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Thread: Help!!! Working Mom & diminishing supply

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Bay City, MI
    Posts
    8

    Default Help!!! Working Mom & diminishing supply

    I recently went back to work on jan 3rd and am finding it extremely difficult to keep my supply sufficient enough for my lo. My sitter (sister-in-law) says he is eating about 4oz per feeding which is every 2 to 3 hours!!! I am lucky if I pump 4 ounces at a time at work and if I can get that much it takes me almost an hour and I don't have that amount of time to waste pumping at work....

    My lo is 8 weeks old today. I really don't want to supplement with formula (besides the obvious health reasons) because of the cost.

    What can I do to increase my supply during the day when I am not with my baby!? I am to the point of tears.... I don't know what to do! I ask my family and they just say supplement with formula or maybe it's time to give him only formula and you should stop nursing him. Thankfully my husband is supportive.

    I try pumping at home after each feeding but I usually fall asleep before 9pm and get up to get the family ready about 5am (have found co-sleeping to save me at night, but am looking at trying to get my lo in his own bed because it is too much stress for me and my husband). I drop lo off at sitters between 7 & 7:30 am and get home anywhere from 5:30 to 6:30. Also, my pumping schedule at work is 9am -12pm -3pm... but I am lucky if I can stick to those exact times and get all 3 pumping sessions in. My job is extremely demanding and I am unable to stick to that schedule...


    Also work has scheduled overnight stays for me where I can't take my baby. My first overnight is feb 8th, then feb 29th, march 1, march 12, march 13 and the of course at least from 7 or 8 am till 6 or 7 at night. I am trying to pump and store but with the diminished supply I have during the day my freezer stash is GONE!

    Please help me!!! Thank you in advance
    Last edited by @llli*ejb722; January 11th, 2012 at 04:32 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Dallas, TX
    Posts
    255

    Default Re: Help!!! Working Mom & Diminishing Su

    I have definitely BTDT when it comes to worrying about supply. As if you don't have enough to worry about when you return to work!

    A couple questions:

    How much on average are you producing a day vs how much is LO eating? (how much are you short)?

    What kind of pump do you have?
    Lisa

    Mom to Aimee, born 8/22/11
    for 20 months!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    10,440

    Default Re: Help!!! Working Mom & diminishing su

    What kind of pump do you have? Is it new? Have you replaced valves, membranes and such?

    Are you using breast compressions?

    Do you have a hands free bra?

    What about trying some herbs and eating oatmeal?

    Could you work in a car pumping session or two?

    Unfortunately, you do need to stay as close as possible to a schedule whie away from baby.

    Do you feel like your caretaker is overfeeding baby?
    Susan
    Mama to my all-natural boys: Ian, 9-4-04, 11.5 lbs; Colton, 11-7-06, 9 lbs, in the water; Logan, 12-8-08, 9 lbs; Gavin, 1-18-11, 9 lbs; and an angel 1-15-06
    18+ months and for Gavin, born with an incomplete cleft lip and incomplete posterior cleft palate
    Sealed for time and eternity, 7-7-93
    Always babywearing, cosleeping and cloth diapering. Living with oppositional defiant disorder and ADHD. Ask me about cloth diapering and sewing your own diapers!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    1,293

    Default Re: Help!!! Working Mom & diminishing su

    great questions! all good ideas from susan.

    i just wanted to add that if your schedule is restricted, all i can recommend is pump as often as you can. even if it is going to be a short session and you think its not worth it, it is. right after i went back to work my schedule was VERY tight so any chance i got i fit in a pump. if this means you are pumping more times than you think you need to ( like only 1.5-2 hours has gone by) but for shorter sessions just do it.

    also i added in a pumping session on the way to work and on the way home. some nights i pumped before bed if i was really struggling and once i even got up at 3 am for a few minutes.

    a big thing for me is hand expression at the end, for about two minutes. overall it will increase your production. watch some videos

    in the end, the main issue was that my son was being overfed. when his teacher at his dc changed he dropped down from 16oz to about 10 oz. he needed someone to snuggle him and rock him and hold him more often. he was being comforted with milk and i was racing to keep up. once he started solids it became even easier. i send in 6 oz now and go nurse once.

    you can do this! good luck.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Northern Cal.
    Posts
    4,983

    Default Re: Help!!! Working Mom & diminishing su

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*mtmama View Post
    in the end, the main issue was that my son was being overfed. when his teacher at his dc changed he dropped down from 16oz to about 10 oz. he needed someone to snuggle him and rock him and hold him more often. he was being comforted with milk and i was racing to keep up. once he started solids it became even easier. i send in 6 oz now and go nurse once.
    Based on the amounts you're talking, I'm thinking this is a really likely possibility - he craves comfort, he likes to suck, he likes to be held, so he's sending out "hungry" signals. Maybe have your DCP give him a few minutes after a 2-3 oz bottle, let that digest, let him register his "fulness" and then try maybe wearing him in a sling, etc., to comfort him, instead of automatically offering more milk?

