How to get supply up when pumping — The Bump

How to get supply up when pumping

I have supply issues, and have tried EVERYTHING, working very closely with an lc.

She is out of town this week, and my mind is wandering.

I have to supplement with formula, but I still nurse and pump. As my baby grows, how will I get my supply to increase--or what are the best ways to try (I'm not sure that it actually will increase)? I already nurse and/or pump 6-8 times a day, and when I pump I do it for 20 min.

  Because I have to supplement some with formula, I dont know how my body will know to try to make more!



Re: How to get supply up when pumping

  • I'm not an LC and I haven't BTDT, but I'm pretty sure that I've read that a good way to build your supply in that situation is to always offer the breast first.  So, allow your child to nurse as long as s/he wants, and THEN supplement with pumped milk or formula if necessary. 

    Actually, I just looked on Kellymom and there's a great article on this.  Here ya go:

  • The more you pump, the more your body will supply.  Try to add an extra pump between feedings.  Or you can power pump.  20 min on, 10 off, 10 on and so on for an hour.  That mimicks a growth spurt.

    I thought I was having supply issues, but it turns out my DD was never sucking correctly, so my supply was never built up.  I just started EPing one week ago.  It was taking me 10 pumping seesions to make 4 oz. and today I was able to get 4 oz. in 5 sessions.  Yeah!  (Doesn't sound like much, but I was soooo ready to give up a couple days ago)  It has been really tough, but it does get better.  Hang in there!

    You can also see on how to decrease supplements but be careful.  My DD wasn't gaining weight and we had lots of problems.  Good luck!

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  • Thanks! Its been a frustrating road for us so far, but bfing is SO important to me I just keep trying. It doesnt help that my DS was 9lbs at brith and seems to be in a constant growth spurt (he is 15lbs at 12 weeks!). I'm still hopeful that I can get my supply up enough to cut out formula, even though it doesnt seem likely.
  • I think I just read an article that said breastfed babies drink the same amount of milk everyday from 1 to 6 months, about 25oz a day - more during growth spurts. So once you get there, you should be good!
    DD 4yo DS 1yo
  • Fenugreek! It's a supplement you can get at GNC (probably other places too). I took 3 pills 3X a day for 3 weeks, then whatever I needed to maintain my supply (which was 2 pills each night). It was recommended to me by my pedi who is a lacation expert. The only side effect I had was I smelled like maple syrup (my armpits and my pee - weird). I'd take it again for sure if needed.
  • One more thing - renting a hospital grade pump should also help (I got one from the pedi's pharmacy). It was expensive but it gets more that the cheaper $200-300 ones you can buy. I used it because I was pumping exclusively for many months (ds got teeth and started biting at 5 months). Pedi said that a baby can get 30% more out of a breast than even the best breast pump - crappier ones get even less out. GL!
  • My La Leche leader told me to pump 10 minutes past the last drop of milk, increase pumpings, eat oatmeal, and take either fenugreek OR mothers milk tea.
    Rachel <BR>
    Kylee 9/20/06 Elijah 10/13/07 Adleigh 12/9/09 Micah 12/17/11<BR>
  • How many weeks pp are you?  I've been exclusively pumping for almost 5 months now and was able to get a good supply.  Ditto pp with regard to the hospital grade pump--it is a must when trying to build supply!!!  I use the Medela Symphony and love it!  If you are in the first 12 weeks pp, you should be pumping/nursing about 10 times per day.  Yes, I said 10.  The "rule" generally is to pump for at least 20 min each time or  at least 2 minutes past when the last drop of milk comes out, whichever occurs LAST!  Pumping to build supply is a big time investment but once your supply gets established, you can drop pumps. GL!!



    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
  • You'll produce more as your body responds to the pumping and baby.  It just happens.  If it continues to be a struggle, you are smart to suppliment with formula.  That way your baby gets the maximum benefit of your milk and the maximum benefit of formula to satisfy his/her needs.  Looking forward, the baby starts to eat solids at 6 months, and while formula or breast milk remain the main source of nutrition, it decreases until 1 year.

    So keep up your good efforts!  What you produce will catch-up with what the baby needs.

    My darling daughter just turned 4 years old.
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