My body really is perverse sometimes. For the last few weeks I've pumped after every feed, that's six times a day. I went from being able to pump around 280mls a day when I started this regime, to around 500mls or so just before I got ill 10 days ago. My supply then fell back to 400mls and didn't seem to recover even when I got better. I started to pump for longer, up to an hour at a time if I can bear it, and then a few nights ago decided to add in a pump at around 2am, now that she's reliably not waking til around 430 or 5. So I pumped at 2am and the first night I got an extra 90mls from doing that. But the next night it was 80mls, and last night it was 75. In addition, the amount of milk I get at the other pumping sessions has decreased, so that overall I'm now pumping around 450-470 rather than the 500-600 I was hoping for. (Still not as much as she's drinking, but enough to limit the formula to just under one feed per day). I'm having to pump for up to an hour just to get 80mls at the 430am feed, which is not really what I need given that I do have to sleep as well. I've tried power pumping (pump for 10 mins, pause for 10, repeat 3 times) a few times a day and that does give me more, but it takes a long time and during week days I need to be with my daughter rather than stuck to the pump!
The perversity seems to be that pumping more doesn't increase my supply. I get more the first time I do it as if I somehow catch my body by surprise, and then over a few days it adjusts back to the lower overall volume. Do you think if I sneakily changed the time I pumped every day my body would be surprised and I'd get more out? Why do I work (or not work) differently from every other woman on the planet in this area?