Hi, my name is JA and I gave birth to my son, on August 27th. I am finding that I prefer to pump and bottle feed as opposed to traditional breast feeding. He is a big boy already and at two weeks is taking 4 oz every 3 hours. I am barely keeping up with him. I am wondering if I am not pumping enough or if my milk is not totally in or if it will ever come in. I would appreciate any advice you might have.
Jill, congratulations, you seem to be doing well with your new son. You are not alone in your preference to pump and bottle feed. How fortunate that we live in a time where there are so many choices. You will be able to let others help feed your baby so you can rest and pump.
Without question, mother’s milk is the best form of nutrition for your baby. So keep up with the pumping. Here are some tips that may help.
First, your milk is in by now. The number of times you pump is more important right now than the amount you get from each time you pump. Frequent and effective pumping is important to establish abundant milk production in the first few weeks after birth. Completely emptying each breast during pumping will prevent “Feedback Inhibitor of Lactation (FIL)”. FIL tells the mammary glands to decrease milk production. FIL is the reason mothers who don’t pump frequently enough begin to have milk supply problems.
Also, completely emptying the breast helps to develop richer, higher fat content milk that is more satisfying to babies. The hind milk, the milk that is pumped out last, is the richest, so keep pumping completely each session.
Here’s the hard part. Right now you cannot afford to skip night feedings. I always dislike giving new moms that piece of news, as I am sympathetic to how tired you are. Try to nap during pumping at night and day if you can. But pump 2 to 3 times each night. A schedule similar to 10PM, 1AM, and 4AM should keep you milk supply up.
There is a list of 10 Ways to Increase Breast Milk Supply on our website that gives important suggestions to help maintain and even increase milk supply.
So, pump, pump, pump, empty each breast fully, and be confident that you can produce enough milk for your baby.
Breast wishes in feeding your baby,