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Thread: too little...whats normal?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    Oreogn City, OR
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    Default too little...whats normal?

    I have had to go back to work and pump for my 8 week old. up until now we were breastfeeding plus about 6 oz formula per day. she's making plenty of diapers and growing at a good rate. She now weighs close to 12 lbs.

    So here's the question: I had to work today and only got a total of 8 oz with my breast pump. Only 2 oz TOTAL per 20 min session. Our LC said she needs to be taking about 27-33 oz per day and I'm worried because what i'm pumping is only a fraction of what she needs. We nurse when I return home, but I feel like I really need to be producing more.

    Already taking 5490 mg of fenugreek (3 caps 3x/day) plus 2-3 cups of mother's milk tea, and a beer when I get home at night. I dunno why, but beer seems to help me out.

    I work 7/70 which means I work 7 days in a row, 10 hr days for a total of 70 hours per pay period. Then I get 7 days off. I pump at 6am, 930 am, 1230 pm, 330 pm, and 1030pm. We nurse after work between 6 pm and 10 pm. When NOT at work, I pump when I wake in the am, bf all day long, then pump once more before I go to sleep. How much expressed milk is good? How do I boost my supply? currently using a medela pump in style advanced, but considering renting a hospital grade symphony from the hospital that i work at.
    Last edited by @llli*jessepoppins; February 8th, 2011 at 09:37 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
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    93

    Default Re: too little...whats normal?

    What a hectic work schedule! But, you can do this! Great job on what you have accomplished so far. :-) A question: How long have you been back to work and getting 8 ounces in a 10 hour time slot? If you have just returned, it may take some time for your body to get used to the pump for that many sessions a day. TRY looking at pics of your little one and ONLY thinking about her (not stress at work and home) while pumping. This helped me a LOT in the beginning. You could even try calling your care provider so that you can listen to her cooing, laughing, or crying to stimulate let down.

    It is my understanding that little one needs 1-1.5 ounces per hour you are away from little one (24-36 ounces per day). NOTE: I can NEVER remember my DD taking in 36 ounces in one 24 hour period, even during growth spurts. She has always been a small eater and on the petite side (she is now a year old).

    Also, baby takes in more from a bottle then from the breast simply because there is hardly any work involved with drinking from a bottle AND because it is harder for little one to regulate intake because how quickly they can eat from a bottle. If you are away 10 hours from the little one and she is getting 8 ounces it seems like she is a little on the low side BUT try to consider the following: She may be making up for the last few ounces when she is with you. If she is having the minimum wet diapers and does not seem hungry when you are away, I would try not to worry to much, especially with her gaining weight.

    Have you considered co-sleeping at night to make up for the missed ounces even more? It is hard to get used to at first but once you have done it for a few nights it it will become second nature. Have you tried eating oatmeal every day and are you staying hydrated (I could be wrong with the exact number but a nursing mother should be taking in around 36 ounces of water a day...more then when you were pregnant!)? I know you are exhausted with pumping that many times in one day, but maybe until your supply increases you could throw in an extra session between 3:30 pm and 10:30 pm on a work day OR an extra session when you are off for 7 days then freeze the extra milk for when you do work.

    It has been my experience that pumping when away from little one is a very sensitive balancing act. I can only remember one week that my supply was exactly where I thought it should be...not too little, not too much. Keep in mind that supply output while pumping can change daily! Hormonal fluctuations, stress, eating enough calories, drinking enough water, etc. all affect how much you output. Try not to worry so much! It sounds like she is doing well!!! Good job, Mama!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    Oreogn City, OR
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    Default Re: too little...whats normal?

    Thanks for the response. She gets 8 oz of formula in addition to the approximate 8 oz I leave at home for her...So she's taking in closer to 16 oz while I'm away at work. She then "cluster feeds" when I'm home, but I don't think she's really sucking out milk. It seems more like comfort sucking pretty much from 6pm to 10pm when I decide to go to bed. She stays awake with DH till about 12 midnight and wants some milk then before she finally goes to sleep too.

