First, I wanted to apologize for my long absence in posting – I found out a few months ago that I am pregnant again (um … oops!), and I have been pretty run down with morning sickness. I’m feeling better now and hoping to post more often now that that’s the case. In the meantime, I’ve gotten quite a few questions and am looking forward to posting them over the next few months. Additionally, I recently did a survey of exclusively pumping women, and I’ll be sharing some results with you.
Today’s first question is about exclusively pumping with a 6 day old baby – how to bring up supply and combine breast milk and formula. (Have a question about pumping breast milk? Ask it here!)
I am six days post-partum and have made the choice to exclusively pump. The doctors were worried about her loss in weight since she had lost 10% in 48 hours, and they were worried about her jaundice levels. They asked us to supplement with formula until my milk came in which it finally did yesterday. (Yay!)
So now I have two questions:
- So far I’m only able to pump 1 oz (sometimes 2 oz) each time I pump. I know there are a lot of methods to increase milk supply, but is it normal for it to gradually come in? I keep hearing everyone talk about how they are able to produce four oz or more in one pumping session and I am not even close to that. I’ve been trying to stay hydrated, eating oatmeal, taking fenugreek, etc., but doesn’t seem like it’s helping quite yet.
- Do you have any suggestions for transitioning from supplementing to strictly breast milk? It seems like my milk supply is not enough and she is
still is hungry after she drinks even just my ounce or two I pump and wants the formula to fill up her little tummy. I’m hoping my breast milk will be plenty for her soon once I can start pumping more!
I think that your supply sounds pretty normal for six days post-partum, and it sounds like you are doing all of the right things with the water, oatmeal, and fenugreek. Regarding the fenugreek, have you noticed whether or not you have smelled like maple syrup? That’s the key to knowing if the dose is right, so if you take it and you do not smell like maple syrup, you may want to consider increasing the dose.
There are a couple of ways to combine formula and breast milk, but I would suggest feeding breast milk first and then supplementing with a formula chaser if necessary. You can also mix it together to get baby used to the taste, but then if they don’t finish it you have to throw the entire bottle out (versus a breast-milk only bottle, which can be saved for the next feeding).
My newborn is 11 days old and won’t latch consistently, so I am having to pump almost exclusively. We have been feeding her using a syringe that holds an ounce, but she is consistently drinking two or three syringes per feeding and she gets frustrated between syringe changes. Do you have any recommendations for bottles or nipples that we can use? I still want to nurse her so I am looking for something that I can go back and forth with.
With my first baby, I started using bottles pretty early with my first baby because I was exclusively pumping, and what I found was that I had to try a bunch of different bottles to find ones that he liked when he was your baby’s age. When he was older, I was able to get him to take the Medela bottles that came with my pump all of the time (which makes pumping and feeding much easier given that you’re using one set for both). Also, I nursed and pumped with my second baby, and I was able to go back and forth pretty easily with the Medela bottles that came with my pump.
I don’t know if you saw this list, but I tried most of these (except the Mimijumi, which is new since I had a baby is looks sort of cool). Maybe try some of these and see if any of them work?
My little one is four months old. I started exclusively pumping when she was in the NICU. (She was born 10 weeks early and spent 60 days in the hospital). During this time, I used a rented hospital grade pump most of the time and my personal pump when I was on the go. Now that she’s been home for 2 months, I’ve used my Medela pump, which I purchased new when she was born, every day 6-10 times a day and it’s starting to do weird things. Have you ever had a pump run down this quickly?
A pump should definitely last for more than a year, and I am almost positive Medela will replace it for you if you call their customer service. I have actually used my Freestyle pump for 27 months (14 of those were as an exclusive pumper, and the other 13 while at work) and it still works.