Sunday, June 10, 2012

Pumping is the devil

I am really starting to worry that my supply is drying up.

I had gotten to the point where I'd reliably get an ounce or so when pumping. Last Monday started this terrible run of getting next to nothing during pumping - hardly enough to cover the bottom of the bottles.

So Monday I started Fenugreek. I've been on that seven days now, and no improvement. I've tried pumping right after he eats, pumping an hour after he eats, pumping in the steamy bathroom when I get out of the shower.

Tomorrow I'm going to call the hospital and ask about renting a pump. Does anyone else have experience with this? I've heard that the hospital pumps are more powerful and help you increase your supply, which is not the intended purpose of the retail pumps.

The other reason I'm worried about my supply is that he still continues to eat every 2-2.5 hours. He's almost four weeks old now, so I thought that would have started lengthening by now. Maybe that was wishful thinking?

The only encouraging sign I've had this week was on Thursday, when my husband and I went out for a date*. My sister came over and I gave her a bottle with 3 ounces and a bottle with 2.5 ounces. I was engorged when we got back and I pumped immediately and got 4.5 ounces. I hope this means that I have an adequate supply, since I pumped out almost exactly what he ate?

I guess I will only be blogging now when I need advice, because here I am again asking for it! You all were so helpful and comforting on my co-sleeping post, you're doing it to yourselves ; )

*we went out for Mexican and I had my first margarita since September! We also saw "What to Expect When You're Expecting", which was a great movie. It seems like it'd be an infertile woman's nightmare, but there is actually a heavy dose of IF storyline. We both enjoyed it and it was amazing to spend some time with my husband. Of course we argued in the car over who got to cuddle the baby first when we got home ; )


Nisha said...

Hahaha, sorry you're so cute. Feeds don't start lengthening at 4 weeks sweetie. Alice is six months and still eats every 2-3 hours and sometimes even more in the mornings :)

As for the pumping, yes, hospital grade pumps cost thousands of dollars and are much better than the home use ones--hopefully that will help!

Nisha said...

Although I will add it only takes a few minutes to feed her now, so it does seem like a lot less. You'll get there!

TurtleMama said...

Hang in there! Have you talked to a lactation consultant? Baby is much more efficient at getting milk out than the pump is.
I also saw "What to Expect" and it was alot better than I expected:) Glad you got out of the house and enjoyed a date with your husband. Good luck with the bstfdg - sounds like you are doing a great job!

Jem said...

Have you tried weighing him before and after BFing? It could be that you are producing enough milk for him and he's doing a great job of draining your breasts.

I've heard eating oatmeal helps, in addition to Fenugreek (pill form works best)

Stacy said...

My son always ate every 2-2.5 hrs. He just liked hanging out on the boob. When he started teething, I would just cry, b/c he never wanted to stop. Also, I could never get hardly any milk when I pumped. I always wondered if would have rented a pump if that would have helped. My son had really bad jaundice and had to do weight-checks at the peds office. My ped just said as long as they gain weight that means they are getting enough milk. My SIL has 3 kids that she has nursed into toddler-hood and she pumps in the mornings and only gets about 2 oz. I just bet little baby is draining all your milk!

Still A Guest Room said...

I had great luck with a hospital ameda pump. Thinking of you!

Alex said...

I definitely recommend a hospital pump! My regular pump broke, and I urgently went to the hospital to rent one - it was much better than my pump. I definitely think it helped - it was easier on my breasts and I think I got more milk with it as well. Fenugreek helps, but make sure you take enough. You should start smelling like maple syrup - I was taking 12 pills per day. Also blessed thistle and shatavari help as well.

It's a really good sign that you were able to pump out exactly what he ate - your body is making just enough! Another thing I heard about that helped is do a "power pump" once per day, usually in the morning. For one hour, pump for 10 minutes, don't pump for 10 minutes, and repeat for an hour. It will help stimulate production if you want to make more of a stash.

Hang in there - you're doing great!!! And nice work for going out on a date!!!

Roccie said...

I bet you have heard it before but dont judge your supply on what you pump, judge it based on the number of wet/poopy diapers in a day.

I was JUST like you. Made me insane and I gave myself shingles in the process trying to pump and feed.

Toddlerina was always good with weight gain and so is Jay.

Are you drinking water NON STOP? Boring I know, but man does it impact me if I dont hyper hydrate.

mare said...

i couldn't get more than an ounce (or much less) until A was about 4 months. my supply was not drying up, but i worried (a lot) about the same thing.

i counted wet/poopy diapers every day and A was always getting more than enough milk by that estimation, but for some reason i could never bring myself to trust that in the early months. i still worried so much. but i shouldn't have, because it was true... she was getting enough milk! i think she was just constantly upping her intake for the first few months and was drinking it all! we fed every 1.5-2.5 hours, except for a 3-5 hour stretch at night.

please email me if you want to chat! xoxo.