My breasts are broken. - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 10 Old 09-16-2006, 08:51 AM - Thread Starter
 
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What is going ON?
My right boob, my championship boob, my big producer, has completely crapped out on me. My poor emergency backup left boob has had to do its best to make up the difference.
I'd had no supply issues at ALL this baby - last time was miserable, and I was really enjoying the lack of stress. Still, DS2 has been going through my stored milk faster than I could replace it at work, and we're getting down to the uh-oh point. I have five days off, so I figured I'd just pump a couple of times a day when I'm off to build up the stash a bit. Sooo, yesterday morning? NOTHING. Last night? 2oz. This morning? 3oz. I mean, the trend is getting better, but I'm used to being able to get 4+ oz in the morning pumping. The baby still seems to be getting enough from nursing, fortunately.
I'm downing gallons of water and started fenugreek yesterday, and I need to run out this morning and get oatmeal. Cross your fingers for me.
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#2 of 10 Old 09-16-2006, 11:24 AM
 
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Could it be hormonal? Are you expecting AF? Sorry I can't be more of a help.
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#3 of 10 Old 09-16-2006, 11:30 AM
 
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One morning=0, the next morning=3 oz does not sound like "broken" to me. It sounds like supply and demand. It sounds like the 3 month growth spurt as well. You are doing the right thing. Just trust nature. Oatmeal, fenugreek, water, good nutrition, rest and extra pumping will do the trick.

Have you read Nursing Mother Working Mother?
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#4 of 10 Old 09-16-2006, 01:31 PM
 
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I've recently stared to go through a similar thing. DD was born July 18/06 she's almost 9 weeks old. I used to be able to pump atleast a 6oz bottle a day. I went back to work on Monday for 3-5hrs a day. I didn't pump at work because I didn't feel full. I fed her right before I left, and as soon as I got back. She usually has 4hrs between feedings. Also while I try to eat and drink alot I think maybe it's not enough. Plus I just caught a cold. Anyways now I can barely get 2 oz a day while pumping up to six times! And she drinks 4-5 oz from the bottle while I'm gone, my freezer supply is almost gone. On top of that She is going through a growth spurt. It seems like she's hungy after she eats so we just switch back and forth between breasts til she get frustrated. Her soft spot is even so I know she's not dehydrated, but her diapers have cut down a little. I want her to suck hopingf to stimulate production but it doesn't seem to be working. I really want to bf but I don't want her going hungry, so I think I might have to start supplimenting. Could I just be drying up? nothing I change seems to work, HELP!
It doesn't even feel like I'm letting down anymore!
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#5 of 10 Old 09-16-2006, 01:51 PM
 
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I found that when I became stressed my milk supply went cuput. I tried hops beer right before bed ( when I knew that baby would not nurse for 6 hours) and would try to find a few minutes to sit with my feet up in a dark room (I even tried a wonderful sleep mask I bought at walgreens) This helped a lot. I also had huge supply issues around AF.

In hindsight I have wondered if I should have tried fish oil or cod liver oil. I wondered if that would have helped.

One last thing I want to suggest is really check your Breast pump. My PIS developed a small crack where the cord plugged in and it felt fine on suction but cut my supply to nothing. My husband checked the membranes and really looked it over. He called the company and Medula said this is common and sent me a replacement face for free.

I well remember those stressful days and am sending out lactation positive energy.
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#6 of 10 Old 09-16-2006, 10:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the good thoughts!
I just finished pumping before going to bed. The baby nursed about an hour ago, but I got a shade over 2oz. I'm going to guzzle some more water before I go to sleep, I had a beer at a neighbor's house this afternoon, and I'll keep with the fenugreek. DS2 had two dry diapers today, too, which is unusual (although I changed one after only an hour). He's had a wet one since then, though. He doesn't seem to be going hungry. I thought about a growth spurt or a pump issue, but I'm still befuddled at the fact that my breasts have felt so empty since yesterday. I tried to hand-express in the shower yesterday and got nothing at all out of the right side. Tonight I at least got a little out of both.

The biggest issue I have is that I work 24-hr shifts, so it's not just a question of whether I can get a bottle or two. I had something like 70oz of milk in my freezer before I started work at the beginning of the month, and he's gone through almost all of it! That's in addition to the 20-odd oz I pump each shift. Apparently he wants to eat every two hours when I'm gone, and will take 4oz or more each time. Fortunately, he usually only eats twice between 8pm and when I get home. One thing I'm wondering is if DH isn't feeding him more than he needs to - he gets DS2 up at 11 to feed him before going to bed himself, and that doesn't happen when I'm at home. That's an extra 4oz, right there.
I'm really freaked out about this, so I'll be pumping a lot tomorrow and Monday, and praying I can make it to the next five-day break in 3 weeks without running out.
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#7 of 10 Old 09-16-2006, 11:35 PM
 
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Try taking a quart jar, putting in a handful of dried nettle leaf a handful a red raspberry leaf and you can add something like peppermint or rooibos for flavor. Pour boiling water over the herbs and secure the lid. Let it sit for 2-4 hours to get a nice potent brew. strain and drink. It's good chilled, good with honey and imo tastey. it made my milk supply so over the top that pulling my boob out was like popping open a bottle of champaigne. Hope it helps.
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#8 of 10 Old 09-17-2006, 03:21 AM
 
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You know your husband is probably feeding him more too. I know my baby took more from the bottle than the breast and my husband wanted to switch to bigger bottles when I explained that we didn't need to engorge the kid. Your post reminded me of the agony I went through. I remember just crying my eyes out wondering how I was going to pull off a milk supply. 24 hour shifts are really tough as well. You are a very dedicated mom and I admire you alot for what you are doing.
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#9 of 10 Old 09-17-2006, 09:41 AM
 
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Oh, 2 24 hr shifts is rough. A baby is much more effective at removing milk from your breasts than a pump.

OTOH, the "dry diapers" can be just an indication of maturation and a larger bladder capacity. Older babies pee and poo less often than newborns.

Do you co-sleep? Babies of working moms often start to "reverse-cycle" and get more of their milk at night when mom is around.

I agree about dh maybe feeding the baby more than is neccessary.
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#10 of 10 Old 09-17-2006, 12:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I talked to him last night about it, and he's going to stop with the 11pm feeding unless the baby needs it (it helped that DS2 slept from 8 to 2 last night, proving my point ). One good thing is that I work just a few blocks from home now, so he can actually bring the baby by to nurse. We sorta kinda co-sleep - I usually put him down in his Amby in the evenings after he eats, then he comes into our bed for the rest of the night when he wakes up for his middle-of-the-night feeding. I haven't noticed any difference in his schedule the last few days, though.
The next challenge is going to be talking to my mother, who watches the baby while DH is in school. I *know* she's over-feeding him, because she takes pride in filling up her grandchildren. Hoo, boy.
By the way, I got 2.5oz this morning, after 36 hours of fenugreek and about five gallons of water...
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