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Thread: LO 3 months--is it to late to rebuild milk supply?

  1. #1

    Default LO 3 months--is it to late to rebuild milk supply?

    Hi--a couple of questions.

    My LO is 3 months and I am looking to rebuild my milk supply. Here are some questions have.

    1) Is it to late? I am currently pumping 3 to 4 times a day and get a total if 10 ounces. Will adding extra pumping sessions help? Or do I have to do tag least 8 sessions a day to rebuild supply?
    2) if it is possible to rebuild supply by adding in extra sessions, what is the average time before I see an increase?
    3) When pumping 8 sessions a day it equates to every 3 hours. Is that 3 hours from when you begun pumping or when you stop pumping?
    4) how long should a pumping sessions last? I have read about 20 min but on some websites it also says to keep pumping until 5 minutes after the last drop? If I pump until after the last drop then each sessions is around 45 minutes, which means trying to fit 8 sessions in a day becomes difficult to manage.

    My little one received a bottle early on in the hospital and we had to supplement with breast milk at around 2 weeks since he wasn't gaining weight back quickly. I have worked with several lactation consultants on his latch and nothing seems to help. Therefore, I started to pump and then also supplement with formula since I couldn't produce enough by just pumping. Now as he grows it seems like he is getting significantly more formula than breast milk and if possible I want to reverse that. Any additional information and advice would also be appreciated. My goal is to get from 3 to 4 sessions to at least 6 if it's not to late to rebuild supply.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    5,471

    Default Re: LO 3 months--is it to late to rebuild milk supply?

    You are doing a difficult but wonderful thing providing your wonderful momma milk for your baby despite the issues you have had. Just FYI, babies this age and even much older have been taught to nurse. If working on that again ever appeals to you, let us know.

    1) Is it to late? I am currently pumping 3 to 4 times a day and get a total if 10 ounces. Will adding extra pumping sessions help? Or do I have to do tag least 8 sessions a day to rebuild supply?
    It's not too late. Theoretically it is never, ever too late to increase milk production. Yes, adding extra pump sessions should help! Milk production increasing depends on milk being removed from the breasts FREQUENTLY. As far as how many more sessions, as many as you can. One more session each day is better than none, 2 is better than 1, 3 is better than 2 and so on. A 3 month old would typically be nursing at least 8 and probably more like 10 or 12 times a day. If 8 times is not doable for you, I get it. You do what you can. But 8 times would be a reasonable number to shoot for if your goal is to maximize your milk production.
    2) if it is possible to rebuild supply by adding in extra sessions, what is the average time before I see an increase?
    This is going to be entirely unknowable and unpredictable. Every mother is different. But here is what I am thinking. Right now, pumping only 3 or 4 times a day, you are getting 10 ounces! This is actually quite good output for that amount of pumping. When you increase the number of pumping sessions, you may not get quite so much each time, but the overall amount should certainly start to go up.

    3) When pumping 8 sessions a day it equates to every 3 hours. Is that 3 hours from when you begun pumping or when you stop pumping?
    If a very set scheduling works for you, then 'pump every three hours' means 3 hours between the start of each session. But I suggest that there is no need to pump on such a regular schedule. It is not how a baby would typically nurse. While I would not suggest going longer between any sessions than maybe 6 hours, and only that long once a day (for example overnight), for the rest of the day, when building supply, as long as you are pumping frequently overall, it should be ok to basically pump when you can. Pump every hour for part of the day if you like, and then take a longer break as needed. Many mothers find that pumping is more manageable when they pretty much throw away the schedule and aim for pumping X times each day.

    4) how long should a pumping sessions last? I have read about 20 min but on some websites it also says to keep pumping until 5 minutes after the last drop? If I pump until after the last drop then each sessions is around 45 minutes, which means trying to fit 8 sessions in a day becomes difficult to manage.
    You pump for as long as works for you. 15-20 minutes per side is good ballpark to start from, and then you adjust as needed according to your other responsibilities and what your body tells you. Again, no need to pump the same length of time each session. And when building milk production, it is the frequency of the sessions that is the most vital element.

    While frequent milk removal is the most vital element, there are other things that may milk production increase more rapidly, all the various galactagogues, food, herbs, and prescription. I assume you have discussed that with your LCs. Good resources for info on increasing milk production are www.kellymom.com and the book Making More Milk.

    Also, remember that pump type matters. it is very vital that you have a very, very good pump and that the flanges fit you well. When exclusively pumping (no nursing) or anytime you are trying to increase milk production, the appropriate pump for that job would be a hospital or rental grade pump. If you are using a personal use pump, that MAY, for some moms, be ok but it must be new (not prior owned unless refurbished) and in excellent working order. And remember it may not last long being asked to pump so frequently. That is not the job it was made for.


    Hope this helps!

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