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Thread: Nursing and Pumping

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    32

    Default Nursing and Pumping

    I posted this in the Increasing Milk section quite awhile ago and did not get any responses, so I thought I'd post here. MY LO will be 10 months next week and has been eating solids for about 4 months. I got my period back after only 2 months and he just got his 2 bottom teeth 3 weeks ago, and I think he's working on more! I have dipped into my freezer stash far too much to top off his bottles because I am not able to pump enough anymore. I used to pump about 4 oz per session at work, and now it's 2-3 (closer to 2 this week, but I'm hoping that's because I got my period this week). I leave 2 4oz bottles for him during the day. I nurse at 7, pump at 10 and 1:30, then nurse at 4:30-4:45 when I get home and again at 7:45-8 before bed. He usually eats at least once in the middle of the night. I'm concerned I'm losing my supply also because he doesn't nurse very long (maybe because the supply is low) and will not stay on more than 2-3 minutes per side. I wish he'd stay on longer to help my body make more milk, but there is no having that.

    Yesterday I started pumping after every nursing session (a couple times I even put him back on after I finished pumping, but he barely sucked but I thought it was worth a try to help). Has anyone tried this and had success? How long before you saw results? The last 2 sessions I barely got 1/4 of an ounce. Part of me feels this is a waste of time when I barely get anything, and the other part of me hopes and prays that it is worth it if it is signaling my body to make more. I've tried Mothers Milk Tea, Fenugreek, and no help. I eat oatmeal every morning and make oatmeal cookies following a lactation recipe (using brewer's yeast) every week, but don't think anything is helping so I'm hoping this will help me get my supply back up.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated
    ***********************
    Mom to Gabriel Christian
    Born June 21, 2010 at 4:25 pm
    8 lbs 1 oz, 20 1/2 inches long



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    1,056

    Default Re: Nursing and Pumping

    A few things off the top of my head:

    - It's normal for supply to dip during a menstrual period. It's a hormonal thing, similar to what would happen if you got pregnant while breast feeding.

    - What kind of pump do you use, and have you checked that none of the parts needs to be replaced?

    - I would add a third pumping session at work. If you can't get one during work hours (I always had trouble w/ this), then get to work 20-30 min early if you can and pump before work starts. Even though you may not get much (since you just nursed), the stimulation will prompt your body to make more milk over the long run.

    - Since your baby is 10 mos old, would you consider just sending whatever milk you pump the next day and replacing the rest with water and additional high-fat solids such as avocado?

    - Also, keep in mind that every time you pump, you are telling your body to make more milk. So those pumping sessions after he nurses may not be "worth it" from the view point of having expressed milk to use, but they are definitely worth it by telling your body to increase production.

    Good luck!
    Little SW, Aug '09
    Miss MW, Jan '11
    Sir RW, Oct '12
    3 kids in 38 mos

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Maine
    Posts
    1,805

    Default Re: Nursing and Pumping

    in addition to PP, how much fenugreek were you taking? for it to be helpful to me (and I had a nursing/pumping 'schedule' quite identical to yours, and also started my period VERY early, like you!) I had to take four capsules three times a day and make sure i never went any longer than 4 hours with emptying my breasts. This was the key for me to increase supply.

    I used it the week before i knew my period was coming and then three or four days into my cycle, monthly and it worked wonders.
    Julia and Maxwell (and Dan and Haddie)
    Maxwell, born January 3, 2010
    A year on Mama's milk and still loving it

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    375

    Default Re: Nursing and Pumping

    Would it be feasible to add another pumping session right be before bed? (couldn't tell if you go to bed with baby or not ) This is the only thing that enables me to give full bottles the next day.
    Elizabeth, mama to Lillian - 10/03/10


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    32

    Default Re: Nursing and Pumping

    Thanks for all the replies so far! I use a Medela PISA, but am on my 3rd one due to the recall and then a problem with the one they 1st sent as a replacement (their CS is wonderful tho), and so far this one seems to be ok. My pump parts are relatively new, but I could try changing the valve and membrane. I also moved to the larger flange to try that as I read some people get more milk with a larger one.

    I was taking Fenugreek 3 capsules, 3 times per day, but maybe I should up it to 4 next month. I don't really want to take too many supplements, but was trying to do it when I knew my period was coming.

    Never thought about giving water and extra solids....I was concerned to make sure he got as much breastmilk in the first year (or formula, but I hate to go there!).

    I do try to pump before bed and then again when he gets up for his night feeding, usually 3 am. Sometimes he eats on just one side, so I pump the other side when he's done (actually I double pump just to make sure the side he ate off is empty). Last night I also did a "power pump" session before I went to bed. I just wonder if that will just tell my body to make more at that time of day? I really would like to pump enough during the day at work! Some nights I'm just so exhausted that I dread the midnight pump session!

    Thanks again for all the help!
    ***********************
    Mom to Gabriel Christian
    Born June 21, 2010 at 4:25 pm
    8 lbs 1 oz, 20 1/2 inches long



  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    126

    Default Re: Nursing and Pumping

    I agree w/ pp on adding more pumping sessions. Maybe try to fit in at least one more at work? Or if you have a battery powered pump (or can plug into the car lighter) try pumping on the way to and/or from work?

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