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Thread: Working mom: Huge drop in supply!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Posts
    19

    Default Working mom: Huge drop in supply!

    I have an almost 4 month old, who exclusively survives on breastmilk. She was breast fed for 3 months, and once I started work, she started drinking about 30- 45 ml of expressed milk for every hour I am away. I pump twice at work (I used to get 100ml (total) for 8-10mins of pumping) and I go home to feed her during lunch. It all changed last week when I got hit with fever, baby got the fever as well, and I got my periods. I nursed her throughout and was keeping up a good supply. However, since the past few days, my milk supply has dropped considerably. I get 40-60ml (total) per pumping session). I have tried pumping for longer and this is not helping. I cosleep with her and try to nurse her or "dream feed" her, but this does not seem to be helping either. I do not have enough freezer stash built up, and would like some reassurance on whether this is normal, and/or what I can do to bring it back to the old level.

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

    Default Re: Working mom: Huge drop in supply!

    Welcome to the forum!

    Since a lot of our moms are in the US, and used to thinking in oz rather than ml, I'm going to post some conversions first:
    - Baby is drinking 1.2-1.3 oz per hour while mom is at work
    - Mom's prior pump output was about 3.4 oz from both breasts
    - Mom is now getting 1.3-2 oz total when she pumps

    Seeing a dip in supply when you are sick, or around the time of your period, is normal. You had both, so that's a double whammy.

    What you do about it is this:
    - You nurse more often when you are home with the baby, especially including overnight sessions
    - You pump more often, if possible, when you are at work
    - If pumping more often at work is not possible, you pump after feedings when you are at home with baby
    - You make sure your pump is in perfect working order- replace any replaceable or worn parts
    - You consider changing your shield size- many moms find that they need different sizes as time goes on
    - You consider upgrading your pump to a better model
    - You try herbal supplements- fenugreek, oatmeal- they can be good for a small boost in supply
    - You think about your birth control method- hormonal contraception, even the supposedly "safe for breastfeeding" varieties- can sometimes have a negative impact on supply
    - As a last ditch resort, you talk to your doctor or midwife about prescription drugs which can be used off-label to increase supply, e.g. Domperidone. These drugs have additional side-effects, and are not for use by all mothers.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Posts
    19

    Default Re: Working mom: Huge drop in supply!

    Hi.. thank you for your suggestions and reassurance. I use a medela pump in style breast pump and I am not on any form of birth control. I have started pumping after every feeding and also ordered fenugreek and mothers milk tea.. I will start eating oatmeal as well.. I never thought about the shield size.. That is something I have to look into.. Once again, thank you! Every bit of reassurance helps me relax!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    24,794

    Default Re: Working mom: Huge drop in supply!

    Good luck! I hope you're back to your old normal soon. If not, just keep in mind that the amount of milk you are pumping now is pretty typical. A lot of moms discover that they can't pump only at work and get the milk they need- they have to pump at home, too. One of the unfortunate secrets of working moms, I think!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Posts
    19

    Default Re: Working mom: Huge drop in supply!

    Thank you. I just started drinking mothers milk tea and taking fenugreek. I have also started eating oatmeal. As of now, my baby is breastfed at 6:30am, 8:30am, 12:15pm, 5:30pm, 7:00pm & 9pm (with a couple of dream feeds at night). I pump 4 times a day and get around 200ml (about 6-7oz), which seems to satisfy the two feedings she gets when I am away. She has around 10 wet diapers and maybe 1 dirty diaper a day (or once in two days). I am hoping it gets back to normal soon.

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