Venus Envy (sapphoricdreams) wrote in pumpmoms,
Venus Envy

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HELP Please

I'm getting VERY discouraged and feeling like a complete failure. My son will be 5 months August 15th and my milk supply has been deminishing drastically. I have been back to work for 3 months and where I used to be able to pump 4-6 oz at a I am lucky if I get 2-3. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to replenish my supply. I cherish the moments I have with my son while breastfeeding...and if I can not pump enough, I fear that he isn't getting enough when I feel him from the breast at home. I tried the herb Fenugreek, but it doesn't seem to be helping. Should I up the dosage? Anything else I should be considering. Any help is much appreciated.

~A very discouraged, loving mother
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Do you exclusively nurse when you're home and on the weekends? That would make a big difference. Also co-sleeping can up your supply (just by having him close your body produces hormones that increase your supply). I'd definately up the Fenugreek if you can and also eat Oatmeal. If you like it a bowl of Oatmeal for breakfast everyday can make a big difference. I've also read that Sea Weed can increase supply. Ohh and massaging your breasts while in a hot shower stumulates the milk production too.

Mint, Pepermint and Anti-Histamines and decrease supply so if you're having a lot of any of those you should try to minimize it.

I hope some of this helps. I just started back to work this week and am VERY conscerned about my supply. I have a really good supply...I'm just irrationally worried about it, you know?

If it keeps going down and none of this helps check with an LC, they can help you get it back up.
When he and I are together I BF exclusively and we co-sleep, even though he doesn't nurse at night anymore. I don't like mint and I'm not on any anti-hystamines so that isn't it either...I am going to up my dose of Fenugreek and try Mother's Milk tea I think. Thank you for your suggestions and support! *hugs you*
I would also suggest upping your dose of Fenugreek (how much are you taking?) It worked great for me. I would take like 2 capsules three times a day. And within a few days, I would feel fuller, almost engorged.
Also beer is supposed to stimulate milk production. You could drink a beer at night after the little one goes to bed. Since he doesn't nurse at night this should not affect him at all. I have heard the oatmeal thing works too.
The best advice I had was that it is typical (normal?) for milk production/supply to drop off, or decrease, at about 4 months. And that the best thing you can do is to make sure that you try to breast feed/pump more, not less.
If you are having a hard time with your let down, try massaging your breasts before you pump.
Good luck! And try not to get discouraged. Stress can be a part of the vicious cycle of a low milk supply. Unless your baby is loosing weight, s/he is probably getting enough milk. It is possible that his/her needs have decreased as your production has decreased.
I noticed that when I pumped less on some days, my son would have also eaten less. It was like we still had that symbiotic thing going on even though we were apart during the day.
I am going into my 10th month of working and pumping, so stick with it. You can do it!
Thank you for your support and suggestions...I've upped my dose of fenugreek so hopefully that will help! :)
You may need to up your dose of fenugreek and/or change your source of it, say from pills to an extract (which may be metabolized better). Many sites recommend up to 3 pills 3 times a day for the first few days, and then adjust to suit once you see how you react to it. Also, if you can't detect a faint maple-like smell on your skin, you probably aren't taking enough to affect your supply, so that can be a key to the dosage that's right for you.

I wouldn't worry about your son not getting enough to eat when you nurse him at home; at 5 months, he's plenty old enough to let you know that he's not happy with what he's getting. If he was hungry, he'd be waking you up at night for "make up" nursings, for one thing, and the number of wet diapers would be diminishing, but he'd also be furious at the end of (and possibly during) the feeding, not happy and contented and full. It's a lot easier to let down for your sweet little baby than for a pump, so I'm sure he's getting plenty.

As for the pumping, here's some suggestions, in no particular order. Make sure your pump is in good working shape; worn parts or an unseen crack can diminish its power and decrease your results. Make sure you're well-hydrated. Don't be trying to diet right now. Do whatever you can to increase the comfort of your pumping area, and make sure your back is well-supported, so you can relax your shoulders and pectoral muscles. Get started pumping, and then close your eyes and think about your baby and let your mind drift and DON'T LOOK AT HOW MUCH YOU'RE PUMPING; the anxiety about it will tense you up and decrease what you get. This may sound a little silly, but it actually helps me to visualize the milk flowing down from the upper ducts and out my nipples -- I get really good letdown when I do that. Pumping after your son nurses will help tell your body to kick up the production level, even if initially you don't get anything after he's done; also, pumping at home where you're more comfortable may help you let down and prove to yourself that it's not you, it's the environment.

I hope that helps, and good luck!
I'm sort of in this same boat now, and I wondered how you guys were doing? My supply has been dropping even though I've been pumping more often and two other pumping moms at the daycare have had to recently introduce formula because they just weren't getting enough. I was told at my son's 4 mo that he is ready for rice cereal but I decided to forgo it until he's 6 months... and now my production is down. I'm trying not to stress about it too much, and I've just put a call in to a LC but I'm hoping it's another one of those "phases."