Re: Is this possible?
My guess is that you're mistaking a normal adjustment to supply for low supply. Here's why: first, most moms start out making more milk than their babies need. This is normal- it's nature's way of ensuring that a new baby gets abundantly fed while mastering the rather tricky art of breastfeeding. When a mom is making too much milk, she's likely to feel full or engorged fairly often, and to be able to pump a lot of milk with little effort. For example, a mom with oversupply might get as much as 5 oz from a single breast with just 5 minutes of pumping! (Sound familiar? ) But making too much milk is not desirable in the long term. It's a waste of energy and puts a mom at increased risk for plugged ducts and mastitis. So most moms find that after a few months of nursing, their bodies adjust milk production so that they make just about exactly what their babies need, without a lot of extra. At this point, pump output declines and a mom is likely to feel empty pretty much all the time.
Are you currently having trouble bringing home enough milk to fill your baby's daycare bottles? If so, here's what you do:
- Make sure your pump is in perfect working order and that your shields are correctly fitted.
- Consider getting a better pump. A mom who is working full time should have a good double electric like a Medela Pump in Style or Hygeia Enjoye.
- Pumo more often and for longer time periods. 10 minutes of pumping is not enough for most moms- 15 or 20 would probably be better.
- If you can't pump more often at work, pump after nursing when you're home with your baby.
- Be consistent and patient with pumping. A few days of extra pump sessions is not likely to be enough- expect to put in a lot of time and effort.
- Think about your birth control choices. Some moms find that hormonal contraception- sometimes including the supposedly "safe for breastfeeding" methods- puts a damper on supply. If you suspect this is a problem, it might be a good idea to try a different contraceptive option, like a barrier method.
If none of the above work, then it may be a good idea to review your own health. The only reason I know of that a mom who is not pregnant and not using hormonal contraception might lose supply is a thyroid problem. Postpartum thyroiditis affects about 1-5% of women, so it might be something to check into if the usual methods of increasing supply (listed above) don't work for you.
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!"