One week PP and breasts suddenly empty - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 8 Old 10-30-2012, 05:54 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I have a one week old baby girl. We started using nipple shields in the hospital at the suggestion of a nurse, because I couldn't get baby to latch at all. An LC then helped me get her latched once, and since we've been home, with lots of help from the internet, I've been working on weaning us off of the shield. Yesterday was the first day I haven't used it at all, though it sometimes takes a lot of failed attempts before we get a latch, and by the time she gets on and starts sucking, I'm so relieved and tired that I guess I've been accepting a less thn ideal latch. I've had some pain in my nipples from what I'm pretty sure is from nipple compression. I'm working to fix that now.

That was all just backstory, though, and what I'm really worried about is what seems to (maybe paranoid, hormonal, first time mom) me to be a sudden, insane drop in supply. Yesterday I was engorged, leaking, and even when I used the nipple shield, it was often full of milk when I peeled it off, and milk would be leaking from baby's mouth. This morning, baby ate every fifteen minutes from 8:00 to 1:00, and when she finally fell and stayed asleep, both of my breasts were empty and soft like they had been before I gave birth. And they don't seem to have filled back up. Baby has eaten several times since then and seemed more or less satisfied, on a more normal 2-3 hour schedule, but I'm not leaking from the not-in-use breast, they aren't even a little bit hard, and when I tried to pump, just to see what would happen, I didn't even get enough milk to cover the bottom of the bottle. I can't hand express a drop. Two days ago I pumped a half ounce just to relieve the pressure in the breast baby didn't take for one feeding!

I know that your breasts adjust to baby's demand for milk, but it's way too soon for that, right? I couldn't find anything that said this was normal, and our latch problems wouldn't have caused this drastic change, right? Anyone experience anything like this? Most women need breast pads for months, it seems. I realize it's only been a day, but I need to be able to feed my baby, and I'm really freaked out.
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#2 of 8 Old 10-30-2012, 06:49 PM
 
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Congrats on your little one! 

 

It can be pretty shocking when our bodies go from being engorged to just having a supply. You go from feeling like you have huge porn star boobs that are filled to the brim with milk to feeling like a mom with kinda empty boobs and wondering if your baby is getting enough. 

 

A good way to check on supply for a baby that young is to count wet diapers, and to check her weight. Is she soiling 6-8 diapers a day? (with pee). If not, then I might call the LC again. If so, then I'd give it a couple of days and see. It might just be normal for you.

 

Some women need breast pads for months, and some women dont. With my first child, I needed breast pads until about 3 months. With my second, not at all.  Also, it's not likely to stay that way just because it's that way today. It may be that since you've weaned off the shield and you guys are nursing well (and that it happened pretty swiftly) that she's eaten the supply, and your body needs time to process and make more to make you feel "full" again. Every woman's breasts are different, so be careful of what you read about what other people's boobs are doing :)


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#3 of 8 Old 10-30-2012, 07:09 PM
 
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Remember that lactating is brain related so the more stressed out we are the more difficult it is to produce. Taking deep breaths and relaxing is important and resting as often as you can. The baby will not starve...you will produce as much the baby will eat. It can be very frustrating. As other poster stated, wet diapers is the best way to judge for the most part. You will be fine:) Take care of yourself!!

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#4 of 8 Old 10-30-2012, 07:47 PM
 
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Congrats on your new baby girl!   The baby is your best indicator of what is really in there.  My baby is way more efficient than any other sign.  I never needed breast pads either, I used them only to cover my nipples, helps since I used lanolin for nipple pain for a couple months and didn't want the lanolin to get on my clothes.  

 

I cannot tell how much milk is in there except looking at diaper output and his weight gain.  In the beginning he ate frequently (there was no every 3 hour type thing schedule, if he was awake he was mostly spending all that time eating and he also preferred to sleep while eating too).  After months of nursing I can only count on one hand the times my breasts was really firm and full, I never leak, I still can't hand express and I still rarely get even an ounce from using both breasts for a long pumping session.  I also rarely see any milk dribble from my baby, he likes to eat every last drop.  winky.gif  He also doesn't burp or spit up much.  

 

If you are really concerned about what your baby is getting you could have a LC weigh her before and after a nursing session.   Make sure you are eating enough, snacking all day, and drinking enough and keep your stress level down which can be difficult in the very beginning if you have lots of visitors.  

 

And letting your baby eat on demand, not on a schedule, is great for boosting supply, like you did today when she wanted to eat every 15 minutes.  Sounds like you are doing a great job, keep at it!  It is hard in the beginning, or at least it was for me, very painful and time consuming and worrying about them getting enough, but hanging in there is so worth it.  

 

If you have a LLL around you try to attend a meeting.  I have attended several with my baby and they have helped so very much

http://www.llli.org/webus.html


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#5 of 8 Old 10-30-2012, 08:52 PM
 
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Oh, and this might help:

 

 

1000


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Adaline love.gif (3/20/10), and Charlie brokenheart.gif (1/26/12- 4/10/12) and our identical  rainbow1284.gif  twins Callie and Wendy (01/04/13)

SIDS happens. 

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#6 of 8 Old 11-01-2012, 06:56 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Okay, I think we're doing all right. She's having plenty of wet and dirty diapers, and I am leaking from the breast she's not using during let down again. I'm not getting that firm, full feeling from my breasts anymore, but I'm feeling better about that. I knew I probably just needed to give it a little more time, but it's so difficult to maintain perspective right now. I so appreciate the reassurances you ladies gave. It definitely help me
to calm down!
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#7 of 8 Old 11-01-2012, 08:04 AM
 
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Congratulations on your new baby girl! joy.gif

 

You've gotten some great advice, and sound like you're less worried now but I just wanted to chime in and say I never needed breast pads. I bought a nice set of pretty organic cotton ones... and never used them. When my milk came in I was slightly engorged but that was the only time it really happened. Once or twice if DD slept for a longer period of time than usual my breasts would become "full" feeling again, but that was really it for me. 

 

There's such a large range of what is normal when it comes to birth. breastfeeding, and babies!


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#8 of 8 Old 11-01-2012, 10:55 AM
 
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Totally normal! You'll feel your engorgement go up and down over the next few months as your supply makes little adjustments along the way. Don't worry about it and just keep feeding your kid.

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