My DD is almost 15 months, and I'm currently still taking supplements to boost my supply. Originally I started them because she had a posterior tongue tie that took 3m to be properly diagnosed, and even after it was corrected, she had trouble getting milk out efficiently if I didn't take supplements to keep my supply on the high side (because that increased the flow). I decreased the supplements, but then a month or two ago, I was away for 5 days pumping, ovulated, and then I got a bad stomach flu that lasted a week within a day of coming home, so my supply dropped way down very suddenly and didn't come back on it's own, and so I increased the herbs again to get my supply up. My supply also regularly dips a lot between O and AF.
I feel as though it is a bit unnatural to keep taking these supply boosting herbs with a toddler (although having her only nurse once in the middle of the day because I'm away at work is also in it's own way not "natural," from a historical standpoint at least, so I'm not really sure how to classify what is "natural" or not, especially since there doesn't seem to be a lot of research out there about toddler nursing...), plus it would be nice to be able to stop paying for them. However, I'm worried about my supply dropping off to nothing when I go off the herbs (the way that it did a few months ago when I was really sick). I tried to wean off the supplements completely when she was still an infant, and my supply dipped too much, and I had to go back on them.
For those of you who have taken supply boosting supplements, when did you go off them, and how did you do it? Did your supply go right back to where it was before you started supplementing (i.e. back to being too low) or did it go down but still remain sufficiently high for the LO to BF?
Any other tips?
Thanks for reading my post!
DD born at 40w2d on 1/19/2011
DD born at 40w1d on 3/1/2014
My situation is not quite the same, but here's my experience, for what it's worth.
I never needed any kind of supply-booster until my period came back, but I do generally have a pretty big supply dip after I ovulate. So I take Mother's Milk Tea (1 cup per day) every day between ovulation and when my period starts. I've been doing that for over a year--my period came back when my son was 13 months, and he's now pushing 2.5.
For me, the key has been to figure what's working on a day-to-day and week-to-week basis, experiment, tweak, fix, and go from there. (IOW, less about what's "natural," more about what works for me at that point in time!).
What are you taking? The tea I take runs about $4.50 a pack and that lasts me at least 2 months (using it for 2 weeks out of each month), so it's not expensive. Maybe you could switch up what you are using?
My situation is also a bit different, but I will share in case it will help. My DD also had a posterior tongue tie that was not diagnosed for 4 months. After it was fixed, I had a little increase of supply, but not enough for her to gain the weight she needed. I started taking domperidone at that point and it help a lot. She gained a lot of weight from that point on. Went from 10th percentile to 95th in a few months. But I gained a lot of weight as a side effect and wanted to wean myself off. When she turned 11 months, I started decreasing the dosage by one pill every 5 days. I was taking 3 pills 3 times a day. It worked out well. I never saw a decrease in supply. If you can somehow do that with the herbs you are taking, you body could adjust slowly. How is your DD eating? I guess I am a bit relaxed about this now because DD eats solids really well (she is 15 months too). I am also not gone for more than 5 hours a day since I only work part time. I think you could try weaning yourself off slowly again. I think the first time you tried was not ideal because you got sick and was traveling/pumping. Those things alone would have killed my supply.
Thanks for the replies Anna and lilikoi. I'm taking a combination of fenugreek, goat's rue, and blessed thistle. I was only taking one herb at a time before, but this last time my supply really went down dramatically, so I added in all three to get it back up. I guess I've noticed that there seems to be a kind of threshold of effectiveness, for at least some of these herbs, so that if one is over a certain dose, they work great, but below that dose, there doesn't seem to be much difference, so I'm nervous about tapering off gradually not working. (If there is anyone out there with experience weaning gradually off herbs who wouldn't mind sharing their experience, please feel free to chime in here!) I think I should probably do exactly what you guys suggest, and wean off gradually (maybe with going back on one of the herbs only as needed during the time between O and AF). Thanks again for responding to my post!
DD born at 40w2d on 1/19/2011
DD born at 40w1d on 3/1/2014
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