Exclusively pumping: how much milk to have saved??

Tabythas - posted on 08/15/2013 ( 33 moms have responded )

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Hi there! My LO is 6 weeks old and I was forced to EP as my DD wouldnt latch due to my "flat nipples". I really would love to get a year+ supply of milk in my deep freezer for her so i can stop pumping. I try to pump based on her feeding schedule. It is frustrating for me to wake up so engorged and full of pain that i could cry, but need to feed her first and as im preparing her bottle and getting my pump ready...all the while my shirt is getting SOAKED and she is crying. I really hate the fact i have to sit in the floor and lay her in her boppy and feed her that way while i use my hands free bra to pump. I want to hold her and pump. so if anyone else has EPed i would love to know at what point (if you know) you stopped pumping and went to your frozen supply (how much frozen did you have?). I pump on average every 2-4 hrs and i get approx 10-16 oz at each session. I currently have 730 oz in my deep freezer. how much longer does the madness need to continue?? every day is a struggle! please help me find the light at the end of the tunnel

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I have "flat nipples" or inverted nipples. My first daughter wouldn't latch on when I got home from the hospital. My milk came in and it HURT. I was engorged so I got a breast pump right away. I pumped and pumped. I was sad that I couldn't get her to breastfeed. I did this for FOUR 1/2 months. I got in touch with La Leche League. It was a free local meetup. They have you bring your child to learn techniques specifically to help your situation. I'm telling you-that meeting was a life saver! I went home excited to show my husband that I learned to breastfeed and it DIDN'T hurt and she was satisfied! I still pumped in between so that my husband could still be a part of the feedings that he had gotten to share the bond with our daughter. I thought she couldn't breastfeed BECAUSE of my nipples-I just had to learn two different techniques that would get to latch ON properly and it wouldn't hurt me. I ended up breastfeeding her until she was almost 1 1/2. There's hope! I'd research a local La Leche League and don't give up. I wish you the best. I hope my story inspires you and let's you know you're not alone. It's not too late...I promise! Good luck! Hugs!!!

Jen - posted on 08/18/2013

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I ended up exclusively EPing for both my kids. If you aren't going to breastfeed at all, don't time your pumping sessions to match her feeding sessions. Pump on a schedule that works for you, and hold her and feed her! Figure out how many times a day you are pumping and then spread that out over the day. I would wake up once in the night and feed the baby, then put him back down and pump. After a few weeks I eliminated the night time pumping session. Breast milk is fine in the fridge for up to three days in the fridge. Once frozen it's good for six months. So ideally, you would pump until your child is six months old, if you wanted to provide breast milk till she was one.
I had LOTS of supply, no supply issues at all, and I just slowly (VERY SLOWLY and watching for supply issues) cut back pumping sessions until I was pumping twice a day (at 7AM and 7PM), and I was getting around 40 oz out of two pumping sessions. I pumped until my kids were about 5 months old, and when I ran out of freezer stuff I used formula.

You need to do what is right for you and for your family. If that means you stop pumping now and go to formula, that is OKAY. You are doing the best thing for your FAMILY. If you want to pump and store six months out, THAT IS ALSO OKAY. You can't do this "wrong," as long as you are feeding your child formula or breast milk when she is hungry. You are an awesome mom and doing an amazing thing by pumping for your baby. Don't let other people stress you out or make you feel bad!!!!

You can do it!!! Good Luck!!!

Ashley - posted on 08/18/2013

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As your child grows your milk changes to meet the needs of the baby so it is not a good idea to have a 6 month supply as your daughter will not be getting the nutrients she needs for her current age. My mid-wife suggested no more than one month out.

Carliena - posted on 08/18/2013

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Well I typed a very lengthy reply to your post , but when I clicked post , I was given a log on screen and my message was gone . I have lots of helpful advise I pumped fro my little man for three years he could not latch , so please message me on facebook : http://www.facebook.com/carliena and I can also send you the name and fb page of my lactation consultant, I could not have made it without her help every step of the way !!
I WILL GLADLY SHARE WITH YOU ALL THE POINTS TIPS AND HELPFUL'S FOR BEING A PUMPING MOM, AND PUMPING IS NOT EASY OR FUN , IT TAKES PATIENCE AND DEDICATION AND LOT OF LOVE , CONGRATULATIONS TO YOU FOR PUMPING THUS FAR AND FOR BEING SUCH A WONDERFUL AND GREAT MOMMY TO YOUR LO!!
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I have a link to a helpful storage duration guide it's two pages :

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/breast-...

