Pumping for an Occasional Bottle

By Katie Madden  

Have you ever wondered, "If I am breastfeeding all the time, how am I supposed to ever be able to pump milk for a bottle?"

Here's how:

After breastfeeding your baby, pump both breasts.

Try to do this around the time when you seem to have the most milk. For many women, this is in the morning. Perhaps your breasts feel fuller or heavier in the morning, or baby only feeds from one breast rather than her typical two. You are more likely to get a higher yield if you pump at this time than if you pump at a time when your breasts feel more empty after breastfeeding.

Pump within about 15 minutes of finishing breastfeeding. You don't want to wait too much longer than 15 minutes before you pump because you will start to cut into the milk that is refilling for your baby's next breastfeeding.

Don't worry about how much you get out. You may get one ounce total or four ounces total; that means nothing about how much your baby is getting to eat from the breast and has everything to do with your milk supply. Actually, it makes the most sense that you would get very little out when pumping because your body isn't used to making milk for the pump, it is used to making milk for the baby!

Your baby will need a two to four ounce bottle to replace a missed breastfeeding session, so don't be surprised if you have to pump for a few days to get that amount. After pumping for a few days, you will notice an increase in the amount you are pumping out. That is because you increased the demand on your body and it takes about three to five days for your body to respond by increasing supply. (Look out! The first day you don't feel like pumping, you may become uncomfortably full since your body was expecting the pump).

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Remember the Rule of Six:

Milk is good at room temp for about six hours, in the fridge for about six days, and in the freezer for six months.

Depending on when you plan on using the milk will determine how you will store it.

So, how do we make the most out of this lovely three to four hour block of freedom you just pumped for yourself? I know you don't want to bring that pump with you on a date and you don't want to wake up to pump in the middle of the night. Don't! Here's how this works.

In 24 hours:

Total number of baby feedings (breast or bottle) must equal

Total number breast stimulations (breastfeeding or pumping)

But, those feedings and stimulations don't need to be at the same time! Only rule? Try not to go longer than about six hours without pumping if baby is eating during that time. That means do not skip more than one breastfeeding without pumping.

Note: If baby is sleeping longer stretches at night, you should be sleeping those stretches too. If your boobs wake you up before the baby, just pump to take the edge off so you can go back to sleep. Your boobs need to learn not to make so much at night if baby isn't drinking it. (Don't worry. That milk will move over to daytime.)

Here are some lovely examples of ways your life could get 198% better tomorrow:

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1. Breastfeed your baby at 11:00 pm. Pump after this breastfeeding. Take whatever milk you pumped and give it to your husband to feed to the baby when she wakes up (if it isn't enough, no worries, just borrow some from the fridge or freezer). Go directly to bed with earplugs in your ears so the baby doesn't wake you up at the next feeding. When the baby wakes up next around 2:00 am, your husband should promptly feed the baby the bottle, making the least noise possible so as to not wake you up. You are still sleeping. No pumping. At thenextfeeding, around 5:00 am, get up and nurse (that was six hours of uninterrupted sleep!!!). You may want to pump after this feeding if your breasts feel full from that skipped feeding or if you didn't pump enough the night before for the bottle and you needed to borrow from your fridge or freezer. You could also wait until the next feeding if you just want to go right back to sleep.

2. Breastfeed around 7:00 am to 9:00 am, then pump both breasts. Stick this milk in the fridge for your hot date later that night. Nurse your baby right before you go out for the night. Don't bring your pump on the date if you are going to be gone for four to six hours or less. That is a real buzz kill. Stay out long enough to miss one feeding and get home right in time for the next feeding. Nurse baby on both breasts if she is willing. Technically you don't need to pump once you get home because the morning pumping made up for the missed breastfeeding while you were out, but you can pump if you are still feeling full after baby has breastfed.

3. Breastfeed first thing Saturday morning, then pump. Leave the bottle in the fridge, put the baby in your husband's arms, and go on an outing of your choice (yoga, get a massage, the gym, clothes shopping, out with girlfriends, get a mani/pedi, walk around the park, sit in the car by yourself in complete silence) for the next four hours. Stay out long enough to miss the next breastfeeding session, but not long enough to miss the following breastfeeding session. (Bonus: turn off your phone).

6 Things You Should NEVER Do With a Newborn

By Ruby Bansal  

Do you feel ready and prepared for your newborn? I wonder if anyone ever is truly and completely ready for the experience, emotions and responsibilities that a baby brings with them into our world. But to help you along the way, here are 6 things to steer clear off while you find your way.

Ignore Them

Your baby relies on you for every single need; that is a much greater dynamic between the two of you than you realize. Your baby needs you for everything in his/her earliest years and therefore your presence around them is vital. Not only does your presence and attention ensure things get done, but it is also emotionally comforting for your baby who is yet to find his/her grasp in the world. Even when your baby can't speak words, he/she communicated through expressions, gestures, arm and leg movements and grunts; make sure you don't ignore these subtle conversations your baby is having with you.

Let Anyone and Everyone Kiss and Hold Them

Your baby may not be able to say it in as many words, but he/she may not always like to be smothered with attention, hugs and kisses. Yes, babies are cute, but they are often just as sensitive to stimuli- infact often a lot more than adults. Scents, sounds and feel often matters a lot more to your baby, so don't let just anyone pick up your baby and begin cuddling up with him/her. This also protects your baby from germs and diseases, which your baby can be especially susceptible to in their early days. Wait till their immune systems and sensitivity is a lot more bolstered up before you introduce them to the world at large.


Punish Them

No matter how frustrated, tired or angry you might get, never take it out on your baby. Your baby is still learning to express and get to grips with human life, and this might mean a greater demand being placed on your life. But this is part of the natural parenting process, and holding your baby responsible for your inability to cope with it is not only unfair, it is actually counterproductive.

Objectify Them

Yes, babies are cute. It is fun to dress them up and take cute pictures with them, but make sure not to objectify them. Remember they are people too- little people, but people nonetheless; don't let your photo-opportunities and wild dress sense interfere with their wellbeing, safety and general self-respect. The internet is flooded with poor parenting decisions; galleries and playlists of unfortunate choices abound that might haunt you and your kid a lot longer in the digital age!

Over-stimulate Them

When interacting and playing with your child, stimulation is key to get them to learn, absorb and respond to the world around them. But remember to be gentle and easy- your baby is young and delicate and may not share adult tastes. So whether it comes to choice of colors, food, music or activities, when it comes to your baby go slow, steady and easy.

Be Lax with Them

So here is the bare truth- with a newborn, there is no time out. No matter how many parenting books you read or experts you reel in, each baby is unique and therefore there is always so much to learn and adapt- personal rhythms, preferences, habits and even idiosyncrasies. Therefore no matter how confident your source of parenting advise may be, never hand over the responsibility of your newborn to a third party, book or documentary. Be attentive and alert with your baby at all times.

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