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Thread: How does it work (increas. prod.) -- psych or physio changes?

  1. #1
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    Default How does it work (increas. prod.) -- psych or physio changes?

    Just wondering if anyone knows the technical aspects of how pumping increases production. I'm pumping more and getting a tiny bit more with each session. Is this because my let-downs provide more milk because I have more hormones and so milk is produced for a longer period of time ... it's a length of time issue? Do my boobs ever get to where they'll just hold more milk than before ... which is a quantity issue?

    The reason I'm asking is that my LO seems to get frustrated fairly quickly when eating so I'm assuming that one likely reason is that let down isn't quick enough. I know about breast compressions and have a separate question about that I'll ask in other place, but they aren't always (usually, in fact) effective. I know I have the capacity for about 4 oz of milk and have had that for the longest time. When I pump, am I just enabling myself to produce another 4 oz faster, or will I be able to produce 5 oz at a feeding instead of 4? I tried to find an analogy, but the only one I could think of is a balloon that doesn't stretch but fills with water faster, and another balloon that would stretch and hold a bit more water each time.

    Anybody know?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: How does it work (increas. prod.) -- psych or physio changes?

    there is some good info here on the web site.
    http://www.lalecheleague.org/NB/NBMarApr05p44.html


    how old is your baby?
    ARe they getting bottles?

  3. #3
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    Default Re: How does it work (increas. prod.) -- psych or physio changes?

    Thanks for the link...I didn't quite see the specific answer to my questions there spelled out but I'm guessing that it may be related to filling faster. I can't say that I have ginormous boobs (although I do compared to before!) so I guess I'm just going to have to continue feeding frequently, which I'm already doing. Obviously this is direct contradiction with what the nurses told me -- she isn't taking as much since I feed her too often, so I need to cut back and let her get screaming hungry -- but I didn't believe it in the first place. However, it's awkward daring to challenge what medical personnel tell me...my inlaws get frustrated with me since "I already know everything." Anyway, I thought the article was interesting.

    And to answer your questions -- no, I don't feed her from a bottle because she refuses to take anything but my boob...no pacifier, no bottle, syringe is iffy but medium luck with a spoon (just because I can tilt her head back and pour a little in). She's about 4 months.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: How does it work (increas. prod.) -- psych or physio changes?

    thats great that she's not getting bottles some babies will like the bottle beter then the breast and then they don't breastfeed well.
    Pumping makes more milk because it removes milk.
    Baby is beter at removing milk then the pump.

    The nurses gave you some bad info, that happens, their training in breastfeeding is very little to none. And there is so much miss information out there.
    I posted on your breastcompression thread check out that website link maybe some of the info on there will help
    http://www.thebirthden.com/Newman.html

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    Default Re: How does it work (increas. prod.) -- psych or physio changes?

    Just wondering if anyone knows the technical aspects of how pumping increases production. I'm pumping more and getting a tiny bit more with each session. Is this because my let-downs provide more milk because I have more hormones and so milk is produced for a longer period of time ... it's a length of time issue? Do my boobs ever get to where they'll just hold more milk than before ... which is a quantity issue?

    Let me see how to explain this...okay, when you're pregnant you begin to make colostrum (lactogenesis I), this is hormonally controlled and happens regardless of whether or not a mother plans to nurse. The second stage of lactation (lactogenesis II) occurs when after the placenta is delivered. Again, this is hormonally driven and will happen whether or not a mother plans to nurse. The milk becomes more plentiful, or "comes in", no matter if a mother has stimulation of the breast or not. Does that make sense?

    Okay, so past that point, milk production is controlled locally inside the breast (lactogenesis III). This means, in order to make milk, more milk has to be removed. The amount of milk the breast makes is directly related to the emptyness of the breast.

    So, to answer your question, it's not because you have more hormones, but because by removing milk you are telling the milk production cells to make more. The lower levels of milk left in the breast tells the milk producing cells to step up production. The more milk removed, the more milk made.

    To answer the second part of your question, I don't believe that you can really increase your storage capacity, but you can increase how quickly your body produces milk by removing more milk.

    These resources explain things really well:
    http://www.kellymom.com/bf/supply/milkproduction.html
    http://www.kellymom.com/bf/supply/mi...ction-faq.html


    The reason I'm asking is that my LO seems to get frustrated fairly quickly when eating so I'm assuming that one likely reason is that let down isn't quick enough. I know about breast compressions and have a separate question about that I'll ask in other place, but they aren't always (usually, in fact) effective. I know I have the capacity for about 4 oz of milk and have had that for the longest time. When I pump, am I just enabling myself to produce another 4 oz faster, or will I be able to produce 5 oz at a feeding instead of 4? I tried to find an analogy, but the only one I could think of is a balloon that doesn't stretch but fills with water faster, and another balloon that would stretch and hold a bit more water each time.

    Again, unlikely that you can increase overall capacity, but you can increase the rate of milk production.

    Are you concerned that you're not making enough milk? Are you saying that you pump 4 oz per session now? I'm not sure I understand your question.

    Here's some information about slow letdown:
    http://www.kellymom.com/bf/supply/letdown.html
    http://www.kellymom.com/bf/concerns/...flowpreference

    HTH!

  6. #6
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    Default Re: How does it work (increas. prod.) -- psych or physio changes?

    Thanks again! This is really useful...having a better understanding of how it all works gives me more patience and determination. It all boils down to a faster fill rate, I guess.

    I'm always concerned I'm not making enough milk, but I go back and forth on that. I have always militantly maintained that I do have enough milk, dangit, but in the hospital the nurses spent about 3 days drumming it into my head that I don't have enough based on pumping, no matter what I said. They just wore me down. It started to make me doubt myself even though I know better, in addition to the fact that there are people who pump so much more than me. On the other hand, my dd will not take a bottle (as they found out the hard way) and surely if she really wasn't getting enough she would drink the stupid formula.

    Anyway, between the pumping and the weighing I seem to have an easy 4 oz capacity, meaning that she'll either take 4 oz directly from me and seem happy or she'll take less and then I'll pump the difference to get a total of 4 oz. I normally don't pump 4 oz although I have in the past...I get about an ounce or a little more in 20 minutes after feedings. Is this a really terrible sign?

  7. #7
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    Jul 2007
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    Default Re: How does it work (increas. prod.) -- psych or physio changes?

    Oh, and I'm pumping mornings and nights, although I forgot this morning. My baby ate like a champion last night and the night before and I can tell I have more milk today. It seems that I'm slowly getting more milk each time I pump, but it's still not exactly copious amounts.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: How does it work (increas. prod.) -- psych or physio changes?

    I'm sorry thoose nurses did that too you. Sometimes we can just get so worked up about milksupply that all the stress does affect it.
    have you looked up your local LLL group?
    IT might help to get to gether with some other moms who have delivered at the hospital that you did and just talk.
    You can breastfeed your baby!

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