Stressed with pumping

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from IPWBride. Show IPWBride's posts

    Stressed with pumping

    Hello,
    I'm starting to get really stressed with pumping because for some reason my supply is decreasing at an alarming rate.  I am hydrated, still eating well..not much has changed (DS is 5 mths).  I used to get 8-9oz fairly reguarly... the lowest was 7oz.  So this was enough for one 5oz bottle and the morning and nighttime cereal prep.  His 2 other daily bottles are formula, which DS takes just fine.  And I was also able to EBF on weekends.
    Well, today I got 3 1/2 oz!!  Not even one bottle.  And I can't add in more pumping sessions.  And my stress level about it is increasing rapidly.  I know BF is so great for LOs, but high stress momma is so NOT great!!  
    If I were to give up pumping during the day, does anyone have experience just BFing at bedtime and morning?  How do you know if your body is producing enough?  My DS has just started sleeping through the night (75% of the time), so I want to ensure he still has a nice, full belly when he goes to bed!  I'm nervous if I cut out pumping during the day if my supply will just disappear.
     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from lemonmelon. Show lemonmelon's posts

    Re: Stressed with pumping

    If your supply is already low, stopping pumping will decrease it further. Milk production is supply-and-demand.

    Sarahinacton has good tips for increasing supply, I know. You might want to post on kellymom if you want advice on that front. However, if your supply is decreasing and you want to continue to bf, you should keep pumping. A *lot* of women produce just fine for a nursing baby, but don't get anything much from the pump. A woman I know never got more than a couple ounces pumping and still BFed her kids for -- well I won't tell you because it would just freak you out, but suffice to say it can be done. I would definitely keep pumping at least once a day to signal to your breasts that you're still in the game, and, if you can, step up your nursing schedule.
     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from nene72. Show nene72's posts

    Re: Stressed with pumping

    IPW-I"m sorry to hear that you are stressed with pumping.  I've found it more challenging than BF! From what I've heard about pumping, I don't think getting rid of the sessions during the day will decrease your nighttime supply but it will send the message to your body that milk isn't needed during the day.

    From my experience, my pumping yields have gone down the older DD becomes and I have to add more pumping sessions to get the same amount.  My period has come back which decreased my supply the first month it returned.  I've also experienced decreases when I've been sick or not sleeping as well.  I simply mention these factors to let you know that there may be small changes gonig on in your body that is causing the decreased supply.  My stress level also impacted my pumping sessions as well.  So, try to hang in there and do the best you can do to remain sane!
     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from jewelsagem. Show jewelsagem's posts

    Re: Stressed with pumping

    IPW - this may just be a temporary setback.  That said, I agree that overall the supply does diminish some over time.  Once my daughter started sleeping through the night for the most part, my supply went down a bit.  Now at 6 months, I have added an early-morning pumping session after she eats which has helped a lot with the daily quantity I can provide for her.

    The supply definitely changes week to week.  Hang in there, stay healthy, and you will likely see it go back.  Just a side note, my supply tanked when I went on the mini pill & I know it also can when your period returns like nene said, so perhaps it's hormonal?  Isn't everything these days?! 

     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from LiveLoveLearnEnjoy. Show LiveLoveLearnEnjoy's posts

    Re: Stressed with pumping

    IPW so sorry you are stressed about the pumping.

    I had a friend at work who only nursed in the morning and at night and not pumping during the day didn't affect her but I know everyone is different.

    To increase my supply I started drinking mothers milk tea.  I found it helped me.  I get it in the natural food section at stop and shop and drink 2 cups a day.  I have also heard people have had a lot of luck with more milk plus. 

    I too have heard what the others mentioned about dropping the overnight feeding dropping supply, as well as getting AF and being sick.  GL!!
     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from lemonmelon. Show lemonmelon's posts

    Re: Stressed with pumping

    You are supposed to change your membranes every once in a while. That's what they're called. Gross.


     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from lemonmelon. Show lemonmelon's posts

    Re: Stressed with pumping

    Oh, and when I was pumping I had, like, 6 magazine subscriptions and also upgraded to an Ipod nano that played tv shows and movies. Pumping blows.
     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from canukgrl. Show canukgrl's posts

    Re: Stressed with pumping

    I agree, pumping stinks and my heart goes out to you. 

    Count me as one who couldn't keep up with pumping once I went back to work full time (with #1) and didn't even try with #2 because I hated it so much and it was so hard/frustrating.  (8-9oz???  I'd maybe get that in 3 sessions!)

    Good luck with your decision, you know what's best for your family!
     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from SarahInActon. Show SarahInActon's posts

    Re: Stressed with pumping

    First things First.  By process of elimination it could be something really simple like replacing part of your pumping equipment or a new food that you're eating that can reduce milk supply.

    1) check your equipment.  It took me a few tries before I realized what was going on but it you are using a medela setup, those little white rubber gasket thingies, the membranes, need to be replaced every few weeks.  Also, if you are using sofit breast shields, they may be breaking down so get a new pair.  Also check your tubing to make sure there are no holes.

