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Thread: Help! Supply drop due to pumping

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    21

    Exclamation Help! Supply drop due to pumping

    I have a 6 month old daughter. I work full time (I'm away from her for about 9 hours per day Monday - Friday) and pump 2-3 times per day while away from her. I BF at least once in the morning and twice at night. I don't pump efficiently so I struggle getting enough EBM for my baby while away. I pump one side while she nurses. I am now struggling to keep up my supply. I assume it is since I don't pump efficiently, my body doesn't think I need to continue making the milk.

    Here is why I think my supply is low...

    1.) This past weekend when giving her very little solids, her diapers are not very wet. The times that her diapers are full are when she has had juice.

    2.) She no longer seems satisfied after nursing. I begin feeding her on one side while I pump the other. Once I finish pumping and she begins fussing at the first breast, I switch her to the other side. Since I don't pump very much, she can still get quite a bit of milk from the other side. I switch her back and forth until she seems satisfied. However, this past week, she just doesn't seem to get full.

    3.) Once at daycare, she usually has a bottle of about 5 oz at 9:30 or 10:00. Yesterday, she was screaming, so she was given a bottle at 8:30. She finished her bottle and screamed again, so she was given another bottle. She took 8 oz total before she was satisfied. (If she is going to begin taking larger bottles at daycare, this brings up an entirely new issue with pumping!)

    4.) I'm getting even less milk than normal when I pump. I pump at least 6 times a day and get about 8-12oz. The past week or so, I've been struggling to get 6-7oz.

    I normally have a slight drop at the end of the week. In the past I've been able to build my supply back up by nursing, nursing, nursing on the weekends and taking fenugreek.

    I am working SO hard to give her only Breastmilk. I don't want to have to resort to formula. This is just SO frustrating. PLEASE HELP!

    Brandy
    Emma's mommy

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    77

    Default Re: Help! Supply drop due to pumping

    Hi Brandy

    >I have a 6 month old daughter. I work full time (I'm away from her for about 9 hours per day Monday - Friday) and pump 2-3 times per day while away from her. I BF at least once in the morning and twice at night. I don't pump efficiently so I struggle getting enough EBM for my baby while away. I pump one side while she nurses.< I am now struggling to keep up my supply. I assume it is since I don't pump efficiently, my body doesn't think I need to continue making the milk. <

    Brandy, it would be helpful to have a little more information.

    How much did Emma weigh at birth?
    How much did she weigh at 4 months? 5 months? now?

    How many wet and how many poopy diapers is she NOW getting in 24 hours?

    >I am now struggling to keep up my supply. I assume it is since I don't pump efficiently, my body doesn't think I need to continue making the milk. <

    What pump do you use? (Brand name AND type, eg Medela PIS.)

    >Here is why I think my supply is low...

    1.) This past weekend when giving her very little solids, her diapers are not very wet. The times that her diapers are full are when she has had juice.

    2.) She no longer seems satisfied after nursing. I begin feeding her on one side while I pump the other. Once I finish pumping and she begins fussing at the first breast, I switch her to the other side. Since I don't pump very much, she can still get quite a bit of milk from the other side. I switch her back and forth until she seems satisfied. However, this past week, she just doesn't seem to get full.

    3.) Once at daycare, she usually has a bottle of about 5 oz at 9:30 or 10:00. Yesterday, she was screaming, so she was given a bottle at 8:30. She finished her bottle and screamed again, so she was given another bottle. She took 8 oz total before she was satisfied. (If she is going to begin taking larger bottles at daycare, this brings up an entirely new issue with pumping!)<

    How much solids does Emma get? It may be that she is just telling you that she is ready for more. What you are describing is one of the signs that a baby is getting ready to add solids to her diet.

    >4.) I'm getting even less milk than normal when I pump. I pump at least 6 times a day and get about 8-12oz. The past week or so, I've been struggling to get 6-7oz. <

    Brandy, you may be surprised to hear that most mothers pump 2-3 ounces per session! Babies usually need about one ounce of milk for every hour that you are away.

    I wonder if your baby may simply need a little more solids plus a little more attention at daycare. How would you feel about asking your caregivers to hold her, even when she is not crying? Perhaps you could bring in a baby sling for them?

    It is also possible that Emma is teething.
    Many babies who are teething feel grumpy, because it hurts. Is she drooling a lot? Chewing on her fingers? Waking more often at night? The bottle may be soothing her, so she wants more. Does she use the nipple as a teething toy?

