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Seeking advice for pumping/increasing supply

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Seeking advice for pumping/increasing supply

Post by sarahdn on Fri Apr 16, 2010 12:06 pm

My son weaned suddenly and unexpectedly 9 days ago. He was exclusively breastfed and I never pumped except to use a manual one occasionally to relieve engorgement. At first, I hoped he was just on a strike and was pumping manually when I needed to to keep my supply up. When I realized it was permanent, I decided to donate and found a local mom who needs my milk. At this point I'm pumping just 3-4 oz. 3x/day. My son was nursing 5x/day before weaning so this is a big decrease.

Realistically, I don't think with 2 little kids demanding so much of my time that I can add any more pumping sessions. But I am hoping to increase my output to 5-6 oz. or more each time. I am drinking lots of water and taking a supplement called Lactation Blend from Vitanica 2x/day. It contains fenugreek and other herbs. I've read some posts and see that taking alfalfa can be beneficial, but how much? Also, this supplement has 25mg fenugreek per pill - should I be taking more?

My recipient has given me an electric dual pump. (Medela brand. Neither she nor I have the financial resources to purchase or rent another pump.) I've just been pumping till the milk seems to stop flowing. Should I go longer? Also, is it harder on the breasts than nursing? Is there any special care I should be taking?

Thanks in advance for any wisdom offered!

Sarah M.

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Re: Seeking advice for pumping/increasing supply

Post by skmbuket on Fri Apr 16, 2010 12:42 pm

I would try pumping for 20 minutes, most people will have more than one let-down during this time. So if you stop when the milk stops flowing, you may be missing a 2nd or 3rd letdown and more milk.

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Re: Seeking advice for pumping/increasing supply

Post by Chimichanga on Fri Apr 16, 2010 8:57 pm

Try some oatmeal every day. Try to up your protein as well. What worked for me was Mother's Milk tea. I tried fenugreek pills but they didn't work.

Pumping times varies by person. I have a slower flow, so I can easily go 30-35 minutes in order to have what I consider to be a full pumping session.

If you're trying to increase your supply, try to add a few extra minutes on your session (if you can). Try to get a second letdown - when I went back to work that second letdown was important so I would feel comfortable.

Some moms express only; so I don't know if it's harder on the breasts (and they exclusively pumped for months). If you haven't already, get some lanolin. Medela makes some and so does Lanishoh. I prefer the Medela, but YMMV. It can help with cracked/chapped skin, sore nipples - basically it just helps you feel better.

I've been pumping since DD was 8 weeks (that's when I went back to work) and she's almost 9 months. We nurse on weekends/nights but I pump more often than I nurse.

I hope this helps! Best of luck to you!!

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Re: Seeking advice for pumping/increasing supply

Post by watawata on Fri Apr 16, 2010 9:50 pm

I agree on pumping a few more extra minutes to get 2nd let down. Sometimes I can get my 3rd let down especially in the morning when my breasts are really full, but I pump 20 to even 30 minutes in the morning (I can pump 15 - 18 oz in the morning; other regular pumping sessions are 6-9 oz or so).

I also agree on eating oat meal. I also eat (sprinkle) brewer's yeast on my meals, yogurt etc. and flax seed meal. Brewer's yeast is good source of vitamin B and protein, and flax seed meal is good source of omega 3 fatty acid, I think. Oatmeal, brewer's yeast, and flax seed meal are keeping my supply pretty strong Very Happy Try the lactation cookies! (http://www.recipezaar.com/recipe/Oatmeal-Chocolate-Chip-Lactation-Cookies-by-Noel-Trujillo-192346) I also drink plenty of water, like 1.5 gallon a day (!), too (it may be too much for some people, but I'm so used to be drinking water all the time from my active duty military time, lol). rabbit

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Re: Seeking advice for pumping/increasing supply

Post by Jaz on Fri Apr 16, 2010 10:43 pm

Make sure your flanges are the correct size for your nipples. Medela offers different sized flanges, from 20mm, 24mm, 27mm, 30mm. Maybe even 33? I use 27mm and 30mm flanges since my nipples are not the same size. Using the incorrect flange size can make pumping agony and a lot of women need to use a different size flange than the standard. You will need to keep your protein up, too; some women add protein shakes or just eat more meat/beans.
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