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breastfeeding update

My goal all along was to breastfeed.  I knew going into it that it wasn't going to be easy, but that it was going to be my only option.  I wasn't going to give myself anything to fall back on or use as a back up.  I just wanted to breastfeed.  Obviously, if there was something medically needed to ensure Coen was fed, I would've done it, but going into this... I wanted what was best for the both of us.

So far, it's going great!

Now, there have been hiccups, but we've worked through them and we're doing great! 

Within our first two weeks at home, feedings started to increase and become a little bit out of control.  I felt like I just wasn't producing anything that was satisfying him.  It was frustrating for him and for me.  I talked with my lactation consultant within a day or so of noticing it and that was a godsend.

She suggested that I "power pump" for 3 days.  What did this mean?  It meant for 3 days, 1 hour each day I had to pump to help stimulate my supply.

Pumping for those 3 days was really something else.  I wasn't crazy about the feeling, but it worked and boy did my milk start to come in more.  Amazing.

That wasn't going to be my only option for stimulation though.  She said that when we checked in with each other 3 days later, if it wasn't working there were many other ways to help the supply.

Luckily, I didn't need to go any further.  My milk was coming in at a much better rate.

Now, almost 4.5 weeks later, we're still doing really well. 

The biggest thing through my labor that I thought I wanted from the get-go, was to have Coen on my chest as soon as I delivered.  Obviously, this didn't get to happen because of the way my labor panned out.  I had read that this was the best way to ensure that he would latch well and be a champ at breastfeeding.


(Can't see much... but PLEASE ignore the stupid pony tail on the top of my head.  It was hot and nursing makes you toasty too.)


Well.... 4 hours after Coen arrived, he was finally brought to our room and he didn't miss a beat.  He latched immediately, he knew what to do and those 4 hours were not lost in what I thought would've been a huge deal.  It was the most beautiful moment.  My husband and I were so proud. 

One piece of advise would be to get nipple cream and use it from the moment you have contact.  Most hospitals will supply you with them.  Mine did and because I used it from the moment I had contact on... I never had any real pain in my nipples.  I'm not kidding.  And being 4.5 weeks into it, I'm actually not using the cream at all.  I stopped using it about 2 weeks in because they just don't hurt.  They have built up a tough skin that just doesn't feel pain.  It's been great. 

My goals for breastfeeding are to keep doing it as long as we can.  If I had it my way, I would say at least a year.  Who knows what Coen will want though... so some of this is in his hands.

Now the biggest challenge is to figure out of the best pump and feeding schedule.  I've pumped a little but I need to build my supply up so that I have it for when I go back to work.

I also need to know more about pumping at work.  Do I just continue to pump as if I were feeding Coen?  Every 2 to 3 hours and keep my supply up?

Thoughts?  Helpful Info...

Please share.

Comments

molly said…
Good for you, Jill. I couldn't really BF Landon but I did BF my second. There was a lot of pain involved for me but it was worth it! And it feels so good to know your body can produce what they need.

I hope it goes very well from here on out!
Mrs. Hammer said…
Hey Hopeful :) I'm actually a CLC and we love the Hygeia pumps and Medela pump n'styles electric pumps for working moms. Both have a duel pump 'bra' that you can put on to speed up the pumping process and be hands free. Duel pumping also helps increase supply because there is a flood of hormones happening all at once. The Hygeia has a neat feature where you can record your baby's sounds to help with let down. When you return to work you will want to pump whenever you feel full which is usually the same as the baby's feeding schedule. But often you have to work around what times your office will let you pump. Fortunately the body is an amazing thing and it will learn to make milk in the right amount to the schedule that you follow. It will even adjust to weekends when you are feeding at the breast so you don't have to keep pumping on weekends. I assume you are going back within 2-3 months, correct? In the last month I would start to 'simulate' what your work schedule will be like. Oh and many women find it helpful to get the baby into the routine where dad or caregiver is the only one to give a bottle of breast milk. This helps baby handle the transition and understand that mom nurses while everyone else gives bottles. But then some babies are champs and it doesn't bother them in the least.
Erin said…
When I was on maternity leave, I always pumped right after the first morning feeding since that is when your supply is the highest. It was always best if I could pump before 7am - but sometimes I was lazy and waited until after what was the 2nd morning feeding. I ended up with a MASSIVE freezer stash that I wasn't even able to use though, so I wouldn't stress about it too much though, just have a little bit of a stash and whenever you do leave you'll be pumping to replace a feeding so you'll have that to use to replace what you took out of the freezer. I think pumping so much over maternity leave was a huge part of what contributed to my oversupply.

At work, I pumped 3x at first, at 9, 12, and 3. Once I realized that I could get the same amount pumping twice (at 9:30 and 3) I just did that instead - I think when Annie was around 6 months old. I was nervous to drop a session, but again I had a HUGE freezer stash (about 700oz) so I knew I could cover it if necessary. My biggest piece of advice is to get a hands free pumping bra! Makes pumping SO much easier, seriously the best $30 I ever spent and I wish I'd bought it earlier.

I'm glad to hear it's going so well for you - such a relief!
Kristal said…
Do you follow Julia's blog? julia-transition.blogspot.com. She's a working mom and she breastfed until Truman was a year old. She posted a lot about pumping and the logistics so you should check out her posts on the topic - I'm pretty sure she has both a breastfeeding and a working mom label, so check both. :)
Allison said…
This is just my experience, so take with a grain of salt.

I pumped 4 times a day (8:30; 10:30; 12:30; 2:30) at work to make sure my supply didn't dip. When that got too taxing, I did find I was able to reduce to 3 times a day (9, 12, 3). I know many are able to make it work with less, but I didn't want to chance it. You'll feel it out over time and figure out what you need to do to maintain your supply. Definitely get a hands-free pumping bra--it saved me!

I'm so SO very glad it's all working out well for you! If you have any specific questions, feel free to contact me!

Oh, and I'm jealous of your picture. I actually wish I had a picture of me nursing E now that we're done. Something to remember next time :)
Leah said…
Jill, I am sooooo happy to hear it's going well! I can't believe you're pain free too, that's awesome! I was in cracked nipple hell through three weeks with Isaac. :(

I also pumped three times when I returned to work at 9, 12 and 3. Not sure what else I can add, but I'm so happy for you!
Kristen said…
My little guy just turned one and I am still breastfeeding. I came back to work when he was 5.5 months old and pumped three times a day - 10:00, 1:00 and 4:00 and then again before bed and I fed him before he went to sleep around 8:00. This was plenty to keep up with his feedings and keep a stash for emergencies. Now that he only drinks milk in the am and before bed I pump once at work and once before bed and feed him before he goes to sleep but I didn't start doing that until he was about 10 months and eating three meals a day of purees and such. Good for you for being so determined - I had a hard time in the beginning but it was worth pushing on.

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