I'm pretty new at this and so don't have a lot of advice, but I just wanted to let you know that you're not alone. I'm going through the same thing and my pumping output sounds about the same as yours. I haven't had to supplement yet because I'm just back part time for a few more weeks, so I'm still scraping by. But once I'm back full time, I don't see another option.
One thing that's helped me "scrape by" is pumping an hour after my baby goes to bed at night. I only get 1-2 ounces but it makes ends meet. On my days off, I will pump a couple times a day while he is eating the other side. Normally he does eat both sides, but since I'm home with him I can just make up the difference by nursing more frequently. Doing this I manage to get together 3 oz or so a day, which really helps during the work week.
I've found that staying hydrated and relaxing helps too. Although, honestly I find relaxing impossible while pumping. I suppose that comes with time and experience though!
Good luck mama and know you aren't the only one in this situation.
I should add to my previous post thoughts that in the early days before renting the hospital grade pump, I too worked in another pump session, sometimes 1 or 2AM. I am NOT a night owl - it's just that I would wake up and start thinking about it and feel compelled to go do it. Thankfully it has been many months since I had to do a middle f the night pump.
What has worked well for me if my milk supply is depleted is to try and relax and have a few beers after my evening feeding, this always seems to increase my milk production. When I wake up in the morning after a few beers (2 or 3 max) not only has the alcohol left my blood stream because it has been more than 2 hrs per drink, but I have plenty to ump after our morning feeding. I have read that in moderation this can be helpful and helps with let down when fewer inhibitions are
decreased as well as the frustration/stress levels which are prime factors for many people suffering the vicious cycle of decreased milk production.
To support my alcohol leaving the bloodstream comment: I read in Parents Magazine that alcohol leaves breast milk the same way it leaves the blood stream and you should factor 2 hrs a drink to be safe.
thanks all for the advice. I too have very low output for left breast...for every 1oz i get from right, i get perhaps 10ml from left. so gets me thinking that a better grade pump might help get me on a better track. even if i don't end up getting tons of milk, i at least gave it my best shot!
will be looking into renting the Symphony during lunch break today and will keep you ladies posted on any updates.
as for pumping over the weekends or at night, I've tried fitting some sessions in but rarely have the time to do so between nursing (since dd has decided to nurse much more frequently these days!!!) and also am only getting very very little amount...however, will persevere. also, been feeling like there are lots of plugged ducts on my left breast these days even though I have been massaging it but they are painful. Will try to get dd to nurse more on that side at night for relief.
fingers crossed that pumping will getting better over time!
thank you again for all the advice and encouragement. makes me feel like i'm still sane since I feel like i have been obsessing over not being able to pump/EBF my dd ever since i returned back to work. and glad to know i'm not the only one with such problems - @rainykatie!