“Shooo-shoooo.” “Shooo-shoooo.” Most nursing moms will recognize the sound that your trusty pump makes. If you are a working mom, you look forward to this sound as a necessary escape from your office or desk. Some moms get to close their office door to shut out the rest of the world others simply get a glorified closet or bathroom stall. Where ever we are, we all plug in and pump away.
Usually, the sound of the pump is a therapeutic one that allows us to picture our little one and relax. However, there are times when we dread having to face the pump. These are the times when we are suddenly unable to keep up with our baby’s demand. Maybe he or she is going through a growth spurt or maybe your milk supply has suddenly dropped. Whatever the reason, we need more milk! The lull of the “shooo-shoooo” turns into a demanding, “puummp-puummp…puummp-puummp.” And after a few weeks this develops into a more aggressive, “More milk! More milk!” For some, a sense of dread may well up as you tally your ounces at the end of the day. It’s not enough! But hang in there, in the end it is all about supply and demand. Reach back to your economics classes…you need to create the demand and your body will supply.
It will take some time and patience, but it will happen. Here are some things that moms around Orlando have tried to increase their milk supply:
- Nurse or pump more frequently…if there is more demand, there will be more supply. Be sure to empty the breasts completely at each session (breast compression can help)
- Fenugreek – this is an herbal Galactagogue. Be sure to talk to your doctor or lactation consultant about the appropriate dosage for you and your situation
- Power pumping – there are different ways to approach power pumping. If your baby is older and you have the time in the evening to pump after he goes to bed, one method that has seen success is pumping for 10 minutes, then resting for 10, pump for 10, rest for 10, then pump one final time for 10 minutes. You may not actually produce more milk in these sessions, but it will tell your body there is more demand.
For more helpful tips and a more in-depth look at those above check out lowmilksupply.org.
Eventually, the abrasive pump will revert back to its more soothing tone. There will be days that are more stressful than others. When you look into the bottle after a session and see only a scant amount of milk, take a breath and remember “It’s just supply and demand.”