Apr 132013

“If your milk isn’t in yet, then you’re not pumping correctly.”  -  Nurse at 3 days postpartum, when the NICU suddenly decided they wanted to start feeding the baby and the mother declined formula feeding.

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 April 13, 2013  breastfeeding, L&D Nurse, newborn, NICU  Add comments

  10 Responses to ““If Your Milk Isn’t In Yet, Then, You’re Not Pumping Correctly.””

  1. Because a piece of metal and plastic does the same job as an infant’s mouth which is designed to encourage milk. I’ve been breastfeeding for 14 months and can’t pump, even though I’ve had the lc fit me for a proper size pump. My milk shows up when the baby wants it

  2. Considering the baby was in the NICU, I can think of several other possible reasons why Mom’s milk isn’t in yet at 3 days. Giving birth prematurely. Having a traumatic birth experience. Certain complications like preeclampsia, especially if it involved brain swelling. And then there’s the fact that pumps are not as efficient as a baby, and some women don’t respond well to a pump even when everything else is perfect. I’ve had three traumatic premature births with preeclampsia, and my milk has never come in sooner than day 6. Stop blaming the mother for “doing it wrong” and give it time. Maybe teach her to hand express instead of relying on a mechanical pump, it’s often much more effective at getting colostrum anyway.

    • 3 days is pretty early even when you are full term and have an uncomplicated delivery. For me, all three times my milk didn’t “come in” until day 4-5; full term deliveries (42+ weeks), two of the three were spontaneous and unmedicated. Sometimes it just takes an extra day or two. And that’s with babies who latched on perfectly and nursed frequently. With a baby in the NICU and a pump, well, no wonder her milk wasn’t in at day 3.

  3. milk NORMALLY comes in 2-5 days after birth. 3 is well within that. even for normal, non-traumatic births.

  4. So we’ve got the “midpoints are deadlines” fallacy that Auderey spotted and the “it has to go ping” fallacy (HOW did we EVer undergo these inborn physical cycles without (reverb)SCIENCE?(/reverb)) and furthermore the “blame Mom first” mindset–in just eleven words!

  5. Colostrum anyone?
    If she’s not making milk YET, then she’s probably still got colostrum.

    I’ve only heard of rare cases where a mother’s milk doesn’t come in at all…

  6. Setting aside the other issues already raised by previous commenters…

    If OP wasn’t pumping correctly, whose fault is that? Pumping correctly is not a maternal instinct and I assume that someone purporting to be an authority at the hospital must have shown the mother how to use the pump. So I fail to see how it’s her fault even if incorrect pumping is the culprit.

  7. My son was born 5 weeks early and I wasn’t allowed to even try to feed him up to that time. This was the very first time I got to hold him since he was admitted to the hospital and the one midwife read on the chart that I refused pacifiers and formula. She kept harping on the formula issue and then asked if my milk was in. I told her that I managed to pump a little, but not enough to give him a full feed. She then insisted that I wasn’t doing it right if I wasn’t gushing milk everywhere. I told her to back off, because I’m fully aware that it takes time and I was only 3 days postpartum. He was my fifth baby, so it wasn’t my first rodeo either. She kept making ridiculous demands, like demanding that I had to be at the hospital 24/7 if I wanted to breastfeed exclusively. At one point I turned my back to her so I could focus on my baby and snuggling him for the first time in 3 days, but she actually came and leaned over my shoulders to try and see my face while she carried on. When I completely ignored her and refused to look at her, her demeanor suddenly changed and she started acting all helpful and compassionate. I wished I could kick her in the face, but whatever.

    • You go Mom!
      I’m sorry you didn’t get to hold your precious baby until then.
      Super kudos for the way you handled the pushy midwife.

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