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Thread: my milk has gone away!

  1. #1

    Default my milk has gone away!

    my little girl will be six weeks on wednesday. we had alot of issues with latching in the beginning but kept working at it and eventually things got better and i am so glad i didnt give up. but these past few days my milk has gone away almost completely. it started with my left breast. not my right is literally almost empty all the time now too. i put her to the breast, have a let down that lasts about 10 seconds and then nothing. she starts pulling and jerking her head then just starts crying. i hadnt been pumping at all, just in the beginning for a bit. tonight i had to resort to giving her some breast milk in a bottle that i had in the freezer. and i dont have anymore stored away so im clueless as to what we are going to do. im so worried. please help i dont know what to do. it happened so suddenly. and im not exaggerating when i say they are empty. theres really almost nothing there. so next time she eats we are going to go through the same and im not going to have anything to give her! i would appreciate and help and advice. thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    SoCal
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    6,467

    Default Re: my milk has gone away!

    Hi mama! Congratulations on your girl! Can you tell me more about why you think your milk is gone? Is it only because of the way your breasts feel and baby's reaction? Does she have dirty and/ or wet diapers at all? How many during a 24/HR period? Six weeks is a prime growth spurt and IME baby is crabby all the time, nurses forever and is general a fuss bucket. Mainly because they are signaling your body to increase production.


    Also do you feed on demand? Do you think she eats 8-12x per day?
    Mommy to Maxwell 10-9-07 weaned with love (a party and a remote control monster truck) on his 4th birthday
    My Boy 3-16-10
    And my sweet pea Sam 2-12-11

    Watch Your Language

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    21,360

    Default Re: my milk has gone away!

    with Jenna. As long as you are nursing on demand, at least 8-12 times per day, you're not pregnant, and you're not taking a new form of hormonal contraception, your milk isn't going to just vanish.

    Often what happens is that a mom mistakes normal adjustments to supply for low supply. Most moms start out making more milk than their babies need; it's nature's way of making 100% sure the baby gets fed while mastering the art of breastfeeding. But this is not a desirable state of affairs in the long term, since making a lot of extra milk is a waste of energy and puts a mom at increased risk for plugged ducts and mastitis. So as time goes on, most moms find that their supplies adjust to meet demand very precisely, without a lot of extra milk left over. When this adjustment happens, it is normal to rarely or never feel full or engorged, to leak less, and to have pump output decline. Babies may also be a little more fussy when that adjustment occurs, because they have gotten used to the milk being very easy to get at (the more milk a mom has, the faster the flow). This is the point at which many moms get into pumping and bottles, trying to fix their babies' frustrations. But it's better to just nurse, and let baby learn how to get at the milk more effectively. Short-circuit this learning process, and you can get stuck always trying to keep your supply high so that baby has an easy time. There is always milk in the breast, and the baby can get it if she nurses well.
    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

    Default Re: my milk has gone away!

    ok the reason i think it was going away... my boobs all of a sudden became so flat and mushy and soft and never feel like they fill up anymore at all. i hear this is normal. but still my left breast seems to no be doing well still. wshes gotten to the point where she is losing interest in that breast all together now. because after letdown she drinks for a minute or so then its like it just stops and she gets frustrated with it and starts pulling on it and gruntin and movin her head allaround. i tried stoppin to burp her. didnt help. its not that she needs to burp its my milk it just stop coming out. ill take her off to check it. and if i wait a couple minutes itll come out a little. then it stops again and if i try to express at that point i can barely get any drips. i keep her on that side for as long as i can but eventually have to move her to the right side which lately she has been able to get enough to get full for a while. so thats good. her diapers seem good. seems to still be gaining weight. im just really stressed about this left boob! i need it to make more milk! i take this fenugreek herb pill by gaia herbs i think. i take quite a bit. my pee smells maplely! ive been taking that since shortly after she was born. thanks for th responses any other help is greatly appreciated!!