I used the Lansinoh Breastmilk storage bags and placed them on their sides to freeze, I then placed them ontop of one another chronologically in a sepreate freezer tote for each month , that way they were easily accessible and organized as I am sure with 700 oz stored you know how much room they can take up , but this was the best and most efficient way I found to store my milk. Also you should never store it in the freezer or fridge door , as I am sure you have already learned the hard way , I know I did .

Oh yes and as far as the pumping goes ,I pumped while he was asleep and fed him fresh milk when he woke up and whenever I could . I looved being able to hold him and feed him and then pump , however I reccomend using a double electric breast pump if you are EPing , this is YOUR BEST FRIEND!! If you want to hold your angel while she sleeps and pump (safely of course) then this will increase your flow so will making sure you are calm and it's quiet and peaceful when you pump (whenever that is possible lol ) I found it easiest and my flow highest while I wasn't thinking about how much I was pumping and started thinking about my son , or watching a water documentary was the best for me , or reading whatever works best for you but where you are calm and relaxed the milk will flow :) Also if you massage your breast and take really warm showers and let the milk flow , i know i know feels like wasted milk , but it will help with the soreness.

As far as a schedule to meet the demands of having milk for a year, I would dedicate the next month to pumping every two hours and ever 2-4 hours through the night and then on the next month work your supply down by going 1/2 and hour longer each day until you are only pumping three times every day for a week- (ie - day 1 - pump every 21/2 hours, day two - pump every 3 hours, day 4 - pump every 3 1/2 hours, day 5- pump every 4 hours ) and once at night , do that for 1 month and then pump 1/2 and hour longer between pumps over another week (ie , day 1- pump every 41/2 hours for longer) until you are pumping twice a day , I found that twice a day was ideal for me and very manageable, These are just my timelines, I hope they help point you in the right direction but you should definitely find what works best for you and Lo , follow her schedule and always remember to try and enjoy feeding her and holding her while she eats and it's just as enjoyable and bonding as mouth to breast breastfeeding :) Once you increase your flow and find a routine, pump and store as often as you can, You are already dedicated and what you already have saved is phenomenal!! Keep up the amazing work and when your Lo hits the 6 month growth spurt you should have enough supplied for that and for the next six months.

Oh and I strongly recommend that you don't make the same mistake that I did and store your milk in anything less than a below zero freezer as anything left longer than 6 months tends to spoil , learned that lesson the hard way . but following that schedule I had enough milk to last a year and donate to the hospital for preemie babies and would have had more had some not gone bad . I pumped for my son until he was three , increasing pumping sessions if he became sick or I wanted him to have fresh milk and it was great. You are doing such a great job ! You are such a great mom to pump for your baby , like I said I know it's HARD work , so kudos and good luck !! Message me on fb if you need some pointers or just a supportive ear!

Mariya - posted on 08/17/2013

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Here is a few more points to the great advices given below.

Not putting on weight. You probably know, that babies loose weight right after birth (7-10%), before they start putting on weight. The recommended time for them to be back to their weight at delivery is by 2 weeks. I am not sure when your appointment was, but just something to consider.

EP vs. breastfeeding. My now 3-months old baby is exclusively breastfed. Couple weeks ago I had to leave for a week on business. Not to lose breast milk, I pumped the whole week while I was away (pumped to dump...which was sad, but that's another story). And I felt a HUGE difference: I had to pump for 30 minutes each time in order not to struggle because of engorgement; and I still felt like I was not absolutely empty. To compare, it takes my baby 5-7 minutes to empty the side. If you can figure out a way to make your baby eat from you than from a bottle, the difference will be great. But, understandably (and sadly), it is not always possible.

