Thursday, March 3, 2011

Mission: Increase Supply

You all know how I am about pumping and I even shared my weird tendency to show the fruits of all that hard work.

So for awhile I kept my supply at about 23 ounces.  Then Luca got sick and we spent a week in the hospital.  My supply dropped down to about 18 ounces.

Then Luca received that lovely new liver, had two emergency surgeries, and spent a total of 39 days in the hospital.  My supply during that roller coaster dropped to 14 ounces per day.

14 ounces is where it has remained.  Despite my efforts - it hasn't budged.  Although to be honest, my efforts have been minimal.  Considering that she has been readmitted 2 times - once for almost 3 weeks, and once for 3 days - I have not had much time to relax and devote to increasing my supply.

When she is hospitalized, I do not eat as healthy, or as frequently as I should be.  I do not drink the water that I should.  I do not have down time.  I do not pump often enough.

Yet, I'm still going.  Still trying.

The awesome thing is that I've been pumping for over 6 months and had built up a fantastic freezer supply.  She has been taking solely breastmilk for over a month now.  Let's just sit and think about that for a second.  I so looked forward to the time when we would not have to limit her protein.  And it has come.  She is taking full breastmilk.  Thanks to Ian her little body can handle it now.

But my freezer stash is quickly twindling because baby girl is taking a whopping 45 ounces of breastmilk per day.  And when I have made over time anywhere from 13-23 ounces per day, she is quickly using up that stash.

Which means I am on a mission.  I realize the fact that she does not breastfeed and I am a full-time pumper makes it unlikely that I will make the 45 ounces she takes.  So my goal when my stash is gone, is for her to get 1/2 of her daily intake from me.  That means I need to go from 14 ounces, to about 22-23 ounces per day. 2

Today, I practically begged Ian to take Luca to her appointment without me.  Hospital days are long and I am not able to pump often on those days.  Luckily, he agreed.  So I started an every 2 hour pumping schedule at 2am this morning.  Ian and Luca headed out at 7am.

I am spending the day eating well, drinking fluids, taking fenugreek seed pills, and sitting on the couch with my pump.

A date with my pump.  Wish us luck!


  1. Good luck! Pumping is extremely exhausting so I commend you for sticking with it and working so hard to keep you supply going.

  2. Ugh, now that I am back at work I pump at least 3x a day...I’m just trying to get to 6 months for Harrison (which is in a week). I’m so impressed with your dedication, its not an easy thing especially with all of your competing priorities!! I've heard (and I have been) that eating oatmeal is supposed to help with supply...might be worth a try!
    Keep up the good work Momma!

  3. I am just now catching up on my Google reader! I just wanted to make a few quick suggestions (you may have already heard them though) that have really worked for me: taking Fenugreek capsules, 2 pills 3 times a day; eating lots of oatmeal (not instant, the real stuff), and stand in a hot shower with the water on your breasts. This has really helped me a lot in the past few weeks!

    You're doing such an awesome job mama, keep it up:)


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