Breasts full soft and empty 8 weeks postpartum - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 12 Old 04-03-2012, 07:57 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I am worried about my milk supply because as of yesterday, my breasts no longer get to the point of that full feeling.  They feel pretty empty and soft.  I've read this is normal and is most likely that my body has adjusted to my baby's needs, but what if baby is not happy with this?? Last night, he seemed very unhappy with the amount he was getting and I'm afraid that may continue.  And what do you do about the growth spurts, if you breasts are feeling soft and empty and it seems they are not happy with what they are getting? Is supplementing the only resolution to this? I certainly don't want baby to starve!  I know they mention pumping between sessions but if I did that, there would be nothing left at all for him when he is ready to eat the next time.  I just tried pumping after his last feeding and I barely got anything at all.

 

I do have hypothyroidism and had my levels checked at my 6-week postpartum visit.  The doctor had me decrease my medication because at that time I was getting too much hormone (since my meds were increased during pregnancy).  I could not have decreased my medication any less than I did, so I don't think my thyroid can be off.

 

Any advice? I'm worried about this. 


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#2 of 12 Old 04-03-2012, 08:03 AM
 
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Breasts feeling soft and empty doesn't mean they ARE empty.  Your breasts are always making milk.  My breasts don't feel any different now than they did when my babies were past the newborn stage, and I haven't nursed in almost a year.  :)

 

When baby is going through a growth spurt, just let him nurse as often and long as he'd like.


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#3 of 12 Old 04-03-2012, 08:58 AM
 
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The best way to make more milk is to nurse.  there is really no other magic to it.  It is very typical to feel like 'my god, i have no milk!' because your breasts arent feeling alternately full then empty all day long ...and they just feel empty - they feel back to normal!

What is baby's  mood like?  why do you say he wasnt happy with the amount he was given?  What are the diapers telling you? 

I will say this - i have NO IDEA if thyroid issues play any part at all in milk production - hopefully an LC will comment on that portion of your question!  and if that has no bearing on production, there is no need to think you have suddenly stopped producing enough milk to feed your baby.  Nurse as he demands and you should be fine.


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#4 of 12 Old 04-05-2012, 10:59 AM
 
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Sounds like a growth spurt combined with getting to the point in breastfeeding that is pretty much 100% supply/demand based instead of at the beginning where the hormones of pregnancy/birth are still driving the breastfeeding process pretty hard. Sometimes your baby will be a bit fussy/frustrated during growth spurts or when your body is switching to supply/demand if the milk isn't coming as fast as they are used to, but the PP is correct, your breasts are always making milk, so there is always some there. There is generally no need to supplement, just try to breastfeed more often if possible and for longer as that will increase demand causing supply to increase pretty quickly. It definitley is unnevering when you go from breasts that feel full-to-engorged all the time to breasts that feel near empty by comparison a lot of the time, but it isn't abnormal.

As for the thyroid issues, hopefully your doctor or a LC can help with that part of it in case that is a concern. Even if it isn't having anything to do with the BFing situation, the fact that your hormones are changing again might be affecting your thyroid issue, so I think it is worth asking the question.

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#5 of 12 Old 04-08-2012, 05:29 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you guys for your support but I am really having trouble and getting closer and closer to giving upgreensad.gif  Not only do my breasts feel soft and empty, my little guy seems to take swings and jabs at me while he's trying to eat, as if he's not getting enough.  He's very frustrated when eating.  I've been letting him feed on demand, and even comfort suck when he wants, to try to increase my supply.  I do have to say I do notice my breasts filling up a little better but my biggest concern is his wet diapers.  This kid has never gone a half hour without a wet diaper (maybe an exageration but close enough), but last night he went 4 hours without one.  He did the same thing the other night as well.  This bothers me because he never went that long before without a wet diaper.  His poos seem to be good, however.  All night long he's basically eating his hands, rooting, and I'll feed him but he nevers seems satisfied.  I am getting frustrated myself and I am totally exhausted! I haven't had a stretch of sleep more than 2-3 hours in the past 2 months (more if you count the last few weeks of my pregnancy)winky.gif. He'll normally go from say 9 pm to 12:00 or 1:00 a.m., but from then on it's like every hour.H e's a noisy, stirring sleeper too so he never really gets great sleep I feel (only during the day).

 

I tried pumping and I hardly get anything.  It would take me a couple of sessions just to make one bottle.   What is going on? It could be my thyroid I guess even though I just had it checked, but if that's the case, I would have to go back to my doctor and get it rechecked again every time I feel my supply is low? That is almost nearly impossible to do!


