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Exclusively expressing - how to increase supply Rss

Hi, I have been exclusively expressing since my son was born but now I am a little short of milk to feed him each day. I would really like to increase my supply instead so I don't have to use formula just yet. I am eating lactation cookies and pumping every two hours during the day to try to build up my supply. It is driving me slightly insane and really dictates when I can go out or not as I have to fit in baby's feeding and sleeping routine etc also... Any other ideas for increasing supply? Thanks
Ugh I give my hat off to you. Pumping is such a pain. I could never do it exclusively so I'm always impressed when people do. When my bub was young I used to pump all day (was working a ridiculously crappy job with extremely long hours... As in 6am to 8pm) then would breastfeed at night and on weekends. So I had it a lot easier than exclusive pumpers as my son could make up for what I didn't manage to pump (at the cost of keeping me up all night wanting to feed!).

The only way I ever managed to increase supply successfully was by more pumping (probably the last thing you want to do). I found the biggest help was to try to get two letdowns with every pumping session as that would increase the amount I got. Sometimes that meant pumping, taking a 5-10min break then starting again and massaging the milk out to try to get the second let down. Sometimes I managed to get the second let down and sometime I didn't but aiming for it significantly increased the volume of milk I got. Also trying to fit an extra pumping session in is best to do in the morning as that's when you naturally have the most milk.

Are you still getting up at night to pump regularly through the night as that'll drop you supply if you're not.

I think if the lactation cookies and the increased pumping doesn't work, you can see your GP as there are some medications/supplements that can help. I never needed that but I've seen others on here say they did.

How old is bub? You won't need much once they start having reasonable amounts of solids.
Thanks for your reply makalu, I am currently pumping at 630am, 830am, 1030am, 1230pm, 230pm, 430pm, 630pm and 9-930pm for the last night one. I should probably fit another pump in before I go to bed but I am just so exhausted at the end of the evening.
Baby is sleeping through the night without a feed, sometimes he just wakes for the dummy. So I am not pumping in the night unless I have gotten up to him and my breasts are full and sore, like this morning! (Did a 4am pump).
I had way to much milk in the beginning so we managed to freeze alot but we are almost through the supply now as we are defrosting 40-60ml at the end of the day to top up the last feed.
Baby is 18 weeks today and drinking 150ml EBM x6 a day. He hasn't yet shown interest in food, but how much less would he drink once he starts solids?
My guess is that your supply dropped as you're now having ~9 hours every night without pumping.

I guess what to do depends how committed you are to exclusively feeding breastmilk. I remember at 18 weeks I was pretty determined to not give any formula. If that's the case for you I think try going for getting a second letdown at each pumping session for a few days. But if that doesn't work and you want to continue without formula the likely solution would be to pump again at night. With hindsight if I were in your situation I'd probably just mix a bit of formula with pumped milk for the last bottle of the day and continue trying to give as much pumped milk as possible without sacrificing my sanity. However I realise there's a lot of emotions involved in these kinds of things and when my son was 18 weeks old I certainly didn't want to do that.

In regards to solids I think every bub is different. Some start dropping feeds pretty quickly once they start solids where as others continue at the same amount for months. My son took forever to reduce his milk consumption whereas my friends bub fully weaned at 12 months (and dropped a feed every few weeks once he started solids).
Let me just say I'm so impressed with how much you're expressing! Nice work smile
I was expressing at work from when my little guy was 6mths and that was every 3 hrs and a total pain in the bum. However, he started solids at 5 mths and started to drop probably the equivalent of a full milk feed over the day (eg/. he took a little less each time). In the end I was expressing about 600ml p/d and that was enough when he was on solids.

I would agree that you getting a solid night's sleep is effecting your milk supply (typical!). I would wake up in the night and express while my partner fed ours a bottle so that I could maintain my supply. It was incredibly annoying and almost seemed pointless but meant that I could just express quickly, keep up the supply and go back to bed while she dealt with any nappies, had some bonding time, etc. I continued to do this even when he started to sleep through just as I was determined to be exclusively breastfeeding until he was 12mths old. (was the longest final 2mths of my life!).

I'm pregnant again and planning on the same pattern (even if it kills me!). All I can say is hang in there, maybe try an express during the night, even talk to a lactation specialist who might be able to give you some other pointers.
You're doing a bloody good job! smile
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