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Thread: Back to work and pumping - supply issues??

  1. #1

    Default Back to work and pumping - supply issues??

    So this is my second week back to work full time. My daughter is 5 months old and she has been exclusively on breastmilk. Please bear with me as my questions might be sporatic. I am hoping some of you experienced working moms can pass some advice my way!!!

    1) Basically my daughter eats 3-4 ounces every 2-3 hours. I am also pumping every 2-3 hours but I am lagging behind on producing as much as shes eating (about 2-3 ounces total each session). I have been OK because I have a freezer stash. But I am worried what I will do when my freezer stash runs out and I am a few ounces short each feeding. Any advice on this? I would like to increase my supply at each pumping but so far I have not been successful. I am going to read up on getting the Mother smilk tea. How much do you all normally pump each session? As much as your baby is eating from the bottle while you're at work? I have tried pumping at night while she's sleeping, but I barely get anything in the evenings - maybe 2 ounces if I'm lucky.

    2) I have pumped randomly at home while I was on maternity leave. I never had any trouble having a let down. I would multitask while pumping and never had to think twice to relax and get a let down. However, now I find myself having to sit still, close my eyes, and think of my baby in order to have a let down. Is it normal that it is getting this hard to have a let down while pumping? Will it get easier the more I pump?

    3) After I pump, I rinse my flanges/bottles clean. But it is nearly impossible to get them dry. So I am putting them in a big ziploc baggy but they are never completely dry when I go to pump again. Does anyone have a tip for this? Is there any reason to be concerned that they are staying damp/wet all day?

    Thanks for any advice you can give!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Back to work and pumping - supply issues??

    oops double post
    Last edited by @llli*norasmommy; April 9th, 2009 at 07:52 AM.
    “We are not put on earth for ourselves, but are placed here for each other. If you are there always for others, then in time of need, someone will be there for you.”
    --Anonymous

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Back to work and pumping - supply issues??

    !

    Every woman responds differently to the pump, so it's hard to say what the normal amount to get per session is. I get about 4 oz at my first session of the day, 3 at my second, barely 2 at my third. It depends on how long it's been since the last session, how long I get to pump, how relaxed I am, etc. Also the kind of pump and size of the horns can cause variation. I just borrowed a different pump and larger horns from a friend and it increased my output significantly. Double pumps tend to get more milk and faster than single ones.

    If you have pictures of your baby or videos (even better) to look at it will help with your letdown. Something that also helps me is drinking really cold water. And, this will sound weird, but having a let down is a similar sensation to letting yourself pee. It's part voluntary, part involuntary. Sometimes I have to take a deep breath, close my eyes, and relax.

    Do you get more than one letdown per pumping session? A trick to getting a second letdown is once the initial flow has stopped pump really rapidly for about a minute without stopping. That should get a second letdown that might net you another ounce or so.

    Eating oatmeal for breakfast, according to some moms, can also increase pumping output but I haven't tried that myself.

    As for storing the pump parts between sessions, different people do different things. I rinse mine and set them on a windowsill to dry. They aren't always completely dry, but I'm not concerned about it. It is also perfectly safe to not rinse them between sessions and leave the milk in there. Then of course, wash them at night in hot soapy water.
    “We are not put on earth for ourselves, but are placed here for each other. If you are there always for others, then in time of need, someone will be there for you.”
    --Anonymous

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Back to work and pumping - supply issues??



    Hi there, congrats on doing great so far. I think most moms experience issues pumping when they return to work. a few ideas I had:

    Have you had your first pp period yet? if not could one be coming now?
    have you been drinking enough water, also have you tried eating oatmeal to boost supply?
    what type of pump are you using?
    are you pumping both breasts at the same times?
    have you tried massage?
    how long are your sessions?

    for me pumping at night worked b/c I did it at the same time every night, without fail, even weekends. for most moms a morning pump session seems to work better, whether before baby wakes, or pumping one breast while baby feeds from the other.
    as for relaxing, no amount of imagining my baby, smelling my baby's clothes, etc worked for me, what did work was reading a book, a novel and setting a timer so I wasn't watching the clock or the bottles. I also posted some full page printed pics of my son on the wall so if I glanced up I would see them.

    as far as how much people get, there were times, especially when i was about to start my cycle that I got 3 oz total but most days I got 6 oz for each session. 3 times a day. and 3-4 oz from the bedtime session.

    also how many total oz is your lo getting at DC each day? how long are they there? has the DCP tried other soothing methods or do they immediately go for the bottle every x hours?

    hang in there, you've come to the right place for help sss

    ETA: I would bring clean pump parts in every day, and not disassemble them between pumping, but after my last pump i would rinse the parts and take them home to sterilize each night. I would refrigerate the whole setup between pumpings most days.
    Last edited by @llli*lidarln; April 9th, 2009 at 07:44 AM.
    Autumn
    Moma to *Silas* 10-30-07

  5. #5

    Default Re: Back to work and pumping - supply issues??

