We-woh, we-woh

Thursday, September 1, 2011

[That would be the sound of a pump motor]

Ezra hasn't been brought in for his two month appointment yet, but it's pretty apparent to all that he seems to be on his way to being a solid boy like Isaac. He's above 12 lbs at this point and seems to be gaining well. Suffice this to say, I'm thankful that my milk supply seems to be enough when nursing on demand.

And then, enter, pumping.

For the next two weeks I'm only working twice a week from home, so I haven't had to jump straight into pumping 5 days a week, and I'm so glad! Because I'm not keeping up.

I hate feeling like I can't meet the needs of my littlest one due to pumping, when I know that he's more than taken care of when nursing.

Essentially, I haven't worked out in 1 1/2 weeks and I'm not giving any care to my diet. I don't plan on seeing a number out of the 150's for awhile now, but I know it's worth it. It really is, I just wish that my body worked differently. I went through basically the same thing when I went back to work with Isaac. I fought for my supply with fenugreek, brewers yeast and ground flaxseed, but still had to supplement with formula in the first few weeks. I was pretty much an emotional mess last time, having to go back full time at 7 weeks and "failing" in my mind at the time by having to feed Isaac formula.

This time, while I am still concerned and certainly want to figure out how to best increase my supply when pumping, I know that if Ezra gets a few bottles of formula it's not the end of the world. It won't predict the early end of our nursing days either.

So with this in mind, I turned to facebook last week and received several suggestions, including the referral for Motherlove's More Milk Plus from very reputable friends.

I'm still waiting for it to arrive and am really hopeful that it's just the little push that I need to stay on top of my pumping output.


Jill said...

Hope that stuff helps. It can be so frustrating. Keep your head up!

melbourne3 said...

Just want to throw it out there to have your pump checked for suction strength. Call Medela and have them give you a list of places to call in your area that have a valve suction reader. I only mention it because I'm guessing you are using the same pump as you did for your first son. Really pumps are only super effective for a year of pumping and then start to lose effectiveness. I know this as it happened to me. Assuming you have all new parts (especially the membranes) definitely get it checked. Also, if you want to increase your output you might have to pump more often. Not sure what your "schedule" is like but I always pumped for 5-10 min about 15 min after first nursing of the morning, then 3 times while at work nursing when at home and then pumping 1 more time before bed (that was my daughter's long sleep stretch). Also, regular oatmeal every day really made a difference for me. Its good for you and cheap! Good luck!

Emily said...

I think the More Milk Plus did help my supply with pumping, but I ended up having an allergic reaction to it - so, I found peace of mind in demand feeding when I was at home to know he got enough food. I also swear by these pump flanges: http://www.amazon.com/Medela-27s-SoftFit-mm-2e-Breastshields-2-2dpk-2e/dp/B000A88JZ0

Otherwise I just paid attention to my water intake. Good luck!!!

Kimberly said...

More Milk Plus, Mother's Milk tea, oatmeal, dark beer, SuperB complex with brewers yeast... all help immensely, along with frequent pumping, making sure to use compression and massage to get all the milk out. :) Also make sure you're getting enough calories and enough fluid. I just had a big dip in my supply last month and managed to get it back up in about a week's time using the More Milk Plus tabs, the tea, and oatmeal, along with pumping like a fiend! The others, I haven't tried but wwere recommended from friends who are nursing mamas. Good luck!!!

Anonymous said...

Leah, I'm committing this specific need to prayer for you.

I may have mentioned this on Facebook (can't remember) but see if you can hand express more than you can pump. Also, ditto the suggestions to try different flange sizes. I've read before that the standard size that comes with the pump does not fit most women. Here's a link about choosing the right size: http://www.medelabreastfeedingus.com/tips-and-solutions/13/choosing-a-correctly-fitted-breastshield Check kellymom too - there is a ton of pumping/working mom info on there that may help you. If you are making enough for him when he nurses, you can express enough - it's just a matter of figuring out what works best for you.

Last, I just want to drive your last point home - supplementing does NOT make you a failure and it definitely does not mean an early end to nursing. You are doing your best, mama. That's all Ezra needs. :)

Megan said...

All these girls have said exactly what I was going to say, so I'll just reiterate that you are doing amazing, and to keep at it! You WILL NOT fail, so there's absolutely no fear needed. :)

Megan said...

As soon as I read the title of your post, I knew it would be about pumping. I how I know that noise!

I was a 2-3x/day pumper for close to a year after I went back to work. It is hard to maintain a supply, but don't be discouraged by the smaller amount of milk you may get - he will probably make up for it by nursing more at other times and be okay with the smaller bottles if you continue to serve what you pump. And if not, the ways that previous commenters suggested are good ideas to try too to increase your supply.

I wish you the best of luck! There's so much stress in pumping and in trying so hard to balance being a working mom and still trying to provide as much as you can for your baby, even when you're away from him, and you seem to be doing a great job!


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