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Thread: Slowing letdown and amount decrease when pumping

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Pulaski, PA

    Default Slowing letdown and amount decrease when pumping

    For the past week almost, my letdown during pumping (doesn't seem to be during feeding) has slowed down. Used to it would happen during the "letdown" time on the pump. Last week, it started taking longer, sometimes not happening until mid-pump. This morning during my MOTN pump around 2am, it never happened (after nursing one side) and I ended up only getting half an ounce. Baby fed at 4am on one side, and again at 7am on the other. Then during my 9am session at work, still no let down and only got 1.5 ounces. Not sure what is going on. Any suggestions/advice is appreciated.

    I did start taking the minipill a week ago Sunday. Could that cause poor letdown when pumping?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: Slowing letdown and amount decrease when pumping

    3 possibilities:
    1. This is a normal adjustment to supply. Most moms start out making more milk than their babies need, but as time goes on supply adjusts to meet demand very precisely, without a lot of extra milk left over to make you feel full or to pump out.
    2. This is a pump issue. An underpowered or malfunctioning pump or incorrectly sized shields can affect output.
    3. This is a mini-pill effect. The mini-pill is supposedly safe for breastfeeding, but anecdotal reports of supply reduction after starting the mini-pill or other forms of progestin-only contraception, including them Mirena IUD, are common.

    If this were me, I would do the following:
    - Go off the mini-pill and switch to a barrier contraceptive (condoms, cervical cap, diaphragm, sponge, etc.)
    - Pump more often.
    - Make sure your pump is in perfect working order and that you have properly sized shields.
    - Consider using a different or more powerful pump.
    - Try nursing on both sides if you generally don't. A lot of moms who. Start out doing one-sided feedings eventually need to transition to using both breasts.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2012

    Default Re: Slowing letdown and amount decrease when pumping

    I'll add one more possibility to mommal's list, which is that this could be a letdown issue rather than a supply issue. A clue to this would be that your breasts feel full after the pumping session. Some moms do have trouble letting down for the pump - after all, it's a machine, not a warm and soft baby the sight and feel of whom instinctively will trigger letdown! Then mom starts worrying about the letdown and that further inhibits letdown in a vicious cycle, because letdown can be a very psychological thing. So, another thing to try is to get yourself in a good psychological space to enable letdown. Minimize stress at pumping times; try distraction (reading, music, surfing the net, watching TV or a movie - whatever gets your mind off pumping and your eyes off the drops of milk coming out); look at a picture of baby or daydream about him when pumping; try meditation or relaxation techniques.

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