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Thread: Amount I'm pumping seems to be decreasing

  1. #1

    Default Amount I'm pumping seems to be decreasing

    I work FT (just went back three weeks ago) and have been feeding and pumping as follows:
    6AM Pump - 10 minutes
    7AM Feeding
    10:30AM Pump - 10-15 minutes (time allowing)
    1PM Pump - 10-15 minutes (time allowing)
    3:30PM Pump - 10-15 minutes (time allowing)
    6:15PM Feeding
    8:15PM Feeding
    10:15PM Feeding

    3 month old DD sleeps through the night - and I really am not up for waking her.

    Anyhoo, my 6AM pump has gone from 4+oz to 3oz this week during the span of Monday to Friday
    My 10:30AM pump which originally getting me 4oz is now only getting me 2.5oz.
    My 1PM and 3PM pump gives me another 3-4 oz total - this seems like it's been fairly consistent

    I've just gotten to a place where my DD is not being overfed by my nanny and is eating about 12-13oz during the day, down from 17-18oz/day. Not sure why this drop is occurring. I'm drink a lot of water. I let me DD nurse as long as she wants at home. Is it possible I will see it bounce over the weekend when I'm feeding her from the breast FT?

    Oh, one last thing, in all my pumping sessions I hit the let down button of my PIS during the mid-point of my pumping - with the exception of the 6AM pump.

    Thoughts? Suggestions? Advice?

    This is my second go around and I really want to make it to the EBF 6 month mark. I work in advertising and my job is super intense but I am committed.

    TIA

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    2,214

    Default Re: Amount I'm pumping seems to be decreasing

    I have two thoughts. First, when you say that you pump for 10-15 minutes, is that total time (including set-up and clean-up), or is that time with the pump actually on? Because 10 minutes is pretty short for a total pumping session and is the bare minimum time I would spend with the pump actually on. Second, though I completely appreciate how appealing sleeping through the night is, my personal mantra is that nighttime nursing is the working mom's best friend in terms of maintaining supply. Would you consider a nighttime dream feed? Otherwise, I think you're looking at trying to add additional pumping sessions in somewhere - maybe on your commute to work or back, for example.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    6,562

    Default Re: Amount I'm pumping seems to be decreasing

    Well, if you're not open to waking up the baby, then what about pumping sometime in the middle of the night? You'll survive without those 8 hours of unbroken sleep, I'm on my 4th year of not sleeping through the night and am handling it just fine.

    It is pretty normal for your pumping to decrease from the beginning of the week to the end of the week. You've gone from nursing your baby all weekend, which is way more efficient than any pump at stimulating your milk supply, to pumping all day during the week. You could add pumping sessions in on the weekend - maybe right when your baby goes to bed? Or keep that 6 am pump on the weekends? - to supplement your milk during the week.

    I also think that you're not pumping for a long enough time. If you can't pump longer, then you're going to have to make up for it by adding more sessions in somewhere. Personally, I would rather nurse the baby one more time in the middle of the night so she needs less milk during the day than pump an extra time, but that's just me.
    Tracie

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

  4. #4

    Default Re: Amount I'm pumping seems to be decreasing

    Well, I take the train to work so I don't think a pump during my commute will work Re: adding a night feed or pump, I'm still hesitant. I'm currently trying to work, make lunches, etc. for at least an hour after my baby goes down and I'm up an hour before she is. I think waking myself in the night my push me over the proverbial edge.

    15 minutes is pumping time only, no clean up. I have tried to extend to 20 when I can and will try and do this more when I'm at home. I'm also going to keep that 6am pump this weekend. It will be interesting to see how next week goes. Hopefully I'm at full blast again on Monday!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    California
    Posts
    416

    Default Re: Amount I'm pumping seems to be decreasing

    Yes, I agree that your pumping sessions are too short. Usually 15-20 minutes is the minimum, and some moms including myself take longer--up to 30 minutes or so. It's very important to fully empty your breasts at each pumping session or you will see your supply (and the amount you are pumping) decrease. Especially since you don't want to/can't add more pumping sessions, I think the only other thing to do is to increase your pumping time at each session. You can also try adding breast compressions to make sure you're really getting all the milk out. Hope that helps.
    First-time mama to Joshua, 10/29/11. 29 months and going strong! for 14 months; now finished with pump weaning!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    5,644

    Default Re: Amount I'm pumping seems to be decreasing

    I sounds like you have a good plan. Hopefully things improve next week!

    going forward, just a couple of thoughts-

    have you had pump tested or done trouble shooting on your pump parts? pumps are just machines and malfunction or wear out just like any other machine, and often it is not obvious to the user at all that that is what is happening.

    Also, The schedule you laid out shows 8 milk expressions a day. I assume this is just an estimate but 8 expressions a day at 3 months is often not quite enough even for moms nursing full time. Since in your case, half of those are pumping, and pumps are not as effective as babies, finding some way to up nursing frequency will almost certainly help, at least for good production overall, which presumably will help pump output as well.

    Most 3 month olds are not sleeping 8 or 9 hours at night without a feed. 5 hours, maybe. So babies of both stay at home and nursing moms typically nurse 1 or more times overnight at this age. So adding a nursing session overnight would be most effective for keeping milk production adequate. If that is not possible, then yes, nursing lots when with baby- weekends, evenings, and mornings, may well help.

    You are only three weeks into your new back to work schedule. These adjustments take time. Keep thinking outside the box for ways to make this less stressful and exhausting. For example, is there anyone else who can make sandwiches or can you make them on the weekend and save them? Can you take a later train in or an earlier one home once a week to give yourself some breathing room? Could you just nurse baby in the morning, at least some days, rather than getting up early to pump? I see you get a good pump output then, so i get it, but I am just imagining, If you were able to enjoy a leisurely nursies with baby prior to the rush and bustle of the day, that might improve things overall-better production, less stress, etc. Pumping when away from your baby can be something of a mental game, so anything to help you feel more relaxed and conected to baby may help as well.

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