Post # 1
Hi Bees! I just came back to work on January 3, 2017, after a 10 week Maternity Leave. My milk supply was GREAT while I was out and it seemed to be doing okay when I came back to work…at first. Now, 3 1/2 weeks or so since I’ve come back to work, I’ve gradually watched my milk supply slow down….but of course my daughter’s appetite is going in the opposite direction and increasing. I’m starting to worry myself, quite a bit, over the decrease and was hoping that some of you could give me some help, tips, advice?
I pump first thing when I get here…8:15 (ish) and pump for 45 minutes to an hour. I used to be able to pump 10 oz first thing, but as time has gone on it’s dropped and this morning I only got 7 – 7 1/2 oz. I pump again around 12, then again around 4. Once I get home, I nurse my baby for the rest of the night. I’ve thought about waking up in the middle of the night to pump and see if that may help? I’m also taking “Motherlove More Milk Special Blend” capsules 3-4 x per day. Do the lactation cookies help? What about the tea? Anything else out there I should try? Please help!!!
Thanks in advance!!!
Post # 2
I really hope some other bees can weight in with good news, but I’ll share my story.
I returned to work when my son was 18 weeks. Pumped 3x/day for around 30 minutes (until I was dry). My supply started dropping, and it got to the point where I couldn’t pump enough to fill his bottles for the next day of daycare. I started dipping into my freezer stash to suppliment, but that started running low too.
I tried everything, tea, cookies, capsules, night pumping. I was exhausted and smelled like maple syrup for months.
I started sending 50% breastmilk bottles to school and 50% formula, with instructions to try to not give him the last formula bottles in the afternoon so I could nurse him when I got there.
Eventually, my supply kept dropping where I was only getting 1 bottle worth of milk each day after 3 pumping sessions.
So I stopped. It was just time. He was 6 months old and I’m glad I got as much time as I could, but it was becoming so stressful and emotional and I was feeling like a failure, when in actuality, I was balancing being a monther and an employee and I was very fulfilled in both roles.
It was the best thing I could have done for my mental health. Any my son is now 3 and absolutely amazing, bright, and healthy, so I can’t say there were any adverse affects.
You just sound so stessed and so much like I did and I want you to know that it’s ok.
Post # 3
Oatmeal, fenugreek and tons of water. How many oz is she drinking during the day? Our biggest issue when I went back to work was daycare over feeding my son.
Post # 4
Tons of water and pumping frequently is what I’d recommend!
Post # 5
Are you eating frequently enough and getting enough water at work? I would start there. Also, that’s a really long time to pump for…. do you have multiple letdowns or do you have milk flowing that whole time?
Post # 6
How many ounces is your daughter drinking while you’re at work? You want to aim for 1-1.5 ounces per hours of separation so you may not need as much milk as you think! Have you checked your pump membranes etc and are you using a good double electric pump? Encouraging baby to feed in the early hours of the morning can also help as this is when your prolactin levels are highest and will encourage your supply.
Post # 7
Your body may also be reverse producing (producing more during the evening since it knows thats when baby takes it.) Also is it possible to pump for less time but more often at work? I find that helps since the longer you stay full, the more likely you body gets the signal that less milk is needed.
Post # 8
I would try pumping on one side at night while she nurses on the other. Babies are a lot more effieicent at getting milk out than a pump. She’s probably making up for some of that when she nurses at night.
Do you nurse her in the morning before work? I’d try pumping the other side during that time also.
Make sure you are eating and drinking enough.
I think you are pumping too long. 45 minutes is way too long. I’d try 15 mintues and try more often pump sessions. See the article I linked in the next post.
Post # 10
You could try power pumping.. it didn’t work for me but have heard it does for others! My supply also gradually dropped (I exclusively pumped for 6 months, 4 of those while at work.) I noticed when I drank a ton of water I got a better supply, I also tried homemade lactation cookies, which I think helped but it required eating a lot of cookies that I got sick of, and was counter-productive to trying to lose the baby weight. Best of luck, it’s tough being a pumping working mom!
Post # 11
Thanks so much Bees! Today was rough!! My daughter woke up at 5 am, cooing and happy, so I fed her. That caused me to not pump nearly as much today, but I’m hoping it will kickstart some, as long as I continue to pump every 3-4 hours (aiming for 3). My first pump this morning, I pumped clsoe to an hour and was barely able to get 4 oz. When I tried transferring the milk to the storage bag, I poured one bottle in there, but when I went to get the next bottle and pour it in the bag, the bag fell over & milk went all over my desk. I lost maybe a half ounce to an ounce…which doesn’t sound like much, but after pumping that long and losing some, I broke down at my desk and started crying and couldn’t stop. I’ve been so emotional today!! I called my OB & requested a referral with a LC at the hospital…still haven’t heard from them though. 🙁
I’ve been drinking a lot of water, but I’m going to drink even more and I’ve been adding in more calories, hoping that will help. I also played videos of her crying yesterday and massaged my boobs when I could see my supply was dwindling down at the end of the pump. I was able to get some drops out, but massaging them gets tiring, quickly.
PaperQueen : Thank you for the article!! I’m gonna try to work out my pumping times this weekend and see if that will help.
Kemma : I got the pump in October with all brand new accessories & hardware. I’ve upped the flange/shield size to 27, but I ordered a 30 yesterday to see if maybe I need something slightly bigger. How often do you need to replace the membranes & valves?
Post # 12
What kind of pump are you using?
Post # 13
KKML125 : I pump twice while at work for 30-45 minutes. I just keep the pump running and keep working. That has been effective for me. I manage to pump only what the baby needs and nothing more. I am very consistent about it and it took about a month after I came back to work to acheive this. I drink a lot water and make sure I get enough calories.
Post # 14
KKML125 : Also, do not watch or check on the amount you are pumping while you are pumping! When I do that, it decreases my supplu. But that is partially why I pump for so long, I simply loose track of time and forget.
Post # 15
PaperQueen : It’s a Medela Pump in Style Advanced. I’ve even looked into purchasing a hospital grade pump, but I’m not sure if I should!?
marriedbeeexpecting : Thank you! It’s hard not to look at what I’ve pumped…maybe I should try harder to not look, because I could be messing with my head by doing so? I try to pump 3 times per day for 45 min to an hour.