    >I normally have a slight drop at the end of the week. In the past I've been able to build my supply back up by nursing, nursing, nursing on the weekends and taking fenugreek. <

    Great! this is exactly what I would suggest!
    You say that you are pumping six times a day. Would it be possible to add an extra nursing or two as well?
    What does your evening schedule look like? Could you nurse her at the sitters' house when you pick her up, a couple of times in the evening, and then again before you go to bed?
    Does she wake during the night to nurse?

    >I am working SO hard to give her only Breastmilk. I don't want to have to resort to formula. This is just SO frustrating. PLEASE HELP!<

    Brandy, I do not think you will need to use formula. At six months, if she DOES need more milk than you can produce you can start solids.

    I know that I have asked a LOT of questions Please take your time in answering, and relax. I thing you will be fine.

    warmly,
    LLLnormaR
    Moderator

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    21

    Default Re: Help! Supply drop due to pumping

    Thank you for your reply!

    Emma's weight at birth - 6lbs 14oz 19 1/2 in long
    at 4 months - 11lbs 4oz 22 in long
    (now) at 6 months - 12lbs 23 3/4 in long

    Current wet / poopy diapers in 24 hours
    This past weekend....
    Dry at 6:30a.m when she woke up
    Poopy at 7:30 (still not wet)
    Wet at 11:30 (but not very wet)
    Wet and poopy at 3:00 (had juice at 1:00)
    Wet at 6:00
    Wet at 9:00 (again, had juice)

    She has been more full / wet since I've built my supply up a little since the weekend. I would guess that she has a wet diaper at least every 3 hours. Poopy diapers are about the same.

    I currently use a Medela PIS Adv pump. It was purchased brand new about 6 weeks ago. I did use an older PIS until the motor went out.

    It is a little hard for me to explain exactly how much she is eating in solids...I make my own so I'm not measuring it in baby food jars. I freeze it in ice cube trays and use 4 cubes of fruit and 4 cubes of veggie per meal.

    Here is a typical feeding schedule during the week:
    6:00a.m nurse
    9:30 5 oz bottle
    11:30 juice
    12:30p.m solids usually 4oz of fruit AND 4oz veggie (she eats a lot of solids per meal!)
    3:30 5 oz bottle
    5:30 nurse
    7:30 offer to let her nurse, usually doesn't so she gets solids - 4oz fruit & 4oz veggie
    8:30 nurse, then off to bed

    I would LOVE to be able to pump 2-3 oz per pumping session.
    Here is a typical pumping schedule:
    6:00a.m 2oz (used to get 4-6oz)
    8:00a.m 1/2 oz (just added this session when I can)
    10:15a.m 1 1/2 oz - 2oz (used to get 3 oz)
    1:30 p.m. 1/2 - 1oz (used to get 2 oz)
    5:30 p.m. 1oz (added this session when began getting less during the day)
    7:30 p.m 1/2 oz (also new session)
    8:30 p.m 1oz (used to be 2-3 oz)

    the theory that I should be able to get 1 oz per hour I'm away from her is not working. I am only getting 6-7 oz and I'm away from her for 9 hours! I feed her as soon as I get home (husband picks her up from daycare.)

    I've tried moving back her first nursing session to 7:00a.m at daycare, but she won't nurse well since there is so much to see there!

    The 8oz at daycare is not typical...I'm thinking that my supply was low Mon a.m so she was super hungry. And she is at a different daycare this week. My normal daycare provider had a baby a week ago and is closed due to health issues with her new son. Since she has a brand new baby, she cannot hold Emma in a sling all day. (Emma wouldn't like it either. She thinks she is 2 and should be running around with the big kids.)

    Teething could be a possibility. She began yesterday really chewing on my nipples. OUCH! She, however, is not chewing on her fingers, drooling more than normal. She is only fussy when she has been nursing for 5 min or so. As soon as I switch her to the other side, she is content for another few minutes.

    I'm just concerned that my supply will continue to drop each week like it did this past week. I don't think my baby was getting enough milk towards the end of last week and the beginning of this week. My supply is okay for now, but I'm afraid that I eventually will have to supplement if this keeps happening. I don't have much of a frozen supply any more. Most of it has been used at daycare.

    I think I've answered all your questions! Thanks for your help.

