Managing Feeding Schedule

Discussion in 'Combination Feeding' started by x3violins, Feb 19, 2021.

  1. x3violins

    x3violins Member

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    Hey all! I delivered my first child on the 15th, a sweet baby girl that we named Roslyn. I'm thrilled to start this parenting journey, but what's most daunting is the feeding schedule.

    We really want to feed our baby breast milk, but we had some issues with her having no interest in eating at all after she was born. She wouldn't latch or suckle on breast or bottle. She ended up in the NICU for 2 days on IV antibiotics and had to have a load of mucus pumped out of her stomach before she showed any interest in eating. I began pumping right away to establish a supply.

    We finally have her eating out of a bottle. We haven't tried to put her to breast again because the doctors advised bottle feeding to monitor her intake, given the issues she was having before. I'm not producing quite enough milk for her, so I'm pumping frequently and trying to get as much as I can out of myself each time to increase supply. It's recommended that I pump and bottle feed Roslyn every three hours on a schedule since she doesn't display feeding cues on her own. My concern is the pumping/feeding schedule.

    It takes me a good hour to pump, with washing and assembling all the pump parts each time, getting my flow started, and then the time it takes to actually pump. Then it takes a good half hour to feed Roslyn and convince her to eat her full meal. This gives me an hour and a half between each feeding to feed myself or get any sleep and it's just not enough. It's especially not going to be enough when I have to go back to work in 5 weeks. How does anyone else who bottle feeds breast milk manage to do it? What kind of schedule do you follow? Do you have any tips or tricks for reducing the amount of time it takes to pump? Does it get easier the more you do it? How do working moms who return to work 6 weeks postpartum manage nighttime feedings and working full time during the day without completely burning out? At what point do babies typically eat enough at one feeding to reduce the number of feedings in a 24 hour period?

    Sorry if these questions seem stupid. This is my first baby so I'm still learning.
     
  2. EmilyMaria

    EmilyMaria Well-Known Member

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    Have you been working with a lactation consultant? Getting a personalised consultation and plan would ne the best.

    Honestly being a new Mum is tough. I struggled for those early months. If you are in a position to do so consider extending your maternity leave.

    There are some great groups out there. The Auatralian Breast Feeding asdociation has a 24 hour hotline you can call if you are an Aussie.
     
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  3. x3violins

    x3violins Member

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    Yeah, I've been working with a lactation consultant. This is who instructed me to pump every 3 hours around the clock to increase my supply, in the hopes that baby can have as much breast milk as possible, even if she can't be directly breast fed.

    I would love to extend my maternity leave but my leave is unpaid and I, unfortunately, cannot afford to take any more time off.
     
  4. Kitana

    Kitana Moderator

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    Hey hun, my first one wasn't very good on the boob either and I did just like you did. I held in there for 8 weeks but it was such a struggle. No human being can survive on 1 hour of sleep and start all over again. If I could go back to myself in time, I would tell her to just give the bottle and give up the breastfeeding. You don't get extra Mum points for giving breast milk instead of formula.
    I kept pumping and hoping she would take the boob but she never did.
    I have episodes where I was driving from my place to my parents' house,which was 1 hour away, and I didn't remember driving some parts, my mind was just blank at times. I was so tired I couldn't remember anything, I would feel constantly hung over and due to the fatigue, my supply never increased like it should have.
    Eventually we went to a rice based formula because she would only sleep 1 hour at the most due to having cmpa, the formula I would use to top up with, she was allergic to.
    She started drinking well and sleeping for longer and longer periods of time. I could actually sleep 5 hours at a time and feel human again!

    A new born can be very very very tough but it doesn't have to be tougher than it already is. Formula can be a life saver in cases like these with bad drinkers. A pump will never be able to get as much milk out as a baby could.

    I wish someone else had told me this because I felt like I was failing at being a parent and felt so guilty for wanting to give up. If it works out for you, that's great but don't feel guilty if it doesn't.

    By the way, I am extremely impressed with Mums who can go back to work 6 weeks postpartum. I could not have done it... Certainly not with my second because she was a successful breastfeeder and did not want any bottle of formula until she was 9 months old! Babies are all so different!

