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Hello… I’m now in my 2nd month of confinement. I have started to pump to stock up expressed milk for my BB as I’m going to return to work soon.

I’m so far alright and feeding my BB smoothly when she latches on. However, when I started to pump in between feedings, I noticed that my milk supply has obviously decreased. After pumping, I don’t have enough milk to feed my BB on the next round. She was very upset and cried sadly. I’m sure there wasn’t any milk for her for I noticed that my nipples were dry when she finished sucking. Why is that so? By the way, how shall I increase my milk supply and ensure that pumping doesn’t decrease the milk supply for direct feeding?

Thank you for your kind advice.

Asked by Melle - Posted 7 years, 2 months, 3 weeks, 17 hours, 12 minutes ago.

Congratulations on successfully breastfeeding your baby. It’s indeed the best gift for your Little One.

Your breast is never empty and will continuously produce milk as long as there is stimulation to the breast. However, it does need some time to ‘refill’ and usually a 2 hour interval is sufficient. If you are feeding baby immediately after a pumping session, baby might find less milk in the breast and thus gets frustrated. A dry nipple after sucking is not an indication that there is no milk.

To stock up milk for when you go back to work, you obviously need to produce more milk.  Milk supply peaks between 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. If you are direct feeding baby at least once during this ‘witching hours’, then there is no need to pump. Just feed baby and go back to sleep.

The best time to pump is after the first morning feed (ie 7am?). There is plenty of milk to pump after that feed and there will be plenty left for the next feeding. Do this for a few days, and the rest of the day, continue to direct feed your baby. Do not be upset if initially you do not get much milk out of this pumping sessions. Pumping is a skill that needs practice. The more you pump, the better it will be.

After a few days of stocking up on the pumped morning milk, you should alternate between pumping and direct feeding. When you are pumping, you can get someone else to bottlefeed your baby. And it’s a good idea to just pump your breast for 5 – 10 mins after you have directly fed your baby. Again, do not be upset if you do not get much milk. This is to stimulate production for more milk.  Try to pump/direct feed every 2 – 3 hours. Never go more than 4 hours without removing milk from your breast. After a few days to a week, you will notice a positive change.

Herbs like fenugreek and blessed thistle are helpful in increasing supply. You can purchase them from some pharmacies. Remember to keep yourself hydrated. Some mothers find their supply varies greatly depending on how much they are drinking, how much/what they are eating, and how much rest they are getting.

If you need more help and advice, do contact me at 0122122387

Gina Yong
Breastfeeding Consultant, Holistic Wellness and Fitness Coach
Specialty : Breastfeeding Support

 

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