Freezer. I read a recommended maximum of 6 months in a deep freezer (some sources say to store it not longer than one month in a usual freezer). While these numbers are not set in stone, milk is losing good stuff the longer it is stored (freshly pumped milk is better than the one stored in the fridge; the fridge milk is better than the one from the freezer).
I am starting full-time work on Monday, and while I have a somewhat decent supply in the freezer, I plan on pumping daily for my baby for the next day instead of using older milk from freezer. For you, I really liked the advice of pumping and giving the milk to your baby during next feeding. I would also feed the baby first (holding her while feeding), and pump right after it.

It does sound like you have an oversupply. I read (La Leche League) that babies from 6 weeks to 6 months (up to when they start solids) eat the same amount of milk, which is between 25-35 oz, with an average of 30 oz. My baby ate 27-29 oz. per day when I was on my business trip. Once your baby starts solids, she will need less than 25-35 oz.
At six weeks my baby started sleeping for 6-7 hours (and now sometimes sleeps for up to 9 hours). As we skip a feeding (or two), I wake up very full in the morning (I have a little of oversupply but not by much). I know how it feels to soak (or leak through a t-shirt) - sucks. But it gets better. You probably soak in response to seeing your baby, hearing her cry, etc (I used to even response on seeing someone else's baby outside, on tv, on a photo in a magazine). But it is a little better now. So, it should get better for you, too.

On a related note, if your baby has stomach/gas/poop issues, your oversupply could be the reason, particularly, foremilk vs. hind milk. Dumping some of the foremilk could be beneficial.

After EP for a week when I was away, I feel your pain. I hope you will figure it out. It does get better!!

Good luck!

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Angie - posted on 08/20/2013

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Hi!

My advice is the same as what many others have already said. Breastfeeding is hard in the beginning. If you decide to pump exclusively, that's even harder. I really feel that with my first I didn't get the support or the information that I needed to be successful. Looking back on it, there was no reason why I couldn't have breastfed her and we would have all been better for it. I'm just glad that she did get breast milk, even if it was of a lower quality, and that I was able to nurse my others. My personal story follows:

My first was breech and I had a c-section with her. It was kind of nice, really, because I was in the hospital longer and had lots of help from the lactation consultant. But then I got home and everything seemed to kind of fall apart. They kept telling me she should be gaining more weight and I didn't know what to do. Everything was just opposite from when we were in the hospital. At the hospital everyone kept telling me everything was right on track and fine. Then we were discharged and they told me the exact opposite of the hospital. I kept seeing these consultants and everything seemed fine while we were there, but not at home. I tried to breastfeed for the first two weeks. I had one flat nipple and the other was fine. I ended up (tearfully) deciding to pump and I did so for 6 months. The consultant told me that my baby had a narrow latch and that maybe as she got bigger she would be able to breastfeed. But as time went on, she didn't want anything to do with nursing. I would get clogged ducts at least once a month and I never had enough to freeze. I was always just ahead of her. I kept her milk in bottles in the fridge. Apparently, the guidelines have changed, because I would have 4-7 days worth in the fridge. Then she hit a grown spurt and wiped out my supply! lol It was a long hard six months, but it was important to me. Pumping just seemed to work out, a hassle, but it worked. I dreaded it, but I had to make it to at least 6 months, that was my goal.

By the time I had my second child, I was with a different pediatrician and she basically didn't care, or that's how it seemed. Which is why I also later fired her. Jaundice? No, she's fine. Weight? Looks good! All these things that were 'problems' with my first were not big deals with my second. And I breastfed her for 7 months.

Then came number three! I was back at the same clinic that we had been to with my first child. My third weighed 9lbs 11oz at birth. At his first visit, the day after we were discharged (I had vaginal births with my second two babies), it started all over again. Not gaining enough weight, looks jaundiced. You need to supplement with formula. Maybe you're not producing as milk as you think. This was all happening just days after he was born, they wanted me to come in every couple of days for weight checks. They were shaking my confidence and I refused to go back until his 1 month check up. At the one month check up his weight was just fine. I did use a shield with him because it took a lot more nipple than I had to get him to latch on. I only used it for a week or two and then he was able to latch on without problems. I nursed him until he was just over a year old.

Good luck and best wishes!

Jamie - posted on 08/19/2013

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I EP my 3 and half month old. She has tracheomalysia (soft trachea). I remember how hard it was mentally at the 6 to 8 week time. It will get easier if you push through it.
I do not produce as much as you so I have a limited freezer stash.

