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Thread: Decreasing Supply After Surgery and Return to Work

  1. #1

    Default Decreasing Supply After Surgery and Return to Work

    First time mom here,

    In the past month, I've had to have gallbladder surgery, quickly followed by a return to work. After surgery, I wasn't able to nurse for a few days due to the medications I was on, and instead pumped and dumped. That was quickly followed by a return to work, where I went from nursing several times a day to pumping exclusively during the day (every 2-3 hours) and then nursing at night.

    I've noticed a dramatic decrease in supply. I am lucky if I get 4-5 oz total from my daytime pumping, and my 4-month old son now needs a formula supplement after nursing at night, as I cannot satisfy him with nursing alone. We are relying increasingly on formula and I really want to avoid that. I've tried power pumping and hand expression. Any other thoughts or tips?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    10,754

    Default Re: Decreasing Supply After Surgery and Return to Work

    Aside from the lowered pump output, how else are you quantifying that your production is low? I understand you think baby needs more than you can provide at night, but how do you really know? Many moms suspect poor production when in fact things are normal or only slightly low. Not being able to pump enough at work is not always the same thing as overall low milk production, many moms with normal production are not able to pump enough at work. Many babies of this age are fussy and 'act hungry" when in fact they are just needing to comfort longer, either by nursing or some other way.

    Kellymom has some good suggestions both for low production and low pump output in these articles. Read the low milk supply one carefully as it talks about the situation of mom thinking her supply is insufficient when in fact it is ok. http://kellymom.com/hot-topics/low-supply/ and http://kellymom.com/hot-topics/pumping_decrease/

    Be very sure that your pump is in perfect working condition and that the flanges fit properly. You may need a different pump all together. Pump malfunction or just the pump not being (or no longer being) the right pump for mom is a common cause of poor pump output (and also will cause low production if mom is relying on her pump parts of the day.)

    To increase overall production the vital keys are frequent and effective milk removal throughout the 24 hour day and mom maintaining good hydration at all times. Some moms find herbal galactagogues helpful, as with any medicinal herb it is important to research first. Also there are 2 more commonly used pharmaceutical galactagogues. One is domperidone, I forget the generic name of the other but the brand name is reglan.

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