My LO is 13 months old and in daycare. She usually gets 3-4 bottles per day (7.5-10oz) at daycare, and then nurses on demand when she is home. She also eats three meals a day, plus snacks. I have been struggling pumping to keep up with her over the last few months, have tried all the herbs and non-prescription galactagogues (oatmeal, MLMMP, Mother's Milk Tea, Shatavari) with only marginal results and have been barely ekeing out enough milk to get by, with occasionally dipping into my frozen milk. I have only 2 days worth of frozen milk left.
Over the last two weeks, my LO was sick and barely nursing, then I was sick and then I got my period. Since my period started, I have almost NO milk at all. Today is the last day of my period - normally I would be rebounding by now, but I have even less milk. Yesterday, I only pumped 4 oz. Today, I was only able to pump 2.5 oz over my three pump sessions (I normally would get about 7 oz). My baby is a pretty lazy nurser, and if the milk isn't right there, she won't work for it. So, she is latching for only a minute and then popping off because there is no milk. This isn't helping the problem any. We do cosleep and she does not sttn.
I am NOT ready to wean and I don't believe my baby is either, despite her laziness.
So. My questions.
1) Is there anything I haven't thought of to increase my supply?
2) DD has never had formula or any other supplementation. What can I put in her bottles if I have no more EBM to give her? Should I just not send the bottles if I don't have them?
3) I feel really bad about this. Really, really bad. I don't want to wean and I would feel especially sad to do it so abruptly. How can I help myself feel better about the situation?
Thanks in advance for any helpful feedback.
2) Would you be ok with cow's milk or another type of alternate milk at this age? If not, that's totally fine, but that is what I switched DD to about 13 months as I was done pumping. I just had her take it in sippy cups at daycare. Send what BM you have and then fill the rest with cow's milk or another alternative.
3) You are doing everything you can, so don't feel bad, a lot of folks would have thrown in the towel already! I hope your DD ends the nursing strike soon! Nursing strikes do happen and a lot of folks just take the opportunity to wean, but you don't have to and usually can get through them.
I hope someone else has more advice for you, but I couldn't read and not post.
Katie - Married to Mike 06/02/01, Mom to Sydney Anne born 11/21/09 and Alice Maeryn & Oliver Thomas born 04/24/13
I agree with Katie, nurse and pump for a few minutes every chance you get for a few days. Even if she only nurses for 2-3 minutes, she is still stimulating your body to make more milk and she is continuing the habbit.
It is the number of nusing sessions not how LONG you nurse/pump that get your body upping production. (So 6X10 minute pumping is better than 2X30 minutes)
You may want to slow or stop pumping at work (you have done an awesome job), at least once you are over this bump. Your body will adjust and continue to make milk during your normal home times. Your child is old enough for water, juice, or milk in a bottle or cup.
They're not typos. . . I can't spell!
Aaww, Mama, be kind to yourself. It sounds like you are doing most everything you can. One piece of advice for managing the little milk that you do have - only make 3 bottles and leave enough for a 4th in the freezer. That way if babe doesn't need that 4th bottle, you don't waste the milk. Also explore replacing one of those bottles with a sippy of something else.
When I'm getting less at pumping stations than usual, I make a concerted effort to try and get baby to nurse longer and more often while sneaking in a few more short pumping sessions. Keep in mind that it usually takes 2 or 3 days to see results. My bag of tricks includes a nursing necklace to try and get the baby to nurse a bit longer and be less distractable; setting up my pump for pumping after my daily shower (dry off, put on robe, pump, then go on with routine); pumping for more but shorter periods; side laying with babe for fewer distractions; going topless in the early morning hours to try and get babe to nurse more while sleepy and less distracted.
Hope something someone says helps!
Nicole, dissertating mama to M (Nov 2007) and expecting another (Mar 2012)
Thanks everyone for your feedback. I have encouraged more nursing sessions and tried to work in an extra pump session after she goes to bed at night. I also upped my herbs, and was able to get a little more milk, but not enough to sustain us. I decided to try domperidone, and was able to get a little locally this weekend to get me started while I waited for my supply from overseas. I have had just two doses and it is already helping. I don't know how long I will continue to take it, but I am just not ready to stop giving EBM yet, DEFINITELY not ready to wean, and I feel I should trust my instinct on this one. Thanks again to all who responded. I appreciate your thoughts!