Happy Mothers Breastfed Babies
Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 24

Thread: Pumping and supply decreasing

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    36

    Default Pumping and supply decreasing

    I have been EPing for eight months now. I wanted to breastfeed terribly, but due to poor advice from my LC... I used a nipple shield and supplemented (with breastmilk) bottles and I believe my daughter had nipple confusion. I was never able to get her fully on the breast. So... here we are EPing.

    Now at eight months old, it seems the last few weeks I haven't been able to keep up with her and what she is eating. She has NEVER been giving formula, only breastmilk. I have a PLENTY of frozen milk, but the last two weeks or so, I'm having to use about a bag a day (5 oz.) to make up for what I'm not providing. I'm a SAHM and pump 5-6 times per day and once during the night (during about a 6-7 hour stretch). I have started giving some solids... but she really isn't too interested and mostly acts like she wants my milk. She is gaining weight wonderfully, etc. If she does eat solids... it's more at my insistence than her wanting them. I also noticed she wasn't having as many dirty diapers after rice cereal so I back off a little from that. I don't know why it seems my supply has gone down some, or she is eating a tad bit more? I haven't gotten my period again or anything like that either. I do have some "more milk plus" that I never used from the beginning... and I just pulled that out the other day and started taking it.

    So.... my questions is... does anyone know what could be causing this? Is it the length of time I've been pumping (8 months)? Should I try to add in an extra pumping per day... or see if the More Milk Plus works? Or should I insist that the baby eat solids in order to compensate for the extra milk consumption? (although I hate to force her)

    Any help or tips on this would be greatly appreciated!!! Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    2,207

    Default Re: Pumping and supply decreasing

    You mentioned you haven't gotten your period back, also no new birth control, other meds (including over-the-counters) or being pregnant? If not, a lot of moms who pump part-time (for example at work) find they have a harder time with the pump at 8-9 months. It could just be that, or it could be your pump wearing down - EP'ing puts a lot of wear and tear on a pump. What kind of pump do you have? You can try replacing all the replaceable parts and see if that helps. If it doesn't, you could consider renting a hospital-grade pump to see if you can get your supply back on track. Adding more pumping sessions is always a good idea if supply is dipping too.

    Up until a year, breastmilk is the primary source of nutrition for baby. Solids is mainly for baby to learn how to deal with food, learn about different tastes, textures, smells etc. in preparation for solids STARTING to become the primary source of nutrition at a year. That is, at one year is when solids GRADUALLY start becoming LO's primary source of nutrition. So before a year, solids can't compensate for the decrease in milk supply.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Pumping and supply decreasing

    Wow, first off, amazing you have epd this long. Really, that is very difficult. So, that is really amazing.

    Agree with bfwman! First thing to look at is your pump. Pumps wear out or malfunction like any other type of machine. Can you tell us a little about your pump?

    how many ounces of breastmilk does your baby get each day? And how much milk are you currently expressing per day, and what did it drop from? And how much of a stash do you have left?
    there is lots you can try to increase pump output. It sounds like you have a little cushion, so I suggest, work on that before pushing solids, as your child’s lack of interest in solids is entirely normal at this age.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    36

    Default Re: Pumping and supply decreasing

    Thank you so much for your responses. I didn't think solids were too important... so I was glad to hear that is what you guys think.

    OK... so as far as my pump. I have the Medela Pump in Style Advance. I used it with my first child for eight months (EP-ing) so it definitely got a work out. As I mentioned before, I was desperately hoping to EBF with my second this time around... but here I am pumping again. After you both mentioned the pump.... I wonder if I need to do something about it? I haven't noticed anything strange with it as far as suction... but as I'm typing... my husband is looking it over. I do replace the membranes on a regular basis and clean my tubes... but should I look into other things as well? (would that be the diaphram, etc?)

    My daughter has increased her milk intake a little the past few weeks and is right at 31-32 oz per day. I used to be able to stay WELL AHEAD of her in my milk production/pumping.... but the past two weeks or so, I have had to pull a bag of milk out almost nightly to be able to keep up with her. I would say my milk had dropped anywhere from 5 - 8 oz per day. Thank goodness.... I have plenty of milk bags in the freezer. I just counted last night and I have 55 bags... yes, you read that correctly. At the beginning I had tons of milk so I stocked up a HUGE amount. I'm not worried about running out yet, but I was hoping I would be able to keep right ahead of her and then when she is a year old, start to wean myself off the pump and have all the frozen milk to keep giving her for awhile. I'm DETERMINED to pump at least for the first year. So.... with saying all of this... I just have been wondering why my milk has been decreasing. I never have had this problem before.

    I would really appreciate what you guys have to say about this! Thank you!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    20,598

    Default Re: Pumping and supply decreasing

    It could be the pump. The motor could be wearing down, the diaphragm could be kaput... One thing you might want to try would be the PP's suggestion of renting a hospital-grade pump for a while. If that gives you measurably better results, then I think you might want to put the old PISA out to pasture.

