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Thread: dreaded pump slump

  1. #1
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    Default dreaded pump slump

    I was doing so well with pumping, I was getting overly confident -- even at 9 months I was pumping more than my son needed (running out of room in our crowded freezer), so had cut down my pumps in order to get more exercise time during the day. All was well, but we went away for a long weekend (exclusively nursing, other than one bottle while DH and I were out) and since we returned I'm pumping about 1/2-2/3 of what I was. This is happening on two different pumps, so I don't think the pump is the problem. Also, my DS doesn't seem to be nursing as much at home -- but neither is he eating much in the way of solids!

    I'm going to give it a few more days, but may have to start fenugreek to keep up to at least 12 months. We are going through my small freezer stash quickly -- he drinks about 12 ounces but I can only pump 8 or 9. I've gone from pumping 3x a day (once on the way to work and 2x at work) before our trip to now 4 times (3x at work). Has anyone had any luck with fenugreek for a pump slump? I'm drinking mother's milk tea, but don't have time to drink 3-4 cups a day.

    No period yet, but I got it back with my DD around 10-11 months, so possible, i guess.

    I'm trying to not be stressed about it, but it's definitely aggravating!
    Mom to my sweet little "Pooper," born 10/12/11, and "Baby Brother," born 6/23/2014, and married to heavy metal husband. Working more than full-time, making healthy vegetarian meals for family, and trying to keep up with exercise routine.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: dreaded pump slump

    What doesn't add up is that this hit you right after a weekend of exclusive nursing. I know you tried two pumps, but it's possible they're both slightly underfuntioning - have you changed out the membranes etc? I was also wondering whether this could be signaling the onset of your period. What's going on with nighttime nursing?

    If you feel like your son is not nursing as much at home, how about trying to cut back just a bit on the daytime bottle intake? Even shaving an ounce or two off will get you closer to meeting his needs and get you through the next couple of months more easily.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: dreaded pump slump

    Why, I always had this each time we had an extended period of exclusive nursing! My body produced more when I was pumping by day (weekdays). By the weekend I'd be in overproduction mode. Then on Monday, emptyish... repeat cycle.

    I'd say, give yourself a week before you start stressing out. That way you can see what the story is. Also, whenever I had a pump slump I only sent whatever I pumped. If my baby was a bit hungrier, he just nursed more at home, which is what I want. I don't want him coming home with a full belly, you know? The most I'd remove from my freezer stash per day would be 1-2 ounces, if at all.

    Can also be ovulation, not just a period.
    Mom to Samuel J.
    born 7lb. 10 oz. and 22" tall
    on Saturday, October 19, 2013.

    My breastfeeding experiences: http://www.breastfeedinghacks.com/

  4. #4
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    Default Re: dreaded pump slump

    Thank you both. Today I changed out the tube and filter on my Hygeia (I had recently changed the membranes). I'm going to try out my other pump again while working from home tomorrow and see what happens. My little guy seemed to not be nursing a ton while we were away, but I didn't think much of it. He's like that a lot. But I do think it might have been from the trip -- it seems so weird otherwise to have happened the day I returned to work. He nurses at night, but I can't say how much or how often, since I am half-asleep. But I'd guess he nurses on each side maybe 2x during the night (so 4x) minimum. He seemed to be sleeping better on our trip for some reason, but I think he still nursed at night a few times. He did have a few longer stretches, maybe 3 hours (usually he nurses every 2 or so) since we were traveling. But again, with my okay supply, I was never worried.

    This has been happening since last Wednesday. I'm still squeezing out only about 9 oz, which is normally what he has if he nurses before I leave the house. The past few days he's stayed asleep (I don't wake him up -- he doesn't go back to sleep for DH). Will try all the above suggestions. I can keep him at about 9 oz a day if necessary. It's still in the okay range. I'm going to keep working on the pumps, swapping parts out, but I just don't feel like that's the problem (having had that happen before). I'm going to try to swap out one thing at a time, just to see if I notice a difference. Since I got one pump for free and paid for the other one, I am not interested in renting a hospital grade pump unless all else fails.
    Mom to my sweet little "Pooper," born 10/12/11, and "Baby Brother," born 6/23/2014, and married to heavy metal husband. Working more than full-time, making healthy vegetarian meals for family, and trying to keep up with exercise routine.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: dreaded pump slump

