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Thread: Pumping and low milk supply

  1. #1

    Default Pumping and low milk supply

    I unfortunately had problems breastfeeding my DD after one week. I had issues and was using nipple shields but all of a sudden she just didn't want to feed. My DH and I decided to exclusively pump and bottle feed her and take it from there. At first I was pumping out about 2 ounces. Eventually my breasts could not keep up with my DD demand and so we needed to substitute her demand with formula. My supply has now gone down even further to about 1 and half ounces if I'm lucky. I pump every 3 hours and try and sit on there for as long as I can. I have found that even if I sit on the pump for an hour there is nothing coming out. So my question is, is it a case that I need to be on the pump every hour? Should I be trying to pump longer? I was using the Phillips Avant electronic pump and we have now rented out a machine from the pharmacy which is a lot stronger and obviously it takes a lot quicker too. Any help or suggestions would be a great help.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: Pumping and low milk supply

    I think you pretty much have the keys to better supply already figured out: pump more frequently, for longer time periods, using a better pump. This link may help: http://www.kellymom.com/bf/pumping/p..._decrease.html

    In addition, you may want to use a galactogogue (milk increasing substance). Herbal supplements which may be helpful include fenugreek, blessed thistle, and ordinary oatmeal. There are also prescription drugs (Reglan and Domperidone) which can help boost supply, but both have side effects in addition to increased milk production and are not right for all mamas. Therefore, make sure you speak to your midwife or doctor before taking either one. And while supplements and medications are useful, in my experience they are not a substitute for frequent and effective milk removal using a pump or baby.

    Best of all would be to get your baby back to the breast, since babies are better at maintaining and increasing milk supply than pumps are. This link covers nursing strikes and how to end them: http://www.kellymom.com/bf/concerns/...to-breast.html

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2010

    Default Re: Pumping and low milk supply

    Are you interested in trying to nurse again at all, or is that a closed chapter? Just wondering—because I also pump (at work) and the number ONE thing that increased my supply was taking some time off and nursing 24/7. But I could basically have written your post—about the nipple shield, etc—and about supply/demand, and about supplementing with formula to meet your baby’s needs. Its UNCANNY how identical our stories are! The only difference is that I saw a lactation consultant and got rid of the shields ASAP because my son was becoming a lazy latcher.

    As far as pumping goes, I recommend pumping for 10 minutes on, 10 minutes off. It’ll trick your body into producing more. Watch your fluid intake—make sure you’re drinking a lot of water (but not TOO much, since your body can only process so much at a time). And definitely take an herbal supplement (I took fenugreek and blessed thistle together, 3 tablets 3 times a day, and I noticed a difference immediately—the only side effects were gas, but that diminished with use). I’m about to write a LONG post on my blog about my journey with pumping, so feel free to read!
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