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Thread: Low supply

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    16

    Default Low supply

    I am concerned about low output on one side.

    Last night before bedtime, I pumped from the left side in place of a feeding (husband gave baby a bottle of EBM). I am concerned because I got LESS THAN 0.5oz from that side. My supply has been great and this really bothered me. I do not pump every day. I only pump at missed feedings when my husband gives LO the bottle (which isn't every day either - only on the nights he is at home and he only gives the bedtime feeding). Up until last night, I have been able to pump off at LEAST 2-3oz of milk from one side at a time.

    This morning after waking (since it is said you have more milk in the mornings), I tried pumping again to see if I was able to express my normal amount of milk with the pump and again - very low amount - not even 1oz from the left side. Then saying a quick prayer, crossing my fingers, and holding my breath I switched to the right side to see if I could get a good amount from that side and I was able to quickly pump off 2oz.

    So it seems like my left side supply is low... is this normal? What can I do to stimulate the left side to produce more? LO seems to be spreading feedings out more this week to nursing every 2.5-3hrs where before he was nursing every 2 hours almost on the spot. Could this have anything to do with it?

    I am planning to go back to work in January and the last thing I need is to not have enough milk to give LO while I am away :-(

    PLEASE HELP! I really don't want my supply to start dropping! Now I am so worried that he isn't getting enough to eat when nursing from that side. I will be watching his diapers very closely today to be sure his output is adequate.

    Thanks in advance for the help!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    1,902

    Default Re: Low supply

    It's not uncommon for supply to be different in the two breasts. At some point without you noticing it, LO began to favor the right breast. To even things out again, go back to breastfeeding first principles: supply = demand. Preferentially offer the left breast first, for example.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Dallas, TX
    Posts
    255

    Default Re: Low supply

    What kind of pump are you using?

    You said your supply has been great so I wouldn't worry too much! As PP said, it's normal for one to produce more too. You can offer that breast first, and also do breast compressions to try to empty it a bit more at feedings. But do watch output for a few days and if it is good, there's nothing to worry about.

    Don't worry about when you go back to work. It takes some practice to let down for the pump, and there's all kinds of tricks and tips to increase pumping output once you get there.

    You can also try to offer to nurse a little more frequently.

    Keep us posted!
    Lisa

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

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    16

    Default Re: Low supply

    I am using a Medela Pump In Style Advanced Double Pump.

    Today, LO has had 6 dirty diapers so far so I guess all is still good and he is getting enough milk. I just got very worried when my pumping output dropped like that so suddenly from one side.

    You mentioned above that there are tips/tricks to increase pumping output.... can you share? I'd like to start pumping a bit more if I can to start building up a supply.

    Today, I encouraged LO to nurse closer to every 2 hours to see if that may help also.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    1,902

    Default Re: Low supply

    If you want to build up a stash of milk for going back to work, one way to do it is to pump every day after a morning feed (when you have the most milk). Don't be discouraged if you don't get too much out since it will be after a feed. All you really need is the first day's supply of milk, after that you'll be pumping each day the milk you need for the next day. You need 1 to 1.5 oz of milk per hour apart from baby. So if you're apart for 9 hours 15 oz total should cover it with a little to spare. Since you're still over a month away, pumping 0.5 ounces per day will let you build up enough. You can combine the milk to freeze every couple days - let's say once you get 2 oz. The milk should be chilled before combining. The fact that you were able to quickly pump 2 oz off your good side already is a good sign! The Medela PISA is a good pump. Feeding your baby more often will also help you up your supply.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Low supply

    I have the same pump and one thing I found out for myself was that when I used both sides at once I got a lot more from both breasts than when I would only do one at a time

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

    Default Re: Low supply

    The PP have some good advice on building a stash. Pump at the same time each day and our body will begin to make more around that time too.

    There are probably some good threads in the pumping forum on increasing pumping output, but here's my list of things that may help:
    -- wear a pumping bra and do breast compressions while pumping
    --pump at regular times (or as closes as possible) so your body gets used to making milk at that time
    --relax and look at pics of baby if you are separated
    --drink lots of water, drink while pumping too
    -- over the counter herbal remedies such as fenugreek and motherlove (I loved motherlove)
    -- experiment with more frequent shorter sessions or longer pumping sessions (but make sure it's at least every 3 hours)
    -- make sure your flanges are sized correctly and pump parts don't need to be replaced (not a problem with a new pump but they may wear out faster than you think)
    -- if you are short a few ounces, get creative about adding in a pumping session, such as while driving

    For now, though, just pump a little bit each day to begin a stash. You really only need enough for your first day at work and the you will pump for the second day. I know it may not seem like you will pump 12 or 16 oz a day, but you will! When you are replacing entire nursing sessions there is a lot more there,trust me
    Lisa

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

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    1,056

    Default Re: Low supply

    I don't have/use a pumping bra, but what I did was lean forward at my desk so that one flange was sort of propped on the edge; then I would hold the other horn with one hand and do breast compressions w/ the other.
    Little SW, Aug '09
    Miss MW, Jan '11
    Sir RW, Oct '12
    3 kids in 38 mos

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