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#19344 - 12/13/14 05:46 AM Alternating pumping and hand expressing?
tanya732 Offline
member

Registered: 09/02/14
Posts: 25
.... and yet another question...

So when I'm finished pumping also hand express myself for a few minutes to get every possible drop out and usually I manage to get quite a few drops that would have been left behind. However sometimes I get so little out during pumping that most of the milk comes actually from the hand expressing session. So I decided to try to skip a pumping and just hand express instead. The amount of milk that I collected was about the same as from pumping so I started alternating them. sometimes I skip 1,2 or even 3 pumping sessions and hand express instead. It also seems to give my sore nipples a break.

Is it a good idea? Is it normal to have this happen?

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#19359 - 12/13/14 09:51 PM Re: Alternating pumping and hand expressing? [Re: tanya732]
Claudia Offline
experienced member

Registered: 09/27/08
Posts: 247
Hi Tanya,

Yes, this happened to me as well. You will get more milk from hand expressing than the pump in the beginning. I got my first sprays from hand expressing. As long as you are hand expressing for at least 15 minutes, you are fine for using that as your pumping session but remember that the pump gives you the stimulation even if you aren't getting a lot of milk from the session. Remember to massage and apply warm compresses to help with let down.

Keep us updated!

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#19365 - 12/17/14 07:25 AM Re: Alternating pumping and hand expressing? [Re: Claudia]
tanya732 Offline
member

Registered: 09/02/14
Posts: 25
Thank you Claudia!

I do it mostly at night when I am half asleep and too exhausted to mess with the pump. I also do it in the day time to let my pump parts to dry after being sterilized. I regret not getting more than one set of parts before I left for India, I haven't been able to find them here. I did finally find a sterilizing device and it is making my life easier, still it would have been much better to have more several sets... I am learning slowly smile

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#19371 - 12/18/14 12:01 AM Re: Alternating pumping and hand expressing? [Re: tanya732]
Claudia Offline
experienced member

Registered: 09/27/08
Posts: 247
When are you able to leave India with your little one?

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#19496 - 12/18/14 04:47 AM Re: Alternating pumping and hand expressing? [Re: Claudia]
tanya732 Offline
member

Registered: 09/02/14
Posts: 25
With all the paperwork it usually takes about 3-4 weeks after the baby is born. Our surrogate has not delivered yet so we are still waiting for it to happen. She is pregnant with twins but one of them was diagnosed with a serious heart malformation this the reason they told us to arrive earlier in case something happens. It is very sad but it is what it is. So we don't know how many we are going to end up with. So our stay here is turning to be more like 2 months and we will have to make some hard decisions...

... speaking of decisions, I am trying to make a decision about my lactation and I would really like to ask your advice and opinion. I think I should stop my lactation this time and try it again with a regular protocol. I did the accelerated protocol and now after almost two months of pumping I am producing barely 2 oz a day with 10 pumping sessions. All that is so much work and is so time consuming that I don't think I will be able to afford keep doing it much longer. The result needs to justify the effort. If I saw that my milk supply was increasing I would keep trying but it is not increasing. I wanted to breastfeed so much but I think I will have to face the reality here. When the baby (or babies) arrive and especially when I get back home to my business I don't see how I could possibly manage it.

So I am thinking that I would like to repeat my surrogacy experience and this time I would like to try the regular protocol. From everything I read on the website it sounds like it should be much more effective. I was reading posts on the message board and I am amazed at the results people got from being on a regular protocol.

I know this is not what I wanted for this time but we all have to deal with real world.

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#21737 - 12/23/14 10:45 PM Re: Alternating pumping and hand expressing? [Re: tanya732]
Claudia Offline
experienced member

Registered: 09/27/08
Posts: 247
I'm sorry to hear about one of the twins. I will be thinking of you, and I hope everything turns out for the best. I am sure the next couple of months will be very emotional. As far as your question goes, I completely understand how you feel. The regular protocol will yield better results, but you have already put so much work into this that I would hate for you to give up before the babies are born. Even if you do not produce enough milk to supply all your child's needs, there is much more to breast feeding than how much milk you produce. Would you be willing to continue to pump until the babies are born and breast feed with a SNS? That way the baby is feeding at your breast, getting your milk, and you are able to bond with them. If you decide that it is too much right now, then you could stop. I don't want you to stop before they are born and regret it. Just my two cents. Either way, don't beat yourself up about your decision. We always think we are expected to do everything all the time and the reality is that we need to do what's best for us at the time and our happiness is worth more than trying to do everything we feel we should be doing and being overwhelmed and feeling like a failure.

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