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"dip" in milk supply

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
My lo is 7mo and I WOH 3 days a week. I usually pump about 15-17 oz. My period returned when my DD was 6 mo. I think I ovulated last week (tmi, I don't know). Anyway, this week at work I can only pump about 10 oz. My DD is also nursing both sides (she normally only nurses on one side). I am guessing/hoping that this is a hormonal dip in milk supply.

Does that make sense? Or should I be more worried? It's hard not to get worked up about this because I want to make sure she's not hungry.

I have been eating oatmeal, drinking lots of water, taking extra calcium and magnesium, and drinking lots of Mothers Milk Tea.

Do many of you moms have cyclical dips in milk supply? How long does it last? What works to boost the supply or prevent this "dip"?

post #2 of 7
Sounds like a growth spurt or a milestone about to be hit. My kids ALWAYS have done that during a growth spurt or JUST before they started rolling, crawling, walking. For me it's always about a 5 day challenge. At the end of the 5 days I'm rewarded w/an abundant supply due to the extra nursing/pumping and probably worrying.
post #3 of 7
Yeah, I have a 6 month old and have dipped and surged like the price of oil. I dip for a few days during ovulation, down with the flu, etc. But it always comes back with a vengence, then levels out. What I've always read and found comforting:
Nursing is supply and demand, what goes down can go back up.
Don't measure what baby is getting by what you are pumping.
Kellymom.com is very helpful site run by a lactation consultant with great info about increasing supply, etc. I found extra nursing, pumping, and fenugreek did the trick.
If baby isn't having a growth spurt, she could be bumping your supply back up, helpful LO!
post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the reassurance! It's so hard to know. She is spending a lot more time at the breast after work, but is still sleeping pretty well at night (sleeping from 10 until 5ish without nursing). Pumping can be discouraging because it's easy to see fluctuations in supply.

So increased demand in the evening by my lo can actually reduce my pumping output during the work day? ...just curious.
post #5 of 7
Little scares me more than a dip in supply!
"So increased demand in the evening by my lo can actually reduce my pumping output during the work day? ...just curious."
In my experience, increased nursing can decrease pumping output for about two days, until I catch up. Also, I the amount I pump depends on the time of day. I guess the milk hormones are highest in the AM. So I added a pumping session after LO nurses but before work.
When she started sleeping 4-6 hours pm, I had to add a pumping session before bed. Have you LO sleep habits changed recently (for the better? LOL)?
Also- keep in mind that if LO is peeing, pooping, and alert like usual there's plenty of milk... It's so hard not to start focusing on the ounces when pumping, but healthy babies will let us know what they need. (I'm still loving being period free!)
post #6 of 7
As far as increasing feedings at night and lower supply during the day - (ETA: agree about the catching up part). Also, my LO has recently begun reverse cycling. He nurses quite a bit through the evening and night and AM, but while I am working, or during working hours, his intake is much less. Its his way of adjusting to the fact that he would rather nurse from me than from a bottle at DC.

when you have bad pump days, try turning off the pump, then wait a few min and try again. Massage ducts in breast while pumping, think of your baby, pump for 5 min after you are "done" pumping. Make sure you are getting good nutrition and you are taking care of yourself because stress causes dips in supply. Most of my dips I was diligent about all the kellymom.com suggestions for keeping a good pumping supply, and I was able to make up for them on my good days. SO I might have one week of 16 oz and then the next week would be a 12 oz week. Frustrating, but be confident in your body. If you are a few oz short, don't stress, nurse as soon as you get to DC to pick her up and her demand will make your body respond.

post #7 of 7
All great advice Carita!
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