    2) check your diet.  There are a few surprising culprits that can damage your supply.  Parsley and peppermint are two common ones, so no more Altoids in the "mint" family. 

    If everything is fine in that category and you are willing to up the ante then proceed to #3

    3a) pump more.  Have a pumping marathon over the weekend and go nuts.  If you can keep it up into the work week, all the better.

    3b) add galactagogues to your diet.  Google the term to get a list.  There are a few supplements on the market that combine all the best ones into teas and tinctures.  If you can afford it, buy the tinctures that have all the ingredients, for example: Mothers Milk Plus instead just the Mother's Milk.  In addition to the tinctures, the old standby is Fenugreek which is an herb that will make you smell like maple syrup when you take enough.  I bought the Gaia brand from Luckyvitamin.com and took three pills, three times a day.  All of these will take about a week to start really getting your supply going again.  My urine and sweat smelled like maple syrup but nothing my deodorant couldn't handle.

    Many moms have great success with these herbs.  Mine was only so-so and I took ALL of them in different combinations and strengths for about 5 months with only a marginal improvement. 

    If you really want to go hardcore proceed to #4

    4) Order domperidone from an overseas online pharmacy.  Domperidone for some bizaro reason is not FDA approved in the USA but found over the counter in every other European country and in New Zealand and Australia.  One of the side effects is increased milk production. It is normally used to treat mild digestive issues like heartburn.  All the lactation consultants will say there are no reports of any problems in mothers and babies and my own OB and lactation consultant were fine with it.

    I took it for 5+ months and it is the only thing that allowed me to have any supply at all.  Once I stopped taking it, no more milk.  I had NO side effects whatsoever and my son is healthy and happy at 2 years.

    There are no good RX medications in the US but you may read about a few in the older breast feeding books.  There were two on the market when I was nursing two years ago and both have dangerous side effects that weren't worth it.  These two were medications for serious problems like heart disorders and the like and not even lacation drugs.  I believe one is even off the market now.

    Excellent Resources:
    http://www.lowmilksupply.org/
    http://www.breastfeedingonline.com/domperidone.shtml
    http://www.tentoes.org/herbals.html
    http://www.kellymom.com/

    BUT, the single best resource out there is "The Breastfeeding Mother's Guide to Making More Milk," by Diana West.  It goes into every single possible detail on the subject and has page after page on all the best herbs and supplements and details on how to use them.  I got it on my kindle and read the whole thing cover to cover one evening and it really helped a lot.

    And lastly and most important: don't be afraid to quit.  Looking back, I won't put myself through the same thing I did last time to try and increase my supply when my baby probably would have benefited more from a less stressed mom. 

    Baby #2 is on the way and I'm determined to get off on the right foot this time (no nipple shield for me) but if the supply won't get there with simple herbal supplementation and baby does fine on formula, I'm not killing myself.  I did the marathon pumping sessions well into 10-12 months, pumped and drove, and would regularly fall asleep hooked up to my pump (thank god for the automatic switch-off) and now that I'm not a crazy hormonal post-natal ( now I'm just pre-natal nuts), I've gotten some perspective.

    Best of luck.  You are a great mom no matter what.
     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from SarahInActon. Show SarahInActon's posts

    Re: Stressed with pumping

    The other thing I wanted to add/ask is are you still breastfeeding or just pumping.  Maybe your little one all of the sudden is eating more in the same amout of time so that is tapping you out for your pumping sessions.
     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from trhoward. Show trhoward's posts

    Re: Stressed with pumping

    I pumped while working full-time for 5 months without supplimenting and I found the pressure to produce and pump enough to be almost unbearable. I was putting all the pressure on myself. In hindsight, I really wouldn't stress so much next time. DS#2 is coming in a couple of months and I hope that I can be less crazy about it this time. It was a miserable process to pump 4-6 times a day during the week and still just barely have enough milk for DS to go to daycare with.

     
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from ACK74. Show ACK74's posts

    Re: Stressed with pumping

    Do you get a lot of milk first thing in the morning?  How about feeding DS on one side and pumping on the other side.  Kill two birds with one stone.  Even if you could do this only on the weekends, you could have some extra milk for the week.  Stress is a big factor.  I used to get tons of milk on Fridays---go figure, a little bit more relaxed and happy that the weekend was finally here.
     
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from Trouble30. Show Trouble30's posts

    Re: Stressed with pumping

    IPW - another thought.  Might you be pregnant?  I will bite my tongue and hope not, but my supply began decreasing at an alarming rate during my third month of pregnancy, and there isn't anything you can do to help it.  :(  In fact, My DD will be 11 months tomorrow and I think I will quit pumping (I've stopped nursing 2 weeks ago because my breasts also don't store much of anything anymore).  I'm only getting about 5-6 oz with 5 sessions a day!  I think it's just time to stop for me, sad as it is. 

    I hope you can get yours back though with some of Sarah's tips!
     
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from poppy609. Show poppy609's posts

    Re: Stressed with pumping

    I was going to say what Trouble said but didn't want to!!!  But that's probably not it.

