the Pumping Club - help!

Are you part of the NICU club? Do you have a child who is still struggling with the effects of being born too soon from preeclampsia? Share your concerns and stories here among parents who have been there.
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Re : the Pumping Club - help!

Postby kezt777 » Wed Jan 29, 638290 6:59 am

thanks everyone :) i read these this morning before heading to the hospital and it helped me to get more when i was massaging from the top to the bottom and lightly pressing, etc. not toooo much more, but ill get back into the swing of things hopefully. i have a hospital grade pump from the pharmacy that i rented, but its different than the one i used all week in hospital so maybe my body just needs to get used to that too.

one thing is that he is nursing from me, 2-3 times a day now so thats fantastic. but since he has been feeding from me more, im pumping less. my body releases milk like crazy when im anywhere near him, i almost choked him today (oopsy lol),,, but he isnt ready for all breast feedings yet cos he gets too tired so i am pumping in between. we are very lucky that somehow he has a strong nursing instinct. he started at about 3 days old in fact, they were only doing it to get my hormones going and suddenly he latched on and fed! i fed him twice yesterday plus they topped up those feedings with my expressed milk, then the rest were formula feedings, and he put on 2 full ounces overnight so now he is over his birth weight. hopefully he will keep that up :) i did two breast feedings in a row today to see how he handled that and he was a total glutton and passed out from feeding so much both times, with no top-ups needed... he is one week old today (in 3 hours to be exact lol) and doing really well. they took him off his O2 monitor today too cos there has never been a problem with his percentages. so now he only has the feeding tube in his nose and 3 wire leads for heart and respiratory monitoring.

so im going to keep trying and just keep going and they told me today that once he can take all his daily feedings by breast, he will be coming home! shocker.... he could probably do that in another week once i get the kids back to school and can spend more time at the hospital, but at the same time im petrified cos he is so tiny lol. we will see what happens :)

thanks so much for the support everyone! and the suggestions are great :)

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Re : the Pumping Club - help!

Postby bellemama » Wed Jan 29, 638290 4:48 am

I had a terrible time with this, too -- I got a lot in the beginning and then just dried up as the weeks went on.

Oatmeal helped a little, as did drinking a lot of water. Frequent pumping helped, although I was so tired and stressed that I just couldn't do it at night; I gave myself a break and let myself get what rest I could.

If you're at the NICU, try bringing the pump in with you and pump while kangarooing, or right after your baby tries (if he is). I also found filling a disposable diaper with warm water and laying it over my breast before pumping helped.

Here's a good article from ... rease.html

I know how frustrating it is! Ultimately, I just had to stop beating myself up over it. And so long as you keep trying, remember that once your little one is home or trying the breast more, you can always get going with feeding then...

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Re : the Pumping Club - help!

Postby joannek » Wed Jan 29, 638290 1:05 am


One thing that also helped me was to pump for a while and then when it stopped coming out wait a few minutes and start again. It always helped trigger another let down.

I was lucky in that I was one of those women who brought in bags and bags of milk, the nurses actually told me I would have to start throwing them out! That's a whole other story, I ended up donating it...

But the point is, that even though I thought I had an abundant supply to begin with, once I got Sara home and on the breast I started becoming engorged and producing more all over again. I never really directly breastfed her in the hospital, I tried a few times later on when she was in the step-down unit, but it was terribly frustrating to try to do that on the hospital's regimented feeding schedule.

I know it's hard right now, but soon enough you will have Matthew home with you and in all likelihood having him with you will help alot, and in the meantime do keep pumping often. I also liked the hospital one the best.

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Re : the Pumping Club - help!

Postby season » Tue Jan 28, 638290 1:23 pm

I so agree with the hospital grade pump and doing both at one time. Also, pumping as foten as a baby would eat at least 7 times a day - even getting up once at night. I know it's hard, but it really helps. When you're at the hospital can you pump beside the baby's bed? This should help.

Also, make sure that you are eating and drinking enough, that your bra is nto too cinfing and (hard one) that you are getting lots of rest.

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Re : the Pumping Club - help!

Postby aundapenner » Tue Jan 28, 638290 11:03 am

Oh I so remember those days ... and wish I didn't! :)

Good for you for pumping!

A few quick suggestions from my experience book:
- make sure you have rented a hospital grade electric pump
- no matter what, pump both sides simultaneously
- I bought a hands-free bra - I think it was around $30 - best investment
- read some funny funny funny books - I personally loved the Stephanie Plum novels - they're quick, funny and she has a more messed up life than any preemie mom!
- breast massage before you pump
- pump at least as often as your LO eats, if not more
- once at the breast, try pumping afterwards (since the stimulation is already there)


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Re : the Pumping Club - help!

