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Supply Concerns and Breast Changes

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
I'm hoping that you ladies can give me some good advice. I'm feeling a little frantic this evening.

DS is 6.5 months old, and exclusively BF. he's had maybe 5 or 6 bottles of pumped milk. He is a fairly frequent night nurser. Up until about a month ago I would know when he hadn't nursed, I could really feel it in my breasts. That seems to have slowed down. The changes are more subtle these days.

Well, we've (DS, DH and I) been a bit under the weather for the past few days and this morning I woke up feeling like my breasts were totally empty. They never really felt like they filled up today. For his pre-bed feeding, DH ended up giving DS a bottle of my milk from the freezer, which we haven't done for several months.

Now I'm feeling worried about my supply. Luckily my neighbor (whose DD is 3.5 months older than DS) had some Mother's Milk tea on hand and gave me a few bags, so I'm drinking that now. I also made sure to drink a big glass of water and will drink another when I'm done with the tea. I know that more rest would help, but DS really wakes up a lot, so getting a lot of rest is nearly impossible for me.

Is it common for supply to suddenly drop like this? Should I be as worried as I am? Any soothing words of wisdom for this slightly freaking-out mama?

post #2 of 6
Many, many nursing moms wake up one day and suddenly feel un-full and panic.

It does not ITSELF mean a supply problem. Many moms report this earlier than 6 months. (Sounds like your baby is like mine...a very frequent feeder months after other babies were spacing out their feedings...lucky baby! ) It is a normal phase of nursing.

Does he still have plenty of wet diapers, good skin tone, alert and happy? Is he sick too, or teething, which can make a child nurse more (or less)? If he's fussy he may simply be waiting for demand to catch up with supply, what do you think?

Can you nap with the baby or sleep together at night? Even if you usually don't, times of illness or increasing your milk supply are often easier if you do. (If he's a frequent night nurser, maybe you already do that.) A "Babymoon" may be in order, where you and baby go to bed for a few days and just nurse. The laundry and the dishes will wait. As you may know it is a GOOD thing if he suddenly wants to nurse constantly...good for supply. (Although you may be saying "he couldn't possibly want to nurse any MORE!" )
post #3 of 6
Most moms find their breasts get softer after weeks or months of nursing. this has nothing to do with how much milk you are able to produce.

the illness issue--some moms do notice a temporary decrease in supply during an illness, esp if you get dehydrated. the remedy for this would be to drink tons of water as soon as you are able, eat well, rest, and nurse frequently. Mother Nature is very conservative, and would never let your supply dry up completely over night! You and baby will be back on track again soon.
post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 
Momtwice, he's definitely still having wet diapers, and lots of them! And yes, do already sleep together. A nap together might be in order though. He's also been a bit sick and probably teething as well. He has four teeth in, and them moving in seems to distract him sometimes. I actually wondered if the teething being in would change his nursing style. He used to be a chowhound: right on the breast, nurse nurse nurse, and off. Now he does more comfort sucking.

DH suggested last night that perhaps he's having a growth spurt and is trying to increase my supply.

Dary, I have been trying to drink more water since last night. I have already had two big glasses today, and I think I'll go have another one right now!

Thanks for the responses!
post #5 of 6
Since you've been ill, drink lots (but don't stress over it--just make sure you're drinking to thirst), rest, and nurse! Giving ebm in a bottle will not help your supply increase--nursing will. At his age, he may be doing a growth spurt. If he's comfort-nursing a lot, your breasts may not feel "full" until a day when he isn't nursing as much.
And they may never really feel full again. Isn't it nice how our bodies adjust so we don't leak forever and feel huge? As babies grow older, we produce more milk during a nursing and less ahead of time. We are actually producing more milk but feeling it less. As long as your ds seems healthy, please don't worry.
post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 
Adrienne, thanks for the suggestions! I think I was also not eating enough, because last night I made sure to eat more and DS seemed to be actually swallowing when nursing.

Okay, crying boy, gotta go!
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