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Thread: Can't manage my milk supply!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
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    Default Can't manage my milk supply!

    My LO is 7 months and I still deal with OS. At around 3 months it seemed that my supply adjusted, but after 4.5 months it climbed up again. I've managed to bring it down a few times with block nursing, then every time it rises up again, and fast, after I go back to regular nursing (one breast per feed).

    Yesterday and today I've been nursing on one breast per two feedings, this results in blocks of 4 or 5 hours sometimes. Now it seems that the breasts have slowed down a little bit, but who knows... it's the evening now, the true test is during the night/morning when production is highest.

    Any suggestions for a long-term, sustainable solution? I'm going crazy! (And getting little plugs almost every day.)

    PS. The strange thing is that a few times--maybe three or four times--in the past 4 months, I had one day when supply was very low, out of the blue. Then got back up.

    PS. 2: I don't pump (pumping makes the supply skyrocket). I work from home so I'm always with LO and nurse on demand. She nurses 8-10 times a day including night-feedings. Looots of wets and poopies everyday, very good weight gain. Started solids when she turned 6 months, so a month ago. So far she only gets solids once a day, between 1 and 1.5 oz of fruit or vegetable puree.

    PS. 3: She has been doing a lot of comfort nursing at night, sucking very little milk, and I wonder if this has made the OS worse.
    march 2011... the light of my life

    i love my little one

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
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    Default Re: Can't manage my milk supply!

    I had the same issue with my first baby. I dealt with an OS for almost that whole first year.

    All you can do is roll with baby's needs and always block feed. The comfort nursing doesn't help, but you can't not do it, kwim.

    Try wool nursing pads (really), cutting all saturated fats (like no butter, no red meat, no ice cream), and soy lecithin for the plugs.
    Susan
    Mama to my all-natural boys: Ian, 9-4-04, 11.5 lbs; Colton, 11-7-06, 9 lbs, in the water; Logan, 12-8-08, 9 lbs; Gavin, 1-18-11, 9 lbs; and an angel 1-15-06
    18+ months and for Gavin, born with an incomplete cleft lip and incomplete posterior cleft palate
    Sealed for time and eternity, 7-7-93
    Always babywearing, cosleeping and cloth diapering. Living with oppositional defiant disorder and ADHD. Ask me about cloth diapering and sewing your own diapers!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
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    Default Re: Can't manage my milk supply!

    I feel for you. My LO comfort nursed all night long up until 6mos. This past month I figured out he's been really uncomfortable due to wet diapers. We tried EC'ing at night, and amazingly, he started using the potty to pee (assuming I take him) and he also started falling asleep on his own. We're down to 3 nursing sessions while in bed (midnight, 4am, 8am)...and that has helped with my OS. I wonder if there's another issue making your LO need to comfort nurse that could be addressed? If so, maybe she would not need to comfort nurse as much at night?

    Obviously this might not be the problem, but I figured it didn't hurt to throw it out there. Good luck!!!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
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    Default Re: Can't manage my milk supply!

    with everything Susan said. I think Wyatt was about a year, also, before we were able to switch sides every feed. That was also very shortly before the point where my non-nursing side stopped spraying when I nursed. I'm curious about the saturated fat thing, though. Never heard that before. Susan, if you read this, I would love to hear more!

    And, chatton, yes! Wyatt's need to comfort nurse at night dropped dramatically (ha! to about every hour or so) once I figured out that he was needing to pee, and let him potty during the night.
    Teal

    25 May 96 and 14 January 08 and 27 February 2012

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Can't manage my milk supply!

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*aprilsmagic View Post
    I had the same issue with my first baby. I dealt with an OS for almost that whole first year.
    A year of OS is a long time!

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*aprilsmagic View Post
    All you can do is roll with baby's needs and always block feed. The comfort nursing doesn't help, but you can't not do it, kwim.
    Yep, I will always block feed from now on as long as I have too much milk. I think sometimes I can use the same breast for three feeds in a row! And yes, I can't say no to comfort nursing... also, those moments are so sweet.



    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*aprilsmagic View Post
    Try wool nursing pads (really), cutting all saturated fats (like no butter, no red meat, no ice cream), and soy lecithin for the plugs.
    Where do you find wool pads? Should I wear them even if I don't leak? I never leak, other than a little on one breast when she's nursing on the other and I get a let down. I reduced saturated fats (following your suggestion a couple months ago) but I haven't cut it out completely. I'm already off dairy, soy, nuts and gluten, so I didn't want to cut out even more things, but I guess I'll have to. I haven't tried soy lecithin supps yet because of the no-soy diet, although I read that soy lecithin might be OK. I'll give it a try. I am seriously getting little plugs every day. I get rid of one, another appears.
    march 2011... the light of my life

    i love my little one

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Can't manage my milk supply!

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*chatton View Post
    I feel for you. My LO comfort nursed all night long up until 6mos. This past month I figured out he's been really uncomfortable due to wet diapers. We tried EC'ing at night, and amazingly, he started using the potty to pee (assuming I take him) and he also started falling asleep on his own. We're down to 3 nursing sessions while in bed (midnight, 4am, 8am)...and that has helped with my OS. I wonder if there's another issue making your LO need to comfort nurse that could be addressed? If so, maybe she would not need to comfort nurse as much at night?

