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Old 05-15-2008, 04:18 PM   #2
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Re: Mamas with large nipples....

I have been where you are and I know how exhausting it is to be nursing and pumping to boost supply. I am pasting below some tips that I posted on another board. For you having large nipples, I suspect that #1 applies to you.

Also, I have found that supplementing at the breast takes some practice, but it is the best way to supplement and boost supply at the same time. The flow of milk should stimulate him to want to suck. Instead of training the baby away from the breast like a bottle does, it teaches them that the breast is where the good stuff is.

Check out these video clips from Dr. Jack Newman to get help with latching.

First and foremost, you can do it. Even if you are not supplying your baby with 100% breastmilk, any amount is great and the act of breastfeeding has it's own benefits. I gave up too early with my first 2 LOs because I thought BFing was an all or nothing proposition and it is not.

I am not a fan of the pump, but I have had times when it was a constant part of my life. I pumped for 5 weeks while Colin was in the NICU and pumped to increase supply with 3 of my 4 kids. I have come across some tips that I found helpful and I thought I would pass them along.

1. Make sure you have proper sized breast shields. Makes a big difference in comfort and the amount you can pump.

2. Be warm and comfortable, put on a sweater or robe if it is chilly.

3. Apply a warm compress before pumping to help with let-down. There are lots of good ones if you want to buy a set. I bought some at Target that are made by Gerber.

4. Drink a warm beverage to help with let-down. Even better a galactagogue like MM tea or my fave, Caffix.

5. Try Rescue Remedy homeopathic spray again to help with let-down.

6. Don't watch the pump, do something else. I pumped more while surfing the net, anything so that you are not watching the drops.

7. Try going hands-free. Many moms on the pumpmoms group have reported higher milk yield when pumping hands-free. There are products, but here is a super cheap method:
I have even pumped hands-free in the car while driving. I got this crazy idea from the pump moms group and it worked when I needed to leave Colin and didn't have time to pump before heading out. Sometimes you have got to get creative.

8. Apply lubricant to reduce friction on your nipples. I personally found lanolin to have the opposite effect. I would either use olive oil or Gerber Breast Therapy Balm.

9. When Colin was in the NICU and I was EPing, I would smell a Pampers diaper or baby powder to help with let-down.

10. Use the smaller Medela bottles. This tip is totally psychological, but I always felt more positive about how much I was pumping when it was in the narrow Medela bottles. An oz. or two always looks like more in the slim 80 ml. bottles (often sold as the Medela Freezer Pack) rather than the big 6 or 8 oz bottles.

11. If you are using a PISA or Symphony, restart when the milk stops flowing. Going back to the let-down phase (quick, low suction) can help encourage another let-down.

12. Make sure your pump is good quality and in good working order. Medela PISs wear out over time and lose suction. The white membranes on pump kits are to be replaced every few months if you are pumping regularly or you will lose suction.

13. If you are pumping to boost supply, try to pump as soon as possible after a feeding.

14. If you are trying to increase supply, "power pump" (5-10 minutes) at different times in a day. You only need to wash the kit every 4-6 hours depending on the temperature in your house. I would keep the pump by the computer and pop on to check my email after a feeding and get in a quick session. That way I was more motivated and could sneak in a few short sessions before washing my pump kit. Try to jot down how many times you do this. I felt good about my progress when I could see it written down.

15. Use Medela Micro-Steam Bags to sterilize pump parts and make them dry almost instantly. Once they come out of the microwave, shake off the water and they dry in a couple of minutes. This is great for when you realize you forgot to wash the pump parts and you are ready to pump again.

16. Do not stress!!! Pump if you can and if it works for you. If you can get your baby to the breast and nursing effectively, you may not need to pump at all. But, if you want to try and see if it makes a difference, I recommend really hitting it hard for 2-3 days. If you see an increase, great, decide on a strategy to continue pumping. If not, don't waste your effort, nurse that baby, maybe supplement at the breast and make the most of the nursing experience. Don't pump at the expense of enjoying your baby.

Hope this helps. Hang in there. PM me if you want to "talk."
Christine, Wife to Reggie & BFing, BWing, CDing Mama to 4 great kids!
RJ (11y),Christian (8y),Olivia (4y)&Colin (2y Hirschsprung's Disease)
Au Pair in America - Live-in child care with a cultural flair.
Help Keep Dr. Jack Newman's Breastfeeding Clinic open, click here for info & to donate.

Last edited by odentonmom; 05-15-2008 at 04:19 PM.
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