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Thread: Pumping no longer increasing supply

  1. #1

    Unhappy Pumping no longer increasing supply

    Hi - My son is 9 weeks and since he was born we've been BF and supplementing with formula and breastmilk I pump after I've fed him. I feed him eight times a day and pump after every session (e.g., pump every three hours). After sessions, I get from 0.5oz to 1oz.

    I also take Fenugreek and Blessed Thistle. I try to eat oatmeal as often as possible. We've been on this routine for about a month now. At first I noticed an instant jump in supply. However, over the past two weeks, it seems I've hit a plateau. When I don't feed him I consistently pump 2oz..1oz from each breast. However, he needs between 3-4oz per feeding now. I had hoped that I could stop supplementing with formula before I went back to work, but now I'm concerned I've reached some kind of plateau.

    Any advice on how I might be able to increase supply further? I have spoken with a doctor about domperidome, but I'm not ready to go that path yet.

    Thanks in advance!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    Default Re: Pumping no longer increasing supply

    What about phasing out the formula? Can you do that? Have you seen this link:

    http://www.kellymom.com/bf/supply/decrease-formula.html

    This would increase your supply because baby would be nursing instead of getting formula.

    Sorry if this is a stupid suggestion, I'm not sure if you have tried to scale back on the formula supplements before, or even why you started supplementing with formula in the first place.
    Tracie

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

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    Default Re: Pumping no longer increasing supply

    why do you think he is not getting enough from you alone!?!?
    A baby will rarely deny bottles bec it is A LOT easier than the breast...you might not/prob not need to do that extra and save the pumped milk for when you are not around....

    How many wet diapers are you changing...is someone telling you he is not gaining enough weight?

    I took 3 pills/3 x a day of fenugreek to see it work..and it worked wonders....

    when you pump are you doing breast massages/compressions the whole 20 min session..i needed to do this i could never let the pump do all the work..this sometimes doubled my ounces in a pumping session

    HTH
    -Katie

    -Wife to Joe 5-15-04
    -First time mom to Courtney Ann 8-12-07
    -Became a mom of 2: Brendan Joseph was born 01-08-09
    -Breastfed both of them for one whole year
    -Now a new mom of 3: Emily Theresa born 12-14-11
    -Breastfeeding again and hope to go the full year!

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Pumping no longer increasing supply

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*mommy2lilah View Post
    Sorry if this is a stupid suggestion, I'm not sure if you have tried to scale back on the formula supplements before, or even why you started supplementing with formula in the first place.
    If you don't mind, sharing why you started supplementing might help us help you figure out the best way to stop supplementing.

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*jlk51496 View Post
    A baby will rarely deny bottles bec it is A LOT easier than the breast...you might not/prob not need to do that extra and save the pumped milk for when you are not around....
    again. Sometimes the problem is the bottles- if the baby is learning that the sooner he stops nursing, the sooner he gets that easy bottle, bottle use may be impacting your supply. Which is a challenge, obviously, because you're going to need to use bottles once you're back at work.

    Here are some ways to increase supply:
    - See a lactation consultant, preferably an IBCLC. When you're struggling, nothing beats hands-on help.
    - Nurse as much as possible.
    - Consider co-sleeping. Many babies who don't nurse well during the day do a terrific job at night when they are sleepy and relaxed.
    - Make bottle-feeding as much like breastfeeding as possible. Use the slowest flow bottle nipple available. When it's time to bottle-feed, unbutton your shirt, pull the baby close to the bare breast, and tickle his lips with the bottle nipple until he opens WIDE. You don't want him learning sloppy latch habits from getting a bottle slipped into a half-open mouth. Try to pause the feeding after every ounce or so of fluid, to get the baby used to the ebb-and-flow rhythm of breastfeeding.
    - Consider supplementing via supplemental nursing system instead of by bottle.
    - Pump more often. When I had supply issues, my LC had me pump both sides for 10 minutes every 2 hours during the day and every 3 at night. It was challenging but very worthwhile!
    - Use the best quality pump available. For many moms, this means renting a hospital-grade pump. What sort of pump do you have now?
    - Power pumping. Pump both sides for 10 minutes, rest for 10, pump both sides for 10 minutes, rest for 10, and finally pump both sides once more for 10 minutes for a total of 30 minutes of pumping in an one-hour period. It's supposed to mimic the way a baby feeds- and boosts mom's supply- during a growth spurt.
    - Herbs. In addition to Fenugreek and Blessed Thistle, ordinary oatmeal increases supply for some moms.
    - Drugs. As a last resort, Reglan (available in the US) and Domperidone (Canada and the UK) are presciption anti-nausea drugs which can increase milk supply as a side-effect. Both have additional side-effects and are not for everyone, so talk to your midwife or doctor before taking either one. I took Reglan and saw good results, without any side-effects- but if you are in a country where Domperidone is available, I would take that instead as it is not associated with an increased risk for depression like Reglan is.
    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!"

