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Thread: baby drinking more than pumping

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2006

    Default baby drinking more than pumping

    I have a 4 month old. I have been back at work for about 8 weeks. Initially, I was able to pump more milk than my baby would drink during the day, allowing me to build up a great frozen milk supply. Recently, my daughter has nearly doubled the amount of milk she will drink during the day. But I am still pumping the same amount. Needless to say, my frozen milk supply is rapidly dwindling. When I am with my daughter, I nurse her exclusively, so I do get the benefit of her direct stimulation for my milk supply.

    How can I increase my milk supply so that I can catch up wiht my daughter? I want to avoid supplementing with formula if I can.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: baby drinking more than pumping


    I've had all kinds of problems with my milk supply. Some people take fenugreek capsules, and find results with that. Some people can eat oatmeal and that helps.

    Is baby taking any kind of solids yet?

    When my milk first came in, I had more then I knew what to do with. Over time, it dropped down to almost nothing and I was having to supplement with formula. I get the most first thing in the morning which I don't understand.

    Check out http://www.kellymom.com I love this place it is so informative about milk supply.

    Baby center has an article on it

    I use an herbal combination called Breastea at http://www.breastea.com that has been increasing my milk supply.

    I know of other women that use this as well

    But I haven't tried that one.

    Hope this helps.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2006

    Default Re: baby drinking more than pumping

    Going back to work is very hard on a nursing mother, especially since someone else has to care for baby. Does baby seem satisfied after you nurse? If so you probably don't have a supply problem, here are some things that may help:

    You said the amount baby is taking has double, are baby's hunger signs getting read properly by caregiver or are they just giving baby a bottle every time baby makes a noise? Believe it or not, lots of people think that if a baby cries, its hungry.

    What kind of bottles are you using?

    How many oz/bottle?

    How many bottles/day?

    How long are you away form baby?

    What position is baby being fed bottles?

    Does baby have something to satisfy sucking need other than bottle?

    Sorry for all the questions, just trying to get a better feel for your situation.

    I had a similar problem with dd after going back to work. After a little investigation I found it wasn't my supply that was the problem, it was the way her signals were being read combined with the type of bottle being used and the position she was being fed in. DD had a very strong sucking need and when DCP would see her sucking her hands they would think she was hungry again, even if she had just eaten! I switched her to newborn size advent nipples so the ebm would come out slower and had DCP sit her up to take the bottle so the bottle was horizontal and she had to suck the ebm out vs it just flowing freely into her mouth. But you have to make sure to check that the nipples haven't been tampered with (some DCP will stretch the holes out, add extra holes to make babies finish faster) and explain about the sucking need (you would be amazed at how many people who work with infants are clueless about this, the result of a formula-fed society) .

    It could also be the pump, what kind are you using? How often do you pump? For how long? Ideally you want to use a double electric (or hospital grade if you can afford it) and pump as often as baby would nurse until a few minutes after milk stops flowing. Sometimes if you go an extra few min after that you can get a 2nd letdown too . If you are doing all that and still don't pump as much, try adding an extra pumping session (like in the morning when you have the most milk) or pump one side while baby nurses the other. You can also pump on days off in between feedings to build backup supply for the following week. EBM can be stored in the fridge for several days so you could use the oldest first and never have to freeze it. And remember, no matter how good the pump, baby is always more efficent!

    A good way to see how much baby eats while nursing would be to go to dr office & have them weight baby naked before nursing and again after, then you could see how much baby is used to getting at each feeding and adjust the bottle amounts accordingly. Hope this helps! Your doing a great job mama!
    Last edited by amandalynn; May 22nd, 2006 at 01:54 PM.
    Amanda Mom to James (2/25/04) and nursling Alice (8/24/05)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2006

    Default Re: baby drinking more than pumping

    I was about to post almost the exact same question about my 4.5 month old. She is currently drinking 3 or 4 4-oz bottles over the course of 9 hours. The other day though, she drank 16 oz in just 5 hours (I had kept her home with me for the morning that day). I was really worried this was the new her and I would not be able to keep up. I still am a little worried although she has not pulled that one again.

    It turned out that on the day she drank so much extra the usual daycare providers were not there, it was a fill-in person who I think misread her cues.

    Still, I do worry about my supply. I will probably pump a couple times after feeds this weekend to stimulate more production.

    Another option I may use is to just stay home for a day (make it a long weekend) to give us an extra day to get back into sync with each other. My boss (a former breast-feeder) has expressed support for that plan if I need it.

    Good luck.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2006

    Default Re: baby drinking more than pumping

    Well, a few weeks later and I am happy to report that things are better. I think that my daughter was going through a growth spurt, because the amount that she takes during the day has decreased. She is still drinking more than before, but it seems to be more appropriate for her age and weight. Occasionally, I am able to pump as much as she drinks. But occasionally she still drinks more than I pump.

    The good news is that I have been able to increase my supply. I made sure that I drank plenty of water and actually increased the amount of food that I ate every day as well. I started taking fenugreek (3-4 tabs, 3 times a day). And I started pumping more- not only during the day while I was at work, but inthe mornings and evening after my daughter nursed.

    After two weeks, I managed to have a surplus of milk in the fridge and I was able to store some frozed milk as well. Still don't have nearly as much in the freezer as before, but it's progress.

    Thanks for all of the suggestions and support!

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