Pumping…Success??? WHAT??

I may or may not be having some pumping success now…a whole 2 weeks later…

I FINALLY took the plunge and started waking up at 5 a.m. during the week to add in an extra pump. Now, this is what my day looks like:

5:00 a.m.- wake and pump

8:00 a.m. – pump

10:30 a.m. – pump

1:30 p.m. – pump

4:00 p.m. – pump

7:00 p.m. – nurse

8:30 p.m. – pump

6 pumps to make 24 ounces. It took a lot of freaking work. I am scared to even say this because I’m sure the pumping gods are looking down on me just waiting to give me another set-back, but I am actually a little ahead. I haven’t counted, because I’m scared. I’m scared to get excited, and I’m scared to set an expectation for myself, but as of right now, I may or may not have 3 full bottles of milk in the fridge that are 100% extra. So, for the moment…I am going to just let it stay cold in the fridge and I’m not going to count it. I’m scared to freeze it because then it’s like, “Oh hey, you have extra milk, GREAT. Now, cue the 24 ounces of spilled milk again since you have extra”. I’m just WAITING for that moment.

On the weekends, I do not wake up early. I sleep in a little and wait for Briar to get up between 6:30a.m. and 7:00a.m.. After she eats, then I pump. I yield anywhere from 4-6 ounces. That milk is pure extra milk. I nurse on demand on Saturday and Sunday; ranges anywhere from 2-4 hours between feedings. And then I pump again at 8:30 p.m. Again, the pump at 8:30 p.m. is solely extra milk. So, I have been doing this schedule for about 2 weeks, hence where I think the extra milk is S L O W L Y starting to make it’s way into my refrigerator and hopefully freezer…soon 🙂

So, what do I think the biggest factor was that helped? POWER PUMPING. 10000%. For an entire week straight, I power pumped at almost all of my pumping sessions. It fucking sucked. It was not fun. I felt like I could not focus on anything else except pumping. BUT, I’m lucky enough to work in a small company that allows me to basically do whatever I need. I have my own office, so I’m able to shut the door, pump, and still continue to work. I know I am a small percentage of women that is actually able to do this, which is why I’m forever grateful.

THIS…… —-> Power Pumping Guide THIS is the best thing ever. I had only ever read about one way to power pump, but this guide is BEYOND helpful. It explains all of the different ways that you can power pump. It’s pretty amazing actually. For the most part I used the pump 20, rest 10, pump 10, rest 10, pump 10; but I also used pump 10, rest 10, pump 10; when I didn’t have an entire hour to dedicate. And it truly did work. After about a week of doing this, I went back to pumping between 20-30 minutes (it takes me a long time to completely empty), and my supply was up. I couldn’t believe it.

Along with the power pumping, I have still been taking the “Let There Be Milk” supplement and I truly think that helps to maintain my milk supply. I also found a pretty good smoothie recipe that isn’t terrible for you. AND, the main plus (from a healthy standpoint) you get WAY less sugar than you do if you make and consume the cookies. Also you get as much brewers yeast in the smoothie as you would by eating a dozen or so cookies :/. I mean, I know, I like eating cookies too, but my sometimes my waistline does not appreciate it. In the recipe below, I up the brewer’s yeast to 2 TBSP, and the oats to a 1/2 cup.

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I also still eat oatmeal EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. I can’t wait to not eat oatmeal anymore. I’ve also read some things about a drink called Body Armor. I have drank it a few times, but not consistently enough to see a change. I might have to test this one out.

I am still contemplating what to do for milk for our trip to Vegas. At this point, I am really unsure of how much milk I am going to have. As I’ve said a million times, I have about 100 ounces frozen, but with dairy. And it appears that I might slowly be able to start building somewhat of a dairy free freezer stash. I plan on reintroducing dairy into my diet soon to see how she takes it. If I was not going to Vegas, then I wouldn’t even care to reintroduce it to me, but at this point, I just want to be able to go to Vegas and have fun and not have to look up an allergen menu at every single restaurant that we go to. It could be a real game changer if she has outgrown her sensitivity. But, I’m not getting my hopes up. I have already decided that I’m not going to put her on formula for the one week that we are gone. In my opinion, that’s pointless and it would probably upset her stomach more than anything. The last option is getting milk from a milk bank. Then the issue becomes, you told me you were dairy free, but are you REALLY dairy free? It just makes me nervous. I’m also hoping she starts to take less as she gets older and starts to intake more solids. She will be 10 1/2 months when we leave. I basically have 3 months to build some type of stash. I know it’s doable. And I really want to be able to do it. Fingers Crossed!

I hate to even say this, but I will really be glad when I am done breastfeeding. It’s just a completely different experience this time around. Being dairy free, having to rent my pump and pay monthly, paying for supplements, pumping around the clock, always worrying if I have enough milk. It’s just really, really exhausting. Briar turned 6 months on July 22 and I told Scott to remind me every day that it’s all downhill from here. I just need that reminder that I’m on a downward slope so I will keep on pushing. It’s hard work, and it is 100% worth it, but I’m just ready to be done.

