Tuesday, February 26, 2019

How To Create An Oversupply Of Breastmilk

Alright I've promised a post on this so here we go. I have had a ton of moms reach out to me about my pumping. What kind of pump I have, how often I pump, how long I pump, do I take supplements, etc. I already did a quick little video of it on my Instagram Stories but if you missed it, here's all my pumping info!! *Just a reminder that I'm not a doctor or lactation consultant--this is just what I've done with all three of my babies and I've had great success with it.
I've breastfed my other two boys for over a year each. I have never, ever supplemented even one ounce of formula. I'm planning to breastfeed Wells for a year as well. I know it isn't important to everyone but it is to me and I'm proud to say I've been able to do that for my boys and for myself. I pretty much exclusively nurse but I do like to have a nice stock pile of breastmilk in my freezer. A lot of people have asked me why I pump so much if I exclusively nurse and I always say that I just like to have it for in case of emergency. It's just a peace of mind for me to know that it's there.

I have always pumped a lot and have typically had several hundred ounces on hand but this time around I always planned to up my pumping game. I have never owned a deep freezer but wanted to get one this time. Mostly because I wanted to pump a lot in the beginning and be able to store it for a while. I know breastmilk can last up to a year in a deep freezer and only around 4 months in a regular freezer. So I wanted a deep freezer to have the option to freeze for up to a year.

So how am I pumping and saving so much breastmilk? I 100% believe the key to it is pumping as soon as your milk comes in. When your milk first comes in your body has no idea how much to produce. Most of the time you will have an oversupply. I take advantage of this and pump while I have so much extra breastmilk. Almost everyone will tell you to wait a month to pump so your body can regulate but I personally think this is such poor advice, especially for a mother who wants or needs to be able to store extra milk for her baby. I have always pumped right away with all of my babies and have always been able to generate a large supply of extra milk. It's like I trick my body into thinking it needs to produce enough milk to feed twins. Taking advantage of this in the very beginning allows me to store up plenty of milk and have that peace of mind of knowing it's there if I need it.
I am averaging about 30 ounces of milk a day right now. I'm not giving my baby any bottles so everything I'm pumping is getting stored in my deep freezer. After doing this for 4 weeks, you can imagine how quickly that is adding up! I counted and I officially have stored 918 ounces of breastmilk as of this morning. I am not taking any supplements or doing anything special to produce a large volume of milk. I'm just taking advantage of my oversupply.

Here are a few tips to doing this with hopefully a lot of success:
-Pump often. I pump three times a day--morning, afternoon and night for 15-20 minutes.
-Don't miss a session. This is very important. If you want to generate a large volume you must be consistent with your pumping schedule. If you miss then your body will regulate and you won't be able to get much when you pump. You're most likely just staying home with your baby in the beginning anyway so take advantage of that time home and pump every day during your scheduled pumping times!! I never miss even one of my pumping sessions.
-Think about the big picture. It's easy to get burned out on pumping but if you're getting a lot of volume during this time, try to keep going. In a few months you'll be glad you did.

I will not be able to get this much volume in just a few short months. I'm nursing every 2.5-3 hours around the clock right now so my supply is high. As soon as Wells starts sleeping in longer stretches, my supply will slowly start dipping. That's why I'm taking advantage of this now. This is my third time around and I have learned how this breastfeeding game works. I'm getting 8oz from each side every morning (ummm hello that's an entire pound of milk!) but trust me, in a few months I'll be thrilled to get 2.5 from each side. That's just how it goes. For me at least. This is why I wanted a deep freezer and why I planned to pump so much in the beginning.
I don't know very many moms (actually I don't know any moms) who are able to pump enough in one day while at work, etc, to keep up with their babies needs. It's hard. And there's nothing the mom is doing wrong, and there's nothing wrong with her supply, the pump just can't get out what the baby can. That's why I always tell my mom friends who are going back to work and have a desire to breastfeed their baby for one year+ to pump as soon as their milk comes in. They can store up a lot of extra while they're on maternity leave and hopefully it won't be as stressful to pump and get enough volume since they will have a nice head start on their milk stash!!

I hope this is helpful for those of you looking to store a lot of milk. Like I said, this is what I've done every time and it's always worked out really well for me. After I shared that I do this on my Instagram Stories, I had several moms reach out to me saying they did the same thing and also generated an oversupply and were able to store up a lot of extra milk. It is time consuming and sometimes you don't feel like doing it but it's so worth it for me. I'm hoping I can keep this up for another 4 weeks then say goodbye to my pump and never have to pull it out again!!

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