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Milk supply dwindling?

  1. #1
    mintycat is offline Registered User
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    Milk supply dwindling?

    It seems my milk supply is decreasing. My LO is almost 3 weeks old. My breasts were very engorged in the mornings but lately they are not so. I used to be able to pump 8 oz in the morning but now for the past 2 days, I have been pumping 6 oz. I pump so that she gets fed EBM in the middle of the night. I don't know if the decrease in output has to do with the pump. With 8 oz, I used the Avent Isis but I have switched to the Medela Symphony and get only 6 oz. Also I notice the breast pads are not as soaked as they were before.

    I BF during the day but she gets the EBM in a bottle at night. I pump at midnight and then again at 5 am. Sometimes during the day, I also supplement with EBM.

  2. #2
    KatBoo is offline Registered User
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    Hi Mintycat, I've been noticing the same! My LO's are 3 weeks old and I used to be able to pump alot more, but in the last couple of days I've noticed a reduction. At the moment, one of my nipples is really sore, so I am giving it a break and pumping instead...I had put it down to that as the reason. And maybe I'm not drinking enough water.

    I've been using the Medela Symphony since the start.

    My resolve was to drink more water to see if that made a difference and then also to start using the sore nipple again, once it had healed a little.

    I notice that if I massage the breast while pumping it helps a little.

    Because I have twins I am needing to produce double the amount of milk than normal...it's exhausting!

  3. #3
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    carang is offline Registered User
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    my milk was once fast and furious as well...it's now more in line with what she needs.

    i only pump once at 10:30pm. my girl is almost 4.5 months old now and still exclusively bf.

    i'm starting to work more hours, so i'm going to have to start pumping more. i think that i'll buy a cooler box and some ice-packs so that i can pump when i'm out and about and store the milk in the cooler until i get home...anyone else done this?

  4. #4
    kashismum is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by mintycat View Post
    It seems my milk supply is decreasing. My LO is almost 3 weeks old. My breasts were very engorged in the mornings but lately they are not so. I used to be able to pump 8 oz in the morning but now for the past 2 days, I have been pumping 6 oz. I pump so that she gets fed EBM in the middle of the night. I don't know if the decrease in output has to do with the pump. With 8 oz, I used the Avent Isis but I have switched to the Medela Symphony and get only 6 oz. Also I notice the breast pads are not as soaked as they were before.

    I BF during the day but she gets the EBM in a bottle at night. I pump at midnight and then again at 5 am. Sometimes during the day, I also supplement with EBM.
    Lack of engorgement is not an indication of dwindling milk supply; it's simply that your body has regulated its supply. However, in your case, that may mean you are making a little less milk than you'd/baby would like.

    I would suggest that you feed your baby directly at night since more prolactin is produced at night, which stimulates milk production.

    You can then eliminate the midnight & 5am pumping sessions, which must make you tired. If you feed your baby at 10-11pm, again during the night (once or twice) and again 6-7am, would you get the same amount of sleep?

    I find that feeding baby at night is a lot less disrupting than I imagine it must be to get up, prepare EBM and feed it.

    Is there a particular reason you are giving EBM during the day? You said 'supplementing' so I presume you are around, you feed him directly and then 'top up'. I wouldn't have thought this is necessary. Again, the more times baby is sucking a bottle, the more missed missing opportunities to have the baby suckle on you and for your body to make more milk.

    Lastly, tension and anxiety can lead to lower prolactin levels and the amount of milk produced, so try not to worry.

    Hope this helps!

  5. #5
    LLL_Sarah is offline Registered User
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    In the normal course of breastfeeding most mothers start out with much more milk than the baby needs or can drink. And as you feed the baby your supply settles down to be just a little more than the baby drinks. It is more to help you cope with the frequent days and growth spurts the baby has.

