My breastmilk supply crashed! Is pumping to blame? - Mothering Forums

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Old 12-15-2010, 10:07 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi Ladies! I was a semi-frequent poster on the TTC and Pregnancy boards, so I'm looking forward to being a part of this forum. My DD Lila was born on 11/30. I can't believe she's been here for two weeks!!

 

So here's my first parenting question:

 

Last night at about 10, my DD finished nursing. I was still really "full," esp on the left side, so I decided to pump. Since then, the left breast is barely producing anything. The right is slow, but there's something there. What the heck happened?? I'm chugging Mother's Milk Tea and had oatmeal for breakfast. What else can I do?


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Old 12-15-2010, 11:55 AM
 
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What makes you think that your supply has crashed? If your supply was fine yesterday, I think it's safe to say that it's fine today. And pumping after a feed tells your body to make *more* milk -- not less. If this is a matter of not feeling "full", try not to worry about that. You will find that as time goes on, you will feel "full" less and less often. My son is 3 months old and I only feel full now if he goes 6+ hours without eating -- so pretty much only at night. Pay attention to your LO's diapers. If there are plenty of wet and dirty diapers, there is no issue with supply.

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Old 12-15-2010, 12:03 PM
 
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ITA with pp. Pumping can cause supply issues if it's done instead of a feeding. If it's in addition to a feeding, it's generally thought to increase supply.

 

I can't remember when it happened, but I do remember engorgement and leaking slowing down after a bit post partum. At some point, I was even able to stop wearing nursing pads.


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Old 12-15-2010, 12:52 PM
 
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I agree that this might be a supply-demand adjustment. On the other hand, DivineMrsM didn't say why she thinks her supply has crashed, so this may not be simply a reduction in fullness or leakage.

 

As a matter of fact, my cousin had a baby at the end of October; three days before my own DD was born.  About 10 days ago, her supply took a sudden dip for about 48 hours.  She came to this conclusion because 1) her baby was upset and hungry 2) she couldn't express or pump any milk and 3) lack of output in the diaper.  She made sure she was hydrated, drank fenugreek tea and after about 48 hours, the supply returned. 

 

I think you should keep doing what you are doing, monitor the baby's output and follow your own instincts.  If you don't think that your baby is getting enough nourishment, see a lactation consultant or HCP.  Don't rush to formula, but definitely monitor the situation and don't dismiss your own concerns. 

 

There are a lot of complex hormones at work, particularly in the postpartum weeks.  I doubt pumping after a feed could be the issue.

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Old 12-15-2010, 01:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I agree that this might be a supply-demand adjustment. On the other hand, DivineMrsM didn't say why she thinks her supply has crashed, so this may not be simply a reduction in fullness or leakage.

 

As a matter of fact, my cousin had a baby at the end of October; three days before my own DD was born.  About 10 days ago, her supply took a sudden dip for about 48 hours.  She came to this conclusion because 1) her baby was upset and hungry 2) she couldn't express or pump any milk and 3) lack of output in the diaper.  She made sure she was hydrated, drank fenugreek tea and after about 48 hours, the supply returned. 

 

I think you should keep doing what you are doing, monitor the baby's output and follow your own instincts.  If you don't think that your baby is getting enough nourishment, see a lactation consultant or HCP.  Don't rush to formula, but definitely monitor the situation and don't dismiss your own concerns. 

 

There are a lot of complex hormones at work, particularly in the postpartum weeks.  I doubt pumping after a feed could be the issue.

 

 

Sorry I wasn't more specific. Last night after pumping, my poor baby was nursing for her next two feedings and getting nothing. I had a few ounces stashed in the freezer, so she had some of those. This morning, she nursed and was getting minimal milk, so I supplemented with those and she polished off my freezer stash. Her last feeding was semi-normal, but I'm still getting very little out of my left side. I'll see what her diaper output looks like in a few hours; the past few diapers were probably the result of the pumped milk. 

 

I'm NOT messing with formula. DD had a reaction to it in the hospital. (I had an emergency c-section under general anesthesia, so I couldn't do her first feeding. She broke out in hives!) That and I'm not a fan of giving my baby girl anything less perfect than she is. 

