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Thread: Dramatic Drop at 8 months. Seperated from Baby

  1. #1

    Question Dramatic Drop at 8 months. Seperated from Baby

    Hi Ladies,

    I apologize if this is a duplicate post, but I am new to the site and couldn't find the search button. My baby turned 8 months old on 2nd. He nurses when I'm home and I pump when I'm at work. I am active duty and since returning off maternity leave I have been gone a lot. Thankfully my supply has kept up with his demand and I was able to build and replenish the freezer stock for when I was gone. When I say I'm away from the baby a lot, I mean it. I got off maternity leave in May and was on the road in June for a week. Came back for a week and then left. Was home for a couple of weeks and left for a week and so on. In september I was gone for almost 3 weeks straight. I am currently at a course and am in the final 2 out of 8 weeks. I see my baby on the weekends. Anyway, last week overnight my supply took a dramatic drop. I went from pumping an ounce an hour to a half an ounce an hour. I have tried everything, more water, oatmeal, fenugreek, brewers yeast, and ground flax mill. Nothing is working. I even set an alarm so I can get up and pump in the middle of the night. When I am home the baby nurses (Thank GOD he still loves to nurse!) and I am able to keep up with him for the most part. He is on solids now so I am sure that has something to do with it.

    I need help. I love breastfeeding and I love that it's our special bonding time when I am home. It helps us reconnect. I don't want to dry up and I'm worried that this seperation was too much. What can I do? Please don't tell me I've done everything. I need a magic answer. I don't want to be the reason to stop breast feeding. I want him to nurse as long as he wants.

    Please help. I'm desperate

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
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    2,214

    Default Re: Dramatic Drop at 8 months. Seperated from Baby

    Hi mama, welcome to the forum!

    Anything new going on? Like your period starting, birth control, pregnant? Any other new medications, including over-the-counter? Have you changed how much you're pumping (length of time pumping, number of sessions) when you're away from baby?
    If nothing has changed, it could be you're hitting the 8 month slump - lots of mamas find their pumping output dwindles in the later part of the year. If that's the case, more pumping sessions and/or longer sessions should help. The other question is whether your pump might be wearing down. Have you tried changing all the replaceable parts?
    Also, when you are home with LO, maybe have him do all nursing when he's with you, or at least limit the solids - he doesn't need the solids nutritionally right now, and that will help boost your supply. Any chance you can take a few days or a week off for a nursing holiday?

    Hats off to you for keeping breastfeeding going despite a really difficult schedule!

  3. #3

    Default Re: Dramatic Drop at 8 months. Seperated from Baby

    Thank you for the reply. No. Nothing new. I haven't started my period yet, I don't think I'm pregnant, and I haven't taken any OTC medications except the fenugreek. I usually pump every 3 -4 hours for about 10-15 minutes. After I hand express to completely drain the breast. I will try the just solid nursing and nothing else all weekend. I just hope my supply stays until I see him Friday.

    Unfortunately I can't take off because I need this course. I will be taking a good chunk of time for Christmas but that won't start for another 15 days.

    *** I say I don't think I'm pregnant because I take weekly tests to make sure since I haven't had a period yet. I always get nervous reading those posts and threads on different boards about women who didn't find out they were pregnant until 22 weeks and kept getting negative tests. It's always a possiblity since my husband and I are constantly in the honeymoon period since we are separated so much.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Dramatic Drop at 8 months. Seperated from Baby

    Oh and my Medela PISA is only 3 months old. I just changed the membranes too.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
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    California
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    416

    Default Re: Dramatic Drop at 8 months. Seperated from Baby

    Honestly? I think you need to pump more often, and for longer. I know that must be really hard, especially in the military. Most mamas hit a slump with pump output around 8-9 months. Especially given your schedule I think it's amazing you've kept up as well as you have, for as long as you have. If you really want to increase your supply you need to pump at least every 3 hours. Pump until you're dry and keep pumping a couple minutes after. That stimulates your body to make more milk. Add breast compressions to your pumping if you are not already doing them. These things, combined with making sure you are getting enough calories and fluids, should help increase your supply but it might take a couple days or a week to see it. Also, try looking at pictures or video of your baby while pumping, if possible. Congrats on getting to 8 months and keep up the good work!
    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
    Oct 2012
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    2,214

    Default Re: Dramatic Drop at 8 months. Seperated from Baby



    I agree with joshuas.mommy. 10-15 minutes is short for a pumping session. Even if it seems like not much (or anything) is coming out, if you can lengthen your sessions by even 5-10 minutes I think that will help a lot. Sounds like you've already taken care of any potential pump issue. Remember, supply = demand. More demand (by pumping more), more supply!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    California
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    416

    Default Re: Dramatic Drop at 8 months. Seperated from Baby

    Hey there--just checking in--how are things going? Hang in there mama--I'm rooting for you!
    First-time mama to Joshua, 10/29/11. 29 months and going strong! for 14 months; now finished with pump weaning!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    77

    Default Re: Dramatic Drop at 8 months. Seperated from Baby

    do you think it could be related to being AWAY from your baby? being away even for a day can be stressful enough to me to effect my let down time pretty good.. even if i don't feel like it is stressful to me emotionally, there are lots of invisible hormones floating around in us when we are with baby that make our boobs tick!

    good luck to you, keep at it!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Nashville, TN
    Posts
    525

    Default Re: Dramatic Drop at 8 months. Seperated from Baby

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*maryanneb View Post
    Oh and my Medela PISA is only 3 months old. I just changed the membranes too.
    Firdt, THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE TO OUR COUNTRY! I switched from a Medela PISA to a rented hospital grade Medela Symphony and the difference is incredible, well worth the $65/month and I think insurance will reimburse for at least part of that. I actually can pump for only 10 - 15 min now and get so much more than I could in 20 - 35 min w/my PSA. (Caveat, my DD is only 5 mos so I realize thingd may be different at 9 mos). Anyway, the pump saved me, but it's not a travel friendly set up. If you can put the pump into your own bag (the case they give you is industrial and enormous) and take your 9V battery pack from your PISA so you aren't dependent on a wall plug, you might find it's worth the hassle. I'm on the go a lot for work and lugging it is an extra workout and a toll on my shoulders, that's for sure, it gets DD what she needs. You will need the Symphony kit as well - everything in it is unfortunately a duplicate to what you already have (2 flanges, 2 bottles) except the tubing attachments to the pump. Those are specific to the Symphony and my research shows they arent sold separately.

    Other tips. Hydrate hydrate hydrate. If you can, keep photos, videos AND audio clips of your baby on your phone. I recorded my LO giggling, cooing, and even crying. I hate listening to that last one, but trying to coax a letdown sometimes takes creativity.

    Hope you are able to resolve this.
    1st time mom over 40 to Alex(andra) b: 7/14/12

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