Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The battle with low milk supply

After consistently having abundance in supply for the first few months I got back from work and being able to donate breastmilk to moms who need them, I never imagined I would be suffering from low milk supply. I'm quite sure I have enough supply for Gabby's demands when he directly nurses from me but the milk that I'm able to pump and leave for him, that's something I was worried about. The good thing is, I know the culprit: I wasn't able to express milk on consistent intervals when I'm at work.

See, when I got back from my maternity leave, I had to report to a new department, not the department I left when I went on leave as my previous group was dissolved. I was able to pump regularly in this new department, however, I longed to change move to another department or outside (another company) due to the working hours. I was working on a 3pm-12mn shift. I got my wish about a month after, and moved into my current department. The problem was, I wasn't able to pump regularly. My pumping times would be around ever 4-5 hours, so I was only able to pump in the office twice, then catch up when I get home for the third pumping session.

For a while, this seemed to be ok. However, around 3 weeks ago, I noticed a decline in my expressed milk, pumping just enough for the next day's feeding. Until it wasn't even enough that it really is a blessing I live just 15mins of walking from work. I had no frozen stash during this period since I recently just gave them to a mom in need.

So, panic rising plus the determination not to succomb and supplement with formula, I read up on how to up my supply... fast. I tried power pumping, then eating galactagogues from Mommy Treats' cookies and brownies to Motherlove's More Milk Special Blend and herbal teas. It helped in normalizing my output but I still wasn't satisfied. I pumped at least once during the weekends, and after attending the La Leche League Support Group Meeting 2 weeks ago, I also increased my pumping sessions to five per day (I'm now able to pump semi-regularly for 3x while at work), once when I wake up and another one when I get home.

So far so good. I have around a full day's worth of breastmilk. I still mean to increase the stash I currently have so I have to continue my regular pumping sessions at work, and then when I get to my desired output, slowly wean myself from the galactagogues I'm ingesting.

Wish me luck!

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