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milk supply

  1. #1
    Coco is offline Registered User
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    milk supply

    Hi mums ! my baby is now four months old and i have been brest feeding exclusively. i pump everyday since i have to work. on a good day, i can get 3 oz in the morning and as i pump again, it gets less and less throughout the day. at work also, when i pump, most of the time it is 2-3 oz. i would like to breastfeed for up to one year. however, after a business trip recently, my milk supply seems to have dropped considerably. my baby sleeps from 8 to 10:30p.m., i feed her at 10:30 and she sleeps till 6 a.m.. I have read that i should be feeding her around 6 ozs now. so, my question is how do i increase my supply again ? am feeling a little demoralized and depressed cause you need so much stamina and determination to continuosly breast feed whilst working !!!!

  2. #2
    joannek is offline Registered User
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    do u put your baby on the breast? or you're just pumping? most of my friends who only-pump only last about 3 months on breastfeeding.

    keep drinking mother's milk tea (available at mothercare). but baby's sucking is the best stimulation for your milk supply. u should try to put her on the breast in the morning before you go to work, if possible, one lunch time feed at home, right after you come back from work. and one bedtime feed. if you can't get home to feed him at lunch, pump. i believe that you should pump according to the time when your baby feeds, so as to "fool" your breasts about demand/supply. but try not to pump when you can put your baby on the breast. if you opt for pumping-only to maintain your milk supply until one year, i'm afraid you'll be disappointed.

  3. #3
    LLL_Sarah is offline Registered User
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    The first thing to remember about pumping is that the amount you can get out by pumping is NOT the amount you have. It is much harder for you to pump the milk out than for your baby to get it out.

    Lots of things affect the amount of milk you can get when you pump. Things like how tired you are, how stressed, if you are upset about something and also if you are worried about how much you can get. This can cause a vicious cycle with worry leading to less pumped milk which in turn leads to more worry.

    To increase your supply breastfeed more. Whenever your baby will feed, feed her – even if she doesn’t ask for a feed. If you are at work and away from your baby this means pumping more. You will get more milk if you manage to pump more often. It is better to pump for 10 minutes every hour than to pump for 30 minutes once every three hours. Even just one extra pumping session in the day will be a big help.

    You might like to look at the instructions for the Marmet Technique, http://www.lactationinstitute.org/MANUALEX.html. This is a hand expressing technique but there are instructions for you to massage and shake your breasts. You can do this with pumping instead of hand expressing. The massage and shaking is to help the let-down happen. The better your let-down happens the more milk you will collect.

    Another suggestion is to hand express until you get the let-down and then pump. Some mothers find that hand expressing is more efficient at getting the let-down to happen.

    It is difficult to say how much milk your baby will be drinking with each feed but 6 oz sounds like a lot for a breastfed baby. Please don’t compare the recommended amounts for formula fed babies as the amount a breastfed baby should have. Breastfed babies tend to drink about two thirds of what a formula fed baby does.

    A one month old exclusively breastfed baby drinks about 750 mls (25 to 28 oz) in 24 hours and a six month old exclusively breastfed baby drinks about 750 mls in 24 hours. Some six month old babies like large infrequent meals, say five meals of 150 mls (5 ozs) and others still like to have lots of small meals, say eight meals of 95 mls (3oz).

    You might like to join an e-mail support group for mothers who are pumping. The details are at http://www.pumpingmoms.org/

    Best wishes,
    SARAH

  4. #4
    joannek is offline Registered User
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    to add to what Sarah said, i remember when my baby was 11 mths old, i'd hand express and get only 2 oz from each breast, but my baby has been only on bm & 2 meals of 5oz solid. I am sure i had more milk than 2 oz from each breast, cos my baby was 80%tile in weight.

    i personally find hand-expressing A LOT more efficient. I switching from the Medela electric pump to the Avent ISIS handpump at 2 mths, cos i found the ISIS more efficient. but when i started emptying my breast with hand cos i had blocked ducts & infection (so i needed localized emptying) at 3 mths, i found hand-expressing so much MORE efficient. and I could actually feel my breasts emptying (which i never felt when using pumps). and i was yielding double of what i could usually pump. and the milk was a lot fatter. you can email me [email protected] so that i can share my handexpressing experience w/ you privately.

    and w/ handexpressing, all you need is a tube of lansinoh, a small bottle with tight lid, and clean hands. so i was bringing 3 small clean towels, lansinoh & a 4oz avent bottle (which fit neatly in 2 ziploc bags) with me wherever i went.:bighug

  5. #5
    Coco is offline Registered User
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    thanks for sharing this. yes, am doing all of the above already. but at work i can only pump once, cause after pumping, i cannot sterilize the pump, so i may give the hand expression a go. i fed my baby very frequently today to try and increase the supply as well. thanks for all the support !

  6. #6
    joannek is offline Registered User
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    btw, re: sterilizing the pump. since bm is anti-bacterial, you don't need to sterilize your pump. you can just rinse it with hot water (water from the thermos will do), and shake off the excess water. and it's ready for your next use. which also means that you don't need to sterilize your bottles if you're exclusively breastfeeding.

    sarah, pls correct me if i'm wrong.

  7. #7
    cristletips is offline Registered User
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    Coco,

    Don't worry about the sterilizer...I bring my Avent hand pump with me to work and don't have a sterilizer there. I try to pump every 2 hours as if my baby was wanting to feed then. I usually get anywhere from 2-4 ounces. It isnt ever the same. If It is 4, then when i am at home I pour the milk into freezer bags to try and have at least 3 oz in each bag.

    Instead of sterilizing, I do the best I can do. I fill a mug from the water cooler with superhot water, then i put a little soap in it and soak it for a few minutes. Then I get another mug of really hot water and rince it. I dry it on paper towels and then it's ready to go again.

    I can't sterilize because I could be working in a different place on a daily basis. But each place usually always has a water cooler and fridge. Also, I have to pump in really disgusting bathrooms. I try to imagine my baby's face as I pump like the books say and it helps i think!

    I also drink the tea as stated above to try and help. In fact I'm brewing it now.

    If you can have someone bring your baby to you at lunch time, that helps too. I can usually only do that once a week.

    Even though your baby is sleeping well through the night, you might want to also feed through the night or pump when she goes to bed.

    Keep up the good work, its hard and stressful, i know exactly how you feel when you think you dont have enough. I had relatives telling me "your baby is starving, you are starving her you need to put her on formula" and it made me even more stressed.

    good luck!

  8. #8
    LLL_Sarah is offline Registered User
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    “re: sterilizing the pump. since bm is anti-bacterial, you don't need to sterilize your pump. you can just rinse it with hot water (water from the thermos will do), and shake off the excess water.”

    Yes that is right. The guidelines for cleaning pumps say, “Containers and pumps should be washed in hot, soapy water, rinsed well and allowed to air-dry before use.”
    You will notice that it doesn’t mention sterilizing in that sentence but most mothers I know feeling happier if they manage to sterilize their containers and pump once every 24 to 48 hours.

    You might also be interested in the following article
    I'm pumping my milk to feed my baby, but my supply is going down. What can I do?
    http://www.llli.org/FAQ/pumpwork.html

    Best wishes,
    SARAH

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