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  1. #1
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    Default Exclusive Pumping at 6.5 months

    Hi all,
    As the title suggests, I think I may be heading down the exclusive pumping route with my 6.5 month old A little background info: he got quite sick 4 days ago and ended up in ED with a diagnosis of mild croup. Since then he has only directly latched twice and basically refused all other attempts to latch on, pushes away, arching his back and gets even more distressed.
    In order to get him to feed, I've had to express and bottle feed him. I know all the info on breast refusal recommends against this but my main priority was to get him fed as he would not feed otherwise and was lethargic, running temperatures and not making any wet nappies. As much as I feel upset that he's not breastfeeding, I have come to terms with the fact that this is what is best for him now. I just did not expect our breastfeeding journey to come to such an abrupt end and it's heartbreaking to think that I was not able to provide my baby with milk and comfort like I was supposed to.

    Anyway, he's better now and readily taking ebm from bottles while still refusing to breastfeed directly. I'm struggling to keep up with expressing, feeding and sterilising bottles and equipment. While he only feeds 5 times a day, I'm finding I have to express 7-8 times to get the amount that he needs. Yesterday he took a total of 750 ml via bottles and I was able to express about 800. However as he recovers, his appetite is also growing and I'm worried that I will not be able to keep up my supply.
    Does anyone have any advise with regards to pumping exclusively? Im able to get about 200ml at the first morning pump and it dwindles as the day progresses to less than 80 at some sessions. I'm hoping to be able to get to the point where I'm only pumping 4-5 times per day with a greater yield each time.. Is this unrealistic?? I'm using a double pump. While I'm so grateful that he's still feeding and still having breastmilk, it's still so hard physically as well as mentally and emotionally. I did not ever see myself in this situation.

  2. #2
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    I'm no expert but I did pump for quite some time. If youre aim to get him back to breastfeeding I would try that first.... that will also help your supply. Have you heard of sns system? Basically you express and put this little tube on your breast that bub latches onto and it mimics breastfeeding and might help get bub back to it. Google it...you'll see what I mean. It stands for supplemental nursing system.
    Contact the ABA maybe for some advice on now to get back to it.
    Otherwise lots of water, oats...lactation cookies etc.the stress of him being sick could've affected your supply too.
    There are some meds you can try to boost supply. ? Motilium/domperidone. Also teas and herbs like fenugreek
    Good luck.
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  4. #3
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    I exclusively pumped and fed EBM for 9.5 months so completely understand that it is HARD work and can be difficult and time consuming to boost supply when you're having to express often, feed bub, tend to bub in all other aspects, wash everything etc.

    As @Tamtam says (funny bumping in to you on this sort of thread ) I would definitely try all you can to get back to direct BF first because the pumping, although possible, is really a PITA and the sole reason I didn't feed DD any longer than I did.

    A few tips on pumping and boosting supply whilst exclusively pumping and feeding EBM:

    - Try to watch bub or look at a picture of bub whilst expressing to get that same let down feeling;
    - Keep double pumping
    - Pump until every single last drop is out on both sides and THEN continue for another couple of minutes, or detach one side and do a couple of minutes individually on each side, to try and let your body know you need to produce more (this was the best tip I got from the hospital LC which boosted my supply to 900mL-1L per day)
    - Get yourself multiple sets of expressing cups and equipment (if you can afford it) so you can minimise the number of times per day you have to wash and sterilise, just rinse with water immediately after use and then set aside until you can wash a few together and sterilise
    - Make sure you're pumping overnight and not going any longer than 4 hours between night sessions
    - Try to get comfortable, watch some mindless TV that you enjoy, especially for the overnight sessions, stressing about the amount and trying to watch the bottles fill won't help any.

    Best of luck xx

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    Carpe diem 2013  (20-08-2014),Tamtam  (20-08-2014)

  6. #4
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    @GM01 lol. Hi!! Great advice.

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  7. #5
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    I pumped for 6 months exclusively. Great advice from pp.

    if you are able, I'd fit a nighttime pump in. After id had a block of sleep, I found I was able to pump my usual 200ml. My worst time for pumping was the 9pm shift as I was exhausted and my body needed rest to restore supply.

    herbs of gold breastfeeding support tablets along with 6 motilium (2 tabs x 3 times per day) kept my supply going.

    i would pump for 10mins to drain breast then an extra 5 for stimulation with my double pump. I pumped 3 hourly through the day and whenever lo woke overnight.

    i think that's about it. Hard work it really was, you're doing great.

  8. #6
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    Thanks for all the tips and advise ladies! Really appreciate it and it helps me to know that others have done this and I'm not the only one..

    Definitely want to try to return to breastfeeding eventually but at the same time it's hard to get my head around the reality of possibly having to exclusively pump long term while still hoping and thinking that maybe the next feed he will latch. I'm not sure if that makes sense..

    Might have to look into taking fenugreek or similar to boost supply.. Despite increasing pump sessions, supply is not increasing as id hoped. For those that took fenugreek, how long before you noticed results?

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    I got the Supplemental Nursing System from the chemist. It cost about $80 but I didn't have enough supply to feed him so had to give him formula and it was worth every cent to be able to give him formula at the boob which also helped increase my supply along with pumping, Motilium and herbal supplements. We're still struggling with breast refusal and supply issues. It's a tough road!

  10. #8
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    The herbs of gold is a combination of fenugreek and blessed thistle. I found it very good in conjunction with motilium but an LC I was speaking to said straight fenugreek 500mg a day is what current research is showing best for supply issues. Maybe chat to your health food shop.

    I lost my supply completely and had to relactate so with 2hourly pumping around the clock, full dose if motilium and herbs of gold around 3-4 days before full supply was back.

    I used an sns like GQ for bub no. 2 who had ult/ptt issues and couldn't attach to breast/ wanted food NOW and didnt want to wait or work for it. Could u look into an sns. Yep they are exey like GQ said $80 but maybe check ebay if you're not in that much of a hurry.
    Last edited by adeline14; 21-08-2014 at 13:18. Reason: Adding bit in

  11. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Goblin Queen View Post
    I got the Supplemental Nursing System from the chemist. It cost about $80 but I didn't have enough supply to feed him so had to give him formula and it was worth every cent to be able to give him formula at the boob which also helped increase my supply along with pumping, Motilium and herbal supplements. We're still struggling with breast refusal and supply issues. It's a tough road!
    Gq Ive been meaning to reply to your other thread. I've had 2 horrible bf journey both involving ptt/ult, breast refusal, low supply/loss of supply/ relactation everything you're going through. Hopefully I'll have time tonight (juggling a 10week old and toddler, bubs just had laser so trying to get her comfortable).

  12. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by adeline14 View Post
    Gq Ive been meaning to reply to your other thread. I've had 2 horrible bf journey both involving ptt/ult, breast refusal, low supply/loss of supply/ relactation everything you're going through. Hopefully I'll have time tonight (juggling a 10week old and toddler, bubs just had laser so trying to get her comfortable).
    Thanks, I really appreciate it! I think if I'd known about the SNS earlier, I wouldn't have fought so hard against giving formula and if I hadn't waited so long to do that I wouldn't be struggling so hard now with my supply!


 

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