Pumping production problem

Tricia - posted on 05/07/2009 ( 6 moms have responded )

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My LO is 4 months old, and either he eats more when I'm not home to nurse him or my pump doesn't get milk as effectively as my baby. I don't have any supply problems on the weekends when I'm home. During the week, though, I'm away 12 1/2 hours a day for work. The routine is, I feed him right before I leave and immediately upon getting home, and I pump 5 times (when I get there, morning break, lunch, afternoon break, and before I leave). I'm getting 18-20 oz and he's eating 20-22 oz. Usually I'm short 2-2.5 oz. I definetly need any suggestions or advice anyone here might have.

To head off some repeats... I'm already taking the recommended supplements, eating oatmeal, drinking plenty of water, and avoiding milk suppressers like mint and tight clothing. I eat a ballanced and varried diet with plenty of protein, calories, and fat. I do relax and put my feet up while I pump, and I double pump with a Medela Pump in Style. I don't supplement at all when I'm home. Nobody encourages the baby to finish bottles when he decides he's done eating. I would like to just have the baby eat what I pump the day before, but I don't want his dad to let him scream for two hours if the milk is gone and I'm not out of work yet.

6 Comments

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Kristi - posted on 08/09/2011

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There were times when my supply and demand were a little out of whack while I was working. The best advice for me was to pump while I nursed on the other side. It was hard to get used to at first, but then it was fine. I didn't have to do that forever either... just a few weeks and then it resolved, I had plenty. I also used to pump on my commute home. That was handy! :)

Rachael - posted on 05/08/2009

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I went to giving my baby one formula bottle a day. Don't stress about it. As soon as I did that and stopped stressing I started pumping enough I wouldn't have to supplement anymore if I didn't want to. I think half the time we stress ourselves out so much about it we hurt our own supply that way! I did anyway!



I have also been pumping after he goes to bed at night and then pumping one side while he eats on the other in the mornings. If you're not doing that, maybe it would help.

Amber - posted on 05/07/2009

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Well I am going to try the power pumping this Saturday that Sara was talking about, but I would say pumping more. When I returned to work my milk dropped a lot so I added more pumping not going more than three hours some times even two. Also pumping after he goes to sleep or after he eats in the morning. Good luck.

Tara - posted on 05/07/2009

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It could be several things. The pumps are not as effective as a baby at getting all of the hind milk out of your breasts. This will mean a little less milk for baby. Hindmilk is also the part of milk that fills the baby up, with less of it he will not be full as long. Massaging your breasts before and during pumping can sometimes help stimulate your ducts to let down, releasing more hind milk. It could also be that baby is drinking faster because bottles are much easier to get fluid out of. Are you using extra slow release nipples? If your still having troubles you may add in an extra pumping 45 minutes after he goes to sleep for the night. ( Night time and early morning milk is the richest)

Sara - posted on 05/07/2009

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I had a little bit of a supply problem when I came back to work too. How long have you been back to work? Things got better after the first 2 weeks. I spoke to my lactation specialist and she recommended that when I'm pumping and the milk stops, continue to pump for 2 minutes, even if nothing is coming out. Your milk is supply and demand so if you put more demand on it during the day, you should increase production. She also told me about "Power Pumping". You pump for 10 mins, rest for 10 mins, pump for 10 mins, rest for 10 mins. Do that for an hour. I did it once on a Saturday and it seemed to help also. If those suggestions don't work, you might want to check your pump and make sure it's strong enough. Which one are you using?

Emily - posted on 05/07/2009

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It is normal not to pump as much as the baby eats. Might you pump at night to make up the difference...I find I have tons of milk in those wee hours.

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