Until next time…

 

–The Kentucky Momma

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Breastfeeding Fail(s)

Follow up on my previous breastfeeding/pumping post…

So, a couple of weeks ago, Briar’s daycare said she needed 5 ounces, and then a couple of days later, she tells me she think she needs 6 ounces. 6 WHOLE OUNCES….4 TIMES A DAY….24 OUNCES….Bruhhhh…

I knew she was right though. So I went from thinking I needed at least 20 ounces a day, to at least 24 ounces a day. In the breastfeeding world, that’s a big ass jump in ounces especially when I was barely making the 16 ounces she needed. I knew I just needed to bite the bullet and make it happen.

For about a month now, I’ve been using the hospital grade pump. I can definitely tell a difference. My let-down occurs much quicker. And I had read somewhere (multiple places) that whenever your milk stops coming out, you can push the let down button again. Seems like common sense, but I never did it before, and it definitely helps. I can normally get at least 2, if not 3 good let downs.

I received in the “Let There Be Milk” supplement, and again, I can tell a difference in my pumping output. It tastes absolutely awful. I read a lot of reviews about it on Amazon and some people put it directly in the back of their throat and take it straight. I cannot do this. I put it in a shot glass, and put some water in it and shoot it. It’s literally the only way I can take it. BUT, it helps, so I don’t care. I will deal with the nasty taste.

Another huge factor, when we upped her bottles, I knew she was getting enough milk during the day so I decided that if she did wake up in the middle of the night, I was not going to feed her anymore. Well, I decided I would see how it went if I didn’t feed her. It’s been about 2 weeks and I am successfully not feeding her during the night anymore. She still wakes up from time to time, but she is not eating, so that makes my morning pump even bigger.

So, I went from barely being able to make 16 ounces to now barely keeping up with 24 ounces. I am making 24 ounces a day, but B A R E L Y.

But, yet another setback occurred….Every morning I send 1 bottle and a container full of milk for Briar. I put it in the diaper bag. When I was dropping them off one day last week, the bag was leaking….

ALL 24 OUNCES OF MILK WAS COMPLETELY GONE. ALL OF IT SPILLED IN THE DIAPER BAG.

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I didn’t realize this until I got to daycare. I just started crying. It’s the most terrible feeling when I am barely making what she needs and then I lost it all. All I have in my freezer that did not have dairy in it was 24 ounces. So, I had to go back home and get it and deplete my only freezer stash. What a terrible day.

Now, I literally have zero good freezer stash for her. So, if I’m ever short on making the milk she needs, I’m screwed.

THEN…this past weekend, I had an extremely sore throat, like it hurt to swallow. And I never have a sore throat so I immediately went for some cough drops. I basically had to keep one in my mouth for 12+ hours. Even in the middle of the night.

Woke up….pumped half of what I normally pump…Why, you ask…because menthol (active ingredient in cough drops) can cause a dip in milk supply.

I seriously give up. Everything I do, I am getting a set back.

I know I should just be focusing on the day to day, BUT, we are going on vacation in November, WITHOUT the kids. We are going to VEGASSSSS 🙂 I should be so excited, but I’m not. Because, all I worry about is how is my child going to be fed while I’m away? As of right now, she will starve, so that’s great. I have NOTHING extra to give her right now. So between now and November, I have to somehow freeze 200 ounces. Sounds like fun doesn’t it? That’s roughly 11 ounces a week that I need to freeze. And with no freezing in sight, that number will likely climb each week that I don’t freeze something. So it’s not looking very promising for me.

I HAVE TO WAKE UP EARLY AND PUMP. I KNOW THAT’S WHAT I NEED TO DO, BUT I JUST CAN’T BRING MYSELF TO GET OUT OF BED. BLAHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

Lord help me. I am literally counting down the months until I can be done breastfeeding. It’s been much more stressful than enjoyable this time around.

Until next time…

 

–The Kentucky Momma

Breastfeeding/Pumping with Briar

I never thought things would be so different. Like literally night and day different. I have been wracking my brain and going back through my old posts and I’m kicking myself in the ass for not being more detailed with Raelynn.

I am currently on a big time struggle bus with Briar and breastfeeding. Well, pumping, not really breastfeeding. It really, really sucks.

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Big differences so far:

  • I had an extremely hard time with Raelynn in the beginning. Bad latch, bloody nipples, long nursing times because she wasn’t extracting enough. With Briar, it was the complete opposite. I had about 2 – 3 weeks of sore nips, some bleeding, some toe curling in the beginning and then after that, it was pretty easy. But, pumping output is a completely different story.
  • I never, ever had to worry about having enough milk with Raelynn. At this time with her, I had about 600 extra ounces of milk in my deep freeze. Now, with Briar; I have about 140 ounces of milk frozen and at least 100-120 of those ounces contain dairy so I cannot give them to her just yet.
  • Raelynn’s bottle size was small, I think, maybe about 3.5 ounces for a very long time. Briar’s has been 4 ounces for a long time and now her daycare thinks she needs 5, and I think the daycare is right. I am BARELY, and when I say BARELY, I mean by the skin of my teeth making enough for Briar right now. And I’m not freezing any extra. Which is a whole other issue. Plain and simple, I did not have to work this hard with Raelynn.

