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Thread: Sudden Decrease in Milk Supply - 16 Weeks

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2014

    Default Sudden Decrease in Milk Supply - 16 Weeks

    My son will be 16 weeks old this Sunday, and I have been back at work for nearly 10 weeks.

    Until yesterday, my supply has been consistent. I pump 3x/day while at work, and typically take home between 14-17oz for the next day. He has on average 13-15oz while I'm at work, so thankfully I have a little extra in the fridge. Yesterday and today I needed to add an extra pumping session to barely get enough to take home - yesterday I only produced 12oz, and today, only 11oz.

    I am beginning to get a little concerned...

    When I am home, I nurse him twice in the evening, once in the middle of the night, and twice in the morning before work.

    I also take 2 fenugreek pills each morning, and have oatmeal with a teaspoon of brewer's yeast and a teaspoon of flax. I generally eat healthy, and drink plenty of water.

    Hopefully this is just a phase, and I'll go back to producing the normal amount of milk each day. But, is this normal to see a decrease in supply at 16 weeks? Is there anything else I can do to increase my supply?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: Sudden Decrease in Milk Supply - 16 Weeks

    It's very common for a momwho is working and relying on pumping to see a decrease in pump output as time goes on. Unfortunately, pumping typically doesn't maintain supply as well as nursing does, in part because it's rare for a mom to be able to pump as frequently as her baby would nurse if they were together. Here are some things to try toincrease pump output:
    - Pump more often- if this is not feasible at work, you may need to pump after nursing when home with your baby
    - Pump for longer
    - Use a better pump- you should be using a good double electric at a minimum, and may want to consider renting a hospital-grade pump if you continue to have difficulty filling bottles
    - Make sure your current pump is in tip-top condition- you may want to replace replaceable parts
    - Try different sizes of breast shields, as a different size may improve stimulation and yield
    - Try combining pumping with massage, relaxation techniques like deep breathing, and potential letdown triggers like the scent of your baby's clothing or drinking a glass of water

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2012

    Default Re: Sudden Decrease in Milk Supply - 16 Weeks

    How much is baby nursing when you are at home together? Does he sleep a long stretch at night? If so, you might want to try "dream feeding" him (ie nursing while he's asleep) - the combination of long nighttime stretches and workday pumping can adversely affect supply. And definitely trouble-shoot the pump. Also, could your period be coming on? It's not uncommon to see a supply dip leading up to your period, which then rebounds a couple days into the period. I've definitely had times when my pump output dropped dramatically, only to get my period a few days later. Any new hormonal birth control or pregnancy? Those can also decrease supply, as can a few over the counter meds (eg Sudafed).

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2014

    Default Re: Sudden Decrease in Milk Supply - 16 Weeks

    This can be any hormonal reason: ovulation, period, pregnancy, etc. If any of the first two are to blame, increasing nursing won't really help too much - you just have to wait till the hormones shift again.

    Do you feel any difference in your letdowns?
    Mom to Samuel J.
    born 7lb. 10 oz. and 22" tall
    on Saturday, October 19, 2013.

    My breastfeeding experiences: http://www.breastfeedinghacks.com/

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