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iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-2011
New to Group
6
Thu, 02-06-2014 - 9:06pm

So happy I found this group. I have a 7 week old and I've only been feeding her breast milk. At first I was able to breast feed. Also, she was okay with going from nipple to bottle. Not anymore. I've been pumping for the last few weeks exclusively. Everytime I try to put her on the breast; she cries and is overly frustrated =( I never thought I'd miss breast feeding so much. I"m pumping every 3 hours or so and I've noticed my supply varies. Somedays I am stocked up; somedays I struggle to make all the feedings.

I've been drinking mothers milk etc. I do notice that my appetite is no there and I have to force myself to eat. Any one recommend any particular types of food to maintain supply?
also, can I exclusively pump for months and months? I heard from a friend that if you are not breast feeding after 6 months it becomes very difficult or impossible. I want to breast feed as long as possible even if it's just via pumping.

Any recommendations; tips etc; I"m open to hear them all. This is my first baby and I do not want to start supplementing via formula.

 

Thanks!

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-18-2013
Fri, 02-07-2014 - 12:06am

Welcome! First of all, yes, it is possible to exclusively pump for months and months. While I am just past month four for my first baby, there are some women that have exclusively pumped for a year or more! Before I did my research and found this group, I was told and thought that I would eventually just dry up! It is all about supply and demand and the how often and how long you pump dictates that. Initially, I pumped 8-12 times a day. But after about month three, I was able to maintain my supply by pumping 4-5 times a day for twenty minutes a session. Every woman is different, of course. 

I use a hospital grade pump. I rent it from a medical equipment company - Medela Symphony.  It is smooth, efficient, and ideal if you EP. However, I know some women do just fine with a high-end (not  hospital grade) double electric pump. 

I recommend that you eat oatmeal! Not instant. But real oatmeal. It is supposed to increase your milk supply. I ate oatmeal every morning for months. I added banana slices, nuts, craisens, flax seed, maple syrup. Delicious! And if you do not seem to have an appetite, it is gentle on your stomach and hearty. 

Also, do you know the fridge trick? That helped me the most. I was going crazy cleaning my pump parts. But then I saw on here that you can store them in the fridge between sessions to prevent bacteria growth. And then you can just wash/sanitize once a day or so. I use the Medela steam bags to sanitize. 

And make sure you get a good hands free pumping bra if you do not have one already - I love the Simple Wishes Signature bra - can buy online. My Medela one always stretched out. 

Keep up the good work! I know it is frustrating when your baby screams at the breast! It is an emotional thing. I wanted my baby to breastfeed so badly and tried everything from lactation consultants to special doctors! Nothing seemed to work and as time went on she loved the bottle. But I am thankful to at least give her breastmilk regardless of how! :) 

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-2011
Sat, 02-08-2014 - 2:46am

thank you for all the helpful advice; typing this as I'm pumping =)

On the fridge trick you can do that all day and just clean once?? really? I've been washing, cleaning,drying like a mad woman.

I can do this all day and just wash once? I have to agree the medela bra stretches..I just took a nursing bra and made my own; after the medela was over stretched.

Thank you for the advice; I want to pump as long as I can; and it seems people try to discourage you because your not Breastfeeding directly.

On another note; when do you guys add cereal to the breast milk?

I'm currently using the Medela double electric pump (book bag style bag) and i'm pretty pleased with it; does anyone recommend washing the tubing too?

Thanks again.

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-18-2013
Sat, 02-08-2014 - 7:59pm

Yes, I have been doing the fridge trick for months. I generally wash/sanitize once a day...maybe twice. I usually run out of nipples (I should really just buy more) and then I wash/sanitize my pump parts when I wash everything else. And I have had no problems. I just put the parts still connected to each other (flange, connector, valve) in a paper towel lined flat tupperware type container in the fridge as soon as I am done pumping. Yes, I had been washing/sanitizing 8-12 times a day initially. It was so exhausting!

You know, my baby is 4 months and at her last appointment, her doctor said we could introduce rice cereal mixed with breastmilk. I think there are varying opinions. Some say that a baby's iron supply that they are born with starts to deplete around age 4-6 months. And therefore, you should introduce iron fortified cereal. Others say that if you introduce food before 6 months, a baby is more likely to develop food allergies. So it probably depends. I would recommend asking your baby's doctor. I am going to hold off on it for awhile. My baby is happy with breastmilk bottles for now. Maybe at 6 months, we will give it a try. 

Happy pumping! :)

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-18-2013
Sun, 02-09-2014 - 11:10am

Forgot to say that you do not routinely have to wash tubing unless milk somehow gets in it. With that being said, I actually just cleaned mine preventatively after not having done so for a few months. I followed the instructions in my pump manual. Rinsed with cold water. Washed with warm soapy water. Rinsed with warm water. Then sterilized following instructions on Medela steam bag. Worked fine. It makes the tubing cloudy as a side note.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-2011
Sun, 02-09-2014 - 3:17pm

thank you!! the freezer trick alone has made my life so much easier. Really appreciate all the helpful tips =) Happy PUMPING

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-10-2014
Mon, 02-10-2014 - 10:57pm

My baby girl loves her bottle too!! We snuggle all the time...we don't need to breast feed for that "special bond" we are just as happy and doing fine having breast milk bottles!! I eat oatmeal pretty much every morning for breakfast. And if I don't I make sure I eat a few nature valley oat and honey bars.  The fridge trick is AMAZING especially at my 2-3AM pump/feed session!!