Ok, so here is my story and my questions. I am mom of a soon to be 7 year old. When I had him, I had an emergency c-section after 26 hours of labor. When I woke up, and they brought my DS in for his first feeding, I was really still groggy and out of it. The nurse started yelling at me for hurting my baby because my breasts are large, and I didn't make an air pocket for him. I freaked out about hurting my new baby, and pretty gave up on trying to nurse him. Well, after years of trying to add to our family, I am currently expecting DS #2. I am having a scheduled c-section for his birth, so I really feel that I will have a better idea on what to expect, as well as being a more confident second time mother. I really really want to try and nurse this baby. I will be returning to work after 6-8 weeks of maternity leave because I am the primary breadwinner for our family, and we can't afford for me to stay home, so I will be needing to pump, and build up a supply for when I am at work. So, my questions are this:
1. What kind of pump (brand, type, etc) would you recommend that I purchase? 2. How early before returning to work should I start pumping, and how much should I be pumping for a 9 hour stretch away from baby? 3. How long can I store the pumped milk in the refridgerator and freezer? 4. Do you have any other tips or advice for a first time nursing mom?
Thank you so much for all of your help!! I am really trying to do my homework so that I am prepared before the birth and returning to work.
I'm so sorry that the nurse was so horrible to you with your son. She should be slapped! I'm sure this time around will be better.
As for pumping: There are two pumps I highly recommend. The Lansinoh Double Electric and the Medela Pump In Style. Both are great. The Lansinoh is about half the price of the Medela but still works wonderfully (I pumped 4-5 times a day for my DD for 10 months and it's still going strong).
If I was you, I'd start pumping whenever your breasts feel engorged and baby doesn't empty them with a feeding. You may only get a couple ounces at a time, but over time it will add up. I'd say within two or three weeks of delivery, you'll probably want to start pumping in between feedings to build up your freezer stash. Mornings are often the best time to pump because you have so much more milk. He'll probably be drinking somewhere between 10-12 ounces of milk in the 9 hours that you're gone each day so you'll want to try to have plenty in the freezer since your supply may drop when you start nursing less and pumping more.
I believe you can store pumped milk in the fridge for about a week and in the freezer for 3-6 months depending on what type of freezer you have. Once milk has been thawed (so when you're back to work and thawing out frozen milk to give him during the day) it needs to be used up within 24 hours.
Tips that helped me SO much the first time around:
Don't give up! The first week is really hard. Once you both get the hang of it, it will get easier. See a lactation consultant if you need to, they'll help out a ton.
When you're pumping, especially once you're at work and baby isn't nursing, pump for at least 20 minutes. Even if the milk stops, keep pumping. For one thing, it helps stimulate the breasts so they make more milk and for another, you'll often get a second and even third let down of milk which means you'll be storing more milk with each pumping session.
Do not go more than 4 hours MAX between pumping sessions. Three hours will probably be more appropriate at first since baby will probably be nursing every 2 hours or so when you're home. If you go to long, it's going to deminish your milk supply.
I pumped with my first and the Medela Pump In Style is good, I liked it because you can buy extra pump parts. I some times need to pump twice when I was out and not needing to clean the parts was easier for me.(They make wipes you can use but I didn't like them.) I also had a Avent hand pump that I like too but its not a double pump. I would start pumping as soon as your milk comes in. It can take some time to learn how to pump. You need to be relaxed to have good letdown. I leave at least 1 oz for every hour I'm away from baby and I feed right before I leave and right when I get back. Store milk in the refrigerator for 5 days, at the back of a freezer for 5 months or a deep freeze for a year. When you freeze milk do it in the amount baby eats a once 2-4oz so you don't have to thaw more than you need. The first week nursing can be hard you and the baby have to learn how to do it. Get help if you need it like a lactation constant or BF support group. Many hospitals have both. Start giving baby a bottle at about 4 weeks so they can learn. Have someone else do it, my baby still will not take a bottle from me. Drink lots of water. Most importantly enjoy your baby they grow up too fast.
So sorry that you had a bad experience with your first. You can breastfeed with this baby if you make the choice to do so. My best advice is to set your mind to it and stick with it. Breastfeeding takes dedication and patience. Feed the baby as long and as often as the baby wants in the first few weeks. Also make sure that you keep yourself hydrated and well fed--drink lots of water! As for breastpumps, I have the Medela Pump in Style and I love it. I bought it with my first and am still using the same one with my second baby. Another tip about pumping--it is so much easier to pump straight into the bottle--so try to use bottles that fit your pump or get a conversion kit. I like the Avent bottles and I have a converter kit that screws onto the top so that the wide mouthed bottles will attach to my breastpump. If I am going to freeze the milk for use later on I like to use the plastic storage bags. There are lots of websites with breastfeeding information--kellymom.com is a good one.
I also have the Medela pump in style. I found some "soft shield attachments that make it MUCH more comfortable to use!! I went back to work when my LO was 8 weeks old. I was away from 6:40a-4:20p everyday. I started out pumping 4 times a day (about every 2 hours) because that's when I started to get really uncomfortable. Now, DD is 4.5 months and I pump every 3 hours (3 times a day) because my supply has evened out. I'm still getting the same amount as when I pumped every 2 hours. You can keep milk in the fridge for 7 days, in a freezer that's next to the fridge (like you'd have in your kitchen) for 6 months and in a deep freezer for 12 months. (because deep freezers are at a colder temp). Try to freeze it in smaller amounts (I usually do 5-6 oz per bag) so you don't waste any when you thaw it. Once you remove it from the freezer, it has to be used within 24 hours. You can start pumping whenever you'd like. I'd recommend introducing at least 1 bottle feeding a day at least a week before you go back to work, just to get him used to the bottle. TIPS: Buy a Boppy or some other nursing pillow! It is a lifesaver!! For the first week or 2, expect to do nothing but BF. Honestly. I felt like those first 10 days all I did was eat and drink and BF. It kind of sucks at first, because it is a new experience for both your you. You're learning together. Stick with it!! It does get easier. Now, I think back on the nights when I'd be sitting on the couch crying, telling my DH I couldn't do it. And now, it seems like the easiest thing in the world and feels like I've been doing it my whole life. Finally, try to resist the urge to supplement with formula. Your milk may take a couple days to fully come in, and that's normal! Its a supply and demand thing, so anything you supplement tells your body you don't need to make as much milk. Good luck!!
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