    I left my DH (who was Joe's caretaker) with 3 oz bottles. So that way, there was a serving size. Sometime he would dip into the next bottle, but it wasn't automatic, yk?


    You can call me JoMo!

    Mom to baby boy Joe, born 5/4/09 and breastfed for more than two and a half years, and baby girl Maggie, born 7/9/12.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    381

    Default Re: Help!!! Working Mom & Diminishing Su

    4oz is a lot for an 8 week old to take in. Many mamas here will tell you their 1yo doesn't drink that much (my girls drink 6oz, but it was only 3-4oz at 3 months and less at 8 weeks).
    General rule of thumb is 1-1.5oz per hour you are away. How long are you away? can you nurse during the day at all?
    I am away 11-12 hours and my girls take 10-12oz. I nurse them right when I get home, too.
    Full time working Mom to 3, DH is my hero as a SAHD:
    DS July'09, nursed for 12 weeks
    DD1 & DD2 April'11, tandem nursed for 16 months

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    East Tennessee
    Posts
    46

    Default Re: Help!!! Working Mom & Diminishing Su

    Just wanted to let you know that I'm going through the same thing right now. I have a Medela PISA and am still waiting for the size small breastshields to come him hoping that the reason it takes an hour to pump is because the medium shields are too big (according to the pics on Medela's site). I'm also down in my freezer stash just like you. I'll let you know how the new shields work out.

    I made some lactation cookies and I eat 2-3 a day and you can find the recipe (I made the first one listed) here: http://www.drmomma.org/2010/08/lacta...ncreasing.html

    I'm also making sure that I'm drinking enough water (about a gallon a day) and eating at least 2500 calories a day. I was lost my pregnancy weight quick and I think it hurt my supply early on.
    Wife to Adam 8/31/2008
    Mommy to William 9/30/2011
    Mommy to Tatum and Ellis 8/26/2013

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Dallas, TX
    Posts
    255

    Default Re: Help!!! Working Mom & Diminishing Su

    I have a PISA but I ended up renting a Symphony again because it was taking forever for a letdown with the PISA. I can be done in 18 minutes with the symphony and that was worth it to me. That and less stress.
    Lisa

    Mom to Aimee, born 8/22/11
    for 20 months!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    5,766

    Default Re: Help!!! Working Mom & diminishing su

    Caregiver inadvertently overfeeding is a strong possibility, this is very common. Also common is waste, where baby is given a four ounce bottle, drinks 2 or 3 ounces, and the caregiver believes the rest needs to be discarded. This is NOT SO with breastmilk. Why don't you try to get an estimate of what your baby SHOULD need when you are apart See this article: http://www.kellymom.com/bf/pumping/milkcalc.html

    and here are ideas for your caregiver for properly bottlefeeding the breastfed baby and safe human milk handling: http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...fyour_milk.pdf

    Kellymom aslo has many great tips for increasing pump output, but on the other hand few moms can keep up if baby is being overfed.

    Do you have a very good, NEW pump? Was your pump designed to be used as much as you are using it? Sometimes-more often than you would think- the issue is an underperforming pump motor or worn out pump parts.

    Overnight travel is very hard. Any chance you can negotiate with your work about that? You have a very young baby at home and such a separation will be potentially harmful healthwise to both of you (baby not getting your milk and you risk getting engorged) Is there any possibility you can bring a caregiver with you so you can nurse your baby as you can around your responsibilities?

    Here is info for negotiating with your work about breastfeeding: http://www.womenshealth.gov/breastfe...breastfeeding/
    Here are two articles about business travel and breastfeeding: http://www.llli.org/nb/nbjulaug00p140.html and http://www.llli.org/nb/nbjulaug94p119.html

    I would suggest cutting down on the pumping at home between feedings. Maybe not eliminate it but cut back to something you can easily handle. You are exhausting yourself and not giving yourself time to enjoy just being with your baby when you are home. IMO, breastfeeding duration is so important I would say its better to have to give baby a little formula during separations and nurse the rest of the time, and hopefully nurse LONGER overall that way, than to get so burned out with the pumping treadmill that you stop breastfeeding altogether earlier than you would have otherwise. It is common for babies whose moms are away part of the day to want to nurse lots when mom is home, and this helps baby get enough milk overall and also helps you maintain the needed milk supply, so I think that time may be better spent enjoying and nursing your baby, especially since there are many benefits to nursing at the breast and this is the time for you and your baby to get those benefits. Better perhaps to keep co-sleeping if tht allows you to nurse overnight and keep your supply up and keep baby well fed (so baby may need less during the day) than exhausting yourself pumping.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    1,293

    Default Re: Help!!! Working Mom & diminishing su

    i started sending in some "comfort bottles"

    i would send in what i felt like he needed, 3 or 4 oz bottles and then one or two 1 oz bottles. that way if they felt like he needed a bottle to sleep, which happened often, then they were only using a little milk to get him to pass out.

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