Friday, May 18, 2007

My Ann Landers Moment

I’ve received my first question! Since I don’t consider myself a breastfeeding expert by any means, I hadn’t really anticipated doing an “advice/answer” section to this site. However, I absolutely welcome questions and will gladly do all the “hoofing around” to get the answer for you. When answers come from a specific source, site or book, I will definitely reference them. When answers emerge from my own personal gray matter, I will certainly make that clear as well by starting off with a trusty “IMHO” (roughly translated as “in my humble opinion” – which truthfully, isn’t all that humble as I am pretty opinionated.)

Alicia asks:
If a mother is pumping primarily to increase her supply, why does she need to wait an hour after her baby has nursed? Wouldn’t it be better to just pump immediately after the baby has breastfed? If you pump right after nursing would your body make more per nursing session or if you were to pump an hour afterwards would your body make more overall?

My Answer:
Great question! I quickly discovered the advice concerning the whole "pumping to increase your supply" issue garners a wide variety of answers which can be very confusing. First, I thought it was interesting to understand how milk is produced and Kelly Mom provides a great explanation of the process. Kelly Mom goes on to recommend that in order to increase production, the mother needs to nurse more frequently AND she should empty the breast as thoroughly as possible. Kelly Mom suggests waiting awhile after the nursing session before pumping and frankly, most of the sites I came across recommended this as well. That's the answer, right? Ha. I went on searching and found TONS more answers. The Nursing Mom site said "You can also try pumping after you nurse to increase milk supply" which I found to be pretty vague and it didn't give a specific timeline. Also, the Health Touch site said "......Pump for 10 minutes right after you finish breastfeeding once you have a let-down.......". I also found the Breastfeed-Essentials site which said "You also may want to add a few extra minutes (5-10) of pumping after the baby has finished nursing."

Frankly, it seems that a mother would need to experiment a little to find the best pumping scenario for increasing her supply - the best scenario for her, that is.

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