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Thread: Low supply, day away from baby

  1. #1

    Default Low supply, day away from baby

    My daughter is 7 months old and I've struggled the whole time with low supply. I'd like to participate in an all day yoga retreat in November. This would be my first time away from her for more than just a few hours. It would be 9-5. I'm worried if this would negatively affect my supply.

    A little about us, I supplement 6-8 oz daily with a mix of formula and what little milk I pump once or twice a day. When I pump I get 1.5-2 oz total per session. I think she gets about 3-4 oz from me when she nurses based on a few weighted feeds. I'm sure I could pump once or twice during the day, I just know how terribly I respond to the pump. I know this doesn't seem like a big deal, but my supply is so tenuous, I don't want to hurt it further. I've taken dips for whatever reason in the past, it just takes a boatload of pumping to get back up to speed. I'm not worried about what she drinks while I'm away. I'm only wondering, would one day of inadequate milk removal drastically affect my tenuous supply?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    10,746

    Default Re: Low supply, day away from baby

    So your pump output is not meeting what your child gets when nursing...is that why you say you do not respond well to the pump? I am not sure if you are pumping during separations or when with baby, but generally speaking, your pump output is within normal range, and your child's per nursing session intake is certainly also entirely normal, even high. If you want to talk about milk production, intake, and need for supplementing etc. at all, I would first ask, what was happening that you were diagnosed with inadequate milk production in the first place?

    Anyway, to your question re: the retreat, generally, no, one day (8 -12 hours) of "inadequate" milk removal at this age (many months post partum) would probably not impact overall milk production. This is why when babies start sleeping longer stretches of 5-8 hours, as they sometimes (but not always) do at this age, it does no harm to milk production as long as baby is nursing (or mom is pumping) with good frequency the rest of the day. It does not matter whether production is low to begin with or not, a one time stretch without milk removal is not likely to lower it further than it was before.

    BUT a long day of concentration and exercise with inadequate milk removal is pretty likely to cause mom to become overly full and tired, and that double whammy could lead to plugs and/or mastitis. And that, of course, could be a major a problem on many levels.

    Except for the fact you would be pumping (rather than nursing) for this day, and your pump output does not meet what baby gets when nursing, what other factors are leading you to say the milk removal would be "inadequate"? Will you be able to pump with reasonable frequency (3-4 times over the day?)

    Also what have you tried for increasing milk output when you pump? Do you regularly trouble shoot your pump, including adjusting flange size if needed? Have you tried adding hand expression or massage or warm cloths to your pumping routine?

  3. #3

    Default Re: Low supply, day away from baby

    Baby had undiagnosed tongue-tie that we only revised at 3 months. So she was getting less and less and I was making less and less before we caught it. I never was able to bring my supply up fully, after trying everything. I've gotten it up a few
    times to EBF, but it always dips back down. I know I could pump more, but it's always hard for me to work up the energy to go in for a several days long pumping fest. I guess I've settled into this rhythm of combination feeding & I think she's kind of used to her little 2 oz bottles she gets a few times a day. But I guess that's a whole other thread!

    My only concerns for that day are that I would be pumping instead of nursing which I've never done. When I pump now, it's either between feeds during the day (sometimes) or at night after she goes to sleep (every night). I've never been away from her for more than about 2 hours. She does not sleep more than 3 hours at a time even at night. (I mis-typed her intake before as she takes 2-3 oz from me, not 3-4.)

    I think my flanges are correct, though I haven't had them checked by an LC. I take a hot shower before pumping and always do tons of compressions throughout or else I wouldn't get anything. And I hand express after to get the last bits.

    I'll ask the coordinators of the event if the schedule is such that I could pump 3 times. I'm sure it'd be fine, as it's a retreat specifically for mothers and pretty casual. And yes, definitely don't want a plug, I just got past one last week that was almost turning into mastitis. Thank you for your help! I don't feel so nervous now, as long as I'm sure to pump several times. And of course I'll nurse her right before I leave the house and right when I get home.

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