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Thursday, October 02, 2008

Oh, That Again

Yet another breastfeeding post. I know, I'm sick of them too.

Please help.

What am I doing wrong? The Targo, in his amazing kindness, bought me a really nice breast pump. I say he bought it because it was while I was on the unpaid portion of maternity leave. Really, I guess we bought it. Anyway, it's the Avent Isis Duo. The main reasons I selected this pump are 1) it's the same brand as our bottles, and 2) it has received really great reviews.

When I first came back to work, I carved out three times per shift to pump. I decided to pump more frequently for shorter times to mimic my nursing schedule with Nathan. I was doing okay, getting an ounce or three each time. It took me two weeks to build up three days' worth of daycare supply. And boom ... it was gone.

I've found it increasingly difficult to get away even twice per day. But, I've been trying. I'll pump about three hours into my shift and then about an hour before I go home. Even then, I'm only getting one to three ounces. Some days I leave work with less than four ounces and I want to cry.

I have a nice comfortable chair, it's fairly quiet, and really, no one cares if I'm gone 20 minutes (I usually eat lunch at my desk ... so this is my "time away".). But for some reason, I can't relax. And maybe that's the problem.

Working, breastfeeding moms: Did you have this problem? Am I a freak? I have a chunk for a kid, so my supply is obviously okay. Do I need to call the La Leche League crisis line? Any advice is welcome.

(I may talk about this a lot, but I don't talk about diapers.)


Candy said...

Well. It's been a long time since I breastfed but I do remember some things.

First...I had a hard time with let-down unless the kid was near by. I was hospitalized when my daughter was 2 weeks old, and even though I was pumping constantly with an electric pump the hospital lent me, by the end of my 5 day stay I had all but dried up. But as soon as they let me see my daughter, the flood gates opened. For me it was always about the hormonal thing.

Maybe you can try something that smells like him, like his blanket, while you're doing it. Or a picture, or a video or sound of him crying or something.

It's very hard, I know. Many many moms have to supplement with formula. Good luck hon.

Mrs Lemon said...

I don't work, but I do pump almost exclusively because I'm tired of nursing. I find that if I don't drink enough water and milk that I don't have as good of a supply. It also could be that he's drinking more now, and your body will catch up. Maybe that will help? Good luck!

Shannon said...

I pumped more way back when Liam was just a few months old but I seemed to have some of the same problems. Sometimes I got 4 ounces or more at a single pumping but usually a lot less. I think it has so much to do with relaxing. It is hard to relax with that thing attached to your boob. I agree with mrs. lemon. Try drinking a lot more water, juice, milk. Oh, you might also try bringing one of Nathan's blankets or stuffed animals and a picture of him with you when you pump. I know it sounds kooky but maybe it would help with let down. But in the end, pump all that you can but don't beat yourself up if he isn't drinking breastmilk exclusively. Whatever you can give him is a bonus so don't worry. You are doing a fantastic job. Now let's talk about poopy diapers. hehehe

Anonymous said...

Hey, here's what I did: I know it doesn't work for everyone, but it worked for me.

I didn't pump at work. I pumped at home, with mackerdoodle happily nursing on one side, and the pump on the other. I'd let her nurse, and when I felt the let down, I'd attach the pump to the other side. I could get A LOT more that way, and it worked better for both of us.

And I agree with Shannon: you're being a great mama, don't stress over un-spilled milk. :-)

Christine said...

Hi there, I don't think I've ever commented before, but I had a baby around the same time you did. My little girl was born 1/14/08. I am doing the pumping/working thing right along with you, and I have good days and bad days. Most days I get between 8-10 ounces total with 2 20 minute sessions. It took me awhile to realize I needed to pump for about 18-20 minutes, as I ended up having more than one let-down. So maybe try pumping for longer? I have also taken a supplement called Fenugreek, but I honestly don't know if that helped or not. I think drinking LOTS of water has helped more than anything. Eating oatmeal is supposed to help too, so I do that as much as I can stand. What I'm pumping isn't really enough other, but my little one usually doesn't take more than 12 ounces in 8-9 hours, so I'm keeping up with her so far, though it's a constant worry. I really need to be adding a pumping session at night, but I just dread doing it. Are you familiar with the Kelly's Mom website? Lots of good info there -
Good luck! I feel your pain!