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Thread: Low Supply When I'm Home

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
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    Question Low Supply When I'm Home

    So I am back at work now. DD still is not taking a bottle, but we're going to keep trying. I pump a couple of times at work (10:30am and 2:30pm) and she's brought in at noon to eat. My goal is to make the best of the time I'm at home with her, but I feel very frustrated because the time I am home happens to be in the evening when I have my lowest supply of the day. Also, she only wakes up once at night (which makes me feel lucky but also, way overfull and sad to miss her awake times). It is frustrating because I generally have oversupply except for from about 6pm to 9pm when I seem to have almost no milk. She has to work really hard and gets frustrated since she is used to OS / OALD making her a generally lazy eater. So, she sucks for a bit, gets an angry expression on her face, pulls on my nipple by moving her head back a few times then let's go and cries. She has always done this to some extent at this time of night even before I went back to work. She just seems angrier about it now that she can't eat any time she wants during the day.

    My questions are:
    -Is there a way to increase my supply in the evenings without exacerbating my OS issue?
    -Should I get up during the night to pump since she is sleeping more lately?
    -What time should I do my last at work pumping session?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    Default Re: Low Supply When I'm Home

    (1) She might be teething or just generally fussy. I don't think that you have no supply in the evenings. How much are you pumping when away?

    (2) I would get HER up during the night to nurse, I wouldn't pump. If she's not taking the bottle during the day and you feel like she's not getting enough from 6-9, I would nurse her more at night.

    (3) What time do you get home? Are you worried that the 2:30 pumping is somehow messing with your supply at 6 pm?

    How old is she and how long have you been back to work?
    Tracie

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

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
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    216

    Default Re: Low Supply When I'm Home

    Thank you for your reply. Those are good questions and I would love more feedback.
    (1) I think she is just generally fussy and that has been pretty consistently a difficult time for her since she was a couple of weeks old. She is only 10 weeks old. You are right that I'm not empty, but I do think that my supply is lower in the evening based on my breasts feeling "empty". During the day and overnight I tend to feel full and heavy then as it gets be be later in the day they feel as if she has just finished a really good feeding even when she hasn't eaten yet. As to how much I'm pumping, I get about 5 oz each time I pump and I pump 2 times a day. I usually stop after about 5 mins of pumping. I have heard that some people pump for 15 minutes and I could, but at this point I'm throwing all the milk away anyway so I just pump 2-3 oz from each breast then stop.

    (2) I have tried to get her up at night, but she won't nurse. She clamps her mouth shut and if I persist she just cries. I have been following her cues since birth so I think she doesn't understand why I'm not listening to her. We planned on demand feeding even with the bottle, but obviously that isn't going so well. Really we wanted to avoid scheduling her.

    (3) Yeah I was wondering if I skipped the 2:30 pumping if that would allow me to fill up before going home. I get home between 4:30 and 5:00. My concern would be that skipping that pumping session might tell my body that I don't need to produce as much. I don't know I just wish I could stay home and feed her when she lets me know she's hungry as nature intended. Oh well.

    I have been back to work only for 1 week at this point and I only went in for 3 days. Next week I'm in 3 days too then I go back full time.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Low Supply When I'm Home

    Why are you throwing the milk away? Can't you freeze it?

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Low Supply When I'm Home

    10 weeks is still really young. Babies are often fussy in the evenings low supply or not, and given the amount you are pumping during the day I really doubt that low supply is the problem. I had oversupply and OALD, and my baby was still fussy in the evenings until about 5 months. It had nothing to do with supply issues. He would nurse, fuss, nurse, fuss, nurse, fuss, on and on for hours in the evenings the days I worked and the days I didn't. He would nurse briefly until he would pull off and scream, then I walked and bounced him until he was calm enough to nurse again. Just keep offering, soothe him in other ways if he refuses, then offer again a little later. It's frustrating for sure, but it passes quickly enough.

    And good question from PP. I would be freezing what I pumped. It is very likely that your supply will eventually even out and it will be nice to have some backup milk in the freezer. I used to be able to pump 8-10 ounces in minutes, but after about 7 or 8 months I was only pumping just enough to supply milk for the following day.

    Also for that reason I wouldn't drop the 2:30 pump. Your supply is still regulating and you risk tanking your milk supply if you only pump once a day. Perhaps you could pump a littler earlier if you think it would help, but it probably won't make much difference if the fussing isn't supply related.

  6. #6
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    Feb 2012
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    Default Re: Low Supply When I'm Home

    Okay, thanks everyone that all makes sense. I already have a good freezer supply and I do keep adding a little each day. I guess I was exaggerating when I said I throw it all away. I just feel that way sometimes since we're throwing away the milk in the bottles that have been offered counting them as partially fed since she sometimes sucks on the nipple. I have been making bottles of 1 oz so that we're not tossing a whole 5 oz bottle. I do like to have extra milk in the fridge though just in case she decides to take bottle one day. I want her to have some that has never been frozen available. So every week or so I'm throwing away some that has been in the fridge for days. I guess I should freeze more each day. Only so much room in the freezer though. I do not have a deep freeze and have thrown away some that I pumped in the hospital.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Low Supply When I'm Home

    Is there anyone you know who needs milk? You could start donating to a milk bank. If you lose your freezer stash or run out, you will still have the supply in your breasts to build your stash back up.

  8. #8
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    Feb 2012
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    Default Re: Low Supply When I'm Home

    I am thinking of donating. I'm a good candidate too because I'm casein free. Actually, a friend of mine is 7 months pregnant and had a low supply last time and I have offered if she had difficulties this time as well.

    Also, I was thinking about it last night and I really do think that there is a difference in my supply and letdown in the evenings. She is definitely not getting the same amount per suck. I wonder if it is because she is usually fussy at that time so she doesn't nurse efficiently. My supply may have adjusted to her. I know some is coming out, but it takes more work on her part rather than the usual, suck once and practically drown in the first gush. Again, this probably is worrying me because I wish I could be home with her all day and I hate that the time I see her the most is her time when she is fussy. I'm going to try harder to wake her up at night to eat. Last night I was able to get her to take one extra feeding @ 2am though other times she refused and went right back to sleep. Also, we'll keep trying the bottle while I'm away.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Low Supply When I'm Home

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*m11612 View Post
    I wonder if it is because she is usually fussy at that time so she doesn't nurse efficiently.
    I think that is very likely. There was a spell when in the evenings I had to hold my baby at the breast and walk with him while he nursed or he would just latch briefly and start screaming. He simply wouldn't eat any other way. Fortunately it didn't last too long. Your baby may also need a little time to get used to the new routine with you being back at work. Try not to stress about it too much (easier said thn done, right?); stress can interfere with let down and babies pick up on it and it adds fuel to the fussiness. I'm sorry you're going through this. It's really hard going back to work; I went back really early so I get where you're coming from. I promise it gets easier!

    Maybe try some different kinds of bottles. It also helps to try feeding a small bottle before your baby is too hungry.

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