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.


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




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