Pumping advice from a breastfeeding mom

Andrea - posted on 03/27/2013 ( 2 moms have responded )

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I am EBF my eight month old and am going away for eight days in three weeks. I have been pumping to stock up on breast milk b/c I don't want to use formula and want advice on a couple of things. One, how do I figure out how much to feed him while I'm gone? I have NO idea how many ounces to put in the bottle. I have been pumping assuming he will have 30oz a day but that is just a guess. Currently he breastfeeds five times a day but I have NO idea how much he would take in a bottle. I sometimes give him a bottle of expressed milk for his last feed to get a break and he takes 6 oz. Should I assume that is what he will take the rest of the feeds? Second, when I am away for the eight days how often should I pump? What if I can't pump on the feeding schedule we have at home? I am so scared that my supply is going to diminish and he won't be able to feed when he gets home. Does anyone have experience with this? Did your milk dry up?

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Michelle - posted on 03/29/2013

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I had to become a pumping mom for my first child. It was tough. Just being away from your child must also be a challenge and then trying to pump and keep your supply up would make any mom worry. (which also can play a role in making pumping challenging and reduce breastmilk) First, determine how much you think he may consume, which you said around 30 oz. If you can, add one or two extra feeds per day, just in case. You can always freeze as needed, only thaw what you plan to use and ask his caretaker to adjust accordingly.

To determine how many times you should pump, count the number of times you breastfeed and pump now. I suggest keeping up this same routine erroring on the side of pumping more often as the breast are less stimulated when you use a pump. Don't worry, if you start to loose your supply a little as when your little one returns home you should get your supply back soon. He may want to add another feed for a short while. If you worried when he returns, you can always suppliment with the milk you produced while he was gone.

I just hope you can relax and enjoy your new found freetime.

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