Supply Drop - Me or the Pump?

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-04-2012
Supply Drop - Me or the Pump?
6
Thu, 09-06-2012 - 5:58pm

Hello!  I am 21 weeks PP and have been EPing since week 7 when I finally accepted that we were never going to get the latch right.  I have never been a great producer however managed to get from 12oz to 20oz and almost exclusively feed my daughter breastmilk.  My supply has dropped in the last week - only by a few ounces but every ounce counts!  I am wondering if my pump needs a "tune-up" (new membranes, etc) or if it's me?  I have also noticed that it is taking much longer to pump the normal amounts that I am used to per session, and the suction has changed (I can almost "crank" the pump with no pain whereas I have never been able to do that before without some serious discomfort.)  I would love to know if anyone has had this issue before and how you've addressed it, or any other words of wisdom, guidance, etc.  As always, thank you in advance!

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-11-2012
Fri, 09-07-2012 - 12:49am
I would suggest definitely replacing the membranes. I replace mine every 3 months. They do wear out. Also, if the actual suction feels different, you might go get it tested to see if the pump had issues itself.

Aside from issues with the pump, your supply might simply be regulating- at some point during the process of producing milk, your milk concentrates- so that your LO can get the same amount of calories and nutrition from a lower volume of milk.

I've found that how much water I drink and how many calories I get are directly correlated to how much milk I produce. Had there been a recent change to your diet? Any new stress? Massage while pumping, and power-pump at least one a day.
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-04-2012
Fri, 09-07-2012 - 7:56am
Thank you so much for the reply! Where would I get my pump tested? Lactation office at my hospital maybe?

Ironically I was on vacation last week when I noticed my supply drop. I was very relaxed, getting more sleep than usual, and eating like crazy. I always have drank a ton of water, so that is not an issue. I mention this as you would think I my supply might have increased not the opposite. I don't have time to power pump except on the weekends as I work full-time, and having returned to work has not seemed to affect my supply even though I am a bit more stressed - being a full-time employee , mom and pumper is tough!

Anyway, thanks for the thoughts and insight.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-11-2012
Fri, 09-07-2012 - 11:17am
Any place that rents pumps can usually test them. Your LC might know someplace local you can go.

I hope things get better for you! Good luck!
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-14-2010
Fri, 09-07-2012 - 2:27pm
I had my pump tested at a place that rented pumps. They have a little gauge that they stick into the flange and turn on the pump. Then they can see if it's in the appropriate range for power.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-11-2012
Mon, 09-10-2012 - 1:26am
Pump for 10 minutes, rest for 10, on and off for a minimum of 1 hour.