BF working moms trouble keeping up with supply — The Bump
August 2015 Moms

BF working moms trouble keeping up with supply

Are any other breastfeeding working moms having trouble keeping up their supply? All I seem to be able to pump is 12 oz the whole work day, which has been fine until lately. My 4 month old seems to need more during the day now - 15 or 16 oz. I'm trying to exclusively breastfeed until she is 6 months but I'm wondering if this is a lost cause and I should just supplement with formula and not worry about it? Or if my body will catch up to her need soon? Any words of wisdom?

Re: BF working moms trouble keeping up with supply

  • I don't have any words of wisdom but I am kind of in the same situation. When I am home with LO I breastfeed and pump once or twice. But its hard to get enough milk in advance for the days that I will be working. I've had to dip into my freezer stash a couple of times which makes me annoyed. My LO is almost 17 weeks and has had only breast milk which I am proud of, but its so hard to find time to pump. Also, I am just sick of pumping so sometimes it's not on my top list of priorities. Pumping every couple hours, especially at night is getting old and planning my day around pumping...ughh.

    also my LO is eating about 52 oz a day!! Only in the 60% for weight too.. darn reflux...

    It seems to me like most people have given up breastfeeding by this point so I think we should be proud that we are still doing it! Its a big commitment!

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  • L just hit 18 weeks yesterday. He is eating 45-55 oz a day. The week before  Thanksgiving, we switched Trimesters at work so my prep period went from 9:30-10:40 to 12:20-1:30. That caused my supply to drop from ~30 oz a day to maybe 12. 
    It is starting to come back up, but its been a major PITA to get it going in the right direction. Here is everything I have done to try and fix it:
    1. Extra long pumping sessions. I'm EPing as L decided he needed to start biting down, and bruised nipples were no ok with me.
    2. Switched from Mother's Milk Tea to Milkmaid Tea. Also upped from 1 cup a day to ~3  a day.
    3. Actually latched L on several times for 2-3 days.
    4. Started to eat 1-200 more calories every day.
    5. increased my water intake.

    Hope some of that helps.

    Formerly known as Kate08young
    August '18 Siggy April Showers:

    Me: 28 H: 24
    Married: 7/22/14
    Baby L: 8/4/2015  August 2015 Moms
    Baby E: 11/18/2016   December 2016 Moms
    TTC #3 08/2017  BFP 11/27/2017. 
    Twin B lost 11/22/2017, Twin A doing well. 

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  • My supply started to dip a couple weeks ago. I had started doing several things when I went back to work proactively and I got slack about them. As soon as I started again my supply jumped! Hooray!

    Two things that help me the most:
    1. Stating extra hydrated, especially with Gatorade
    2. I eat instant oatmeal every morning with Brewers yeast sprinkled in. I know real oatmeal is supposed to be better but it's just not realistic for me. The Brewers yeast is an ingredient in most of the lactation cookies. I bought it with the intention of making cookies but ending up just sprinkling in my oatmeal every morning instead. You can taste it but I usually get a flavored oatmeal (apple cinnamon) to drown it out. In the beginning I added extra cinnamon too but now I'm pretty used to the taste of the Brewers yeast. My supply jumped back up by 6oz per day when I started doing this again.

    Hope that helps. Good luck!
  • Thanks everyone. I hate pumping but I'm willing to do it while I'm at work if it's what is best for my LO. I've started eating oatmeal and always stay hydrated but I'll add the yeast and the tea to my regimen too. Thanks again!
  • I'm having supply issues right now as well. I've fought like hell to get from ~11oz a day to 20-23 oz. The number one thing that helped me was Fenugreek. Seriously, the stuff is amazing. I take 4 capsules a day and noticed an increase within 2 days. I also make lactation cookies and eat 2 at bfast and 2 as a midnight snack.
  • I send three bottles to daycare (4-5 ounces each) and she usually only takes two of those when I'm away from her, since I feed her right before I drop her off and most of the time I can race home to feed her dinner. It helps when she just takes the two since I can use the third for the next day, because yeah I'm having supply issues since returning to work a month ago. I typically pump a tad short of those three bottles I sent daily, so obviously I like it when she doesn't use them all since if she does, I have to dip into my freezer. After a couple weeks of this, and my stash getting down to only about five bags, I decided to set my alarm for between midnight and 2:00 AM to pump since that was the only time I knew she wouldn't need to nurse. She typically sleeps through until 4-6 AM. So that helps me get whatever I was short from the day, or best case scenario it gives me extra for the freezer. I've been able to add a lot of bags back plus way more. Once I'm to a comfy amount with the stash I will stop the middle of the night pumping. I'm also dropping from four days a week at work to just two, so I'm hoping being with her more and not having to be at the mercy of the pump will be easier. Oh and I do take some supplements, but I only notice a tad bit of difference. Really the more I nurse or pump the more I see an increase in supply. It's just finding the time being a busy working mom! I can see how people don't always stick to pumping at work. The struggle is real!
  • With my first, I went back to work at 3 months and nursed/ pumped until 12 months. It came be done but sometimes it feels like a full tim3 job! Here's what I did and am doing this time:
    1. Pump immediately after the first feeding of the day during the week and on weekends.
    2. Pump 3 hours after she goes to sleep (or anytime in the middle of the night) during the week and on weekends.
    3. Pump 3 times during the day cause that's how many feedings I'm missing. Preferable until empty but as long as time permits. Something if better than nothing.
    4. Nurse as often as possible on the weekends.
    5. DRINK as much water as humanly possible!!
    6. Eat! Losing weight too rapidly will impact milk supply
    7. Bowl of oatmeal for breakfast each morning.
    8. Power pumping- 5 minutes on/ 5 minutes off. Haven't done it much this time around because it's hard it find some but it works!

    Hope this helps!!!
  • Also make sure who ever is feeding the baby knows about paced feedings- probably old news but thought I should mention it. Breastmilk increase in calories as your body continues to produce unlike formula that had a fixed calorie amount. So BF babies don't necessarily increase their intake overtime. I used to have to remind my nanny of that all the time. My oldest son topped out at 6-6.5 ounces which is on the higher end. DD is 15 weeks and usually takes 5-5.5 ounces.
  • I usually get 12 oz.  Every now and then closer to 15 or sometimes 11.  But this seems just fine for my daughter.  She gets three 4 oz bottles a day at daycare.  I pump until there is nothing more coming out.  I figure that it is how much she would get if she was taking it straight from me, so it is enough for bottles.

    As soon as I get stressed out about my supply and feeling like I need to do a bunch of things to improve it is when I stop breastfeeding. 


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