

    beckman445 Well-Known Member

    I agree with pp to eat oatmeal. In the beginning, I was eating it twice a day - I figured it couldn't hurt! I also drank lots of water and took Fenugreek. They also make a Mother's Milk Tea; I never did try it. If you're still wanting to go for it, I wouldn't give up yet. It may take a few days for your body to adjust to the pump and figure out what it needs to do. And like pp said, if you can, get the babies against you when you can. My guys were in the hospital for 10 days, and my littlest guy didn't successfully nurse at all while in the hospital, but I still put him to the breast at every feed. You can do this!! :youcandoit: It took my little guy about a month to figure it out, but now we're going strong at 9 months. Just keep asking questions; the ladies on here are wonderful and it seems can answer anything we throw at them! :ibiggrin:

  6. lisagayle

    lisagayle Well-Known Member

    Thanks! I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that we haven't been able to really hold the babies. I've held Ella twice and Benjamin once. Benjamin is still on a nasal cannula but other than that, they are just growing and learning to regulate body temp. The nurses just always come up with an excuse when we come in and ask to hold them why it isn't a good idea. I'm actually having a mini meltdown at the moment. I'm waiting on a call back from our nurse and I doubt she'll actually call back. If not, I fully plan on raising holy hell.
  7. genagoodrow

    genagoodrow Well-Known Member


    Oh momma! No experience with pumping to start, but remember, babies' stomachs are very small at birth. Even a little will be good for them. So you're off to a good start, and it'll take a few days to bring the milk in.

    Hope you're holding those babies soon!!!
  8. fuchsiagroan

    fuchsiagroan Well-Known Member

    I hope you get to hold them more soon! :hug:

    I don't think it's too late. The late start doesn't help, but you can get past it. Keep on pumping at least every 3 hrs - if you can manage to pump every 2, that would be great. Pump at least once during the night. Have the LC check the size of the "horns" on the pump. If you can't hold the babies yet, bring the pump to the NICU and pump by their bedside (if you're comfortable doing that) - I always had great luck with that.

    If it's still not working after a few days, definitely try fenugreek, and/or ask your LC about reglan or domperidone.

    Please keep us posted! :youcandoit:
  9. beckman445

    beckman445 Well-Known Member

    I agree with Holly to pump crib side if you're comfortable. I always figured I was killing two birds with one stone since I got to be with the boys and was getting the pumping done, and could hand it over to the nurses immediately.

    As far as holding, I would just keep pressing them :spiteful: . My guys just had n/g tubes and then their monitor wires, but O was in an isolette and they never discouraged holding. I couldn't keep him out too long because of his temperature issues, but I could always hold him for a bit of time when I was there. We just kept him all bundled up with three blankets usually when he was out with us.

    Good luck!!

  10. miss_bossy18

    miss_bossy18 Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    has anyone double checked that the pump is working properly? the only reason i ask is that when i was pumping for the girls when they were in the NICU, i was lucky if i got a drop or two at first & my pump was set to the maximum pumping strength (fyi - if you were ever to actually pump at the highest setting you'd likely be screaming in agony). it was so discouraging. it wasn't until a nurse realized that i hadn't connected the tubing properly and showed me how to do it that i was able to pump a decent amount of milk.

    others have already given lots of good advice for increasing your supply as well.

    :hug: this is such a hard time! remember to breathe deep & cut yourself a lot of slack. we'll be here to help out. as Holly said, the late start probably didn't help, but it's not insurmountable. give it time - you'll get there. :hug:
  11. lisagayle

    lisagayle Well-Known Member

    Both the WIC office and the lactation consultant at the hospital showed me how to hook everything up so I'm hoping that's not the issue or I'm really going to feel stupid. :D

    I'm still trying but I have gotten nothing more than a few drops each time I've pumped today. I'm wondering if it's worth a call to my OB to ask about one of the medications thats supposed to increase your supply. Anybody taken them and had results, good or bad?
  12. ljmcisaac

    ljmcisaac Well-Known Member

    Go to link and look at the low milk supply information...join the forums, there's lots of moms (including a twin mom) who have used various herbs/medications. I took fenugreek/blessed thistle, plus lots of oatmeal and flaxseed, initially to boost my supply (this was a mom-issue, not pumping for hospital care).

