the Pumping Club - help!

Are you part of the NICU club? Do you have a child who is still struggling with the effects of being born too soon from preeclampsia? Share your concerns and stories here among parents who have been there.
joannek
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Re : the Pumping Club - help!

Postby joannek » Thu Mar 27, 2008 12:06 am

I second the weighing! It really helps put your mind at ease knowing just how much they are getting out of you. I truly beleive that the baby gets much more than the pump. My sister just had twins and was going through alot of the same stuff that you are, feeding, pumping: pumping feeding. Finally she did the weighing before and after and it turns out that they were getting about 2-3 oz from the breast!
And I also can say that for me, I rarely pump anymore these days, but the times I do, I usually get 60 cc a side, but if we were to give Sara bottle with only 60 cc she would not at all be satisfied, but she is when she feeds from me, so I really think that she gets more than that directly from me.
Ask a helpful nurse about it at the hospital, it might help you feel better and more confident.

dohertyab
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Re : the Pumping Club - help!

Postby dohertyab » Thu Mar 27, 2008 09:15 am

Hi Karrie

I was a lucky one and ok with the pumping, but wanted to say that once the twins started nursing I couldn't pump anything. It was really odd since I had been a cow before that. One of the things to remember is that you're also pumping so you will have supply to nurse when he's able. The amount you get isn't as important as making sure you pump every few hours.

As for the choking - I had the same problem - sometimes I would express a little before nursing so it didn't come out so quick. It seemed to help a little. I only needed to do this for the first few weeks until the girls started nursing consistently and then all was good.

Finally, if you're concerned about how much he's getting (and who isn't with wee ones) we weighed them before feeding, fed them and then weighed them again immediately after feeding. You could see the weight difference (you do need an accurate digital scale) so you could tell how much was eaten. This worked really well for me since they both nursed very quickly and I was being told that 5 min at the breast couldn't possibly be giving them enough (it was).

aundapenner
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Re : the Pumping Club - help!

Postby aundapenner » Thu Mar 27, 2008 08:10 am

(((hugs)))

I'm telling you, the only thing that really really really worked for me was reading those Stephanie Plum books!!!!! (something totally NON BABY!!!)

Good luck!!!!!!!!!!!!!

kezt777
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Re : the Pumping Club - help!

Postby kezt777 » Thu Mar 27, 2008 07:55 am

thanks!

i try not to get frustrated, but we have increased the daily feeds (definately 3 and working towards 4) and im pumping even less!! it's driving me crazy but like i said, i try not to get frustrated and just relax and get what i can. i was pumping 40 mls easy and got 60 a few times before i left the hospital, so before he was nursing and when it was only once a day. now im only getting 20 total off both sides, maybe 30 if im lucky. its strange. im on the motilium, using a hospital grade pump, doing both sides at the same time to see if that changes anything, getting up in the night to stay on the 2-3 hour schedule, pumping before i feed him, after i feed him,,, whatever i can think of or have been advised to do - but im getting LESS. UGH. my body has never liked pumping, i couldnt get more than an ounce at a time when my 5 yr old was a baby either.

at least it seems to work to feed him, although last night i was concerned because he seemed to be feeding well, his latch was great, i could feel everything tingling and it was even coming out so fast he was starting to choke,,, but after a long feed and lots of burps and another feed, he was still acting hungry. i was like OH OH but i also thought he might just be wanting more because of a growth spurt or something. he has gained an ounce a day for the past 3 days so he is doing well.. but sheesh! but again, im getting what i can and not giving up. im so tired from all this that the nurse commented on it yesterday. i dont get time for naps really because im at the hospital with the baby, then home for a couple hours for supper with the other kids and my bf, then back up there again for the 8pm feed, getting home around 930 and knowing i have to pump at 11 so i just veg on the couch...

i cant wait til he is well enough to come home cos then i can truly nap when he is snoozing between feeds. it might only be another week of this, not sure. some nurses are confident he could come home now, but they are weaning him from the incubator first to see how his body handles room temperature. i am prob going to do all day feeds on monday and tues when my kids are back in school, which means being at the hospital from 730am to 630pm... yikes! longggggggg day. there arent many places to nap cos i had to give up my room for a mom who was here from out of town. the place is hopping with new babies! if i sleep in the cozy room where i feed matthew, that means the other mom who has twins in NICU has to feed and pump them in the main room so thats not fair....

anyway we'll sort it out hopefully but id sure like to know why the more i nurse him myself, the less i can pump.. the more times i make sure to get up in the night to pump, the less i get... etc. its crazy!

aggie95mom
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Re : the Pumping Club - help!

