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Thread: Supply Drop - Please help

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
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    10

    Default Supply Drop - Please help

    I have been exclusively pumping since I returned to work in October. Recently, my supply took a huge drop for unknown reasons, and while I have worked very hard at increasing it, nothing seems to be helping. I am on the verge of giving up even though it is the last thing I want to do. I have taken Reglan, which was successful; however, it has now ran out and my doctor will not let me take any more. Since then, I have been taking Fenugreek, drinking mother's milk tea, and eating lactation cookies and/or oatmeal. I have also increased both my frequency and duration of pumping sessions. All of this is taking a toll on me, and I keep wondering why nothing is helping. I plan on trying power pumping this weekend when I have more time. Has anyone had a similar experience, or does anyone have suggestions for something else I could try? I really wanted to make it to my son's first birthday, but right now I am struggling to make it to the six month mark; I never imagined this being so difficult.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    21,176

    Default Re: Supply Drop - Please help

    What sort of pump are you using? It does sound like you are doing everything right, but the pump could be the missing puzzle piece. An EP mom needs a terrific pump, ideally a hospital-grade pump. You can rent those if you don't already have one. Correctly sized shields are also a must.

    Will your baby nurse at all? A nursing baby often stimulates supply better than a pump.

    Also, are you pumping overnight?
    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!"

  3. #3
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    Feb 2012
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    Default Re: Supply Drop - Please help

    I have a medela pump in style that I have been very pleased with thus far. If you think renting a hospital-grade pump would possibly help, I am definitely to the point of giving that a try. It obviously can't hurt. My shields have also never seemed to be an issue. I pumped at the hospital, and the nurses seemed to think that everything was working well in my setup.

    Because of my work schedule, I have exclusively pumped from Day 1. I did attempt to nurse when my supply first started dropping before I started the Reglan. Unfortunately, it didn't go well, and I assumed my son was too old to adapt at that point.

    I do pump around 10 at night and then around 4 in the morning. I was considering adding another pump around 1 AM to see if that would help at all. What do you think?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
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    Default Re: Supply Drop - Please help

    I have EPed because my baby was born unable to nurse 13+ months ago.

    I would suggest a hospital grade pump, just to try. A PISA is meant for 400 hours of pumping. If you are EPing properly, you are spending 2 hours a day pumping. That is only 180-200 days of life before the pump starts slowing down.

    Look into domperidone and see if that works better than the Reglan.


    How often are you pumping? How many total minutes a day?

    Yes to pumping during the night, as your hormones are highest then.

    It can take a week or more to see a change in milk supply. For me, this has been one of the most frustrating parts of EPing. When nursing, within just 24 hours, I could influence my supply with the baby. Pumping isn't nearly as good as the baby at changing supply.

    If you aren't, consider cosleeping, as the skin to skin is good for your supply.

    Is AF on the way? If so, take calcium and magnesium.

    Experiment with different shields. Even if they don't seem to be a problem, you might find some work better for you.

    Do compressions. If you are relying on the pump, you are harming your supply right there as no pump fully drains you without help.

    This is why I try so, so hard to tell moms to not EP unless baby is physically unable to breastfeed It's very difficult for most moms to make sure they have enough milk, and it's very typical for moms to run into problems at 6 weeks, 4 months, 6 months and then again at 9 months, where you really do just struggle. I struggled at 6 months and again at 9 months, where it took several weeks to catch back up. I always had enough, but just barely, sometimes, and it's crazy as I have an OS when nursing and did develop a robust supply while pumping, but it disappears as you drop sessions and with time. Buth this supply struggle is why EPing doesn't work for many moms, but nobody tells you that when they say, oh just pump, or if a mom chooses to pump instead It makes me sad as baby doesn't get milk as long as he might have if breastfed

    Just keep pumping. Anything you give is worth the effort.
    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!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
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    Default Re: Supply Drop - Please help

    to the amazing pps

    How many times a day are you pumping? Most moms find they need 8-12 times a day to have enough stimulation to maintain supply.

    One thing that helped me was to have a small hand pump- not to use all the time, but something to keep in my diaper bag so that I was NEVER without a way to remove milk. Even 2 min of pumping is infinitely more than none. I would pump in the 10 minutes in between my classes, and it was handy to have when I was out and things took longer than I thought.

    I also hand expresses after each session while I was building a supply, and I think that helped alot.

    Domperidone worked for me, but it has it's downsides. I probably wouldn't have gotten my supply up, but now I have to take at least a couple pills a day, and I want to pump for another 8 months or so and that is costly.

    Also how many ounces is he drinking in how big of bottles? Maybe your supply is alright and he is getting too much? Check your bottle nipples to make sure they are not too fast. I would say anything bigger than a 4 oz bottle is too much.

    Power pumping helps. Every couple weeks when I was building my supply I'd pump while watching a movie.

    And who knows, it might not be too late to breastfeed if you want to try. I would recommend getting in the tub with baby and relaxing and seeing if he goes for it

  6. #6

    Default Re: Supply Drop - Please help

    Wow- amazing advice so far! Love the idea of hand expressing after pumping.
    Agree about the 4 oz bottles- hopefully your caregiver can make that size work. Often caregivers want to give them same 8 ounce bottles that a formula-fed baby gets, but that's just not what you need to do for a breastfed baby.
    I'd also look into renting a better pump- I thought I read that for an EPer, a hospital grade pump could be important for providing enough stimulation. It definitely couldn't hurt to do so and then you'd at least know the pump wasn't the problem.
    Best of luck and hang in there, and like above commenters said, these little changes will help slowly but surely.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
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    10

    Default Re: Supply Drop - Please help

    I have called this morning about renting a hospital grade pump, and I plan to pick it up on my way home from work this afternoon. Hopefully that will show me some improvement to get my confidence back up. I never even considered how much time my pump motor has already clocked so I would be happy if the problem is from the pump and not me.

    In the event that the pump doesn't help.....
    AF is not on the way; however, should I just take calcium and magnesium then, or would it help to just start taking it all the time?

    Also, how/where can I get doperidone?

    I currently average around 15 minutes per session 7-8 times/day. Planning to set an alarm to get up late tonight/early tomorrow for extra pumping session and to power pump tomorrow. Any suggestions on power pumping schedule?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
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    10,440

    Default Re: Supply Drop - Please help

    Power pumping...pick a time of day where you have an hour or so and hook up. Sit and pump for 10 minutes, then shut it off. Turn it back on in 5-10-15 minutes and do another 10. Do that for 4-6 cycles. If you do that for a few days, it may help. I could only do it when DH was around to take care of the baby and the housework...because pumping eats time .

    Dont get frustrated if it takes 1-2 WEEKS to come back up. Really. It can take that long.

    And don't forget to buy extra membranes. I change mine every 7-14 days on a Medela pump. I don't have this on the Limerick now, but those white membranes get torn up when you are pumping so much every single day.

    I would also keep trying on getting back to the breast. My baby is 13+ months, and I still keep trying. If he was under 6 months, for sure I'd try.

    Sme moms find calcium and magnesium help with supply, others dont. I dont take it myself, but I am not cycling.

    There are ways to get domperidone....
    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!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    10

    Default Re: Supply Drop - Please help

    I called the medical supply store, and the hospital grade pump that I am picking up soon is a Medela Symphony. Has anyone had any success with this pump?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    555

    Default Re: Supply Drop - Please help

    Yes, that is an awesome pump I've used it for almost a year. It is also very comfortable!

    You said your supply dropped really suddenly- is there any chance you are pregnant?

    As for the domperidone, Jack Newman might have info about getting a prescription. I got mine from him (I drove up to his clinic in Canada).

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