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#6 of 12 Old 04-08-2012, 06:11 AM
 
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When this happened to me at ~8 weeks PP, it was a big mug of peppermint tea that had dried me up. I immediately stopped doing any kind of mint (for 3 yrs, until I stopped nursing!).

 

 

Anything in the mint family can dry you up. So can allergy or cold meds.

 

Start taking galactagogues and drinking a ton of water. Let's see how many I can remember (check KellyMom or Jay Gordon's sites): oatmeal, milk thistle, fenugreek, oatstraw, mother's milk tea...

 

I was super-sensitive to mint, and it turned out I was super-sensitive to glaactagogues, too. Just one bowl of oatmeal could increase my supply.

 

Good luck!


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#7 of 12 Old 04-08-2012, 03:36 PM
 
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I wanted to add not to let the pumping freak you out.  I never had any supply issues and was never able to pump much at all.  It always took me 2 or 3 sessions to pump a single bottle.  Dd was exclusively breastfed until around 6 months and then continued to BF as the main part of her diet until around 18 months.  She just recently weaned at just over 4 because I'm pregnant and that caused my supply to tank.  Anyway, the pump truly isn't an accurate indicator of your supply. Some women's body's, like mine, just don't respond well to the pump.  The baby is much better at getting milk than a pump.

 

You could search out an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant. (I would certainly do that before giving up)  Or find someone with a good scale and weigh baby before and after a feeding to see how much he's getting.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ASusan View Post

When this happened to me at ~8 weeks PP, it was a big mug of peppermint tea that had dried me up. I immediately stopped doing any kind of mint (for 3 yrs, until I stopped nursing!).

 

 

Anything in the mint family can dry you up. So can allergy or cold meds.

 

Start taking galactagogues and drinking a ton of water. Let's see how many I can remember (check KellyMom or Jay Gordon's sites): oatmeal, milk thistle, fenugreek, oatstraw, mother's milk tea...

 

I was super-sensitive to mint, and it turned out I was super-sensitive to glaactagogues, too. Just one bowl of oatmeal could increase my supply.

 

Good luck!

 

 

I agree.  I didn't have issues with mint, but could tell, oatmeal especially, kicked up my supply.  also make sure you're getting plenty of water and food.  I know of some moms who started trying to lose the baby weight and cute their calorie intake to severely and it affected their milk supply.
 

 


Kristy, wife to Josh proud mama to Katie: since 3/08 and Emma since 8/12.

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#8 of 12 Old 04-08-2012, 05:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Any kind of oatmeal? I love maple and brown sugar.


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#9 of 12 Old 04-08-2012, 09:44 PM
 
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You really just need to count wet diapers. All of this is happening at once, but my 5.5 month old does all of this and she's EBF. First, totally normal for breast to feel sift. That's how they are supposed to feel. When DD hits a growth spurt (every few weeks) she gets a little pissed at my boobs. I just keep switching sides. Lasts a day or two and she increases my supply that way. My girl also sucks on her hands all day long. They entertain her and taste good. Also, she often has dry diapers all night. She doesn't pee in her sleep very often any more. She pees when she wakes up. How many wet diapers are you getting on a 24 hour period?
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#10 of 12 Old 04-08-2012, 09:45 PM
 
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Oh, and I work full time so I pump at work and get about 2 ounces at a time. Pumps suck!
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#11 of 12 Old 04-08-2012, 09:57 PM
 
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Any kind of oatmeal helps. I prefer Irish aka steel cut oatmeal, less processed oat grain. Also I have a Clif bar for breakfast - lots of protein and oatmeal in it.

Your hypothyroid issues may be the problem since breastfeeding is so tied up in hormones and so is your thyroid. I would talk to your doctor about getting a full thyroid assay vs just checking your TSH, if that's the case. Checking your T3 and T4 are important as well.

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#12 of 12 Old 04-11-2012, 12:51 PM
 
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I would call a LC ASAP, it sounds like it could be more than just the switch to 100% supply/demand from what you have said. Maybe try doing a before and after feed weigh to see how much your babe is getting? After you talk to a LC, then maybe if it makes sense try to get in to your doc about your thyroid. It sounds very frustrating, so hopefully you can get some answers!

And yes, watch out for mint or decongests or anything else that can dry milk up, they affect different people differently, but it could be something like that too for sure! And I too wouldn't worry so much about your pumping output, it's not a reliable indicator of how much your baby can get when breastfeeding. They can nearly always get more, sometimes A LOT more than you can pump.

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