Pumping - Park Ridge,NJ

Updated on August 14, 2008
S.T. asks from Park Ridge, NJ
11 answers

I gave birth 6 weeks ago. I am breastfeeding and also supplementing with formula. (They had to give him formula while in the hospital because his blood sugar was to low and I am now still giving him formula 2-3x a day) PLEASE DON'T JUDGE

We didn't get off to good nursing while in the hospital because they waited 4 hours to bring him to me (no reason for that as there was nothing wrong with him at that time) He latches well but just can't seem to get enough and gets frustrated. He also falls asleep to much while at the breast. Sometimes he will nurse for over an hour and then 20 minutes later is screaming for more. I am exhausted! So.... I have been pumping every 3-4 hours so I can continue to feed him breastmilk. The thing is my nipples are starting to hurt now. I have the Medala Breast Pump and it is great. Pumping is done in 10 minutes are less. I put Lanolin on them to help, but they are still sore.

Any suggestions to help with this... (and please don't tell me to nurse)

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answers from New York on

Isn't it sad that you have to ask not to be judged. *sigh* I'm sorry that people feel the need to make others feel bad.

Off the soapbox now. :)

Definitely go with a bigger horn. I use the XXL (36) and I never get sore - my nipples never touch the plastic. Also, get some gel pads until you're healed. Soothies are amazing! http://soothies.com/gelpads.html

I had the same problems that you did - she never ate enough at one sitting and cluster fed (which literally tore my bits apart) but she would eat a full meal from a bottle. I stopped feeding her directly and pumped on the advice of a very good friend who is double certified as a shrink and a pediatrician. She told me that I was doing the baby no favors by going through so much pain and difficulty. She said that she sees too many stressed out mothers and that a happy mom equals a happy baby. She was so right and we're all much happier because of it.

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answers from New York on

I had a similar situation in the hospital. I had a c-section and was not able to breastfeed my son until almost 24 hours after he was born and he was in the NICU so he got lots of bottles. A lactation consultant in the hospital gave me a nipple shield without explaining any of the negative consequences of using them and then I got stuck using one for almost 3 months. It took a lot of work and patience on my part to finally get him breastfeeding exclusively. I also got help from a lactation consultant that my pediatrician recommended. She came to my house and was so helpful and understanding and non-judgmental. Also 6 weeks is not that much time for you and the baby to learn. Give it a few more weeks and I'm sure you will be doing better. Believe me, I know it is easier said than done. You can expect a bit of soreness for a few more weeks. Make sure that that baby is latching properly- not on the end of the nipple, but high up around the areola. Also, make sure you switch sides after about 20 minutes so that you stimulate both breasts to make milk. This will increase your supply and your son will get more milk. Also, the more you nurse, the more milk you will make. About the timing, babies have to eat every two hours, and you count that from the beginning of one feeding, to the beginning of the next, no matter how long the first feeding lasts. And it takes about an hour for your breasts to refill. At this age, babies will sleep a lot while eating and that is normal. He is also right around the age of a growth spurt, so he will be asking for more. In 2-5 days, your breasts will start to keep up with the demand. You can also buy the Mother's Milk Tea (I think the brand is Yogi Tea) and drink that every day. Also make sure you are drinking a lot of water and eating enough and taking your prenatal vitamins. And I know it is hard, but take naps whenever he is sleeping. You make more milk while you sleep, and you need the extra fluids to keep from dehydrating or getting a blocked milk duct. Other really great resources are http://www.kellymom.com and The Breastfeeding Book, by Dr. Sears. These have both helped me through lots of issues. Good luck and let me know if you need any more advice!!



answers from Glens Falls on

I say congratulations to you for you breastfeeding and pumping while he is so young. Keep up the good work. As for the sore nipples, I agree with Deb that it sounds like too much stimulation. An hour of nursing and then pumping is a long time, especially on one side. I would definitely check his latch, if you are unsure of what to look for, contact the hospital where you delivered they should be able to refer you to a lactation consultant, many hospitals have them on staff to help out new moms. They are the best resource out there if you want to continue to breastfeed. Breastmilk on the nipples and letting them dry will help too. Are you pumping with the lowest setting, not the highest? This can make a big difference in the amount of strain on your breasts. Lansinoh can help also, though it sounds like you're using that already.

As for how long he is nursing, are you sure he is eating that entire time? He may be comfort sucking and if you're comfortable with the notion, you could try a pacifier or other soothie with him. This will help keep your nipples less painful so when he wants to nurse, you'll be able to feed him, if that's what you want. He may just want the closeness of being held and snuggled that he gets while nursing, and holding him with a pacifier can provide that while giving your breasts a break.

