Post # 1
My 5 month-old exclusively gets breast milk. I nurse him when I am home and pump at work and once in the middle of the night since he started sleeping throught the night at about 3 months. I pump enough or one extra bottle each day to cover the next day’s needs. I am only able to pump once at work (twice if I stay late) but I can produce at least 10 oz at that one session. I have about 180 oz frozen.
However, when I am home with him all day, like on the weekends or my day off (I work 4 days), I can’t seem to make enough milk to keep him satisfied after each feeding. He eats every 2-3 hours and expects to have at least 4 oz (because that is the amount that he gets in each bottle when I am not home) and judging by the amount that I can pump, I know that I don’t make 4 oz that frequently. I have been supplementing with some pumped milk here and there when he still seems starving, but everything I read says not to do that because then your supply won’t regulate properly. But what am I supposed to do in the meantime while he is screaming because he is still hungry? I don’t think it’s an overall supply issue because I am able to make enough milk for him during the day (and his growth is fab- little chunky monkey!), but rather I can’t produce as much as he would like as frequently as he would like.
Any suggestions? I think part of the problem is that I can only pump once at work, so my body got used to producing a large amount but over a longer time span. However, I just absolutely can’t fit in another pumping session at work (it’s hard enough to find time to do it once).
Post # 3
It sounds like he’s going through a growth spurt so he’s cluster feeding. Keep feeding him on demand at home but if you don’t get another pumping session at work your supply will suffer. Are you sure you can’t squeeze a shorter pump at some point in the day? It would really help stimulate your supply.
Post # 4
I would pump twice at work. If he is eating two bottles while you are gone than you should be pumping twice. Although you are getting 10 oz in that one pumping you need to pump again to stimulate your breasts to make more milk. Supply and demand. If you don’t demand the milk, the supply will diminish. GL!
Post # 5
@paperumbrella: Boobs are funny things. I am the opposite of you. I always had enough milk to feed 3 babies, but I couldn’t pump more than 2oz. EVER! I will say this though, with my 4th child I ended up having to go back to work when he was 2 mos. old and exclusively breastfed. I tried pumping and I still couldn’t make enough so we tried formula while I was at work for 6 hours and breastfeeding the whole rest of the day. My 3 baby milk supply dwindled over 4 short weeks to nothing at all. So it’s really important to keep pumping as often as you can. Also make sure you’re eating enough, taking vitamins and try using a warm washcloth on your breast while you feed him to encourage let down.
It also may have something to do with the difference in nipples. Baby bottles are easy to suck from and breast are harder, so maybe he’s less willing to put in the effort rather than running out of milk. Also, try to switch up positions so that you can use all the ducts.
And finally, if you can just make it to the time he starts baby food that will help make him feel fuller longer. And if it doesn’t work out and you eventually have to switch to formula don’t beat yourself up.
Post # 6
At 5 months, can you start him on some solids just to satisfy him? I have no advice because I have never really pumped (hand expressed or manual pumped which was not all too helpful for me in the long run). I finally got an electric pump recently and was super excited to use it but not sure if it will mess with my milk supply. I am a sahm though and only planned to pump after feeding baby or when my boobs got too full and baby was not hungry or still asleep…good luck.
Post # 7
Every once in a while I have a low supply and then I have to start pumping after every feeding to stimulate the breast. I also use heating pads to help the milk come before my low supply feedings. Have you tried fenugreek? It helps keep up the milk supply too.