Supply Issues — The Bump
June 2013 Moms

Supply Issues

I went back to work and started my rag last Monday. So those two things combined really hurt my supply.  My supply is sooooo low. I'm really not sure what to do.  I only have time to pump three times in the work day.  I was an over producer and now I'm lucky if I pump 6 ounces for the whole work day.  At this rate my freezer stash is getting wiped out and I'm not replacing it with anything really. I'm really concerned about what to do.  I cannot pump at work anymore than I already do. I'm a teacher and it's impossible to leave my classroom. I have an hour drive to and from work. I really do not want to stop bfing my baby.  I wanted to quit when I felt I was ready to quit, not feel like I have to quit.

Is there any advice on how to get it back?  I cannot do the reverse feedings.  My LO has been sleeping through the night since she was two months old.  I really feel that I can't mess with that.

If weaning her now is what I have to do is there any advice on how to do that with formula.  I really know nothing about formula feeding.  With this being my second week back from work I am realizing it's time to start doing some heavy reading on feeding a baby that's not receiving breast milk.

Sorry I know I'm not on here all that often and when I have gotten on I've received some realistic helpful advice.  Hopefully this question is over asked on here, sorry if so.

Thanks to anyone willing to help me out.

Re: Supply Issues

  • *isn't over asked is what I meant.  Sorry about that.
  • Can you pump to and/or from work?  How is your water consumption?  Have you tried any supplements?
  • I have begun pumping like crazy, but my supply was always so good I never really had to pump in the evenings while she slept before, but first thing after she fed I followed up with pumping in the AM. This was my second month on my period and I recovered from the supply drop just fine and I was producing sooo much more the first month than I did this month. It's so low right now I have no clue if I'll be able to recover.  But pumping like a crazy woman is my current approach.
  • All I drink is water.  I'm not comfortable with pumping in the car while driving. Primarily the distraction of it is the reason.  I personally am just not comfortable doing that and dealing with that while she is in the back seat especially.  I have no clue which supplements to try so I haven't taken anything to help with my supply issues.  This has just come out of left field on me.  I had no supply issues at all leading up to going back to work.  My first month back on my period I had a small drop that week, but it recovered back to normal. This time it literally was my first day back to work (tell me that wasn't stressed induced right?) and it dropped to barely nothing last week.  I'm now producing about two ounces per breast per pump. Give or take.
  • First of all, I know its hard but try not to stress as much.  Its not the end of the world if you have to supplement and stressing is counterproductive to increasing supply. I take Gaia's lactation support capsules.  I think its helped, but I didn't see immediate results and I have also upped the water intake and pumping sessions.  I certainly understand not wanting to pump while driving.  Someone else on here was taking a lactation tincture and she said it helped.
    Beaslejl
  • During the work day I'm not really producing. I feed LO first thing in the morning from the breast. She and I both have an hour drive at 6 AM in the mornings.  LO's grandparents live close to where I work and they meet me at the school and pick her up from there.  I'm up at 4:45-5 every morning getting her and I ready.  (She's also constipated this week do you think that these two things correlate)? So she's been fussy all week and up with me in the mornings. I can't get pumping accomplished in the AM before leaving, but as soon as I hit the door at work I'm pumping.  Can't pump again until lunch 11:30, and then pump when my students leave at 2:20. Leave work at 3:15. Drive for an hour feed LO when I get home. Pump. Feed little one two other times and pump after each one.
  • I'm not producing high. I'm sorry for the mistype.  It's 1 oz per breast per pump give or take.
  • Does LO seem satisfied when she nurses? If so it's probably not a supply issue and is probably more of an issue with how you respond to the pump. Here's a list of things that have been suggested to me, some worked for me and some didn't but you should try things and see what works for you:

    - A huge amount of water
    - Power pumping
    - Fenugreek with Blessed Thistle
    - Mothers Milk Tea
    - Oatmeal
    - Lactation cookies
    - smelling a piece of LO's clothing while you pump/ looking at pictures or videos of LO
    - eating enough calories
    - making sure your pump flanges are the correct size
    - making sure none of your pump parts need replacing
    - Flax seed
    - Brewers Yeast
    - A lactation consultant I talked to suggested setting up the pump in your living room and using it for a minute or two every single time you walk by it, it was supposed to mimic cluster feeding. i haven't tried this yet.

    Obviously you shouldn't do all this at once and you might not even need to try most of it but it's what I've gathered in my research.

    Good luck! I know it can be really frustrating. 
    Beaslejl[Deleted User]
  • I didn't have a supply issue per se, but I have a monster eater so at first I was short 2-3 oz per day. and I just couldnt fit another pumping session at work.  then I got paranoid so I started all of the following and it has helped so much that I now get about 1-2 oz extra I can freeze.  I dont know if these will help you but I thought I could share.  I am not sure which one is working because I started all about at the same time.  
    1) switched to a larger flange 
    2) funegreek 
    3) blessed thistle
    4) mothers milk tea (1 cup per day)
    good luck!!!

    September Sig challenge: Fall
    imageimage
    Beaslejl
  • Do you think it could be the flange?  I initially use the small size because the medium really messed me up.  I guess I could give it a try for a few pumps and check that.

    I'm looking into the supplements now. You are all awesome.  Thank you so much.  I'm intrigued by the Mother Milk Tea and based on what you all have said I should like the results.  (I'm not a tea person at all, but I will suffer through it to get back where I want to be). 

    Prior to this drop I was contemplating buying new parts 1). to have more to make pumping at work easier, but I think it's not sucking like it used to.  Would the membranes be the culprit on that?

    Again thank you all! 

  • Beaslejl said:
    Do you think it could be the flange?  I initially use the small size because the medium really messed me up.  I guess I could give it a try for a few pumps and check that.

    I'm looking into the supplements now. You are all awesome.  Thank you so much.  I'm intrigued by the Mother Milk Tea and based on what you all have said I should like the results.  (I'm not a tea person at all, but I will suffer through it to get back where I want to be). 

    Prior to this drop I was contemplating buying new parts 1). to have more to make pumping at work easier, but I think it's not sucking like it used to.  Would the membranes be the culprit on that?

    Again thank you all! 

    Yep! The membranes are totally the culprit. They have to be changed every few months. I can tell with mine that there's a big difference in pumping if one of those suckers isn't in good condition.

    Also switching to larger flanges did help me, try them out and see.
    [Deleted User]Achae
  • Ditto PPs on changing the membranes. I just changed out mine and it does make a difference! I also try not to clean them with high water pressure bc I feel like that "stretches them out". I may be way off with that...
    imageimageimage
    My two girls Flower and Ayla Faye
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