Postby aggie95mom » Wed Mar 26, 2008 04:37 pm

Hi Karrie,

You've received a lot of great advice. Pumping ... not anything I ever imagined the birth of my son would bring! I ended up exclusively pumping for almost 2 years and I have to agree that, for me, LOTS of water and pumping every 3 hours was key to keeping up my supply. I also used a hospital grade pump the whole time. In the end, though, anything you can give Matthew is great. You have to be so busy with two others at home.

pld0804
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Re : the Pumping Club - help!

Postby pld0804 » Wed Mar 26, 2008 01:17 pm

I agree with what the previous posters have said and it sounds like you're already on the right track. I pumped for 8 months myself.

Pumping around the clock at the beginning of this process is key - every 3 hours (8 x per day) and this has to include during the night. Also, make sure you keep pumping for 3-5 minutes after you're empty - you need to demand more than you're supplying. Another thing to watch is that you don't have the suction on your pump turned up too high. Surprisingly, this has a negative effect.

If you get desperate, you can do power pumping for a day. That will increase your milk supply within a day, but it's a pain to do.

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tracym
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Re : the Pumping Club - help!

Postby tracym » Mon Mar 24, 2008 09:18 pm

The domperidone should help, the neo prescribed me some when dd first came home on the hospital at home program because although I'd had an abundant supply whilst she was in the hospital (I stopped taking fresh in after a week cause they had such a supply in the freezer and I brought 20+ oz home with me)...once she was feeding more at home from the breast there wasn't as much to pump. (I still needed to do 2-3 gavage feedings per day with HMF added to the breastmilk)

Then (as well as pumping after each feeding) I'd hand express from whichever breast she wasn't feeding from and I'd often get as much from that as from an actual pumping session. Try the hand expressing, it's a little tricky to get the hang of whilst you're trying to feed off the other side but for me it was definitely worthwhile.

Keep up the good work and good luck :)

oops, I just read your above post about hand expressing...lol it does hurt to start with but not for long...you can find diagrams etc on the net without too much diffculty, once you've got the technique right it's just practice makes perfect.

And I thought I should reiterate the pumping every 2 hours...around the clock. Pump after feeds where possible too. You could stretch the night time pumping to 3 -4 hours but not until your supply is well established.

aundapenner
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Re : the Pumping Club - help!

Postby aundapenner » Mon Mar 24, 2008 05:47 pm

Karrie - LOVE the description! LOL!!!

Good job with the feeds!!!

kezt777
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Re : the Pumping Club - help!

Postby kezt777 » Mon Mar 24, 2008 10:19 am

thanks again :) i got a prescription for Motilium from the pediatrition that happened to be on rounds and the nurses told him what was going on, so i should be able to pick that up today and start them. i was on them in hospital and i noticed a difference within 24 hours. now i have 100 pills to work with :) yay.

i find that the more i nurse him myself, the less my body responds to the pump even when im holding him! i tried pumping from one breast while feeding him and i only got 20ml. but i also keep in mind that a little is better than nothing so i just take in whatever i can get. one thing that keeps me going is that it looks like he will be home a lot sooner than we first thought, and i have no trouble having milk let-down when he is feeding from me. i practically choked the poor baby twice now and he gets way more from nursing than he will take through his feeding tube. they test him before the next feed and he often even has leftovers. so he is taking about 25-50% more from me than the tube feedings. yay! at least i know it works for HIM and hopefully the pills will help me have even more so i can pump more off.

the main nurse is also the lactation consultant (40 years in her job this year!) and she said she had three kids and never could get more than a few drops from a pump so she hand expressed for all three and did better with that. i would like to get her to teach me cos i cant figure it out, but she is a strong tall nordic woman and she almost rips my boob off when showing me other stuff HAHA. im scared ;) we just say YES MA'AM to everything she says lol. she is great, but also a bit scary lol lol.

ladybug76135
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Re : the Pumping Club - help!

Postby ladybug76135 » Sun Mar 23, 2008 00:36 am

Psychological trick:

Find a quiet place (hard to do with other kids), chug a big glass of water, get comfy with a picture of the baby nearby and one of his blankies or onesies that smells like him. (I found sitting in his nursery helped me when I was home). Look at his picture, close your eyes, smell the blankie and try then to start pumping. Imagine the milk flowing out to nourish him. Try to think about the times when you're feeding him and not focus on the quantity of milk coming out of your breast. Every drop is precious and helps him- even if it's only half a feeding.

Good luck... neither of mine were good at breastfeeding and I pumped for 12 1/2 and 14 months respectively. I was ready to run over the pump by the end.



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