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Thread: Pumping at work & low output (Grrrrrrr . . . )

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    13

    Default Pumping at work & low output (Grrrrrrr . . . )

    Hello everyone!
    I am happily nursing my 9 week old DD, but am sadly back at work already & have to use that noisy impersonal pump. DD was having latch-on issues initially, and was a "lazy nurser," not gaining enough weight at her 1 month checkup, according to the Pedi (I think she was only low by a few ounces, and had plenty of wet & poopy diapers).
    I'm trying to increase my milk supply; I've been pumping for the last 3 weeks (this is week 4 back at work), but only getting between 6-8 oz. total each day between 3 pumping sessions. I tried pumping 4 times while at work, but I was just not getting anything done!
    Letting down okay (which is actually kinda painful), just not producing much! I nurse DD almost exclusively on the weekends (I only add formula if she seems really famished) and when I'm home with her in the evenings. She gets bm & formula (mixed) at daycare and has the usual 4-6 oz per feeding--more or less. Financially and esthecially, I'd rather be providing all of her nutrition myself, I'm just not sure what else to do to increase my supply!
    I've been using Fenugreek, but have been getting mixed reviews as to the dosage (from 1000 to 6000 mg a day?). I drink well over a gallon of water a day, and I just started on oatmeal for breakfast today.

    ALSO! My darling (older) sister is doing my daycare for me (for now-- she's 22 weeks along with ds #2!), and has suggested several times that I give dd a few oz of water every once in a while; "It won't hurt her to give her water when she's thirsty, ya know," she'll say. I prefer to nurse whenever she's interested-- especially since she's not lacking hydration.

    A little confused, feeling like I'm letting her down (like I can't provide enough), and determined not to quit, but could really use some suggestions!
    Allie (proud mommy to Rachael Mae)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
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    869

    Default Re: Pumping at work & low output (Grrrrrrr . . . )

    Hi Allie,

    I have the same problem that I can only pump 2-3 ounces per session. Here are some suggestions:

    * I pump in the morning while I'm nursing my LO or right after and that helps provide extra.

    * I leave 4 ounce bottles. Maybe your LO would be okay with less than 6 ounces? Check out this link for more information:

    http://www.kellymom.com/bf/pumping/milkcalc.html

    * Does your LO go to sleep before you? Perhaps you could pump right before bed?

    * Can you visit your LO at lunch?

    * Make sure you are using the correct size flange on your pump. I switched to an XL on my Purely Yours. I get a little more output and it's more comfortable too.

    As far as giving your LO water, my grandmother also suggested it to me. But, what is the point? I think that is old thinking and no longer recommended. Good luck!
    Last edited by jentut; May 16th, 2006 at 02:14 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    1

    Default Re: Pumping at work & low output (Grrrrrrr . . . )

    For what it's worth, I can give you my sympathy; I pump three times at work and can never get more than 2-3 ounces a session--actually, over the last two weeks, my output seems to be dropping down to 1-2, and DD is getting fussier in the evenings (not sure if it is lower milk supply or related to me being gone during the day).

    I am also trying fenugreek, but I just started it a day ago so I'm not seeing the effects yet.

    So I would also appreciate advice!

    -Marjorie

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    167

    Default Re: Pumping at work & low output (Grrrrrrr . . . )

    Glad to hear I am not the only one with this problem. I have found that drinking a big glass of water or some mother's milk tea, looking at pictures of ds, thinking about him when he was nursing on me in the am before I left, and taking deep breaths seems to help alittle.
    I am having a hard time this week, b/c my schedule has been slammed and I cannot make it home for lunch to feed him then. He only gets 3 bottles when I am at work, but still.....I only want him to nurse from me and not some stupid bottle!!
    I hope someone will help us increase this pumping problem!!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    13

    Default Re: Pumping at work & low output PLEASE HELP!!

    Thanks for comiserating with me, ladies! We're not alone!!
    I have not tried the tea yet (can I just get it at the grocery store?), and I so wish I could go nurse DD over my lunch hour-- there just isn't enough time in the day!

