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Thread: Decrease in milk production, on the verge of giving up. Help

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    Lemoore, CA
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    Default Decrease in milk production, on the verge of giving up. Help

    I have had a major decrease in production in the last three weeks and it's getting me down, I am on the verge of giving up. I don't want to stop breastfeeding. It has been 5 months and to me that isn't long enough.

    I pump every 4 hours at work and got 4 ounces everytime. When I got home from work I would go 6-7 hours without pumping in ensure I have a big supply for my daughter to eat for her nightly feeding before bed time. She sleeps through the night and I haven't gotten up to pump because of tiredness. When I would pump the next morning after about 7 hours of sleep I would get 7 ounces. I have been doing this for months and all of a sudden it decreased in a big way. Now I get 4 ounces in 7 hours and it's really upsetting me. I have been trying to pump every 3 hours and it doesn't seem to be increasing at all. I've been drinking 3 liters of water and taking Fenugreek for the past two weeks and I don't see a difference.

    My daughter will no nurse, she latches and suckles for a minute or two and then starts to cry and when I trying to latch her again she continues to cry. I give her a time out and cuddle for a minute or two to calm her down and try again. She still starts to cry when my nipple touches her lips. I don't understand what is going on. I am ok with not nursing, but I am not ok with having to stop with breastmilk. She needs the milk and I don't want to stop yet.

    Please help. What can I do?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Southern NM
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    Default Re: Decrease in milk production, on the verge of giving up.

    Could your period be returning? That can cause a temporary drop in milk production.
    I am Erin--happily married to the nerd of my dreams for 15 years
    High School Science Teacher
    Mother to: Thing 1 9/23/01, bf 15 mo, diagnosed with stage 4 neuroblastoma 1/29/02, officially cancer free for ten years in August 2012
    Thing 2 6/6/05, bf 12 mo, obsessed with dynamite
    Glowworm 2/18/11, bf 15 months and counting

  3. #3
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    May 2012
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    Default Re: Decrease in milk production, on the verge of giving up.

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*scienceteachermommy View Post
    Could your period be returning? That can cause a temporary drop in milk production.
    Actually it started yesterday for the first time. It's horrible. Will it return to normal when I'm finished? And would my period cause my milk to drop two weeks before I started it?

  4. #4
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    Jun 2011
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    Southern NM
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    Default Re: Decrease in milk production, on the verge of giving up.

    It does usually come back up afterwards. As to the starting, I am not sure.
    I am Erin--happily married to the nerd of my dreams for 15 years
    High School Science Teacher
    Mother to: Thing 1 9/23/01, bf 15 mo, diagnosed with stage 4 neuroblastoma 1/29/02, officially cancer free for ten years in August 2012
    Thing 2 6/6/05, bf 12 mo, obsessed with dynamite
    Glowworm 2/18/11, bf 15 months and counting

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    10,440

    Default Re: Decrease in milk production, on the verge of giving up.

    I personally have noticed a dip after ovulation -- when progesterone is higher -- tanks the first 2 days of my period and then comes back to normal.

    Try some herbs, pump more often, try calcium and magnesium supplements.
    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!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
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    266

    Default Re: Decrease in milk production, on the verge of giving up.

    I concur that the drop in supply may be related to your cycle. That happens to me sometimes, but not always. And it always comes back up.

    Baby crying/fussing at the breast might be because she is accustomed to getting milk immediately and easily with a bottle, instead of nursing "dry" for a few minutes before getting milk, like what happens when she nurses.

    If this is the problem, you could massage your breasts and hand-express (or pump?) for a few minutes before putting her to the breast. Then the milk is possibly flowing easier and she won't get as frustrated.

    Also, just a note that going 6 or 7 hours without pumping/nursing would not be as helpful to your supply as adding one or two pumping or nursing sessions in. The mindset of waiting to nurse or pump for your breasts to fill up is easy to fall into, but may be hurting your milk supply. Instead, nursing or pumping as often as possible will encourage your breasts to make more milk. A full breast sends signals to your body to stop making milk, while a less-full breast sends signals to make more milk. Just a thought.

    Best of luck!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    20,822

    Default Re: Decrease in milk production, on the verge of giving up.

    with the PPs. Especially regarding not going 6-7 hours without pumping. At first it gets you big yields- when your baby nurses there's milk to spare! But after a while your body detects that 6-7 hour stretch and reduces supply to what it considers to be a more reasonable level.

    If you want to increase the amount you're pumping, increasing the frequency and length of pumping sessions is the best way to go.
    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!"

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    middle of IA
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    Default Re: Decrease in milk production, on the verge of giving up.

    i agree, this is a demand/supply problem. the more you pump, the more frequently you pump, the more you tell your body to make more milk. no baby goes 7 hours wihtout eating, so by waiting that long to pump you are telling your body to stop making so much milk. over a couple of weeks, this will kill your supply.

    as you drink lots of water and take fenugreeek (great things to do!) you also need to just pump, at least every 3 hours, as much around the clock as you can stand, and the supply will most likely come back up. not overnight - give it a week or so before you can really count on a big increase - as it also sounds like it took more than a week to decrease.

    good luck mama!
    DS1 6/7/11
    DS2 10/29/13

    Nursing, pumping, cloth-diapering, babywearing, working professor mama with the awesomest SAHD ever.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
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    10,440

    Default Re: Decrease in milk production, on the verge of giving up.

    It is also normal for supply to,decrease over time, just naturally, and if you go a long time without nursing or pumping, it does eventually result in lower supply.
    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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