My son is almost two weeks old, I am exclusively breastfeeding him. I am needing some advice on nursing him & pumping. I have pumped several times already (already have 9-3 oz storage bags frozen) because he isn't nursing enough to keep my breast from becoming engorged. I am nursing him frequently & using ice packs in combination with hot wet towels to try to relieve the pain & pressure. But still find myself having to pump to get some relief. I have found through a lot of research that it is not usually desirable to pump this early in breastfeeding, as my milk supply is still being established. I'm worried that I am only causing myself more trouble in the long run by making myself overproduce because of the pumping. I need advice on how to find the happy medium between making enough milk for my son and being able to pump occasionally to build up a supply for when I return to work.
Thanks in advance! -Kayla
If possible I would cut out as many of the pumping sessions as possible right now. You are correct that your milk supply is being established, and there unfortunatley can sometimes be engorgement and discomfort that goes along with that. Having your son feed at the breast whenever you see feeding cues is the best way to regulate your supply. I would definitely recommend contining with the ice packs to reduce swelling. You can also try standing in a warm shower. This will allow some of the milk to drain from your breasts without having the extra stimulation that comes from pumping. If you do feel that you need to pump, keep the session as short as possible. Don't completely empty your breasts, only express enough to allow yourself some relief. Depending on when you are going back to work, I would hold off on pumping until a couple of weeks before you start. This will give you a good amount of time to establish your supply but still allow you to build a stockpile before heading back to work
All the best,
Molly Petersen, CLC