^^two weeks of pumping
I'm not an expert or lactation specialist or know exactly what I'm talking about, I'm just sharing my own experiences and tips that I have found useful to hopefully help some of you amazing mama's out there. I got tons of questions so sorry if this is a longer post. If you need any breastfeeding help, I'm a huge fan of a lactation specialists, (to be honest I'm not the type to typically get outside help like this but I'm so glad I did with my first baby) I went to Lindsey
, she is an angel and is such a huge support! She has online courses or could help you one on one over the phone or come to your home if you're local to Utah. I would say if it's your first baby, find a specialist. I think I would have given up or had a really hard time my first go around if I didn't have Lindsey.
I nursed Aniston until a year. Nursing was so so hard for us at first, I would say it took us 3 months to get it somewhat down. The first two weeks are the hardest so don't give up and know it gets easier! Both my breasts are inverted and it was super hard for us to get a good latch so we used a guard for three months! Saved our lives. Many people might tell you not to use a guard but I think you just have to do what works for you. I bled, I hurt, I should have used my lactation specialist more during the time I needed help but I was so busy with work that I didn't call her. Despite how hard it was I was very grateful I could nurse. I didn't have a ton of back stock milk like I do this time around. I feel like I had enough for her to eat and when she started skipping night feedings I'd have extra to pump in the mornings for back stock.
Where I'm at 2 weeks into BF/Pumping: Zara is two weeks and some days. My milk came in on day 4. I started pumping 2 days after Zara was born so before my milk even came in. I did that to tell my body to make milk. I pumped out barely any colostrum at first, (colostrum is a yellowy color). Barely anything came out but I kept doing it, I pumped for probably 5-10 minutes after I fed Zara, (every two hours) Day 3 I had a ton of colostrum, I pumped it all out when I felt like my chest would fill up. For the first few days that my milk came in I'd pump every three hrs after i nursed and if I felt my chest fill up before the 3 hr mark I'd pump it out.
My Biggest Tips:
- DRINK LOTS OF WATER!! Some studies say that drinking water doesn't effect your supply but I feel like it totally does. Maybe it's a mental thing but I notice when I don't drink water my supply is lower. I am usually so so bad at drinking water, I've found I drink more with a straw and drink way more if I have a certain water bottle. I love this one bc it's as big as those hospital ones they give you but it looks way better to take with me places. HERE I try to drink 2-3 of these a day.
This I feel like is a big one for me and I'm not a huge oatmeal fan but I love the natures path variety pack from costco. It's so yummy and the perfect amount of flavor and feels healthy. Adding oatmeal to your smoothies is another great option if you aren't a big oatmeal person.
So this is not with everyone but typically what happens when your milk comes in is your body makes a certain amount, if your baby needs more milk than what your body is supplying, baby will keep sucking and this tells your body to make more. If your body is making more than what baby needs it will start making less each feeding until it's the right amount for baby. The first week is crucial when it comes to your milk bc your body is trying to figure out how much baby needs and regulating. This is why I pump.. in hopes that by pumping, and creating that "more sucking" that it's telling my body to make more. The easiest time to boost your milk supply is in the first two weeks but it's totally doable later on too.
meaning Nip stimulation. I made this word up.. haha and I'll refer to this in my schedule and it's a big one so pay attention!!:) If you are out running errands or your baby skips a feeding and you can't pump it's so important to tell your body to still make milk so go to a private place, bathroom or somewhere someones not watching and stimulate your breasts so that your body still knows to make milk right then. I do this over my clothes. I just pinch my nips or rub them for 10 seconds until I feel my milk let down. It might sound weird but do it. You only need to do one side to bring your milk in for both sides. I do this at home even. I feed Zara about every 3 hrs and do this around the 2 hour mark/2.5 just to stimulate my milk supply and tell my body to make a bit more.
I use the Medela, to be honest the only real reason I picked this particular one was bc it was the nicest one that my insurance offered. Call your insurance a month before your due date, most people's insurance covers a pump! It does have lots of great reviews as well! I go on amazon to read reviews.. haha. One thing with the Medela that I wish I knew the first go around is there's different sizes of horns.. read more here, and you can purchase them on amazon (Link above)
Let there be milk:
Okay people swear by this!! They say it doubles or triples their milk supply in 48 hours. read the reviews to see if it's something you'd want to try. I've ordered this but haven't tried it yet, I'll let you know how it goes for me. Its always sold out so get it while you can! Find it
I love these bc I don't have to wear a bra at night. And 1 pair is all you need! You don't have to buy a bunch.
