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Thread: Conflicting advice, need some help from people with experience?

  1. #1

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    Default Conflicting advice, need some help from people with experience?

    So I'm trying to build up a supply of EBM and I just have a couple of questions which the internet hasn't helped me with. I've hired a spectra double pump from the hospital and am currently pumping every 3 hours and getting between 90-200ml depending on when DS has fed and the time of day, I was wondering how you ladies built up enough of a freezer supply to EE or feed mainly from the bottle and also how long do you pump for?? I've read to pump for 10 mins, 20 mins, till the milk stops flowing, for a few minutes after the milk stops and I am so confused because I can pump for 40 minutes and the milk only slows, it doesn't stop completely. Also, how much does your child eat because my 6 week old will eat upwards of 200ml in one go and take more if offered


  2. #2

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    Hi - congratulations on your baby
    I don't have personal experience, so can only give you general information.

    Between 1 month and 6 months of age, the exclusively breastfed baby will take anywhere from 500-1300ml per day but the average is 800ml or thereabouts, and that's where most mums aim for to begin with. The amount of milk babies take at any one feed will vary enormously - 800ml/day with 8 feeds per day doesn't mean they always take 100ml per feed, for eg.
    When taking a bottle, babies will sometimes take more than they need as the teats allow milk to flow quite freely and it may be more difficult for them to regulate, so they just keep drinking even after they're full. You can try pacing feeds to see if that makes a difference, or it just may be that he needs more than average.
    The amount of time you pump depends on how it works for you. I would suggest pumping till the flow slows significantly, then stop. Many mothers find that more frequent, shorter pumping sessions work better than less frequent, longer ones.

    To get more specific information that's helpful to you, it might be useful to understand why you are pumping, if you don't mind giving more details.

  3. #3

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    I'm pumping because I've been back at work for a few weeks now and because thy're only 3 hour shifts I can usually get away with feeding him just before and just after but I like having the security of knowing there's some milk at home if he gets hungry so his dad can feed him, so that in a few weeks I can have a night off and also because, while i am uncomfortable having him nurse when he's over a year old I'd like to be able to keep giving him breast milk for as long as he wants I know it's so good for them

  4. #4

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    Also if it helps I don't force him to eat a certain amount. The bottle is only offered when he stars rooting, he is burped every few minutes and given a break and I have the slowest flow nipples available

  5. #5

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    Your child is six weeks old and you've been back at work a few weeks?

    I would say that if you need at most one bottle a day, then express in the morning/evening before you work as you seem to be producing a lot of milk.

    What do you mean by a "night off"? Do you mean a date with your OH (so one feed needed) or do you mean you get to sleep while someone else gets the night-time love-ins? I'd wait to see what sort of sleeper you have before planning that, you may get a decent night's sleep anyway.

  6. #6

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    Yes, I've done 2 3 hour shifts a week since about 2 weeks after he was born and now I've just started 4 shifts a week. I would like to EE in the long run so I'm asking more specifically about that, and just a night off my my OH and I can go see a movie or grab a bite so eat so his gma would only need to give him 1 feed if we're even gone long enough forthat

  7. #7

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    I can't help with the pumping question, but am curious as to why you won't/don't intend to breastfeed once your baby is 1, but want to give breast milk? I'm not sure what the logic is behind this and you're creating more work for yourself when it is unnecessary for you to do so.

  8. #8

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    I know it sounds stupid but although I think it's amazing when women breastfeed into toddlerdom, breastfeeding is just something I am personally not okay with doing over 12months old, maybe 18max but I do know that they benefit from breast milk for quite a while after that and I want to do the best for him I can without doing something that makes me feel incredibly uncomfortable and stressed. I'd prefer to bond over a bottle than have him potentially also get uncomfortable and stressed when he's old enough to pick up on my emotions and do something that makes us both unhappy

  9. #9

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    Woooah! You are getting ahead of yourself! Deep breath! You have enough milk to feed half the neighborhood! As you’ve seen, he’s fine without you for 3-4 hours. Breastfeeding for 12 mnths is fabulous! You will get a (virtual) gold metal for that - no-one is suggesting you do something you don’t want to do - but that’s a long way in the future. What makes you think he would get uncomfortable and stressed when he’s old enough to “pick your emotions” How do you know that it won’t be the oasis of calm and connectedness that keeps most mothers breastfeeding their toddlers? Take one day at a time and don’t join the ranks of women who overstimulate their supply to feed their freezer, only to chuck out their frozen milk 3 years later unused!

