Your website is great! Very helpful and informative.
I am coming up on my 8-month mark of exclusively pumping for my baby. The first few months were so difficult but I have gotten use to it and am proud that I can give my daughter the best food there is. Lately, I was saddened at the thought that I was decreasing in supply. I had added more pumping sessions but nothing was helping. Anyway, I tried a bunch of things and one day, after downing a gallon of water throughout the day, I miraculously pumped more. I guess I was dehydrated. But the reason I am writing is because I am still trying to find efficient ways to pump. Since I work 10 hour days now, my time at home is crucial and I want to spend less time on the pump.
There’s was mention on your website about manufacturers who make breast shield inserts that allow for increase stimulation of the areola to help stimulate letdown for faster pumping sessions. I was wondering what product that is?
Also, I have been using my Medela shoulder style pump for the last 8 months. For about 3-4 months, I used it 8-10 times a day and for the last 3-4 months, I used it about 3-4 times a day. Could overuse of the pump deteriorate the efficiency of it over time? I was thinking that it could be my pump that’s to blame as well esp. on days where I feel full but yet only 1/2 the amount of milk comes out.
I look forward to hearing from you. Thanks!
You are going through very typical milk production. Getting close to a year, milk production often slows down. Partly this is an indication that baby could be starting to eat other foods. Your baby can get less breastmilk now and get valuable nutrition from others sources. I listed a couple of good sites for natural foods to introduce baby to solid food, if you are interested.
Mothers share with us, that they did experience a slowdown in milk production between 7 months and a year. But, they produced milk for months, sometimes into baby’s 2nd year for immunity and to avoid cow’s milk.
There are some things that these mothers have had success with.
1. Do 2 night pumping each night until you milk supply is back to normal. (midnight and 3 AM could be a good schedule)
2. Use a massage technique that gets the “hind milk” out. The hind milk is the last milk to come out during feeding or pumping. It is less watery and has a tan color showing that more fat is present.
Getting the hind milk out will trigger hormones that will increase breastmilk production.
Using a massage technique, will get the “hind milk” out. The massage technique is to start at the side, under the arm and press forward toward the nipple. Try to feel the glands and apply gentle pressure where you feel full glands. Do the same under the breast lobe and again gently apply pressure toward the nipple.
Do this once you feel “let down” or if you don’t feel “let down”, once milk begins to flow. Continue all during each breast pumping session.
Within a few feedings, you will notice a difference in the amount of milk you produce and with the hind milk you get to the higher fat content and nutrients that will satisfy your baby better.
Many mothers we talk to say that they eat oatmeal once or twice each day until they stop pumping. Oatmeal is a natural galactagogue.
On our website, we sell a very popular product that is also a natural galactagogue, that thousands of mothers have sworn by is More Milk Plus Vegetarian Capsules. Just click on the words to go directly to that product on our site. More Milk Plus Vegetarian Capsules
Sites for natural foods for baby’s first foods:
Your pump is designed for lots of use. Many moms use their pumps for 2 and 3 children.
My personal advice to you is try the techniques listed above, that you are comfortable trying. These all come from moms who have had the same experiences.
You are working hard, so try some relaxation techniques. Perhaps even during pumping, play relaxation music that will make you feel soothed.
Last, but not least, have the confidence in yourself and your body to make the milk that your baby needs. Information about breast pumping is growing, but most breast pumpers are basically pioneers. In another generation, people like you can be a support system for new mothers. But breast pumping is, by far, not the norm in 2009.
You should be proud of how well you have done, you have been wonderfully successful.
Please let me know if this helps and email me again, if you need any further help. GotBreastPump.com’s goal is to help all mothers feed their babies.