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Thread: Reassurance please

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Central PA
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    75

    Default Reassurance please

    Sometime last week my daytime pumping supply has gone down significantly. Yes it was time for my period which I just got today. Prior to this I was getting what I considered extra. This could have partially been due to the more frequent night wakings but it stayed up even after she slowed down on those. I was getting about 10oz in 3 pumps about 2-3.5 hours apart (2-3oz 2 hours after morning nursing session, 3-4oz 3 hours after 1st pump, and 2-3 3.5 hours after second pump). Towards the end of the week last week I had to shorten the length between my 1st and 2nd and 2nd and third pumps because I wasn't getting enough to send to daycare with DD. For example today I got 1oz 2 hours after morning nurse, barely 2oz 3 hours after 1st pump, and I'll probably only get maybe another 2oz during my next pump which will be 2.5 hours after my second pump. I'm stressed and exhausted from having to add this extra pumping session on my lunch break. I already pump for at least 20minutes each time and can only pump 2 times at work. This lunch time pump is actually at home during my lunch break which has me rushing around trying to let the dog out, eat lunch, pump, and make it back to work in time. Does everyone think this is just simply due to my period or could it be that DD is not nursing at often or as long as before? If this continues this is going to be the longest month of my breastfeeding career (DD turns 1 year in a little over a month). Prior to this I had been working on increasing my stash so that I can start pump weaning maybe a week prior to her 1yr bday. What happens if I don't get the usual 8oz that I send to daycare? Should I break in to my hard earned stash? Start pumping at home in the evenings after nursings and before I go to bed? I really don't want to have to pump at home. I'm already stressed about pumping so much and need some time to myself after she goes to bed.
    ~Chrissy~

    First time mother to Avery Grace 7/17/2012


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
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    2,207

    Default Re: Reassurance please

    Hi mama, sorry to hear you are struggling. But you are SO CLOSE!!! Okay, so, yes, the period can definitely be a part of it. But I'd also consider a pump problem, especially since you've presumably been using your pump for a while now? First thing to do is to try to change out replaceable parts like valves and membranes. Sometimes that is enough to boost your pump output back up, even if there doesn't appear to be anything visibly wrong with them.

    In the meantime, if you're not pumping enough right now to send to daycare - since you are so close to a year I think it's fine to start breaking into the stash while you troubleshoot. For example, see what happens as you're recovering from your period and with changing out the pump parts, and in the meantime use the frozen stash. If you're still not seeing improvement in a week (for example), then you can consider adding in some extra pumping - it depends on how much is in your stash. But to me it makes more sense to use up your stash even if it means an extra week of pumping.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Central PA
    Posts
    75

    Default Re: Reassurance please

    Okay...so I just had my last pump for the day and I got almost 4 oz (which is up from the 2 I've been getting since last week). Hopefully this will just be the begining of my supply coming back up. It better not be my pump because I just bought it about a month or two ago (Medela PISA). I had two Ameda Purely Yours' crap out on me since my work return back in September. Could I potentially still need new valves and membranes already? Last month my period didn't really affect my supply at all. Month by month DD seems less and less interested and more and more distractible so I worry, of course .
    ~Chrissy~

    First time mother to Avery Grace 7/17/2012


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
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    Default Re: Reassurance please

    My experience with my periods is sometimes I see a dramatic drop, sometimes I don't. Especially if there's other stuff going on that may affect supply - then it seems like my period can really cause a drop. So hopefully your 4 ounces you got today is a sign of the post-period bounceback! In terms of the membranes and valves - it's variable how often they need to be changed. Some mothers find they do need changing every couple months. Maybe see how your pumping is in the next day or two, since there are some signs of improvement already - if all is better, then leave it alone, if not, change them out. And it is really normal for babies this age to be distractible. But often they regain their interest in nursing as young toddlers!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Deep South
    Posts
    13

