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Logan Sapphire

Ideal_Rock
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Sep 5, 2003
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Is there anyone else out there besides Kunzite and me who exclusively pump??

Kunzite, to answer your question about whether you should really strictly adhere to a time schedule while EPing...it's my understanding that it's more the number of pumps that matter in maintaining your supply rather than the time in between. But, it sounds like your LC was more worried about you developing non-supply issues if you varied your pumps. When I first was pumping 8-12 times a day, I generally pumped every 2 or 3 hours, but the time didn't matter to me as long as I snuck in the sessions somehow. Once I started dropping pumps, I do have to say it started to matter more that I stuck to pumping more on a schedule b/c if I waited too long in between pumps, I would get clogged ducts and milk blisters. But it was never as strict as 5 mins or anything! That sounds crazy!

The longer I've pumped, the more my body has adapted and I was able to drop to 3 pumps this week without much engorgement or pain. I'll have to be pretty vigilant in making sure I pump very close to 4.30am, 1pm, and 8pm or else my boobs might explode! When I was pumping 4 times a day, I pumped at 10 and 3 at work and made sure to only vary that by an hour or so, but that was more to do with logistics of having a place available rather than supply.

I hope this helps. How long have you been doing it?

Also, I've pumped on planes in my aisle seat, in front of colleagues, and other places, so if you need any tips, let me know!
 

Laila619

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Logan Sapphire (and Kunzite!), I really admire your dedication!! I was exclusively pumping for the first week after my son was born until he figured out how to latch, but boy was it chaotic and time-consuming what with the having to sterilize pump parts all the time. I felt like all I ever did was stand in front of my kitchen sink washing pump parts every two hours. Do you personally have a fast and easy way to sterilize the pump parts? Maybe it's easier to own multiple sets of parts so one set can always be clean and ready. Any tips to make it easier? I'll probably start pumping again when DS is a little older so DH can help with some of the night feedings. Thanks!
 

Logan Sapphire

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Hi Laila- congrats on the birth of your son!

To save time, just throw the pump parts in the fridge and clean/sterilize only once a day!! Otherwise, you'll definitely be spending a lot of time at the sink. I actually use two pumps (one hospital rental and a Medela Freestyle), so I'm cleaning two different kinds of pump parts every day, but I can see how having multiple pump parts would be helpful.

I use the Medela sterilizing bags that you throw in the microwave. Is that what you use? It takes 2.5 mins.
 

icekid

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Logan Sapphire said:
I use the Medela sterilizing bags that you throw in the microwave. Is that what you use? It takes 2.5 mins.
I am just about to order them- 5 or 6 dollars on Amazon. And I never thought of putting the parts in the refrigerator, what a great idea, LS!
 

phoenixgirl

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Mar 20, 2003
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I didn't exclusively pump, but when I was working I was pumping 3-4 times a day. I had 3 sets of pump parts; I just couldn't deal with washing/sterilizing over and over. I had the Medela wipes if I was in a pinch, but it just didn't seem like wiping something for a couple of seconds could really get it sanitized.
 

DivaDiamond007

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Jun 7, 2007
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I am pumping for my daughter since she's a 35 weeker and has not yet mastered sucking. We are supplementing with formula (I'm still in the hospital) for now so we know she's getting enough. I'm still getting colostrum only three days postpartum but I'm getting more and more each session so the LC thinks I'll be getting more of a supply in the next day or so. I'm pumping every 3-4 hours around the clock. It's hard with my c-section pain and still being in the hospital but working nonetheless :))
 

drk

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Mar 15, 2005
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I'm another EPer. Started off pumping after every time I nursed K so I could give her the extra for weight gain (she had poor milk transfer), and to stimulate supply because I had major undersupply. I went back to work at 3 months, and found it very difficult to coordinate the time of my last pump at work with feeding K when I got home, so I quickly moved to nursing once in the middle of the night, and very swiftly gave that up too since it was obvious she didn't need it.

