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Getting milk supply back up after being sick...

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

I am starting to panic about my milk supply. My daughter is 6 months old and we've had a great breastfeeding relationship. I stayed home with her for 3 months. I breastfed on demand and had a great supply. I pumped some extra milk every day and froze it and by the time I went back to work, I had about 3 weeks extra supply of milk in the freezer.

 

So, I went back to work 3 months ago. I pump 3x a day for 20 minutes each time. Baby girl drinks 12 to 14 oz of pumped milk a day at daycare. At first, I had no problem getting this much milk. Sometimes I'd even pump 16 oz each day at work and I'd freeze the extra ounces. I always nurse on demand when I am home.

 

Lately I've been picking up every bug or virus going around. I had a sinus infection that lasted about a month and I finally had to give in and get antibiotics for it. The antibiotics caused a noticeable dip in my milk supply. Then, last week, I had a really bad stomach flu bug that physically wiped me out and I couldn't stay hydrated. I still nursed her. I was so weak that I couldn't lift her and my husband would have to bring her to me. There were a few feedings that I was too incapacitated to do, so he had to give her some of the frozen milk.Thank goodness baby girl hasn't gotten sick at all! This is one big reason why I want to keep breastfeeding as long as I can, I can tell that her immune system is strong.

 

Anyway, I'm feeling healthy now, but my milk supply is seriously lagging and seems like it is getting worse. I am lucky if I can get 8 oz during my 3x a day pumping sessions. Tonight, I pumped TWICE after I put baby girl to bed so that I would have enough to send to day care. Even then, I came up 1 oz short and had to dip into my rapidly depleting freezer stash.

 

Baby girl is gaining weight just fine and is super healthy. She has just started eating some homemade fruit and vegetable baby food 2x a day. I have been eating oatmeal every day, taking my vitamins, and getting good sleep.

 

I am worried that my visions of nursing my child until she is at least two are starting to fade away. I am committed to not supplementing with formula. Has anyone else ever perked up their supply after a period of extended illness? How did you do it? Is there anything in addition to what I am doing that I can try?

 

Oh, and once in awhile one of the daycare providers will accidentally spill some breast milk. They always apologize. I've got 6 oz of spare frozen milk cubes in the freezer at daycare, so baby girl won't have to go without...but still, man, it takes me sooo much work to get each ounce of milk that I feel pretty sad when any of it gets wasted. : (

post #2 of 3
Quote:
Originally Posted by guppiegirl View Post

I am starting to panic about my milk supply. My daughter is 6 months old and we've had a great breastfeeding relationship. I stayed home with her for 3 months. I breastfed on demand and had a great supply. I pumped some extra milk every day and froze it and by the time I went back to work, I had about 3 weeks extra supply of milk in the freezer.

 

So, I went back to work 3 months ago. I pump 3x a day for 20 minutes each time. Baby girl drinks 12 to 14 oz of pumped milk a day at daycare. At first, I had no problem getting this much milk. Sometimes I'd even pump 16 oz each day at work and I'd freeze the extra ounces. I always nurse on demand when I am home.

 

Lately I've been picking up every bug or virus going around. I had a sinus infection that lasted about a month and I finally had to give in and get antibiotics for it. The antibiotics caused a noticeable dip in my milk supply. Then, last week, I had a really bad stomach flu bug that physically wiped me out and I couldn't stay hydrated. I still nursed her. I was so weak that I couldn't lift her and my husband would have to bring her to me. There were a few feedings that I was too incapacitated to do, so he had to give her some of the frozen milk.Thank goodness baby girl hasn't gotten sick at all! This is one big reason why I want to keep breastfeeding as long as I can, I can tell that her immune system is strong.

 

Anyway, I'm feeling healthy now, but my milk supply is seriously lagging and seems like it is getting worse. I am lucky if I can get 8 oz during my 3x a day pumping sessions. Tonight, I pumped TWICE after I put baby girl to bed so that I would have enough to send to day care. Even then, I came up 1 oz short and had to dip into my rapidly depleting freezer stash.

 

Baby girl is gaining weight just fine and is super healthy. She has just started eating some homemade fruit and vegetable baby food 2x a day. I have been eating oatmeal every day, taking my vitamins, and getting good sleep.

 

I am worried that my visions of nursing my child until she is at least two are starting to fade away. I am committed to not supplementing with formula. Has anyone else ever perked up their supply after a period of extended illness? How did you do it? Is there anything in addition to what I am doing that I can try?

 

Oh, and once in awhile one of the daycare providers will accidentally spill some breast milk. They always apologize. I've got 6 oz of spare frozen milk cubes in the freezer at daycare, so baby girl won't have to go without...but still, man, it takes me sooo much work to get each ounce of milk that I feel pretty sad when any of it gets wasted. : (


hug2.gif

 

Your desire to have supply for your daughter will prevail. 

 

I was in a different boat than you when my son was at that age, did not have to pump... however...  when my LO/and or I was ill... my supply has always dipped a ton every time.  I feel that is normal.  Nurse as much as possible, even when you are tired and or touched out.  Your Husband sounds like a good man, love hearing he is supportive. 

 

There are teas out there that can increase your milk supply..this is more common and easy to find.   http://www.amazon.com/Traditional-Medicinals-Organic-Mothers-16-Count/dp/B0009F3POY

 

or

 

http://www.fairhavenhealth.com/nursing-tea.html

 

I commend you on your efforts not to supplement with formula.  Keep those thoughts in your visions, the mind is a powerful thing.  If it is needed, make your own... it is easy to do. 

 

http://www.realmilk.com/formularecipes.html

 

I hope this helps. 

 

goldenwillow

post #3 of 3

My daughter is 8.5 months old and I've had similar issues when ill, stressed (going back to work is harder than you think it will be, right?), or even strenuously exercising.  Here's the strategy that has worked so far for me whenever my supply is dipping:

 

- Load up on nursing tea.  When my supply is lowest, I drink 3-4 cups a day.  I use Traditional Medicinals, but there are other brands and also herbal tinctures.

- Pump an extra session every night before bed.  If you have time, pump out what's left after nursing sessions.

- Drink a ton of water.  Have water with you at all times.  I live in a very hot, dry climate and it seems I can never drink enough, especially when the baby is drinking around 28 oz or more of liquid from my body each day.

- Eat!  It's hard not to obsess about post-partum weight, but you still need a lot of extra calories to make enough milk AND keep your energy up throughout the work day AND nights with baby.  You need even more if you're exercising.  Eat a lot and eat healthy.  I carry healthy snacks in my purse.

- Try to get as much rest as you can.  As a working mom, I know this seems impossible sometimes.  Learn to say no to outside demands and focus on putting your energy where you need it.

 

Good luck!

 

P.S.  Don't beat yourself up if you have to eventually supplement with formula.  You've built a bond with your baby and given her lots of important immunities and nutrients during your breastfeeding time.  You have to do whatever is right for your family and your situation.  You'll find that most other moms who work outside the home won't be judgmental about it.  It's hard work!

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