Tuesday, October 11, 2011

supply issues

I have supply issues. 

I think when most people say this, they are referring to one thing: that they don't have enough milk. This, however, is not my issue. I'm not worried about whether Baby S is getting enough to eat. I know that if she doesn't get enough in one feeding, she'll feed again every half an hour or so until she feels satisfied (sometimes this goes on all night!).

My issue is the constant fluctuation of my pumped breast milk supply. Some days when I pump at work I get a full five ounces. Other days I am lucky to get two. Same at home- some days a bunch, other days none. It's frustrating. I never know what I'm going to get. Will I have to spend all evening pumping for the next day? Will I be able to go to bed early if I want to and not worry about having to wake up at the crack of dawn to pump? Day to day, I'm hoping, guessing, and waiting to see.

I know there are factors that affect my pumped supply. These are:

  • How much water I am drinking
  • How much and what I am eating
  • How stressed I am (my stress level is usually pretty high these days)
  • How much sleep I have had
  • How lazy I get (I hate pumping over the weekend)
  • How much time I have to pump

I've realized that it helps if I pump at work about an hour after I have eaten something substantial and healthy. I also try to drink water as much as possible. I attempt to take some deep breaths before pumping and give myself enough time to do it without stressing.

This doesn't always happen, however, and even if it does, somedays I still get so little!

I don't let it get me down. I drag myself off the couch to pump at night. I'm committed to getting my baby her breast milk.

But I'm not above complaining about it.

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