I was too scared of losing supply so I was still pumping 8-9 times a day at 6 months, but have been cutting back since then. I used to aim for every 2 hours while awake and every 3 at night. Then I moved to 7 times a day, then six, and now I'm at 5, pumping about every 4-5 hours throughout. It's much more doable. I'm so ready to stop in the near future though - my nipples have been sore almost since she was born, and I'm scared they'll never be the same again.

I bought 4 sets of pump parts before I realized I'd be able to toss the parts i the fridge and wash them in hot soapy water once a day (or toss them in the dishwasher). In retrospect, 2 sets would have been fine, just so I wouldn't have the hassle of drying them or in case I dropped them. I love my Medel.a Freestyle, though I'm not truly hands-free because I have to do breast compressions on the right to empty it. Not sure why the letdown doesn't work on that side. I can still pump in the car driving to work (with my nursing cover on), pump at work in the OR (wear it under my scrubs while I'm giving anesthetics, and can walk to recovery room with my patient if necessary while pumping), and have even pumped in the airplane, in the airport gate lounge, and in the staff lounge at work while eating lunch. No break time for me unfortunately.

In another 9 days, K will be 10 months old. I can't believe I've made it this far! If I could produce more than 700cc (about 24-25oz) a day, I'd be even happier, but even now I can still make enough to freeze a bottle every 1-2 days. If I could freeze more, I could quit the pumping sooner - I'm pretty sick of it ruling my life! And sick of getting up once a night to go pump, while K sleeps 12 hours straight. :)

Diva - I think my milk came in around day 5. In the beginning, I think you're supposed to try to pump every 2 hours, since you'd be BFing every 2 hours if you weren't pumping. You can stretch it to 3 hourly at night. At least that's what I've been told. Then after your supply is established around the 12 week mark, you can start to cut back the number of pumps.
 

cpster

Brilliant_Rock
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May 1, 2005
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540
I was! My DD is turning 17 months tomorrow so I've been slowing decreasing my pumping and am down to just one per day now. EPing is a huge committment and I applaud any mama that pumps for their little one. One great tip that I didn't learn until later on is to take a small bit of olive oil dabbed on a tissue and then rub the tissue on the inside tube part of the horns. Sometimes I also rub the oil a bit on the nips too. It makes it so much more comfy! Just don't get the oil in the flared part of your horns though otherwise you won't get a good seal.

Also, I want to recommend kellymom.net for any breastfeeing or pumping mom. Great forum to ask any question. Lots of great knowledge there.

Your BM is liquid gold! After coming home from her 24 day hospital stay after birth, my DD has only gotten sick once. I had to supplement in the beginning for many months until I learned how to effectively pump with breast compressions. Then we got to all BM. Once we introduced solids I was even able to freeze some. :) It ain't easy, but it's so worth it. Go pumping mama's!
 

Laila619

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Thanks for the tips, Logan Sapphire!

drk|1294443887|2817155 said:
I can still pump in the car driving to work (with my nursing cover on), pump at work in the OR (wear it under my scrubs while I'm giving anesthetics, and can walk to recovery room with my patient if necessary while pumping), and have even pumped in the airplane, in the airport gate lounge, and in the staff lounge at work while eating lunch. No break time for me unfortunately.
Wow, now that's dedication drk! This is a dumb question, but how do you store the milk afterward when you're out in public? At home I would use the Lansinoh storage bags, but obviously that wouldn't work in public.

General question for pumpers who want to answer, why do you EP? Did your baby have latch problems? Do you do it so others can share feedings?
 

Hudson_Hawk

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Nov 2, 2006
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I EP'd until A was 6 weeks. I tried BFing but he was a bit early and little and had a lot of latch problems. Sadly, the week after he figured out the whole latching thing we had to move to formula because he was having tummy issues. When I was in public I'd pump into bottles, close them and then put them in the cooler. I was never away from a fridge long enough to have issues storing the fresh BM, it can stay out for hours.

Because I was so early on into the experience, I was on a strict every 2 hour pumping schedule with a 4 hour break at night. I also made sure I had one pumping session between the hours of 1 and 4 am because that's when your lactation hormones are highest. When I had to wean I went from every 2 hours to every 4 hours to 6 hours to 12 hours and then once a day. Then I went cold turkey once my output had reduced to 1 oz per session. I never had a huge output, but it was at least 1/2 oz per breast for every hour between pumps.
 

