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Thread: Supply dip after vacation, what do I do now?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
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    Default Supply dip after vacation, what do I do now?

    So I've been back to work for 2 months (DD is 7.5 months old now) and pumping has been mostly going OK: most days I pump as much or more as DD is taking in my absence.

    Just as I started to think that I have pumping figured out, we took a brief vacation (4 days - today is my first day back at work) and my pumping output took a total nosedive. I did pump here and there while we were away, but since we were out and about most of the time, it was difficult (I nursed on demand, as usual).

    Normally I pump first thing in the morning, then 4x at work. I also pump at least once on my days off (usually in the morning) to keep up the supply and add to the freezer stash.

    Is this something that any of you have encountered before? How long until my supply rebounds? I'm taking a fenugreek supplement, and drinking a lot of water. Baby seems totally satisfied with how much I'm making when nursing directly from the breast.

    Any advice?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Supply dip after vacation, what do I do now?

    I was off three months last summer and my pumping output decreased dramatically when I picked it back up in the fall. I had to add in 1-2 extra pumping sessions and pump a little longer for each session for awhile. My output did pick back up again even after such an extended hiatus. I imagine it shouldn't take so long after just four days.
    K. Sophia - Mama to my little lactivore, the amazing Mr. X (11/10).

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Supply dip after vacation, what do I do now?

    I'm going through this right now too after a week-long vacation! The first couple days back at work last week my pumping output was at a new low, and my LO did have something to say about it. I think it's because I didn't pump at all on vacation and it seemed like he was eating more solids than usual some days. But now that I've been back on schedule (almost a week later) things seem to be getting back to normal. I posted on another thread that my LC recommended blessed thistle and alfalfa in addition to fenugreek when I had lower supply in the beginning. But regardless, since you are back to your schedule I bet you will rebound soon.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Supply dip after vacation, what do I do now?

    Do you think that my dip in supply could be related to 4 days off with no pumping?
    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*lilpats-mama View Post
    I'm going through this right now too after a week-long vacation! The first couple days back at work last week my pumping output was at a new low, and my LO did have something to say about it. I think it's because I didn't pump at all on vacation and it seemed like he was eating more solids than usual some days. But now that I've been back on schedule (almost a week later) things seem to be getting back to normal. I posted on another thread that my LC recommended blessed thistle and alfalfa in addition to fenugreek when I had lower supply in the beginning. But regardless, since you are back to your schedule I bet you will rebound soon.
    Full time working mama to a precious
    Due date was 05/02/2011 - born 04/04/2011 at 36 weeks exactly.
    and 14 months and still going strong

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Supply dip after vacation, what do I do now?

    Hmm, maybe! I think everyone's probably different, but that does seem to happen for me. How old is your LO? I think the paradox is that the baby can supposedly get more out than the pump (I don't disagree with this!), but my LO seems to like to "snack" when he's with me, eating only a little at a time and more frequently. I'm not sure but this might be causing little supply dips for me, and was even more noticeable after a vacation. So I notice that, for example, after a weekend when he has nursed on demand and I've only pumped 1-2 times, my output for the pump seems a little lower when I go back to work on Monday. So while I know he *can* take out more milk than the pump, I'm not sure that he *does* take out more - at least not at every feeding ...

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Supply dip after vacation, what do I do now?

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*rdh2378 View Post
    Do you think that my dip in supply could be related to 4 days off with no pumping?
    Your baby is 14 months though, right? I think things are a little different after a year. I started producing less and less after a year, and there hasn't been much I've been able to do about it (I suppose I could try galactogogues, but I figure it's more natural to just send less during the day and nurse on demand when we re together).

    I think milk production and nursing patterns are a little different during toddlerhood than during infancy. Toddlers tend to nurse less, but milk is more nutrient/antibody rich to compensate or that. As such it makes sense that it would be more difficult to pump as much after a year.
    K. Sophia - Mama to my little lactivore, the amazing Mr. X (11/10).

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Supply dip after vacation, what do I do now?

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*phi View Post
    Your baby is 14 months though, right? I think things are a little different after a year. I started producing less and less after a year, and there hasn't been much I've been able to do about it (I suppose I could try galactogogues, but I figure it's more natural to just send less during the day and nurse on demand when we re together).

    I think milk production and nursing patterns are a little different during toddlerhood than during infancy. Toddlers tend to nurse less, but milk is more nutrient/antibody rich to compensate or that. As such it makes sense that it would be more difficult to pump as much after a year.
    Good points, all! I didn't see that your baby was over a year. I'm not there yet, but what phi says makes sense to me ...

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Supply dip after vacation, what do I do now?

    Yeah, I'm not trying to say it's impossible to boost pumping output back up after a year, just that it is potentially a lot harder (and usually unnecessary).

    And I whole heartedly agree with this:

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*lilpats-mama View Post
    So while I know he *can* take out more milk than the pump, I'm not sure that he *does* take out more - at least not at every feeding ...
    Before a year, I think getting back into a pumping routine can bring production back up pretty easily if you just give it a little time. After a year it can be done, it's just a lot harder to do sometimes. I don't think my toddler is drinking very large amounts of milk anymore when he nurses, so I'm pretty sure it woud be more trouble than it's worth to try to produce more for the pump. But you can wait and see; I'm sure all of this is very variable from person to person.
    K. Sophia - Mama to my little lactivore, the amazing Mr. X (11/10).

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Supply dip after vacation, what do I do now?

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*phi View Post

    I think milk production and nursing patterns are a little different during toddlerhood than during infancy. Toddlers tend to nurse less, but milk is more nutrient/antibody rich to compensate or that. As such it makes sense that it would be more difficult to pump as much after a year.
    This

    And this is why I am thinking, unless a mom is pumping like 6 times a day around the clock, lactating forever in any large amount is impossible. It doesn't fit with normal physiology.
    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!

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