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Thread: Back to work. Supply decreasing!!! Please help

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
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    28

    Default Back to work. Supply decreasing!!! Please help

    i went back to work about 10 days ago. my baby just turned 6 weeks. he is now 7 and a half. i work 8.5 hours and i get three pump sessions while away from baby and nurse him as soon as i get home. i noticed that each day my milk expressed each day is declining. i have been taking fenugreek and blessed thistle 3 capsules 3 x a day the whole time. please help. i don't want to supplement at all
    its been very trying experience for me. im trying to do everything right and it seems like i am failing.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    NY
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    614

    Default Re: Back to work. Supply decreasing!!! Please help

    Okay, I am going to answer with more questions so we can help you out.

    What pump are you using? How long are your pumping sessions? How much are you pumping right now? Does pumping feel okay? How much is baby drinking while you are at work? Is baby taking any long sleep stretches causing you to go many hours without milk removal?
    Apologies for the short responses! I'm usually responding one-handed on my smartphone!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
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    28

    Default Re: Back to work. Supply decreasing!!! Please help

    i use a hospital grade double pump while at work most of the time if its available. at home or at work i use my medela double pump-n-style.. i always pump 15 min 3 times at work, 15 min sessions at home unless if its after he eats then i only do 7 min. before i went back to work i could pump off 5 oz. combined both breasts. if he ate i could still get 2-3 oz combined both breasts.
    now at work i get 3 oz both breasts combined with a 15-20 min session. either pump feels like it is getting all the milk as possible. a few weeks ago i was using the medela double pump free style but it wasnt working well so thats when i bought another pump and the LC here said to get the medela double pump-n-style.
    baby has about 2 to 3 3.5 oz bottles while i am away awork. they caregiver tries to hold him off before the next feeding so i can nurse him when i get home. he usually eats the bottle @ 7a.m., 10:00a.m. and 1:30p.m. and i nurse him at 3:30.
    usually if baby stays alseep more than two hrs i will pump and nurse him when he wakes which is usually 90m in after i have pumped. i try not to go longer than 3 hrs between feedings or pumping sessions.
    i am scared that my caregiver, which are family members, are feeding him to quickly. they say they pace feed him. giving him a break every 1 oz because he just guzzles it down. they said they tried tilted the bottle down when isnt sucking, but they said he just doesnt stop and gets air.
    i also dont know if it is lack of sleep that could be affecting my supply. i at most get 5 hrs of sleep total per 24 hr period. i may get 4 hrs b/t the hours of 10pm and 4:30am, and i sometimes get a nap after i feed him when i get home. me and my husband tried starting this week to try to get him on a schedule and just pump so i could get a lil more rest but i read on kellymom.com that is not a good thing to do.
    i also was diagnosed with hypothyroidism and had been on synthroid for the past 4 yrs. but 4 weeks ago my ob doc checked my thyroid and took me off my meds. i had my blood work done 5 days ago and its normal.
    im sorry this is alot of info. i cant go to a la lecha league meeting where im from because its during my work hours. its hard to get ahold of my LC, and im just getting sad because i bf my daughter 11 yrs ago and had plenty of milk. i exclusively pumped with her and could easily get 4-5 oz of milk out of each breast. i was 23 then and now 34. i have just gotten into the phase of bf where it is enjoyable for me because i had been battling painful milk blebs, and now this.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Central FL
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    Default Re: Back to work. Supply decreasing!!! Please help

    pausing has to be caregiver led and every few sucks, not waiting till baby pauses (because they often can't if the bottle flows too rapidly) Long break/pause for burping/switching sides each ounce.

    I would probably send them much smaller bottles then, like 2 or 2.5 oz max for the big bottles and then some 1 oz frozen toppers for if baby really is still hungry.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    NY
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    Default Re: Back to work. Supply decreasing!!! Please help

    Okay. 3 oz combined in a pumping session is normal output. It's the most I ever got when pumping at work, and many times I only got two oz at a time. So, what I would suggest is to add in a fourth session if needed. I needed to pump every two hours at work, which was four sessions, in order to keep up.

    I also had suboptimal pumping output with the Medela Freestyle. Switching to the Pump In Style yielded me an extra 2-3 oz a day, which is exactly what I needed to avoid supplementation. The Freestyle just seems underpowered to me, though its portability is nice.

    You are right to avoid a schedule with your baby. That is actually most likely to decrease your supply--you really, really want to demand feed. So it is great that you are back to that! It is normal to experience some degree of sleep deprivation with a newborn, and this generally does not impact your supply. Rather, frequent milk removal improves your supply! So I would keep baby close at night, and let baby feed as much as baby wants. That will help your supply, and take the burden off needing to pump massive amounts of milk at work.
    Apologies for the short responses! I'm usually responding one-handed on my smartphone!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
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    28

    Default Re: Back to work. Supply decreasing!!! Please help

    ok. that makes me feel better. thanks tclynx and sonogirl
    we tried yesterday evening the 2 1/2 oz bottles and he just seemed so fussy afterwards. granted i dont recall him sucking on his fingers or rooting around. my husband did the bottle feeding. he kept giving him 1oz bottles like every 30 min after he finished. i told him he may not be hungry. he could just be tired.
    the lack of sleep is messing with our judgement. i guess my husband makes me feel like i am with holding his food by only giving him 2 1/2. but we need to do whats right for our lo.
    will he eventually need more than 2 1/2 oz at one time? my mom took care of my breast fed daughter back 11 yrs ago. but she said she didnt think that she took more than 4 oz at one time. thanks in advance for all your advice and info.

  7. #7
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    Mar 2014
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    Central FL
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    Default Re: Back to work. Supply decreasing!!! Please help

    normal breastfed babies usually eat between 1-4 oz at a time and to an extent it also depends on mom's storage capacity as well as babies tummy size. It may be possible for babies to take quite large bottles but that doesn't necessarily mean then really need or even want that much at once but if they are allowed to simply suck the bottle down in one swift go without pausing, the signal that tummy is full doesn't reach the brain before the bottle is empty. Adults even do this if they eat too fast, it is easy to wind up stuffed and uncomfortable. Formula fed babies will usually start getting bigger bottles fewer times per day because formula is harder/slower to digest and because it is convenient for caregivers.

    As to a baby taking several 1 oz bottles in the evening, well to me that could just mean "cluster feeding" which often happens in the evenings during "fussy time" anyway. Babies don't always take the same amount at every feeding. You might want to figure out what the smallest amount baby is normally happy with when fed via paced bottle feeding and make that the normal bottle size and if baby is still hungry then the 1 oz top ups are fine.

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