One more thing...if you're only pumping ever 3-4 hours, that doesn't sound like often enough to me. Breastfed babies eat usually every 2-3 hours and if you want to keep your supply up, you should be pumping as often as you would be feeding him. I am a firm believer that you can exclusively pump and feed breastmilk if you want to, I did it with my son. Make sure to drink plenty of water and eat healthy foods. Your body needs the calories to make the milk, don't try to diet while you are nursing, especially while pumping. Eating oatmeal can help boost your supply and also an herb called fenugreek can help boost also. I disagree with Deb when she said over time your production will decrease. It's true that no pump is as efficient as a baby, but if you follow a routine and have a good relationship with your pump (meaning it works well for you) which it sounds like it does, I think it's definitely possible to pump long term.

Pumping is an added challenge to having a newborn at home and I commend you for doing it. Don't beat yourself up too much for not actually nursing him, it's about the food itself, not the source, at least in my opinion.

Good luck to you and I hope this helps!



answers from New York on

hi, and congrats! i think you are probably so sore because you are letting him nurse for over an hour. on one side? if so, its just too long. if not, then i dont know. maybe not a great latch? do you have a lot of your nipple in his mouth? try to get as much in there as you can, squish it a little flat like a sandwich and try to fit in as much as you can, it will help a lot. and it is normal for him to want to nurse again shortly after, it might just be short term, a growth spurt, or he might just like the comfort of you. my kids were always very frequent nursers, i know it can make you crazy, especially when you have another little one to chase after.
i assume you know that the more you pump, the less you will produce over time, just wanted to mention it on the rare chance you didnt know.
all that being said, as for the sore nipples, lanolin actually made me worse. i have a wool allergy, which lanolin is made from. so consider that? ill tell you what i did when i had horrible sore bleeding nipples. ***please know that i have heard that vitamin e is not the best to use, not good for the baby in large amounts... but here is what i did when i was in really bad shape.... first, i would put breastmilk on my nipple and let it air dry. then use a sterile needle to pierce a vitamin e capsule, and put some on the nipple. then i would use a little piece of saran wrap and put it over my nipple, then a breast pad inside my bra. and i would leave it, give that side a break and let it heal overnight, which it almost always did. at 6 weeks i would just pump that side for a day, you dont want to mess with your supply, and you do NOT want to risk clogged ducts, and the pumping is easier on your nipple than nursing, as im sure you know. this worked for me, but you might want to look into the vitamin e thing first.
if its not that bad, then maybe just try ditching the lanolin and trying the breastmilk and air dry. it helps a lot. and check your latch, and be sure you are drinking lots of water. nipple shields helped me too, but they can also really mess you up, i wouldnt use them unless you are really desperate. best of luck to you. if this doesnt help, please feel free to email me, i can probably help. take care, D.



answers from New York on

First, don't let him fall asleep while nursing anymore. Once he starts to fall asleep stop and wake him. This is a good time to teach him that eating time is eating time and sleeping time is sleeping time. So when he starts to fall asleep, stop and wake him. Tickle his toes talk to him whatever it takes to wake him, then start nursing again. Within a week or so he won't fall asleep anymore. Second, I also have a medela pump. Try turning the suction down. It may be to high. Also change the way it is placed on your breast. I use to move it around to get different area's emptied. Also, this is a good way to make it go faster. It sounds gross but it works, and it was always good for an extra oz or so. While the pump is "sucking" grab your breast and squeeze, moving your hand from your body towards your nipple as you do so. Start with your hand against your body, and as it sucks squeeze moving your hand away from you. Third, there is a tea out there that will help to increase your supply. It's called Mother's Milk and it works pretty good. Follow the directions on the box. For the herbs to work you have to leave the tea bag in the hot water for 20-30 mins. But it does help.



answers from New York on

Congrats on your little one!

Here's what I would try:

1. Change the settings on the pump and check the size of the horn. Is the suction too hard? Is the horn too small and your nipple is rubbing on the inside?

2. Let your boobs air dry a bit after pumping and nursing. I swear by the lanolin, but I only use it at night (putting it on before I go to bed) or when the nipples are bleeding -- ouch, I had that happen the first two days with a blister & poor latch. You can express a bit of milk and rub it on your nipples and then let them air dry. The air will help the nipples heal.

