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Limiting supply - Pumping

Forum: Pumping Mommies


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July 14th, 2011, 11:00 AM
Super Mommy
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 553
I am a May 2011 Mom and it was suggested to me that I podt my question here. I didn't even know you guys have a special place on JM!

Ladies, how can I limit my supply? I am EBF but also 100% pumping and bottle feeding, so what's the right way to go about it? I am going back to work on Aug 9th and unfortunately this is the season where I will be traveling to clients a lot, so I can't really pump at work. Ideally, I would like to just lower my supply to pump maybe twice a day (every 12 hours) so Lucy can keep getting as much of my milk as possible as long as I can do two pumping sessions at home, one around 7 am and one around 7pm (I work 9-5) and formula feed in between. So..would gradually spreading the pumping sessions work along with not pumping everything out? I have been pumping every 6 hours this week as opposed to every four hours so far and I still get the same amount per 24 hours just more per session, so I am guessing that I also need to limit the amount per session. Can anyone tell my how painful this can get (not pumping it all out) - stock up on Tylenol? Binding? Other tips and ideas? Am I at risk of losing the supply at all - meaning the two times a day thing may not be possible?
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July 14th, 2011, 12:19 PM
-erin-'s Avatar Co-Host of the May2010 PR
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Florida
Posts: 10,040
Guess it's time for me to post invites on the new PRs again, so everyone knows we're here

For cutting back, you can start cutting a couple minutes at a time off your pumping sessions. If you go slowly, it shouldnt be too painful. How long til you go back to work?

However, pumping only twice a day (and you aren't nursing at all, correct?) probably won't maintain your supply long term. Do you have a goal for how long you want to keep pumping? Is it possible to pump while you're in the car (using a hands free pumping set up) while traveling, or on your lunch break?

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July 14th, 2011, 02:55 PM
Super Mommy
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 553
Hi Erin - thank you for responding so quickly!
First, let me answer your questions:
Going back to work 8/9, so in less than a month
Ideally, I wanted to feed my daughter breastmilk until she is 6 months old, even if it's only one feed of BM and all others would be formula. That's assuming the pumping could be limited to a minimum just because my going back to work and my husband's frequent business trips make it extra hard for us to take care of our baby.
I could pump in the car - I have the Medela PumpNStyle pump with a car adapter that is available but I am just too anxious about the combined difficulty of getting back to my work schedule, being separated from my baby, continuing to breastfeed in some extreme conditions and my husband's absences snowballing onto me all in one.
It is very interesting that at some point one can lose supply - do you think that I can somehow pinpoint what that is - like right now I pump every 6 hours - that's 4 every 24 hours. I wonder if I went down to every 8 hours - so that's 3 times every 24 hours, would I still be in the safe zone - I know that nature is not about strict numbers, though! But every 8 hours would enable me to pump in the office before going to a client and then next session would be at home so that would help.
My problem with pumping in the car is storage - what would I do expressed milk while at a client - it's too hot to leave it in the car!
Any thoughts welcome!!!
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July 14th, 2011, 06:50 PM
-erin-'s Avatar Co-Host of the May2010 PR
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Florida
Posts: 10,040
It's kind of hard to say, milk supply can be fickle, and it's different for everyone. Usually it seems once you're well established you can maintain a couple sessions a day for a while (like I don't pump anymore, but I nurse my DD before and after work, and weekends and seem to be doing ok with that), but it's not really something that can be predicted. I think the more established your milk supply is, the easier it would be to keep it up. But after only a couple months of pumping/BFing, dropping down that much may not last as long. Basically your body will get used to only producing 2x a day, and if you're only pumping it may gradually start to lessen how much it produces.

So there is really no way to predict it, just pump as much as you can for as long as you can to get the most out of it.

As for storage if you pump in the car, you should be able to store the milk in a cooler or lunch bag with freezer packs. If you have a decently insulated cooler it should be able to keep it cold enough, even if it's hot outside.

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July 15th, 2011, 12:22 AM
Super Mommy
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 553
Thanks so much! I am also considering adding some extras to a small supply in the freezer to prolong Lucy's intake of breastmilk beyond my pumping!
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July 18th, 2011, 12:33 AM
shortlette's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: New Zealand
Posts: 18,681
personally I'd be really scared of losing my supply by reducing feeds / pumps so I think it's a good idea to stockpile as much milk as you can.

In theory, milk is based on the supply and demand theory. Your baby needs milk and tells your body but emptying your breasts and feeding frequently so your body makes more milk. As soon as you reduce the demand your body will stop making as much. It's a bit of a balancing act. I hope you can figure it out

Thanks Jaidynsmum for my siggy
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