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Thread: Is it me or the pump?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    80

    Default Is it me or the pump?

    Lately I've noticed a drop in supply while pumping. I had a sinus infection about 3 weeks back and had to take 3 doses of Dayquil to survive. I was assured by my pediatrician that my supply would drop with the medication, but would return after I stopped the medication, but despite hydration, fenugreek, oatmeal and added pumping sessions, I'm not getting the results I expected. I used to get 5 - 8 ounces a pumping session while I was at work. Now I am getting 3 - 5.

    I've seen many other posters to this forum state that pumps can wear out over time. My Medela PIS is 3.5 years old. I used it for a year with my daughter three years ago and am using it again with my son. How do I know if the pump is less effective than it should be? It still feels like it has suction and I don't have to crank it up to max volume. If not the pump, what else could explain the drastic reduction in output?

    As additional information, I don't believe my period is returning and I am stimulating my breasts at least 8-10 times/day between pumping and nursing.

    Thank you mamas for the advice!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    2,207

    Default Re: Is it me or the pump?

    Hi connectikate, I doubt it's the Dayquil. Even if it did have an impact on your supply at the time, it should be long gone from your system.

    If the pump has gradually been losing steam, it's possible that it wouldn't have a noticeable decrease in suction. A simple thing to do, if you haven't already, is to change out the white membranes, and possibly the plastic parts (flanges etc) and see if that helps. You could also try calling Medela to see if they have suggestions for ways to test pump function.

    Another thought I have - I read another post your wrote in a different thread that your daycare has been giving your LO 20 oz of milk while you're at work. I know you wrote that you have to pick your battles, but this might be a battle worth picking. The reason is, even though you've added extra pumping sessions to make up for all the milk they're giving your LO (which in itself is a ton of work!), the fact that baby is getting a lot of milk at work means that he will be that much less hungry when you're together, and therefore will nurse less with you. You might not notice it in terms of frequency of nursing, but maybe he's drinking half an ounce or an ounce less per feeding (which I think would be impossible to gauge), and the decreased stimulation may be decreasing your supply. And since nursing is often a more potent stimulus to increase supply than pumping is, your increased pumping sessions may not be making up for it. Anyway, just wanted to suggest considering talking to your daycare provider about it. It just makes it so hard on you if baby is being overfed.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    80

    Default Re: Is it me or the pump?

    It hadn't even occurred to me that he would be drinking less ounces when he's with me. He's been famished lately - nursing/bottle-feeding all the time and always ready for more within the next hour or two. I figured that daycare giving him more would just satiate his unending hunger while he's with then and not negatively impact my supply.

    If he's separated from me for 10.5 hours, I calculate that is about 16 ounces of milk he should need in my absence. If he's getting 3 ounce bottles every two hours and is still asking for more, how should I handle that?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    2,207

    Default Re: Is it me or the pump?

    Well, I guess the question is, is he really asking for more milk? Or is he asking to be comforted, held, rocked, engaged etc. and that is being interpreted as wanting more milk? I mean, is giving him a bottle the caregivers' "go-to" solution every time he fusses? Because babies fuss for more reasons than wanting milk. One strategy would be to give him the 3 oz bottle, then try other ways of soothing him if he still seems fussy (walking with him, swing, rocking, holding him, bouncing him in a bouncy chair, engaging him in playtime if he is not sleepy, etc), then giving him a one oz topper if he truly does seem hungry still.

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