3. Avoid keeping your son on the same side for an hour. I would agree that he may be just comfort suckling using you a pacifier instead of actually eating. Are you getting multiple let-downs during that hour? If not, then detach him from the breast and put him back on when he wakes up. He may not be hungry since he is having formula too. You do need to pump & nurse as often as possible to keep supply up, but you don't need to be a pacifier all the time. :-)

4. Check out www.kellymom.com and the pumping moms board at www.babycenter.com Both are great resources.

5. Try some gel pads. I never used them, but some women claim they help with the nipple pain/soreness. Here's some info I found on the web: http://www.breastfeed-essentials.com/sorenipples.html

I hope this helps!



answers from New York on

I read through some of the posts and agree that you need to make sure that you're using the appropriate sized horn. I didn't know that they made them in different sizes until the lactation consultant I hired told me. I then later checked the Medela website and they have a guide to choosing the right size:

I am fairly large breasted and have found that it might help to prop up my boob to make sure that it's at the right angle for the babe. I use a rolled up burp cloth (or whatever else is around) and put it underneath - makes for more comfortable nursing without pulling.

Good luck - keep with it and it will get easier!



answers from Binghamton on

Ok, so I think you've gotten a lot of really good advice...definitely make sure your horn is large enough...check the suction..I always used it on the lowest setting...and if you're not completely happy with Lanolin ( I always thought Lanolin was too hard to spread and caused more pain than it was worth) I would try using Olive Oil. That is what my lactation consultant recommended and I always used it for sore nipples. You don't have to wash it off and it goes on real easy...cheap too.

Also, I'm not sure why you don't want to be told to nurse...because of the sore nipples? I nursed all four of my children and sometimes it was very painful, but I can say that if you are thinking he is not getting enough, the common solution is to nurse more often to produce more milk, and of course to be sure you are drinking enough water. I personally always found nursing less painful than pumping.

I'm not judging here at all, but I've had a little bit of experience with this, and I have to say that they set you up for failure by giving him formula in the hospital. That low blow sugar problem is just an excuse for them to sabotage you (whether they saw it like that or not, which I'm sure they didn't)...it doesn't require formula...your body makes everything your baby needs. I know you are doing what seems like it is best, and it is not your fault, but I would be pretty miffed at the hospital staff who didn't support your choice of breastfeeding 100%. And if they had no reason to delay bringing him to you for 4 hours, shame on them! Never doubt your ability to provide adequate nutrition for your baby...your body is designed to provide for him.

When I read your post it really made me mad at the hospital...never in judgment of you!! I never thought I would become some Psycho saying you should only nurse mom, but after nursing 4 children through cracked and bleeding nipples, a 40 minute nurser, mastitis, thrush, clogged ducts, biting, you name it, I firmly believe that if I can do it, any mom can be an exclusive nurser!!

If you are happy with using formula, that is great, but if you are ever doubting your abilities to provide all that your baby needs, please don't doubt yourself. You are an amazing mom to be asking this question and not just throwing in the towel. And anyone who has ever pumped knows what a pain it is, so I really commend you for all that you are doing. Sounds like you are putting your baby first, which is what we all should do. Good for you.




answers from New York on

I can't tell you what do to about the actual breastfeeding issues but for the pain, I used breast shells when I was nursing (they all make them, Medela, Johnson & Johnson, etc) they are like plastic things you put in your bra that keep anything from touching your nipples and, with the lanolin, helps them recoup/heal a little until they get back to normal...hope this helps a little.



answers from New York on

I had c-sections with both my kids and it was 4 hours before I got to see either of them also, that's completely normal and has nothing to do with your nursing problems. I can't help you with the sore nipples because I never really had that problem, but I would like to suggest a 20 minute max on each breast and the back of the neck and under the chin are both good tickle spots to wake them up. Do that every couple of minutes if he's falling asleep (which is completely normal). After the first 20 minutes is up, do a diaper change to wake him up and then do the other side right away(be diligent, it's easy to say "oh he's sleeping, let me go check my email" and before you know it it's been 45 minutes and now he wants to eat again). Then once you're done, take him out and run some errands or something for 3 hours and you'll hopefully get over the cluster feeding nightmare.



answers from New York on

Hi there! We should talk--I just had my son 4 weeks ago at Bridgeport Hospital and we've had nursing issues too. And let's just say that my Medela Pump and I are not the best of friends right now. It IS totally exhausting and just when you stop feeding, you have to pump, and then it starts all over again! I'd encourage you to make an appointment with Dr. Christina Smillie in Stratford. She's a pediatrician who specializes in lactation-its all she does and she comes highly recommended around the area. We've gone 3 times now and it's going great!! They are very very nice, and they are not at all militant about nursing. They are very much pro-Mamma and believe in you trusting your instincts about what's best for your baby. My husband loves them--it's been great! She's right near the train station off of 95 and they accept insurance (they just bill you and the baby as patients). The number is ###-###-####. And we've not yet reached full nursing--I'm still supplementing, but I feel really good about it. Anyway--let me know if you want more info and good luck with everything!! Nice to know I"m not alone and neither are you!!! K. G.

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