 

Off to drink some more water. I don't feel dehydrated, esp not after the 7-8 glasses a day I've had since she was born, but it's worth a shot. 
 


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Old 12-15-2010, 07:01 PM
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The problem I see here is the supplementing (w. pumped milk). Unless you give it in an SNS or lactaid, and keep baby at the breast for a while (as long as an ordinary feed), this will tell your body to produce less milk, and your supply is likely to suffer. If you already suspect that your supply is decreasing, your best bet is to feed more, not less. Any extra milk you give takes the place of a breastfeed, and will tell your body to produce less milk.

When your baby cries and you feel empty, this is when you need to keep baby feeding. You are never empty, milk is made and supplied continuously. Your baby may need to feed for another couple of minutes for another letdown to come, and to feed longer to tell your body that more milk is needed. Baby also has growth spurts, when they suddenly need more milk, and the only way for your body to be able to answer to that need is to feed more, even if it seems like there isn't enough and baby is hungry. In a few days supply will have increased to match baby's need. And baby will be fine, being a bit hungry for a day or two won't harm her (supplementing may harm your supply, the other hand).

I struggled with supply issues (and we overcame them, after many months). It is hard. If you do have supply issues you should see a decrease in her output. Counting wet and dirty nappies and checking weight will tell you something about your supply.

Good luck!
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Old 12-15-2010, 07:50 PM
 
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You will be fine. That boob will make another batch when the other side is letting down.

I used to have to pump if one side got too full and it was hurting very badly. I know technically you arent supposed to, but I did. I learned  by my third nursling that it prevented plugged ducts and mastitis for me.

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Old 12-16-2010, 06:36 AM
 
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Quote:
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sheashea View Post

I agree that this might be a supply-demand adjustment. On the other hand, DivineMrsM didn't say why she thinks her supply has crashed, so this may not be simply a reduction in fullness or leakage.

 

As a matter of fact, my cousin had a baby at the end of October; three days before my own DD was born.  About 10 days ago, her supply took a sudden dip for about 48 hours.  She came to this conclusion because 1) her baby was upset and hungry 2) she couldn't express or pump any milk and 3) lack of output in the diaper.  She made sure she was hydrated, drank fenugreek tea and after about 48 hours, the supply returned. 

 

I think you should keep doing what you are doing, monitor the baby's output and follow your own instincts.  If you don't think that your baby is getting enough nourishment, see a lactation consultant or HCP.  Don't rush to formula, but definitely monitor the situation and don't dismiss your own concerns. 

 

There are a lot of complex hormones at work, particularly in the postpartum weeks.  I doubt pumping after a feed could be the issue.

 

 

Sorry I wasn't more specific. Last night after pumping, my poor baby was nursing for her next two feedings and getting nothing. I had a few ounces stashed in the freezer, so she had some of those. This morning, she nursed and was getting minimal milk, so I supplemented with those and she polished off my freezer stash. Her last feeding was semi-normal, but I'm still getting very little out of my left side. I'll see what her diaper output looks like in a few hours; the past few diapers were probably the result of the pumped milk. 

 

I'm NOT messing with formula. DD had a reaction to it in the hospital. (I had an emergency c-section under general anesthesia, so I couldn't do her first feeding. She broke out in hives!) That and I'm not a fan of giving my baby girl anything less perfect than she is. 

 

Off to drink some more water. I don't feel dehydrated, esp not after the 7-8 glasses a day I've had since she was born, but it's worth a shot. 
 



 


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Old 12-16-2010, 08:23 AM
 
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moved to breastfeeding challenges


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Old 12-16-2010, 08:37 AM
 
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I don't know if there's any science behind what I'm going to say, but I hate the pump and refuse to use one. I think it affected my supply. I just had twins and the ICU was pushing the pump on me- I tried it for a few days (had huge supply issues happen again-I'd gone through this before as I have now nursed 6 kids) and so I quite using the pump. Sure enough, my supply is now back to normal. I think it's not the same as a baby's suck and for me, it sort of empties my boobs and then I make less. I just keep nursing through the issues though and it's always worked itself out. When I try to explain this to a lactation specialist they always scoff at me though, so I'm shy about my theory.

