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Thread: Drop in supply after returning to work

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2013

    Default Drop in supply after returning to work

    Hi all!

    First time mommy (40+) and new to forums all together. Was looking for nursing advice and a nurse at my work recommended LLL. Not sure if this is the correct section but here it goes.

    My baby girl is almost 3mos. I've breastfed and supplemented with formula since her birth. I've been back to work for a week and pump once during the day. My supply has diminished dramatically. I barely get 2oz when originally I was making 5-6oz every time I pumped. Does this mean its going away for good? I wanted to breasfeed at least another 6-9 months however, that dream seems to be fading FAST. How can I increase my supply? I started taking Fenugeek pills about a week ago but I do not see an improvement... I'm totally dissapointed and feel like I'm failing at a very important task. Please help!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2012

    Default Re: First time Mommy and new to forum

    Hi, and welcome to the forum! How long are you away from your baby while you work? Unless your work day is really short, I think the issue is probably (at least in part) due to the fact that you're only pumping once. You should be pumping as often as the baby would be eating if you were together. The working mommas I'm sure will be able to offer more support in this area!

    The good news is, when it comes to breastfeeding, supply=demand. The more milk you remove and the more often, the more it signals your body to make. So it's definitely possible to recover your supply! Is baby nursing during the night? That's when a lot of babies 'catch up' on calories, so if she's sleeping long stretches at night, you might want to sneak in some dream feeds!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: First time Mommy and new to forum

    with the PP.

    Milk supply is governed by the supply = demand equation. Demand more from your body by nursing more or pumping more, and your body will respond by making more milk. Usually when people "lose" their milk supply, the problem is the way they're managing that supply: either they're not nursing enough or they're not pumping enough.

    Some questions for you:
    - What's your goal? Do you want to get to a 100% breastmilk diet for your baby, or are you comfortable with using some formula?
    - What sort of pump are you using? (Make, model, is it new or used?)
    - What sort of birth control are you using? (Trust me, it's relevant.)

  4. #4

    Default Re: Drop in supply after returning to work


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: Drop in supply after returning to work

    isasteinbring are you still here>?

    So, it is very typical to see a drop in production after returning to work. pumping just does not maintain milk production the way nursing will. But there are lots of things one can do to improve your milk production.

    But in your case, I see you are talking about a drop in pump output. A drop in pump output may or may not mean a drop in milk production, it may be that your pump is not working correctly. Is your pump a new double sided slectric pump? Have you been pumping with it all along, have you checked it out, changed the membranes?

    The simplest and best way to increase milk production or to keep it at a good level is to remove milk from the breasts very frequently. As pp mentions, that means pumping about every three hours during separations with a very good pump, and nursing you baby as much as you can when you are with your baby. Some working mothers need to add a pumping session or two per day while with baby as well, but if your baby can nurse well and often this may not be needed. Herbs certainly do help some mothers with production, but the frequent removal of milk from the breasts must be done as well.

    I am also curious why your baby was supplemented with formula before your return to work. Have you had issues with milk production before?

    The best resource imo for all low milk production issues is the book Making More Milk
    And the website www.kellymom.com has many excellent articles on increasing milk production, working and breastfeeding, and increasing pump output.

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