pumping and milk supply
Next week is a very exciting week. I’m going to start teaching again! My hope was to get back into it between 4 to 6 weeks, and since Hunter turned 4 weeks yesterday, that puts next week at 5 weeks. Right smack dab in the middle of what I predicted.
I’ll only be gone 2 evenings a week for 1.5-2 hours, which means I should be able to feed Hunter right before leaving and then feed him again shortly after I get home. But, that might not be the case depending on when he’s eaten and if he’s extremely fussy those evenings. I know Jacob will end up having to feed him too, so that means I’ll need a supply of milk for him.
Since I’m home and constantly with Hunter, I don’t really need to pump much milk, which is why I picked up a manual breast pump instead of an electric one. Plus the manual pump was so much more affordable too (which was a big deciding factor) and it had good reviews.
I picked up the Medela Harmony a week or so ago, which is a single manual pump system. I finally opened it up and began trying to use it a couple days ago. I have to say, it’s definitely not as easy as what I thought it would be.
I ended up having lots of questions:
When do I pump?
How often do I pump?
Will pumping take away a meal for Hunter?
How much milk should I be seeing?
Do I pump right after he’s done eating or wait a bit?
I found some answers online — like the best time to pump is after the morning feeding, when milk should be highest.
So I tried that and this is about all I got from both sides yesterday, right after I finished nursing Hunter.
Then today I waited an hour after the morning feeding and I ended up with about half an ounce. I never really got a good flow going, but I also didn’t feel engorged or like I had much milk in there to suck out.
My first worry was that I’ll empty my breasts out in between his feedings, then his next meal will be skimpy. Or since milk supply stays established by supply and demand, will I just make more then?
I feel like I make just enough milk for him. Like he takes it all in at each session with not much left over.
Maybe I just need more practice with the pump? Maybe just keep trying in between most nursing sessions to stimulate more milk production? I really don’t know.
Have any of you dealt with the same thing? Any advice or tips would be appreciated!