Power Pumping, Porridge and Supplements

11:09 am

My milk supply has dipped by around 200mls a day over the past few weeks. It all started just after the incident with the counsellor. I was so panicky and upset for days afterwards, and had several pumping sessions when my milk simply wouldn't let down.
I realised what was happening, but it's hard to stop that cycle of stress once it begins. I tried dropping my shoulders, deep breathing, leaving the pump on flutter sucking for longer than usual, positive visualisations, and the milk would flow...eventually.
I'm still pumping enough for Ernest, but my buffer of being a couple of bottles ahead of his needs has gone, and I've had to dip into our freezer stash. while our freezer stash is huge, I'm not really happy with the situation as it is.
Maybe I'm unrealistic, but I want to provide breastmilk for Ernest for as long as possible. My long term goal is two years, which when you consider I would have aimed to breastfeed him for at least three or four years, is still quite a compromise on my ideals.
So, I'm power pumping*, eating porridge for breakfast and back on the motherlove supplements.
And as if that wasn't enough of a time drain, I decided this morning was the perfect time to spring clean my bedroom, and move several pieces of furniture too.
I'm now sat amidst total chaos, with an overtired teething (almost two teeth just breaking through!) baby who is nap refusing...sigh. x

* Power Pumping is mimicking a growth spurt by pumping very frequently, thereby telling the brain that you need to make more milk. Some women set up the pump and simply pump for ten minutes or so every time they pass,(obviously within reason), others pump to a tighter schedule than usual. I'm currently pumping every two hours,(ordinarily I pump every 3/4 hours, and can leave it 5 hours so long as I make up the time later) and will do probably at least until tomorrow. It usually takes a couple of days for my body to get the message I need to make more milk, but everyone is different.

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  1. J, you know that I have experienced the same problem recently. I went to giving her 2 - 4 oz of formula a day to supplement, which was heartbreaking. I'm trying to stop hating myself for it. I breastfed our son for two years with no supplements and now I feel like a failure in many ways. It gets so tiresome though, constantly hating ourselves for something (even though this seems like a big something to us, to many it would not seem so big) -- Im trying to forgive myself for this, for the panic and anxiety that doesnt let my milk let down, for the hatred of myself for my failures as a mother. You are a fantastic mother, you love your children so very much, please please dont add this to the pile (and I will try to do the same).

    My Love,

  2. Thanks M, it's so shit isn't it? You'd think the Universe would be tired of picking on us by now wouldn't you?
    I'm gonna try not to hate myself so long as I know you are doing the same. x

  3. Jeanette I'm constantly amazed by your tenacity of spirit, no matter what the outcome please, please be kind to yourself.

    Hope you manage to get some much needed rest after the spring cleaning.

    Love as always

    San xx

  4. Hoping you know how much of an amazing mum you are to your children, and wishing you peace for the times when you need it. You are doing such an amazing job on this journey Jeanette.. give yourself some much due praise.

  5. I hope it gets better for you!!!

  6. Jeanette- i am all too familiar with pumps, tintures, oatmeal and power pumping. my supply crashed last week and willow was frantic at the breast. even though i am breastfeeding it has taken a week to get back to where she can be satisfied, and i can no longer pump the extra i was pumping (and giving away)

  7. Well, I think you are a wonder

  8. p.s. in case what I just posted is a strange Northern expression that you don't understand - it is a complement!

  9. sending lots of milky vibes your way (((hugs)))

  10. it's amazing you can provide all the milk he needs by pumping. I tried pumping when I returned to work with my first, but never once managed to pump enough - and it got worse as it went on. After 3 months I packed in (though still nursed on days off for 2 years). Hope the power pumping works out, and admiration for your determination and effort!

  11. I hope it's going well.
    My sister and I were both 2 months premature and in the 1970's that was a very big thing to the big thing it is now. She would drive the hour to hospital every day with her milk supply and then back again (I'm thinking she said she did this more than once a day) just to keep us in breast milk. And after a few weeks her milk supply dried up and she was devastated.
    I've told my Mum about you.
    She's said what you have achieved is amazing and that I should tell you about her experience. She thinks you're awesome. I do to! I know my boobs would have given up a long long time ago had I been solely pumping.

  12. Tinder, what your Mum did is amazing. It's amazing what we mothers will do for our children.Please pass on my love. x

  13. Have you tried Fennel tea? I used this to boost my supply after I left Dylan to go on holiday - it boosted it really well and within 2 days I was back to normal x


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