Posted by: babybumper | May 16, 2011

Persistent Pumping ensures milk supply

The Harris family welcomed 6 babies at once, born at 26 weeks. Mrs. Harris pumped breastmilk 6 months for her sextuplets. 12 times a day, every 2 hours, day and night. Her husband cleaned and set up the equipment while she slept. 50 bottles of milk a day. More than she needed!

The Masche sextupletes were breastfed for 8 months. Jenny said, “It was something I was determined to do all along, but it proved to be a huge challenge initially. I had pretty bad post-partum depression. Had it not been for my mom and sister, I don’t know how I would have been able to keep the breastfeeding going through that period. I was so grateful for their encouragement. They didn’t let me give up on it.”

The breastfeeding dyad requires 2 person participation for success. When the baby is unable to do his part, or anytime mom and baby are separated, a breastpump must substitute. For success, you must trick your body into believing that you have a healthy baby. You want to mimic the conditions that occur if your baby was able to come to the breast.To build up your milk supply:

1. Start pumping early

2. Pump at least 8-12 times a day, for 10-15 minutes (each side).

3. Aim for at least 100 minutes/day

How can you acheive such frequent pumping?

Quality Support is particularly important! Both moms of sextupletes cited support as a significant factor for acheiving such extreme breastfeeding.  Mrs. Harris’ husband cleaned and prepared the equipment for her during the night. She set an alarm, and when she woke up to pump, everything was ready. He would also store the milk she had collected. Her husband’s support made this gift to her children possible.

Use a Great Pump. Double pumping (both breasts at once) has shown to improve milk supply. It also cuts the time spent pumping in half. I recommend renting a top quality pump. If you are going to invest the time, make sure your pump is effective! Money spent on breastpumps is now tax deductible. (Go USA!)

Go hands off. You can write a blog, read a book, or surf the internet. This may make those 100+ minutes of pumping a day more bearable. Buy a bustier (like this) and get your hands and mind off of pumping! There are also bra-hacks online for hands-free pumping. Thanks to Babytool Kit, a former NICU mom, for giving me that idea, and mentioning some other good ones.

Diligence pays off. Keep a pumping log and keep up the frequency! Persistent pumping will ensure more milk and easier breastfeeding in the months to come.


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