Monday, March 19, 2012

I Need Help

To All My Mother Friends:

I need your help.

Here is my dilemma:
As we know, Hailey was in the NICU for 2 weeks. For those two weeks, I pumped. Because I pumped, I was able to get my supply up to quite a bit - about 5-6 ounces a session. To be honest, I am very proud of my supply. I love having the excess milk to store in the freezer for when I have to go back to work.

The lactation consultant at the hospital said that when I start breastfeeding Hailey, I would have to pump afterward every time because Hailey obviously doesn't drink 5-6 ounces yet and I need to empty out my breasts each time. For me, that just drags out each feeding session - nursing and then pumping. It didn't sound appealing to me.

So I decided that I would just skip the nursing and just pump only. Hailey was already used to a bottle, so I figured it would be the easiest.

And it has been. I mean, we've only had her home for, what, 5 days? But still, I would love to just go to straight breastfeeding so I wouldn't have to sit there for 20 minutes and pump and hope that Hailey doesn't decide she wants to start crying while I am indisposed.

But here's the deal, and this is where I need your help. If I go back to breastfeeding (Hailey is already really good at latching and eating her fill, at least the few times we have tried it), and if I don't pump afterward, I know that is going to reduce my supply just down to what she needs. Question is, will my supply come back up as she grows and needs more? I know mothers have a really good supply for the first 3 months and then it drops off, so I am really afraid that if I go to breastfeeding and reduce my supply to just what Hailey needs and not what 20 minutes at the pump gets, I won't be able to get my supply back up. I really do need that extra milk storage for when I go back to work.

Question number two, because I can get 3 oz per side, Hailey only needs to eat at one side and be good. Should I still pump out the other breast or just leave it until Hailey is hungry again and use that side? Will this cause any clogged ducts, engorgement, mastitis? I don't want that, nobody does.

I really am afraid of screwing myself up. I know this is sort of like a TMI for everyone, but it really is legit that I just want to know what I should do, want to know what you have done, want to know the facts, want to know what will make it easiest (ha) for my sanity and for Hailey's. But mostly mine.

So, any advice you have would be great. Leave a comment here, or message me on Facebook, or text me or call me. Don't be offended it I don't take your advice, but I sure would love to listen to what you have to say anyway because frankly, I just want to know what's out there.


Unknown said...

i only feed avrey from one side at a time. then if she for some reason is still hungry i always have the other side.. i have always seemed to have more than enough even if she is starving.. its normal to need more milk every once in a while when they go through growth spurts.. thats when you will want to start pumping again to increase your milk supply.. or just have her suck lots more.. you just have to figure out whats best for you and her.. if she takes the bottle better than maybe just pump, but for me that was too much time pumping and then holding the bottle and it was easier to just do formula so i gave up... i've regretted that ever since.. but if your going back to work then you will have to pump anyway unless your going to be supplementing. breastfeeding is on the job training.. no one can really tell you what to do you have to kinda figure it out on your own and what works best for you.. and what hailey does the best with.

Heidi Greaves said...

I don't have a lot of experience with pumping so I don't know how credible my advice is....

But if she is fine just nursing on one side, would you be able to pump the other side while she's nursing? This probably depends on what type of pump you have and I'm sure a manual one would not be fun. But if you're able to hook up a hands free electric (you can cut a hole in a sports bra to hold it up if you need to,) you could still keep your supply up and get more milk for storage.

Anyways I've heard of some people doing this, I hope it helps!

Bensons said...

It's hard to say, because everyone is different, but I think generally you are going to produce enough milk through the changes/higher demand, and I don't think stopping use of the pump will ruin your supply (but I've never researched that specific topic). However, since you are returning to work, it might be worth it to continue to pump to build up a really good supply, but really it's up to you!

I know "they" say to try to nurse on both sides each session. Noah did, but with Everett that has been a very rare occasion, and I just start on the other side when he wants to nurse again. I would offer her the other side once she's done with the first, and if she doesn't take it, no worries, and if you don't want to pump start her on that side next time. Nothing to worry about if both sides don't get emptied at each session. ..I'm not going to lie though, it can be noticeable to other people, if you know what I mean, HaHa. Slightly embarassing! ;)

Unfortunately, the discomfort of engorgement is going to happen with the changes that take place with eating habits, I don't think that is something you will escape all together. I'm sure you are aware of things that can lessen the pain or discomfort though, if you need suggestions shoot me a text.

Hope this helped some!