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Thread: concern about decreased milk supply

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    3

    Default concern about decreased milk supply

    Hello to all nursing mothers! I have a 6mo. old daughter whom I am still nursing and also supplementing with formula as needed. I work three days a week as a dental hygienist and unfortunately am only able to pump over my lunch break. This means that 5-6 hours may go by before and after lunch until I am able to pump or nurse. I was pumping about 4oz. from the left and 3 ounces from the right, howevever, once my daughter started sleeping throught the night (7:30p-6:30a) my milk supply seems to be diminishing. I was waking up to pump once a night but I could not get a let-down and I was only getting maybe a 1/2 ounce out of each side - how frustrating! So I stopped waking up to pump. I'm not sure if my pump (Ameda Purely Yours dual electric) is working as well either, it sometimes seems as if the suction is good and then dies off). Also, my milk supply was increasing by the end of the weekend (I have Fri.-Sunday off, and Wed.) when I was strictly nursing, but lately I don't feel full enough every three hours for a 5oz. feeding, so I end up nursing and then giving a few ounces of formula afterwards. I am very motivated and commited to breastfeeding for hopefully the first year but I'm having concern over whether or not I'll be able to produce enough milk especially as she grows and her needs increase. Any suggestions would be great. I think what really hurts me is the long days that I work and only having the chance to pump once during the day.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    38

    Default Re: concern about decreased milk supply

    I'm not experienced. But here goes: can you pump after each feeding on your days off and right after your shift ends before you leave? Then by the time you get home you can nurse and get a second let-down. I know we don't like to do this but you might get baby up to nurse. My dd is 7 mths and when she sleeps through a feeding I can put her to the breast and she nurses without waking up. Maybe I'm just luck but it's worth a try. I'm not sure if this helped; I hope so.

    Good Luck, Sara

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    77

    Default Re: concern about decreased milk supply

    Quote Originally Posted by jln
    Hello to all nursing mothers! I have a 6mo. old daughter whom I am still nursing and also supplementing with formula as needed. I work three days a week as a dental hygienist and unfortunately am only able to pump over my lunch break. This means that 5-6 hours may go by before and after lunch until I am able to pump or nurse. I was pumping about 4oz. from the left and 3 ounces from the right, howevever, once my daughter started sleeping throught the night (7:30p-6:30a) my milk supply seems to be diminishing. I was waking up to pump once a night but I could not get a let-down and I was only getting maybe a 1/2 ounce out of each side - how frustrating! So I stopped waking up to pump. I'm not sure if my pump (Ameda Purely Yours dual electric) is working as well either, it sometimes seems as if the suction is good and then dies off). Also, my milk supply was increasing by the end of the weekend (I have Fri.-Sunday off, and Wed.) when I was strictly nursing, but lately I don't feel full enough every three hours for a 5oz. feeding, so I end up nursing and then giving a few ounces of formula afterwards. I am very motivated and commited to breastfeeding for hopefully the first year but I'm having concern over whether or not I'll be able to produce enough milk especially as she grows and her needs increase. Any suggestions would be great. I think what really hurts me is the long days that I work and only having the chance to pump once during the day.
    You sound exhausted!
    Yes, it is quite possible for your pump to be broken, or just plain worn out. Many mothers who have regular separation from their babies find it most efficient to rent a hospital grade pump. This is something you might want to consider.
    By the time baby is 6 months old, most mothers no longer feel so full, and many never feel a let down at all. You will be relieved to hear that this has nothing to do with the amount of milk in your breasts
    In addition, your baby will NOT need more milk as she gets bigger!
    Babies grow much slower as they get older, and simply do not need more milk, especially as they are probably starting solids as well at that age.

    Breasts only make more milk when milk is removed.
    In your case, you have been nursing less frequently AND using a defective pump!
    Here are some suggestions:

    You said that your supply started to go down once she started sleeping through the night.
    Would you consider nursing her before YOU go to bed, and maybe during the night too? Many babies nurse better in the dark and when half asleep
    Babies are MUCH better at getting out the milk than ANY pump!

    Would it be possible for you to either:
    * change your schedule to working half days instead of 3 full ones
    or
    * explain to your boss that you NEED a pumping break mid am and mid pm because your daughter DEPENDS on you for her food?
    You may be pleasantly surprised, and it cannot hurt to ask!
    If you use a rental double pump. you will need 20 mins am and pm, but you could, perhaps, offer to work later.

    Please let us know if this helps, and what you think might work for you.

    warmly,
    LLLnormaR
    Moderator

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: concern about decreased milk supply

    Thank you so much for your advice and information. Over the last few weeks I have made some changes which have helped my milk supply greatly. I was not able to change my work schedule because my dental office books patients 6-9 months in advance, and we cannot cancel patients to "schedule" pumping breaks. However, when I am due to pump I just do it between patients and it makes me run a little behind schedule but it only takes about 10-15 minutes. And then I pump over my lunck break as I always do. Then, I make sure I pump right before bed, and then 3-4 hours later I take my daughter out of her crib and nurse her in the dark, then she goes right back to sleep. So, thankfully I have not had to even supplement with formula at all the past few weeks and I am rebuilding my frozen stock supply! It was helpful to also know that she will not need more mile as she gets older, I was under the impression that she would. Thanks again for your advice, and by the way, I notice my pump works fine when there's more milk to be expressed, and since I'm nursing/pumping on a better schedule now my pump seems fine!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    1,368

    Default Re: concern about decreased milk supply

    I was just reading over this thread and want to say that I am very glad things are working out better for you! Yea!!!!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Charleston SC
    Posts
    2,601

    Default Re: concern about decreased milk supply

    Just wanted to send some encouragement your way! You are doing a great job offering breastmilk to your dd! Keep it up, all that pumping can not be easy?!? You are doing so much more than most moms.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    290

    Default Re: concern about decreased milk supply

    I'd gladly wait 10-15 minutes for my cleaning appointment if I knew my hygenist was working hard at providing breastmilk for her baby! lol!
    Tanya, LLL Leader and Mama to three wonderful kids

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    1,368

    Default Re: concern about decreased milk supply

    Here, here, Tanya! I heartily agree!

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