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Thread: Back2Work and decreasing supply

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    3

    Default Back2Work and decreasing supply

    I was fortunate enought to stay at home with my son for 7 1/2 mos before returning to work. I've been pumping twice a day at work with the Mac daddy of all pumps. I can't get more than 7 oz total a day! I'm drinking between 50-80 oz of water while at work. I pee all the time but I can't get anymore milk. Last week it dropped to 6 oz a day and yesterday it went to 5 oz. What am I doing wrong?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    1,368

    Default Re: Back2Work and decreasing supply

    Hi there,
    I can tell that you are very concerned about your milk production for ds. I am sure it can't be easy to be working and pumping-kudos to you for trying so hard!

    First, LLL typically suggests drinking to thirst. Unless you are suffering from dehydration (concentrated dark urine, constipation) you need not over-hydrate. This has not been shown to increase supply.

    What kind of pump are you using? Is it new? Have you checked to make sure it is in good working condition?

    Have you had success with this pump? You mentioned getting 7, 6, then 5 oz. Was 7 oz. your typical amount?

    At what time do you leave ds at daycare/sitter? And when do you pick him up? Is he eating solids there?

    How often is he nursing when you are together? Is he nursing at night?

    Sorry for all of the questions, but I am just trying to get a better picture to give you some ideas!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    3

    Red face Re: Back2Work and decreasing supply

    I have a new Avent Isis IQ Duo. It is working great. I used the Medela Pump in Style with my other 2 children, and this one is much better. Since returning to work (on a new job) 3 weeks ago, our schedule has but thrown into chaos. DS used to sleep thru the night but now is getting up to BF at 1:30am every night, sometimes 3:30 am, and always at 5:30 am. If I have time I sneek in a snack at 6:45 before we pack the kids up for school. He starts daycare btwn 7:30-8:00 am each morning and I pick him up btwn 5:30-6:30 pm each night. Once I pick him up he BFs until I'm empty and then wants to be at my hip or in my lap until he falls asleep - generally BFs 2-3 times before going to sleep.

    At work the 1st week I was able to pump 4 oz in am and 3 oz in afternoon. Now its more like 2 1/2 - 3 oz in am and then 1-2 oz in afternoon. Obviously we're supplementing with formula at daycare. DS never took a bottle until daycare, so he's not very happy with formula. He drinks 1- 1 1/2 oz every hour and a half they tell me (once he's run out of BM). The bottles of BM he'll drink 3 - 4 oz at a time depending on how much I was able to pump the day before. On weekends we BF exclusively other than solids. He gets solids 2-3 times a day.

    Hope I answered all the questions. I need help!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    1,368

    Default Re: Back2Work and decreasing supply

    It sounds like things are a little crazy for you right now, and I'm sure your stress level is a little high. But you are doing such a great job, obviously. And searching for answers to your concerns is wonderful.

    Sounds like all is well with your pump.

    I know you must be exhausted with ds waking at night, but this may be a good thing. He may be able to ramp up your supply a little bit if he continues. That is the main reason I asked about his schedule/sleep. Some moms find they are able to "sneak in" extra feedings at night or right before bedtime. Some also pump right before bed, just to get an extra pumping in, while baby is sleeping. Also, any time you can pump extra would be helpful.

    Here is a thought: would it be possible for you to nurse ds at daycare before you drop him off in the morning? If you left 10 or 15 minutes early would this be possible. It sounds like you are already leaving pretty early and have older children to care for as well, so you can completely disregard this suggestion if you want. But, I have known many working moms who have tweaked their schedule to include one last nursing at the breast in the morning and it really helps in two ways. First, the baby is more efficient at the breast, so it will help with supply. Second, it will push back the time and amount of bottle he will need. So maybe instead of needing a bottle at say, 9am, he could make it until 10am. That is just a thought...

    Also, does ds use a pacifier? Some moms find that babies who are away from the breast need more sucking time (for comfort) and sometimes will seem to eat more when at daycare, when they actually just need more comfort sucking. I don't know if you have dialogued with your DCP about his needs/cues, but some DCP don't always know how to read a baby's cues. They may misinterpret fussiness/sleepiness/loneliness with hunger, and always offer the bottle. You may just wish to to discuss this with your DCP. (again, please disregard if you have already thought of this.)

    Another idea is to encourage the DCP to not offer the bottle after a certain time. SO you can look at your schedule and know that if you are going to be there at 5:30 that day, then tell them not to give a bottle past 3:30.

    Some moms have also found ways to fill in the gaps with solids. So that if ds did seem hungry after that last bottle at 3:30 they could offer a little bit of solids. Maybe some soft finger foods in a high chair would occupy his mind and belly until you arrived.

    This is a lot to digest. I will let you respond before going on.

    It doesn't seem like I gave you a lot of ideas about increasing supply, does it? I am hoping that some of these suggestions will get you over this hump and then your supply issue won't be so much of an issue!

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