i have always had a lot of milk. dd is 11months, and i've always made enough milk for her and to donate as well. in fact, for the first 5 or 6 months i had so much milk it was uncomfortable. but in the past few weeks my supply has dropped and i can't figure out what's up. dd is nursing all the time, and still seems hungry...not a growth spurt, just that she's not getting much milk each time. i used to only nurse on one side each session, because that was enough, but now after nursing both sides dd is still hungry. my breasts feel empty all the time. also in the past week my nipples have become very sensitive to where it hurts to nurse. it's not like pre-period breast soreness, just the nipples. they almost feel bruised, and are extra "perky" all the time. i have no idea what is up, but i'm worried because dd doesn't eat much solid food at all yet so she really needs the milk. about 4 months ago i quit dairy because of dd's allergies, and switched to soy, so i'm wondering if the soy is affecting my hormones somehow? i've been trying to stay very well hydrated, and eating lots of whole grains and drinking dark beer to try to boost my supply, but nothing is helping. are there herbs i can try? any thoughts/advice would be so appreciated.
losing my milk after 11 months of oversupply, no idea what is going on. help?
Hmm...any medications in the picture? Hormonal birth control? Is pregnancy possible? Return of menstruation? Baby sleeping longer at night? Any changes in situation which might cause baby to feel more "clingy"?
Unrestricted access to the breast is the absolute best thing to do - as it sounds as if you're doing. If you're interested in trying herbal galactagogues, you could try fenugreek (some mums find this works better if taken in conjunction with Blessed Thistle - not to be confused with Milk Thistle!). The usual starting does is 2 capsules 3x a day, increasing to 3x3 if no difference is noticed. You can tell if you're taking enough because your sweat and urine will start to smell like maple syrup :). It doesn't work for everyone, but it is probably the most common herbal galactagogue.
Good luck, and please let us know how you get on!
No additional advice - the pp's have already mentioned anything I would. Oh! except - adding in a bowl of oatmeal daily for awhile (if you don't normally eat it) might help your supply too.
I've found that my milk supply is very affected if I'm making any attempt to exercise more/adjust my diet and I really need to eat more fats when bf'ing especially when doing either of those. Even small changes can really affect what's going on for me. If you've been more active lately or cutting calories that could have something to do with the change too.
i'm thinking there might be a bad latch involved...working on more teeth. i broke out the nipple shield today and my nipples feel slightly better but can't tell yet if supply is up at all. dd did seem less desperately hungry. i was severely inverted when dd was born and it took months for my nipples to come out enough to nurse without the shield. i've been so excited to not have to mess with the shield in the past few months, but maybe the teething is throwing things off. i'll try the fenugreek. been eating lots of oatmeal. thanks for the ideas.