August 03, 2010,
A.S. asks from Fort Worth, TX on January 30, 2010
Does Your Milk Dry up If You Only Pump???
I'm a new mom and my 8 day old baby is not latching on. All of the lactation nurses have instructed me to keep on trying, regardless of how upset it makes me and my new son. They have also said that if he fails to latch on, my milk will dry up, despite how often I pump. Is this true? I'm getting about 4 ounces total at each pumping. Thanks, A.
L.A. answers from Dallas on January 31, 2010
I wasn't producing much milk and my son just screamed because he was hungry. I bought a Medela double pump and I pumped for a year. I also took a supplement called Fenagreek that I got at the healthfood store. I'm telling you I was a COW after that! I was able to feed him and had a whole freezer full of milk! I hope it will work for you!
B.J. answers from Kansas City on January 31, 2010
Yes, it will eventually dry up if you only pump, although I was able to pump until my baby was 6 months old. I just wasn't able to feed her exclusively breat milk. Fenugreek really helped. For now, keep trying, and pump if you need to. It will all be okay.
R.V. answers from Dallas on January 31, 2010
J.C. answers from Chicago on January 30, 2010
OK, that is an amazing amount of milk for a newborn! You are doing great. I have a friend whose baby never did latch, and she pumped and exclusively breastfed for a year.
For myself, I found when I returned to work and had to pump during the day, it did reduce my supply. But it's definitely not impossible and it sounds like you have great supply. I was lucky to get 2 ounces when my first son (who wasn't a good nurser at first) was your baby's age. Congratulations on your new little one!
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D.B. answers from Dallas on January 30, 2010
My daughter wouldn't latch. It was just so hard and I was in so much pain that I gave up. I really tried but I didn't have any support and just couldn't handle it. She kept loosing weight because she wasn't getting enough food. At her two week apt she had lost so much weight that even the pedi was concerned. I tried pumping and had a great Medela pump but my body wouldn't produce any milk. This caused major baby blues. I was so upset at myself for not being able to feed my little girl. That can be a really dark place. I don't know what happened to make me throw in the towel. But week 6 we went to formula. And it was the best decision I ever made. Breast is best. But a crying mommy who is unable to bear the weight any more isn't good either. This time around I will get support. That is what I suggest for you. But if you get to the breaking point. It is Ok. Yes, breast is best. But sometimes bottle is just fine. FYI- if you do end up on formula try taking your shirt/bra off while feeding your baby. This made me feel better about the whole process. Finally, my little girl never was a sick baby even with formula :)
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S.C. answers from Dallas on January 31, 2010
No, mine did not dry up and I pumped exclusively for 3 months. My daughter could not properly latch and the lactation nurses forced it and made us both cry. I decided it was just not worth the emotional anguish! Occasionally I would try to get her to latch on and one day it finally worked. I pumped every 2 hours at her feeding times. When she woke up in the night I would warm her a bottle of breast milk and prop her up in the boppie, feed her the bottle and pump at the same time. I advise buying the bra that holds the pump bottles on! I didn't have it and it was a little tricky. Don't worry about the amount, more comes as the baby wants more. I was producing 4 oz at first too and by the time my baby wanted 8 oz. I could produce it even pumping at work. It's just really important that you pump as many times a day as you want to feed your baby. Your body adjusts the amount of milk to the demand. I produced milk for a year for each of my babies, so if you have any questions just let me know. I am not one of those cookie breast feeding ladies, I just think it's good for your baby and if it works that's great and if not then there's formula.
Also, I think some of my problem with the latch was that they said it wasn't supposed to hurt. So, I thought I was doing it wrong. But I found out with my second that it does hurt a bit at first. My second baby latched from the first day and never had a problem! I stayed home with her and never had to pump and production was the same.
Hope this helps!!
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M.G. answers from Chicago on January 30, 2010
I was unable to nurse my daughter for 10 days due to her being in the NICU. When I was finally able to hold her she wouldn't latch on. I knew breast milk was the best thing I could give her so I decided to pump. I pumped for a year. Not once did my milk dry up. Once I got the hang of it I started to produce more milk then I knew what to do with. Make sure you pump at least every three hours. Drink plenty of fluids. Make sure you husband help you. I woke my husband up at night so he could feed my daughter (he loved it, he was able to bond with her as well) and I would pump. We also rented a hospital grade pump. It was expensive but well worth it. Good luck
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A.W. answers from Dallas on January 31, 2010
I pumped exclusively for 8 1/2 months with my first child. I had more than enough milk. Don't worry, you'll do fine! Best of luck to you and congratulations on your baby boy!
M.H. answers from Las Vegas on January 30, 2010
I pumped with my first child for 7 months before weaning him to formula and I never had a problem with my milk supply. I had too hard of a time trying to get him to latch on and when he would latch on he would just fall asleep after a few mins so I decided to bottle feed him and it worked out better...less stress for me, although with my 2nd child I only breast feed and I love not having to pump and wash bottles! But, I never get a break so I will be weaning him to pumped milk as well very soon.
K.B. answers from Kansas City on January 30, 2010
It can take a long time to get the hang of nursing - for both of you. It does get better though. Its absolutely ok to pump exclusively, but you could also keep trying to nurse, as well. Try not to quit on a bad day. I found it very helpful to set short-terms goals - 2 weeks, 1 month, 2 months, etc. I felt like I could keep trying for another week or so, and then by the time I got to that milestone, I found it was improving. And four ounces at 8 days is a great amount.
I pumped exclusively for 6 months with my twins. It can be done, and as long as you are consistenly pumping every 3 hours, including overnight, you can do it. I would just pump after every feeding, and once I went back to work, just continued pumping every 3 hours. You can stretch it out a little after a few months, but stick with every 3 hours in these early days.
B.S. answers from Dallas on January 31, 2010
Our daughter was premature and too tiny and weak to nurse. I pumped exclusively for quite awhile as she grew and was finally able to nurse. Drink lots of water and tea. Don't let yourself get upset, that can work against your supply and your son's ability as well. Find a quiet, comfortable place for both of you. If you're talking about a few days/weeks until he gets the hang of it, your milk is not going to dry up. Just relax and don't let yourself get too worked up. Nursing is an incredible bonding time, you'll get there.