    That sounds like a good plan. Even if your pump output doesn't go back up, if you are able to get the milk intake down you're fine! I actually think ruchiccio's philosophy of never taking more than 1 or 2 oz of the fridge is great. ruchiccio, that's interesting that you actually have more output when pumping - for me I was always fullest on Mondays after a weekend of nursing, and one time when I came back from a weeklong trip with baby I was even fuller! But I guess if you are effectively slightly overstimulating with pumping it makes sense.

    You're getting really close to that magical one-year mark filmmommy!

  6. #6
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    Default Re: dreaded pump slump

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*bfwmomof3 View Post
    That sounds like a good plan. Even if your pump output doesn't go back up, if you are able to get the milk intake down you're fine! I actually think ruchiccio's philosophy of never taking more than 1 or 2 oz of the fridge is great. ruchiccio, that's interesting that you actually have more output when pumping - for me I was always fullest on Mondays after a weekend of nursing, and one time when I came back from a weeklong trip with baby I was even fuller! But I guess if you are effectively slightly overstimulating with pumping it makes sense.

    You're getting really close to that magical one-year mark filmmommy!
    My baby wasn't the most efficient nurser on the block either. He had a tongue tie which only got resolved later at about 5 months of age. I never felt "empty" after he nursed, nor "full" if he didn't nurse... (if that means anything).
    Mom to Samuel J.
    born 7lb. 10 oz. and 22" tall
    on Saturday, October 19, 2013.

    My breastfeeding experiences: http://www.breastfeedinghacks.com/

  7. #7
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    Default Re: dreaded pump slump

    At 8 months, I reduced a session, so went from 12oz to 8oz, and just gave my baby more solids. She seems fine. Now at 11 months, I find that I can only pump 7oz (3.5oz per session). Maybe it's normal for supply to decrease when they eat more solids. Don't stress too much about it. Good luck!

  8. #8
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    Default Re: dreaded pump slump

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*hayashi View Post
    At 8 months, I reduced a session, so went from 12oz to 8oz, and just gave my baby more solids. She seems fine. Now at 11 months, I find that I can only pump 7oz (3.5oz per session). Maybe it's normal for supply to decrease when they eat more solids. Don't stress too much about it. Good luck!
    That makes a lot of sense! If baby doesn't need as much milk, you won't produce as much. I noticed a sharp decrease once after a holiday where we spent a lot of time together and my relatives were stuffing him with food
    Mom to Samuel J.
    born 7lb. 10 oz. and 22" tall
    on Saturday, October 19, 2013.

    My breastfeeding experiences: http://www.breastfeedinghacks.com/

  9. #9
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    Default Re: dreaded pump slump

    I've tried everything I can think of so far this week, and nothing is changing my output. So I guess I'll have to wait and see if my period is approaching. I'm trying to limit the amount of freezer stash we need, but DH and our sitter are having to dip in for 1 or 2 oz. Luckily I have enough to get us through a little while if we're using that little and I usually work from home one day a week. But it's still super annoying, especially since it came on like a flash after our trip. My little guy is eating some solids, but not much. On our trip, we usually were too busy to try more than once a day, and some days he didn't eat much that one time. Oh, well -- I am lucky I made it this long with a good supply. I'm trying Mother's Milk tea, and if I need to I'll try Fenugreek again just to get me through the next couple months. I pumped long beyond the 12 months with my daughter since we don't drink cow's milk, but definitely don't have to obsess after the 12 months. I just sent what I had at that point and as it decreased (down to about 3 oz around 18 months) she just had more water!
    Mom to my sweet little "Pooper," born 10/12/11, and "Baby Brother," born 6/23/2014, and married to heavy metal husband. Working more than full-time, making healthy vegetarian meals for family, and trying to keep up with exercise routine.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: dreaded pump slump

    Whenever I had an abrupt drop in pump output, it was always my period.

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