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Thread: Partial night weaning contributing to low supply?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    12

    Default Partial night weaning contributing to low supply?

    Hi,

    My baby is 7 months old. I went back to work 20 hours/week when she was 4 months old, at which point she was sleeping in a pack n play in my room. I would bring her into my bed around midnight. After that, she would nurse every two hours or so until 7am. This worked okay some nights, but if I was particularly wakeful I ended up getting very little sleep. She also woke 1-2 times between her 7:30 bedtime and midnight. My bedtime is 9:00/9:30, so I was spending the entire evening going back and forth soothing her to sleep then, too.

    After a few months of this, I was getting really haggard for lack of sleep. I couldn't go to bed earlier because of the early evening wakings, and I often couldn't sleep well through the night feedings. in addition, co-sleeping doesn't work for my husband so we have slept separately since D's birth. We had discussed sleep training as a way for us to eventually share a bed again, and because of my lack of sleep I was ready to try it.

    Now, after some sleep training over the last month, D goes to bed at 7:30 (i nurse her right before bed, sometimes to sleep), wakes at 2:30 for a big feeding, and then wakes at 6:45 or 7 am, when I feed her again. I am so happy with the amount of sleep I am able to get!

    But it seems that my supply has gone down. When pumping at work, I no longer get 4-5 ounces, each pump is more like 3 or maybe 4. She is eating more during the day than I can replenish. I have always had just barely enough milk so am worried.

    Poop/pee: she has one BM a day, but sometimes skips a day or even two. plenty of wet diapers each day - 5 or 6?

    Frequency: i nurse about every two hours or on demand, no set schedule. She nurses from just a few minutes to 30 min if she is relaxing and reconnecting after work or before bed.

    Solids: we are giving her a few tablespoons of food at dinnertime but she feeds herself so really does not consume much. Started that at 6 months.

    Weight:she had gained in percentile at 6 mo checkup, up to the 70s for weight. But I swear she looks a little skinnier now!

    So my question -- is the partial night weaning contributing to my dip in supply?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    2,214

    Default Re: Partial night weaning contributing to low supply?

    My mantra has always been that nighttime nursing is a working mom's best friend! It really does help keep up supply. That said, 4-5 ounces is quite a robust pump output, normal for many moms is what you are getting - 3-4 ounces. How often are you pumping and for how long, and how much is baby being given while you are at work? The rule of thumb is 1 - 1.5 ounces per hour apart. So if baby is getting 3 ounces every 2.5 hours, for example, if you pump every 2.5 hours and get 3 ounces, you should be able to keep up.

    The solution for decreased supply is almost always to increase demand. Your choice whether you want to do that by waking up baby another time at night or pumping more - whether at work or outside work - or some combination of those. For example, you may decide to pump before you go to bed, since you are going a 7 hour stretch between putting baby to bed and her 2:30 feeding; or you could try to dream-feed her at that time.

    Also always worth considering whether pump problems could be contributing to the decreased output. Regularly changing out replaceable parts like valves and membranes can be helpful. Also are you using a good double-electric pump?

    I think with a little tweaking you should be able to get back on track - sounds like you are close!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,107

    Default Re: Partial night weaning contributing to low supply?

    with the PP.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    80

    Default Re: Partial night weaning contributing to low supply?

    I am in the same boat as you!! I work full time and I get next to no sleep because baby wakes constantly for night feedings. My supply had decreased too, because DS is more interested in crawling and playing than nursing in the AM/PM and on weekends. A poster had suggested I go back to cosleeping, which I tried. It really helped my pump output the next day, even if it meant I spent most of the night partially asleep. I've decided to cosleeper for part of the night to keep the supply strong and then to send DS to his crib for the other part of the night so I can get some deeper sleep. Don't mistake me, I am still exhausted. I get no more than 3 hours uninterrupted and haven't these past 8 months, but at least I am not exhausted and stressed about output too.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    12

    Default Re: Partial night weaning contributing to low supply?

    Thank you for the guidelines about how much milk to provide per hour apart. I think the first problem is that I am leaving too much milk for her to drink! Today I left almost 2 oz for every hour apart. So I will trim that down a bit.

    I also appreciate the input on getting some more stimulation. It would be easy to pump right before bed. Also, I could keep her in bed with me co-sleeping after the 2-3am feeding.

    I really am starting to just get more like 3 ounces per pump, and I do it every 2.5 hours or so at work. I see what you mean about that not being much of a shortfall. However, I was feeling flush when I was getting 4+ ounces per pump about a month ago and would like to get back on track with that if possible!

    I am still using my hospital-grade pump but the rental period ends soon. I will then switch to a new double-electric pump I purchased. I have not replaced or cleaned anything on my rental since I've had it. Perhaps I will just start fresh with my new pump and see how that works.

    Thank you for the advice! I appreciate it very much.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    12

    Default Re: Partial night weaning contributing to low supply?

    One more question - the new pump I have is the Ameda Purely Yours pump. It came from my insurance and I didn't know exactly what I was getting. Is this a good enough quality pump? It is a double electric pump but it is a brand I have not heard of. Thanks for any advice on this.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,107

    Default Re: Partial night weaning contributing to low supply?

    The APY is a decent pump. IMO, it's best for a mom with an established supply who responds pretty well to pumping and doesn't need to pump more than a few times a day.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    2,214

    Default Re: Partial night weaning contributing to low supply?

    I haven't personally used the Purely Yours, but a woman whom I used to pump with (in the communal pumping room at work) got so frustrated with the thing she threw it on the ground and broke it... and I've seen some of the moms on here have trouble with it as well, needing to replace it after a couple months. The impression I have is that it wears out pretty quickly - as mommal suggests, it doesn't seem to stand up to the rigors of what a working mom who is pumping every day needs. In your case, if you pump wean at a year, as many working mothers do, you only have 5 months to go, so maybe it will be okay till then. If not - if you feel like it's starting to crap out on you in a few months - then you could always consider finishing out the year with a hospital-grade rental.

    ETA: Or, if you haven't used it yet, you could consider upgrading to a higher-quality pump - Medela Pump in Style Advanced or Hygeia Enjoye, for example - especially if you're thinking about more kids in the future. I've used my PISA for the past 6 years over three kids. Some insurance companies will let you pay the difference between what they cover and what the better pump costs.

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