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Old 02-11-2011, 08:22 AM   #1
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milk supply at 20 months?

Hi Mamas!
My DD is 20 weeks today. My, how time flies! Anyway, I nurse her on demand when I am not at work. (I work 3 days for my sanity lol.) I seem to have a very low supply. When I pump I barely get an oz on each side. (I have a PIS) Is this normal or should I start looking into more supplements? I'm already doing fenugreek and blessed thistle.


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Old 02-11-2011, 09:02 AM   #2
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Re: milk supply at 20 months?

Have you ever checked to see if you have the right size breast sheilds? My pumping output went up when I went up a size in breast shields -conversely, when I tried really big shields because I was sore, I barely pumped anything. That simple solution, and making sure that you are turning the pump up all the way (I usually have to start the session with the dial turned half way, and then turn it up after I get let down and I'm less sensitive).

I don't know how often you are pumping. An ounce an hour - meaning half an ounce per breast - is normal. If you are using your pump correctly and have the right size shields and are getting less than that, then more supplements could be the next step to increase your supply.

I oddly find that on Mondays, after nursing to my baby's schedule all weekend, I have the lowest pumping output. It is like I need a day or two to get accustomed to pumping. If you are working every other day, you may never get that adjustment. Back in the early days of pumping at work, I would pump two times a day on weekends just to keep supply up and provide a little extra to supplement what i pump at work. I haven't done that since about 7 months.
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Old 02-11-2011, 09:39 AM   #3
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Re: milk supply at 20 months?

I had to train my body to the pump. Your brain and hormones know how to let down milk for a baby, but not necessarily for a pump. Some moms can’t pump hardly at all because of this, but they have plenty of milk when they nurse. To train my body to the pump, I would nurse on one side and pump on the other side simultaneously. When baby wanted to switch, I swapped them both. It is a little tough logistically and you’ll think you need 3 hands, but I do think it helped me to train my body this way. I did this only for the first feeding of the day starting at about 4-6 weeks. Then, when you are pumping without your baby, it also helps to have cues to remind yourself of baby: a photo, a video on your phone, the pajamas that she slept in last night that you can smell, whatever works for you. I also find that I pump much better in specific surroundings and at the same times of the day. Funnily enough, I pump much better at work than at home now – I think my body is used to that environment for pumping. I get a lot less milk if I pump at home. There is a lot of brain involvement, it’s not just your breasts. Another tip for pumping is to use “hands on pumping”: . I have a friend who went back to school while nursing twins and used this pumping technique and swears by it.

^Lifted from my blog:
-Alicia, mommy to
Munchkin (5/19/06) and Sweets (4/25/09)
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