    Yesterday was my very first day back at work. I pumped 3 times yesterday and am planning on 3 times today. I'm spacing them closer to 3 hours apart than 4 (so that's 530 before i go to work, 900, 12 noon, and 3 pm) I get home at 6. I'm not eating oatmeal. Drinking close to 90 oz of water per day in addition to the 2-4 cups of tea and 1-2 beers.
    DD cries and cries if she doesn't have boob or bottle in her mouth and she started refusing the pacifier. Also, I'm only pumping about 2 oz in my pump sessions whether it has been 2 hours or 8 hours. I guess that means I need to pump more often, huh? When I pump after a nursing session I only get 1/4 of an oz, so little that I question myself for keeping it (but I do). I do plan on keeping the 530 am session when I'm not at work, and save it up for the next week.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
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    52

    Default Re: too little...whats normal?

    I am in the same situation as you. I seem to not be making any more milk even though I've started taking fenugreek (and smell like maple syrup) in conjunction to eating oatmeal and still get the same 8 to 10 ounces a day. DS is getting 2 to 4 ounces of formula a day to make up the difference. I've tried pumping in the car on my way to work which actually is just very frustrating but it had no effect (maybe I didn't do it consistently enough for long enough?) But at this point I'm just going to settle. DS is happy in day care and happy at home. I don't mind him cluster feeding in the evening because I miss him somuch during the day (although it makes it difficult to get much accomplished in the way of chores). And I love cosleeping because I get to snuggle at night. As long as he's healthy and happy I'm ok. Good luck to you. You will start to be able to pump more when you're at work once you get more comfortable with the surroundings. I think you'll do fine! But it is so frustrating.
    Love being a mom to DS
    Love and helps keep my sanity.
    at work is annoying but worth it for DS.
    helps me feel closer to DS since I'm away during the day.

    with my Hubby who is currently in remission from Leukemia. Everyday is a blessing!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    Oreogn City, OR
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    Default Re: too little...whats normal?

    So I started reglan this week. No change. I actually think my supply is still going down....only now, whenever I nurse DD she still cries in hunger when we're done, even if we've just BF'd for an hour! I'm still only pumping 5oz per day at work whether I've pumped 2,3 or 4 times per day. Every day the amount of formula she takes seems to be going up. I'm serisously questioning why I'm bothering with this. It's such a hassle to pump and my baby seems so much more content with formula and bottles. argh.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
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    1,949

    Default Re: too little...whats normal?

    I would say that in order to increase your pumping output, it will take a few days for increast pumping to have an effect. How many days in a row have you tried to pump 5x a day?

    Your work schedule is HECTIC...WTG on pumping thru all that work, and giving your LO breastmilk!
    Mommy of 4,
    3 who I watch over, 1 who watches over all of us

    J- 8/20/05 pumped breastmilk for 11 months due to his cleft lip and palate!

    M- 10/17/07 my precious baby lives forever in her mommys heart

    M- 3/31/09 my special gift, she helps heal her mommy and daddys heart. Nursed for 4 years and 10 days, self weaned the day her baby brother was born!

    E-, new little miracle born 4/11/13, my BIG baby! Born 8.6 at 38 weeks. At 9 weeks nearly 17lbs, at 12 weeks nearly 20lbs, at 6 months nearly 23lbs, at 8 months nearly 25lbs and all from BREASTMILK


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    Oreogn City, OR
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    Default Re: too little...whats normal?

    Thanks for the support.