    Thanks for the advice!

    Norasmommy:
    That is similar to what I get for my first three pumpings. Do you find that is enough to cover your LO while you're at work? Here is a very rough sample of how my day goes:
    5:30am: pump 3.5 oz - LO eats 3.5 oz
    8:00am: pump 3.5 oz - LO eats 3.5 oz
    10:00am: pump 2.5 oz - LO eats 4oz
    12:00pm: pump 2 oz - LO eats 4 oz
    2:00pm: pump 2 oz - LO eats 3.5 oz
    Total pumping: 14.5 - Total LO eats: 18.5
    Then breastfeeding the rest of the day. So you can see how my supply dwindles and LO is eating a few ounces more each feeding than I am pumping.

    Also, I don't think I've ever had more than one let down in a session. Do you think most people have more than one? I have tried to get a second one when I pump longer at lunch, but have been unsuccessful.

    lidarlin:
    -Ironically I started my first pp period last week (same week I started work). I thought maybe that was why I was having a hard time pumping, but supply has not changed this second week.
    -I use a Lansinoh double eletcric pump. I also use the highest pump setting. Not sure if my nipples are just insensistive or the pump is not as high powered as others. But I have never had a problem with soreness, redness, etc. Any opinions on if a better pump could help with output?
    -I pump both sides at the same time.
    -Time spent actually pumping is about 10-15 minutes. First minute or two I am trying to get a let down. Then I continue pumping a few minutes after there is no more coming out.
    -She is with a family member while I'm at work. It is usually a total of 11 hours from drop off time until time I'm home. Above I listed out roughly how many ounces she is getting while I am at work along with how often. There is no set schedule, but there is usually a good pattern.

    Any advice you all can add based on the additional info I added would be greatly appreciated! It is hard to find good breastfeeding support/advice in the everyday world since it is not supported by everyone. Not many of my family/friends have any clue about breasfeeding. I often find myself defending my decision and explaining why she eats smaller amounts more frequently. I always get the annoying comments 'well johnny smith eats 8 ounces at each feeding, so your LO must always be hungry'. But they don't realize that Johnny smith probably does not eat every 2-3 hours. Anyway...
    Thanks so much!

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Back to work and pumping - supply issues??

    It might be that your lo is being fed too much/sitting. I know lots of caregivers who aren't used to breastfed babies will over feed because they want to finish off the bottle or, like you said, they think they need to eat more at a time. I would think that as frequently as your baby is eating your caregiver could probably give less per feeding. The general rule is 1-1.5 oz for each hour that mom is gone (with allowances for growth spurts etc.). Maybe you could have them start with 3 oz in the bottle. Then if baby still fusses for more, give another .5-1 oz. It doesn't seem like it would make that much of a difference, but to you every ounce counts.

    Here's an article that might help you, and maybe your caregiver could check it out as well.

    As for the second letdown- I'm not familiar with your pump and I know you said that you use the highest setting, but is there a way to increase the speed? I used to use one that you could adjust the speed seperate from the suction and I could turn the speed up for a minute or so to get the 2nd letdown. The one I'm using now has a button I can press that speeds up the cycles for a minute or so. Does yours have anything like that?
    “We are not put on earth for ourselves, but are placed here for each other. If you are there always for others, then in time of need, someone will be there for you.”
    --Anonymous

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Back to work and pumping - supply issues??

    My pump doesn't work if it is still damp; idk if you have this problem as well. Medela makes breastpump wipes that I use to wipe everything down while I am at work, then I just give everything a good wash when I get home at night.

    I have also had to add an extra pumping session at home at night (after DS goes to sleep, before I do) to keep up with what DS eats at day care.
    Mom to Jack 11/27/08 (Our Thanksgiving Baby!)




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