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Thread: Baby refusing breast since starting to work - pumped supply dropped drastically

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2009

    Exclamation Baby refusing breast since starting to work - pumped supply dropped drastically

    Hi all,

    Since starting daycare (and my return to work full-time) six weeks ago, my 5 month-old daughter has started refusing to breastfeed, only accepting the bottle. On the few occassions that she will breastfeed, she only does it for a very short time before she pulls off and cries for a bottle.

    I've now been exclusively pumping for about 4 weeks, trying desperately to fill the supply I had been filling prior to returning to work. I've never been able to fully provide breastmilk for her, as I've suffered from a chronic low-supply issues since she was born. When I returned to work, she was getting about 2/3 of her meals from my breastmilk, and about 1/3 from formula. We're now at about 1/4 from breastmilk and 3/4 from formula.

    I want nothing more than to provide her with the most breastmilk I can. I'm okay with exclusively pumping if that's what works for us as a family, but I'm struggling with my low supply and how to improve it so that she gets the best benefit. I am committed to continuing to pump so that I can give her every last drop I can get out of me (even if it means just 1/2 oz or whatever a day if it gets that bad - some is better than none!!), it would just be nice if I was back on the 2/3; 1/3 schedule I was on before!!

    She's currently eating about 5 oz per feeding. I was getting between 3-4 oz each pump when I started working and am now down to between .75 - 1.25 oz per pump. I am doing the following:
    1. I pump 4 times a day at work (8, 10:30, 1:00, and 3:30) and then again at home at 6:00, 8:00, and then 4:30 in the morning. All pumps are 15-20 mintues except the 4:30 one, which takes about 30-35 minutes (I have a VERY slow flow - only a couple of holes work in each breast). I get between .75 - 1.25 oz at each pump except the 4:30 one, which yields about 3 oz. I used to pump at 12:00 am when she was still getting up at night (she now sleeps in 12 hours stretches from 6-6)....should I put that one back into my schedule?
    2. I'm taking both Fenugreek and Blessed Thistle. I have no idea if they're doing anything, but for all I know, they're the only reason that I'm not down to zero!
    3. I'm still trying to breastfeed each and every time she's hungry and I'm with her. Very occasionally (about 1 or 2 times a week), she'll briefly latch on. I figure that's better than nothing at all. FYI - With the help of a lactation consultant, I did try that supplement tube that you attach to your breast that expresses milk when she sucks to try to entice her to breastfeed again, but with no luck. She seems to like it even less!!!
    4. I've tried co-sleeping, but after a short time realized that this type of arrangement does not work for our family.
    5. I've done a 24 hour feeding/sleeping only schedule, trying to breastfeed her and sleep next to her while she is just diapered to get lots of skin-to-skin contact. I saw no improvement from that little experiment.
    6. I drink 8-16 oz of water after each pump, for a total of about ten 8 oz glasses per day.

    While getting to 100% breastmilk is unlikely for me (and I'm okay with that), I would like to get back up to about 50/50 if I can, as a realistic short-term goal. Please offer any suggestions for how to get back on track given my situation. For argument's sake, let's assume that she'll not agree to breastfeed again, although I'll keep working at it.

    I appreciate your help!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2009

    Default Re: Baby refusing breast since starting to work - pumped supply dropped drastically

    I'm sorry for your tough situation! I've been pumping for over 5 months now and it's a pain (as I pump right now while I type...). My one piece of advice right now would be to not go longer than 3 hrs other than maybe once at night go up to 4 hrs. Any time you go longer than 3 hrs you're basically signaling to your body to make less milk as prolactin levels peak at 3 hrs then drop. I still set my alarm clock to pump every 3 hrs. Also, have you tried power pumping? pump 12 minutes, off 12, pump 12, off 12, pump 12 for an hour once in the morning? I've been doing that over 2 months and it seems to help. The one day I skipped it I made a full 100 ccs (just over 3 oz less). I'll try to get online and add more ideas tomorrow. Take care and keep up the great work! 1/4 breast milk is so much better than nothing! You're a devoted mommy.
    Nursed my sweet daughter 3 years, 3 mos.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2009

    Default Re: Baby refusing breast since starting to work - pumped supply dropped drastically

    First off

    Well I had an issue with my baby not latching, so I have been pumping from birth. I had gotten a breast infection and my supply went very low and I am still having issues with it. What I have to do to get milk is to do compression. And yes add another pumping session.

    Everyone has told me to eat oatmeal, but I have been eating Cream of Wheat and my supply went up, but it could have been from pumping more often.

    Good luck with everything.
    My little surprise born 2 December 2009 7 lbs 1 oz 20 inches.

    Our goal is 1 year, but I'm willing to go 2!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    It's round on the ends and high in the middle

    Default Re: Baby refusing breast since starting to work - pumped supply dropped drastically

    When I was pumping, I found that a.m. pumps sessions yielded more. I have read here that a lot of other women say the same thing.

    I did have some dips in supply, especially with pumping. The pump is not as adept as a baby at getting the milk out. I used Mother's Milk tea which helped, as did oatmeal and LOTS of water (sounds like you're already doing this). And I know it's easier to say than to do, but relaxing while pumping (or nursing) will help your milk letdown. I would hook myself up to the pump and then come here to browse, or read online and before I knew it, my milk was flowing.

    HTH!!! Good lcuk, momma!

    Fancy Momma to the Divine Miss M, 2/15/07 BF'ed for 17 months!
    Currently TTC Baby #2

    Hello babies. Welcome to Earth. It's hot in the summer and cold in the winter. It's round and wet and crowded. At the outside, babies, you've got about a hundred years here. There's only one rule that I know of, babies - Damn it, you've got to be kind. - Kurt Vonnegut

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    cleveland, ohio

    Default Re: Baby refusing breast since starting to work - pumped supply dropped drastically

    I just started back to work myself and my son is refusing the breast, too. I am sorry you are struggling but I am happy to know I am not alone. I think oatmeal really helps....it sounds like you are doing everything you can to offer your little one the best...take pride in that and know that you are doing a great job. Some is better that none at all. I know that it is stressful but try and relax like pp said once you try not to think about it it starts flowing better. It is easier said than done, I find myself constantly looking at the bottle to see how much is in there. Try giving yourself a special treat each time you pump.....gossip mag and some warm tea? It sounds like you are drinking enough ...did you talk to your doc about it. I have heard that they can give you something that will help production too. Good Luck!!!!!
    I'm Kelly,mom to Sam!!10.6.09: and Kate!! 9.15.11 and away!!!
    Married to Matt since 10.13.07!!!!
    Also loving my furry brown lab, Bo!!!

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