    This is clearly true for you if you are able to pump 8 oz (or even 6 oz) at one session. A one month (and in fact a six month) old baby needs about 750 mls or 28 ozs in every 24 hours. A baby who is only 3 weeks old should be feeding between 8 and 14 times in 24 hours.

    If you can pump 6 oz eight times a day you will end up producing 48 oz in 24 hours instead of 28 oz. This will lead to an over supply and all the problems that go with oversupply.

    In the case of twins the mothers don't produce twice as much as for a single baby but still the twins grow well. Remember the actual amount your baby drinks is NOT important. What is important is what the baby does with the milk she drinks. If she is growing well the amount is RIGHT - even if it is far less than a formula fed baby would drink.

    Generally it is much better to feed the baby directly for the first six weeks. This allows your body to get the regular stimulation it requires and for the baby to regulate the amount of milk your body must produce.

    It is also normal for your breast to stop feeling full as you continue to breastfeed. Usually you notice this lack of full feeling in the afternoons and evenings first. This is because you are better rested in the mornings – not because the baby is drinking more in the evenings. Most mothers stop feeling full all the time by the time the baby is four months old.

    Why are you supplementing with EBM? Usually the only reason to be doing so with a three week old baby is because the baby is unable to suck by herself. If this is the case please get help from a lactation consultant or LLL leader. (Lactation consultants are listed at http://www.geobaby.com/directory/hea...ness/midwives/ and LLL Leaders at http://www.lllhk.org)

    If you are supplementing because the baby asks for more or is fussy after she has finished the feed then it would be easier and better to feed directly again. A baby asking for more milk is not a sign that you don’t have enough – rather it is a sign that the baby changed her mind about wanting to eat. Please see the thread Breastfeed after C-section? post number #15

    Also remember that breastfeeding shouldn’t hurt, especially by the time that baby is three weeks old. Please get help from a lactation consultant or an LLL Leader.

    Best wishes,
    SARAH

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    virginiayue is offline Registered User
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    Hi Mintycat, I am a mother of twins and they are now 13 months and been FB and EBM all the way and still keeping. I have been produced 81 oz every day since they born. Avent Isis is much better than Medela, also try to at least use once a day, the Avent hand pump, it really help to message your breat. The amount of milk should not been reduced, may been you are not drinking enough soup and water. Tried the Fish soup, it is very good for your milk. I have been taken it everyday. Also the mother's milk tea is good as a drink. I started to reduce the milk when my twins got one year old. I used to give away my BM before they got to nine months. One more tip is I have a breast feeding consulatant help me all the way and she is very very good and professional. Mrs Chee and her telephone number is 9417 6366 Give her a call, and ask for her advice. May be you got brokage and you do not know and that could affect the flow of your milk.

  7. #7
    mintycat is offline Registered User
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    Thanks for all your replies.

    The reason I supplement with EBM is because my daughter has jaundice and our doc said its important that she drinks lots to flush out the bilirubin. The jaundice makes her very sleepy, so she would nurse for 10 mins and falls asleep and its hard to wake her so I express and top her up. Once the level goes down, my doc said we don't have to top up anymore. However, she has been gaining and has lots of wet and poopy diapers daily. But the main concern is her sleepiness.

    I see Mrs. Chee too and she has been wonderful, but I just wanted to gather some advise from you guys.

    I experienced some pain when nursing today, they are probably blocked ducts as Mrs. Chee told me last time. She saw my nipples and they were not sore, and she said baby has a great latch. But my ducts are quite blocked, perhaps that's why I think my supply is decreasing since the pump cannot unblock the ducts. I am massaging them and letting baby nurse more often.

  8. #8
    JennyB is offline Registered User
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    Hey Cara, you know that expressed milk can be stored for up to 8hrs at room temperature? (Probably slightly less for high temperatures we get here.) Therefore if you are not out for a full day, you may not need to bother with any ice packs; just put it in the fridge when you get home. I used to express milk at about 2pm and be home about 6pm and my milk was always fine.

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