I didn't have this my first go around and I got it just to catch what I leaked on the other side while I nursed but what I've been doing is suctioning this to my other breast and it self expresses milk out. By the time Zara is done nursing I have expressed 1.5-2 oz in this catcher and I don't have to pump as long. I usually only pump for 5 mins after. And this is way more gentle than pumping. If its sectioned/ squeezed on right you don't have to hold it.
Storage Bags: HERE
I love these, the seal on them is great and there's a place you can write the date and time. I just sharpie mine on the back however.
Nursing Dress: HERE
This was a must for me. I wear a ton of dresses in the summer and to church and I'd have to strip down every time I nursed.
Nursing Cover: HERE
I have a few of these and love them! It's a carseat cover, nursing cover and grocery cart cover. I keep one in my car, house and at work haha.
Understanding pumping supply:
If you can get 2 ounces per breast (and this is in between a feeding not before or after) that is awesome!! If it's 1 ounce per breast after a feeding that is awesome! If someone pumps more than this, 4-8 ounces they have a very high milk supply.
Do I nurse as well:
Yes! Zara nurses on one side per feeding and I pump the other. I always offer the second side but she is usually full off of one. So I pump and stock up on the rest.
When should you pump:
I'd say if you're trying to boost your supply, anytime you feel your milk drop and however often you're feeding your baby, nurse and then pump after.
I feel like so much of it is mental. If I'm worried about my milk supply or thinking of my supply I feel like it goes down. If I'm thinking about work or something stressful while I'm pumping I notice I all of a sudden stop pumping out milk. It's so crazy. Watch a show, read a book, work on work things, catch up on emails, (I like to read a book with Aniston or work on work stuff) anything that keeps your mind preoccupied and not thinking about how much is coming out and how much you're pumping.
Milk Supply Dropping Round 8 Months:
Most babies are eating more solids around this time and drinking less milk so naturally your milk supply will drop.
Supplementing if your milk hasn't come in?:
I've heard this is bad for your milk supply, I don't know the right answer but I didn't do this with either of my babies. I had a nurse recommend it but I've heard it can hurt your milk supply.
Pumping and nothing coming out:
Make sure you are hitting the let down button on your pump until you feel your let down and then hit it again to go to the regular speed. Make sure you've drank a lot of water and your first few days of pumping not a lot may come out but stick with it! You won't pump a ton or anything at first, at the begining you are just telling your body "make more next time"
BF- how do I know if my baby is getting enough/how much milk do I have?
I asked myself this for a long time my first go around, I thought my milk supply was running out but I pumped and sure enough I had the right amount of ounces my baby needed. If you aren't sure, pump and you can see exactly how much your body is making. Feel your breast when you are done pumping and compare it to how your breast feels after BF to know if baby is emptying it. If you feel like your baby didn't empty it but is done nursing. Pump the rest and stock up! If baby is gaining weight and growing properly, they are getting enough! If baby spits up a lot after feedings and continue to spit up minutes later that usually means they've had too much.
If you are going back to work:
Pump every time your baby would nurse. Every 2 to 3 hrs. Even if its just for 2-5 mins.
If BF didn't go well your first time-
don't think it will be the same your second time! My second time has been way easier!
My current pumping schedule:
If you can pump on the other side while you nurse or use the catcher I tagged above, that is a great time saver!! And I would go off of your baby's schedule not mine exactly, this is based on what Zara needs and your baby may be different, the biggest thing is to pump after feedings
8am nurse/ pump the rest (I usually get 3oz total after Zara nurses)
11am Nurse/ Pump (I usually get 2oz- 3oz total)
2pm Nurse/pump (2oz- 3oz total)
5pm nurse/pump the rest (2oz- 3oz total)
7:30 nurse while giving aniston a bath
8pm I put Aniston to bed and then pump
11pm Nurse/Pump (4oz)
5am nurse (I'm usually super full so I have to pump at this time, I usually get 8oz bc Zara won't feed)
Note this is at the end of two weeks and I only pump for about 5-15 mins. Also!! Some of you might think I'm a naughty mom but Zara will not wake up at night to nurse.. I've tried everything so you'll notice in my schedule there's not a ton of nursing at night. (I know it's really important to feed every 3hrs but she is back to her birth weight and cluster feeds right before bed )
I hope I answered most of your questions! You mom's are amazing! Do what you can for your milk supply but don't beat yourself up if it's not where you want it to be or if you can't bf at all. Your baby will still love you just as much! And you are still just as good of a mom!