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Thread: Exclusively pumping, mastitis, & supply drop

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    24

    Question Exclusively pumping, mastitis, & supply drop

    After EBF'ing DD for 10 weeks and going through mastitis 4 times, thrush, and finally bleeding nipples, we decided to exclusively pump. We have the Medela PISA.

    We've been successfully pumping for 5 weeks now until I developed mastitis for the 5th time!! I do have OALD so I think that is the biggest contributor to the recurring mastitis.

    Anyways, I noticed a drop in my milk supply. DD sleeps through the night, but I've worked into a routine of pumping 4x per day and have been getting an avg of 38oz per day (up to 42oz). DD only needed 22oz at first so I froze the rest. Now she is taking 30oz on average.

    I took antibiotics for the mastitis, but have since noticed a drop in my supply to about 24-30oz! I have to work hard to get 30oz! Honestly that really scares me.

    Will my supply ever get back to the way it was? Could it be a hormone shift? I've noticed my hair is starting to fall out, I've been getting cramps, etc.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Exclusively pumping, mastitis, & supply drop

    I hate to say it, but I wonder if you aren't pumping often enough to empty your breasts fully, predisposing you to mastitis and telling your body that you don't need as much milk. You might consider just adding one session a day and seeing if that helps--demand increases supply. Also, make sure you are pumping until your breasts are empty and then pump for 3-5 minutes longer to tell your body to make more. When you exclusively pump, you need to pump as often as your baby would nurse. At 10 weeks, that is pretty frequent. I EP and my son is 7 months old now. Not to freak you out, but I pump 6 times per day for 40 oz. For the first 12 weeks, I pumped 8-10 times/day. It sounds like alot, but it doesn't last forever and it is worth it to build a supply.

    Best wishes--it is worth the effort to know our little ones are getting the best food we can provide!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    2,866

    Default Re: Exclusively pumping, mastitis, & supply drop

    ITA w/adding a pumping session. The best way to increase supply is to increase demand...and not only that, emptying the breasts more often will decrease your chances of developing mastitis.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    24

    Default Re: Exclusively pumping, mastitis, & supply drop

    Thank you both for your replies. I have always emptied the breasts and made sure I pump well beyond them stopping so I don't think that is an issue at all. However, I was really busy 2 days in a row a week prior to the mastitis and I only could manage pumping 3 times both days. So, I'm pretty sure that got the mastitis rolling. However, I have gone back to pumping 5x per day now and my supply seems to be back to normal again after also getting some time to heal after the mastitis.

    I have two questions:

    1) will my baby ever need more than 40oz per day as she grows? (she's 16 weeks old now)

    2) am I going to have to get up at 4 am to pump from now on in even though my DD sleeps through the night? I guess I just found that pumping 4x per day allowed me to sleep longer through the night before I got overly full. KWIM?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    78

    Default Re: Exclusively pumping, mastitis, & supply drop

    i was wondering the same thing about pumping in the middle of the night... my baby sleeps now... why can't I? >.< please!

    When I do, and wake up and I'm so full and uncomfortable.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    317

    Default Re: Exclusively pumping, mastitis, & supply drop

    When I had to exclusively pump for ds I had to use a hospital grade to maintain supply.
    Amanda Mom to James (2/25/04) and nursling Alice (8/24/05)

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