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Thread: sudden drop

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
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    11

    Default sudden drop

    I am EP and have never had adequate supply. I usually can only pump 2oz per pump session every 4 hours. i am on reglan 4 times a day and drink mothers milk tea 3 times a day. my supply has suddenly just dropped. i do supplement formula. i tried for weeks to breastfeed. my baby was in nicu for 11 days and was slow to learn to eat. breastfeeding was attempted and he ended up dehydrated and on a bottle of whatever i could pump and formula supplamented.

    im at wits end. i wanted nothing more than to breastfeed. that didnt happen so i swore i was going to pump and feed.....and i am only half doing that. he gets maybe 1-2 4 oz breast milk bottles a day depending on how much i get. my LO is 2 months old and i just feel like i am failing him by not producing more. with my first son the same thing happen, i had low supply but had no support system then and gave up....i didnt even pump. but this time is different. he is our miracle. what else can i try? i have a pump in style i use at home and an avent on the go manual pump i use at work. my breast are pretty large so when i pump i do one at a time and have to squeeze/massage to empty as much as possible. it doesnt matter if i pump every 2-3 hours or 4-6 hours, i will only average 2oz per session (about an ounce per breast.....) what else can i do? is there anything? am i just a low producer? i feel like a failure. could it be that i may be ready to start my period and the hormone levels are affecting it??????

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,115

    Default Re: sudden drop

    I'm sorry this has been such a struggle for you!

    The best things you can do when you're having supply issues are to pump more often and to use a better pump.

    You want to aim to pump every 2-3 hours during the day and every 3-4 at night, maybe allowing yourself one 5 hour stretch of sleep. Pumping every 4 hours is generally not enough to maintain milk supply when mom is exclusively pumping.

    The Pump in Style is a good pump but there are better machines out there (think hospital-grade rentals). The manual pump... Well, frankly that is just not an appropriate tool for a mom who is relying on pumping to maintain supply. It won't give you the stimulation or milk removal you need.

    So, to reiterate: pump more often and get yourself a better pump!
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    50

    Default Re: sudden drop

    I'll just add that 2oz per session is pretty normal. Just need to no it more often. I commend you for your effort! Don't give up yet! You're doing the right thing!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    142

    Default Re: sudden drop

    You are doing fine and are not a failure

    I would suggest, though, taking the PIS to work instead of the manual pump. I've used a manual, usually just to get the odd ounce or so I need to top off a day's supply when I'm feeling lazy and don't want to deal with cords and tubing, but have never gotten the same kind of output with it that I get with the electric. If there's a problem of electrical supply where you're pumping, the battery pack works quite well, I've found

    Your output sounds OK, just that you need more, and you might find just by using something a little more powerful on a consistent basis, it gets you a little more. Since you're EPing, I might go a step further and get a hospital grade, but I think just using the electric at work instead of the manual may make a difference for you.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    10,440

    Default Re: sudden drop

    Really, to EP you need a hospital grade pump and to pump every 2-3 hours around the clock. BTDT. I just finished over 18 months of EPing for my cleft baby. A hospital grade makes a huge difference.
    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!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    11

    Default Re: sudden drop

    thanks everyone. i use the manual pump at work because i can get more out faster than i can with the PISA. i really thought i should get more than an ounce per breast but if you (i consider all of you the experts) say it is normal than YAY me. im trying hard to keep at it....

    i have tried pumping every 2-3 hours and i only get about half an ounce to an ounce.....so really pumping more isnt getting me more....thats why the 4 hour mark seems to work best for me but welcome any and all suggestions!!!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Northern Cal.
    Posts
    4,984

    Default Re: sudden drop

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*mandisue13 View Post
    i have tried pumping every 2-3 hours and i only get about half an ounce to an ounce.....so really pumping more isnt getting me more....thats why the 4 hour mark seems to work best for me but welcome any and all suggestions!!!
    Right, but over time, you will get more if you pump more frequently. To increase supply, you have to pump "dry." A lot. Only pumping when your supply is highest can actually result in a decrease in supply. Whereas pumping more frequently, even if you don't see much at first, is how you increase supply. Most mothers see an increase after several days (up to a week) of pumping more frequently.


    You can call me JoMo!

    Mom to baby boy Joe, born 5/4/09 and breastfed for more than two and a half years, and baby girl Maggie, born 7/9/12.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,115

    Default Re: sudden drop

    I can understand that pumping every 4 hours seems to give you the best results, but I also think that it is holding you back.

    The 2 keys to milk supply are frequency and intensity of milk removal. A lot of moms stretch out their pump intervals because they get more if they wait for the milk to build up. But stretching out the intervals signals the body that the need for milk is not all that intense, so supply decreases or simply never increases. Think of it this way: an empty breast makes milk quickly than a full one. When you empty the breast every 2 hours, the way a hungry baby might, you're keeping the breast as empty as possible and encouraging it to make more. When you let the milk sit for 4 hours, production was probably tailing way off during the last hour or two. It's a wasted opportunity. So it's really better for supply to pump 1/2 an oz every hour than to pump 1 oz every 2 hours, even though the quantity of milk you yield will initially be the same- at first, that is. If you can maintain the increased frequency for a while, keeping the breast empty more or less all the time, it will tell your body "this baby is hungry, make more milk", and eventually you should get improved yield.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    California
    Posts
    418

    Default Re: sudden drop

    It often takes a week or so of pumping more frequently to see an improvement in pumping output. So, I would suggest pumping every 2-3 hours for 7-10 days and see if that gets you improved output, compared to pumping every 4 hours. I know it's not easy but that's what will get you results. I also agree with the recommendation to get a hospital-grade rental pump to use, at least at home. Good luck, EP'ing is tough!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    11

    Default Re: sudden drop

    all of that makes perfect sense. im going to try my hardest to get in every 3 hours and see how that goes. work is difficult to pump. i have a 15 min break during each 4 hour stretch. they did make me a special private room for privacy...but 15 is so hard to accomplish. but i also know it is better than nothing. its so frustrating.

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