Milk supply decreasing from exclusively pumping - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 7 Old 01-13-2009, 06:06 PM - Thread Starter
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I have the 10 month old LO. At 8 months old I had to start pumping exclusively after a nursing strike that never fully resolved itself. He started nursing again, but would frequently bite and I couldnt train him to stop. Also, I am back to work and have to pump all day. He does not tend to bite at night, so we still night nurse.

Since I have been pumping my supply has really descreased and I have had to give him more and more formula during the day. I was wondering if any moms have been in a similar situation and can offer advice. I would like to keep on breastmilk for as long as possible.

I use the Medela Pump In Style Advanced breast pump. I rented a hospital grade pump for a month to see if that increased my supply, but it did not help. I try to pump after a shower and also try massage, but that doesnt help either. My lactation consultant advised a prescription that has the side effect of increased milk supply, but it only provided a temporary boost.

Just wondering if you have any other advice to increase my milk supply.

Much thanks!
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#2 of 7 Old 01-13-2009, 06:30 PM
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there are lots of things that you can try.i will list some of the things i have used that help
alcohol free beer,mothers milk tea,brewers yeast,oatmeal
all these things work but none of them are great here are some things that i have heard are supposed to be really good but i have not yet tried them
fenugreek(gnc),more milk plus(,this site also has a list of stores you can buy it from),alfalfa(gnc)there is also a tea that is supposed tp be better than mothers milk tea it is called milkmaid tea(
you should also pump atleast 8-12 times a day and drink plenty of water and get enough rest.when you are trying to increase milk supply it is best to pump every 1 1/2-2 hours in the day and every 3 hours at night but atleast try not to go more than one 5 hour stretch a day.GL
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#3 of 7 Old 01-13-2009, 07:07 PM
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how often do you pump and how long per session?

my feeling is the best option would probably be to work intensively on resolving the bite issue so you can get him back to nursing whenever you are with him and save pumping for work. I did pump exclusively for 21 months but it's a hard road to go down...assuming you'd like to nurse your son for two years, it would really be ideal to get out of the habit of pumping so that your weekends, etc can be nursing and work can be pumping. if he can nurse at night w/out biting he CAN do it during the day...I'm sure there are a lot of experienced mothers here who could offer great advice on that topic if you started another thread on that.

also, oatmeal, fenugreek, motherlove's more milk plus, making sure you stay hydrated and get plenty of calories. but sometimes, actually more often than not, a pump just doesn't do as good of a job at keeping up the supply/demand and I'm just worried if you continue down that path bf'ing could be cut short. it sounds like you've been through a lot and are trying to do the best possible for your son.

What was the prescription?

DD1 7/13/05 DD2 9/20/10
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#4 of 7 Old 01-13-2009, 10:26 PM
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Hi there I had a similar problem like yours... I have a LO who is 3 months old and I pump at work and BF at home. To help increase my milk supply I tried fenugreek and motherloves more milk plus but not really sure if that worked so I stopped taking them... I would BF and pump after wards and thats what seemed to help increase my milk supply... Now I have so much milk stashed away that its taking over both of my freezers LOL. So I would suggest after you BF your LO having a pumping session each time. How often do you pump at work? I pump 3 times a day and I also try to go at the same time each time. And drink LOTS and LOTS of water. Hope it helps =) Good Luck =)
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#5 of 7 Old 01-13-2009, 10:44 PM
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Make sure you're eating enough protein and total calories and drinking enough water. Oatmeal can help increase supply (as long as neither you nor the baby is allergic to oats). Certain herbs can diminish supply, and should be avoided- mint, parsely, and sage are the 3 most common "drying up herbs" that people normally consume. Even a few mint candies or gum, or some sage or parsely on poultry, can reduce supply in sensitive individuals.

If possible, increase the number of pumping sessions per day (I understand this may not be realistic, between caring for a 10mo, working, and other regular household stuff you need to do.)

Is the baby on a lot of solids? Since he is nursing at night, you might want to encourage more night nursing and simply give him less milk in bottles during the day. I've heard of mothers sending what they could pump and NOT topping off with bottles of formula, letting the baby nurse more when they were together. Of course, you need to be careful with this approach since your baby won't nurse immediately after work- you don't want to risk the baby losing weight.

Ruth, single mommy to 3 quasi-adults
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#6 of 7 Old 01-14-2009, 03:28 PM - Thread Starter
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The medication was called Reglan. It is for heartburn, but temporarily provides a boost in milk supply. Besides that I am taking fenugreek.
From the beginning I have had to work hard with the breastfeeding (flat nipples, low milk supply, latching issues, nursing strike, and now biting), but I would love to keep my son on breastmilk until he is 2. I am dedicated to working this out and I really thank all you ladies for your advice and support.

I pump 5 times a day for 15-20 minutes. I try to pump more than that, but I am at the office and then I am home trying to take care of home and kids and preparing for next day at work all before babies bedtime. I already have no time as it is.

I use to pump after breastfeeding and I had a huge freezer full of milk, but I am just about out of the frozen stuff. We have gone through most of it since the nursing strike and biting began.

I would LOVE to get him to stop biting, but he doesnt respond to anything I have tried. Do you have advice on that one??? He does still bite at night time, but mostly just when he is coming off the breast. During the day he may suck a couple times, but then its just constant biting...
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#7 of 7 Old 01-14-2009, 04:48 PM
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With the biting - usually this happens whenever they are teething or if there is another cause for pain like an ear infection. So I would look at resolving the cause if you can, helping with pain management, etc.

The other issue is that you may need to move a nipple size down on the bottles you are giving him. When he starts emptying the breast, the flow gets slower and he may be biting because of frustration.

Also, when he has stopped or slowed sucking, move to delatch him before he bites. Lastly, if he does bite, you can use the boob smush technique and bring him into your boob to let go. This seemed to work much better at stopping future bites than anything else I tried.

I would work on these techniques and get him back onto the boob as much as possible. That is the best way to increase your supply. If you are not already, I would try co-sleeping/night-nursing. That will enable you to I would cut back on supplementing during the day - it has helped me very much in keeping up with pumping for my son.

~ Professor Mama to Gabito (July '07) & Danita (April '10) ~
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