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Old 12-16-2010, 08:41 AM
 
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Yes feeding pumped milk from a bottle instead of nursing will reduce your supply. But over half a day or less it's nothing long term, just put her to the breast as normal and your supply will normalize right away.

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Old 12-16-2010, 10:06 AM
 
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I'm surprised I haven't seen anyone suggest this yet, but do a mama and baby in bed naked day - just you and baby, skin to skin constantly, nursing as much as dd will nurse, and just snuggle her up to you.  Drink plenty of fluids, have someone make you some yummy oatmeal chocolate chip cookies (my best friend when my supply needs a boost!), and just snuggle up to your dd and nurse nurse nurse. 

 

Watch her diapers - as long as there are 6 sopping ones in a day (or more, say, 8 or 9 less sopping ones if she doesn't pee tons at a time), and she's pooping great BM poops (yellow, seedy, pretty liquidy - definitely not solid), she's good to go.

 

It's possible that she's nursing frequently enough that your breasts aren't getting engorged between feedings - which is completely normal and much desired by those of us who get crazy engorged!  It doesn't mean she isn't getting enough (BTW - what makes you say she isn't getting enough??  How can you tell?  Unless its a feed and weigh its hard to tell how much BF'd babies get at each feeding), just means she's drinking as much as you're producing.

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Old 12-17-2010, 04:31 AM
 
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Simply being skin-to-skin will cause you to produce more milk. When my LO was 2 weeks old, she was too fussy to spend a day in bed with me (naps were okay, but if she was awake, she wanted to be moving), but I could be topless and carry her around in the moby wrap all day (the walking and snuggling really calmed her down). The moby wrap pretty much covers you up :) I would be very hesitant to supplement with a bottle this early, unless you saw signs of reduced output (and then, SNS is better -- she's still so little and you're definitely still establishing supply). The way to get supply up is to nurse, nurse, nurse.


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Old 12-17-2010, 09:25 AM
 
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Simply being skin-to-skin will cause you to produce more milk. When my LO was 2 weeks old, she was too fussy to spend a day in bed with me (naps were okay, but if she was awake, she wanted to be moving), but I could be topless and carry her around in the moby wrap all day (the walking and snuggling really calmed her down). The moby wrap pretty much covers you up :) I would be very hesitant to supplement with a bottle this early, unless you saw signs of reduced output (and then, SNS is better -- she's still so little and you're definitely still establishing supply). The way to get supply up is to nurse, nurse, nurse.



Absolutely!!  Do what works for you, be it wearing her in the moby topless while she's wearing a dipe, snuggling in bed naked, or sitting on the couch skin to skin watching tv.  I was still in too much pain from my tear to be up and moving much, so my bub and I spent 1-2weeks in bed together - it was GREAT bonding and really got us off to a great start nursing wise, which is why I suggested that.  Definitely do some major skin to skin, and maybe see an LC if you feel like you need some reassurance (which is totally ok!)

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Old 12-17-2010, 11:22 AM
 
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Remember that babies go through occasional "frequency days" (sometimes called growth spurts) where they need to feed more frequently than normal - nature's way of ensuring mum's supply is established and continues.  2 weeks is a common time.  It could simply be that she's feeding more often because of this.  If so, things should settle down after 1-3 days of this behaviour.

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Old 12-21-2010, 10:15 PM
 
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Also, at 2 weeks you may be over doing the activity and that will affect supply. But my guess is that she was nursing just fine, and acting hungry afterwards because she is going through a growth spurt. It's normal to act fussy in the evenings, and want to nurse constantly. Maybe look up cluster feeding.

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Old 12-24-2010, 09:22 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks ladies! I spoke with a lactation consultant. I have flat nipples, so I've been nursing though a shield... which means that the baby isn't emptying the breast as efficiently. But she won't latch at all without it. So we're trying to wean her off it. (So far, no dice. But we're trying). This all made my supply a little low, so we're trying to boost it. I'm taking Fenugreek, tweaked my diet, and was told to pump after most feedings. And to feed the baby every time she asks. So far things are going better. 


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