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Thread: Not pumping enough for DS

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    New York

    Default Not pumping enough for DS

    My coworker just returned back to work last week. Her DS is 3 months old. Before she returned to work, she was exclusively BF with the exception of a 4 to 6 ounce bottle 1x/day usually in the late afternoon. (She wants to EBF.)

    She's pumping 3x day, 20 mins (until after second let down - 730 am, noon, 4 pm-ish). She gets about 9 to 11 ounces. DS has been eating 16 ounces of Breast milk per day (3 to 4 ounces every 2 hours from 6/7 am to 3pm), and 2 to 6 ounces of forumula a day (3 to 6 pm). She is away from DS from 730 am to 530 - 630 pm.

    She wants to get her supply up. I suggested a 4th pumping session, and herbs to help boost supply. A few questions about Fen-u-greek... how much should she start taking? How quickly does it take to boost supply? Once supply has increased, does she need to continue taking the herbal supplment? Any ill effect for mom or baby? Any other suggestions?

    Any suggestions to help boost pumping supply? She wants to be able to EBF, which I think it will be harder to increase supply that much at this point since she has always been supplementing with 2 to 6 ounces of formula/day, but not impossible, just a lot of work.

    Thanks for your help and suggestions in advanced!
    First baby Thanos Liam born on 12/20/2009... we are and since birth and still going strong!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    middle of IA

    Default Re: Not pumping enough for DS

    She needs to pump at least one, probably two times more while she's away (7:30, 10:30, 1:30, 4:30 would be a minimum every 3 hours, and it would be easy to fit in another by shortening the interval). And many moms don't make enough during the workday pumps and have to do an extra at night or morning. Sounds like DS is eating about the right amount (1-1.5 oz per hour for 9 hours = 9-15 oz, maybe an oz or two overfed), and her production is actually pretty good. She just needs to pump more. I hate that that's the solution, but it is ...

    Also, if baby was already getting formula supplement in the afternoon while mom was home full time (why?), then I think it is going to be pretty hard to get rid of that at this point. Not impossible, but harder than if her supply was at 100% while nursing.

    Also why is baby getting a bottle at 6 or 7 am when mom doesn't leave til 7:30? Nurse instead and she'll be ahead a bottle.
    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
    May 2006

    Default Re: Not pumping enough for DS

    Tips for getting more milk:
    - Add in pumping sessions. If that's not possible during the workday, pump during the commute or after feedings when at home.
    - Pump for longer time periods.
    - Use a better pump.
    - Make sure the breast shields are properly sized.
    - See a lactation consultant, preferably an IBCLC, for individualized assistance.
    - Herbs: fenugreek (take enough until sweat and urine smell of maple syrup), oatmeal, blessed thistle.
    - Drugs: as a last resort, Reglan and Domperidone are Rx drugs which can boost serum prolactin levels and increase supply. Not appropriate for use in all women, so anyone who wants to take them should consult their doctor beforehand.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: Not pumping enough for DS

    Is that bottle she's been giving all along formula? Or was she pumping and feeding expressed milk? If she was giving 4 to 6 ounces of formula a day (why??) before she went back to work, it makes sense that she would still need to provide that formula. Maybe I'm missing something.

    The above pps gave great advice - also, what about pumping at 7:30 am on the weekends? And get rid of supplementing with that formula bottle (if indeed, that's what you're talking about) on the weekends. Breastfeeding is supply and demand - so she needs to start demanding more.

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

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2012

    Default Re: Not pumping enough for DS

    The herbs I was taking to increase supply were fenugreek, alfalfa, and blessed thistle - henry's/sprouts carries all of them. I took them all 3x/day, and memory is fading but I think it was 3 fenugreek, 2 blessed thistle, 3 alfalfa capsules each time (a lot, but it was early and I was trying to get a better supply going). This was under the consultation of an IBCLC, so your coworker might want to get advice from one in this area. I did notice that it helped after a few days!

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