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Maintaining or Increasing Milk Supply While Working

June 10, 2022

Nursing is more than just providing nourishment for your baby; it is a time for bonding. Transitioning from being home to working again can be a difficult time for both you and your baby. Continuing nursing after going back to work can help with the transition of being apart during the work day.

increasing milk supply, how to get breast milk, how can I pump more milk

Returning to work will mean baby is at breast less, and you will likely have to pump to maintain your milk supply. It is recommended to express milk or pump every three hours while away from your baby. At first you may need to express/pump more frequently if you start to leak or feel uncomfortable. Full breasts and engorgement can slow milk production and are signs you may need to pump more often. Breasts are never truly empty of milk, so pumping and removing even small amounts of milk will increase production.

When you are with your baby, allow him/her to nurse on demand. The “in-between” comfort feeds can help your milk production. Once you are back to work, the first few weeks your baby will likely increase night-time feeds to make up for the lack of nursing during the day. Breastfeeding at night can help increase milk production since prolactin, the hormone that encourages milk production, is higher during night-time feedings. Breastfeeding on demand over the weekends and evening hours can help rebuild your supply, especially if you’ve noticed it decreasing when pumping during the week.

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Increasing Milk Supply

  • Adding one more pumping session can help with supply; a 5-minute pumping session is better than not pumping at all. If the pumping session you added is not producing milk, continue to pump at the same time each day, and within a few days you will see your supply gradually increase because pumping stimulates milk production.
  • Ideally, each pumping session should be about 15 minutes on each breast. Continue to pump for 2-5 minutes after the last drops of milk come out.
  • Try cluster pumping instead of pumping or nursing every few hours. Sit down with your pump and baby, and switch between nursing and pumping every half hour for several hours.
  • Breast compressions can help stimulate let-downs when pumping and will help to thoroughly drain all milk from the ducts. While pumping, use one hand to massage breast from the armpit towards the nipple, gradually increasing the pressure and finishing with a few firm squeezes of your breast.

Remember it will take time to increase your supply; it will not happen overnight. Maintaining proper hydration, nutrition, and rest are just as important as frequently pumping and nursing to increase your milk supply.


The information contained here within is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor, go to the emergency department, or call 911 immediately. Edwards Health Care Services (EHCS) does not recommend or endorse any specific tests, physicians, products, procedures, opinions, or other information that may be mentioned here within. Reliance on any information provided by EHCS, EHCS employees, contracted writers, or medical professionals presenting content for publication here within is solely at your own risk.

Sources:
• https://www.cdc.gov/reproductivehealth/maternalinfanthealth/pregnancy-weight-gain.htm
• https://americanpregnancy.org/pregnancy-health/pregnancy-weight-gain/
• https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/educational/lose_wt/BMI/bmicalc.htm


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Podcast: Latching & Positioning Issues

April 21, 2022

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Podcast: Baby Care, Month 3

April 11, 2022

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Podcast: Baby Care, Month 2

April 11, 2022

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Podcast: Baby Care, Month 1

April 11, 2022

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Podcast: Mom Care, Month 3

April 11, 2022

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Podcast: Mom Care, Month 2

April 11, 2022

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Podcast: Mom Care, Month 1

April 11, 2022

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Podcast: Pregnancy, 3rd Trimester

April 11, 2022

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HOW TO TELL WHEN YOUR BABY IS HUNGRY OR FULL?

From birth to 6 months old, your infant will progress through a series of signs showing that he or she is hungry. The typical progression is:

  1. Infant will begin smacking lips, clucking tongue, and opening closing his/her mouth in a sucking motion (even during sleep).
  2. Infant will root – turning head toward caregiver and opening/closing mouth in a sucking motion.
  3. Infant will begin bringing hands to mouth.
  4. Infant will clench hands into fists and increase sucking on hands.
  5. Infant will begin to show lines of stress in his or her face.
  6. Infant will begin to cry.

It is important to note that crying is often a late sign of hunger. Look for signs 1-5 to better anticipate your baby’s needs and begin feeding when he or she is still calm.

 

FULLNESS CUES: BIRTH – 6 MONTHS

As your baby becomes full, you will notice the following signs:

  1. The lines in baby’s face will begin to smooth out.
  2. Hand that were tightly fisted and up near the cheeks will begin to slowly open. Arms will relax and drop to the sides.
  3. Baby will no longer maintain a tight seal at breast or on the bottle, and milk will begin to leak at the corners of the mouth.
  4. Baby will turn away from the feeding and refuse to re-latch onto your breast or the bottle.

It is important to note that if your baby has fallen asleep but still exhibits lines on the face or fisted hands, he/she is not yet full and will wake up shortly to re-feed. Take time to burp your baby, change his/her diaper and gently arouse him/her to complete the feeding. This will result in a more successful feeding and better rested baby and mom!

 

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Podcast: Newborn Feeding & Hunger Cues

April 11, 2022


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HOW MUCH DOES MY BABY NEED TO EAT?

You may see different recommendations based on whether you choose to breastfeed or formula feed your baby. The most important thing to remember, whether you breastfeed or formula feed, is that your baby’s feeding needs are unique. Babies are humans, not clocks. No book or website can tell you exactly how much and how often your baby needs to be fed.

  • First few days: Your baby may want to eat as often as every 1- 3 hours. Frequent feeding helps increase your milk supply gives your baby breastfeeding practice. As your baby grows, his/her belly also grows, allowing him/her to drink more breast milk during each feeding. Babies might only take in a half ounce per feeding for the first day or two, but after that will usually drink 1- 2 ounces per feeding.
  • After the first few days: Your formula-fed newborn will take about 2- 3 ounces of formula per feeding and will eat every 3-4 hours on average. Newborn babies should breastfeed and or bottle feed on demand; as time passes and you learn your child’s needs, you can start begin routine-based feedings.
  • Two months old: Babies usually take 4- 5 oz. per feeding every 3- 4 hours.
  • Four months old: Babies usually take 4- 6 oz. per feeding.
  • Six months old: He/she will consume about 6- 8 oz. at each feeding totaling 4-5 feedings per day. Baby should drink no more than 32 oz. of formula in 24 hours. Some babies may just want to suck on a pacifier after feeding. A pacifier should never be used to replace a feeding.

As a rule of thumb, most babies will increase the amount of formula they drink by an average of 1 oz. each month before leveling off at about 7- 8 oz. per feeding. Solid food should be started at about 6 months old. Intake may vary slightly from day-to-day to meet baby’s specific needs. Instead of going by fixed amounts, listen to your baby’s hunger and satiety queues.

Breastfed babies may take smaller, more frequent feedings than formula-fed infants. If you are breastfeeding, pay close attention to your baby’s hunger queues and feed on demand as needed ― usually about every 2 hours or 8-12 times in a 24-hour span. Breastfed infants do not eat on a schedule. It is okay if your baby eats every 2- 3 hours for several hours, then sleeps for 3- 4 hours. Feedings may take about 15- 20 minutes on each breast. Watch for weight gain and dirty diapers to help determine if baby is getting enough to eat.

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Podcast: How Much Should My Baby Be Eating?

April 11, 2022


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