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Thread: Supply Issues & Pumping while working

  1. #1

    Default Supply Issues & Pumping while working

    Hello Friends,
    I am looking for some advice. My LO is 6 months old, I have been back at work for 3 months. When I began work I could pump 3-4 oz out of each breast, now, 3 months later I usually get 1-2 oz per breast. My LO finished going though his 6 month growth spurt and is now drinking 4-6 oz per feeding and feeding every 2-3 hours. I really would like to continue to breastfeed but it seems I just cannot keep up anymore. I currently pump approx every 3 hours (8am, 11am, 1pm, 3pm, 6pm) and then I offer the breast before bed and at night. I recently added a nighttime pumping ( I double pump after he eats) but it hasn't increased my supply. I've tried Fenugreek and Mothers Milk tea. I am using a Medela Pump in Style advanced pump.

    Maybe I am doing something wrong or maybe someone has a suggestion?
    I am getting very discouraged

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2013

    Default Re: Supply Issues & Pumping while working

    6 oz per feeding is a LOT of milk. It sounds like perhaps baby is being overfed in your absence. A great rule of thumb is that baby should drink only 1-1.5 oz per hour of separation, preferably in portions no bigger than about 3-4 oz. How many hours are you separated, and how much is baby drinking in total?

    2-4 oz a session is totally normal pumping output. When you were pumping 6-8 oz at a time, that was oversupply! So what has probably happened is, your supply has adjusted to "normal" levels, and you are now pumping a more normal amount.

    Also, a baby who is eating almost all of their required intake from bottles may be less likely to nurse frequently when you are together, which can hurt your supply in the long run. This is yet another reason why you don't want baby overfed during the day.
    Apologies for the short responses! I'm usually responding one-handed on my smartphone!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2012

    Default Re: Supply Issues & Pumping while working

    You might also want to do some pump maintenance. Changing out membranes is simple and cheap. You could also consider changing out valves and/or flanges if that doesn't help.

    Agree that if baby took bottles that were more physiological in size, 3-4 oz, then it sounds like you should be able to keep up. Is baby being offered the bottle in a breastfeeding-friendly way? Here are some links about that:

    Also, important to make sure baby isn't being overfed simply as a pacifying mechanisms. And that caregivers understand that just because baby WILL drink that much out of the bottle, that does not mean that baby NEEDS that much out of the bottle. Baby won't overfeed at the breast, but can be "encouraged" to do so with the bottle if caregiver is not using the right techniques.

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