    It could also be the 8-10 month pump slump that's hitting you right now. A lot of working moms find that around this point they have to add in some extra sessions with the pump in order to fill their babies' daily needs- and those are moms who only need to Troy on the pump part-time, not full-time! That's probably the first thing I'd try- add 1-2 more pump sessions per day and see if that makes a difference.
    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!"

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    2,207

    Default Re: Pumping and supply decreasing

    16 months of EP'ing on the same PISA is A LOT! (Kudos to you, by the way, for not doing this not once but twice!) I'm thinking of it like this: most people who work outside the home spend about a third of their day at work, and only Monday-Friday, and usually starting a couple months after LO is born. So you're pumping more than three times as much as the typical mom who is pumping during the workday - so you've already accumulated the equivalent of more than 48 months (4 years!) of a WOHM's typical use. Some people notice problems much sooner than that - even after a year or two.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    36

    Default Re: Pumping and supply decreasing

    Wow... OK, you guys gave me some good info. This is where I am today..... I called our local store about a pump rental and it was super expensive in addition to having to buy a kit to go with it (tubes, etc). So, my husband said lets just buy a new pump since we will need it for many more months... therefore no point in renting, etc. I bought a new PISA, but the suction doesn't seem any better than my current PISA. I also called Medela today and they walked me through checking out my pump, diaphram, tubing... and it all looks good. Medela is sending me new breastshields sizes to see if they work better for me (since I am smaller now than I was a few months ago when the baby was born). I still can replace my tubing, valves, membranes, etc.

    I'm still taking Motherlove herbs, but I don't see that they have helped yet.

    What do you guys think about the pump? I don't know much about hospital grade pumps vs the PISA?

    I'm absolutely panicking because I feel like daily my milk is just reducing. Tonight I hardly had any milk when I pumped... the smallest amount yet... and I don't know if I'm stressing and it's effecting it or what. I do know that I've put many hours on my PISA, but honestly... the suction was just as good as the new PISA.... so shouldn't that let me know my pump is OK and the problem is somewhere else?

    Please let me know what you guys think. After not being able to get my daughter back on the breast after my horrible advice from my LC.... if I loose my milk I will feel like even more of a failure. If I cannot breastfeed her..... this is the least I can do... and I have to make it work..........

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    2,207

    Default Re: Pumping and supply decreasing

    Hmm, I would think if the pump was the answer then you would notice at least some difference with the suction. I've never tried a hospital-grade pump personally but there are some moms on here who swear by them (for example, the Medela Symphony) over the PISA, even a well-functioning PISA. The academic medical center I work at rents the Symphony for $60/month. Was the rate at your local store a lot more than that? If so you might want to call around and see if you can find somewhere else to rent (perhaps a local LLL Leader would know, too). Maybe you can talk them into just giving a week or two rental to see if that makes a difference, before you commit to a longer rental period. In the meantime, have you added in extra pumping sessions, or tried going for longer sessions, for example trying to get a second let-down? Doing hand compressions to try to squeeze out as much milk as possible? Also, I know this is easier said than done - but stress is counter-productive to pumping. There's no reason this can't be solved. You've already proven yourself to be an able EP'er, I really think you're going to get past this bump in the road!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    36

    Default Re: Pumping and supply decreasing

    bfwmomof3 - Thanks for your reply. I'm still going back and forth between the old and new PISA.... and I really think they are both equal in suction, so I think I'm starting to rule that out as an issue. I have ordered new replacement parts (tubing, etc) and am going to put those on my old PISA. The hospital-grade pump rental cost is $7/day OR $65/month. (that is right in line with the cost you mentioned) Also, I would have to purchase a "kit" for it (tubing, connectors, etc) and that is $60. So.... when I looked at that cost I thought to myself, "I might as well just purchase a new one for $280. But... if I see that the PISA still isn't solving anything.... I wonder if I shouldn't give the hospital-grade a try for a couple of weeks anyway.

    I have started adding in extra pumpings per day. Today I got an extra one in (seven times today) and I'm aiming for possibly eight per day. I had gotten down to six per day because I usually had SO much milk that I just kept freezing it non-stop. Then all of the sudden when it started dropping a couple weeks ago... I've been stressing about it... and I agree with you... I think that might be having some effect. I know that when I was trying to nurse at the very beginning, I would stress so bad I would have a difficult time with my milk and I think my daughter could really sense it with me. Also, when I'm pumping, I do have a good letdown and usually a second one. I pump about 20-23 min per session. I do hand compressions too.

    Goodness... when I read what I just wrote... I feel like a fanatic!! HA I can't imagine how blessed people are to be able to nurse their babies. I think my daughter would have been a wonderful nurser if I hadn't been so misguided with her at the beginning. I hope I can get this figured out and get my supply back up quickly!!!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    20,598

    Default Re: Pumping and supply decreasing

    I think adding in those extra sessions is going to make a big difference in the long run. 6 pumping sessions per day is probably not enough for a mom who has been pumping for 8 months. Think about it this way: most 8 month old babies who are nursing are doing so at least 8 times a day, and many are nursing more like 10-12 or more times a day. You want to use your pump to mimic the kind of demand your baby would give you if she could nurse- and that means adding in some more sessions.
    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!"

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •