New here - looking for a support community.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-15-2013
New here - looking for a support community.
3
Tue, 11-19-2013 - 7:29pm

Hi. I'm new here but it doesn't look like there's much activity. Maybe because there are few of us?

ive been pumping since week 2 and my boy will be 6 weeks on 11/22. He had high bilirubin levels and so was given a bottle (of my bmilk) in the hospital and hasn't nursed well since. 

My current concerns are keeping my supply up while also being able to cut down on the number of pumps per day - for the sake of my sanity (sleep, getting out of the house, etc). Currently pumping 8x/day and getting appx 24oz/day. now that he's done with his growth spurt he eats on average 24oz/day, and I have a freezer supply from the early days As back up. 

Any thoughts, suggestions or feedback?

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-18-2013
Sat, 11-23-2013 - 6:54pm

Hang in there! And you are not alone! My baby is two months old. And just recently have I dropped a session or two a day without fear of  decreasing my supply too much. I pump ideally for twenty minutes a session. Initially, I pumped eight or more times a day...now typically six. To increase your milk supply, eat oatmeal for breakfast, oatmeal cookies, or oatmeal granola bars. Drink lots of water and an occasional dark beer. Motherlove makes More Milk Plus capsules, which I take. You can buy them online. Drinking Mother's Milk tea may also help. I do rent a hospital grade pump, although I do not feel it was absolutely necessary.

It is hard to get sleep and have a life. But the sacrifice is only temporary. While I don't feel like I have a real routine yet, it is getting easier each day! Although, some days are just plain hard and it is easy to get down. It helps to know others in the same situation.

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-31-2013
Sat, 12-07-2013 - 8:20am

I have read everywhere that your supply is well established at 12 weeks & not to mess with it too much before then.  Having said that, I needed more sleep (!) and started stretching my middle of the night pumps around 8 weeks.  I went from every 3 hours to 5 hours very slowly.  I chose to add 30 minutes of more sleep every 4 or 5 days to avoid losing production or becoming too engorged & all of those associated problems.  ...so I was pumping 8pm, 11pm, 2am, 5am and by 11 weeks I was at 8pm, 1am, 5am.  I stayed at that schedule for a few weeks to ensure I was still producing the same amount and then started stretching out my day and night pumps even more to drop more pumps.  I was pumping for 20 mins a session, but as I decreased pumps, I added a little more time.  By 4 months, I was down to 4x 25 minute pumps a day.  I am now at 6 months and pump 3x 30 minute sessions at 8pm, 4am, 12pm.  I have maintained my output throughout this entire process. I hope that helps you!  

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-12-2013
Mon, 12-16-2013 - 3:44pm

Hi Lexijill - Here's a basic breakdown of my pumping schedule and results. Hope this helps. Each time I changed my pumping routine, it took 2-3 weeks for my supply to level out to the new, lower level.

Weeks 1-10: pumped 8x per day, 15 minutes per session, every 3 hours, produced about 20 ounces (I was exhausted. I couldn't seem to get my pumping sessions and my little one's sleep schedule synched. I never slept more than 2 hours at a time during these weeks. I'm not sure how I survived.)

Weeks 10 - 32: pumped 5x per day, 30 minutes per session, varying amounts of time between sessions including an overnight session, produced about 18 ounces (This sudden change in my pumping schedule happened when my little one was in the hospital for a week. I just couldn't find time to pump more often, and I was desperate for sleep. It ended up working out ok, so I stuck with fewer, but longer, pumping sessions.)

Months 9 - 12: pumped 4x per day, 30 minutes per session, dropped the overnight session (YAY!), produced about 12 ounces

Months 12-14: pumped 6x per day (increased number bc supply started going down), added overnight session back in, supply kept decreasing, threw in the towel when I hit 6 ounces per day