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Thread: Advice for building supply

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    15

    Default Advice for building supply

    My daughter is 5 months old. To start out with, I had a massive oversupply, and she gained weight 2x as fast as "normal." Because of issues with reflux, we had to tone back her feedings, switching to her nursing one side at a feeding so that she would get less. I was told not to pump the extra, but to let my body adjust to what she really needed... I wish I hadn't followed this advice.

    She has now only gained about 1/2lb in a month. She seems content and happy when she is with me - going 3 hours between feedings and sleeping up to 10 hours straight at night. However, at daycare, she wants up to double what I can pump while I'm away from her. The daycare provider has a 5 month old that she breastfeeds, so she is familiar with hunger cues, and she's positive my daughter is hungry and not crying for other reasons. She currently takes three 5oz bottles in the 8 hours she is at daycare, and cries when they're gone.

    Over the last week, I have taken to pumping for 10 minutes after I feed her when I'm with her, and have added another 20 min pumping session while she is at daycare. I have been taking fenugreek (4 capsules, 3x/day... I stink like maple syrup), as well as Motherlove More Milk Plus capsules (4/day). To my extreme disappointment... my pumping outputs have only decreased with this new routine.

    Here are the things, besides what I mentioned above, that I'm doing...

    - I drink 60-80oz water a day (not counting other drinks with meals)
    - I eat more than enough (gained 5lbs in the last 2 weeks, in fact)
    - I look at pictures of DD when I'm pumping
    - I do breast compressions/massage while pumping
    - I manually express after I finish pumping to "get it all"
    - I had the motor of my pump replaced (Freestyle - it was making grinding noises)
    - I have boiled every piece of accessory that can be cleaned/boiled
    - I got a new spare parts kit

    While I am disappointed over how this is going, I don't feel overly stressed about it, so I don't think it's a stress thing. I know that if I can't make enough, I can give her formula and she will be just fine. Obviously this isn't what I prefer at all, but my point is - I'm not going to let her starve.

    Is there anything else I can do? Are there things I should be avoiding that could potentially be hurting my supply that I wasn't aware of?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    TX
    Posts
    2,197

    Default Re: Advice for building supply

    Hi, there! The first things that come to my mind are these:

    1- That weight gain at her age sounds well within the realm of normal.
    2- Those are BIG bottles. I would recommend breaking the 15 ounces (which sounds like a good amount to send if she is gone from you 8 or so hours a day) into 3 ounce bottles.
    3- Instead of focusing on increasing pump output, maybe try to squeeze in an extra feed or two at the breast per 24 hours. Maybe a dream feed?
    Teal

    25 May 96 and 14 January 08 and 27 February 2012

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    503

    Default Re: Advice for building supply

    How many times are you pumping while she's at daycare?

    Is it possible to add a session in the middle of the night, since she's sleeping so long (jealous!)?

    Are you taking any medication (allergy, cold, etc)? Has your period returned yet? Those are things that could decrease supply.

    I agree with the PP about trying smaller quantity bottles, but the same overall amount. Also, do you plan on giving her solids at 6 months? That helped my daycare keep DS happy when he started to act a little hungry.
    ~ Megan

    Mommy to Alex, born 2/27/11

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    15

    Default Re: Advice for building supply

    I was pumping 3x while she was at daycare, but last week added the 4th session.

    Is there a reason to break up the bottles to 3oz? If she's still taking the same amount, I'm still in the same position pumping-wise... but maybe she wouldn't be upset after the bottles with more frequent feedings?

    I'm only on the minipill (but have been for awhile, so I don't think it's that). My period hasn't returned yet. I have a cold currently, but haven't taken anything for fear that my output would decrease further.

    We just started solids at the recommendation of her pediatrician. She said when I'm with her I'm supposed to nurse her every 2 hours, and then after 2 feedings a day I should give her as much solids as she wants. She hasn't decreased her eating with starting this, so it seems as if it is a good thing for her (but not necessarily a help for her to be happier at daycare).

    As far as night feedings - I'd say she goes 10 hrs straight only every 3 days or so, but the other nights she's only up once. I'd totally pump the nights she sleeps through, except I tend to sleep through it too. I'd hate to set an alarm, because if I get up and pump, and then all the sudden she's up and hungry right after I pumped... that doesn't seem like a good thing.

    I think the reason they are concerned with 8oz gain in a month's time is that she was in the 40th percentile but dropped to under the 10th. The nurse was telling me she should gain about 3-4oz a week at this age?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    503

    Default Re: Advice for building supply

    Four pump sessions sound good.

    Breaking the bottles up might help just because she would be eating more often. It might be worth a try, just to see? I had been giving DS four 3 oz bottles, and they said he was always wanting more. So I did the opposite... and I gave them three 4 oz bottles. For some reason, that did the trick (either in their heads or for DS).

    I drink about a gallon (128 ounces) of water while I'm at work, plus more when I get home. I wonder if increasing your water intake would do anything? I'm not sure.
    ~ Megan

    Mommy to Alex, born 2/27/11

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