    Obviously this might not be the problem, but I figured it didn't hurt to throw it out there. Good luck!!!
    I was trying to change her at night to keep her dry longer, but she cries SO MUCH. Even if she's sort of half-awake to nurse, she cries a lot if I change her. I never tried EC but am very curious about it. But I think you might be right about another issue for comfort nursing. It's gotten better in the last few days. Sometimes my DH picks her up and rocks her back to sleep and it works.
    march 2011... the light of my life

    i love my little one

  7. #7
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    Apr 2011
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    Default Re: Can't manage my milk supply!

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*duckpond View Post
    with everything Susan said. I think Wyatt was about a year, also, before we were able to switch sides every feed. That was also very shortly before the point where my non-nursing side stopped spraying when I nursed. I'm curious about the saturated fat thing, though. Never heard that before. Susan, if you read this, I would love to hear more!

    And, chatton, yes! Wyatt's need to comfort nurse at night dropped dramatically (ha! to about every hour or so) once I figured out that he was needing to pee, and let him potty during the night.
    The weird thing is that there was a point when I did switch sides! Not every feed; it was usually in the evening, but it happened for several months. That's what I find so puzzling now!
    march 2011... the light of my life

    i love my little one

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
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    Default Re: Can't manage my milk supply!

    An IBCLC/ LLL Leader some years ago, back when I was having all these problems, told me about the saturated fats things. It really doesn't make a lot of sense, considering you are not supposed to be able to alter the composition of your milk with what you eat. But it was in that year's book of answers the LLL leaders were using at the time. And it did help. I cut all saturated fats and had a considerable decrease in plugs.

    Wool nursing pads, even if you don't leak, are supposed to keep your breasts warm and things flowing. It's Scandanavian midwife thing. It seemed to help. I ordered mine from a cloth diaper retailer, and they were not popular then. If you google, you will find more than you could ever want to know about wool nursing pads and where to get them.
    Susan
    Mama to my all-natural boys: Ian, 9-4-04, 11.5 lbs; Colton, 11-7-06, 9 lbs, in the water; Logan, 12-8-08, 9 lbs; Gavin, 1-18-11, 9 lbs; and an angel 1-15-06
    18+ months and for Gavin, born with an incomplete cleft lip and incomplete posterior cleft palate
    Sealed for time and eternity, 7-7-93
    Always babywearing, cosleeping and cloth diapering. Living with oppositional defiant disorder and ADHD. Ask me about cloth diapering and sewing your own diapers!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
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    Default Re: Can't manage my milk supply!

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*aprilsmagic View Post
    An IBCLC/ LLL Leader some years ago, back when I was having all these problems, told me about the saturated fats things. It really doesn't make a lot of sense, considering you are not supposed to be able to alter the composition of your milk with what you eat. But it was in that year's book of answers the LLL leaders were using at the time. And it did help. I cut all saturated fats and had a considerable decrease in plugs.
    You know, it makes sense to me. If milk is made from our blood, and our blood composition changes with what we eat--I mean, my blood gets "thicker" with more saturated fats--then why shouldn't this pass on to the milk? But these are only my conjectures... I am fascinated by the science of breastfeeding and unfortunately there seems to be so little research. Coincidentally I was googling milk composition yesterday (wanted to see what kinds of vitamins pass on to milk) and found a paper that says that a mother's nutrition does alter the milk, but in ways that are still poorly understood. If I were a scientist I would do a research project on this...

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*aprilsmagic View Post
    Wool nursing pads, even if you don't leak, are supposed to keep your breasts warm and things flowing. It's Scandanavian midwife thing. It seemed to help. I ordered mine from a cloth diaper retailer, and they were not popular then. If you google, you will find more than you could ever want to know about wool nursing pads and where to get them.
    Ah, found them! The idea of keeping my breasts warm sounds so cozy. Do you have a favorite brand and type to recommend? (I noticed there are different shapes too).

    By the way, does cold weather make plugs worse? I have an instinctive sense that cold temperatures will feel very uncomfortable. I wanted to go back to swimming but have put it off because I fear the cool water (even in a heated pool) will not be good for my breasts.
    march 2011... the light of my life

    i love my little one

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    10,440

    Default Re: Can't manage my milk supply!

    I use Lana pads, as they are big and warm

    And yes, I find swimming uncomfortable. It is not associated with plugs for me, but the water on my nips...I don't like it.
    Susan
    Mama to my all-natural boys: Ian, 9-4-04, 11.5 lbs; Colton, 11-7-06, 9 lbs, in the water; Logan, 12-8-08, 9 lbs; Gavin, 1-18-11, 9 lbs; and an angel 1-15-06
    18+ months and for Gavin, born with an incomplete cleft lip and incomplete posterior cleft palate
    Sealed for time and eternity, 7-7-93
    Always babywearing, cosleeping and cloth diapering. Living with oppositional defiant disorder and ADHD. Ask me about cloth diapering and sewing your own diapers!

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