Hi All -
I posted this in the breastfeeding forum, but thought I'd pick your brains too. I have a 10 month old daughter and we've had a great breastfeeding experience - a little rocky at the get-go, like most, but after the first few weeks old things have been smooth sailing.
I went back to work when she was 5 months old, and pump 3 times during a 7.5-8 hr day. She drinks about 12 oz of milk while she's at day care. She eats semi-solids during the day and we nurse at night and in the mornings before work. She sleeps for about 4 hours at a go at night.
The thing is, I am not expressing as much milk and it's starting to worry me. I've got some storage in the freezer, but for over a week now, it seems like getting 9 oz in a day is a stretch. I'm upping the number of times I'm pumping, but so far have seen no difference. For the past 3 days I've been drinking 'mothers milk' tea like it's going out of styles.
So, in an effort to head off a problem or find a better solution, I'm putting this out on the forum. Have others hit a low spot? Is there something more to do to up my supply/production? Do I just keep the pump hooked up all day (just kidding - but even just pumping 3 times already seems like it's most of the day)? Anything I'm not thinking of here?
Thanks for any input!
I had drops at around those times too. I had to add a pumping session to my evening for a time (right before I went to bed) and/or during the day. I found I did better at day.
Not sure if this helps, but my daughter just turned a year old, and I feel like I remember the supply dropping a bit a couple months ago. For me, I think it was around the time she started getting into solids a lot more. For the first couple months, she wasn't really interested, and then all of a sudden a couple months ago she started eating everything in sight, and I think we were nursing less. I remember I went through most of my freezer supply around that point. However, we have adjusted. Not sure what your work day is like, but I think I was just pumping 2x/day at that point (now I'm down to just once). Also, not sure how long you are planning on pumping, but we started introducing cow's milk REALLY SLOWLY about a month ago (mixing it with the breastmilk in larger and larger increments every week). Talk to your doc first, but this has worked pretty well for us, and I'll be ready to put the pump away for good in another month or so. Let us know how things turn out!
Thank you so much, ladies! I appreciate your insight and will keep on keepin on. I've added an evening pumping session (sigh) and will continue that. But it's good to know that others have been here and that this isn't necessarily the end.
Hi All - thanks so much for your responses. I found them most helpful, and comforting to know that others have dealt with, and overcome, this issue too. Adding an extra pumping session, making sure I am still pumping at least 1 time/day on the weekends when I'm with the babe full time and adding "more milk plus" supplements (made by motherlove and recommend by a wonderful lactation consultant who hopped on the phone with me to troubleshoot without any mention of a fee or anything), I'm back up to 12 oz/day and most days a bit extra to rebuild my freezer stash.
Glad to hear that your supply has been improving. My DS is only 6 months, so I haven't been pumping as long, but I've heard a lot of mamas on the pumping boards mention that they didn't realize their pumps had gotten weaker over time, which resulted in less output. Any chance your pump needs some TLC?
Also, I wanted to say thanks for mentioning the More Milk Plus supplement. I have heard good things about it and I'm finally just going to get some, since I saw a big dip last week when I was a little extra stressed out.
NEW MEMBRANES made a huge difference for me when I was still pumping. They get all worn out and floppy = bad suction.
Another vote for new membranes. When my output dropped it was a clear sign that they needed replacing. The Medlea pumps actually reccomend replacing them monthly! I never did them that often so I guess it wasn't a surprise that they needed TLC. Low output was always a membrane problem.
To get my supply back up I took Alflafa, drank lots of water, and added a morning pumping session. I was back to my normal levels in no time. Good luck!
I had a big supply drop and was very concerned because DD was eating about 6-8 oz more every 24 hrs than I was pumping. ( I exclusively pump) So we were burning through the freezer stash. I started taking alfalfa in addition to the fenugreek and simulated a growth spurt by pumping every 1-2 hrs while at work. Supply has gone back up to what DD takes in and some days I can freeze an extra 2-3 oz.
Thank you for your kind advice, Mamas! We just passed 14 months, and I have been able to keep BF (thankfully done pumping) and working full time! I was ready to give up when I posted, and your helpful hints kept me going - so thankful!