Happy Mothers Breastfed Babies
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 16

Thread: Any suggestions for increasing pump output at work?

  1. #1

    Default Any suggestions for increasing pump output at work?

    Hi Everyone.

    I am only able to pump at work about half of what my daughter eats at day care. If anyone has a suggestion that I may not know about, I'd appreciate your advice. If condolences are all that's in order, they're welcome, too. :-)

    My daughter is 3 1/2 months old. I'm away from her for about 10 1/2 hours per day (2 hrs commuting on the train and 8 1/2 hrs at work). She eats about 16 ounces during the time we're apart. I've been back at work for about four weeks.

    I am able to breastfeed her successfully, so my overall supply is not an issue. I pump three times a day at work (9:30 am, 12:30 pm and 3:30 pm) and get about 2.5-3 ounces each time, a total of 8-9 ounces per day. I pump for varying lengths of time, anywhere from 15 minutes to 35 minutes, but the total volume doesn't change much.

    My left breast produces very little (1/2-3/4 ounce). I believe this is an anatomical issue. It's been like that from day one, she doesn't have a side preference, and I usually put her on the left breast first and let her stay there as long as she'd like, so it gets plenty of stimulation.

    I'm using the correct size flange. I rented a hospital grade pump (Medela Symphony). I massage and compress my breasts before and during pumping.

    I'm taking fenugreek and blessed thistle capsules, drink mother's milk tea and plenty of water. I get as much sleep as I can and try to eat healthily and a sufficient number of calories. I try to relax.

    I've taken every suggestion I've seen/heard, but my pumping production has not increased. Perhaps there's nothing to be done, but please let me know if you have any thoughts or advice. Thank you!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    middle of IA
    Posts
    1,882

    Default Re: Any suggestions for increasing pump output at work?

    Hi mama,

    Sounds like you're doing a lot! The main other thing you might try is just pumping more ... I hate to suggest it because I know it sucks, but if you could squeeze in an extra pump sometime in the day, and on your days off, you'd get a little bit more. The more you drain the breast, the more it is cued to produce.
    DS1 6/7/11
    DS2 10/29/13

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

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    miles from nowhere
    Posts
    11,107

    Default Re: Any suggestions for increasing pump output at work?

    Do you get a second let down when you're pumping? I think that pump has a let down button you can press after the first let down has trickled off and it should stimulate a second stream that might get you another ounce or so at every pumping session.

    I don't suppose there's any way you could get in an extra pumping session during your commute? I know I've seen some moms here who pump while they drive, but never heard of any who pump while they ride the train. I have no idea how do-able that would be.

    Does she seem to get plenty when she nurses directly? Have you tried eating oatmeal?

    Hopefully others will be along to give you more helpful suggestions, but I'll add that I was never able to pump enough for my kiddos so I supplemented while they were at day care. I continued to pump and nursed on demand when I was with them and never had any problems with supply.
    “We are not put on earth for ourselves, but are placed here for each other. If you are there always for others, then in time of need, someone will be there for you.”
    --Anonymous

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    10,440

    Default Re: Any suggestions for increasing pump output at work?

    If you are pumping 8-9 oz, and that is only half of what she is getting while you are away for 10 hours...I dare say she is being overfed to some extent.
    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

    Default Re: Any suggestions for increasing pump output at work?

    Thanks for your responses.

    I will try to fit in more pumpings, but as you mentioned, it's can be very difficult. Unfortunately, commuting on the crowded NYC subway system does not allow for pumping.

    I do get a couple of let downs, but none of them produce much milk. I've tried using the let down button in the middle of my pumping sessions, but it doesn't seem to do much for me.

    I also thought that she might be being overfed and asked the day care staff about it, but I don't think she is. To be more accurate, she is fed between 12 and 16 ounces a day. She eats 4 ounces per feeding, which is average or a little below average, and gets hungry about every 2 1/2 hours. Sometimes there is up to 11 hours between the time I feed her in the morning until the time I pick her up in the evening. So depending on the exact timing and whether she gets hungry a little sooner than normal, she has either 3 or 4 bottles per day, which is either 12 or 16 ounces. Does that seem reasonable?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    miles from nowhere
    Posts
    11,107

    Default Re: Any suggestions for increasing pump output at work?