    Please don't get upset with what I wrote, in the end, as long as your baby thrives and feeds well, there is no wrong way to feed them. Good luck and congrats!x
     
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  5. WinterWolf

    WinterWolf Well-Known Member

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    Personally I’d ditch the pump because exclusive pumping is just too time consuming. However if it is what you really want to do though I do have one time saving tip.. you can wash/sterilise your pump parts and put them in a zip-log baggie in the fridge when you’re done pumping. Then they’re fine to go for the next feed. As long as they go straight in the fridge after each use you can get away with only washing/sterilising once in 24hrs. :)
     
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  6. x3violins

    x3violins Member

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    Thanks for your feedback, everyone! I had a discussion with my daughter's pediatrician and he said I do not need to be monitoring her intake so closely anymore since she appears to be eating well now and her weight is on track, so I'll offer Roslyn the breast at each feeding/pumping. If she takes to it, great. If not, then it is what it is at this point.

    I have decided to continue pumping on this impossible schedule for another week or so, while I have my husband home to help me. I'll start reducing the pumping once my husband goes back to work, and reduce it further once I go back to work. I'll give her whatever breast milk I have and fill in the rest with formula. If I can get her to take the breast, then she'll be directly breastfed whenever we're home together, and I'll pump as much as I am reasonably able to at work.

    I don't think breastfeeding would be too bad if I could mostly do that and then only pump as needed, but pumping all of the milk and then bottle feeding it adds that extra step and takes the already heavy workload of having a newborn over the top.
     
  7. Kitana

    Kitana Moderator

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    Will you be able to pump at work?x
     
  8. EmilyMaria

    EmilyMaria Well-Known Member

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    If it works for you, getting her onto the breast does make life so much easier. My LO and I had so much trouble establishing breastfeeding and once we got past our issues being able to just put him on the boob for each feed is so worth all the trouble in the end. (Although there were certainly times I seriously contemplating giving up). I found preparing the formula, getting the water to the right temp, sterilising bottles and water to be so much work and I have barely touched my pump because I really just can't be bothered. I ended up watching heaps of youtube videos to help me sort out my babies latch and the flipple method was the game changer for me. I also saw a lactation consultant to help me out a couple times. That being said, no matter how you end up feeding your bub you are doing a great job.
     
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  9. x3violins

    x3violins Member

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    Thanks again guys.

    My production is finally up enough pumping that I'm pumping ahead of Roslyn and saving some in the freezer. I was also able to cut back on the number of times per day I need to pump. Instead of 8 times per day I'm pumping 6-7 and getting anywhere from 2-10 oz per pumping, averaging around 4-5oz per pump. The only time I only get 2oz is when I pump within 2 hours of my last pumping.

    I've been letting Ros latch and attempt a breast feed a few times a day, as my comfort levels allow. She is latching and sucking now but she gets frustrated or falls asleep before finishing a meal. Bottle feeding has spoiled her and I think my boob is too much work lol. I will keep at it as we seem to be getting better at it each time we try.

    I will be able to pump at work. I just know I won't be able to realistically pump as many times a day as I am now if I'm working full time. I'll need more sleep at night since I won't be able to nap during the day and I'll only be able to reasonably get 2-3 pump breaks during the work day. I know with a reduction like that my production will drop off, but I'll do my best in the mean time.

    Also, I will not be retuning to work at 6 weeks. I had a labial tear during delivery and ripped out my stitches somehow. I had to have surgery to repair it yesterday and I'm being told by my doctor that I can't return to work for at least another 7 weeks from now. As much as it sucks that I'm in so much pain, this works out and gives me more time to pump and work on breast feeding at home. As long as I'm out on doctor's orders I get paid by short term disability insurance.
     
  10. x3violins

    x3violins Member

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    I just felt like sharing this picture of my happy little girl. This was her asleep in my arms this morning.[​IMG]

    She has hair like a balding old man right now lol
     
  11. Kitana

    Kitana Moderator

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    I hope you recover soon! How unlucky/lucky is that?! :lol:

    Awww such a content little smile! Adorable!<3
     
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  12. EmilyMaria

    EmilyMaria Well-Known Member

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    She is absolutely gorgeous! I just love it when they give you those sleep smiles.

    It is very normal for newborns to falls asleep at the boob before completing a full feed. You can use a damp cloth to rouse her, tickle her, use a nappy change to rouse her to keep going.

    If your flow slows down they can get unsettled and fuss or even slap at your boob. These behaviours happen especially aroubd growth spurts because bub is trying to increase your supply.

    A trick that works for me if I'm feeding bub is to get up and walk around holding him. Babys are used to a lot if vestibular input from being jostled around in your tummy all day so the gentle movement of being walked around in your arms can be very soothing. I didn't start doing this until more than 6 weeks after my c-section though.
     
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