    I think I'm getting enough nutritionally, though I'm not counting calories. I try to stay away from the junk & eat lots of fruit & veggies, snack on things like nuts and granola bars, get good protein, drink tons of water . . .

    I'm out of ideas!

    Allie

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    149

    Default Re: Pumping at work & low output (Grrrrrrr . . . )

    What type of pump are you using? A double electric pump is probably best. How long are you pumping for? It takes me about 30 minutes each time I pump using a PISA. I too let down okay, but it just takes time coming out. I wait until nothing is coing out and unfortunately for me that's about 30 minutes. However, I have one of the hands-free bustiers that I use so I can keep working at my computer and get things done. Is this an option for you?

    Hang in there. You've got a lot of support here.
    Eva
    Mom to Alyssa (11/26/05)

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    13

    Default Re: Pumping at work & low output (Grrrrrrr . . . )

    Hi lib_mom--

    I use a Medela Pump-In-Style. It's a double electric, and I pump for about 15 minutes, letting down twice during each session. Unfortunately, I cannot pump at my desk, as I am the receptionist at my company. Can you imagine the looks on people's faces if I tried?? Ha-ha! If I don't at least try to keep my sense of humor about the whole thing, I'd probably quit nursing altogether.

    I know these things can take time to work themselves out, but being in the middle of a challenge always makes it seem like its taking forever, doesn't it?

    And thanks so much for the support (speaking of bustiers . . . .)!

    I'd better get back to the grind . . . .
    Allie

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Pumping at work & low output (Grrrrrrr . . . )

    I'm so glad to see this post. I have been so frustrated with my little output. My mom volunteers to watch my son to let my hubby and I go out but its so hard stocking up on milk. I also have to return to work next month and I'm trying to save some in the freezer. What I did learn that seems to work is that I feed him off one breast at night and in the morning the other breast is so full that I can pump out about 3 oz (which is a lot to pump out on my case) then I do both breast feeding throughout the day. The next night I feed him exculsively on the other breast and stock up on the other one for pumping in the morning. Any other suggestions, I'd love to hear it.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    13

    Default Re: Pumping at work & low output (Grrrrrrr . . . )

    Wow, that's a great idea-- I'll have to try it, Ronjess21! Though, I am pumping about 1/2 to 2/3 more in my left vs. my right breast . . . I wonder if this would help increase producton in my right??

    I'm also thinking about trying some aromatherapy for breastfeeding, and tying it in with aromatherapy for PPD. Its not real bad-- I get weepy at odd times, and I'm very easily distracted lately, which is not at all 'me as usual.'

    I'll probably post another message regarding essential oils here, so maybe we can all see what's worked for others.

    Good luck all!

    Allie

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    23

    Default Re: Pumping at work & low output (Grrrrrrr . . . )

    AHHH yes. I remember that Darth Vader/Iron Lung sound of the Pump in Style, baby! My (male) office-mate does too, tho it's now gathering dust in the bedroom. Alfalfa supplements helped me have more milk, but really, what it sounds like is maybe you're not comfortable, so you're not letting down? It's tough at work, I know! You have to really relax.

    There's a bra that will hold the pump -- http://www.leadinglady.com/handsfree/ (you gotta love that model with the wig! ) I kept an oversized sweater at work and I wore this bra every day and then I could be very discreet (except the noise of the pump!) which helps.

    And whenever I had trouble producing, I watched the windows "my pictures" slideshow full of all my son's pictures! Thinking of him and thinking of nursing him helped. It sounds funny, but I had this picture of him w/ his mouth open. That did it every time!

    It also helps to drink LOTS of water and pump at the same time every day. Make sure you pat yourself dry and use Lansinoh--the pump can make your skin chap.

    And RonJess: don't worry. It's hard to pump a significant amount when you're bfing all day. Once you go to work and are away from your baby, you'll have lots more milk to pump!

    Best of luck!
    Last edited by Ang's Mom; May 19th, 2006 at 08:54 PM.

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