Saturday, November 19, 2011
When you’re struggling to produce milk early you’ll quickly learn the value of spilt milk and cry over it. Here are some tips to help pick you up and get back to pumping!

·         Every drop counts – literally. If you produce one drop your 3rd try they will feed it to your baby and make you feel like the champ you are!

·         Catch every drop with a syringe.

·         You must establish your supply ASAP! Pump 8-10 times per day without fail – once your supply is in and solid many of us drop to 6-8 times with a six hour solid sleep stretch at night.

·         Take pictures. Your supply is increasing but it helps to document it with a visual aid.

·         Look at pictures or video of LO.

·         Have a support system in place. Whether it’s family, friends, or an online group like The Bump – it’s essential to surviving the pump and establishing your supply.

·         Practice hand expression.

·         Set up your pump area at home so you have somewhere comfortable to sit. Always have water on hand. Snacks, books, magazines, laptop, Netflix, Hulu…you’ll be there a lot!

·         Consider renting a pump from the hospital. They are the best and you’ll produce more.

·         Buy (or make DIY-style) a hands-free double pump.

·         Do kangaroo-care (skin to skin) as much as possible while in NICU and when LO comes home.

·         Ask to do non-nutritive breastfeeding as soon as possible. Pump right before so baby doesn't get much but can practice latching.

·         Tip for moms of multiples: if one baby is a good BF’er and one isn't, continue with the one that is because it will help your supply, which is key. Eventually, the other should pick it up and if not, that is ok too.

·         Try different holds and positions! From what I’ve heard often the side-lying position can be the golden ticket – easy on you and baby! Your LO will prefer a hold and probably a nipple so make your way around the different combinations while giving LO a chance to lead you.

·         Don’t be afraid to use a nipple shield if your LC recommends it. Once LO is BF’ing you can work on weaning him from it. Whatever you decide remember consistency is key. Nipple confusion is real! NICU babies are often too small to latch without a shield.

·         Other nipples! You’ll want the slowest flowing nipples possible. Suggestions include the Medela Special Feeder.

·         If you’re nervous LO isn’t getting enough once home head into your pediatrician and/or BF’ing center to weigh them pre/post feeds.

·         Consider a holistic approach: Fenugreek and Blessed Thistle.

·         Eat oatmeal or other high-carb foods.

·         Ask your doctor about prescription-strength aids and if they think that’s the right path for your situation.

·         POWER PUMP! I (Stephanie) didn’t know there was an actual method to this, so once my milk came in I’d pump 45-90 minutes solid once/twice a day to really kick up my supply. Here is the proper way to power pump thanks to Katie! Power pumping is pumping at the same time of day for an hour. Not an hour straight. It is an hour total. 10 mins on and 10 mins off for an hour. It is supposed to simulate cluster feeding which babies do at night before bed or when they are gearing up for a growth spurt. You'll need to do it for about 3-5 days to see a real boost.

·         Remember, you’re drinking for two!

·         Keep up a good diet. Freezer foods are helpful so if someone offers – take it! Keep snacks around the home and in your bag.

·         One mother suggested researching what a real latch looks like on YouTube; I wish I’d thought of that! If LO is consistently drinking small volumes of milk she isn’t doing something right. The faster you figure things out the less damage control you’ll have to do.

·         The mess can wait! Say it with me…all you neat freaks, I promise you that countertop will wait! Just focus on pumping/BF’ing right now because that’s time spent wisely.

·         Relax! If you’re nervous or anxious you won’t let down. One mom wrote that she had to turn the pump on for the familiar sound of it when it came to starting to BF at home with her DD.

In the end, it's practice that makes perfect. Give your LO every chance possible.


Jennifer said...

One issue I had was a major oversupply in the beginning, which led to painful clogged ducts. The best advice a NICU nurse/lactation consultant gave me was to take lecithin. talks about it as well. It was my miracle drug and I was able to quickly wean off of it after my supply was established. But, it was miraculous that it stopped the clogged ducts immediately!!!

Precious and priceless so lovable too, the world’s sweetest littlest miracle is, a baby like you.

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