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Thread: Not Able to Pump Enough Milk

  1. #1

    Default Not Able to Pump Enough Milk

    I came back to work about a month ago. My daughter is now 6 months and is EBF. I am pumping 3 times in an 8 hour work day. I am only getting 3 oz a session. It is just not enough for my daughter. Can you please recommend something that I can do to help my supply? I just bought Fenugreek, but I am not sure how frequently I should take it. I have also been drinking the Mother's Milk Tea.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
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    2,209

    Default Re: Not Able to Pump Enough Milk

    Here are my thoughts:
    1) What kind of pump are you using? Have you done routine pump maintenance - changing out membranes, possibly valves and flanges as well?
    2) How long are you pumping for each session? Are you doing hand compressions?
    3) How much are you nursing at home? Especially, is your baby sleeping a long stretch at night? Nighttime nursing is really important for maintaining supply in working moms, because nursing generally stimulates supply better than the pump.
    4) How much expressed milk is baby taking at daycare? The rule of thumb is 1 - 1.5 oz per hour. So for an 8 hour day 9 oz could actually be okay. Is baby's caregiver using paced feeding techniques? If baby is being overfed during the day, that will decrease her motivation to nurse at home, leading to a further decrease in supply.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Not Able to Pump Enough Milk

    I am using the Medela "Pump in style". I have changed the membranes, but not the valves or the flanges...perhaps I should. I pump for about 20 minutes and I do hand compressions.
    I am nursing a lot at home. My daughter wakes to eat usually two times a night. I think I will also add in a pumping session...would this help?
    My daughter is drinking the entire 9 ounces that I bring home...and I know that she would like more. I use the Tommy Tippee bottles with the number one nipple (I believe).

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    20,952

    Default Re: Not Able to Pump Enough Milk

    Forget the supplements. They won't work half as well as adding in another pumping session! If you can't pump more when you're at the office, throw in another session or maybe 2 after nursing when you're home with your baby.
    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!"

  5. #5
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    Oct 2012
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    Default Re: Not Able to Pump Enough Milk

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*slsimon7560 View Post
    I am using the Medela "Pump in style". I have changed the membranes, but not the valves or the flanges...perhaps I should. I pump for about 20 minutes and I do hand compressions.
    That's good. You could consider changing out the valves or flanges, especially if you've seen a decline in pumping output over time. Some moms do find that a longer session can help - do you get a second letdown? Even "pumping dry" can help. However, if you have to make a choice between a longer session vs. an additional session, I would go for an additional session.

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*slsimon7560 View Post
    I am nursing a lot at home. My daughter wakes to eat usually two times a night. I think I will also add in a pumping session...would this help?
    Lots of nursing at home is good! Yes, more pumping should help. It's all about supply and demand. More demand, more supply. One way to add in another pumping session if you commute by car is to pump while you are driving, using a hands-free setup.

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*slsimon7560 View Post
    My daughter is drinking the entire 9 ounces that I bring home...and I know that she would like more. I use the Tommy Tippee bottles with the number one nipple (I believe).
    It sounds like she is not being overfed, so that's good. You want to use the slowest flow nipples you can get your hands on. For some brands that's a "0," for other brands it's a "1."

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
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    Cleveland, OH
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    507

    Default Re: Not Able to Pump Enough Milk

    Do your flanges fit properly? The mediums size that came with my Medela was good for one breast but too small for the other.
    My little man was born 12/17/2010.

    Baby girl was born 4/30/2014.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Not Able to Pump Enough Milk

    Yes, I have the larger falnges. When I was breastfeeding my son, I realized that the ones that came with the pump were not sufficient. I will try to add a session at night. It is difficult because I never know when my daughter will wake to eat. Some nights, she will wake three times, sometimes twice. On the weekends, I pump before she wakes and I always hope that I will have milk for her when she wakes! I remember my lactation consultant telling me that our breasts have 20% more milk in them than the baby needs. There is no question that I make the most milk at night, it's just so difficult trying to guess when she will wake to eat...and getting up AGAIN to pump and lose sleep. But I will do anything to have enough milk!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
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    Default Re: Not Able to Pump Enough Milk

    Rest assured that your breasts are never empty. If you've just pumped, your daughter may have to work a little harder, and nurse a little longer, to get the amount of milk she needs - but that just tells your body to make more milk. So don't worry about there not being anything in there for her. You will ALWAYS have milk for her when she wakes!

  9. #9

    Default Re: Not Able to Pump Enough Milk

    Thank you so much for the help. I am hopeful that I will continue to pump a bit more milk with each session. I am NOT going to give up.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
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    Default Re: Not Able to Pump Enough Milk

    Keep in mind that it does take some time after you add in a pumping session to see the effect. You can do this!

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