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Thread: Working mom with low milk supply

  1. #1

    Default Working mom with low milk supply

    Well, I just returned to work after staying home 4 months with my daughter. In that time period, she began to sleep 10-12 hours a night. No one ever told me that I should have been pumping during that time, so now that I have returned to work, she's now taking 12 oz during the day and I am only able to pump about 6-7oz. Also, while I was home withe her she only had a bm about every three days, now she's having 3 a day...could I have been under feeding her? At her 2 month doctor appt. she was gaining weight...she looks healthy (chubby). Anyway, talked with lactation consultant here, and she indicated that I needed to wake my baby twice at night to feed and pump every two hours to get an increase in milk. I have been doing this along with taking Fenugreek (sp?) for the past three days with now increase. What else can I do...asked doc for Reglan today and have started taking that too. I just don't want to resort to formula, as I had severe asthma and allergies as a kid. Thoughts, advice, and help please.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Toronto, Canada
    Posts
    2,339

    Default Re: Working mom with low milk supply

    Hi mama.

    I'm sorry you're having some problems. I'm not an experienced pumper, but there are lots of mamas her who are, and I'm sure they'll be along to offer advice on the pumping schedule.

    How often are you able to pump at work? How many hours are you away from baby?

    I think the general rule is that you try to pump for every missed feeding, so depending on how long your work day is, you'll need two or three pumping sessions to keep your supply up and get that milk for your daughter. Also, I've read here that babies need 1-1.5oz of BM for every hour they are away from mama. She'll probably drink more than that if it's offered, but that's what she needs. She'll get the rest from you directly

    As far as the fenugreek goes, you have to take enough of it so you start to smell like maple syrup. For most mamas, that's 3 or 4 caps, 3 times a day, bit it could be more or less for you. If you smell like a pancake, and you're still not seeing an increase, then it's probably not working for you, but make sure you're taking enough before you write it off.

    Try to take a deep breath mama. You'll get through this, and there's a great community of women here to offer advice and a caring ear when you need it.
    Jess

    Mama to my little Roxie Roo, 06/11/08


    April miles for TBTTW: 63

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    1,709

    Default Re: Working mom with low milk supply

    How often are you able to pump at work? Sometimes it's necessary to add pumping sessions outside of work hours to keep up - hopefully only temporarily. The best time to pump is in the early morning - that's when your supply is fullest. Good luck - I hope things get better soon...

    It may take a while for you to see results from pumping.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Working mom with low milk supply

    Well, I am pumping every 2 hours now since I believe my milk supply is low...I was told to do this by my lactation consultant in order to stimulate more milk. I leave my baby with my father at about 7am and get to her by 5pm. He feeds her 12 oz in that time frame, and I only pump about 7oz.

    Girls, thank you so much for your responses...the encouragement was needed.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    223

    Default Re: Working mom with low milk supply

    This post came at a perfect time. If you look back a couple of days, under this same forum, I left a post called "My days are numbered". This was literally a couple of days ago. I got very lazy with my pumping and would not pump during the night either. LO was only waking once from 9pm-7. That's once in ten hours to feed and thats not enough for me to also pump a good supply while I am at work. Although I only work two days a week, I was FREAKING out cause I was literally pumping tablespoons and I got so nervous that I was going to have to feed LO formula. So, this is what I was told to do on here and by my lactation nurse. First, PLENTY of water. Gotta replace what you have going out. Second, I know it's hard, but you gotta take the stress/worry out of it. That alone, will KILL your milk supply. And third, pump, pump,pump. If baby is not at the breast every two hours, then have the pump there. I would pump after each time my baby ate to completely empty my breasts (although I dont think it's possible to empty your breasts) and I was also told to power pump. !0 minutes on 10 minutes off for one hour. This alone helped tremedously. I took my first fenugreek yesterday and after all the pumping and feedings and extra water intake I woke up engorged and was able to pump two extra feeding for him today and freeze them. Best of luck to you, YOu might want to try mothers milk tea too. I bought some when I got my fenugreek but I havent tried that yet so Im not sure how it really responds.
    Mommy to Liam born 10/13/2008
    Breastfeeding since Day 1

    Breastfed ds for 15 months and cherished every minute of it!!

