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Thread: EP and supply

  1. #1

    Default EP and supply

    I have been EP for about 10 weeks. I started a few weeks before returning to work. I never had a great supply to begin with and do supplement forMula and I am okay with that. I pump every 3-4 hours from 5:30am to 10:30pm. I am lucky if I produce 20oz in a day. My baby takes a bottle of 5-6oz every 2.5-4 hours from about 6:30am until 9:00pm. She is 4 months old and seems at timesome ready to push for 7oz. I have a good pump, but I do not feel I have a good let down. If I manually express with my electric pump I tend to have a better result, but still obviously not expressing enough for baby'shower demands. Any recommendations? Would tring to nurse again while not at work boost my production? I did attempt to nurse for just a little bit today and baby seemed willing to latch. I have tried heat, Fenugreek, increased fluids, good diet, and even metocloprimide (Reaglan). I'm getting desperate as I'm not ready to give up yet.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: EP and supply

    Hi and welcome!

    How is your baby gaining? Those are pretty large meals. Typical intake over 24 hours for a normally gaining baby is 25-35 ounces total. How much overall exactly does she get each day?

    If you are pumping 3-4 hours over 17 hours, do you mean are pumping about 5-6 times total in 24 hours? Most babies would nurse about 8-12 times in 24 hours, so most moms who are attempting to EP need to pump at least 8 times in 24 hours to maintain milk production at normal levels or to maintain what they are capable of producing.

  3. #3

    Default Re: EP and supply

    She is sleeping from last bottle on evening (about 9:00pm until 6-7:00am). She has slept through the night since she was about 3 weeks old. She had dropped to the 16th percentile for weight so her provider had monitored her closely and allowed her to eat what she wanted. She has been tolerating 5oz-6oz well for just over 1 month. I pump 6-7 times per day. By the last pump at 10:30 I am sometimes lucky to get 2 oz.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: EP and supply

    Ok, maybe it would help if I explained what is typical.

    Typically newborns (up to 3 months) nurse about 10-12 times in 24 hours. They nurse night and day. They usually only take one long stretch in 24 hours of not nursing, usually starting after 6-8 weeks, of about 4-6 hours at a time. So a baby that young or younger taking a long sleep stretch is more likely to have issues with slow gain and/or it could hurt mom's milk production.

    Nursing about 10-12 times a day, this newborn baby takes in a total of 25-35 ounces daily. (this is after 2 weeks- it is less before.) So meals are about 2-3 ounces at once. Normal average gain is about 6-8 ounces per week (after 2 weeks.)

    After about 3 months, some babies nurse a little less often, although this is not universal. Typical Nursing frequency is still about 8-12 times in 24 hours. Needed intake for normal gain is the same- about 25-35 ounces per day (this does not increase as baby gets older.) So meals would typically be in the 2-4 ounce size range. Gain rate slows to about 4-6 ounces per week. It slows again after 6 months to about 3 or 4 ounces per week. (Average, baby would not typically gain the same every week.)

    If a baby is eating 8 times in 24 hours, and gets 4 ounces at a time, that baby is getting 32 ounces total per day. That would be a pretty normal eating frequency and a normal size meal, leading to a normal daily intake.

    If a baby is eating 6 times in 24 hours, and got a 7 ounce bottle, that would be more than the normal intake, given in very large amounts at a time.

    Basically my point is that the norm is more frequent smaller meals, and large, infrequent meals is not the norm. After all a 4 year old probably needs to eat 4-6 times a day. So why should a 4 month old only need to eat 6 times? Just because the baby can take that much in without getting sick does not mean it is the best way to feed a baby.

    So that is what happens with a breastfed baby. So, how does than matter for a mom who is eping?

    So a mom who is eping is trying to replicate with the pump what a baby does as closely as possible.

    So in order to make enough milk overall, an eping mom usually needs to pump about 8 times in 24 hours. This is very general but it is a generality that seems to be usually true. Some moms can pump less often and be fine, but that assumes mom had a higher milk production at some point. If your production was always low to the point that baby always needed supplements, that would make it harder to maintain milk production will less than 8 milk removals in a day. Basically making milk takes energy, and the body will revert to energy saving mode (make less and less milk) if not given the message to keep making more milk.

    So the reason I was asking about your baby's current gain and intake is because I am trying to figure out if baby is being overfed and by how much, as this is common with bottles, and if that is coming into play as well as the slightly low pumping frequency. Maybe there is a happy medium where you pump a little more and baby takes in a little less, that is what I am wondering, because if you can get baby and your body more in sync, that will give a boost to your efforts to get baby back to the breast.

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