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Thread: Suddenly unable to express milk

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Kempton Park; South Africa
    Posts
    24

    Default Suddenly unable to express milk

    I have been successfully breastfeeding my 5 month old little girl since birth, and for the past month (back at work) expressing milk twice a day, and going to her for a midday feed. All has been well up to now, but this morning I was unable to express more than a few drops! I can't understand why? Usual time after her last feed this morning, and I usually have plenty of milk this time of day. Don't know what could have caused this? Now I don't have a bottle for her afternoon feed, and am very worried. Could it be dehydration because I haven't had much water today?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    860

    Default Re: Suddenly unable to express milk

    can You hand express? Perhaps your pump is not working correctly.
    DD#1 July 1986 VB
    DD#2 April 1988 c/sec
    DS#3 April 1990 VBAC
    DS#4 June 1993 VB
    and suprise!
    DD#5 April 2001 c/sec
    BTDT scars and stretchmarks,: wrinkles and grey hair

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    20,865

    Default Re: Suddenly unable to express milk

    My first suspect is the pump, as well, and I also think hand expressing is worth a try. If that doesn't work, just go back and try again a little later.

    Dehydratio could certainly be a factor, but in general a mom need only drink to thirst in order to stay hydrated. As long as you're doing that and you're still peeing, you got enough to drink even if you didn't "push" fluids.
    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!"

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Kempton Park; South Africa
    Posts
    24

    Default Re: Suddenly unable to express milk

    I did manage to hand express a bit, but only to see that there was milk, then put the pump back on. It felt like it was sucking the same as usual... Will have to give it another try tonight to see if it is in fact the pump. Managed to feed baby just fine on the breast at lunch time, so there is enough milk available.

    Thanks for the responses!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    middle of IA
    Posts
    1,885

    Default Re: Suddenly unable to express milk

    it's so scary when that happens! i'm glad you're good for today.
    DS1 6/7/11
    DS2 10/29/13

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

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    10,440

    Default Re: Suddenly unable to express milk

    I bet it is your pump. Replace the membranes. Check your horn size.
    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!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    45

    Default Re: Suddenly unable to express milk

    This happened to me when DD was about 7 months old, completely freaked me out, and it wasn't my pump, it wasn't dehydration, or any other common, easily fixable culprit. Of all things, it was stress; midterms were around the corner and I was falling behind, and then not being able to pump caused more stress (how is my baby going to eat?). I think it was for about 48 hours and uncountable tries that I couldn't let down with the pump (even after I replaced parts, etc). Finally, I just decided I was going to leave it on until I finally did let down. I relaxed, turned the TV on and turned of the baby monitor (DD was asleep). It took almost 45 minutes (I switched sides 3 times I think) before I finally let down, but after that things seemed to get a little better. It still took awhile to let down for a week or so, but at least I was able to again. For your sake though, I do hope it's just the parts, but if it's not, try to relax, get some sleep, and know that the milk IS still there.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Shakedown St.
    Posts
    1,176

    Default Re: Suddenly unable to express milk

    I had the same thing krysbe descibed happen to me while I was in the hospital after an injury. Being in the hospital is stressful, and having to pump during all of that was extra stressful. I did the same thing. Hooked up to the pump, flipped on the television, and just zoned out until the milk started flowing (which took awhile to happen).
    K. Sophia - Mama to my little lactivore, the amazing Mr. X (11/10).

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