I’m going back to work and not pumping enough milk. Help!

not producing enough milk and I'm going back to work

Recently, Mommy Medicine received a question from a new mama going back to work and trying to pump enough breast milk to keep her wee one full and happy:

“I’m at about a 5 oz. pumping deficit each day. Any recommendations on supplementing with formula? What do you use? When do you give it to them?”

Oh, how we can relate to this frustration. It’s no fun to sit holding that undignified pump sucking on us for fifteen minutes only to see less and less drops of milk going down into the bottle. We reached out to Mommy Medicine’s wonderful doctor on call, Dr. Auxier of Gilbert Pediatrics in Gilbert, Arizona. We think he had some great and creative suggestions.

  • Make sure you are staying well hydrated!
  • Find a place at work where you can relax. Turn the lights off and put your feet up.
  • Use a double electric pump- it empties you out a lot faster.
  • Make a recording of your baby’s “I’m hungry!” cry and listen to it as you begin to pump.
  • Also record your baby’s latching, sucking, and drinking sounds and listen to them while you are pumping. These recordings will help release the milk and make it flow. You might want to grab your nose a few times and simulate getting kicked by little feet for a really authentic experience (that’s from me, your experienced getting-grabbed-and-scratched-while-nursing blogger, not Dr Auxier, ha ha).
  • All formula supplements are equal, you can choose any brand you like.
  • Keep in mind, when you have a major change in diet there will be some adjustments for baby. There might be a bit of constipation, some diarrhea, more spitting up than usual or extra gas. Expect a bit of a change in pooping and feeding patterns as baby adjusts to milk supplementation.
  • In terms of how much, go ahead and aim for 1 oz of supplement for every 1 oz of breast milk the baby is not getting. Always offer the breast milk first and the formula only once the breast milk has run out.

not producing enough milk and I'm going back to work

Good luck to you nursing mamas out there. Your baby says thank you for working so hard to get that creamy magic for them! And don’t fret about supplementing with formula- thank God we live in a time where we have been able to make a good, healthy replacement food for babies who need it. Humans haven’t always been so lucky… hiring a wet nurse used to be about your only option, and I think most of us are glad we don’t have start interviewing ladies for that position… whew!

Thanks to this mama for sharing her struggle, and please write us here at Mommy Medicine any time with parenting questions you’d like us to address here… you are 99.9% likely to not be the only one dealing with your problem… other moms will thank you for sharing!

Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (5/3/2017) Sander van der Wel (Flickr)

not producing enough milk and I'm going back to work

Aimée Elliott Ghimire

Aimée Elliott Ghimire

Aimee is a mom to four little girls and also an author, businesswoman, ministry leader and an avid world traveler. As a busy mom she doesn't have time to seek out long answers to short questions - that is why she created Mommy Medicine. This is a place where authors share short and succinct answers to complicated mommy questions.
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