Re: im a little confused.
Welcome! I'm sorry you've had such a difficult time with nursing. But what you describe sounds fixable, albeit confusing, and you're certainly not alone in struggling!
The drop in supply you seem to have experienced at 12 weeks is puzzling. Generally all a mom needs to do in order to maintain milk supply is to nurse in demand. So usually when a mom who is nursing on demand panics about milk supply, she's overreacting to a normal adjustment in supply. Basically, the usual case is that a mom mistakes the transition from oversupply to normal supply for low supply. But your baby stopped making the minimum number of wet diapers, which implies that whatever was going on was real, and not just a misperception on your part. So that makes me wonder what might have been going on at that point. Some possibilities that could explain an abrupt reduction in supply:
- Sick baby. If your baby had an ear infection or other illness, she might have nursed much less and that could explain both the low diaper output and drop in supply.
- Going on a new form of hormonal contraception. Even some of the hormonal options that are promoted as being safe for breastfeeding (like the mini-pill or Mirena) seem to cause supply reduction for some moms.
- Pregnancy. It seems unlikely at 12 weeks...?
- Return of your menstrual cycle. Also unlikely at 12 weeks, but many moms experience a premenstrual drop in supply.
- Thyroid problems. Both hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism can cause issues with milk supply, and thyroid problems are apparently quite common but underdiagnosed in postpartum women.
- Retained placenta. Can cause issues with milk supply, but it seems like this possibility would have shown up long before 12 weeks.
- PCOS- said to cause supply issues for some moms.
At this point, if your baby is producing adequate wet and poopy diapers I think you can safely wean off formula. The green poops are unlikely to be a sign of oversupply. I'd guess they are a sign of your baby's mixed diet: formula can turn poop a kind of greyish-green color. However, a baby who is not taking in enough milk can also produce green poops, so I think I'd want to talk to a lactation consultant about your experience and maybe rent a professional grade scale. If you do a few days worth of weigh-feed-weigh tests, you can gain a highly accurate picture of your baby's milk intake. (One weigh-feed-weigh test at the LC's office is not enough- milk intake can vary a lot from feeding to feeding.)
Your baby's behavior at the breast actually sounds pretty normal. Sometimes a baby will nurse you pretty dry yet still want more. Short feedings are normal- after a certain point, babies become efficient nursers and can get all the milk they need in just 5-10 minutes at the breast. It's not necessary for a baby to stay on the breast for a long time in order to "get the hindmilk"- there's really no such thing as hindmilk and foremilk. There's just milk- low-fat and refreshing at the beginning of the feeding, increasingly creamy as the feeding progresses.
Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"