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Back at work for three weeks and my supply is diminishing already - help!

(13 Posts)
dinosaur Fri 11-Mar-05 15:00:53

This is the end of my third week back at work and although I have been expressing during the day, my supply seems to be getting low already and I'm getting concerned I won't be able to breastfeed for much longer. I am just not ready to give up yet! What if anything can I do?

At the moment, DS3 (now seven months) sleeps until 3-4 a.m. then has a feed from one boob, then sleeps another 2-3 hours and has a feed from the other. On a day when I'm at work, he has 4-5 oz of expressed milk or formula at about 10.30 a.m. and about 6-7 oz of expressed milk or formula at about 3 p.m. Meanwhile I express milk at work. The first week I could express 10 oz at work and still seemed to have plenty to breastfeed him at 7 p.m. when I got home. But yesterday I only expressed 7.5 oz and didn't seem to have much when I fed him at 7 p.m. - he still seemed distinctly unsatisfied. Today I've only managed 7.5 oz again.

Help! What if anything can I do? I know he's my last baby and I really can't bear to give up breastfeeding him yet

dinosaur Fri 11-Mar-05 15:01:51

p.s. should add that I do breastfeed him on the days when I'm not at work, but again I don't seem to have much milk for the last feed at 7 pm any more.

motherinferior Fri 11-Mar-05 15:07:12

Oh honey. I remember this well - I became totally obsessed, for months, with how much I could produce and how much was stocked in our freezer and how exactly I'd get through the week...

Does your expressing supply dip at the end of the week? I seem to remember that this happened with me. Do you have an backlog of milk to make up the deficit, and/or can you do an express at the weekends or first thing in the morning, to top this up? Can you do a feedathon, the way Annoying Penelope Leach suggests, to get your supply up over the weekend? Are you sure his dissatisfaction is to do with milk supply, not just infant annoyance with the world in general yesterday?

dinosaur Fri 11-Mar-05 15:11:15

It's not so much making up the deficit that's the problem as I'm happy enough for him to have one bottle of formula during the day. I'm just scared that I'll stop having enough milk to feed him in the evening/at night/ at weekends/on days off.

How would I do a feedathon now that he only has milk at quite well-spaced intervals during the day - would I just let that go hang and offer him the boob whenever he happens to be sitting on my knee? I could try that this weekend, as we're not going very far afield.

motherinferior Fri 11-Mar-05 15:12:38

Think you're just supposed to hole up with the babe and stuff tit in gob at every opportunity.

dinosaur Fri 11-Mar-05 15:16:52

Okayyyyyy...am taking all three DSs to a party tomorrow, so at least if I sit breastfeeding DS3 all afternoon it'll get me out of helping to organise Pin the Tail on Whatever...

tiktok Fri 11-Mar-05 15:27:37

dino - you may be right your supply is being affected, but if a feedathon is not practical, then repeated removal of milk (by baby, by pump) is the most effective way of inc your supply. This might mean expressing twice at work and not just once. Good luck.

motherinferior Fri 11-Mar-05 16:47:58

Can you do a morning express? I used to do an after-breakfast one from the breast dd2 had not just emptied.

dinosaur Fri 11-Mar-05 16:56:05

What - on the 48 bus??!!!

chipmonkey Fri 11-Mar-05 17:17:08

dinosaur, are you expressing more than once a day during work?

Prufrock Sat 12-Mar-05 14:28:12

Dino I had the same problem - I just couldn't keep up with expressing at work because the faff just seemed too much when I was only getting a few ounces.
I switched to expressing whenever I did a feed. So after the 7am and 7pm feeds. I gradually found I could get more and more out after dd had finished, and was eventually able to go to giving dd one boob whilst I expressed from the other. I managed to carry on like that fro a few months before I dropped to just doing the am and pm feeds and giving formula in the day (which lasted until she self weaned at 11 months. Godd luck

BadgerBadger Sun 13-Mar-05 01:54:20

As well as all the advice already given, I'd highly recommend fennel tea.

Sounds strange, I know! When I've been concerned about my supply with DD2 I have had a mug of it before bed and without fail wake up with a full supply .

Well worth a try, if you can stomach it that is!

dinosaur Mon 14-Mar-05 10:27:34

Thanks everyone.

Well, I've tried to feed him as much as possible over the weekend and certainly had enough milk for him - in fact yesterday afternoon the main problem was that I seemed to have far more than he was interested in drinking!

I know that ideally I should express more than once a day at work but it is not always easy to fit that in.

I will give the fennel tea a try.

Prufrock, if expressing during the day doesn't get better I will try your suggestion.

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