    Default Re: Reassurance please

    My little one is almost the same age as yours and it sounds like our pump output has been about the same. I have noticed just this week, I have been getting more like about 8 oz aday and my little one drinks about 9 oz unless I work a 12 hour day (like today) where she gets another bottle. I started my cycle about 6 weeks ago and it has been a little crazy secondary to the minipill I am on, but that is a whole other story. I do use a hospital grade pump on thursdays because it is my hospital day, so that usually ups my supply for the week. I have used some of my freezer stash this week, but felt like it was ok, since it so far has been only 3 bags and I should freeze tomorrows milk -- so maybe 1.5 bags down. Maybe it means another week of pumping before I can get rid of this pump.
    But, I personally would rather use my stash, then pump at night as I feel those few moments in the evening is the only down time I really get these days. I guess it is whatever works for your sanity.

    Hope yours was just your period, but wanted to let you know someone else is going through the same thing. I do change my valves and membranes every 2-3 months and I have 3 sets of parts. It won't hurt to try -- I just order mine online and I know at least once a change has made a huge difference!
    First time mom to K 7/12/12, happily ; hoping to stop in the next few months!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    NY
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    554

    Default Re: Reassurance please

    For what it's worth, my valves and membranes crapped out on me after only just shy of 2 months of use. No visible damage, I just know that my pumping output went back up 2-4 oz. a day as soon as I changed them!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Central PA
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    Default Re: Reassurance please

    Thanks ladies! I'm still on the fence today as to whether or not my supply is coming back already. I got barely 1oz my first, 3oz the 2nd, and barely 2oz the 3rd. I still have one more to go and am hoping for at least 3oz. I may not be able to pump at lunch tomorrow so I am hoping to have a little extra from today to make up for it. I don't want to have to break in my stash but I'm with littlemiss.smom and don't want to use my relaxing time in the evenings to have to pump and clean my parts again. It's the only down time that I have all day and I really need it. Maybe I'll also replace my membranes since I do have a spare set and hopefully only a month left to go.

    One other question....during this dip in my supply I noticed that most of the time if I hand express after pumping there is still milk coming out. Is this normal for everyone all the time. Prior to the drop I never tried hand expressing afterwards because I got the amount I need. Since I was deperate for more I figured that I would give it a shot. I already pump for 20mins and can't afford to hand express for another 10 or how ever long it takes. Plus it's very uncomfortable since I don't have much to grab onto . This is what had me thinking that maybe it was my pump and not my period. I'm a little untrusting of pumps since I had two die on me.
    ~Chrissy~

    First time mother to Avery Grace 7/17/2012


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    2,207

    Default Re: Reassurance please

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*agh717 View Post
    if I hand express after pumping there is still milk coming out.
    This makes me think pump problem. Of course your breast is never empty so even if the pump is working properly you may well be able to hand express. But if it's easy to hand express and there's still a lot coming out, that sounds like pump is not extracting milk effectively. And since you're not really seeing a big improvement today... I think it's probably worth changing out your parts.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Deep South
    Posts
    13

    Default Re: Reassurance please

    I completely agree with previous post. I was in tears about 2 weeks ago and happened to have an extra membrane in my bag. I switched & I immediately pumped my usual amount.

    It is so hard to tell when your breasts are not completely empty this far into the game, so I think if you are getting a significant amount with hand expression, it may be the valves or membranes. They can have a tiny problem that you can't see with the naked eye.
    First time mom to K 7/12/12, happily ; hoping to stop in the next few months!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Central PA
    Posts
    75

    Default Re: Reassurance please

    Thanks again ladies! I have another set of membranes at home but will have to make a run to Walmart in the next day or so to get another set of valves. My supply does seem slightly better today than it has been but I'm not back to my last normal amount yet. I'll be happy if I can just get exactly what I need without continuing to add this additional lunch time session. It was nice to get extra so that I could increase my stash for my much anticipated pump weaning. I'm so looking forward to not having to obsess about each ounce of my liquid gold anymore .
    ~Chrissy~

    First time mother to Avery Grace 7/17/2012


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