  10. #10

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    See if you feel the same next year: many feel differently. Plus at 12m you give solids too, so express less.

    I'd say just express for when you'll be out for now, then you're used to the machine without filling a freezer with newborn milk, which tastes and is different to older baby and toddler milk.

  11. #11

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    I think your doing a great job!! I agree with pumping til the milk flow slows right down, or if you can pump 200ml a morning and some days he doesn't need it then you'll always have backups. When dd was that young I used to feed her or pump (depending on if she would take a feed or was sleeping etc) about an hour before we went out then the other just before we left that way if she wanted it while we were out then it was there but if not, I just froze it for later. She self weaned at 4 months but I'm the same, not keen on bf a 12 month old wriggly toddler with teeth!!

  12. #12

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    Thanks, sorry if I sound a little wound up it's just that I was asking for advice and it felt like I was just being questioned about things that I am already uncomfortable about, I know you're all just looking for more information to give me the best advice . I can guarantee I won't breastfeed past about 12 months because it already makes me a little uneasy at times due to personal reasons but I would rather that now while trying to build up a supply than potentially not have enough stored and have to supplement with formula when I'm not there. I just want to know about the times for pumping mainly, which has been answered by MadB and little mrs (thankyou!) and if you guys think a better place to ask would be the EE thread then I'll move to over there, I just wasn't sure because for the time being I am still BF while expressing

  13. #13

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    I think it's great you're breastfeeding despite your unease and even planning ways to continue giving breast milk even longer.
    I have to agree with Barb, though, you're getting ahead of yourself. Right now, how much milk do you need? Have that plus a little extra. If you're feeding and still expressing 90-200ml between feeds then you've probably got a reasonable oversupply at this point
    If you want to express more for later on then do that later on You do run the risk of actually having to throw milk out - which always feels awful after the effort you've put in to getting it out - if you accumulate too much now.

  14. #14

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    I'm not entirely sure how much I need at the moment to be honest since he'll take up to 200ml from the bottle even with regular burpings and minute or two breaks and BF again half an hour later or BF, EBM and then BF again in the space of an hour or sometimes only eat 100ml and then sleep for a few hours, he's so sporadic right now which I assume is because he's so young and something to do with, I think, my milk changing from hormonal to supply and demand. I can never get enough milk for a full day to get a general idea of how much to aim for since to be honest, 900ml doesn't seem like enough with what he wants to take from the bottle. I dunno what to do

  15. #15

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    Milk does change as your baby grows to suit their needs, as you would have seen from the early colustrum to the milk coming in. Just pump what you need as you go (with a couple bottles of back up).

    If you can, try to breast feed when either you or tour baby is sick. When you are sick, your body will respond and produce antibodies which passes through the milk and essentially 'immunising' your baby. Also, when breastfeeding your body will respond to your babies saliva and pick up if baby is sick and respond with antibodies.

    And babies/toddlers don't use teeth when sucking, just like you don't use teeth when drinking through a straw

    Good on you for breastfeeding when it already makes you uncomfortable, all the best! I hope you make it to 1 year, but for now, take each day as it comes

  16. #16

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    Haha thanks lady neon but I'm not worried about the biting, well a little bit thanks to other breastfeeding friends but that's not my main concern and I didn't know about the antibodies coming through the saliva I'll definitely keep that in mind

  17. #17

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    In my experience it sounds like you are managing to express a huge amount! I had the same oversupply issues. I was EE my DS for four months as he had a heart condition and was in the hospital fed through a tube for a long time. The nurses used to joke that I could feed the entire ICU! I was getting about 200 mls each pump and would pump every three hours.
    I agree with not overstocking your freezer, I ended up with a huge amount stored in my freezer as we would go long periods with him not having much or any milk at all due to surgeries etc but of course I had to keep pumping for supply. I was lucky enough to be able to donate it but I can imagine how devastating it would be to have to dispose of it. he night of his final surgery I was so stressed I had a couple of drinks and then "pumped and dumped" my next pump. Even just tipping that little amount down the sink broke my heart.

  18. #18

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    Unfortunately I never produced enough EBM to be able to freeze, but I wanted to add one thing to the advice that's been given above - the ABA advise that EBM should only be stored in the freezer (at -18degC) for 3 months. It's less if you have a freezer within the fridge, and longer if you have a deep freezer (-20degC).

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