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Thursday, May 07, 2009

Three Days Work

So here is what I have pumped and saved in three days... about 6 ounces. This will be my first milk to put away into the freezer. Thank you all so much for your support and sweet comments!
So I do have some pumping questions. I can't figure out how much I "should" be able to pump... I have read everything from 1/2 an ounce each time I pump to that I I should be pumping 11-14 ounces a day... which really seems unbelievably impossible right now! I am getting about 6 pumping sessions in a day and none at night... Most of the sites I have read recommend 8-10 times a day and at least once a night... but until school gets out at the end of the month I don't know how I could manage that schedule. I have not gone to my lactation consultant because I know that she will urge me to do more.. and frankly I am pretty proud of what I am doing so far and I don't want to get more overwhelmed by someone that *could* be a little overzealous... especially since the baby isn't even here yet. I am also not exactly sure when to change the "membrane" on the flange of the pump... nothing I have read told me.. but I know they are supposed to be changed because they sell extras... maybe they just break easily? Not sure... need help.

We did did some super disappointing news this week. I talked to the agency and they said thing were "really slow" and we should "expect more delays". I think what that means is that we don't have a birth mom yet.. or that maybe we had one that has backed out... Our agency is really small & different and runs things more like an international adoption agency... (read about it on my April or May 2008 archives). Anyway.. we knew that we would not get "the call" until a baby has been released after the 48 hour mandatory state wait... and that we would not know when we were "matched" with a birth mother. So it is all by faith right now... and prayer. But the wait is hard and the delay is scary... I can't imagine not having Finley in my arms by the end of June. And now that seems like a very real possibility.

So... again... I do need that pumping advice...

and... we NEED your prayers.


Blogger Michelle said...

AWESOME!!! Well done you! I'm sorry about your delay, but your commitment to nursing little Finn is outstanding and awe inspiring!

Babies are far more efficient at draining milk from your breasts than a pump. So if you're getting an ounce or more each session you are doing outstanding!

Kellymom is an excellent breastfeeding resource - saved me from calling my LC everything minutes!

8:38 PM  
Blogger Rachel said...

I'm sorry about the (possible) delays. Good work pumping! 6 oz is great. I have no idea how much you 'should' get, especially at this point, but I also really like As for the extra membranes, I'm pretty sure those are because they get lost all the time. As far as I know you don't need to replace them, but I'm sure you'll lose a few over time which is why they give you extras.

I presume you have read up about storing breastmilk, but one little thing to be careful of is not to add freshly-pumped warm milk to a container of cool milk because of the bacteria. So, if you want to see how much you've gotten over several sessions it probably makes sense to refrigerate each session's output and then combine them after a couple of hours (my favorite book for pumping advice is "Working mother, nursing mother" even though it's a bit dated).

8:50 PM  
Blogger Heather W. said...

Wow, that's awesome. I say just keep doing what you're doing!

And I will definitely say a prayer that little Finley is on her way sooner than expected!

3:27 AM  
Blogger Nessie said...

You are doing great on the pumping!!!

I second the advice to not add warm breastmilk to cold.

Also, I replaced my membranes after about 6 months of pumping twice a day. My pump wasn't getting as much milk, so I replaced them and my output went back up. What happens is they get microscopic tears in them that makes the pump not work as well. Not something you notice in just one day for me, just over time. I would get an extra set to keep in your pumping bag that way if you accidentally leave one home after washing you aren't in trouble. Also, I'm sure it will never happen to you, but dogs love to chew breast pump parts...

5:01 AM  
Blogger ks said...

Your mileage on the membranes will vary, but you shouldn't be anywhere needing to replace them. Replace them if you see a drop in output, I went for a year and never needed to replace mine. It looks like you are doing great! If I were you, I'd just keep up pumping as much as you can and saving as much as you can. Your body will respond better to baby than the pump, you need to keep things going until Finn gets there, and she'll do the rest :)

Also, yes, KellyMom is awesome.

5:49 AM  
Blogger Jenn said...

I don't have any advice on the breastfeeding - with Joe I didn't produce milk and with the twins...couldn't even think about trying.

Just wanted to say that I am proud of what you have accomplished. Keep it up.

Prayers are with you that you will have Finn this summer. Your baby is on her way to you - it's easier said then done when I say "keep the faith" but I am saying it anyway.

6:53 AM  
Blogger Jenna said...

I think you are doing great! With the way you are going in a few days you will have a lot more milk! You have already increased so much and what will keep happening.
I also have to agree with Nessie... Dogs love breast pump parts, so when you start pumping in the middle of the night be careful. I had to replace many parts, due to a lack of sleep waking up and taking care of Matty and then pumping and being just so exhausted. I found out the best thing to do was keep the cooler beside the bed with the ice packs and bottle ready for you to pump and then put a little towel or paper towels in the breast pump bag so when you are done you can throw everything in there to was in the morning. Also it was nice to have the extra pieces so when I pumped in the morning or two times in a row with out getting a chance to wash them I wasn't in a rush to wash and pump.
One more thing, I am not sure if you know but if you ask a LC or go to a lactation center you might want to make sure you have the right size breast shield. They had a better variety of sizes than they have at Babies R us and having the right size really helped with comfort and supply.
Keep it up you are doing great!
I will be saying prayers for Finn to get to you and Mr D soon!

7:27 AM  
Blogger Linda S said...

You are amazing! Way to go on the milk output! If you don't mind the comparison, I'm nursing a 3 month old and, while pumping, am getting on average 3 ounces at a time, total. On work days, I pump 4 times during the day, nurse her from around 5 until 8 p.m. bedtime, and pump again around 10 p.m.