I pump when DD sleeps. I also pump while she is in her rocker or on a boppy next me. You do learn when and how to pump as the weeks go on.

It does get irritating hearing about how I need to try a lactation coach or switch to formula. We have a $250 bill from a coach who could do nothing due to DD's medical condition. She spit up the formula so we decided to stick with breast milk.

Choose what is best for you and your child. Baby Center's Exclusive Pumpers! group helped so much through my low periods of EPing.

MARCIA - posted on 08/19/2013

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Have you tried contacting the La Leche League? http://www.llli.org/ They have a wealth of information and they will also have somebody who can help you locally. Check out the website for additional information.

Jerlyn - posted on 08/19/2013

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I am a mother of 2 and my second child is 4 months old. I am an EPer with both of them. I had flat nipples as well and both times the nurses and LCs tried n tried at the hospital and it just wasnt working. Ever since 8 weeks I produce about 64-72 ounces per day. I freeze my excess but I also rotate my milk. I use fresh when we are on the go or she is at the sitters and I use frozen daily at home. I have learned to bag the milk in the ounce amout that she will need in a bottle. For example I freeze 8-9 ounces per bag because when I need to warm a bottle I can just place the frozen bags in a cup of water. I try to keep the milk frozen no longer than 3 months and also keep it in a deep freezer as opposed to a regular freezer. Also I try to keep my pumping schedule a little ahead of her feeding schedule. If this means I have to wake up at 3am so I am not engorged at 7am when she gets up thats what I do. Now I can go 8 hours without becoming engorged but usually keep it at 5-6 hours between pumps if I can help it. I will say without the help of my husband, the first 8 weeks woul have been almost impossible. During that time i was pumping every 2-4 hours and without him getting up to feed her I would have been a total zombie. It definitely takes a dedicated partner to get through this but it i well worth it!! Good luck!!

Lauren - posted on 08/19/2013

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Tabytha, I didn't read everyone else's posts, but get a nipple shield. I know it's typically discouraged, but it was my lifesaver!!!!

Tabythas - posted on 08/19/2013

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diane, thats essentially what a nipple shield is. and yea babies will occasionally start to prefer the shield/nipple as it is easier to nurse from. most LC, docs and midwifes only use them as a last resort. i personally had luck with it for a few days then she stopped for some reason

Tabythas - posted on 08/19/2013

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Thank you Alicia! What an inspirational story! I do have hope :) :)

Tabythas - posted on 08/19/2013

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What the heck? I tried to rate you as very helpful but it never reset! It kept going in the negative and that's not the case at all.

User - posted on 08/19/2013

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Forgive me if this is a dumb question...I'm somewhat out of the loop on flat nipples, but way back in the dark ages, we used to put a bottle nipple over mom's nipples for nursing. Sometimes it brought the nipple out for nursing, and other times baby grew to prefer the nipple over mom's nipple.

Page - posted on 08/19/2013

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Hi....I am a doctor mom who has used pump as well as breastfed...but the quality of frozen milk is definitely lower....antibodies get destroyed pretty fast...I strongly feel that you can give brestfeeding a go...just one more time...it should work...though slowly.Till then, you are already doing a very good job for your baby...keep it up!

Lori - posted on 08/18/2013

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Oh put pressure on your nipples when you feel the let down it will stop the leaking

Lori - posted on 08/18/2013

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You have read all the posts on nipples shields. I would see a lactation nurse if you can. I have moms pump every three hours if not latching. But you can cut down on the night pumpings if you like. Just reducing the pumping duration with the night time. You can always donate milk if have extra but I would get her to latch if you can. Your body will adjust to the babies needs

