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Thread: Help! No milk, what do I do?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2011

    Default Help! No milk, what do I do?

    Thanks in advance for any support - I'm not sure what to do in this situation and I'm worried.

    The short version - my milk supply has drastically dropped over the last 4 days. I'm pretty sure I had a chemical pregnancy that ended (very VERY faint line on the test that could have been my imagination.) My "period" is almost over, and normally my supply is back up by now. What can I do to boost my supply again?

    The long version:

    My son is 7.5 months old, and it seems like he's starting to lose interest in nursing except at night and nap times. He's very interested in solids and has just started to eat 3 meals a day - about 7 oz of food per meal. I initially planned on delaying solids but we're going off of his cues - he's more than ready for food. He's almost 22 pounds, a big boy - he's wearing 12-18 months clothes.

    I'm pretty sure I was briefly pregnant this "period," but it didn't stick. My period started and is almost over, but after it started my supply dropped. A lot. I'm worried my son isn't getting enough milk. I've started pumping after each feeding again to try and boost my supply, but I'm getting nothing but droplets 90% of the time, and it doesn't seem like he's getting a whole lot of milk when I listen to him swallow.

    While I've noticed my supply dropping a bit because of his meals, this sudden, scary drop in my supply isn't making either of us happy. I've usually had so much milk that I've actually donated some 450 oz to a milk bank twice - I usually can pump 4-5 oz (at one sitting) each day.

    I'm particularly scared because my son has some medical issues that we're still trying to unravel. He's been in the hospital twice since 5 months for neurological symptoms (thankfully tests ruled out the big, bad, and ugly - seizures, tumors, etc) and we're now working with a metabolic specialist who thinks he has a vitamin B12 deficiency. We're currently testing his absorption abilities with an oral supplement - if that doesn't work, we have to look into why he isn't absorbing it in his diet.

    Nursing has been a blessing for both of us during this time, because he's normally in pain, especially at night. The last two months he's been on painkillers in order to sleep at night, and he's usually up (and nursing) 3-4 times a night. Although it was difficult to nurse in the hospital, it seemed to make things much less traumatic for him.

    So if I truly was briefly pregnant, is this supply issue permanent? If the pregnancy ended, will my supply come back to normal? I'm pretty sure that I'm not still pregnant despite the period, although I plan to recheck with a test tomorrow just to be sure.

    Any advice is appreciated!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Northern Cal.

    Default Re: Help! No milk, what do I do?

    Oh, mama! This sounds rough all around! From what I've read here, I think your supply is likely to go back up as your HCG levels go down to their normal, but that can take a little while. I hope some more knowledgeable mamas are going to stop by and share their experiences.

    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
    Mar 2006

    Default Re: Help! No milk, what do I do?

    Yes, as your hormones go down, your supply will come back. However....the earlier you lost the pregnancy, the slower it might be to come back down.

    Thoughts to keep him from weaning might include dream feeding, cosleeping, using an SNS to give him needed supplements (see if you can get some donor milk in the short term) and avoiding bottles.
    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!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    COUGARTOWN Baby! From here on in!

    Default Re: Help! No milk, what do I do?

    Do you have a freezer supply? Has his diaper output changed? I wouldn't worry to much about output based on your inability to pump 7months in. Have you had less wet diapers in the last 4 days?

    Way too lazy for formula

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2011

    Default Re: Help! No milk, what do I do?

    Thanks for the support ladies! To answer the questions:

    Yes, his diaper output has changed, especially last night. He went from a heavy wetter overnight to almost dry diapers. I did pull out some of my small freezer stock to make sure he was getting enough fluids but I can't do that for long without resorting to formula.

    I redid the pregnancy test and it was negative, so not still pregnant.

    We had an appointment with a LC this morning to do a weigh-in and I asked her about the supply drop - she said it could take up to a month to get my supply back to normal. Eeek! My recent inability to pump sure isn't helping matters here!

    Thankfully he's still interested in nursing, even when it takes a good 10 minutes to get a let down of any size. As long as I can keep producing any milk at all, I think we can make this work.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: Help! No milk, what do I do?

    Nurse nurse nurse, as much as baby will. Forget about pumping, (unless you need to due to separations, then do pump during separations even if you are not getting anything.) But otherwise, pumping is just freaking you out and nursing will be more effective in increasing supply than pumping anyway, and look into galactagogues. If you have been using a pacifier, stop or cut back.

    Is it possible your pump is acting up? I understand you likely had a hormone caused supply drop, but sometimes pump output is reduced becasue of the pump. Pumps break! Parts wear out, motors run wonky, its just a machine you know? Moms always want to blame themselves and you would not believe how often the pump is to blame for poor pumping output. Call the manufacturer and troubleshoot, or have it tested.

    I really think "a month" is a guestimate at best. Some moms don't even see a supply drop in the very early stages of pregnancy, this is going to be really individual. Don't sweat something you can't do anything about anyway.

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