pumping issues

So, I was blessed with a great milk supply with pumping. I thought I was never going to need to worry about it! BUT, now within the last week or so, I have started only getting 1/2 oz some of the time. I only pump 6 times a day, because before, I was getting at least 3 oz every time, and my baby was only eating 16 oz a day. I also started spotting around the same time. I called my doc, and they told me to start taking Fenugreek. I am and it seems to be helping some. Anybody else have this problem??

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How long have you been pumping and which pump are you using?

You may need to check the connections to your parts or consider a hospital grade pump if you do not have one.

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It is important for moms to pump everything that they can out of their breasts even if they produce more than they think their baby needs. Make sure that if you fill up a given bottle, you keep pumping if your breasts will produce more. That will help keep up your supply. If you back off of pumping everything out of a breast, it will signal to the body that you don't need to produce as much, which becomes a problem when baby needs more.

Generally, a new mom should pump 8 times a day to mirror what would be happening if one was breast feeding, at least until that supply is really established. That can take several weeks.

I agree with the previous post about using a hospital grade pump as that can make a world of difference over the lighter home versions.

And, make sure that you hand express in addition to pumping to get more out of the breasts. Below is a link to a video on pumping/hand expression. It was produced by Stanford researchers who wanted to increase breast milk production:

http://newborns.stanford.edu/Breastfeeding/MaxProduction.html

Those who hand express in addition to pumping get more out of their breasts.

Sometimes warm compresses before pumping help with production and "let downs."

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I did have the same problem. I increased my water consumption and I pumped 8 times a day. I eventually got 4 ounces every time and 8 ounces in the morning. At night, you produce the fattest milk and it would be good to get up and pump. I have a friend that uses fenugreek and swears by it.

There are certain foods that increase breast milk production too, oatmeal is one of them. We would make lactation cookies because I was pumping. (It was a reason to make cookies).

Even if you are pumping and nothing is coming out, it's still stimulating your breasts to make more milk. I would pump for 40 minutes at a time just to stimulate production. And I had a hospital grade Symphany that my insurance covered during Brayden's hospital stay. I bought a pump in style and it wasn't as good as the Symphany. As everyone said, check your connections, it could very well be the problem.

Oh and one more thing, Kangeroo care helped my breast milk production too. Good Luck and congrats!

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I agree with what the others said... check your connections, drink more water, add another pump, pump longer, hand expression... all that is very good advice.

Just thought I'd add in one more possibility. Do you have any history of thyroid problems? I notice your son is about 3mo old. There is a condition known as postpartum thyroiditis where your thyroid production swings high (known as hypothyroiditis) and then swings low (known as hyperthyroiditis). It is typically hypo right after having a baby... and your milk supply would be higher as well. Anywhere from 3-8mo later, the thyroid production goes hyper, causing low milk supply. It has to do with the hormones that are produced in response to the thyroid. Often times the thyroid swings back to hypo before leveling out to normal again. Other symptoms of hyperthyroiditis would be hair loss, itchy dry scalp and skin, rapid weight loss, and trouble sleeping. Other symptoms of hypothyroiditis are hair loss, weight gain, and drowsiness. These other symptoms can also be very common postpartum, which is why this is sometimes undiagnosed. Most of the time women who suffer from postpartum thyroiditis usually return to normal, but it can sometimes take a couple of years.

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If you have access to a lactation consultant, I would check with them. I had my 28 weeker on June 18 & felt this week that my production was low. I had the lactation consultant come - apparently I was doing it wrong - instead of pumping at a strength of 3 for 15 minutes, I should have been pumping stronger by now and pressing that button on the right when milk came out & when it decreased. I was also using a size 24 & should have been using a 30. I have switched these things & it has made a difference - also try to pump 8 times a day.

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Thanks for all the advice. I think the 8 times a day is what I need to do. I don't want to, because I like sleeping through the night. But I will do it for my little Noah. I am already doing all the other things, except for the cookies. LOL

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