Tuesday, July 11, 2006

A funny conversation (and the reason for the sage)

Me, with Darth D., in the ped's office:

Ped: Are you still breastfeeding?

Me: No...but I'm pumping and feeding him the breastmilk.

Ped (surprised): That must be difficult. You're doing double-duty!

Me: Yah, it's hard. I don't know how much longer I can keep it up. Do you have any advice to make it easier?

Ped: Well, the best thing would be to get him back on the breast--


A few minutes later, after Darth D. has been weighed and has been found to be over the 95th percentile, the little piggy:

Ped: Well, clearly your supply is not a problem, he's eating a lot.

Me: Actually, I'm pumping more than he's eating. I'm freezing a lot, too.

Ped (looks at me incredulously): You're pumping for twins, you know.

Me: Go me.

So, the fact was, I was pumping a lot. More than enough for the average baby, more than enough for the little piggy. I realized that I was caught in a vicious cycle: I didn't want to get another clogged duct. To avoid another clogged duct, I was emptying my breasts at each pumping session. But by doing that, I was "telling" my brain to make more milk. So I had to pump more often to get all the milk out...and then my breasts would make even more...so I would pump more...but then make more...you get the picture.

So I thought I needed to find a way to reduce my supply a little, without actually having to let my breasts get engorged, which probably would have triggered a clogged duct.

Hence, the sage.
It naturally reduced my supply, so that I was able to go longer without pumping, without my breasts getting painfully swollen. It worked great. I'm still making enough to feed Darth D., and that's really all I need.


Blogger Cricket said...

I came over here b/c of Cecily. I pumped for 7 months. My son latched on once for maybe 3 minutes.

He got all breastmilk from 3w to 4mo, but I needed herbs and such for a supply and let down, especially the latter. I had to time pumping pretty closely.

I used to joke that it was like I was feeding twins - I was a long pumper and had to go 45 minutes on hospital grade or pump n style, then my son was a slow eater and I had to bottle feed 45 minutes. Yup, it's exhausting.

Don't get me started on lactation consultants or LLL.

He's almost 9 now and has no idea of the breastfeeding trauma. He came out unscathed!

1:31 PM  
Blogger Emily said...

Hi- I'm a fellow pumper who came over from Cecily's blog. I'm beyond excited that you started this! I have 12 week old twin girls (IVF) who were born at 36 weeks and 1 day. Initially, they had trouble latching (one of them still does) and after so using the bottle even when they could latch- well, they won't. My problem has been the opposite of yours. I've struggled with low supply ( for 2)- I'm hovering around a baby and a half, so about a fourth of their food is formula supplements. I'm still wanting them to latch, but will pump as long as I can. My goal is to get up to a full supply. Well, I got to rush out and buy some Gerber Oatmeal...

1:54 PM  
Blogger Rebellin said...

I have been exclusively pumping for 5 months. The number one thing that has improved my quality of life is a hands free pumping bra (http://awomanswork.com/shopsite_sc/store/html/ee_bustier_detail.php). I have taken pumping multi-tasking to the extreme. I feed my baby (in a bouncy chair next to me) while I pump, I pump and drive, I pump and read, I've even pumped and done my makeup. It's hard, but hang in there. It's all worth it in the end, right? RIGHT?!!! It must be!

3:09 PM  
Blogger Epiphany Alone said...

Oh, very cool. I've been pondering less painful ways of slowing the supply a little. My ped isn't nearly as smart as yours. :/

I was thinking about alternating breasts each pumping...but my right breast has a much bigger capacity so I am not sure it would work.

I'm also SOOO glad you wrote "I don't know how long I can keep doing this" because I have felt that way A LOT. I promised myself I'd go 6 weeks and see where we're at...I am at 7 weeks now. Still going, for now.

5:04 PM  
Blogger Karen said...

Hi, I came her via Cecily's blog as well. I'm currently on week 6 of pumping for my son, who wouldn't breastfeed after being in the special care nursery for 4 days after his birth. Someone recently sent me links to a couple of discussion groups for pumpers; I haven't checked them out myself yet (who has time when you are pumping 8-10x/day!) but am posting them in case you haven't seen them and would like to check them out. I'll look forward to reading more!


6:54 PM  
Blogger laura said...

Good to know about the sage.

I'm glad to find you ... I came from Cecily's blog, too.

I started pumping right away, since my twins were in the NICU for 5 weeks, it's almost all I could do. I am breastfeeding them both, but still pumping, as they are playing "catch up" on how exactly the whole BF thing works. If it ever does. I'm glad to know all you guys are out there.

10:15 AM  
Blogger Heidi said...

Hi! Also coming from Cecily's blog...

I was given a hospital grade pump when my son had to stay a few extra days in the hospital. He was my first, and I didn't really understand that the more you pumped the more you made. By 6 weeks old I had more than 400oz frozen! Does that qualify for twins? (And he wouldn't take a bottle.) LOL

BUT...I am so glad I did! When he was 7 weeks old I feel seriously ill; it was quite a surprise as I'd always been healthy. Suddenly I was in the hospital, and on lots of unsafe drugs that could be passed through milk. While he didn't like it, we had no other choice but to go with bottles.

I could not breastfeed for nearly 3 weeks, and during that entire time we never had to resort to formula. When it was safe to resume breast feeding again, we were down to the last few ounces of the stash and I was almost dry. Thankfully, my supply came back quickly, though I never had 400oz in reserve again.

In the end, I have to say I'd do it again, though next time it will be planned. I was so traumatized by almost dying and leaving my baby behind that I can't even imagine the added stress of worrying about whether or not he would take formula.

Pumping rocks!

10:32 AM  
Blogger sunfrog said...

Wow -- great idea for a blog! I am just pumping to increase a crappy supply, but relate to a lot of what you say regardless. So glad to know about the sage, and the oatmeal! And all the stuff about freezing, thawing and storage, too!

9:14 AM  

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