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Breastfeeding Support

Katy L.
KATY L.
Lactation Consultant
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Join our live Q&A with Katy Linda, IBCLC, ask a question and get expert advice on pumping, weaning, supply issues and more.

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KATY ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
Weaning
AROW, PARENT OF 3 YEAR OLD

Hi Katy! Can you advice me how to systematically wean my 7.5 month old? Do I pick one pump session/feeding and decrease the time slowly? I've tried to consolidate feedings but my daughter definitely needs 5 feedings/day.

I would ideally love to keep my 5 am and 6pm feeds, and drop the 3 in the middle of the day. My concerns are: clogged ducts (I've gotten them before), hormonal shifts and post-partum, supply dropping entirely (I have always struggled with supply and have supplemented on and off since the beginning).

My current schedule is: 5am, 8am, 12pm (pump at work), 3pm (pump at work), 6pm.

Thanks!

Katy
KATY

Hi Arow,

If your goals would be to stop the 3 middle of the day sessions first, it may be wise to consdolidate the 12pm and 3pm pumping sessions into one. That might mean that for a few days you decrease your pumping time for each, and then merge them into a 1:30 pumping session, and see how that goes. Once you have adjusted to that new schedule you can decide if you cut out the 1:30pm or the 8am next, depending upon which you would prefer to keep for a bit. If you have a history of plugged ducts, it would be wise to do this very slowly. It may take a week or two to really drop a session, but doing it slowly will help your body to adjust better. Good luck!

KATY ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
Getting enough to eat
COURTNEY, PARENT OF 3 YEAR OLD

Hi Katy,
I have been back at work for a month and a half. I have a couple of questions.
1. My daughter has become very finicky with taking a bottle. She refuses to take one from my husband even when I am not there. Any suggestions on how to work on this? I would love my husband to be able to feed here from time to time.
2. When I started back at work my daughter started lot of comfort nursing at night. We worked on this to determine comfort feeds vs hunger feeds seem to be doing well with a dream feed and then one feed in the middle of the night. My concern is that she isn't increasing how much she is drinking during the day.I have tried adding an extra oz to the bottle but she doesn't drink it. She usually will only take 3.5-4 oz. She is 5 1/2 months. Is that a normal amount?

Katy
KATY

Hi Courtney!

How is your husband's bottle feeding methods different from daycare's? It may be helpful to make sure he is holding her similarly. This video may be helpful - https://www.pinterest.com/pin/226728162469414013/ You could also give her a sippy cup or feed her with a measuring cup or shot glass at this age.

It isn't uncommon for babies to not increase their intake. Your breasts have a finite capacity, and babies are designed to stick within that. The 24oz of milk in 24 hours guideline continues through their first birthday. It sounds like she is taking a normal amount of milk while away from you.

Good luck!

KATY ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
Maintains supply when back to work
REBECCA, PARENT OF 3 YEAR OLD

Hi Katy,

Thanks for taking questions. Any tips on maintaining supply when pumping at work? I went back to work this week and am still BF'ing in the morning (if my son wakes up before I leave) and in the evenings when I get home. I've set up a 2x/day pumping schedule at work but am not sure if I should be doing it more often? So far I seem to be producing as much as he's eating, but I have heard it can become more difficult over time to keep supply up--plus I think he'll start to want bigger bottles once he gets more used to taking them from our nanny.

Also, is it okay to switch back to primarily BFing on weekends, or should I try to maintain the same schedule and method (BF/pumping/bottles) every day of the week?

Thanks,
Rebecca

Katy
KATY

Hi Rebecca,

It is totally appropriate to breastfeed on the weekends and pump during the week. That should be good for supply. The best thing to do is to make sure your little one is being fed in a baby led method (https://www.pinterest.com/pin/226728162469414013/) and make sure your pump stays in good working order. Most manufacturers suggest replacing the membranes and/or valves every 3 months. Continuing to pump on a regular schedule will also help your body maintain a good supply. Good luck!

KATY ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
Help increasing pumped supply
JENNIFER, PARENT OF 3 YEAR OLD

Hi! I've recently seen a huge drop in my pumped breastmilk supply and am hoping I can figure out how to increase it again. I've exclusively breastfed my 7-month-old son, and he's taken bottles of expressed milk at daycare since he was 3 months old and I went back to work. I've always pumped "just barely enough", though my son seems to get enough when I'm exclusively nursing (weekends and long holidays). I'm now coming up 3-5 oz short every day since last week, and I'm worried I may need to start supplementing with formula which I really don't want to do. I have been sick on and off, and on antihistamines and prednisone, so I don't know if that could contribute to the decrease. Do you think this decrease could be reversed? Any suggestions? Thank you!!

Katy
KATY

Hi Jennifer, Illness can certainly take it's toll on your body, and antihistamines can have an impact on milk supply. It may be wise to start by making sure you are getting enough to eat and drink, check all of the rubber parts on your pump to ensure they are all in good working condition, and add an extra pumping session if you can to try and build your supply back up. Good luck and feel better!!

KATY ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
Pumping at work!
JENNA, PARENT OF 2 YEAR OLD, 3 MONTH OLD

I'm about to go back to work in 6 weeks and worried about pumping at work and producing enough. Every lactation specialist says that it's not a 1:1 and your baby is the most efficient. If my baby is taking a 4-5 ounce bottle should I be expecting to pump that much every time (without feeding her)? Or should I add in more pumping sessions? Thanks!

Katy
KATY

Ideally you want to be able to keep up with her, and pump what she needs while you are away. Some moms will find they need an extra pumping session to make up for it. Making sure your baby is being fed with a baby led method (https://www.pinterest.com/pin/226728162469414013/) can make a big difference as well. Using hands on pumping methods can also help make sure you maximize your pump output. I have a Pinterest board on Breastfeeding and Working that may have other useful tips for you - www.pinterest.com/katylinda/breastfeeding-and-working/

Good luck!!

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TINYHOOD, PARENT OF 4 YEAR OLD

Welcome Katy Linda, IBCLC! Katy is here to answer your breastfeeding questions until 10pm EST tonight.