    If the hospital will let you, bring home a receiving blanket or towel that has been in the isolette--smelling it while pumping may help. Very important--relax and think about your babies, don't stress about how much milk you're producing, stress can reduce milk flow. Ask your LC about pumping more often. And go ahead and melt down on the nurses, it's been proven that kangaroo care is better than an isolette (you naked from waist up, baby naked except for diaper, wrap both of you in a big blanket).

    La Leche ( has lots of advice about breast milk storage, I would add to the fridge stash for up to 24 hours then freeze it. Never add fresh milk to frozen milk. However, you want to keep the quantities small for delivering to the hospital in case they throw out what's "left over" after a feeding (Pitbullz ? had horrible experience with this with their preemies).
  13. Susanna+3

    Susanna+3 Well-Known Member

    One of the biggest bfing myths is that your body will just somehow magically have the milk there, and if it doesn't then you have a low milk supply problem. I know I fell into that trap on my first baby. The milk just wasn't there. She was clearly dehydrated, not peeing, not pooping. BUT... what I've since discovered is that so long as you are producing ANY amount of milk you can get your supply up. I, too, would pump just barely covering the bottom of a bottle. The key is to pump/nurse as often as you can. IF you can, pump more frequently than every 3 hours. Most nursing babies will nurse much more frequently than every three hours for the first week. See if you can commit to pumping once an hour for as many days in a row as possible (aside from night time...keep it every 3 hours at night.) It's going to seem like hell for a few days, but if you do this for even 3-4 days in a row your supply is going to increase a lot. If you can do it for a week you will see major, major progress. No drug is going to work if you aren't making the demand on your body. For every half ounce you produce today your body will have it ready for tomorrow. So produce that half oz and demand another half oz by pumping past that point... then hopefully your body will produce more tomorrow. The general trend is that most women can increase their supply by about 1oz per day. But this is only if you are pumping/nursing quite freqently. For many mom's 8 times a day is simply not enough. Keep in mind that most bf babies nurse a minimum of 12 times a day... Make that your minimum goal for pumping for a week and then see what happens. Is it too late??? no... not if you are producing any milk at all.
  14. lisagayle

    lisagayle Well-Known Member

    I just want to say that I've kept with it, every 2 or 3 hours, and am now up to about 5mLs out of both breasts together. Which isn't much, but it makes me feel better knowing I'm getting more than I was previously. I also am getting that tingly, burny feeling when it starts getting time to pump. I've read that that is your milk letting down. I was not getting that feeling at all before, so maybe that means my body is responding to the pumping?

  15. teamturner

    teamturner Well-Known Member

  16. cheezewhiz24

    cheezewhiz24 Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    It's not much, but it's increasing and you babies wouldn't be eating much at a sitting yet, anyway! Congrats- keep it up!
  17. miss_bossy18

    miss_bossy18 Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    that's great to hear! :yahoo: keep it up - eventually, when your LOs are able to actually nurse at the breast, that will really help boost your supply as well.

    you asked about meds for increasing supply before - did you get a chance to chat with your doc about that?
  18. lisagayle

    lisagayle Well-Known Member

    I did and she said she wasn't opposed to it but that a lot of times the babies docs are and to check with them first. Their neonatal doc said "noooo, no, no, no, no, no.".
  19. twinmom2dana

    twinmom2dana Well-Known Member

    :yahoo: Yaaaaaaay!! Let down is guuuud! Try Yogi Tea for breastfeeding mothers too.
  20. fuchsiagroan

    fuchsiagroan Well-Known Member

    That's great news! And what you're describing definitely sounds like the letdown sensation.

    If you want to check out the safety of meds for your milk supply, there's a sticky at the top of the forum with links to lots of sites that can give you info. Doctors are not always informed about what's actually safe and what isn't.
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