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Thread: Tired, Frustrated and a little scared...

  1. #1

    Angry Tired, Frustrated and a little scared...

    Hi everyone - this is my first post. I've read through many threads and just want to say this looks like a great forum! I have a 12 week old little boy and Monday/Tuesday of this week I was able to pump at work nearly 7 oz twice a day. Today is Wednesday and I barely got 4 oz in each session... I'm scared that I'm going to lose my supply. I'm taking fenugreek (5 pills/3 times a day) and am drinking water like there's no tomorrow. I've read that your milk drops before your period - and I haven't had one yet, so maybe that's it.

    But my concern is that I won't have enough for him to have the next day. At that point, we'd have to offer formula and I'm scared that once that happens he'll never come back from that and won't want my breast again. Am I being silly or should I just stop thinking negatively and hope for the best tomorrow?

    Thoughts/suggestions? Much appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    5,908

    Default Re: Tired, Frustrated and a little scared...

    Hi and welcome to the forum. Thanks you for posting. I have a few questions!

    1) 7 ounces is a very large amount to make when pumping. 4 is more normal but still very good. How much do you expect to make? How much do you think your baby needs?

    2) Did you have low production concerns prior to returning to work? (was Baby gainng ok just on your milk, or were you also supplementing?)

    3) Now that you are back to work, how many times a day (24 hours) will baby nurse? Does baby sleep longer than 5 hours at night?

    4) How long is your workday (total separation time) and what is your workweek?

    5) What kind of a pump do you have and is it new?

    6) Do you have a comfortabel place to pump while at work?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
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    Default Re: Tired, Frustrated and a little scared...

    Hi mama, welcome to the forum! I think the most likely culprit is that you are not pumping frequently enough. How many hours are you working? Usually you want to start off pumping every 3 hours which for a normal workday is 3 times, at least. You're right that your period can cause a drop in supply - but since you just started working I think it's more likely your pumping frequency. And while not impossible, it would be a little soon to get your period back at 12 week when EBF. Also, how long are you pumping for? An "average" time is 15-20 minutes, some mamas need less, some more. Another consideration is your pump - is it a good enough pump to adequately maintain supply? Are you using a new or used pump? What kind of pump is it? Other possible causes of supply drop are hormonal birth control, some herbs/over-the-counter meds, and being pregnant.

    I definitely don't think you are being silly - maintaining supply when pumping at work is something that needs careful attention. But the good thing is that most of the time supply problems can be fixed or at least improved. It's all supply and demand, so if supply starts to drop, you want to increase demand. The good news is that you have excellent pump output - the fact that you are able to pump 7 oz at a time - or even 4 oz at a time for that matter - suggests that you are doing just fine with the pump. I think adding in an extra session and possibly increasing your pumping time will likely be the answer.

    ETA: Also, how much is your baby drinking while you are at work? Overfeeding is common. 1 - 1.5 ounces/hour is what you want to shoot for.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Tired, Frustrated and a little scared...

    Hi there - here's my responses:

    1) I guess I expect to make at least what he's taking by bottle while I'm at work - which has been 2 bottles - roughly four hours apart at roughly 5 ounces each. Is that too much? His nanny says he seems satisfied when consuming those.

    2) Baby is gaining weight appropriately (chubby cheeks to show) and I only supplement with 2 oz of breastmilk at night becuase when I get home there doesn't seem to be much there and he doesn't seem satisfied after nursing when I get home.

    3) Now that I'm back to work, my little man nurses 4-5 times a day. He was sleeping 5 hours a night all last week - this week he's been up every 2-3 hours.

    4) Workday is LONG -- I leave the house at 6:30 and don't get home until 6.

    5) New pump courtesy of my insurance plan. It appears to work well. Medela Pump-in-Style I think.

    6) Yes, fairly comfortable. I also look at videos and photos of my baby during each session.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Tired, Frustrated and a little scared...

    Thanks! I was pumping 3 times during the day, but my LC from my insurance company said to only pump the number of feedings I'm missing and my little one is only feeding twice during the day when I'm at work. I've been back to work since week 8 unfortunately... so I've had time to adjust and see a difference. Some weeks are low, some are high, but this week seems odd - plus my baby isn't sleeping as sound as he used to (5 hours last week compared to 2-3 hours this week). 1 - 1.5 oz would mean 10-13 ounces while I'm gone and right now he's doing on 10 oz (2 feedings at 5 oz each). So does that mean he's not getting enough? It's so hard to know... he has plenty of wet and dirty diapers though, so that's not indicative of anything wrong there.

  6. #6
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Tired, Frustrated and a little scared...

    Hi mama, yes, I definitely think you are not pumping frequently enough for such a long workday. A twelve-hour workday would usually mandate at least 4 pumping sessions. Also, if you think of the total number of working + pumping sessions, you are only hitting 6-7. A breastfed baby will usually be nursing MINIMUM 8 times per 24 hours, and often 10-12 times. So you are falling short on that. The Medela Pump-in-Style is a good pump, so I don't see any problems there. Also, I would avoid supplementing breastmilk at night. It's normal to have a somewhat lower milk supply at the end of the day. That's why babies cluster feed in the evening, and that cluster feeding stimulates your supply. Just let him have unlimited access to the breast, he will suck until he gets enough and that will stimulate more milk to be there. It does not sounds like your nanny is overfeeding. If anything 10 ounces is a bit low for 12 hours apart. A normal meal at the breast is 2-3 ounces, maybe 4. 5 would be a lot. So to more closely mimic what baby would be doing at the breast, you might want to scale back to smaller, more frequent bottles. For example, have nanny give a 3 ounce bottle, with a 1 ounce topper available if baby is still hungry, but offer more frequently. That way you and baby will stay more in sync.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Tired, Frustrated and a little scared...

    Oh - and one thing I forgot to mention, I am taking medicine for a yeast infection in my breast (as is my little one), but that has been since late last week and will run through this weekend. (not sure if that has anything to do with it either). Thanks for your input ladies.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Tired, Frustrated and a little scared...

    Also, totally normal for a 12 week old baby to only sleep for 2-3 hours at a time. My mantra is nighttime feeding is a working mother's best friend for maintaining supply!

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Tired, Frustrated and a little scared...

    Medication for yeast infection should not affect your supply.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Tired, Frustrated and a little scared...

    So it might be me that needs to adjust -- just when I was getting used to some sleep :-). Thanks.

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*bfwmomof3 View Post
    Also, totally normal for a 12 week old baby to only sleep for 2-3 hours at a time. My mantra is nighttime feeding is a working mother's best friend for maintaining supply!

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