    Brandy
    Mommy to Emma 6 months

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    77

    Default Re: Help! Supply drop due to pumping

    >Thank you for your reply! <

    Thank YOU, Brandy, for answering - it really helped me see the bigger picture.

    >Emma's weight at birth - 6lbs 14oz 19 1/2 in long
    at 4 months - 11lbs 4oz 22 in long
    (now) at 6 months - 12lbs 23 3/4 in long<

    That looks good
    Babies usually slow down their weight gain around 4-6 months, and she HAS doubled her birth weight.

    >Current wet / poopy diapers in 24 hours
    This past weekend....
    Dry at 6:30a.m when she woke up
    Poopy at 7:30 (still not wet)
    Wet at 11:30 (but not very wet)
    Wet and poopy at 3:00 (had juice at 1:00)
    Wet at 6:00
    Wet at 9:00 (again, had juice)<

    I make that 4 wet and 2 poopy....

    >She has been more full / wet since I've built my supply up a little since the weekend. I would guess that she has a wet diaper at least every 3 hours. Poopy diapers are about the same.<

    Is that 6 wet and 2 poopy?
    That is better! That is what you want to see all the time, especially the wet ones.

    >I currently use a Medela PIS Adv pump. It was purchased brand new about 6 weeks ago. I did use an older PIS until the motor went out.<

    The PIS is a good pump for those who have already established a milk supply and just want to maintain it while separated from the baby.
    Most mothers who are having difficulties with their supply usually find it helpful to switch to a hospital-grade rental pump until they reach their goal. This is something you might want to consider doing.

    >It is a little hard for me to explain exactly how much she is eating in solids...I make my own so I'm not measuring it in baby food jars. I freeze it in ice cube trays and use 4 cubes of fruit and 4 cubes of veggie per meal.<

    Good for you for making your own baby food!

    >Here is a typical feeding schedule during the week:
    6:00a.m nurse
    9:30 5 oz bottle
    11:30 juice
    12:30p.m solids usually 4oz of fruit AND 4oz veggie (she eats a lot of solids per meal!)
    3:30 5 oz bottle
    5:30 nurse
    7:30 offer to let her nurse, usually doesn't so she gets solids - 4oz fruit & 4oz veggie
    8:30 nurse, then off to bed <

    Has Emma ever nursed for comfort as well as food?
    Does she get a pacifier?

    >I would LOVE to be able to pump 2-3 oz per pumping session.
    Here is a typical pumping schedule:
    6:00a.m 2oz (used to get 4-6oz)
    8:00a.m 1/2 oz (just added this session when I can)
    10:15a.m 1 1/2 oz - 2oz (used to get 3 oz)
    1:30 p.m. 1/2 - 1oz (used to get 2 oz)
    5:30 p.m. 1oz (added this session when began getting less during the day)
    7:30 p.m 1/2 oz (also new session)
    8:30 p.m 1oz (used to be 2-3 oz) <

    I am so glad you have clarified this!
    From your previous post, I thought you were getting 6-7 oz PER PUMPING SESSION!
    I think that you will start to see more milk now you are are pumping more frequently. Your body just need a little time to catch up. Those three extra sessions will make a difference.

    >the theory that I should be able to get 1 oz per hour I'm away from her is not working. I am only getting 6-7 oz and I'm away from her for 9 hours! I feed her as soon as I get home (husband picks her up from daycare.)<

    Actually, the theory is to LEAVE 1oz of milk per hour that you are away
    You can pump it ANY time.
    Would you consider pumping just before you go to bed?

    >I've tried moving back her first nursing session to 7:00a.m at daycare, but she won't nurse well since there is so much to see there! <

    This often happens, not to worry! I had meant that nursing to be the SECOND one of the day, not the first.
    Have you tried nursing in your car before going into the daycare?
    Would you consider waking Emma up during the night to nurse her? Many babies will nurse in their sleep too.
    In fact, some babies reverse their whole cycle, so that the nurse on and off all night, and take just a little milk during the day. This works well with babies who are just too BUSY to nurse much during the day.

    >The 8oz at daycare is not typical...I'm thinking that my supply was low Mon a.m so she was super hungry. And she is at a different daycare this week. My normal daycare provider had a baby a week ago and is closed due to health issues with her new son. Since she has a brand new baby, she cannot hold Emma in a sling all day. (Emma wouldn't like it either. She thinks she is 2 and should be running around with the big kids.) <

    Ahh... so there have been changes lately!
    Emma is in a new place with a new caregiver. No wonder she was looking for comfort food This explains her change of behaviour!