Tabythas - posted on 08/18/2013

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while i thoroughly love everyones input and advice, there are a lot of things that i have not replied to (mainly because i have not gotten on my laptop to do a good reply). but as a last resort in the hospital we tried a nipple shield after 3 days of attempting everything. I took the nipple shield home and used it for a week. She eventually got to where she would not even eat from that, she would cry and fall asleep. in my heart i knew for a fact she wasn't eating enough. then the night before her 1 week checkup i was quite engorged and needed to get some relief. so my mother in law picked me up a temporary pump (single hand held :/ ) but it did the trick. i eased the engorgement and continued to try to get her to BF..with the shield. When we she got weighed at the doc, she had not gained any of her weight back. she was 7.10 at birth and when we left the hospital she was down to 6.4. at the pediatrician's office she was 6.2. So as a new mom, i felt very strongly that pumping was the best choice for her and so did her ped. notice i said for her, not me. i would love so much for her to BF. I try to get her to latch, but she sucks for comfort. she falls asleep and we have cuddle time. and honestly im ok with that. she is gaining wait wonderful, she is now a healthy 11lb 7 week old! :) as long as she continues to gain weight and be healthy im happy. we do skin to skin contact and she is getting breast milk. i think that is just as good as breast feeding IMO . she gets fresh milk at every feeding i only have a freezer stash for when/if my supply dries up. after reading some new info i will need to start rotating my stock out and plan on pumping for at least 4 more months. its tiring but worth it! thanks again!! :) all and any info/advice is always welcome

Kelsey - posted on 08/18/2013

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I know this may be a but irritating to hear, but flat nipples are not usually the sole issue. It makes it much harder for a baby to learn how to latch on correctly, but there is nothing wrong with your body. You just need to teach your baby how to latch on. See about a lactation consultant. Also try a nipple shield to help her learn how to properly latch. I do not have any issues myself, but many of my friends had this issue. Within a few weeks they were latching on without an issue.

I really advise this because your milk does not hold all of the same nutrients once is it past a day old, even if it better than formula. Also, research shows that, psychologically, the touch is important to your baby. While it may not be a huge difference, kids who breastfeed and have "skin on skin" breastfeed longer, gain weigh faster, and have a higher iq. Also remember that your breast milk passes on your antibodies. So when flu season hits, your baby gets your antibodies as you are much more likely to fight something without getting sick. This cannot be done with milk that is stored up.

Sarah Glenn - posted on 08/18/2013

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I can't answer your question, but my comment is to give yourself a break. Enjoy your baby and offer some formula. I am all for nursing if it comes way for you. I nursed for 2 years, but I would not have done what you are doing. You are so dedicated to breast milk which is great, but consider the time and energy you would have for your LO should you quit pumping. Good luck!

Ali - posted on 08/18/2013

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You do have some great comments already, but something else to think about... If you are miserable, is it worth it? I am all for nursing but if you aren't getting to enjoy feeding time with your little one, which is more important. I tried nursing my first born who didn't latch so I pumped for the first 6 weeks. It sucked! I hated it. When I abandoned it both me and my baby were in a better place. He is now a very active and healthy 5 year old! Many many healthy babies never see breast milk. I was told when I was struggling to nurse that the most important thing for baby is the colostrum which comes before your milk ever does.
Good luck with your decision.

Alecia - posted on 08/18/2013

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I had to EP with 3 of my 4 kids because none of them could latch/nurse well. From my experience, the quality of frozen milk isn't the same and, as the other mom mentioned, the content of the milk changes over the first year as the baby's nutritional needs change. This may sound weird, but sometimes I tasted a drop of it to see if it was really fresh when I pulled from frozen. There was a definite difference in it. I gave some feedings with frozen while I was still making fresh so that they got both over the course of a day. I think that is preferable to waiting until all fresh is gone then switching exclusively to frozen, which may not be as nutritionally sound. Once I had dried up too much, I ended up having to finish the last couple months with formula anyway. Best of luck to you and keep you chin up!

Rebecca - posted on 08/18/2013

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Tabytha,
A few pointers from a mom who's nursed and pumped for 2...

My girls are 7 & 11 now, so they got enough as a baby. Your baby will too! You are doing an awesome job!!! I've tried to EP and its incredibly hard. Way to go mom!!! You are feeding your little bundle of joy the best milk possible and you are doing it the best way you can. Hopefully some of these suggestions can help make it easier for you and your daughter.

First off, if at all possible go see a lactation specialist/nurse. Most big hospitals have several on staff and you can make appointments. I had problems with latching with my first two babies and I don't know if I could have been successful without their help. There can be many issues going on with you and your daughter, more than just 'flat nipples'. The nipple shield is one of many things you could try. With my first daughter we had to go thru a few tricks until she started latching correctly and consistently.

