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Breastfeeding Moms Breastfeeding Moms

Am I losing my Breast Milk?

Posted by on Feb. 8, 2013 at 10:59 AM
  • 19 Replies
Hello Ladies!!

I have a question... I've been breast feeding for the past 4 months to mylittleman and things have been going great...until this past week! I pump maybe twice a day..I used to be able to get 5oz out from just one side within 15mins and 3-4oz from the other..now I'm lucky if I get out 3oz during pumping from one side and 2-3oz from the other... Am I losing my milk?!? My breasts feel full and I see that the baby is getting enough when he eats from me..but why am I not pumping out enough anymore!?!? I've put on hot&cold packs, taken warm showers,kept warm and this week it's just not happening! Any advice???
by on Feb. 8, 2013 at 10:59 AM
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gumeshoe
by Bronze Member on Feb. 8, 2013 at 11:06 AM

3oz is a higher amount to get pumping for both breasts. I normally get 2.5 oz tops from both of mine.

Your gals are super over achievers even at this personal low. I would not worry.

mostlymaydays
by Group Mod-Stacy on Feb. 8, 2013 at 11:06 AM
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Pump response normally drops with time. The 5 ounces you're pumping now is more than double what is "normal" and 100% more than I could pump at 4 months, yet I was exclusively breastfeeding. If the baby is giving you 4-6 diapers a day then your supply is fine.
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mamabens
by Miranda on Feb. 8, 2013 at 11:07 AM
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Quoting gabwest:

Hello Ladies!!

I have a question... I've been breast feeding for the past 4 months to mylittleman and things have been going great...until this past week! I pump maybe twice a day..I used to be able to get 5oz out from just one side within 15mins and 3-4oz from the other Holy cow that's a huge oversupply!! Normal pump output is 1/2-2oz from both breasts total in one pumping session!
now I'm lucky if I get out 3oz during pumping from one side and 2-3oz from the other... Am I losing my milk?!? Absolutely not! You still have a huge amount of milk, way above normal output! YOu have gone through supply regulation. what you were pumping was not expected to last at all. This will happen again in a few months.
My breasts feel full and I see that the baby is getting enough when he eats from me..but why am I not pumping out enough anymore!?!? I've put on hot&cold packs, taken warm showers,kept warm and this week it's just not happening! Any advice???

Stop worrying, there is no issue here at all. Feeling full is not a good thing though, full breasts tell the body to make less, so that feeling will go away & that's a good thing. Don't DO anything except feed your baby &  count diapers. If you're changing at least 6 diapers in 24 hrs you're fine. Does baby choke & gag when you nurse? Do you spray when he lets go? Sounds liek oversupply & there's a way to fix that. Are you pumping for work?? If not there's not need to pump that much really & the pumping will make the oversupply worse. If you're not working I'd maybe pump once a day &  no more. I'll post the  oversupply article ina  second.

 BabyFruit Ticker


mamabens
by Miranda on Feb. 8, 2013 at 11:07 AM


Forceful Let-down (Milk Ejection Reflex) & Oversupply

August 20, 2011. Posted in: Supply worries

By Kelly Bonyata, BS, IBCLC

 Is forceful let-down the problem?

Does your baby do any of these things?

If some of this sounds familiar to you, you probably have a forceful let-down. This is often associated with too much milk (oversupply). Some mothers notice that the problems with fast letdown or oversupply don’t start until 3-6 weeks of age. Forceful let-down runs the gamut from a minor inconvenience to a major problem, depending upon how severe it is and how it affects the nursing relationship.

What can I do about it?

There are essentially two ways you can go about remedying a forceful let-down: (1) help baby deal with the fast flow and (2) take measures to adjust your milk supply down to baby’s needs. Since forceful let-down is generally a byproduct of oversupply, most moms will be working on both of these things. It may take a couple of weeks to see results from interventions for oversupply, so try to be patient and keep working on it.

Help baby deal with the fast milk flow

  • Position baby so that she is nursing “uphill” in relation to mom’s breast, where gravity is working againstthe flow of milk. The most effective positions are those where baby’s head and throat are above the level of your nipple. Some nursing positions to try:
    • Cradle hold, but with mom leaning back (a recliner or lots of pillows helps)
    • Football hold, but with mom leaning back
    • Elevated football hold – like the football hold, but baby is sitting up and facing mom to nurse instead of lying down (good for nursing in public).
    • Side lying position – this allows baby to dribble the extra milk out of her mouth when it’s coming too fast
    • Australian position (mom is “down under”, aka posture feeding) – in this position, mom is lying on her back and baby is on top (facing down), tummy to tummy with mom. Avoid using this positioning frequently, as it may lead to plugged ducts.
  • Burp baby frequently if she is swallowing a lot of air.
  • Nurse more frequently. This will reduce the amount of milk that accumulates between feedings, so feedings are more manageable for baby.
  • Nurse when baby is sleepy and relaxed. Baby will suck more gently at this time, and the milk flow will be slower.
  • Wait until let-down occurs, then take baby off the breast while at the same time catching the milk in a towel or cloth diaper. Once the flow slows, you can put your baby back to the breast.
  • Pump or hand express until the flow of milk slows down, and then put baby to the breast. Use this only if nothing else is working, as it stimulates additional milk production. If you do this, try to express a little less milk each time until you are no longer expressing before nursing.

