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Thread: Pumping Supply Issue

  1. #1

    Default Pumping Supply Issue

    My baby is 8 mos old and EBF. I went back to work when he was 3 mos, and I used to be able to pump 3 bottles a day with 3 pumping sessions. Now I have to do 6 sessions to get that (if I'm lucky), and it's turned into a constant struggle. My supply has taken a huge hit for some reason. I even just rented a medical grade pump thinking that it was my pump. It's made a small difference but not much, which I was really surprised about. BUT, I also am still using the same parts, so it's crossed my mind that maybe there is something wrong with those? BUT, I've checked them over and over again and the suction seems to be working and I can't spot any obvious tears or cracks.

    I've tried fenugreek and lactation cookies, eating oatmeal and more iron. And I've pumped at all times of the day.

    When I'm with him he seems to eat fine - he eats a lot (still wakes up multiple times during the night...urgh), I can hear him swallowing, and he pulls off himself and seems satisfied. So I don't *think* it's a supply issue with my milk.

    Or is it? What can it be? Is there a point for some women when they can still BF but can't pump anymore? Really sad to think I'll have to go to formula, but if that's the deal, so be it. I just don't want to give up if there's something I can be doing differently.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    24,794

    Default Re: Pumping Supply Issue

    Welcome to the forum!

    It's very typical to hit a pump slump in the later half of the first year. The best way to correct it is to pump more often and use a better pump- both things that you are already doing. Just remember that it takes TIME to correct a slump, so give yourself a while to respond to the better pump and increased pumping.

    Some more things to do:
    - Make sure that your pump shields fit correctly; it is common for women to change size over the course of the first year.
    - Get new pump parts and new tubing. You never know- it may help!
    - Revisit your contraception choices. If you are using hormonal contraceptives, you might want to consider using a barrier method instead, as all hormonal methods have the potential to have a negative impact on supply.
    - Make sure you're not pregnant. If your supply is tanking due to pregnancy, there's nothing that you can do about it. You just have to accept it and ride out the year with formula if your supply is dipping too low.
    - Make sure your baby is not being overfed at daycare. If your baby is consistently taking in more than 1.5 oz per hour, he's probably being overfed and that can out immense pressure on mom to provide more and more milk.

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