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Thread: Return to work is not working.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    3

    Default Return to work is not working.

    I returned to work about 2 weeks ago and I'm having a terrible time keeping up with my little fella's demand. He is eating about 3 1/2 ounces every 2-3 hours but I am only pumping 1-2 ounces every 2 hours. when I'm home, I let him nurse on one side while I pump the other just so I can make enough to leave for him the next day. I can't seem to get ahead with a supply. I've been taking Fenugreek for 2 weeks now (4 capsules 3x per day) and I haven't seen any increase at all.

    I can't bring myself to supplement with formula. I know it's not my fault but I feel so guilty and heartbroken. He was 6 weeks premature and while he was in the NICU the only thing I could do to help him was pump and provide colostrum (or liquid gold as the nurses called it). I just can't give up but I am constantly worrying and struggling to provide for him. Any ideas?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Southern NM
    Posts
    712

    Default Re: Return to work is not working.

    A few questions:

    What kind of pump are you using?
    Have you replaced parts (such as the membranes) recently?
    How old is your LO?
    Has your period returned?
    Could you possibly be pregnant?
    I am Erin--happily married to the nerd of my dreams for 15 years
    High School Science Teacher
    Mother to: Thing 1 9/23/01, bf 15 mo, diagnosed with stage 4 neuroblastoma 1/29/02, officially cancer free for ten years in August 2012
    Thing 2 6/6/05, bf 12 mo, obsessed with dynamite
    Glowworm 2/18/11, bf 15 months and counting

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Return to work is not working.

    Pump- Medela Freestyle. The tubing and membranes were replaced about 1 month ago

    My LO is 10 weeks and 2 days. I have had one period and I should have another in about 1 week. I had an IUD placed at my 6 week appointment (not much concern about being pregnant) and I opted for Paragard because I was afraid of hormones affecting my supply.

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

    Default Re: Return to work is not working.

    Somemoms find the IUD affects their supply. On weekends or days off, is baby sated at the breast entirely?

    If so, then there is a two pronged issue: 1) is baby being fed too much (average is 1 to 1.5 oz per hour of separation) and 2) is mom able to pump often enough and long enough with an adequate pump to replace nursing sessions?

    So....how often are you pumping, how long are you pumping, are you doing compressions, have your horns been sized, and have you tried a hospital grade pump?
    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
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Return to work is not working.

    When I am home he's exclusively bf. I worry about latch issues because he seems fussy even while nursing. I wonder if he is not emptying me and that is what has my supply so low. He will nurse 1-2 hours at times and never seems satisfied - chews hands, cries, ect. He flattens my nipple and it will be white when i pull away (he rarely unlat hes on his own once he gets going).

    I thought that my mom was over feeding originally. I would make 5 bottles at 2 1/2 ounces and I am gone 10-11 hours a day. But it's not that he wants 5 bottles of 3 1/2 now, he just wants to go longer between feedings at the higher volume. So, 31/2 ounces but only 4 bottles.

    I pump every 2 hours for20 minutes a session at work. At home I nurse him on one side and on the other I pump for 20 minutes. I used a Medela symphony while he was in NICU and it worked well in the early days, still I never pumped more than 3-4 ounces and that was EP'ing. I've tried compressions but gave up pretty quickly when I didn't see results. My horns have never been sized but are comfortable and don't appear to pull in too much or too little.

    I just got home from the store with mothers milk tea, flax seed granola bars and cereal, and some oatmeal. I hope it helps...even a small increase would be a big win for me.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    860

    Default Re: Return to work is not working.

    I saw a video on line, i think it might have been at kellymom.com, anyway it said to end a pumping session with hand expressing to really empty out the ducts and to stimulate production. It's worth a shot.
    DD#1 July 1986 VB
    DD#2 April 1988 c/sec
    DS#3 April 1990 VBAC
    DS#4 June 1993 VB
    and suprise!
    DD#5 April 2001 c/sec
    BTDT scars and stretchmarks,: wrinkles and grey hair

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    10,440

    Default Re: Return to work is not working.

    What kind of pump are you using now, and even though you don't see any results from compressions, they are still important to stimulate the ducts. Relying on the suction alone will decrease your supply.

    It might be worth going to rent a hospital grade pump for a month and see if that helps.

    And yes, there may be a latch issue. For that, an IBCLC would be helpful to evaluate in person.

    You could look into domperidone.

    Keep switching back and forth when baby fusses. Helps make more milk
    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!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    California
    Posts
    418

    Default Re: Return to work is not working.

    Check out this video from Stanford on 'hands-on pumping'. It shows how to do breast compressions, and other things while pumping to increase supply. Pumping effectively and fully emptying your breasts when pumping is very important; you definitely need to use your hands to do it right. The pump alone will not be enough, especially now that you are using a Pump in Style (not as good as a hospital-grade pump).

    Also agree with Susan that an IBCLC would be a good idea to evaluate the latch, if it hasn't already been done. Fixing the latch may help you more than anything, as baby is better at stimulating supply than any pump.

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