Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Pump it up & down

Look! Look! A post! Two days in a row!! I'm so proud of myself.

So, one thing I definitely haven't bitched much about since Max was born is breastfeeding. I've been lucky enough to not have many major issues with supply, and while I've had one plugged duct and two near-plugs, my nipples and ducts seem to be in good shape.

One thing I do struggle with is an over-supply issue. I know, I know--why should this be an issue? But seriously, when you leak through a nursing pad and then your baby won't eat sufficiently to suck you dry, it's a problem. This happens. More than it should. This baby is not a ravenous eater. He eats what he wants to, which seems to just enough to keep him full and peeing and pooping a good amount. He doesn't freak out about being hungry most of the time, and doesn't show a lot of signs of hunger that often. What I wonder is--why hasn't my supply adjusted to his needs? If I were staying home indefinitely, this wouldn't be that big of a deal, but with my impending return to work, I worry - a lot - about pumping at work, about getting too engorged, and then somehow in that mix watching my supply plummet altogether, which I know probably will happen when I switch to a daytime pumping, instead of feeding, schedule.

So this has all been on my mind lately. Oh, and along with my serious pumping-at-work anxiety--how do I get anything done at work now? Does anyone have a good recommendation for a hand-free pumping bra? I need to be able to read and grade papers while pumping.


Baby Mama said...

I had an oversupply issue and I decided to embrace it. You remember the stress when you milk starts to wane. Stock the freezer full of milk while you're home. Pump at least one bottle a day. Then when you go back to work, pump away. When I went back to work at 12 weeks, I would empty my breasts completely 3 times a day (this only takes like 15 mins so it doesn't really eat into your work time much). My first pumping in the morning would yield more than 6 oz on each breast. However, after about 2-3 months at work, my supply dropped. My daughter wasn't yet eating solid food. She was hungry and I wasn't producing enough. Luckily, I had lots of frozen milk to go back to. I would supplement about 1 bottle a day with frozen. I never saw over supply as a bad thing. Much, much better than under supply.

Schroedinger said...

I agree with Baby Mama! Oversupply is a nice thing if you can take advantage of it by pumping & freezing. As I have the opposite problem, I have been assiduously pumping and freezing as much as possible. The best I have ever done was 5 oz. from both breasts together, and that was a major coup! I am afraid of dropping supply, too. I got my hands-free bra off Amazon, which works despite the ridiculousness of it.

Good luck! It sucks to say good bye to maternity leave :(

nutella said...

I too had a problem with oversupply in addition to a foremilk/ hindmilk imbalance which resulted in a gassy/ refluxy baby and foamy green poop. Pumping can exacerbates an oversupply, since your breasts adjust to the "demand" of the pump. To regulate things (after consulting an LC) I did block feeding, where I offered only one breast at a feeding for a period of time (I think 8 hours, so 2-3 feedings.) The other breast would get very full and I would hand express just enough to keep it from being painful (save that milk!). After about 1 week, my supply regulated.

Once I was back at work, I was pumping just enough to keep Miles fed, with 3 20 minute sessions (5 min for set up and clean up, 15 to pump) for a total of about 12-15 oz a day. I saved time by not washing pump parts between sessions, instead wiped them dry and stored them in a sealed container in the fridge where I kept my milk. They got washed and sterilized every night at home.

For a hands free "system", I used a chain of hair elastics looped around my bra straps. See instructions here: http://www.kellymom.com/bf/pumping/hands-free-pumping.html

Good luck!

Karen said...

Step 1: buy a cheap sports bra
Step 2: cut slits in the boobs
Step 3: there is no step 3 :)

Tada, hands free!

jessie said...

I got the made by moms pumping band. Saved me!

Jude said...

Umm, you might think this is weird... but whatever, I'mma say it anyway:

My baby lives thanks to donated breast milk and if you ever want to, you know, give some of that oversupply away, I know a little baby who would love to come pick it up.

S. said...

Jude, not weird at all. In fact, we already talked about it - after I saw it on your blog. Remember I was in your shoes last time. I just want her to go back to work first and see how it regulates out and what we use of the freezer stash. We'll keep you in mind!