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I have not had any supply issues before now but all of a sudden I can't seem to pump any milk. I've gone from 6-9oz a session to 3-4oz. The strange thing is how suddenly it happened, literally overnight. One day we were fine and the next nothing. I've added in a pumping session and lengthened each session but I'm still falling behind on her needs.
Any advice on what can cause this sort of sudden change? I'm not sick, she isn't sick, our schedule hasn't changed drastically. I'm at a total loss!
It happened to me with DD1 about 4 months after she was born. I could not do anything about it and I got my period soon after. I was, just like now, an exclusive pumper. A month later I decided to stop pumping since I was so discouraged by the change. I only pump every 8 hours at this point and am getting 5oz from one and 3-4 oz from the other breast. I will continue until 5 months, just so I can say I treated the kids equally and breastfed them for the same amount of time
There is lots of advice on kellymom.com on how to increase your supply, so please check it out, but I just wanted to let you know that you are not the only one experiencing this problem. I chose the easy way out, but I wish you most of luck and even if you can't get more milk out, still, just do your best and don't worry about it too much! Your best is enough and every day that you breasfeed counts!
just to add - I have always supplemented with formula to compensate for timing differences (as an exclusive pumper) and later for the fact that I could not longer pump as often (work) while she was eating more and more
TVH, I'm lurking from the December playroom. A lot of women notice a drastic dip in their supply around the time of their period. There may not be anything that you can do about it, but trying doesn't hurt. Adding oatmeal to your diet really does seem to have a positive effect for a lot of women. It definitely helps me! When I don't feel like having straight up oatmeal, I make a batch of lactation cookies. (I posted the recipe already in our December Breastfeeding forum, if you're interested.)
The other thing to consider is whether maybe you are pumping exactly what you need right now. I think a lot of us overproduce in the beginning, and it might take our system a little while to catch on to only producing what we actually need. Are you actually running short on milk, or are you just worried because you're not pumping as much as you were? If the latter - then don't worry. (I know...easy for me to say, right?) Most importantly, our supply does just wax and wane sometimes. It sounds like you're really committed to BF'ing, and I'm sure you'll pull through.
Maggie - Proud Mommy to Marlowe & Willamina
I wouldn't be surprised if AF shows soon. My pumping amounts took a nose dive whenever AF showed when I was pumping for my first daughter. It would be low for about a week, but would rebound as soon as AF took her leave.
I think you've gotten a lot of great advice. Check Kellymom and try the oatmeal, fenugreek, etc. It could be AF returning, or your supply evening out. Just keep at it and no matter what, everything will be ok. I pumped for about 6 months when I went back to work and started to have what I thought were "supply" issues overnight as well. I got so discouraged that I had to take a week off from work to just nurse to convince myself that I was actually producing enough. I was. Pumping and I were never really on good terms after that, but I still nursed for 2.5 years. So you shouldn't worry about supply. I'm sure it's fine.
Mom to Norah (12/5/2012), Stella (5), Elly (7), and Nick (12)