Baby sleeping through seems to have dented my late evening supply...(5 Posts)
...is there anything I can do?
He started sleeping through about 4 weeks ago (he's 17 weeks today - happy birthday! ). Anyway, since then I can't get much at all out with the pump, no matter what time of day.
I have been pumping so that I had a bank of EBM in the freezer so I could go out, DH could feed him, mother could feed him (which she loves when she sees him).
I was also pumping to donate and have given away all but a few bottles of EBM just before my supply seemed to dip.
The reasons I think my supply has dipped are thus:
can't get much out with pump - I used to be a demon! But can barely get 30 mls now.... I know that this isn't an indication of what baby gets, but I've always had surplus.
Baby seems hungry after his 10.30pm feed - I got DH to make a bottle of EBM (from my old stock, as it were) and he gulped down all 150mls.
I can't get anything out manually pumping the breast after baby has come away from the breast and is crying for more.
So the question I am asking is how do I get this supply up?
I have been trying to pump after each feed to stimulate the breast and trick my body into thinking baby is taking more and therefore produce more. I've also been religiously taking milk thistle and fenugreek (the latter has helped - I can now actually feel the milk in my breasts and feel it let down whereas this had disappeared - again, I know this isn't an indication as this happens when your supply settles). I've also been handpumping the one or two drops I can get after his 10.30 feed.
ps - I really, really wanted to donate the whole time I bf my boy. I feel very strongly that it is something every lactating woman with a pump should endeavor to do and would love to continue.
I gave away all that milk because after consulting with DH we decided that my supply was (WAS!) great and we didn't need to hoard so much and the little SCBU babies need it a lot more than my boy does now he's a little older.
I am not in any way an expert on this but I have also recently had problems with expressing (despite copious past production). I'm not sure that it has anything specifically to do with sleeping through though. My DS (now 21 weeks) has been sleeping through for a couple of months now and the expressing didn't become a problem in relation to when he started sleeping, it's just got harder recently as he got older and I am in a more fixed routine. If I can get the let down reflex to trigger then I have no problem at all..... but it's that 'if'..... If I try to express at a time that isn't a standard feed time, I just can't get it to work. Also my body seems so attuned to DS' needs that I rarely have any extra milk after feeds. I have now started to express fairly regularly at around 10pm - just a couple of oz to build up a freezer stock. I don't feed at that time as DS sleeps through from 7pm but I now seem to have tricked my body into thinking it's another standard feed time so it seems to work. Could you try adding in a regular expressing time in addition to your feeds? Maybe in the morning midway between the first morning feed and the next feed? This might help to build up your supply generally and also allow for a stock of milk in case you do ever need a top up bottle or to leave a bottle for someone else to give?? I find that on the mornings after I haven't expressed at 10pm I am extremely full and the knock on effect lasts all day with a very full and content DS..... This is quite helpful as he is a VERY hungry chap at the moment, as we are getting close to the point where i'm about to have to start him on solids.
The mailing list yahoo-pump-moms discussed these kind of supply dips a while back, and the consensus was that there is often a dip in supply around 4 months. Think Jack Newman talks about this too. So you may be seeing that with your pumping. The answer is to do what you are doing, up the pumping and the galactogogues. If you really want to raise supply you could try domperidone, but given you seem to have enough milk, just not a surplus, I imagine you might not want to add a drug into the mix, however benign.
One thing to help raise supply with the pump is to 'power pump' in the evening after he has gone to bed. Put on pumping gear (assume you have a pumping bra so you have hands free?) and pump for 10 mins. Then stop for 10, pump for 10, etc. for up to 90 mins. Simulates a cluster feeding baby is the idea. You'll get more than 1 let down, get a bit more milk for the freezer, and over a few days should build supply a bit.
Oh thank you so much for your kind replies. I will do a power pump tonight, DS sleeps from 7 - 10.30 (maybe longer) so there's plenty of time for me to do that and watch X Factor!
Thanks again, you stars x
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