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Thread: Drop in milk supply?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    32

    Default Drop in milk supply?

    My daughter is 9 mo and continues to nurse frequently when we are together. When she's in daycare (3 days/week), I pump. I've noticed recently that my supply is diminishing when I pump - I used to be able to pump 16 oz./day, and now I'm down to at most 10 oz./day. But she'll drink whatever I leave for her at daycare, so I'm concerned that I'm going to have to supplement because I can't keep up anymore.

    What's going on? What should I do? I really don't want to have to supplement with formula, especially not at this stage when it's gone so beautifully for 9 months.

    Also, I am almost out of frozen milk so that's got me concerned.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    3,900

    Default Re: Drop in milk supply?

    I'm short on time right now, but I did not want your post to go without a reply. This link has some wonderful information:
    www.lalecheleague.org/FAQ/pumpwork.html

    I'm moving this thread to pumping where you'll hopefully recieve some replies from others who have BTDT.

    Good luck!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    58

    Default Re: Drop in milk supply?

    My daughter goes to a sitter 5 days/week and I pump for her... I notice that my supply drops when I do not pay close attention to what I am eating and don't get enough calories... so you may want to make sure you are eating enough and eating healthy foods. Also, drink lots of water. I have also found that eating oatmeal for breakfast every day helps.
    Sometimes when I'm at home if she doesn't nurse for a very long time then I will pump after she finishes, just to build up a little more milk for the freezer.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    63

    Default Re: Drop in milk supply?

    A lot of moms find that at some point their supplies dip. I'm interested to hear what other working moms have found works. I have heard it referred to as "the sixth month slump" - but my personal experience was closer to 9 months.

    First and foremost, get your pump checked out (your pump manufacturer's website should have information on where to get it serviced). Make sure the valves and hoses are still in good order, you may need to replace some pieces (the replacement valves are normally very inexpensive.) You didn't mention what kind of pump you're using, but perhaps other moms who use that pump may have ideas.

    Next, the primary way to increase supply is to add a pumping or nursing session. Many moms find they can work out a good schedule by nursing when they and baby first wake up in the morning, then taking a warm shower, and adding in a pumping session immediately after the shower. Ideally that milk just goes with baby to childcare that day. It's a quick way to add in a pumping session, and it leverages your milk supply's natural high point early in the day, as well as the warm water from the shower aiding letdown.

    You are doing a great job nursing and pumping for your baby! Let us know how it goes.

    Warmly,
    Karen Smith
    LLL Leader, IL

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    32

    Default Re: Drop in milk supply?

    All,

    Thank you for these messages.

    Just an update from me:

    The pump seems to be ok. I got it new when dd was 2 mo, it's a Medela Pump In Style. I say that it seems to be ok because when my breasts are full I have no problem extracting milk.

    The problem is that I can't seem to extract enough milk at work to keep up with dd's bottle needs at daycare (3 days/week). When she's with me the other 4 days, I never have any concerns about her getting enough milk from me. So this seems to be a pumping issue.

    I should also add two points, possibly but not necessarily relevant:

    1) I am under a lot of pressure and stress because we are most likely moving for my husband's job - and when I say moving, I mean moving far away as in to another continent;
    2) I have had mastitis 2.5 times since January (I say 0.5 times because the third time it started to happen again and I stopped everything for 2 days to prevent it worsening and it did eventually go away).

    Finally, this morning I tried the warm shower - after I had nursed dd on one side and she was playing happily in her crib I pumped the other side. This worked well. But it does not change the fact that pumping at work is proving to be very unfruitful.

    I really appreciate any more thoughts.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    61

    Default Re: Drop in milk supply?

    Wanted to suggest taking lecithin to help prevent future clogged ducts and mastitis:

    http://www.kellymom.com/nutrition/vi.../lecithin.html

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    33

    Default Re: Drop in milk supply?

    i felt like i wasnt getting enough either, so i got the soft breastshields that go right onto the pump in stlyle you can get them fom babies r us. they helped. also check out kelly mom.com because it will help you feel better and give you some great ideas. try the tea too if you haven't already i like yogi nursing mom teas. keep it up

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