Puppmom

Ideal_Rock
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Jun 25, 2007
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Drk, when you're pumping under cover at work, are you using a battery pack? I find the suctions sucks (no pun intended) on the battery pack and the batteries die in just a few uses.
 

icekid

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Drk.. I am going to be in a simlar position to you soon re: the OR but the is no way pumping in the OR will ever fly at my hospital. There is another pumping resident so i will have to see what she has done to make it work.
 

Logan Sapphire

Ideal_Rock
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Sep 5, 2003
Messages
2,379
I started EPing for several reasons. DS is tongue-tied and we didn't get a frenotomy for him. The day after we went home from the hospital he was readmitted for jaundice. My milk came in late too. I also kept asking people if breastfeeding was supposed to hurt that much and people would say that I just had to get used to it. After seeing 3 LCs, the last one, who was from a highly respected breastfeeding center in my area, told me that when people said their nipples were sore, they had nothing on me.

Attempting to breastfeed was taking so much time and was so stressful (DS lost more than 10% of his body weight) and my 22 month old was getting super, super jealous of all that time the baby was with me. We had adopted her only a year before and I was starting to resent the baby for the whole thing being so difficult. Anyway, EPing seemed like the best option for EVERYONE in my family. Plus, the responsibility of feeding him didn't fall all on my shoulders, which is nice. The other plus is that DS never had to get used to taking a bottle after being used to the breast. I have quite a few friends who have had an almighty struggle with getting their kids to take a bottle as well as kids who simply won't take a bottle at all and mom is still the only one who can feed the baby at almost a year.

Fortunately, I work for the federal govt and we have two lactation rooms in the health unit in my building. My (male) supervisor has been really good with respecting my pumping schedule and he always consults me in scheduling meetings. The only slightly uncomfortable situation has been when I go out on site visits and I have to ask my grantees if we can schedule time for pumping during our meetings. I work with law enforcement so I have to discuss pumping with police officers, judges, and other random people.

I've pumped in my aisle airplane seat surrounded by strange men, in airport lounges, locker rooms, in random strangers' offices, in the car, in front of colleagues, and at the dinner table nightly. If you ask my toddler what noise the pump makes, she goes "sh sh, sh sh." She also wraps my pumping bra around her neck and says it's a scarf.

I'm almost at 9 months (1/16) and I'm slowly starting to wean. I have a good freezer stash but my milk has excess lipase and I'm not 100% sure if DS will drink it. He's rejected frozen before and I have a suspicion it's due to the lipase. I'm taking lecithin to combat that as well as clogged ducts. We'll see what happens. I'm still making enough to feed him daily plus freeze some, but I can definitely tell that going down to 3 pumps has affected my supply.
 

drk

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Laila - I pump into bottles and put them in the Med.ela cooler pack that came with my Free.style. Then I toss that in the fridge, but I'd have no worries about it being out for the 8 hour work day if I had no fridge access. If I were short on bottles, I'd pour the milk into the Lansinoh bags and toss them in the cooler pack instead.

Puppmom - do you have the PIS? The Free.style has a great battery life and I don't really notice a difference when plugged in or not.

Icekid - it was easier for me since I'm staff. If I'd still been in residency, I'd have likely been able to get my staff to relieve me a couple times a day for 30min. I had a big fight with the admin about it 8 weeks in when some jerk complained, but it blew over once the nursing manager saw the pump-under-scrubs in action and I promised to put the pump on and take it off outside of the OR.

LS - going from 6 pumps to 5 definitely affected my supply. We'll see how long it can keep up with DD.
 

