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Thread: first oversupply, now not producing enough!?!?

  1. #1

    Default first oversupply, now not producing enough!?!?

    Hi everyone, I'm hoping someone can help answer some of my breastfeeding concerns.
    I gave birth to my daughter 8 weeks ago, and have been exclusively breastfeeding. I saw a lactation consultant when my daughter was 4 weeks old due to concerns with an oversupply. She helped me with positioning (told me to lay on my back, with daughter on top and compress my breast). This helped a lot for the milk pooling around her mouth and the gagging and gassiness that she was experiencing.
    Over the past week or so, I've noticed changes with my supply. At first I thought my oversupply had been resolved and no longer have been nursing laying down. But now, I am concerned I am not producing enough. Only 1 breast is full when I wake in the morning (my daughter sleeps 6-8 hours at night, then nurses & goes back to sleep for another hour or 2). My breasts never feel full during the day--nor are they leaking anymore. But most concerning to me is that I do not hear my daughter swallowing when I nurse her--she may swallow a few times after letdown, but then it's only once every minute or two. I used to be able to pump off 4-5 ounces with no problem--then it dropped to 2 ounces, and now I only get a few drops.
    I'm concerned it may be due to exercise (I've been walking 4 miles every morning for the past 2 weeks). This morning I started fenugreek, but have yet to notice any change.
    I'm beginning to get very worried--can anyone give me some advice?
    Thanks in advance

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    20,638

    Default Re: first oversupply, now not producing enough!?!?

    Welcome to the forum! Before you freak out, how has baby's diaper output and behavior been during this change? Has she continued to have adequate wet and poopy diaper output, does she seems satisfied after nursing? How many times per day does she nurse? And how is nursing going aside from your current concerns- is it painful at all?

    I know it's hard to believe, but pretty much never feeling full is quite normal when supply and demand are well-matched. Most moms start out making too much milk, which can make then feel full or engorged fairly often, can cause them to leak a lot, and allows for high pump output because there's so much extra milk available. While making extra milk ensures that the new baby gets fed in abundance while mastering the tricky art of breastfeeding, in the long run overproduction isn't a good thing because it puts a mom at increased risk of plugged ducts and mastitis, and it's a waste of her metabolic energy. So eventually supply diminishes to meet demand much more exactly, and when that happens it's normal to feel soft or empty all the time, to leak less or not at all, to have diminished or absent letdown sensation, and for pump output to nosedive.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
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  3. #3

    Default Re: first oversupply, now not producing enough!?!?

    thanks for your response--she is pooping less, but still seems to have the same number of wet diapers--and her urine is normal in color--clear to light yellow. She seems more fussy than usual while nursing lately. Nursing was initially painful--maybe the first 5 weeks I would feel pain after latching, but I no longer feel any discomfort. However, the letdown is painful--which I've read is normal. It seems that I feel letdown less often though.
    I am concerned that I can't seem to pump anything--I will be returning to work in a few weeks and will need to have some supply to provide.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    middle of IA
    Posts
    1,885

    Default Re: first oversupply, now not producing enough!?!?

    pooping less is also normal after 6 weeks - some exclusively breastfed babies go longer than a week between poops, and as long as they're not in pain, that's perfectly fine. fussy is also par for the course now, particularly afternoons/evenings.

    how are you pumping? pump output is generally unrelated to nursing output. this is in addition to full nursing, right? so it is normal to not get very much, if your supply and demand is well-matched: your body is making what baby needs, not extra! but in any case, you only need enough for the first day, because during that day you'll pump for the 2nd day. it's nice to have an extra bottle or two, but still, we're not talking huge amounts. don't even worry about it till 2 weeks before you return, then just add in 1 pump a day, combine to 3 oz bottles, and you'll be fine. there's lots of info on this site about how to do that - check out the pumping/working forum.
    DS1 6/7/11
    DS2 10/29/13

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

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