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Thread: major drop in supply - need some advice/help please

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Rural Kansas
    Posts
    42

    Unhappy major drop in supply - need some advice/help please

    Not only has this been an incrediably long week - now this happens: my LO is just over 4 months old - we had a somewhat rocky start to BF, but with a lot of patience and practice, we have gotten along beautifully the past 2 1/2 months. I had developed quite an oversupply and now I have taken a MAJOR hit. Last week I was pumping close to 30 ozs (24 - 30 ozs spread out over 4 pumping sessions) per day, along with BF 2-4 times per day before and after work. Monday was a pretty normal day as well. Since Tuesday, I have progressively pumped less and less milk. Tuesday was approx. 22 ozs, Wednesday was 20 ozs and today was 17oz, still have one session to go after I post this. I discovered today that my Medela PISA seemed to be losing suction after the first let-down (felt like it wasn't working quite right, so I took it apart and cleaned it really well and put it back together - no change). I called Medela this afternoon and a new pump is on the way (hopefully by Wednesday next week - their customer service is phenominal) and I am borrowing a pump from a friend until then. My biggest concern is that first of all, my breasts are not as full as they were ( I know that my body regulates the supply ) especially the left one. I fed little dude at 6 this morning, got to work and pumped at about 9 - I got a decent amount of milk then. Pumped again at 12 - only pumped about 4 1/2 ounces (not even 2 out of the left side) and at 3:30 and only got about 3 total - hardly anything out of the left side. My left breast feels totally deflated, I know that the only way to make more milk is to nurse/pump as much as I can. He was only nursing one side per feeding, but I am thinking that we need to go back to nursing both sides in order to bump my supply. I nursed him as soon as we got home and he sucked on the left side for 20 minutes (fussing and pulling and etc), so I switched him to the right and he finished pretty happy. My big question is - since I am obviously getting more out of the right than the left (you can actually see the lopsidedness through my shirt) - should I always start a nursing session on the left side (until the supply is more abundant) since his suck is stronger at first (to signal that breast to make more) and then finish on the right side? Any advice/thoughts/etc. would be greatly appreciated. I feel like maybe I am reading too much into this - but I am concerned about my supply. My first goal was to just try the BF and see if it worked, then my goal was 6 months, now I would REALLY like to make it to a year. Thank you all in advance!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    1,056

    Default Re: major drop in supply - need some advice/help please

    First of all, I know how stressful it can be to lose your pumping supply, so

    How long are you apart from your son while at work, and how much milk are you leaving? I am assuming 8-10 hrs, and in that case you SHOULD be leaving probably no more than four bottles of 4 oz or so, in which case you have quite a stash built up in your freezer and are safe for a bit while you work this out.

    You did trouble shooting on your pump, which is the first step.

    Hormonal changes can affect your supply, so if you don't start your period in the next few days, I would take a pregnancy test.

    Are you drinking enough water? Any new stress in your life? Losing/trying to lose a lot of weight quickly?

    I'll reply again if I think of anything else.
    Little SW, Aug '09
    Miss MW, Jan '11
    Sir RW, Oct '12
    3 kids in 38 mos

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Rural Kansas
    Posts
    42

    Default Re: major drop in supply - need some advice/help please

    thank you so much for your response and the HUG!!! I am away from him for about 9 1/2 to 10 hours per work day - about 7:30a to 5:30p. My MIL watches him throughout the day, and I took about 350-400 ozs (frozen) over to her on Monday (it it easier to keep the majority of the supply over there so we do not have to transport anything back and forth and she can thaw what she needs during the day - he typically gets 15-18 ozs while I am at work over 4 bottles) and I have about 60 ozs frozen in my freezer - so we are good for awhile. Haven't started my period since delivery, if not by Monday I will take a test. Drinking plenty of water, not trying to lose weight quickly (starting back on my running routine Monday) - but I am up for a job promotion - so maybe its just stress I am not used to - didn't think I was stressed about it, but maybe I am. Thanks for your input - it really helps with the perspective!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    1,056

    Default Re: major drop in supply - need some advice/help please

    Okay, the good news is that you have a ton of back up if things head south, so try not to worry just yet. Make SURE you mother in law isn't over feeding; sometimes grandmas just want their grandbabies to be happy and full, you know?

    I would suggest using more fresh milk if you can work out the logistics, but it's not critical. I used the milk I pumped the day before for the next day without freezing at all; I only froze the extra milk. Use your freezer stash just enough to keep it from expiring (4-6 mos in a regular freezer, up to 12 mos in a zero degree deep freeze).

    Kudos to you for starting back running; I need some of your motivation. Don't forget that as a breast feeding mama you need an extra 300 calories or so per day, and if you are running on top of that it's probably more like 500. Your metabolism will increase, so you'll still burn fat; you just need to make sure you have enough fuel. And lots and lots of water. Let us know how things go.
    Little SW, Aug '09
    Miss MW, Jan '11
    Sir RW, Oct '12
    3 kids in 38 mos

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,355

    Default Re: major drop in supply - need some advice/help please

    Great advice from the PP. This link may be helpful: http://www.kellymom.com/bf/pumping/p..._decrease.html
    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!"

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Rural Kansas
    Posts
    42

    Default Re: major drop in supply - need some advice/help please

    I was running up to 4 miles 4x a week until I was 5 months along - then it got way too uncomfortable, I am excited to start again (easing my way into it) and see how it goes - I have a 5K in June, a 1/2 marathon in October and another 5K in November that I am planning on - we will see! MIL definately wants little dude to be happy and full, but my husband's office is at MIL's hosue (he and FIL have a business together), so he is able to see how much LO is eating through the day. However I will repeat to him my wishes just to make sure that they are crystal clear. We might try the fresh milk next week and see how it works. I got the borrowed pump this morning and I can tell a major difference in the output with this one vs. the one I have and they are both PISA. Good thing the weekend is here - plan on lots of cuddle time with lots of nursing involved. Will let you all know how it goes! Thank you mommal for the link - I will check it out!

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