Lanie

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Feb 20, 2008
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Omg thank you for starting this thread!!!! I'm a 90% pumper. My little guy will very often refuse to feed. I had an LC determine that he has a tongue thrust and that was giving me little hickeys on my nipples. When my milk came in, he was fine. One night I had some visitors stay too long and we postponed his feeding. That night he refused to bfeed for 9 hours. It was our worst night yet. Luckily I had some milk pumped from when I was trying to get my supply established. We gave him a bottle and he was fine. Now, I try to feed him and sometimes he will, but more often he will not. I have to use a nipple shield since I have flatish nipples, and just getting him calm and situated perfectly to feed can turn into screaming fits. I started pumping a bunch and God blessed me as a dairy cow so I am able to keep up with him plus freeze a bunch. It upset me so much at fIrst that I had to pump for him to eat but now im not as bothered by it. I hate the stigma that is put on EPers and everyone always tells me that my supply won't last. Which may or may not be true, but the way I look at it, I have been able to keep him alive and happy for 2.5 wks now so I must be doing something right. Helll, I hate the stigma put on mommas who have to give formula.Why can't people just keep their opinions on how I feed my child to themselves?! :rodent:

I just bought a hands free bustier and I'm using it for the 1st time right now as I type on my iPhone. It's amazing! I didn't think it would hold the bottles but it does. And I second the recommendation for those quick steam bags although mine take 1.5 min? Mine are medela brand but they might have others.

I also like the lanisoh bags better. The freeze completely flat. And put me down on the sore nipple club list. I'm prob destroying them by pumping so much. Btw I pump 5 times a day for 15-20 min but I should do more. I have to pump at least once in the mid of the night or they will explode.

Good gosh I'm so glad you started this thread! I'm also curious why the other gals pump and don't bfeed.
 

Laila619

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Apr 28, 2008
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Hang in there, Lanie!! My little guy didn't really latch on and he'd scream and cry in the beginning too. But then one day, he just "got it" and now he's a nursing pro! It just takes a little time and practice I think. Still, any way you can get a baby happy and fed is good in my book! There are times I want to go back to pumping, because DS is a leisurely nurser and can take 45 minutes to an hour nursing.
 

Lanie

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Feb 20, 2008
Messages
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Glad to hear nursing got better for you Laila! I think you hit the nail on the head with practice. Mine is a leisurely nurser too. It's like suck suck suck...pause pause pause pause pause pause pause...suck suck...pause,etc. I have to admit I like feeding with a bottle too. But nursing is very special, it just takes soooo long!

I'm curious as to how you ladies manage to pump in public. I'm assuming with a hooter hider or equivalent? I don't think I could do it. I have such a hard time using those. I can't get a squirmy baby under there discretely, much less a machine with cords.
 

icekid

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Lanie and laila.. An hour is totally normal for a newborn! My guy is just starting to go under 45 min unless he wants to comfort nurse endlessly.

Drk... I should be able to get my staff to give me enough break time, in general, but i dread having that conversation daily. Our dept is huge! Do you think pumping twice in a avg 12 hour day will cut it?

LS... I am having pain issues too! But related to a yeast infection i cannot seem to kick. It is so painful..pumping too ugh.
 

Lanie

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Icekid--what were your symptoms? I thought I might have had one too since my nips and boobs are itchy after he feeds, but the pedi checked his mouth and said he was fine. Glad to hear an hour is normal! He usually falls asleep before that but he will do an hour on occasion. I hate to think for him to hurry up...I feel bad but I'm hoping he will the whole time.
 

Lanie

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Does anyone have a link for pumped milk amounts for different size babies? I think Anderson wants more than I give him but I don't know where to find that. Right now he's just shy of 8 lbs, is almost 3 wks, and drinks 3 oz pretty much every 3-4 hours (usually 3 hrs). Today it was like he was starving! He finished every bottle fast!
 

Puppmom

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Jun 25, 2007
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Lanie, Swimmer recommended the Nursing Mother's Companion to me and I picked up a copy. Last night I read in it that babies will often suck down a bottle really quickly not because they're hungry but because the milk comes so fast they keep swallowing to avoid choking. I found that interesting because we always assumed N was starving when he ate so quickly. That said, I think 2.5 - 3.5 oz sounds about right to me.

DRK, I have the PIS and I feel like the battery pack stinks. Now that I rarely have to nurse and pump at the same time, it's not that big a deal. Other than that, most of my pumping occurs in the mother's room at work and I just stay put in my chair.
 

