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Thread: Increase Supply as Baby's need increases BUT working FT...

  1. #1

    Question Increase Supply as Baby's need increases BUT working FT...

    Hello!

    I work Full Time and Pump during work for Baby Zoe's meals the next day. She goes to Gramma's from 8am to 6pm - 4 Bottles. She is currently 12 weeks and will turn 3 months next Tues (10/27/15). I have noticed she is getting hungrier and 3.5 oz may not be enough soon... or now even.

    If I were a stay at home mom, my supply should increase due to demand. But my situation now working FT, I am pumping and my body does not know there is a new "higher demand". I pump 5 min after the last drop currently, sometimes the session is 15 min other times its 40min. I BARELY make enough as is.

    I BF her 8pm though 8am (2-4 feeds) and on the weekends but my supply is not increasing. What should we do to let our bodies know, Hey! We need more!

    [Already DAILY: Eating a large portion of Oatmeal, Drinking lactation stews, Eating lactation cookies, Taking Fenugreek supplements, drinking over 100oz of water]

    Thank You!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    24,911

    Default Re: Increase Supply as Baby's need increases BUT working FT.

    You can take all the supplements you want, eat every lactation stew or cookie on the planet, and drink an ocean of water and it will still not do you half as much good as more nursing or more pumping. And for the record, you do not need to drink excessive amounts of water in order to make plenty of milk. You need only drink to thirst, and as long as your pee is usually pale and mild-smelling, you know are staying well-hydrated.

    Here's how you make more milk:
    1. Nurse more often when you are home with your baby.
    2. If your baby sleeps long stretches at night, make sure you wake her and nurse her. It may help to sleep in very close proximity to the baby and to take away sleep-extending tools like nighttime pacifiers and swaddling. Not only is night-nursing good for supply, but more calories taken in at night can cut down on the baby's need for them during the day.
    3. Make sure you offer both breasts at every feeding.
    4. Pump more often when you are at work.
    5. Pump for longer stretches, if possible.
    6. If you are unable to pump more often at work, add in pumping sessions after nursing when you are home with your baby.
    7. Use the best possible pump. For most moms, this means using a good double electric pump with correctly sized shields.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    10,743

    Default Re: Increase Supply as Baby's need increases BUT working FT.

    Keeping up a normal milk production when separated from baby every day is certainly a challenge. Is baby gaining normally? How many times per work day are you able to pump and how much milk do you get typically? (over the day.) Does your caregiver practice paced bottle feeding? Are they saying you need to leave more milk for baby or is this increase in need something you are assuming will happen?

    If I were a stay at home mom, my supply should increase due to demand.
    Actually, Your supply (milk production) would not increase . It does not need to. A 6 month old baby needs no more milk per day than a 6 week old baby. (This is mostly because as baby gets older and bigger, growth rate slows. Another reason is the actual makeup of breastmilk itself changes somewhat as baby ages.) If your baby currently gets 4 3.5 ounce bottles over a 10 hour separation, that is a total of 14 ounces, and that should be enough and remain enough. In other words, I do not think you have to worry about increasing this amount of expressed milk- unless you are actively decreasing how much milk baby gets (how often baby nurses) while with you. If you are not feeding baby enough times when you are together, then yes baby will possibly need more milk (or formula) when you are not together.

    To keep milk production at a level that is enough for baby, it needs to be removed from the breasts well enough and often enough for milk production to remain normal (or increase if that is needed.) If mom is not nursing on cue when she is with baby, and/or is not pumping often enough when not with baby, either will cause milk production to decrease. If it decreases too much, mom will no longer be able to exclusively nurse her baby. This is true whether mom is working outside the home or not.

    This is why feeding or sleep schedules that limit nursing frequency cause mothers to lose milk production and cause breastfeeding to not last as long as mom might otherwise wish.

    Right now it sounds as if your baby nurses fairly infrequently when with you. 4 times in 12 hours would be the minimum typically, not the max. Will she nurse more often if you offer? If not, you might need to add pump sessions when at home. But for most moms, that is much more of a hassle than simply nursing.

    Another reason to nurse more when with baby is so that baby is fed at the breast at least as often as baby is fed with a bottle, preferably, more often. This is helpful in avoiding eventual disinterest in nursing or breast refusal due to baby being fed with bottles.

    Frequent and effective milk removal is what is required for continued milk production. Herbs and foods that increase milk are not going to work for everyone and only will work if milk is being extracted from the breasts often and well enough. Typically, this means between 8 and 12 times in 24 hours at a minimum. Some moms need more frequent milk extraction than others to continue to make enough because we are all different anatomically.

    So, if you wish to tell your body to continue to make enough milk, when you are separated from baby can you pump more often, and/or, when you are with baby can you encourage baby to nurse more often?
    Last edited by @llli*maddieb; October 20th, 2015 at 05:43 PM.

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