Breastfeeding

Breast Pumps And Milk Production

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If you are noticing a decrease in your pumped milk production the very first thing to do is check your pump before assuming that you are just not producing as much. Make sure that you have the correct type of pump for the amount of pumping that you are doing.

An occasional use, pump is not going to be sufficient for going back to work full time and even part time for some moms. If you are pumping several feedings per day you will need the stronger, every day double electric pump.

Make sure that your breast flanges are the proper fit for your breasts and that you do not need to switch to another size which can happen as time goes on. If you’re unsure, try using a different size and see if this corrects the problem.

Maintain and monitor all your pump parts to make sure they are not damaged or worn out which does happen. Just a small issue with one little valve will make your pump not function properly and over time actually start to affect your actual milk production. Always keep spare parts available with you when you are at work should you need it.

When your baby is nursing at the breast and on-demand, meaning whenever they want to eat, your milk supply will adjust and maintain to exactly what your baby needs and will normally vary throughout the day. Most moms will see more milk in the morning and less milk in the late afternoon to early evening. This is very normal. Once you start pumping part-time, like when you go back to work, your milk supply and the amount that you pump can become an issue for several reasons.

First, you are going to be measuring the amount of milk you are producing or pumping for the first time. Up until this point you are not seeing it and you are not focused on what is being made in ounces. Once you need to start leaving a certain amount for your baby each day, this issue will arise and can be quite stressful for a lot of moms.

The other issue is that your breast pump can never get out as much as your baby can with nursing directly at the breast. The more feedings that you are pumping and not nursing your baby, the harder you may have to work at maintain the same amount of milk that you were producing before. It can be more difficult at times, but it is certainly doable.

Lastly, your inability to maintain enough pumped milk for your baby could have more to do with overfeeding and a perception that your baby needs more than what you are producing. It’s very important, as we discussed earlier, to make sure that your baby’s caregiver is aware of how much your baby really needs to eat at a feeding, is not overfeeding your baby, and is responding to your baby with what your baby is really asking for and not just more milk.

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