Second point: the comfort nursing she is doing is great... It WILL stimulate more milk production from you though. So if oversupply is an issue, cut back on pumping times to balance for this stimulation.

In addition to the hard plastic nipple shields (worked great to get my nipples to 'pop out' enough for a good latch), there are softer nipple covers. I'm blanking on the name. They basically put a thin plastic cover over the nipple and the baby latches on to this. They are usually used for sore, cracked nipples. They have the advantage of being shaped more like a bottle and for some babies make latching easier. My lactation nurse had me use them for the first few minutes of latching and nursing, and then I would take it off and my daughter would latch back on to the bare nipple. Then same thing on side two if needed. I needed that for about a week before she was nursing like a pro.

I hope you can get the right hands on help, the lactation nurses really need to see what's happening to help the best. Good luck!

Michelle - posted on 08/18/2013

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My son was 3 1/2 months premature. Couldn't feed at all for the first 7 weeks. I pumped from day one. (Rented a hospital grade pump). When he finally came home at 4 months old I continued pumping. I pumped for an additional month until I simply could not. The supply was drying up. It took forever. It was frustrating and still I agonized over the decision and wether it was the right thing to do. (He was so tiny!) I continued using the milk I'd frozen for the next two months, supplementing with formula which was recommended for his reflux. End story - he is 10 years old now and you would never know he had any early difficulties. Try to stock up 6 months worth if you can. But if that's too much for ANY reason know that you have to do what's best for your daughter AND yourself. Take care - no matter when you stop pumping you will have gotten a great start and she will be fine.

Tammy - posted on 08/16/2013

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I highly recommend this website for the Newman Breastfeeding Clinic and Institute http://www.nbci.ca/

It is full of free information sheets and videos on challenges with breastfeeding, engorgement, latching, expressing BM, etc. Plenty of useful tips.

It sounds like you are producing more milk than your LO needs - pumping 10 - 16 oz per session is quite amazing. Trying to breastfeed when heavily engorged can make latching more difficult. Try expressing some milk to relieve the pressure first and then try breastfeeding. It may help make latching easier. And the "loss" of some foremilk will be no problem for your DD since the hind milk is higher in fat and more satiating.

Your milk production at this stage is still regulated by your hormones. In the weeks to come (maybe another 6 weeks time?), your body will change and produce according to demand. Then you will be able to regulate production by how frequently you breastfeed or pump and how much you pump per session. If you want to decrease production, pump enough to relieve pressure but do not drain completely. To increase, pump more often and drain completely. I found my body responded to changes in 1 - 2 days.

To answer your question about how much you need to freeze, I stocked up 30 oz / day for my 5 month old when I went on a short trip without her (she was on breast milk only then). She weighed about 16 lbs at the time and 30 oz per day was plenty. I can't imagine an older baby would need more since they generally start solids by six months. Keep in mind though that there is a recommended storage life for BM so you may be best to build your stock pile gradually if possible.

To help your struggle now, pumped breast milk can safely sit on the counter at room temp for a couple hours. Why not simplify your prep by putting pumped milk straight into a bottle and leave it out so it's ready for the next feeding? Also wash and prep your pump in advance? I know doing these things when you're sleep deprived and trying to soothe a wailing baby is not easy. I've been there too, especially with my first child. Being prepared ahead can enable you and baby to approach feeding time calmly, and this too can give more success with latch.

I hope this helps. All this advice I am passing along was given to me by my neighbour who is a registered nurse and works at mother/baby clinics. Even if breastfeeding doesn't work out for you, you will still have plenty of ways to bond with your daughter. And it's wonderful that you are making the effort to pump because your baby benefits by receiving immune factors from you as well as nutrients she needs.

Good luck!!!

Jodi - posted on 08/16/2013

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In addition to some of the great advice you have already received, I just wanted to add that breastmilk has a used by date, even in the freezer. Recommendations are 6-12 months MAXIMUM. This is only if it is a deep freezer at temperatures lower than -20C (not sure what that is in degrees F) and if it is opened infrequently. If you were not 100 percent certain that this is what you could maintain, scrap the idea of 12 months at all (I'd be reluctant on the 12 months personally).