  5. #5

    Default Re: my milk has gone away!

    also yes i believe she eats at least 10-12 xs a day. but night time is difficult for us. she falls asleep alot and i have trouble keeping her awake cuz i can hardly keep myself awake! so its constant feed a min, sleep on my boob awhile, wake up, feed a min, sleep on my boob somemore and so on. so its been weeks since i got any real sleep. its exhausting me and i feel quite zombie like. also i have 4 other kids. 9,6,4,2. whoo thats alot! this is my first time breastfeeding, tried with my last one but never latched so i pumped for as long as i could until my milk supply just got so low i gave up. i dont want to do that this time. i love breastfeeding my baby girl. i wish i could have had this experience with all 4 of my other children.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    5,912

    Default Re: my milk has gone away!

    Wow, four older kids you have a lot on your plate! I have a new baby too and just two others- a 9 and a 6 year old-and my head is spinning!

    Do you have a LLL meeting or Leader near you? Any other bfing support group or mommy and me that is breastfeeding friendly? Any friends who breastfed? I really think what you are experiencing is perfectly normal and it might really help you to just hang out with some other breastfeeding mothers. (BTW your other children would typically be welcome at a LLL meeting.)

    Here is why things sound normal-your baby is nursing with good and normal frequency, nursing does not hurt you (at last you have not mentioned it hurting) and your baby is appariently gaining well on your breastmilk. (If you are not sure about this no reason to not do a weight check, just make sure it is done accurately.) That is really all there is to it. Breastfeeding is different than bottle feeding because many of the behaviors bottle fed babies have at times they are not eating (fussing, crying, squirming, distraction, sleeping etc.) are done by breastfed babies while they are nursing. This is because, especially in the early weeks, a breastfed baby spends more time "eating" than a bottle fed baby. I put 'eating' in quotations because as you are discovering, more is happening while a baby nurses than just eating-nursing really is an "experience" as you put it so well-for both baby and mom.

    Usually one side is a better producer than the other. That is normal. If it is very pronounced it is a probably a good idea to encourage baby to take that side as much or almost as much as the other. But that does not mean baby has to nurse as LONG on that side every time. You know? maybe baby is just getting more efficient and is getting lots of milk quickly from that side. Not being able to express does not mean anything-some moms can never hand express anything. Some breasts spray, some don't, some leak, some don't, some moms feel letdowns, some don't, some feel some of their letdowns, but not all...none of that means anything re: supply. And it is true that your breasts feeling soft is normal, especially as your baby is nursing with good frequency.

    This article starts with a good explanation of what is and is NOT indication of low milk supply. http://kellymom.com/bf/got-milk/supp...es/low-supply/

    Oh and I promise the zombie feeling will go away. Breastfed babies DO begin to sleep longer stretches eventually.
    Last edited by @llli*lllmeg; October 2nd, 2012 at 01:08 AM.

  7. #7

    Default Re: my milk has gone away!

    yes i believe there are lll leaders and meeting in my area. i will definately look into it. i would really love to meet and talk with other women who are breastfeeding and having issues like mine and just to be able have support would be great. cuz honestly i still feel like i have no idea what im doing. its still not just easy for us ya know? will it ever just be easy? and she is impatient waitin for letdown so she fusses alot in the beginning. now that we started having problems on the left side it is hurting a bit. not too bad and not all the time. she still doesnt latched perfectly. she has an issue with not wanting to open her mouth wide enough to get the right amount of breast in. since she was born she would do this. she basically looks like she is just trying to suck the nipple into her mouth ya know what i mean by that? her mouth will be small and shell just try and suck it up into her mouth. i have no idea if that makes any sense or not. its always a struggle getting her to open her mouth and getting latched good enough to feed. also i think the letdown and flow of my right side is way stronger than the left so she doesnt have to work near as hard to get the milk once she starts drinking. and the right will spray a bit by just sqeezing the aereola. and left side i have to kinda compress the whole breast for it to really wanna come out. so maybe she just gets frustrated at having to work harder? it doesnt seem to come out in as many spots on the left breast. could it be from scar tissue from having nipple pierced twice on that side? and just once on the right. i dont know. it was just a thought. thank you for your response and reassuring words its lovely to have someone who understands what its like. i have no one around me who ever breastfed. thanks for any more helpful tips and responses!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Victoria, BC, Canada
    Posts
    939

    Default Re: my milk has gone away!