Postby kara » Tue Jan 28, 638290 8:10 am

Oh, i feel your pain. We had the same problems. Drinking rootbear seemed to help me...don't ask why? Someone else suggested it and it did seem to help a bit. Drinking LOTS and LOTS of water. Adn pumping ALL the every 2 hours. It was harder than childbirth I think. Plus, I was overly stressed about it. Our little one wasn't on anything supplemental so, I really felt the pressure. I think chilling out in a quiet place (that always happens when the other kids are home from school, right?) Taking time to relax and clear the mind of anything and everything except the little one. Other than that, like you I always pumped best at the hospital, bedside. But you can't always be there. Just keep doing what you are doing and when you are back with baby more frequently it'll increase. Even if you are only getting an ounce, it's something.

It was so, so stressful. I spent many a day at the pump in tears. :-(

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Re : the Pumping Club - help!

Postby sarab » Tue Jan 28, 638290 5:45 am

Hugs, Karrie! You are right, the last thing you need is more stress. For me, one of the biggest sources of STRESS while my kids were in the NICU was the whole pumping/breastfeeding arena, so I do know some of what you are feeling. It seemed like the more worked up about it I got, the harder it was and the less milk came out, so I would say to try and relax as much as possible, but it sounds like you're trying!

I tried several different suggestions given to me (fenugreek tea, eat lots of oatmeal) and the only thing I found that worked was to drink a TON a of water and pump religiously every 2-3 hours, even if not much was coming out at first (and yes, even at night - it was really hard). I really am not a great pumping success story (with either of my preemies), but I wanted to chime in that I know how you are feeling and I'm sorry. I hope things start getting easier for you.

I did dig up a few older threads on pumping that have some better suggestions for you. Hopefully these are helpful:




Also, Karrie, I checked out your blog and am glad to hear that Matthew's doing well. The picture of Darian holding Matthew is just adorable!


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Re : the Pumping Club - help!

Postby jenn » Tue Jan 28, 638290 5:27 am


Your not alone.
I pumped too while my DD was in the NICU and I felt the same exact way.
I see that your going out of your way with many of the ol' tricks in the book.
One that you didn't mention that I'll add that gave me some relief: Hug pressure while pumping and lean into it a little bit, and many sweet baby thoughts at the same time.
But I hear you on this... there is nothing like the real thing.

Have to talked to the dr and staff about trying some feeds at the breast?
Have you talked to the hospital lactation consult?
Or maybe even private time where your son is near and you can pump?
Just throwing things out there.

Drink tons of H2O and don't put too much pressure on yourself.
Keep us updated, I'll be checking back for any updates on how it's all going.

Best wishes, Jenn

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the Pumping Club - help!

Postby kezt777 » Mon Jan 27, 638290 9:27 pm

i have looked back several pages of posts and couldnt find anything on the topic so please feel free to direct me in the right place if this topic has been covered a lot already...

Breast Pumps when your little one is in NICU... help!!! i was doing so good with pumping, getting almost a full feed worth every time, but the past 24 hours has not been going well :( my body has said 'nah, i want the real thing' and im barely getting half a feeding twice a day! i really want to be able to take my milk up for the baby when i visit him each day, but i would like some tips, pointers, suggestions on how to keep the flow going. i was given some extra pills when i was discharged so i'm starting them again, fingers crossed that will help. but just in case, what are some things i might be able to do to get the hormones flowing?? i have two other kids at home and its easter break so im not able to spend as much time at the hospital right now, not until they go back to school. it seems that as soon as i see my little guy, the milk starts to drop easily... but get out the pump and NADA... :(

he is feeding well with the supplemental formula, so its not like im worried he wont get the nutrition, but the nurses have all commented on how my milk really agrees with his tummy and he digests it fast etc etc.... so i hope to be able to continue.

a point to note is that i could not pump at all with my other two. seriously, even with lots of help and pills and the bestest pumps available, i couldnt get more than an ounce at a time, so i was really surprised i was able to at all this time... ive tried sitting and looking at the hundreds of photos we have of him, thinking about him, imagining him at the breast, watching a little vid we took when he woke up hungry and did all the cute suckling things..... but to no avail so far. i dont want to get stressed out because that wont help.. but its hard not to! anyone have any ideas i can try?? thanks in advance!

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