Supply Issue

I am back to work this week and have been pumping like a fool. I feel like I am not producing enough while pumping. My baby will eat 3 oz of breastmilk from a bottle. Sometimes, I'm lucky if I can pump 3 combined! I feel like this isn't normal. I've been eating lactation cookies and drinking mothers milk tea for the past 3 weeks and there hasn't been an increase! What can I do? I am feeling inadequate. I feed her twice there, and she needs at least 9 oz of expressed milk to tie her over between those two times. I'm feeling frustrated with pumping! Also, how do I get my milk not to spill out of the cup thing while pumping? I use the Medela pump.

Re: Supply Issue

  • 3 ounces is completely normal for a pumping session, and many moms don't respond to the pump as well as the baby, so more might be necessary. 

    BUT 9-12 ounces should be enough for a full day of feeding a baby at daycare, so if you are feeding her twice there as well, then 9 ounces sounds high to me.... are your caregivers doing paced bottle feeding?  It's not uncommon for BF babies to be overfed from the bottle.

    I'm not sure how your milk is spilling out.... the flanges should be held tight against your breasts while you are pumping - nothing should be able to spill.  If they aren't tight then that would really explain not getting much -- I only had good results when pumping with a tight fitting hands-free bra (cut holes in an old sports bra; the one that fit before your boobs got bigger) or pushing the flanges against myself with some pressure.  

    I needed to pump 4-5x/day to make enough milk for 3 feedings for my baby for a long portion of my time back at work. I pumped one side while LO nursed in the morning, pumped 3x at work, and pumped in the evening for an extra 1-2 ounces. On weekends I kept the morning pump.  (I ended up with a freezer stash that I am still giving her, because I did not ever want to be short for the week).  

    Other things that can help you respond to the pump better might be:

    1. make sure your pump flanges are the right size

    2. try breast compressions while pumping

    3. look at videos or pics of your baby while pumping


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  •  I am feeling inadequate.

    Me too!!

    I take it as a great sign though, the feeling of inadequacy. We want the best for our babies because we love them so much and we know that bf is the best. I can't count how many times I cried when I gave my LO formula because he was starving and my supply was low. Ugh. 

    Conversely, I can't express the amazing and priceless feeling I have when my baby is satisfiedafter bfing. Best. feeling. ever.

    As far as getting your supply up, I learned that the most effective way to increase supply is simply to bf as much as you can when you're with baby. Since you're at work, that makes it difficult. I often find that when I'm away from him, I have to feed nonstop when we're together in order to finally get more milk in.

    Something about his body signaling to mine that he's four months and needs more four month milk.

    Don't give up!! You're an amazing mom for doing your best! 

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