Just my 2 cents.

Shirelle - posted on 08/16/2013

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As she gets older and stronger, it might become easier for her to nurse (using the nipple shield). If you make sure to not get her used to bottles through which milk flows quickly and easily, you might be able to reintroduce her to nursing. (I mention those kinds of bottles because they can make her too lazy to want to put the effort into nursing. My son got accustomed to a bottle that flowed too easily and quit nursing until I took the bottle away altogether.)

Adriane - posted on 08/16/2013

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I had an inverted nipple (pumping should help with that) with my first, but even on the other side she had a difficult time latching on. I rented an electric pump from the hospital. The hospital ones are great. Our routine was to try breastfeeding each time first. Sometimes I'd even squirt a little milk in her mouth. If she just couldn't latch right, I'd give her bottle of pumped milk, and If I didn't have enough pre-pumped, then I'd supplement as a last resort. Gradually, it got easier. She started latching on right sometimes. I imagine using a bottle so often made it more difficult to learn because the sucking is a little different. (And I learned to avoid pacifiers because that can cause even more "nipple confusion.") But we kept at it. Tried every day. And she made slow progress. Finally at about 5 months, she had it down pat, and I was thrilled. (And no more sore nipples!) We took the breast pump back, and she continued to breastfeed until she self-weaned at about 18 months.. It was a lot of work, but I don't regret it.

Do you alternate sides when you pump? That might make it easier for you. Get a Mother's Minder bracelet to help you remember which side you pumped last. (Probably cheapest on ebay.) You ought to be able to sit in a big, comfortable chair, put a Boppy around your waste and hold your baby and feed her while pumping on the other side. When you are finished pumping on one side, switch sides, Or you can do one side at each feeding and alternate. Your body will adjust so you won't be leaking so much, and you and your baby will feel better being able to hold her. It won't be such a chore to pump if you can feed at the same time, and you'll get more bonding time. :)

Sarah - posted on 08/15/2013

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You are doing awesome! And it is still just as special. It does not matter if the milk is coming from a bottle or a boob ;) All baby cares about is that she is getting fed and you are loving on her. I personally think that those that EP are amazing! That is hard and takes up a lot of time. You have double duty. My first I formula fed, my kids are 15yrs, 12 yrs, and 2 yrs and you can't tell who got what and how much. They are all great, healthy and well bonded kids :). The biggest thing I learned from the first one I nursed to the second one I nursed is to not stress. With the first one you worry about if they are getting enough, if when they are fussy that means they are hungry, if your milk supply will keep up, etc. What I found with my second is to just enjoy and relax. You will settle into a schedule, she will be ok and thrive.

Tabythas - posted on 08/15/2013

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thanks for your response! i tried the nipple shield from day 2 with her to day 10. The whole time i would attempt to feed her we would work at it for over an hr at a time. she would fuss and cry and fall asleep. by day 9 i was so engorged i had to purchase a pump to relieve the pressure. at her 1ast doc appt i found out she had not gained any of her weight back..she had in fact lost several ounces. so i made the hard decision to EP as i had felt that i "starved" my child for her first week home. we still attempt to BF but she doesnt latch, she only sucks for comfort and falls asleep. still special bonding and if thats all i can get ill take it. i have finally come to accept that she is still getting the end result of my milk..its just not as special.

Sarah - posted on 08/15/2013

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I have not exclusively pumped but did breastfeed two of my children. From the experience of breastfeeding two kids what I would suggest is to not to focus on filling up the freezer for a year all at once. I think anyone who breastfeeds always fears not having enough milk in the beginning. The milk supply does get there and often times you have so much that you wonder why you worried and stressed so much about it in the beginning. If your baby is pretty good at sticking with the time frames you can pump before she would need to eat. If she has not already it should be coming soon. Another thing, if you have not tried is to try the nipple shields. They help the baby latch on when you have inverted nipples.

It does get easier. I remember being at the spot you are at with my first one I nursed. She was eating about every 1 hr around the clock and I was exhausted! I did not enjoy feeding times and I hated that. It did get better. As she grew she started to slow down and went to an every 3 hr schedule.

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