    >Teething could be a possibility. She began yesterday really chewing on my nipples. OUCH! She, however, is not chewing on her fingers, drooling more than normal. She is only fussy when she has been nursing for 5 min or so. As soon as I switch her to the other side, she is content for another few minutes. <

    And this ALSO explains the change! A lot of things for a little one to deal with at once!

    >I'm just concerned that my supply will continue to drop each week like it did this past week. I don't think my baby was getting enough milk towards the end of last week and the beginning of this week. My supply is okay for now, but I'm afraid that I eventually will have to supplement if this keeps happening. I don't have much of a frozen supply any more. Most of it has been used at daycare. <

    You were kind enough to tell us about your weekday routine (above.)
    What happens on weekends ?
    Do you nurse exclusively? Pump at all? Give bottles?
    Many mothers find that their supply is down at the end of the week. Nursing exclusively on weekends, PLUS pumping gives them the boost they need.

    warmly,
    LLLnormaR
    Moderator

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    21

    Default Re: Help! Supply drop due to pumping

    HTML Code:
    Babies usually slow down their weight gain around 4-6 months, and she HAS doubled her birth weight.
    She actually is 1 1/2 lbs shy of doubling her birth weight.

    HTML Code:
    The PIS is a good pump for those who have already established a milk supply and just want to maintain it while separated from the baby.
    Most mothers who are having difficulties with their supply usually find it helpful to switch to a hospital-grade rental pump until they reach their goal. This is something you might want to consider doing.
    The PIS is not maintaining my supply. It is dropping more and more the longer I work. I have a friend with a hospital-grade pump that I will try to use once she no longer needs it. She has a baby that just got out of the NICU and cannot exclusively nurse. Once she is finished pumping exclusively for his milk, I should be able to use that pump.

    HTML Code:
    Has Emma ever nursed for comfort as well as food?
    Does she get a pacifier?
    She did nurse for comfort when she was first born, however, she now nurses just for food. Once she hit the three months she stopped nursing for comfort. She does use a pacifier. Even if she did not use a pacifier, I don't think this would make her want to nurse for comfort. Except for helping my supply, I'm not sure I want her to either.

    HTML Code:
    Actually, the theory is to LEAVE 1oz of milk per hour that you are away 
    You can pump it ANY time.
    Would you consider pumping just before you go to bed?
    I'm not able to pump enough in 24 hours to leave 1oz of milk per hour that I am away. I pump on and off from the time I get up until the time I go to bed. My last pumping / nursing session is at 8:30 or so and I go to bed at 9:00. I get up at 5:30 and pump / nurse at 6:00 or so.

    HTML Code:
    Would you consider waking Emma up during the night to nurse her? Many babies will nurse in their sleep too.
    She does not nurse very well / at all when she is asleep. Once she is in a deep sleep, she will not nurse. If I wake her, she will just throw a fit until I can get her to calm back down and go back to sleep. Nursing does not calm her when she is overly tired or woken from a deep sleep.

    I really don't think the change in behavior is due to daycare change. She began fussing while nursing BEFORE the daycare change. Same with the teething. Again, she has been fussing BEFORE she started showing any new signs of teething.

    The weekend schedule is just about the same as the weekdays. She nurses instead of getting bottles. I pump the same. During her afternoon solids, I offer her the breast first, then offer solids if she didn't nurse well or if she still acts hungry. Most of the time we skip at least one solid meal per day on the weekends. She gets the juice if she has had solids to help keep her poop soft. If we are out, I work it out so she gets solids at that time.

    Again, I'm not as concerned about right now, but if my supply keeps changing like it has since I've returned to work 4 months ago, I'm not going to make it until she is a year. I am pumping 5 oz less a day, she is not taking any less than she was 4 months ago when we started daycare, and she is beginning to not have the wet diapers like she did towards the end of the week when I know that my supply has dropped. She is a very small little girl and I don't want her health to suffer because I am not producing enough milk.

    Brandy

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    61

    Default Re: Help! Supply drop due to pumping

    Many women's supply drops when they go back to work, pumping is just such a pain. Have you considered and herbal or prescription galactagogue?

    http://www.kellymom.com/bf/supply/low-supply.html

    I use More Milk Plus:

    http://www.motherlove.com/product_more_milk_plus.php

    and domperidone:

    http://www.globaldrug.tv/category.asp?CtgID=1003

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