My friend on FB just posted this status, and I thought of you. What would you recommend to her?
“Super excited. This might be tmi but, I just successfully breastfed Xavier. I’ve been expressing milk and bottle feeding him since birth (1 mo) but, today he had boobies lol. Questions to breastfeeding mothers, am I supposed to expeess milk right after? If so, should I be expressing from both breasts or, from the breast he did not feed off of? How can I be sure he’s getting enough milk? How long should a feeding session be?”
Whether or not she pumps right after nursing is up to her. If she wants to continue building up a “stash” of expressed milk and be able to bottle feed as well as nurse, she can continue to pump after a nursing session. However, if she chooses to do this, let her know until her body regulates, she may only get a tiny amount right after a nursing session and that pumping is NEVER an indication of how much milk her baby is getting. For example, my body doesn’t react well to electric pumps so (I know TMI), I can be completely engorged and get not even an ounce out with an electric pump. I always tell women that breastfeeding is all about supply and demand. The more the breast is nursed, pumped from and emptied, the more milk you will produce. If she wants to continue nursing him as opposed to pumping and bottle feeding, I would encourage her to nurse on demand, not by a set schedule like bottle feeding or formula feeding typically recommends. This will help her establish a good supply. Also, was she just strictly pumping and bottle feeding breast milk or was she also supplementing with formula? I ask this because typically if a woman wants to successfully strictly breastfeed and get away from supplementation of formula, it is recommended to stop formula and just offer breast. Once again, the more milk the baby takes from breast, more mama will produce. If she is supplementing with formula, formula will take away from the amount of breast milk baby takes as formula takes a lot longer to digest so baby won’t want to nurse as often (which will slow down the amount of milk she produces). As far as how the nursing session should go, I have always offered both breasts at each nursing session. There were few times when my babies were really young newborn-a month or two where they would fall asleep at the breast and I couldn’t keep them up long enough to fully empty both sides, so this would be a time that I would pump/ express milk from the side they didn’t nurse from. Nursing sessions can last as long at 30min-an hour or as little as 10 minutes. Depends on the age of the baby because as they get older, they become more efficient at emptying the breast so nursing sessions shorten. An indication that baby is getting enough, plenty of wet diapers and poopy diapers. I would let her know that depending on the age, it is normal for exclusively breastfed babies to go up to a week or more without pooping because their bodies use up more of the nutrients so it produces less waste. As long as baby seems content and having plenty of wet diapers, I wouldn’t worry about whether or not he is getting enough. An indication that he isn’t getting enough would be a huge decrease in wet diapers, fussiness and wanting to nurse a lot. Wanting to nurse a lot can also be sign of growth spurt though so this is why it is encouraged to just continue to nurse on demand and not watch the clock. Hope this helps.
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