    When I replaced my membranes (after not knowing they should be replaced every so often and using them for a couple of months) that helped me pump a bit more.  Otherwise I don't have much by way of advice, but do want to empathize because pumping at work is definitely becoming a chore for me and I wonder how long I can keep it up.  At first it was sort of a novelty and I enjoyed the forced breaks (since I can't do it at my desk), but now it feels like I'm pumping all day long and I'm growing weary.
     
  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from winter09wedding. Show winter09wedding's posts

    Re: Stressed with pumping

    IPW- In case you aren't pregnant... :)

    I also had a "glitch" around 6 months... and I pumped through the week and just came out of it. chalked it up to a weird week (although I did freak out at the time.)  I had problems after i missed a pump or two- my body was more sensitive to this as DS got older.  Maybe try one more week- especially if he is changing his feeding patterns.... it may just be your body adjusting.

    I also have very infrequent challenges now- at 8 months- with fullness (except sometimes on the weekends because I pump extra for cereal and often cheat and don't pump on the weekends), etc. my sister in law actually gave up breastpads after her DS hit 6 months- so I think that is normal to not feel as full and everything.

    and I would second (third) what everyone else has said about the effects of stress on milk production- if this is causing that much stress for you, then it may not be worth it. can you set a deadline for tries... give it a week and then feel like you tried for enough time or something? (it sounds like you have a lot of guilt- needless- but guilt nonetheless) 
     
  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from medfordcc. Show medfordcc's posts

    Re: Stressed with pumping

    Another thought is that I have started getting less when pumping (7 months), but actually the LO has started drinking less during the day when I'm not with her.  I guess because she's starting to get more into solid foods?  (She is still drinking plenty of it, according to the kellymom resource that Lemon has shared in the past.)
    So perhaps the whole supply and demand thing is actually telling your body you need to make less?  Or maybe not; who knows with these little ones?
    Good luck with whatever you decide to do.  Stress begone!
     
  17. You have chosen to ignore posts from ml2620-2. Show ml2620-2's posts

    Re: Stressed with pumping

    These are all good suggestions.

    I'm having the same problem, getting maybe 1.5 oz. per breast per pump whereas I used to get 3 oz. + per breast per pump. My stash is gone and even today I left the house with just 13 oz. to get DD (7 months today!) through the day. I can't believe how much this upsets me. I got up and pumped every two hours last night just to get that!

    My eating and drinking are in good order, and I feel in my gut that the decreased supply has something to do with either how little sleep I am getting (less than 6 hours, interrupted sleep), or how stressed I am managing work and the house (never mind gardening season is about to kick off!)

    Maybe I am kidding myself, but I am wondering if a massage or accupuncture would help? Anyone have any experience with it improving your milk supply?
     
  18. You have chosen to ignore posts from lemonmelon. Show lemonmelon's posts

    Re: Stressed with pumping

    In Response to Re: Stressed with pumping:
    [QUOTE]So perhaps the whole supply and demand thing is actually telling your body you need to make less?
    Posted by medfordcc[/QUOTE]

    I think that's true.
     
  19. You have chosen to ignore posts from canukgrl. Show canukgrl's posts

    Re: Stressed with pumping

    along with the membranes on the medella, snip an inch or so off of the end of the tubes with no connectors - those get stretched out coming on and off all the time
     
  20. You have chosen to ignore posts from nene72. Show nene72's posts

    Re: Stressed with pumping

    ML-I feel your pain!  I went through something similiar when DD was 6-7 months due to a cold.  I found kellymom a really great resource.  For me, oatmeal helps with my supply. When I have a bowl of oatmeal in the morning, I typically get at least an ounce more than when I don't have it.  The teas have also been effective somewhat.  Someone at Whole Foods recommended the Weleda Nursing Tea and I drink it at work for my afternoon pump.  I also drink Mother's Milk Tea in the evening.  I also bought some fenugreek pills which helped as well.  The fenugreek helped to restart my system and I stopped taking them once my supply was back to normal.  Pumping more did not help me because I would stress out by seeing how little I was getting every time.  I really think sleep is also a key to how much I can get per pump as well. I'm glad that I'm able to provide BM to my DD while we are apart but I don't know if I would have chosen to do it if I realized how challenging it would be. 
     
  21. You have chosen to ignore posts from lissafro. Show lissafro's posts

    Re: Stressed with pumping

    I'm glad you found something that worked for you.  I bet your son will appreciate the stress-free milk!
     
  22. You have chosen to ignore posts from canukgrl. Show canukgrl's posts

    Re: Stressed with pumping

    yay!  Like my DH says, "If Mom's Happy, everyone is happy!"
     
  23. You have chosen to ignore posts from LiveLoveLearnEnjoy. Show LiveLoveLearnEnjoy's posts

    Re: Stressed with pumping

    So glad everything worked out IPW!!!

     
  24. You have chosen to ignore posts from winter09wedding. Show winter09wedding's posts

    Re: Stressed with pumping

    I agree- congrats!

     
  25. You have chosen to ignore posts from nene72. Show nene72's posts

    Re: Stressed with pumping

    Congratulations! 

     
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