Lanie

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You girls are angels, thank you! Thanks for the link drk!
 

icekid

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Lanie.. I think the stupid yeast invaded early on when my nipples were so raw. My nipples are definitely itchy! But i also get sharp shooting pain because it is in the ducts too, i think. You can have yeast even if A has no symptoms. It seems most docs are not super well-informed on this problem. You can do something simple like diluted vinegar washes of your nipples to prevent it from getting worse. The yeast cannot grow in the acidic pH.

Pupp..
I wish there was a way to get slower flow bottles! It takes O 30-40 min to bf and like 5 min to suck down 4 ounces, even though we use born free bottles and level 1 nipples. Hubby makes him take breaks (he gets ticked!) when bottle feeding because the flow is too much.
 

Logan Sapphire

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Lanie, I always just let DS determine how much he wants to eat. Sometimes he can eat 8oz easily (has gone up to 10oz) and other times he just wants 2 or 3 oz. He always lets us know if he wants to eat or not by pushing the bottle away, crying, kicking at it, etc., so I'm not worried about overfeeding him. He also is on the Level 2 nipple and we'll keep him there until he stops using bottles. I think 3oz at your baby's age sounds right. When DS was in the hospital for jaundice, they had us give him 2 oz every 2 or 3 hours.

I do use a nursing cover when I pump in public- I use the Bebe Au Lait. Hopefully I haven't given anyone an eyeful. It's definitely a learned art to pump in public!

My nipples were super sore for the longest time, so sore that I couldn't even have the shower stream on them. Eventually they got much better, though now they're sore again due to changing my pumping schedule. The thing that really helped me with the soreness was that I was actually using flanges that were too big for me. Most of the time, you hear about people using flanges that are too small, but in my case, the flange was sucking too much of my areola in to the horn, making it way painful. Switching down to the standard size on both the Medela and the Ameda made a world of difference.

I had a persistence case of thrush early on that lasted for a month. Fortunately b/c I was only pumping, DS never got it. The oral meds weren't working so I made my own cream of bacitracin, lotrimin, and hydrocortisone to apply. That, combined with using gentian violet, finally did it and I haven't had a case since then. Oh yeah- load up on probiotics and give baby some too. Also, for sore nipples, Jack Newman's All Purpose Nipple Ointment is recommended. You generally need a prescription and a compounding pharmacy has to fill it. I have a prescription but haven't filled it.
 

drk

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Joined
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I looked up the formula my LC used when K was 1 month old. She had 160mL per kg per 24h. So 8lb would be about 2.5oz every 3 hours.
 

Laila619

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Lanie|1294466354|2817367 said:
Glad to hear nursing got better for you Laila! I think you hit the nail on the head with practice. Mine is a leisurely nurser too. It's like suck suck suck...pause pause pause pause pause pause pause...suck suck...pause,etc.
Yep, we're the same. By the way, your Anderson is just absoutely ADORABLE!! :) Congrats!

icekid, good to know that Jumper has gotten more efficient...maybe that will be the case with DS soon too.
 

Kunzite

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May 17, 2009
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Logan - Thank you so much for starting this thread!! LO is about to stir so I can't reply the way I'd like but I'll be back!!

Diva - I saw your post over in the preggo thread and I thought I'd just reply over here since it seems my story ties directly into this thread. In the meantime I hope that you're recovering well and that baby Grace is getting closer to nippling every day!! Hang in there, it can be a hard road for sure.
 

Mara

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Glad to see there's a thread for ladies who pump! I pumped from day one and EP'd from months 4-6 as J rejected the breast when we returned from a 3 day trip without him (TAKE THAT MOM!). I was also returning to work 2 weeks later so figured why bother working like a madwoman to get him back onto the boob only to have him take a bottle most of the time anyway once I went back.

I think my body did not respond as well to the pump as it did to J... some women don't have an issue with this but after the 4mo mark my supply definitely dwindled over time and I stopped at 6mo as I only was getting a few oz a day. One of my friends EP'd until almost a year and got 40oz+ PER DAY, it was pretty crazy...my highest was 20oz daily with one feeding on top of that IIRC so definitely nothing that impressive.