Adjust your supply to better match baby’s needs

  • If baby is gaining weight well, then having baby nurse from only one breast per feeding can be helpful.
  • If baby finishes nursing on the first side and wants to continue nursing, just put baby back onto the first side.
  • If the second side becomes uncomfortable, express a little milk until you’re more comfortable and then use cool compresses – aim for expressing less milk each time until you are comfortable without expressing milk.
  • Avoid extra breast stimulation, for example, unnecessary pumping, running the shower on your breasts for a long time or wearing breast shells.
  • Between feedings, try applying cool compresses to the breast (on for 30 minutes, off for at least an hour). This can discourage blood flow and milk production.
  • If nursing one side per feeding is not working after a week or so, try keeping baby to one side for a certain period of time before switching sides. This is called block nursing.
  • Start with 2-3 hours and increase in half-hour increments if needed.
  • Do not restrict nursing at all, but any time that baby needs to nurse simply keep putting baby back to the same side during that time period.
  • If the second side becomes uncomfortable, express a little milk until you’re more comfortable and then use cool compresses – aim for expressing less milk each time until you are comfortable without expressing milk.
  • In more extreme cases, mom may need to experiment a bit with time periods over 4 hours to find the amount of time per breast that works best.
  • Additional measures that should only be used for extreme cases of oversupply include cabbage leaf compresses and herbs.

Even if these measures do not completely solve the problem, many moms find that their abundant supply and fast let-down will subside, at least to some extent, by about 12 weeks (give or take a bit). At this point, hormonal changes occur that make milk supply more stable and more in line with the amount of milk that baby needs.

Sometimes babies of moms with oversupply or fast let-down get very used to the fast flow and object when it normally slows somewhere between 3 weeks to 3 months. Even though your let-down may not be truly slow, it can still seem that way to baby. See Let-down Reflex: Too Slow? for tips.

 

 Additional Information

Too Much Milk? by Becky Flora, IBCLC

Oversupply by Kathy Kuhn, IBCLC

Tips for taming a monster milk supply by Kathy Kuhn, IBCLC

Gaining, Gulping, and Grimacing? by Diane Wiessinger, MS, IBCLC

Oversupply: Too Much Milk by Anne Smith, IBCLC

Colic in the Breastfed Baby by Jack Newman MD, FRCPC

Am I making too much milk? from La Leche League International

Fighting the Battle Against Oversupply  by Vanessa Manz

Finish the First Breast First by Melissa Vickers (LEAVEN, September-October 1995, p. 69-71)

Overactive Let-Down: Consequences and Treatments by Mary Jozwiak (from LEAVEN, September-October 1995, pp. 71-72)

Common Side Effects of an Overactive Let-Down by Mary Jozwiak (from LEAVEN, September-October 1995, p. 69)

Too Much of a Good Thing by Kate Drzycimski, from New Beginnings Vol. 19 No. 9, July-August 2002, p. 129.

PDF Resolution of Lactose Intolerance and “Colic” in Breastfed Babies by Robyn Noble & Anne Bovey, presented at the ALCA Vic (Melbourne) Conference on the 1st November, 1997

mostlymaydays
by Group Mod-Stacy on Feb. 8, 2013 at 11:09 AM
Do you *need* to pump or are you just building a stash? You might want to throw in a third pumping to compensate for your diminishing pump response.
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gabwest
by on Feb. 8, 2013 at 11:16 AM
I am just building a stash!! : )
gabwest
by on Feb. 8, 2013 at 11:17 AM
Thank you! They are like gold! Lololol!
gabwest
by on Feb. 8, 2013 at 11:20 AM
I am a stay at home mom..just trying to build a stash! Yessss, when he lets go he gets sprayed! One of my friends told me to pump that many times in a day to keep my milk supply up..maybe I shouldn't have listened to her considering she only breast fed and pumped for a month?!?? Hahahahaha!! Thank you for all your input!
mamabens
by Miranda on Feb. 8, 2013 at 11:23 AM

Oh yeah lol. I would drop to one pumping a day if you're just getting a stash. If you get engorged & uncomfortable you can hand express enough to relieve the discomfort though.

Quoting gabwest:

I am a stay at home mom..just trying to build a stash! Yessss, when he lets go he gets sprayed! One of my friends told me to pump that many times in a day to keep my milk supply up..maybe I shouldn't have listened to her considering she only breast fed and pumped for a month?!?? Hahahahaha!! Thank you for all your input!


 BabyFruit Ticker


larissalarie
by Platinum Member on Feb. 8, 2013 at 11:55 AM
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Smh, how does she think babies survived before the invention of the breast pump? I can just picture those cave & pioneer women stopping to pump so they could breastfeed, lmao!
The only thing you NEED to maintain your supply is a nursing baby. The only time you ever have to pump to maintain supply is if you are separated from baby and miss feedings.

And what you are experiencing is completely normal. Pumps are only about 20% as efficient at removing milk as baby, so as your supply regulates the pump outputs go down (part of why exclusive pumping is so hard to maintain for very long)


Quoting gabwest:

I am a stay at home mom..just trying to build a stash! Yessss, when he lets go he gets sprayed! One of my friends told me to pump that many times in a day to keep my milk supply up..maybe I shouldn't have listened to her considering she only breast fed and pumped for a month?!?? Hahahahaha!! Thank you for all your input!
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