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Thread: Advice PLEASE!

  1. #1

    Default Advice PLEASE!

    My son was born premature. At the advice of the NICU staff, I literally pumped every 1-2 hours for the first month of his life (bad idea considering the amount of milk I had for my first son). By the time we got him home, I was making an extra 16-24 ounces a day and pumping that amount just to be comfortable. By the time I went back to work when he was 4 months, I already had 5+ cubic feet of frozen breastmilk and was out of storage. Through a lot of pain, I eventually stopped pumping at work, and we began to use "the reserve" in my husband's words. I continued to feed my son before work, when I got home, and at bedtime while we were getting rid of the frozen stuff.

    The "little guy" is now 10 months old. He is drinking 32+ ounces of breastmilk a day in addition to eating 5+ jars of second foods and table foods. The frozen milk is quickly dwindling (finally) as I've only been making 8-12 ounces daily this past week. This is in spite of me instituting a pumping regimen of 5:30 AM, 8 AM, 11 AM, 2 PM, him eating at 5 PM, and me pumping twice more in the evening. I'm pumping 20-30 minutes at a time with a Medela Pump-in-Style.

    Suggestions to increase supply, or will things pick up soon since I have only been at this again for a week? Did I permanently mess things up by cutting back so drastically? I had really hoped to exclusively breastfeed this one until at least a year. Thanks ladies!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    20,600

    Default Re: Advice PLEASE!

    I don't think you "messed things up" permanently- supply responds to demand and you're doing the right thing to get it back up.

    Increasing supply:
    - Pump frequently, the more frequently the better!
    - Check your pump- the PIS is a good pump but after many months of heavy use it may have lost some suction.
    - Herbs: Fenugreek, Blessed Thistle, and oatmeal are all good for increasing supply.
    - Drugs: as a last resort, there are prescription drugs which can increase supply as a side-effect. Reglan (available in the US) and Domperidone (Canada, UK) both have additional side-effects and are not right for all women, so consult your midwife or ob before taking either one.
    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!"

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    18,063

    Default Re: Advice PLEASE!

    is he nursing any at the breast when your together?
    sometimes as they get older mothers are able to cut back pumping and just nurse more when they are able to with baby.
    You guys will figure it out, it sounds like your doing all the right things.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Advice PLEASE!

    Thanks for the encouragement. I'd managed to forget how sore one's nipples become by pumping this often. I guess what I'd really like to know is if anyone has ever done anything like this and had their milk rebound up to what the baby is eating. (ie, can I go from 12 ounces per day to 32 ounces per day with a 10-month-old?)

    FYI too that my doc has asked me to steer clear of the herbals as I have pretty bad asthma.

    My goal was to make it 4 more months which would put my son at at an adjusted age of 12 months.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    6,564

    Default Re: Advice PLEASE!

    It sounds like you're only nursing him once a day? Can you cut out the evening pumping and get him to eat at the breast? That will stimulate your supply more than the pump will.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Advice PLEASE!

    Unfortunately, my supply is down so much that he'll nurse (if I'm lucky) for 2-3 minutes per side. Then, he screams in frustration. I'd like to nurse him more, but he quickly pitches a fit. I'm seriously considering waking him up in the middle of the night to get more milk. (He sleeps from 5:30 PM to 6:30 AM; it seems tragic to break that!)

  7. #7

    Default Re: Advice PLEASE!

    I can totally understand where you are coming from and your dilemma. My daughter was in NICU for 3 and a half months. I've been pumping exclusively for her. I had a very large amount of stored breastmilk and was using the PIS. I ran into the problem of my milk storage being used up and my supply dropping down to my cycle trying to start up, in July. I was fighting a very large battle all through July and August and then rented Medela Symphony, once again. (I should have never stopped, but I had such a good supply going I bought the PIS instead)

    I didn't use herbs, as I found they were doing the opposite with me. I drank loads of water, minimum of 1 gallon a day. I also had some protein, every time I pumped. Kept on a tight schedule of every 3 to 4 hours, except when I worked at night. Luckily with work, I only go about 6 hours without pumping. In a few weeks, my supply started building up again.

    My daughter doesn't eat huge amounts, 5 ozs - 5x's a day and only has a small amount of solids for learning the technique. The thing that keeps me happy is I stay at least 5 feeds ahead for her. I've been able to keep up with 5 bottles in the frig, ready for her.

    She never would nurse from the breast really, so I can't help you on that part. Sorry.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    6,564

    Default Re: Advice PLEASE!

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*heather82 View Post
    Unfortunately, my supply is down so much that he'll nurse (if I'm lucky) for 2-3 minutes per side. Then, he screams in frustration. I'd like to nurse him more, but he quickly pitches a fit. I'm seriously considering waking him up in the middle of the night to get more milk. (He sleeps from 5:30 PM to 6:30 AM; it seems tragic to break that!)
    Maybe you can do a dream feed right before you go to bed? That would get more milk in him and then go to bed yourself without missing any sleep. Does he wake up if you pick him up and latch him on?
    Tracie

    Mommy to
    Lilah 10/08 nursed 25 months
    Beatrix 01/11 nursed 30 months

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