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Help! Exclusively pumping, tried to breastfeed... and.. what happened?

Posted by on Oct. 13, 2012 at 2:41 AM
  • 32 Replies

stressed out here. So my daughter was born 5 weeks ago and we had problems latching, and I ended up exclusively pumping and bottle feeding after 8 days because she just wasnt eating enough when she finally would latch on, often improperly.

Anyways. Pumping has been going okay. After a couple weeks, I went from pumping every two hours to 3... and than sometimes 4 or 5 hours... and my supply went from getting 2 1/2 to 3 from each breast, for 1 1/2 each breast. (and I dont pump at night... which I need to do) So I've been trying to get my supply back up by pumping every two hours and once or twice a night.
(by the way, my daughter takes about 2 1/2 to 3 oz per feeding)

THE PROBLEM. Tonight, I tried to breastfeed her, and she fed off one boob for a decent amount of time. And woudlnt take the other breast. So then I go to pump afterward and got practically NOTHING. I thought okay, I can see she may have emptied one breast, but didnt touch the other breast, yet I got almost NOTHING from either. ... than two hours later, I try to breastfeed her again, she eats off one boob okay on and off for ten minutes, wouldnt touch the other, I go to pump and NOTHING comes out either breas?! Just a few little sprays! I'm scared cause I'm on my last bottle that I had in the fridge for her. I have used all my freezer and fridge supply over the last two weeks....

I did NOT think that trying to breastfeed her would SOMEHOW? do this to my supply when I try to pump. She didn't even empty the one breast either times. I thought if anything breastfeeding her would help because it would release oxytocin. I even tried to hand express which didnt go well. What is going on? How is this possible?

I'm not going to try to breastfeed her next time and just pump. She has never been able to get full off just bf'ing and I've had to give her a bottle afterward each time tonight.

Help... I don't want to have to go get formula for the night. I want my milk back! I just want to give her my milk.... I thought WOW she's not doing too bad latching and it should help my supply and it seemed to have done the opposite?

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by on Oct. 13, 2012 at 2:41 AM
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by on Oct. 13, 2012 at 2:58 AM
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If she latches, I'd drop bottles all together. Exclusively pumping is really hard. As long as you are seeing six diapers in a 24 hour period, she's getting enough.

You're hitting another growth spurt time (aka hell) which could make her seem hungry constantly.
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by on Oct. 13, 2012 at 3:02 AM
What makes you think she's not getting enough now, and why did you think so in the past?
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by on Oct. 13, 2012 at 4:33 AM
Idk i wish i could help. I want to usecthe breast pump after my baby is born. I never breastfed my kids so i at least want to do the breast pump and see how that goes. Try to take a warm shower will that help bring in milk?
by on Oct. 13, 2012 at 5:03 AM
If you've been exclusively pumping and not supplementing, I don't see how nursing isn't giving baby enough. I would suggest going for a while without pumping. A few feedings of just nursing to see how it goes. How do you know that baby isn't getting enough from you?
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by on Oct. 13, 2012 at 5:36 AM
I have the same question as the other ladies...what prompts you to think she isn't getting enough? The pump usually yields less than a nursling will naturally get when latched.

If you are totally driven to EP you need to get a good schedule, including overnights, and stick to it consistently. But, I would suggest continuing to BF instead if she is getting a latch now. It's hard to know what you mean by "she did okay". It kind of sounds like you have unrealistic expectations of how nursing can or should go.

Have you talked to an IBCLC or reached out to a local La Leche League?
by on Oct. 13, 2012 at 5:45 AM
babies are better at emptying the breast then a pump.
What makes you think she can't/didn't get enough when she nursed.
I would continue to put her to breast and pump after shes done even if you get nothing. Watch diaper count. If shes having 6 a day then shes getting plenty. if diaper count is fine the next couple days while shes at the breast I would drop back the pumping.
If you do need to return to exclusively pumping you really should be pumping every 2-3hrs during the day and every 3-4hrs at night.
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by on Oct. 13, 2012 at 11:44 AM

You will always get more milk when baby nurses compared to pumping...if she is taking the breast then do not offer her bottle anymore..she will get what she needs..the more you nurse the more milk you will get...if you need help with your supply then you can take fennel essential oil internally and also rub it on your breasts..fenugreek didnt work for me...just make sure that if you go that route that you get therapeutic grade essential oils beacause the ones sold in stores are labeled not for ingestion..let me know if you need more info...dont give up on offering her your breats to nurse

by on Oct. 13, 2012 at 11:52 AM
If she is latching and nursing I would ditch the pump and bottles and let her nurse on demand. Baby is more efficient than any pump any day.
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by on Oct. 13, 2012 at 11:56 AM
It's normal not to be able to pump anything right after you breastfeed.

If your baby is latching, drop the pumping and bottles and just nurse. You'll know baby is getting enough by how many diapers she has a day (at least 6). If she acts mad, nurses constantly, etc it doesn't mean she's not getting enough and it's great for your supply!

I think if it's important to you to not wind up formula feeding, it's extremely important that you get baby breastfeeding directly. Exclusive pumping is incredibly difficult to maintain for very long if you're doing everything "right" and pumping every 2 hours during the day and every 3 overnight,and at only 5 weeks you are already not pumping at night and going way too long between during the day. Your supply just isn't going to last much longer at all that way. Get baby breastfeeding directly (which she's proven she's capable of now) and you'll never need to pump and your supply will last as long as baby keeps demanding it!
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by on Oct. 13, 2012 at 12:00 PM
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Why would you start pumping less frequently? You're telling your body you need less milk when you do that so of course your supply will dwindle. Kick the bottle. giving the baby a bottle creates over feeding because they don't learn when they are full. Feed fro the breast and if still fussy keep latching on. Even if there isn't milk it will stimulate you to make more milk.

If she's fussy and won't go on the breast then she probably wants something else. Figure out how she wants to go to sleep and other things. You need to be nursing every 2 hours if you want a good supply. And supplementing will just make things worse. So stick to nursing. pumping just isn't effecient its better to kick it.

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