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Thread: Steadily losing supply - what can I do?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
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    Default Steadily losing supply - what can I do?

    Hi all - my daughter is 8m 1w. I work full time and pump 4x a day. We started solids at 6 m, very slowly. Today, she gets 2 containers 2x a day, 5 days a week. She gets nothing at night or on the weekends w/me. She cosleeps, sort of by default, because she wakes frequently and cosleeping is the best arrangement for that.

    Starting a 6 months, my output decreased from 18oz over those 4 pumps, to about 10-12 oz. But I send her w/15oz, so I have to pump on the weekends to make up the difference.

    I already eat oatmeal every day, take Go Lacta 3x a day, and do a power pump session on weekends. I replaced my pump motor and thought it was that, but it continues to go down.

    She doesn't seem overly bothered by this except at bedtime, when she is fussy and continually pulls off in frustration. Some nights, I have to nurse her to sleep standing/walking to distract her.

    I didn't think 2 containers would affect my supply and based on responses to a previous post on the solids board, neither did the ladies here. I'm not sure what I should do.

    I'm so close to a year, yet so far. My worry is compounded by her dairy and soy protein intolerances, plus I don't *want* to give her anything by BM. I would be more inclined to go w/the flow (pardon the pun) if I didn't have to send bottles to daycare. I could send more solids, but I imagine that would worsen the problem.

    Thanks for your support and any advice you have.

  2. #2
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    Jun 2010
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    Default Re: Steadily losing supply - what can I do?

    i think it's natural for your supply to go down when you start solids, I also think your daughter could get away with what you're pumping during those four sessions. I haven't heard of Go Lacta - what's in that? I noticed a big difference when I started taking fenugreek capsules or Mothers Milk Plus. I noticed a big dip in my supply around eight months too, and i relied a lot on fenugreek. I don't know if that would help you out or not.

    When you say cartons what are you feeding her??
    Julia and Maxwell (and Dan and Haddie)
    Maxwell, born January 3, 2010
    A year on Mama's milk and still loving it

  3. #3
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    May 2006
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    Default Re: Steadily losing supply - what can I do?

    I'm sorry you're having a rough time getting enough. I think the best thing you can do is to (please don't shoot the messenger!) haul out the pump and add more pumping sessions. Pumping after feedings when you are together with your baby, pumping after she nurses to sleep (this one in particular is the session where I think extra stimulation would help). Pumping is one of those things where some women just have to do extra work if they want to supply more milk.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  4. #4
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    Dec 2010
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    Default Re: Steadily losing supply - what can I do?

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*jbean1979 View Post
    I haven't heard of Go Lacta - what's in that?
    GoLacta is Malunggay - capsules. I heard about it on another board and people said they reacted better to that than More Milk Plus capsules. I didn't see any change in the past using More Milk Plus, so I thought I'd give it a try.

    When you say cartons what are you feeding her??
    If I send store bought baby food, it's either a jar or a plastic container with 1 to 2 ounces. If I send homemade food in a bowl, it's 1.5-2 ounces. So max of four ounces of pureed fruits/veggies.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Steadily losing supply - what can I do?

    I won't shoot the messenger! It's why I started pumping on weekends b/c that's when it was easiest to fit in.

    It's just so disconcerting because other than the couple ounces of food, nothing has changed. She's a big girl and even her weight gain has stayed the same. I did consult kellymom to see how much I should send and she's at the top range of what I should send for being away from her for 10 hours.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    Default Re: Steadily losing supply - what can I do?

    I'm thinking that maybe your supply has evened out. 18 ounces is a lot to pump when you consider that she is probably taking around 25 ounces a day and you're cosleeping/nursing all night long. I do the same thing - although I'm cosleeping by choice - and initially I could pump a crazy amount.

    How long are you pumping at those pumping sessions?

    I try to pump once a day on the weekends because then I'm a lot less stressed out during the week about meeting those ounces.

    Also, I'm going to assume you're away from her for about 9 hours? So she should get somewhere between 9 and 13ish ounces (1 to 1.5 ounces per hour) while away from you. I wonder what would happen if you sent her with 12, they gave her the 4 ounces of baby food and then she might be more interested in nursing in the evening? What you're describing in the evening could be low supply, but it could also just be fussiness because she's tired, maybe not all that hungry, and wants to nurse but doesn't want to at the same time. I know my 6 month old does that when she's overly full. She'll keep trying to nurse and get annoyed that there is milk coming out. So I'll give her a pacifier to suck on when she's acting like that.
    Tracie

    Mommy to
    Lilah 10/08 nursed 25 months
    Beatrix 01/11 nursed 30 months

  7. #7
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    Dec 2010
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    Default Re: Steadily losing supply - what can I do?

    Thanks for your help.

    My pumping sessions are 30 mins at least. The 2nd session of the day is more like 40 b/c that's the best time to sneak a little extra time. Never are they less than 25/28.

    That's what I do about the weekends and I do it first thing in the morning b/c that's when I have the most and I'm not wearing her like I am the rest of the day!

    I'm away from her, unfortunately for 10-11 hrs b/c I have a long commute. Actually, this morning, I didn't have enough so I sent her with (3) 4.5oz bottles, when I usually send 5oz bottles. If I send less, they tell me she wanted more. If I send 4.5, I'm not sure that they notice. She's a high needs baby so I've always wondered whether they thought she was hungrier than she is.

    I'm glad you said that about my supply evening out. At least that makes sense and gives me comfort - maybe my supply was inflated (I did have O/S and OALD) and it's not so much that I'm losing it.

  8. #8
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    Dec 2009
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    Default Re: Steadily losing supply - what can I

    Has your period returned? Is there any chance you could be pregnant?
    Little SW, Aug '09
    Miss MW, Jan '11
    Sir RW, Oct '12
    3 kids in 38 mos

  9. #9
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    Mar 2010
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    Default Re: Steadily losing supply - what can I

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*mandynj View Post
    I won't shoot the messenger! It's why I started pumping on weekends b/c that's when it was easiest to fit in.

    It's just so disconcerting because other than the couple ounces of food, nothing has changed. She's a big girl and even her weight gain has stayed the same. I did consult kellymom to see how much I should send and she's at the top range of what I should send for being away from her for 10 hours.
    My supply also went down temporarily around 8 mos. Plain old emptying the breast is what put it up within a few days.

    The truoble with pumping more at weekends is your body isn't getting a consistent signal to make more milk. It usually takes a couple days for the message to sink in, and by then the weekend is over. That's my take on why this approach isn't working as you had thought it would. Also pumping at consistent times will help a lot, your body will know that those hours are the demand times.

    How old is your pump, and are you using a double electric pump from a quality manufacturer like Medela (NAYY)? I've read that pumps over a year old tend to wind down mechanically. I had a hard time with pumping till I upgraded to a Freestyle.
    Katharine
    Be the change you want to see in the world--Mahatma Gandhi
    mid-August DD (2010) & DS (2011 VBAC)
    Ouch! Is it thrush or Raynaud's phenomenon?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
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    Default Re: Steadily losing supply - what can I

    I am in exactly the same boat! I am trying to fit in more pumping sessions and fenugreek has helped a little. It is comforting to hear others say their supply dipped at 8 months. I am hoping to be able to get through this and start making more milk! If I figure anything out I'll let you know!

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