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Thread: Pumping for a month and still low supply

  1. #1

    Default Pumping for a month and still low supply

    I've maintained 8 pumps a day and yet I'm only yielding 30-40ml per session. If I'm lucky, I get a 60ml yield. I've tried all sorts of herbs and lactation goodies but I just can't seem to get anywhere. My baby is 15 weeks on 7th of January. He takes one - two bottles of breast milk that I can provide. The rest of the feeds (4 feeds) are formula. I'm really desperate to wean him off formula but I can't make enough milk. I saw a lactation consultant once and she told me I could be stressed which may inhibit my let down. Well I do get let downs but the output is still low. I've done dual, single pumps and even made sure my flange is the right size. When I use a single pump (spectra S1) with a lot of breast compressions, I get 30ml. I can't do without those compressions. Hands-free pumping still doesn't drain the milk effectively and I get prone to blocked ducts. It's so frustrating and upsetting when this happens. My baby latches but does not settle due to my low supply. I began my exclusively pumping journey a month ago because I really want to be able to give him breast milk. Should I keep going or give up... I'm back to work since January. I can pump thrice in a 6am - 1.30pm stretch and then make up for 5 sessions after that. Really wish there was something I could do.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: Pumping for a month and still low supply

    Welcome to the forum!

    Is the spectra you are using a hospital-grade pump? Spectra seems to make both consumer models- best for the mom who has good production and is working- and hospital-grade machines, which are made for moms who are trying to increase supply or who are relying on the pump exclusively. So if your pump is a consumer model, one of the first things to try is to get a better pump.

    The second thing to try is to bump up your pumping frequency. 8 pump sessions per day is great, don't get me wrong! But when it comes to pumping, more is better. The more often you remove as much milk as you can, the more milk you will make.

    I would definitely keep on trying to nurse the baby. A lot of times a baby will suddenly "click in" with breastfeeding. The more opoortunities you give him to try, the more likely this is to happen.

    I would also stop in at the doctor's office, and make sure that you're in good physical health. I would be especially alert to any hormonal conditions- things like PCOS or thyroid dysfunction can be implicated in supply problems.

    Another thing to consider is birth control. A lot of moms find that hormonal contraception- even those supposedly "safe for breastfeeding" formulations- has a negative impact on supply. If you're using any form of hormonal birth control, now might be a good time to consider switching to a barrier method. It's not forever, right?

    Finally, you ask if you should keep on or give up. We can't answer that. Only YOU know whether or not this journey is worth it for you. We can tell you that continuing to produce milk is good for your body, and continuing to provide milk for your baby is good for the baby. And we can reassure you that it is possible to increase production- though not every mom wants to or can put in the necessary effort, especially when she is back in the workplace.

    You are doing something wonderful, and you really should celebrate that! It doesn't matter if you regain full production or if you simply continue at the level you are at, or even if you quit tomorrow. You're a mom no matter what, and you will look back on this period in your life and say "I did my best."

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