Michelle already posted the kellymom site...truly, it is a great resource. Not too over-zealous, good reassuring info.

I'll continue to pray for you. There is a very special baby, just waiting to be yours! And she will SO be worth the wait!

8:46 AM  
Blogger The Swann's said...

Way to go!!!!!!!! I have no clue what's "normal" but what you have does look fantastic! :-) I'll certainly be praying that Baby Finn arrives sooner than later...

3:52 PM  
Blogger Irene said...

I usually like to lurk on blogs but your questions about pumping triggered me to respond. First of all, congratulations about all the breastmilk you are producing. Every drop is liquid gold and will be a precious gift to your baby (not to mention that amazing gift of nursing your new baby once she arrives). In terms of how much you are producing, I think that you are doing great. Every woman is different in how her breasts respond to the pump and for some women it can take weeks to produce a full supply. My experience with breastfeeding might be slightly more similar to yours right now than other breastfeeding moms since I was what you would call an "exclusively pumping" mom--my kids basically were extremely poor breastfeeders and really never got the latch right. I learned a lot and got a lot of support from exclusively pumping message board. I think that it was a part of iVillage or Babycenter--you might check that out. Hopefully, at this point you are pumping hands-free--a must if you are doing as much pumping as you are doing. Also it is true that the best way to increase your supply is to pump around 8-10x/day and have one pumping session in the middle of the night (unfortunately). However, one thing that I found is that if you can't do pump that frequently, sometimes you can get away with pumping less frequently but making sure your total number of minutes is the same if not higher. For example, if you are pumping 10x/day for 15 min (150 min), you might be able slowly cut down to 8x/day for 20 min (160 min). I believe that you do need to be totalling at least 120 min of pumping a day to be stimulating your breasts enough if you are not nursing. Also, there are some tricks (one called the refridgerator trick) where you don't need to wash all the pump parts after every session (just 1x/day).
In terms of the membranes, I agree with the person who said that the lifespan of these membranes are variable--with all the pumping that you are doing, you might need to change them every few months--basically, you can see how well the pump is working and if it doesn't appear to be drawing out the correct amount of breastmilk, you should change them.
The good news is that hopefully, once your breastmilk supply increases to where you want it, you probably will be able to cut down on the amount you are pumping. I know that it's so time-consuming right now but it really is an investment for the future.
I really encourage you to check out the "exclusively pumping" community(or EP-er's)--they really were lifesavers for me.

Take care and all the best.

9:01 PM  
Blogger Malloryn said...

No BF advice but I wanted to applaud your determination and resolve! Reading this story has been very inspirational :) I hope your wait isn't too much longer.

7:50 AM  
Blogger Angi said...

You are doing so GREAT! And I mean with the waiting (have faith, Finn is coming), the commitment and all your hard work. I've been following you for years, as our paths are so similar. (I found your blog when I googled "ovarian cyst plum" of all things.)

You'll make more milk as you need it. Supplementing with formula is fine too. Finn will really love the cuddling and closeness established from the breastfeeding, and you can always do the "boob and switch" when you use bottles. Start with breastfeeding to calm her down, then give her the bottle. Works like a charm with my little one (many years in the making, but he's finally here).

11:06 AM  
Blogger Angi said...

Oh - membranes on your pump. Change them when they crack. I've used mine for about a year, my friend who used her pump for 3 years never changed hers. When they're no longer flexible, the pump won't have as good suction.

11:09 AM  
Blogger Liz said...

I was in the same boat as Irene and agree with her. You really DO need to pump a lot to increase your supply. Pumping is really challenging and draining- you end up feeling chained to your pump and that can be frustrating as time goes on. I felt like a slave to the pump and never did get tons of milk. But the outcome is for the best so think positive! :) Good Luck!

5:23 PM  
Blogger MrsSSG said...

Look at you! You are doing great, and what a wonderful gift to give to your Finn.....milk! Awesome! Sorry to hear about the delays, am praying for your family.

6:23 PM  
Blogger Endobaby said...

WOWWWWWWWWWWW! Amwesome effort!!!

You can freeze your milk in any snap lock bags btw, doesn't have to be the medela ones.

I pump after I breastfeed, and get about 60 mls total from both breasts.

3:53 AM  
Blogger Amnesia said...

Yeah! Progress! Booh...about the wait. As if you have not waited LONG ENOUGH!!! Want me to go kick their butts? Cause I will...

2:23 PM  
Blogger Melissa said...

I am so impressed! Look at all that milk. Good for you and for Fin!!

I am sending good wishes and positive thoughts your way (that the wait will be short and the supply will increase).

Way to go and hang in there!

6:26 PM  
Blogger Marceli said...

My son never took my breast, so I tried to follow his feeding pattern. In the beggining it meant pumping 14 times a day (thank God I had my mom with me). I was getting 10-12 ounces a session, but then I had mastitis (I did not know how to pump), and I was reduced to less than one once a session... After 2 rounds of Reglan treatment my average was almost 40 ounces a day, and I still had to supplement with formula (very hungry boy). It's more than normal to supplement, so don't feel "forced" to get X or Y amount. Try to pump as much as you can, squeeze some "pump-a-thon" sessions. They say girls are better at nursing than boys, so once you have your little girl you should be all set!

3:45 PM  
Blogger lisalou said...

Fantastic! You should quite pleased with your tatas! My thoughts are with you. Your little lady is one lucky girl!

1:43 PM  

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