    To answer your questions: I returned to work on Feb 8. worked feb 8-15 pumping at 530am, 9, 12noon, 3pm, return home and BF 6-10pm and one more pump at 10pm. I do this every day I work. When I'm home we just BF but DD wants bottles at 12 pm, 6pm and at bedtime usually around 10pm. I usually pump when she gets bottles and I'm around, but since its after I've BF'd I only get 0.25oz total for those times, if I'm lucky. I work every other week, so this is only my second week pumping at work. I get 1.5-2 oz per pump session and usually total about 5 oz per day. She takes 4oz-6 oz bottles. We've been busy here at work, and I've had to cut my pumping sessions back to 10 am and 2pm only. Funny thing is that I still get the same amount of milk! That's what I'm sayin...why should I bother pumping all day long if it makes no difference?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Brussels, Belgium
    Posts
    1,302

    Default Re: too little...whats normal?

    Hmmm! Let's see...

    http://www.kellymom.com/bf/pumping/p..._decrease.html

    pumping 1/4oz after bfing is good production, since the best pump in nature just 'emptied' your breast.

    Are you using a high-quality double electric pump? I used a single side electric Phillips Avent until my second day of work, then upgraded to a Medela Freestyle and never looked back (although yeah, it hit my bankbook to make such a purchase before earning my first paycheck post-maternity leave!) I couldn't have made it on my Avent.

    Also what are the nappy/diaper counts like? If you have good diaper counts, then it's proof of quality intake. Are you safely co-sleeping, or would you consider it? Many babies will make up for lost daytime calories by snuggling and nursing at night. Even better, overnight is when the milk-making hormones peak so you'd be taking advantage of prime time. You might be surprised how rested you feel even with a baby nursing 4 times a night. If you ask me, it depends on the ease of access with the nightclothes My DD has nursed 3-4x nightly while I worked full days and I've felt quite rested, her nappy counts are good, my DH began to like co-sleeping, so it's worked beautifully for us.

    Reverse cycling, therefore, isn't the dreaded thing I thought it was before it happened to us
    http://www.kellymom.com/bf/normal/reverse-cycling.html

    Now I'm pregnant and if DD awakens to nurse less than twice a night I want to latch her on a third time in her sleep You'd be surprised.

    Mama, be confident in yourself. Mothers have been feeding their babies this way from the beginning of time. Be patient--put a checklist by your changing area so you can COUNT those nappies to set your mind at ease. Several times in the first year I had a temporary dip in supply but it bounced back. Rest, drink lots and relax, your milk is there.
    Katharine
    Be the change you want to see in the world--Mahatma Gandhi
    mid-August DD (2010) & DS (2011 VBAC)
    Ouch! Is it thrush or Raynaud's phenomenon?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Oreogn City, OR
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    Default Re: too little...whats normal?

    I stopped counting poo and pee because there were SO many of them... but I think it's because she gets so much formula. I use a double electric Medela PIS.

    Also, Dara- one of my best childhood friends has your name! (but I haven't seen her in years).
    Last edited by @llli*jessepoppins; February 25th, 2011 at 05:16 PM.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    1,949

    Default Re: too little...whats normal?

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*jessepoppins View Post
    I stopped counting poo and pee because there were SO many of them... but I think it's because she gets so much formula. I use a double electric Medela PIS.

    Also, Dara- one of my best childhood friends has your name! (but I haven't seen her in years).
    lol, maybe its me? KIDDING!!!

    As for pumping, can you try to pump as well on your off work weeks? this way you will be storing milk, even if its not a ton it will be more to your stash.
    Mommy of 4,
    3 who I watch over, 1 who watches over all of us

    J- 8/20/05 pumped breastmilk for 11 months due to his cleft lip and palate!

    M- 10/17/07 my precious baby lives forever in her mommys heart

    M- 3/31/09 my special gift, she helps heal her mommy and daddys heart. Nursed for 4 years and 10 days, self weaned the day her baby brother was born!

    E-, new little miracle born 4/11/13, my BIG baby! Born 8.6 at 38 weeks. At 9 weeks nearly 17lbs, at 12 weeks nearly 20lbs, at 6 months nearly 23lbs, at 8 months nearly 25lbs and all from BREASTMILK


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