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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
<p>So the title pretty much sums it up.  I've been struggling with my supply during the time between ovulation and my period and I had been going on the assumption that hormonal effects during that time were causing a dip in my supply so I take Calcium/magnesium as per Kelly mom and I also take Motherlove 'more milk plus' which seems to work for me but I'm still having trouble.</p>
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<p>Then I noticed that my supply doesn't dip until several days after I ovulate although my son starts to get fidgety and fussy at the breast right at ovulation.  He'll take a little sip and then pull away and then sip and then pull away and sometimes just turn his head away and want to get down and play.  At this time I know there is milk there because sometimes he pulls away while I still feel the milk letting down, and when I hand express to check there is plenty there. </p>
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<p>I'm starting to think that my supply isn't dipping because of my ovulation but because something about the milk is different during that time and he doesn't like it and is basically refusing to nurse.  Then of course my supply tanks because there is no demand.  When my period starts he goes back to nursing and everything goes back to normal but it's very stressful to spend 10 or so days out of every cycle in this struggle.</p>
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<p>Basically he seems to take just enough to satisfy his thirst, 3 minutes or so on a side, and then he starts getting fidgety and if I try to offer the breast again he'll start goofing around and playing with the nipple which usually leads eventually to him biting me.  Not a good system.  I've got my pump out and I'm pumping after nursing sessions but I'm not a good pumper and I usually don't get much, so I can't just pump and feed bottled milk because I'll never get enough.  Today I pumped after his early afternoon nursing and only got about one ounce but I went ahead and mixed it with a little formula and offered it to him because I wanted to make sure that if he needed more than he was getting that it would be available to him.  He drank about one ounce and went to sleep.  So he basically wanted exactly the amount of milk I had, but he wasn't interested in having it from the breast.   So he's trying to drive me crazy, right?<span><img alt="dizzy.gif" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/dizzy.gif"></span></p>
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<p>I looked it up and everyone says that the milk is exactly the same but I'm really starting to wonder if it tastes different or something and it's putting him off.  Does anyone have experience with this?  Is there anything I can do if it really is the taste?  Or do I just tough it out and wait for things to go back to normal?  Fortunately I have long cycles so I usually have about 3 weeks of easy going and then 1 1/2 weeks of hard work but I would like it to be easier all around.  I was hoping I would be able to nurse him longer than I did for my daughter who gave up for similar reasons at about 1 year.</p>
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<p>I have read that the hormone fluctuations CAN make your milk taste different, so I certainly think it's possible he's not liking the taste too much. Are you sure, though, that he might not just be frustrated if the flow is slower than normal from your supply dip? I'm pretty sure my supply dips during ovulation and then again leading up to ovulation b/c DS is fussier at the breast, like what you describe, except that DS will come back over and over again (that's why I'm assuming my supply dips) for these short little nursings. He nurses all.the.time during this phase (and it drives my super-sensitive nips crazy!) Anyway, I have never worried about him not getting enough during that time since it's such a short time period, and he can temporarily pick up his complementary food and drink. Have you tried not pumping/or supplementing with formula to see what happens? Does he still have  a good number of wet diapers if you have?</p>
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
<p>Sorry I was away for so long, I appreciate you answering my long rambling question.  As for his intake, it's definitely greatly reduced during the time between ovulation and my period with a reduction in wet diapers that makes me uncomfortable.  Usually he would wet 6 or 7 really wet diapers a day and during this time it's more like 4 or 5 somewhat wet diapers and it gets progressively worse during the 2 weeks.  The first few days are manageable, then it gets a little worse and by the last 4 days or so before my period it's pretty bad with him fussing and crying for milk and waking up in the morning with a barely wet diaper.  So I give him 3 food meals a day and supplement with formula and grit my teeth and try to power through those last few days and into the next cycle because it takes a couple of days for the supply to rebound. </p>
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<p>I guess I was looking for any kind of alternative ideas because it's exhausting to have this two week stretch of struggle every cycle.  Right now I'm hanging on one cycle at a time.  I think I can make it through this tough patch but I expect to be traveling for part of the next one and the stress of travel combined with this makes me think I might not make it through the next.  My period came back at 5 months with this baby and each cycle I feel less and less inclined to keep going. </p>
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<p>I suppose it doesn't really matter why the supply dips, it just does, and we'll deal with it one way or the other. </p>
 

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<p>I'm sorry! It sounds like your supply is dropping substantially (or he is not nursing long enough and often enough to get the lower amount that is there) since he's having fewer wet dipes. I know calcium/mag supplements are recommended for the nipple pain that is associated with ov & PMS, but I don't recall reading that it would help your supply issue. Maybe the answer is to get your baseline supply up enough that you would have more during the dip, and maybe also be able to pump and supplement with your own BM (if you want to do that instead of formula supp). If you wanted to try that, you could go with the familiar rec: fenugreek, mother's milk tea, domperidome. I have no experience with any of these personally, just read and heard about them. As I said, I know my supply dips, but DS makes up for it by being constantly latched during that period. I hope you find an answer!</p>
 

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<p>I read very recently (yesterday, I think - now if only I could remember where!) that it may well be the taste, but that babies typically get used to the taste.  Hope your little one does soon!</p>
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
<p>Thanks for the support.  I wish I could supplement with my own milk, but I'm not a very successful pumper overall.  I did manage to put together a little freezer stash but when I pulled it out to start using it he wouldn't take it.  I smelled the milk and immediately understood why, it smelled, and tasted, awful; sour and yucky.  I read about the cal/mag supplement on Kelly mom who recommends it to deal with the dip in supply, and the Motherlove concoction is a tincture that I take 4 times a day, a combination of blessed thistle, fenugreek, and a couple of other nursing herbs.  It is definitely helping, without it I had almost nothing during the last week or so.  With it I can provide over half of what he needs, so I'm grateful for that.</p>
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<p>I'd be very interested Heba to know what you read.  I feel like taste is a big part of the issue and I guess I'm looking for confirmation.  It's been 4 cycles so far and he hasn't gotten used to it yet.  I think he might be pickier than my daughter was.  He is pickier in the foods he'll eat too, she would eat practically everything.  I feel like that might explain why I was able to nurse my daughter with supply issues that weren't so severe.  I think my supply dipped anyway but she maybe didn't mind the taste change so it fell off less. </p>
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<p>He's a strong, healthy kid so I'm trying to just be glad for what we've accomplished so far and not worry too much about the future.</p>
 
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