    We love and

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    223

    Default Re: Working mom with low milk supply

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*sofiemomma View Post
    Well, I am pumping every 2 hours now since I believe my milk supply is low...I was told to do this by my lactation consultant in order to stimulate more milk. I leave my baby with my father at about 7am and get to her by 5pm. He feeds her 12 oz in that time frame, and I only pump about 7oz.

    Girls, thank you so much for your responses...the encouragement was needed.
    I bet the extra pumping alone will help. It will take a couple of days to catch up but I can almost guarantee you will see a difference very soon. Good luck, try not to worry to much.
    Mommy to Liam born 10/13/2008
    Breastfeeding since Day 1

    Breastfed ds for 15 months and cherished every minute of it!!

    We love and

  7. #7

    Default Re: Working mom with low milk supply

    Thank you girls for all of your recommendations. I think my problem is getting better. She has been at the breast all weekend and she's been burping and spitting up after each feeding...which she has not done in awhile. She also has not been as crabby at night. I was very stressed about it, but I am trying to be better, as I know that will affect my supply

    Thank you again!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Landof2toddlers, Oregon
    Posts
    3,113

    Default Re: Working mom with low milk supply

    All the pps had great advice. I have some questions and thoughts (in red below). I think you are probably doing great and wanted to congratulate you on doing the very best for your LO. Try not to stress too much as it can have a really big effect on supply. Also water. Try and drink at least 64oz per day.

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*sofiemomma View Post
    Well, I just returned to work after staying home 4 months with my daughter. In that time period, she began to sleep 10-12 hours a night. lucky you

    No one ever told me that I should have been pumping during that time, so now that I have returned to work, she's now taking 12 oz during the day and I am only able to pump about 6-7oz. How many nursing sessions are you having at night/in the morning? Babies often change their eating habits when mom goes back to work and start cluster feeding when mama is home. Also overfeeding is common a DCP who is not familiar with a breast fed baby often thinks they need as much as a formula fed baby would and an inexperienced/lazy DCP often thinks OH the baby is fussy - feed it. You may actually be making enough for your baby

    Also, while I was home withe her she only had a bm about every three days, now she's having 3 a day...could I have been under feeding her?
    bms every few days are not uncommon in breast fed babies. And changes are fairly common too. Try not to stress about it (much easier said than done I know)

    At her 2 month doctor appt. she was gaining weight...she looks healthy (chubby). weight gain - best indicator there is!

    Anyway, talked with lactation consultant here, and she indicated that I needed to wake my baby twice at night to feed and pump every two hours to get an increase in milk. You will increase your milk supply, but you will increase it at the tie of day you are pumping/feeding. Pumping at night will not increase supply during the day. This may be what you want as this is when you are home and it can be another bonding/feeding time when you are together. I just wanted to point out that it wouldn't necessarily be seen during the day.

    I have been doing this along with taking Fenugreek (sp?) for the past three days with now increase. What else can I do...asked doc for Reglan today and have started taking that too. Be really careful with the reglan - hopefully your doctor talked to you about the side effects (depression especially) and make sure you didn't have the risk factors before writing the prescription. Make sure you contact your doctor straight away if you start feeling down.

    I just don't want to resort to formula, as I had severe asthma and allergies as a kid. Thoughts, advice, and help please.
    proud but exhausted working mammy to two high needs babies

    • my surprise baby: the one and only D-Man born 3 weeks late (5/5/08) at 9 lbs 14 oz and 21.5 inches, and
    • the shock H-Girl born about a week late (10/7/09) at 8lbs 15oz and 20.75 inches.


    If I am here I am covered in baby (probably two) and fighting for control of the keyboard.

    Family beds are awesome

    Wondering if you have PPD? Take the screening and see your doctor. You deserve to feel better.

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