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Thread: Help! Not much milk!! 9 mo old

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    4

    Unhappy Help! Not much milk!! 9 mo old

    My baby just turned 9 months and I'm not getting any milk anymore. On a good day i can pump 6-8 oz. (so far have enogh milk in freezer not to do formula)She needs 13 oz minimal to make her happy at daycare. I'm pumping like crazy- am and pm after she nurse. And usually again before I go to bed. Plus 3 times during the day when away from her at work. I'm guessing its hormonal because I just started spotting 2-3 days ago and have not menstruated yet. Does fenugreek really help? I really really don't want to do formula. Her dad and I both have multiple food allergies, and she's showing signs of wheat allergy now!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    63

    Default Re: Help! Not much milk!! 9 mo old

    It can be so stressful to experience supply challenges when working and pumping! I went through a supply crisis right around that same age when my son was smaller, it was really challenging. Let me suggest a few things that you may or may not have heard before. Apologies if this is old news.

    First, give your pump a good once-over, are there any worn parts or valves? Connections that aren't as airtight as they used to be? If you think the motor isn't performing well you can have it looked at, go to your pump manufacturer's website to find a list of places near you. One thing I found during my "pump slump" was that I had stopped responding well to the pump I had at work, but still had good output on my double electric pump at home. I started carrying that with me to work and that improved things. Some mothers find that it makes sense to rent a pump for a few months to get a high quality double electric hospital-grade pump to get through supply crises.

    Second, how are the conditions where you're pumping? Are you able to relax? Are you able to put aside work and the daily concerns of home while you pump? I know I found I had started really multitasking during pumping and that was affecting my output as well. When I stopped trying to listen to voicemails and compose memos while pumping, I saw improvements.

    Third, have you heard the term "nursing vacation." Some moms find that it can be helpful to take a weekend and just nurse nurse nurse on demand. The baby is much more efficient at telling your body to make milk than your pump is, so the more feedings the baby can take at the breast the better. Is there any way that you can get to the baby during the day to get one nursing session live? Maybe just for a week or two to see if that helps get you over the hump? What about asking the caregiver detailed questions about baby's eating patterns while separated from you? It can be shocking and upsetting to find out that some caregivers are discarding 1-2 oz per feeding if the baby doesn't consume a full bottle. Preparing many smaller bottles (2 oz per, for example) can be a way to combat this.

    Lastly, and this is much easier said than done, if you can reduce your stress and anxiety about the amount you're pumping, it will likely help your output. I know that it is really hard to feel like you're not producing enough, but worrying excessively about it can do more harm than good. Like I said, easier said than done, but if you can set up a plan and try to not worry about it for a week or two while you see if things are improving, that might help.

    One final point, with fenugreek, you (and in particular, your urine) should smell like maple syrup if you are taking enough. If you don't, you might need more. Consult your herbalist for more details.

    Shoot, just re-read your message and wanted to add one more point - if you are starting to spot and your cycle is returning, it is natural to go through a dip in your milk supply just before and at the beginning of your menstrual cycle. Babies are pretty good at sensing this and becoming voracious in the days to follow to ramp back up your supply. Nurse on demand as much as you can during this time to help your supply rebound.

    Best wishes. And congratulations on your hard work - pumping is a real challenge and you've done great getting to 9 months already! Kudos!

    Karen Smith
    LLL Leader, IL

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Help! Not much milk!! 9 mo old

    Thanks for the support!! I teach part-time and am full-time grad student so I'm sure stress this semester is really a part of it. I've been trying to go to her daycare and nurse 1x a day 2 days a week when I can between classes.

    I've learned when I pump to slouch and I visualize kissing her little sweet buttcheeks. I get a fast let down then. but yeah I do get more stressed the less milk I pump. I have the medela adv pump in style. I'll go thru the parts since I have been wondering if that could be it.

    My question is should I try limiting her solids when she is with me on the weekend to get her to nurse more? We don't do any bottles on sat or sun.

    THANKS!!
    Melissa

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Charleston SC
    Posts
    2,601

    Default Re: Help! Not much milk!! 9 mo old

    Hi Melissa! Best of luck with your pumping. I have had good and bad times pumping also. Have you ever tried to manually express some milk when the output with the pump is poor? Also do you a hand pump? That has also worked for me when I was not doing well with the electric? Also, at 9 months, solids are still very secondary, so I would cut her solids on the weekend so that she will nurse more. Of course you know dd better than I do so if she is truly hungry then offer her some food. My ds is also near 9months ( 5-12-2005) and solids are still very secondary for him. Keep us posted! Just thought does dd sleep through the night? If not maybe you could sneak in a middle of the night feeding just until your supply comes back up??

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