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Thread: Body Telling me I'm done?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2012

    Default Body Telling me I'm done?

    I have been nursing/pumping for my LO for 9.5 months (yay since I had LOTS of struggles at first!) About 2 weeks ago I had an AWESOME week of pumping (lots of milk) and then my supply suddenly dropped. Last week I had my period - which I expected a drop in my supply - but it hasn't come back. I am pumping every 3 hours and getting about 1oz on each side - clearly not enough my LO. Is my body telling me I am done nursing? I have tried lactation cookies, Fenugreek, drinking lots of water, etc. Any thoughts would be appreciated. I am going to keep up the rest of this week but then over the weekend making a decision whether I should wean LO off.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2012

    Default Re: Body Telling me I'm done?

    HI mama, it's common to have a "pump slump" sometime in the 8-10 month range. Sounds like your period contributed. Another biggie is that pumps often start wearing down at this point. What kind of pump do you have? Have you changed out the replaceable parts? Also, is your LO STTN all of a sudden? Decreasing nighttime nursing can lead to a decrease in daytime pump output.

    In any case, I wouldn't tie pump output to decisions about weaning. First of all, my guess is that your pump output will pick up again, especially if you do some troubleshooting around your pump. Second of all, even if it doesn't, that doesn't mean you have to wean altogether. You may well be able to continue nursing when you're at home with your little one, even if you are not pumping all of LO's milk during the day.

    Great job getting to 9.5 months!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: Body Telling me I'm done?

    Pump slump. It's not your body saying "I'm done making milk"- it's your body saying "I'm not getting the stimulation I need".

    When a mom has a temporary dip in supply due to the return of her period or illness, what usually happens is that the baby compensates for the dip by nursing more frequently and emptying the breast more completely. That frequent, intense stimulation and milk removal results in supply bouncing back. Working moms tend to run into problems at these junctures because the pump isn't as good at emptying the breast, and because it's not like the average working mom can suddenly double her number of pumping sessions in order to compensate for reduced output.

    Things to try when dealing with a pump slump:
    - Pump more often. If you can't fit more sessions into the workday, you may need to pump after feedings when you're home with your baby.
    - Nurse at night. If your baby has been sleeping through, now would be a good time to slip some nursing (or pumping) sessions in during the nighttime hours. Increased nighttime stimulation often leads to increased daytime supply.
    - Check your pump. After months of frequent use, pumps often wear down. Now may be a good time to make sure your machine is in good working order and to make sure the shields are still the right size. (It's common for a mom to need different sized shields after she's been nursing a while.)
    - Consider getting a better pump. If you're using a manual or single electric, now is the time to think about a double electric, preferably a good one. A hospital-grade rental is often ideal.
    - Review your contraception choices. Some moms find that hormonal contraception hinders supply. You might want to try a barrier method for the next few months, just until your baby is a year old and is less dependent on your milk.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2012

    Default Re: Body Telling me I'm done?

    Also had another thought this morning. I had my period last week as well and with it, a drop in supply. Period ended several days ago but I didn't see my supply bounce back until this morning. So it's possible you'll still have a post-period supply recovery too.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    middle of IA

    Default Re: Body Telling me I'm done?

    yup, agree with PPs. try:

    - nursing "vacation" weekend where you pump after every single nursing. it sucks but it works.
    - more pumping - every 2 hours - for 3+ days in a row
    - and again, check your pump.

    good luck!!
    DS1 6/7/11
    DS2 10/29/13

    Nursing, pumping, cloth-diapering, babywearing, working professor mama with the awesomest SAHD ever.

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