    Breastfeeding is not as easy as it looks, eh? Don't worry, things do get easier...just like riding a bicycle or driving a car.

    Here are some of my favorite latching links. I personally had good success with the Flipple technique. It helped DS get a good deep latch.

    COMFORT ZONE (Comfort zone explained+your baby knows how to latch)
    http://www.ameda.com/resources/video

    ASYMMETRICAL LATCH (Dr Newman’s info)
    http://www.breastfeedinginc.ca/conte...agename=doc-WL

    THE “FLIPPLE” LATCH (Latching technique where you fold your breast into baby's mouth so your nipple ends up far back in her mouth)
    http://www.breastfeedingmadesimple.c...atedlatch.html
    (animation)
    http://www.rebeccaglover.com.au/grap...aching_big.jpg
    http://www.rebeccaglover.com.au/grap...chment_big.jpg

    THE BABY-LED LATCH (Baby latches himself on while mother helps. A relaxing position and often comfortable latch)
    http://www.biologicalnurturing.com/video/bn3clip.html
    Canadian mom and breastmilk fan.
    We have 2 beautiful children: Luana who's 9 y/o, had breastmilk for 2 years and is smart as a whip. Lucas who came out kickin', is 4 y/o and continues to enjoy his milkies.

  9. #9

    Default Re: my milk has gone away!

    ugh, every time i start to think things may be getting easier, i get thrown a curveball and things get hard again! okay, so heres the deal....the new deal. normally dd was eating every 2 and a half or so. then suddenly she started sleeping longer stretches at night which i was so grateful for cuz shed never slept that great at night. i'd wake up and realize it had been 4 hours since shed eaten last! well another thing is i have to go out of town 3 times a week and i usually have her with me but we ran into a situation to where i had to get a ride so i left her at home with daddy and breastmilk. i never ended up getting back as soon as i thought i would so it was hours before i got to pump or breastfeed. apparently my bodys like ok slow down on the milk production. so now after all that, my left breast isnt making hardly anything at all. my right runs out, before she get anywhere near satisfied. im so frustrated with myself that i let it happen. so after 2 hours when i try to feed her, she just ends up fighting. cuz there aint nothin there! this is something i dont understand....empty as often as possible right? put her to the breast for as long as possible as often as possible right? well, how am i supposed to do this. if i put her on the breast as often as possible what am i supposed to do about the lack of milk while shes on? and if i pump for 20 minutes after she eats or whatever i just feel that much more empty. i honestly dont understand how to do this. im so worried my baby isnt getting enough. well i know she isnt when shes frustrated with my breast cuz nothing is coming out after only a minute! i feel like a failure. i dont want to resort to formula. i dont have much breastmilk in the freezer. so what do i do? i cant stand seeing her....hungry...and have nothing to give her. and to make matters worse, the past few times ive had to resort to a bottle of breastmilk...she was very uninterested in it. she just spewed it out everywhere. o lord please help me and give me the strength to keep going. any kind words helpful hints? i really feel like i need help. im worried. i gotta get my milk up.please help.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    21,360

    Default Re: my milk has gone away!

    Don't panic, mama. Everything is going to be fine. The best thing you can do is to put the pump and bottles away, and just nurse, nurse, nurse, nurse, switching sides any time the baby fusses. While you're doing that, watch her diaper output. If you are seeing normal diaper output, then you know baby is getting adequate milk input. This is true even if the baby is extremely fussy and you feel like you have no milk. Babies are always capable of extracting milk from the breast, because milk is always being made. It may not come out as fast as baby likes, but a baby can make up for smaller feedings by nursing more often.

    This may mean that you're going to spend the next few days nursing almost constantly. But that's okay. It's the fastest way to increase supply.

    Let us know how it goes!
    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!"

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