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Thread: Exclusively Pumping and noticing a severe dip in milk supply

  1. #1

    Cool Exclusively Pumping and noticing a severe dip in milk supply

    I gave birth to my son Lucas on September 1st Such a blessing he is. In the hospital we had major problems with him breastfeeding, he would either not latch at all or he would latch but not suck, he would just sit there like "what am i supposed to do" I had 5 different lactation consultants helping me trying to get him to feed but he just wouldn't. It got so frustrating they almost had to put him on feeding tubes because he didn't eat for a solid 20 hours they kept trying to get him to latch and he wouldn't then i finally told them they better give him some food i didn't care if it was formula at the time. So i decided to pump and pump and pump like crazy, first couple days i hardly made anything so unfortunately he was on formula for 2 days but hey it was better then feeding tubes! I use a hospital grade Ameda Elite pump. In 2 days i was able to produce enough for him to eat. So since he was born i've been pumping every 3 hours for 20 minutes at a time i was also STILL trying to get him to latch on every time and he just did the other day but for only 3 minutes... I still try to get him to latch on to me still but so far no luck. Anyways, like i said i've been pumping every 3 hours for 20 minutes i have been drinking PLENTY of water, taking fenugreek 3x a day, eating oatmeal twice a day and i don't eat a terrible diet. But this past week i have only been producing about 2.5 oz at a time, and my little porker eats 3 every 3 hours so he's starting to eat more then i can produce and it's extremely frustrating, i see all these posts of moms having deep freezers FULL of breastmilk and i dont even have one extra feeding... Does anybody have any suggestions? I do not want to stop giving him breastmilk, and if he would just latch on it would be easier! Help mommas!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2012

    Default Re: Exclusively Pumping and noticing a severe dip in milk su

    Hi mama, welcome to the forum, and congratulations on your baby!

    There's a book called Making More Milk that might be helpful to you.

    Here are some tips about encouraging baby to latch: http://kellymom.com/bf/concerns/child/back-to-breast/

    Here are approaches for breastfeeding-friendly bottle-feeding:

    In general, supply=demand. So in order to increase supply, if possible, increase demand. Could you squeeze in an additional pumping session or even two? Normally a newborn will nurse 10-12 times in 24 hours or even more. So the eight sessions you are doing is GREAT but may not be quite enough. Pump a bit longer for some of the sessions? Of course, this has to be balanced with caring for baby, working on latch etc. Sometimes it's possible to overdo it to where you are so exhausted that that inhibits supply. So you have to gauge for yourself what you feel you can handle.

    Are you doing breast compressions with pumping? That can help get an extra 0.5 oz or an oz - which may be just enough for you to match baby's intake.

    Are you still working with lactation consultant on latch?

    Finally, don't compare yourself to mothers with freezers full of breastmilk. Some moms have a large storage capacity and large supply and respond well to the pump. Others don't. No matter what you do, you may not be a mother who is going to pump out oodles of milk. But you don't need a freezer full of milk. All you need is enough to feed your baby. And you're very close! You're doing great mama, keep it up.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Exclusively Pumping and noticing a severe dip in milk su

    I think i am going to try pumping every 2 hours for awhile and see if that helps, i have done cluster pumping a few times too but that didn't do much at all. I am going to try the breast compressions too to see if that helps thanks I am not working with a lactation consultant anymore i don't really know anyone that is one but i'm willing to search for one, i would love to breastfeed, i feel like the pump consumes my life and if he would just latch and stay on there it would be perfect! Thank you

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2012

    Default Re: Exclusively Pumping and noticing a severe dip in milk su

    Here's a great link on maximizing milk production with a pump; the technique is called 'hands-on pumping'. http://newborns.stanford.edu/Breastf...roduction.html

    Also, I found back in my pumping days that if I pumped for about 23 minutes I could get a 2nd letdown. Not every mom can get more than 1 letdown per session but slightly longer sessions might be worth a try, to see if you can get a 2nd one. That would increase how much you are pumping.

    I agree with bfwmomof3 that more pumping sessions would probably be helpful, although I know that must be very difficult for you to do. I think every 2 hours is a great idea if you can do it. You should aim for 10-12 sessions per day at first as an exclusively pumping mom, or a total of 240 minutes/day at the pump (sucks, I know). One of those sessions should be between midnight and 5am when prolactin levels are highest, to max your production.

    Finally, have you considered using a supplemental nursing system/SNS to feed your baby at the breast? It's basically a long tube connected to a bag; you tape the tube on your nipple and the milk drips out while baby is latched on. The idea is it gets baby associating the breast with being fed, which makes them want to nurse/latch, and helps preserve the possibility of breastfeeding directly later on when baby is a little older. Also the stimulation to your breast from the suckling and skin to skin contact is helpful to production. I haven't ever used an SNS myself so I can't help you with the logistics of it but hopefully someone comes along who knows more about it, if that's something you're interested in trying. Another thing you can do to help encourage baby to nurse is to pump or hand express until you get a letdown, then pop baby on while milk is flowing. If he gets an immediate reward in the form of milk he's more likely to be interested and keep trying.

    Best of luck, and congratulations on your new baby! Pumping exclusively is hard work, good for you for doing it!
    First-time mama to Joshua, 10/29/11. 38 months ; now trying to wean. for 14 months; now finished with pump weaning!

  5. #5

    Default Re: Exclusively Pumping and noticing a severe dip in milk su

    WE just tried getting him to latch on with the nipple shield, he did fantastic, however i would love it if i didn't have to use it at all. Would you guys suggest using the nipple shield every time until he gets used to it? And if so how often should i pump if he latches on? This all just happened 5 minutes ago so i'm not quite sure how it'll work out. And thank you i'm definitely going to try every 2 hours and maybe i'll add a couple extra minutes to see if that helps!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2009

    Default Re: Exclusively Pumping and noticing a severe dip in milk su



    I use this with my twins. Highly recommend it. Breastfeeding is more than milk and the relationship aspect of it is huge. Your baby is still young. I really encourage you to work at breastfeeding.

    I had to pump 15 mos for my daughter even with nursing but nursing is so much more wonderful than pumping. I am just now pump weaning at 10.5 weeks for my twins. I love nursing, hate pumping. Hang in there and do what you think is best but please watch that video and read the article on the links I posted.
    Nursed my sweet daughter 3 years, 3 mos.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: Exclusively Pumping and noticing a severe dip in milk su

    Use the shield if that's the only way the baby will latch and nurse. If you can get him to latch without the shield, that would be ideal.

    Knowing whether or not to pump depends on whether or not baby gets sufficient milk when he nurses. This is where it would be helpful to see a LC, and have her observe baby nursing. You'd want to do a weigh-feed-weigh measurement at that time, to see if baby is getting enough milk when he nurses. Ideally, you'd take a professional scale home with you for a few days, and do your own weigh-feed-weigh measurements, just so you could get a sense of the average feeding. Babies' intake can vary widely!

    Until you can see a LC, I think you want to be cautious about ditching the pump. Your baby only just figured out that he can latch, right? Give him a little time to figure out the mechanics of breastfeeding before you put the pump away. In practical terms, I think that means that you should continue to pump after feedings. If you find there's less milk in the breast than when you were exclusively pumping, that's a good indication that baby is transferring milk.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Exclusively Pumping and noticing a severe dip in milk su

    will do thanks!

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