We had 2 sets of pump supplies and Greg was in charge of washing them for me most of the time and we used the microwave sterilizer for them as well as J's bottle supplies. We got into a groove and it wasn't that much of a hassle once a routine was set. But the first 1-2 months it def was a pain figuring it all out.

Lanie... A might be in a growth spurt, if he is sucking down the bottles and seeming to want more about 10 min later (let his brain/stomach be aware that it is fuller... bottle feeding is like us eating a meal fast, sometimes our brain doesn't register it for a little while) then I'd give him more.

Also Ginger was an EP'er and she worked very hard to get her supply up and was successful, so hopefully she'll see this thread if any of you ladies need tips on that (DRK is excellent for that too!).
 

Kunzite

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May 17, 2009
Messages
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Logan - Thank you for your advice! We sound very similar. Yes, the LC was more concerned with non-supply issues. Like you I've had trouble with clogged ducts, mastitis, and milk blisters. Not fun stuff and I'd rather not repeat any of it!! I've been taking Lecithin as well and it appears to be a miracle so far. They say you can drop down to 3x a day but I haven't been that brave yet so I'm still taking it four times a day. Did you ever get a waxy coating on your nipple (maybe really thick milk)? I had it both times I had mastitis and again when I had a bad clog. It almost seems like it's trying to be a milk blister but nothing is ever under it for it to be an actual blister. So hard to explain!! It comes off after a few days but then bleeds because it's attached. I don't think I'm explaining this well at all.... I think I'm going to slowly shift my times by about 15 minutes to try to drop the 7th pumping of the day. I've been pumping for 9 weeks now and I'm not concerned about my supply (gosh that sounds awful to say!!). My supply is out of control compared to what my LO is eating at the moment (45 oz a day compared to the 18 - 20 we can get him to take). Luckily I think I've found a family to start donating some of my freezer stash to. There is no room left in the freezer and I was on the verge of having to start dumping the extra.

Laila - At first I found washing parts and pumping so often overwhelming. DH started doing all of the part washing when he was home and that took a huge load off of me. It's the little things!! When I go back to work again I'm going to get a spare set of parts so I don't have to wash them at work.

Diva - It sounds like things are going well for you. I'm glad that you've been able to pump. I know when O was born everytime I would go see him in the NICU his nurse would ask if I brought any milk. The first few days were overwhelming because I was pumping all of the time but my milk just hadn't come in. Being asked was just too much. I just kept saying, "I'm trying" Like you I started pumping because my LO was a preemie. He was born at 31 weeks and didn't start nippling well until a few weeks ago. He was so ahead on all of the other things they needed him to do that it was hard to take when he wasn't picking up on the suck/swallow/breathe. It seems so easy for babies that it's painful to see your LO struggle with it. We tried BFing a few times but we would both get frustrated with each other. They were trying to teach him with a bottle for all of the feeds that I wasn't at the hospital so it was like he was trying to learn two things at once.

drk - Thank you for your advice about dropping a pumping as well! I think I'm going to do like you suggested and start moving the times, but not by 5 minutes!!

Lanie - I had to use a nipple shield as well for flat nipples. I think that was a large part of our struggle when O and I were trying to learn. It's not much fun and doesn't feel natural at all. I wish there wasn't so much "you can't pump full time" talk as well. DH keeps telling me that he's reading that and I just tell him to go check my sheet were I write down how much I pumped that day! I think that says it all!! re: amounts. The doctors at our hospital like to see the babies taking about 140-150 mL per kilo a day. That said, O doesn't get that much and he's still gaining weight which is really what matters. The calories in BM really vary a lot from person to person so it would appear that my milk is just nice and fatty and he doesn't have to take the "normal" amount.

icekid - Our LC also suggested bacitracin for thrush. (Yes, at one point they tried to tell me I had thrush because I was itchy. It turns out it was just the disposable nursing pad that I had on!!)

Does anyone else's nipples seem bruised from pumping? I'm shirtless most of the time these days (or so it seems!!) and DH looked at me the other day and asked why my nipple was purple. Um, I guess from all of the abuse!!

And I've attached a picture of O on his birthday for Diva just to say, I've been there and I feel for you! I'll keep thinking about you and little Grace.

IMG_04222.JPG
 
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