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Thread: Maintaining Supply

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    30

    Default Maintaining Supply

    Hi! I'm a new mom of twins...I would have signed on earlier but I haven't slept or had free time in um...quite a while!

    Anyway, my twins are now over 2 months old. I have to pump exclusively and supplement with formula because I do not have a sufficient supply. I pump 8x a day and produce a total of 4 oz every time, so 32 oz a day. Not enough for 2 hungry boys!!!

    Pumping 8 times a day is getting OLD. They are still eating 8x a day, so I have gotten into the routine of feeding them, then pumping and restocking the fridge. As they get older (and likely will be awake more and taking less feedings and perhaps actually sleeping at night!!!) I would like to cut back on the number of pumps a day. This will allow me some more time to interact with them as they get bigger, and cut out the annoying washing and down time from pumping.

    So...to make a long story short, if I cut down on the # of pumps, will I still continue to make 32 oz a day, or will I jeopardize my small supply even more.

    Thanks for reading my book!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    20

    Default Re: Maintaining Supply

    First of all congrats on breastfeeding with twins!! That's just amazing to me.

    Second, if you cut down on how often you pump you will lower your supply because you'll be emptying your breasts less often and therefore they'll think that you don't need to make as much.
    Mama to Aidan - 13 months

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    20,865

    Default Re: Maintaining Supply

    Hi Mama! Congratulations on the babies, and on pumping for them for 2 months. That's a terrific achievement!

    I have no doubt that being chained to your pump is getting old! Unfortunately, if you decrease your number of pumping sessions, your supply will almost surely decrease as well. The key to a good supply is emptying your breasts both frequently and completely.

    Will your babies nurse at all? Did you start them out on the breast? If so, there may still be a chance that they would nurse, and it might be worth trying because a baby is much more efficient at emptying the breast and boosting/maintaining mom's supply than a pump is.

    One thing you can do to cut down on your work load (which I know is immense!) is to wash your pump parts a little less frequently. According to my LC, you can leave the pump screwed on to the bottle, pop the whole thing in the fridge, and pump new milk on top of old- but only 1 time. After that you need to wash the pump parts again.

    Something I found useful when I was doing a lot of bottle and pump part washing was to have a giant stainless steel bowl next to the sink. I would rinse the stuff that needed to be washed, and then toss it into the bowl. Sometime during the day I would wash everything in the bowl- but it still felt like less work than washing everything every time my baby finished a bottle.

    Hang in there! You are doing an awesome job!
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    30

    Default Re: Maintaining Supply

    Thanks! Not really what I wanted to hear, but thanks!

    Question though...for moms who exclusively breastfeed, what happens to their supply when the kid gets older and eats less often? How often do you think I have to keep 8x a day up?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    30

    Default Re: Maintaining Supply

    Thanks! Both my boys will breastfeed, but both were low birth weight and I have to make sure they get enough to eat. Both were full term, but I had some weird problem with their (shared) placenta being depleted, so they were small. One was just over 4lbs so I have to make sure he is getting enough. I do let them "comfort nurse" but they are much more accustomed to bottles.

    From what I understand from reading here, maybe I should be letting them nurse more and that helps stimulate production? I just hate not knowing how much the peanut is getting though, especially since I struggle with supply.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    20,865

    Default Re: Maintaining Supply

    How great that they will nurse! I can totally understand why you might be reluctant to give up the bottles when you have such little guys. One thing you might really want to do is to contact a lactation consultant (preferably an IBCLC) and get yourself a professional-grade scale. By weighing your babies before and after nursing, you can determine exactly how much milk they are taking in, and then supplement only if necessary.

    I would definitely let your babies nurse as much as possible! Babies are generally much more efficient at emptying the breast than pumps are, so nursing a baby is a great way to boost your supply!
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    20

    Default Re: Maintaining Supply

    Once my DS started eating solids he wanted to nurse less so my supply has gone down but its a natural progression. Maybe start substituting one bottle feeding with a BF and see how it goes. It is hard not knowing how much they are eating but as long as they're still gaining and having diaper outputs they should be okay. Good luck!!
    Mama to Aidan - 13 months

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