  5. #5

    Default Re: Pumping no longer increasing supply

    Thanks for your help. Here are some additional details:

    - We've been pumping since week one upon the reco of two LCs and the pediatrician. Baby was not gaining any weight and cried constantly for food. We breastfed all the time but finally took the advice of experts that supplement was needed.
    - Yes. Have seen two different LCs. Both gave the same advice...pump after each feeding...at least 8X per day. Use herbs. Consider prescription drugs. Supplement if baby is hungry.
    - Yes. Use a hospital grade pump. Symphony.
    - Yes. Massage breasts during pumping.
    - Currently use Playtex insert bottles with slow flow nipples. If there is a slower flow please reco!

    The main reason for the supplementing is that baby is hungry. I know some may say that babies cry for other reasons than hunger, but trust me these are hunger cries. I try EVERYTHING else to stop the crying before we feed again. So much to the point that DH feels I'm starving the kid. Of course we never do. When baby is fed he is happy and smiling. When he's hungry he scowls and cries all day and gives hunger cues (fingers in mouth, tongue sticking out)

    Based on the schedule provided, it looks like I should try to add in at least two more pumping or feeding sessions.

    Thanks again for your help. This has been the most challenge two months of my life. Because of the supplementing and pumping it takes about an 1h to 1.5 hours to feed (30mins on breast, 20 mins bottle, 20 mins pump), and since I'm pumping after every feeding, I rarely leave the house.

  6. #6
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    Jun 2009
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    Default Re: Pumping no longer increasing supply

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*mendeloj View Post

    Based on the schedule provided, it looks like I should try to add in at least two more pumping or feeding sessions.

    Thanks again for your help. This has been the most challenge two months of my life. Because of the supplementing and pumping it takes about an 1h to 1.5 hours to feed (30mins on breast, 20 mins bottle, 20 mins pump), and since I'm pumping after every feeding, I rarely leave the house.
    Obviously the first thing is to feed your baby! So don't worry about having to supplement, you are doing what is necessary to feed your child.

    Have you thought about using a supplemental nursing system or a lactaid instead of the bottle? Maybe that would cut down on the amount of time it's taking you to feed with the bottle? I think you can use those while baby is nursing, I'm not sure of the exact logistics.

    Do you mean the schedule on kellymom? I saw that the handout did say 10 sessions a day.

    Tracie

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

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,152

    Default Re: Pumping no longer increasing supply

    It sounds like you're doing the right thing. I know (from experience!) that it's exhausting.

    One thing you might want to try is a professional scale. By weighing your baby before and after feedings, you can gain a pretty accurate picture of what your baby is taking in at the breast. Sometimes that helps point out a problem- like if the baby is routinely taking less than 2 oz at the breast, something isn't right. And sometimes, the test weights can demonstrate when everything is okay- the baby takes in 2 oz or more per feeding, and you know you don't need to supplement.

    Has your baby been checked for tongue-tie? Sometimes tongue-ties are very subtle.

    Also, have you been checked for physical causes of low supply- PCOS, thyroid problems, retained placenta? If not, talk to your midwife or doc!
    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!"

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