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Thread: Supply issues

  1. #1

    Default Supply issues

    Hi
    I'm very nervous that my supply is decreasing. My LO is 4 months old and I just
    returned to work. I work 2 12hr shifts a week and only get to pump twice if I'm lucky. I decided to pump 2x a day on my days off but the last two days I've only produced about 5oz total for both pumping sessions. I am exclusively bf when I'm home as well as pumping.
    I really want to continue bf until my LO is 1yr and would appreciate any advise on
    how to help increase my supply.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    4,893

    Default Re: Supply issues

    Unfortunately the best way to increase, or maintain, is to stimulate. So pumping as often as your baby eats when you are gone. Some women are able to do fewer sessions for a longer period of time, however I know that never worked for me. I found frequent pumping for short sessions got me the best output. Even 5 minutes every 1-2 hours is better for me. Are you a nurse? Is that why you can't pump more often?
    If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun. - Katharine Hepburn

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    California
    Posts
    415

    Default Re: Supply issues

    From what you say, that actually sounds entirely normal! Let me make sure I understand you right: you're pumping twice on your days off, in addition to exclusively breastfeeding your LO on those days (no bottles the days you aren't working) and you are getting about 5 oz/day when you pump? If so, that's actually great! That means you are making about 5 oz/day more than what your LO needs! How much are you able to pump when you're at work? Most moms, if they are pumping between feedings or just after feeding their LO's, will only get about 1-1.5 oz per session (both breasts combined, not per breast). If they are pumping at work, to replace a breastfeeding session, while LO is getting a bottle, then they may get a bit more, in the range of 2-3 oz per session. So if you are getting 2.5 oz per session when pumping after feeding LO, you are doing good! There's no reason to think you will have any supply issues. How do you space out your pumping sessions at work? You should try not to go more than 3-4 hours without pumping or feeding--I know it can be difficult. Some moms pump on the way to work or on the way home to fit an extra session in or keep from going too long. Pumping too infrequently can be a threat to your supply in the long-term, even if your supply is fine now. If you don't empty your breasts, they get the signal that the milk is not needed, and they start making less of it, so pumping often enough is very important. If you do run into supply problems down the line, there are many things you can do, including troubleshooting your pump, adding breast compressions, pumping more often/longer, eating oatmeal, drinking more water, taking supplements like Fenugreek, and even some prescription medications. But that's getting ahead of ourselves since from what you've said so far it sounds like your supply is fine. How is LO's weight gain? How many wet diapers per day? How many dirty ones? Does LO seem content, and is he/she meeting milestones? If LO is gaining weight appropriately and has at least 5-6 wet diapers per day, your supply is probably fine now. You just have to make sure you're pumping enough at work that you don't jeopordize your supply, in the long term.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    middle of IA
    Posts
    1,885

    Default Re: Supply issues

    Or risk mastitis! Pumping at work - for 12 hours - is not just about feeding the baby, but about keeping YOU healthy. Going more than 4 hours at this age puts you at increased risk of mastitis, and believe me you'll be missing work if that happens

    Also remember that your milk supply is regulating, so you might not feel engorged or leaky anymore (if you did before). It doesn't mean you're losing your supply, rather that your body isn't making so much extra. If you're pumping on your days off every day, then your body thinks you need however much baby needs + 5 oz. so on your work days, your engorgement is going to be even more.
    DS1 6/7/11
    DS2 10/29/13

    Nursing, pumping, cloth-diapering, babywearing, working professor mama with the awesomest SAHD ever.

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