A typical day for us:

Lately…***knock on wood*** Briar has been waking up around 5am for her first feed. I feed her and put her back down. Sometimes she goes back to sleep, sometimes she doesn’t Regardless, she still gets one full feed in the middle of the night. And it’s anywhere from 3am – 5am. Her last feed for the day is at 7pm, and when she eats in the middle of the night, she really eats, a lot. She’s not just soothing herself back to sleep.

So, Nurse at 5ish am

4oz bottle at 7:00am (at daycare)

I pump at 7:30am when I get to work

4oz bottle at 10:00am

I pump at 10:30am

4oz bottle at 1:00pm

I pump at 1:30pm

4oz bottle at 4:00pm

I pump at 4:00pm

Nurse at 7:00pm and then bedtime.

So as of right now, I am pumping 4 times a day while at work and replacing all of her feeds with a pump and she is getting 16 ounces of milk while we are apart. If you take the general rule of thumb, 1 – 1.5 ounces of milk for every hour apart; we are apart for 10 hours, she is actually beyond the higher end of ounces. But she is only nursing 2 other times at home while we are together. Average milk intake ranges anywhere from 24oz – 32oz and I know she is meeting that quota. Especially with still having the middle of the night nursing. I’m sure she gets several ounces then.

I don’t nurse her in the mornings for two reasons: I have to get to work as early as possible and I NEED that morning pump. It’s the only time of the day that I make more than 4 ounces. So I count on that to make up for what I lack at other pumps throughout the day. And trust me, I lack, big time.

So, with all that said, I need to increase my pumping output. This is what I’ve done so far:

  • When I was barely and sometimes not even meeting the 16 ounce daily requirement, I started getting out of my frozen stash temporarily. To replace that, I also added in another pump at 8:30pm. I knew that if I continued to supplement with my frozen stash, I was telling my body that it was okay not to make that milk, therefore, I added in the 8:30pm pump. It has helped me and I think I only had to take from my stash for about 2 weeks before my supply increased permanently. As soon as I am done pumping, I go to sleep.
  • I have actually started power pumping at my 8:30pm pump. Powering pumping is pump 20 minutes, stop for 10 minutes, pump for 10 minutes, stop for 10 minutes, pump for 10 minutes. So that puts me to bed around 9:30pm.  I cannot muster up another night pump. Plus, my supply, as everyone’s, is low at night, so what’s the point.
  • About a month ago, I also rented a Medela Symphony which is a hospital grade pump. All in all, I think I have noticed a difference.
  • I also ordered some lactation cookies. Yes, I’m lazy. I realize I could make them on my own and I still might, but for the time being, I am desperate. I have all of the ingredients to make my own, but the ones I order are really really good. I overindulged and did not make them last as long as I could have :/ So, now I’m patiently waiting for my next order. I feel like the cookies did help as well. Whenever I ate them, I was definitely engorged when I woke up in the morning.
  • Besides coffee, water is all I drink. And I get at least 150 ounces a day.
  • I have been eating steel cut oats since Briar was born.
  • I drink Gatorade at times, but I probably need to incorporate it a little more.
  • I have been trying different size flanges as well. My sister in law gave me the pumpin pals and they are much more comfortable. Not sure yet if I am extracting any more milk.

These are the next steps I know I am going to have to take:

  • I know I’m going to have to add in a pump, somewhere. And I think it’s going to have to be in the morning. God only knows where, in the morning, I’m thinking after her middle of the night/morning feed, I am going to pump right after. I just really do not want to do it. I’m just starting to get a couple of decent sleep stretches, around 5-6 hours at least once a week, and I do not want to stay up any longer and pump. Plus there is always the unknown, and with Briar, the unknown is scary. What if she doesn’t go back to sleep and I’m hooked up to the pump and I have to keep unhooking to go check on her? I already know how pissed I’m going to be because I don’t want to be pumping anyways. Regardless, I have to do it.
  • Something else that I am trying is I order this supplement.IMG_0363 I read about it in a blog and it wasn’t too much money, about $25 shipped, so I was willing to try it. I will follow up with the results. Hoping for a big increase :).
  • If my supply keeps stays the same, my absolute last resort is to give up coffee. I have already resorted to no creamer since I’m dairy free now, so I’m drinking black coffee. If I have to give it up altogether, I might cry. A lot.

So that’s where I’m at….hoping for a good follow up in a couple of weeks.

 

–The Kentucky Momma