    Four ounces at one time is a little high for a baby that young. Maybe you could start sending 2 or 3 ounce bottles with a couple of 1-2 ounce bottles for 'top offs' and see if she drinks less that way. Four ounces would be average for a baby that age drinking formula, but not necessarily for a breastfed baby. Your breastmilk changes in composition as your baby gets older so you will probably never increase all that much in volume given. My dd never took more than 3-4 ounces of breastmilk at a time, even when she was approaching a year old.
    “We are not put on earth for ourselves, but are placed here for each other. If you are there always for others, then in time of need, someone will be there for you.”
    --Anonymous

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Dallas, TX
    Posts
    255

    Default Re: Any suggestions for increasing pump output at work?

    It seems like you have tried a lot and it is too bad you can't pump during your commute. That always helps me get 2-4 more oz each way if I really need it.

    Have you tried manually expressing after you pump for just a couple minutes? I am usually able to get another ounce per session that way and that might replace another bottle for you. If you're able to do that, it could help overall production too because you are draining the breast more. I haven't manually expressed in a few weeks but I found I actually pumped a little more too when I was doing it.

    Also, you are doing a great job! Pumping at work day in and day out is no walk in the park!
    Lisa

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

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    142

    Default Re: Any suggestions for increasing pump output at work?

    One thing that REALLY surprised me recently was that when I pumped on one side, and hand expressed the other, I actually got about an ounce more than usual for my first morning pump. Total accident, I misplaced one of the horns. So I just hooked up the low-supply side, and at let down hand expressed the other - lo and behold the low supply side got about a full ounce more than normal. I have no idea why. I've repeated this twice on days I'm running low with a similar result. Crazy? Yes. Perhaps worth a try?

    Otherwise I would try to just add a session somewhere. Which would suck with the schedule you're on, but would likely kick you up to where you need to be

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    88

    Default Re: Any suggestions for increasing pump output at work?

    I don't make enough for my LO either while I'm at work, and I haven't since I went back to work at 4 mo. He's 8.5 mo old and takes three 5 oz breastmilk bottles during my workday plus two solid meals (e.g., a serving of peas, oatmeal, etc.). We were giving him three 4 oz bottles (and no solids since he was too young) when I first went back and were using slow-flow nipples, but after a couple of months the caregivers indicated that he was starting to "act hungry" repeatedly after the bottles so we increased them to 5 oz. One way we "caught up" is that we'd give him one bottle of organic formula at 1 am when I would pump, and I'm still doing that to make sure he has enough breastmilk the following day. It sucks to add another pumping as others have mentioned, but since that time of night is the most productive for milk, it might benefit your supply to do it for a while?

    Also, I'm sure you've thought of this, but maybe looking at a picture or video of your LO while pumping will help increase production??

  10. #10

    Default Re: Any suggestions for increasing pump output at work?

    My daughter is about the same age and I'm fortune to be keeping a little ahead of her right now. When my daughter started sleeping through the night at 6 wks I started feeding her on one side and pumping the other in the mornings to build up a frozen supply before returning to work. Now that I'm back to work it is a liitle bit of a pain because I have to get up 30 mins earlier to pump, but without that pumping I would probably barely break even each day. If your daughter sleeps through the night you might be able to try this to get extra milk. I can usually pump 4 to 6 ounces on one side each morning when my supply is the best. When I pump at work I only get that total from both sides. I also still do this pumping on the weekends so that helps provide extra too.

    Another thing that has help me collect extra milk is the "Milkies Milk Saver". You slip it in your bra on the side your not nursing on and it collects everything that leaks. Most of your leaking occurs while nursing. It cost about $20-$25, but should save you some money on nursing pads. In the mornings I get about 1.5-2 oz while throughout the day I may only get .25 to .5 oz at each feeding. But in a day or two I have collected an extra feeding. It is a little work because I don't mix the warm milk with the cold milk, so I have a bunch of bottles with a half oz in the frig. Once they are chilled I mix them all together, but then I have a lot of bottles to wash. It's worth though to know that my daughter is getting beast milk while I'm away.

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •