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Thread: milk supply and my period

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
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    Default milk supply and my period

    Hi All,

    On Monday I started my mentral cycle and noticed that I am not able to pump nearly as much as before. I am on block feeding and after my DD would feed I would pump the other and get about 2-3 oz out of one breast. Now I am lucky if I get 1, and can sometimes get two if I hand pump after using the machine. Could it be because of my cycle? Will it go back to the way it was? I am starting to get a stock in the freezer for when I get back to work in 3 weeks when my husband takes over. I am getting really frustrated when nothing comes out!
    Please tell me that it will just be a monthly drop!

    Sabrina
    Ashlynn born 10/6/11 @ 35 weeks and

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Default Re: milk supply and my period

    AF can cause a drop in supply, but it's usually temporary. If you're block feeding, I would definitely back off that around AF, and give both sides if necessary to keep your baby happy. It's just temporary, and it's not usually a steep drop, just a little less.


    You can call me JoMo!

    Mom to baby boy Joe, born 5/4/09 and breastfed for more than two and a half years, and baby girl Maggie, born 7/9/12.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
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    278

    Default Re: milk supply and my period

    Yeah I get a small dip before af. I'm sorry you got it back so soon though! My son was already on solids when mine started, and it wasn't so much the dip he was upset with, but that letdown takes so much longer for me.

    Anyway, I would not block feed during AF. It will probably go back to normal after AF, although my oversupply issue did seem to go away around the time I started. Could have been coincidence, though.
    Mama to five beautiful kids- 9, 8, 3, 2 and currently nursing our new baby girl born 1/20/2013


    "It should not be necessary to tell reasonably intelligent mammals to suckle and not dismember their neonates." ~Susan Blustein

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
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    Default Re: milk supply and my period

    It should come back up in a day or two, yes this is normal and hormonal. Some people take calcium and magnesium but I never noticed a difference. It's not a long-term problem (although a regular one, not a constant one).
    Nursed my sweet daughter 3 years, 3 mos.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: milk supply and my period

    Hmmm. My first question, is why are you block feeding? If it was because of oversupply, perhaps it has done its job-maybe even too well!

    Your baby is 2 months old, correct? 2 months is on the early side to get your period back if you are exclusively breastfeeding. It may mean nothing, of course, sometimes that's just the way it is. But it may mean you have not been removing enough millk with enough regularity. (Pumps are not as affective as babies are at milk removal.) So yes, while it is perfectly normal to see a drop in supply around your period, it is also possible the period came back now in part because there has been a drop in milk removal.

    If you have enough milk put aside to have a cushion for when you return to work, and you are not pumping for any other reason, you might consider putting aside the pump and nursing more often-no more block feeding-for the next few weeks and make sure your milk supply is in great shape for when you do need to pump regularly due to your return to work. If the issue was forceful letdown, and that comes back, you can always go back to block feeding if you want.
    BTW Pumping when one is away from baby for hours at work is usually very different than pumping while also nursing all day. Usually in the former situation moms will pump much more per sitting (it may take a few days to gear up, which is why you want the just in case stash in the freezer.)

    Also make sure your pump & all parts are in good condition. Sometimes, its the pump. Also, if you are on a birth control that is hormone based, many of those can reduce milk supply. That is ANY product the releases hormones, not just 'the pill."

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
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    12

    Default Re: milk supply and my period

    I was pumping to build up a stash, but I am not worried about stopping pumping for a while since I have about 80 oz stored right now. I was suprised to have my period too since I am exclusively BF. My DD has been somewhat fussy when feeding, partly because she is nursing to sleep, I think. Even though it seems to me that I have a lower supply, I seem to still have a forceful let down that I can feel and often chokes my DD and it squirts when she pulls off. I am currently not on any birth control but will be getting mirana on Monday. I do think that part of the problem may be my diet. My DD has been fighting sleep lately and so I have not been eating well and infrequently, usually only when my DH comes home. I am trying to get all of my food ready in the evening so that I do not have to "make" anything.

    So if I stop pumping for the next few weeks no that my period is gone, then I should be able to build my supply back up?

    Sabrina
    Ashlynn born 10/6/11 @ 35 weeks and

  7. #7
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    Default Re: milk supply and my period

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*earlygirlats View Post
    So if I stop pumping for the next few weeks no that my period is gone, then I should be able to build my supply back up?
    Yes. Nursing on demand is the best way to get your supply right where it needs to be - not too high, not too low.

    I might put off the Mirena for a few more months if you can. For a few (not all, but some) women, it can lower supply. Check out this old thread. http://forums.llli.org/showthread.ph...-breastfeeding Starting it later reduces (again, does not eliminate) the chances of problems, because your supply will be better established.


    You can call me JoMo!

    Mom to baby boy Joe, born 5/4/09 and breastfed for more than two and a half years, and baby girl Maggie, born 7/9/12.

  8. #8
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    Jun 2009
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    Default Re: milk supply and my period

    Even though it seems to me that I have a lower supply, I seem to still have a forceful let down that I can feel and often chokes my DD and it squirts when she pulls off.
    Forceful letdown is not the same as oversupply. Yes, they often happen together and oversupply will excerbate forceful letdown, BUT forceful letdown can happen independently. So, if you were block feeding to help with the forceful letdown, and now think your milk supply is low, it is possible you have forceful letdown but not oversupply. This is why I always caution against going right to block feeding for forceful letdown, especially in the early weeks while milk supply is being established. There are other ways to handle ffld that do not involve purposefully reducing ones supply with block feeding. This article has some helpful ideas: http://kellymom.com/bf/supply/fast-letdown.html

    So if I stop pumping for the next few weeks no that my period is gone, then I should be able to build my supply back up?
    The best way to improve milk supply is to remove the milk more frequently and as efficiently as possible. If you can do that by nursing more, then that is usually easiest on mom and best for baby. But sometimes moms need to add extra pumping session to build supply. It depends on you and baby. I just meant that regular pumping, INSTEAD of more frequent nursing may be part of the problem, assuming there is a problem. Whether increasing nursing sessions will increase your milk supply or not will depend on many factors, and I am not even sure you have low supply, as neither pump output nor baby behavior are very reliable indicators of that. But certainly, nursing more never hurt anything. (Including forceful letdown, frequent nursing helps with that)

    will be getting mirana on Monday
    I assume you mean the Mirena IUD. Theoretically, this is OK, because it releases progestin only. Hale says it is 'acceptable,' for breastfeeding moms but does note that there have been isolated reports of the IUD suppressing milk supply. For more detailed info, you can call a LLL Leader who has Hale's book (Medications and Mothers Milk-2010 edition) or call the toll free number you will find here www.infantrisk.org

    And yes, I agree with pp. If you can avoid ANY hormone contraceptives for a bit that may be smart. When used correctly, barrier contraceptive devices (condoms) are very effective & hopefully will be tolerable for everyone for at least a short amount of time.
    Last edited by @llli*lllmeg; December 10th, 2011 at 10:23 AM.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
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    Oregon
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    Default Re: milk supply and my period

    I had a very early period postpartum and have been b-feeding on demand. I noticed I didn't pump as much, letdown wasn't as forceful, and baby fed a little more frequently, but it was for only a day or two then it was back to normal.

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