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Thread: Second week back to work - pumping way less than last week

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
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    Default Second week back to work - pumping way less than last week

    I'm on my second week back to work. Last week I pumped around 15-17 oz a day. This week I'm all of a sudden down to 11 oz a day. Did I just happen to be over producing last week? I'm having the sitter only feed 3-4oz each feeding, so it's not reducing the amount baby eats, but how did I decrease so much over the weekend?! I enjoyed getting the extra, which I was freezing!
    Is it because of daylight savings? I'm so confused.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    Default Re: Second week back to work - pumping way less than last we

    Hi think it is possible that being tired from the time change might decrease milk production slightly. Also if your baby is anything like my three year old, the time change increased nursing at home and perhaps that lowered your pump output at work a bit. While many moms find that pump output goes up and down, and many find it will definitely decrease over time, in your case, it went down quite a bit in a short time, so it does seem suspicious.

    My first suggestion is to troubleshoot your pump. Membranes in particular can become easily worn out and mess with pump performance.

    For other suggestions, it would help to know:
    How old is baby, how many hours are you separated each day, how many days a week?
    How many times a day do you pump and what kind of pump? Do you pump one sided or both sides at once? Have you tried adding breast compressions and/or hand expression to pump sessions?
    How much milk is baby getting overall each workday in bottles?
    Does baby nurse pretty frequently when you are home? What about overnight?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
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    Default Re: Second week back to work - pumping way less than last we

    My pump is new with all new parts. I used it very sparingly over my maternity leave (mostly just pumping off excess for the freezer as my supply established). The only thing that "changed" with the pump/parts was that over the weekend I did my first steam bag sanitizing of all of the parts. I did notice that the bag didn't indicate you could steam sanitize the membranes, so I tried switching those out with brand new ones yesterday, but only pumped one additional ounce. I steam sanitized literally every part of the pumping horns & bottles, was I not supposed to? (I didn't touch the pump bag itself or the tubing)

    Baby is 2 months old. Her schedule is: Wake @ 7 to feed & get ready for the day, dropping her off at daycare @ 7:30. Working 8 to 4 - pumping @ 9, 11, 1 & 3, picking her up at 4:30ish, feeding again at 5:30ish, then topping her off before bed at 6:45ish for a bedtime of 7. For the past 2 weeks she has only woken twice during the night to feed around 11/12 and 2/3 (though last night she woke up a third time @ 4:30 - I let her go till 4:40 to see if she'd put herself back to sleep, but she was definitely not settling down so I fed her again and she went back down)

    I always do breast compressions to get out additional milk for about 2 - 3 minutes after i start pumping dry.

    Sitter has been giving her 3 to 4 ounces (depending on how much i give her) 3 times a day, @ 9/10, 12/1 & 3/4 (depends on baby's napping schedule)

    I think you could be right about eating a lot more because of the time change, because the last two nights she's come home from daycare she has not only been sleeping basically on and off till her bedtime, she's also been almost inseparable from the boob.

    Thanks for the insight!

  4. #4
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    Jun 2009
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    Default Re: Second week back to work - pumping way less than last we

    The rule of thumb is to give baby 1 to 1.5 ounces per hour of separation. It sounds like you and baby are separated 9 hours, so that would mean 9-13.5 ounces per day, give or take. So baby is not being overfed overall, this is good. If you like, you might talk to sitter about giving baby more frequent but slightly smaller bottles if baby seems to prefer that, just because 4 ounces at once is a fairly large feeding for a 2 month old. If baby is only interested in eating 3 times a day while at daycare, then fine. If you like, you could also consider nursing baby at daycare as soon as you pick baby up. This would act to reduce the amount of milk baby needs while at daycare.

    Because baby is taking in about 12 ounces per day while you are at work, (A normal amount for the length of separation you are having) you can expect baby to need to nurse a few times overnight. This is normal and will help with your overall milk production. Even when mom makes plenty of milk to begin with, the return to work is a perilous time for overall milk production. Encouraging baby to nurse more at night can help with that, (so no need to hold baby off in other words.) 2 months old need to nurse when they need to nurse, and holding baby off or in any way scheduling feedings is usually somewhat detrimental to breastfeeding overall. Many babies seem to tend to nurse a bit more often overnight if they are separated from mom during the day. (although babies this age who are with mom all day also nurse frequently at night, I assure you.) Also, sometimes moms are surprised when a baby who slept long periods in the early weeks starts waking more at 2, 3, or 4 months. But this is actually typical and normal. Yes in this case the time change might have something to do with it, but not necessarily.

    As far as your pump cleaning questions , you will have to ask your pump manufacturer. One other common area where the pump itself might be the problem is in flange fit. Again, your pump manufacturer should have information about getting the best fit possible.

    Kellymom has a good article on increasing pump output: http://kellymom.com/hot-topics/pumping_decrease/

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
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    Northern Virginia
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    Default Re: Second week back to work - pumping way less than last we

    This happened to me, as well -- I think it is common. Your body starts reducing milk due to the pumping, whereas before you were nursing baby all day (and possibly pumping, as well). I just made sure to get 4 full pumping sessions in each day (one in the car on the way to work and three during the workday). After a couple weeks I feel like everything balanced out, but it's hard to remember (you'll be surprised how easily you forget these things!). You might also just want to add a few sessions in here and there when possible (on the weekend or something) if you are worried you don't have enough to leave each week. I feel like it takes a month or two to get fully comfortable with the whole situation.
    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.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
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    Default Re: Second week back to work - pumping way less than last we

    That would totally make sense that the change to pumping wouldn't empty the breast completely and thus slow down supply. - I'll probably stick with my 4 pumping sessions then to ensure I get enough milk for baby. (I was considering moving to 3, pumping isn't the most comfortable or enjoyable thing)

    What's even crazier though is that throughout this second week I've increased back up to the higher output. Monday I got 11 ounces, Tuesday I got 12, yesterday I got 14, then today I got 16. It's like throughout the week I'm building back up.

    I'm very interested to see how next week goes to see if I go through the same early week dip and then back to the higher volume. If I stay pretty big, I might assume that the decrease was in fact due to the day light savings issue stealing an hour of breast milk and making baby more thirsty!

    Thanks so much for the input! VERY helpful!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
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    19

    Default Re: Second week back to work - pumping way less than last we

    I wanted to follow-up on this post. My supply continued to increase each day and I am now able to pump 20 oz. It seems that the drop was just a temporary thing. Thank Goodness!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    10,754

    Default Re: Second week back to work - pumping way less than last we

    good news! thanks for the update.

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