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Thread: Questions about milk supply and looming move

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    138

    Default Questions about milk supply and looming move

    I'm not sure where to put this.

    Need to slow down supply. Is it possible to slow down your supply without damaging it permanently?

    Here's the situation. We're moving two hours away in a few weeks. Currently, I'm pumping at work and putting away about 6 to 9 ounces a day in addition to what she drinks at daycare. I would like to avoid adding to my stash at this point, as I don't want to build up a big stash and then have to worry about moving it with us. I know it could be done, but it's one more thing I'd have to worry about, which I don't really need. I'm going to be home with my daughter for a while until I find a job, so I can be nursing her directly and won't really need frozen milk anyway.

    I tend to pump 15 to 18 ounces a day, and she drinks about 9 when I'm away from her. The excess goes into the freezer.

    Is it possible to pump just enough that I could give her what she needs for daycare? When I pump, I pump until the milk stops coming. I might do some compressions just to make sure it's all out. Should I stop earlier, or not do the compressions, or something else? Would I hurt my supply in the long run by trying to pump less?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    20,952

    Default Re: Questions about milk supply and looming move

    Yes, definitely possible to slow down supply without doing permanent damage. Just pump less each time you pump- pump for less time, leave some milk in the breast, skip the compressions or do less of them. If you're suddenly getting less milk than you need, just increase the frequency and completeness of milk removal and your supply should come bouncing back. Just keep in mind that it can be harder- sometimes a lot harder- to increase supply than to let it diminish.

    Or you could continue your current routine and just donate the excess- you'd make some mom VERY happy!
    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
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    2,209

    Default Re: Questions about milk supply and looming move

    I've been thinking about this too, as I'm also pumping 6 oz in excess each day and I already have tons of milk in the freezer, then I end up having to pump on the weekends because I just get too full and had to deal with a really nasty plugged duct recently. Anyway, I think the answer is to gradually cut back on pumping until what you are pumping matches what she is drinking (in your case, about 9 oz/day). I mean, if you think about it, if you were at home with her now, then she would be drinking 9 oz during the day, and that's how much you would be producing, so you want to mimic that with the pump. But I wouldn't go from 18 oz to 9 oz cold turkey - potential for plugged ducts, mastitis, and serious discomfort! Maybe cut back to 15 oz first, then gradually to 12 oz etc - which will probably mean shortening your sessions or perhaps even dropping a session. For example, if you're now pumping three times per day, you might want to gradually cut back on the third session and then cut it out altogether, if you're able to get 9 oz in the first two sessions. So yes, you will decrease your supply (which is what you want, because right now you have an oversupply), but not below baby's demand. Now, if only I can follow my own advice - I feel like it's so ingrained in me to pump a certain amount that I'm having trouble cutting it back!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    399

    Default Re: Questions about milk supply and looming move

    Not sure how old your LO is, but as someone who's supply tanked at 8-9 months with pumping, I might err on the side of not trying to decrease supply, or not decreasing as much as you might think -- for example if you are producing 18 and she takes 9, maybe I'd try to only cut down to 12-14, just in case moving is stressful and makes your supply decrease.
    Ellen

    Mama-surgeon;
    DS Ethan 12/16/2008
    Breast fed/pumped 11 months as a surgical resident, 80 hours a week at work
    DS Abram Daniel 12/20/2012
    Feel like we've gotten a strong start

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    2,209

    Default Re: Questions about milk supply and looming move

    Good point.

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