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Thread: Steroids and low supply

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2012

    Default Steroids and low supply

    My lo is 10 months. I've been quite the milk producer all along and built up quite the freezer stash. It was so awesome that I even contemplated donating some (but I never got around).
    So about 6 weeks ago I had a MS flare up. I went on two rounds of steroid treatments during which I pumped and dumped. About a week ago, during the second steroid treatment my milk supply drastically dropped. The other night I couldn't even nurse my son because I had no milk.
    Has anyone heard of steroids affecting supply?? I went to the lactation consultant today to have my pump (medela pump in style) checked. It was fine. I rented a hospital grade pump to see if that might help and will use that for about a week (I work outside the home).
    I was on prednisone and actually stopped using it the night I couldn't feed my son, which was 2 nights ago. My hope is that as it leaves my system, my supply will go back up.
    I'm just wondering if anyone has any insight. Thanks.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Steroids and low supply

    I checked Medication and Mother's Milk and it doesn't say anything about prednisone affecting milk supply. Of course, all of the studies cited were measuring the excretion of the steroid into the milk, not the amount of milk produced, so I couldn't say for sure.

    And while it seems likely that supply would decrease somewhat when you're pumping and dumping and not nursing at all (since baby is more efficient than the pump), I wouldn't expect it to be the drastic drop you've seen. I'm flummoxed.

    So you're nursing again now and using the hospital grade pump at work? Hopefully that will boost your supply back up pretty quickly... Let us know how it goes!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2012

    Default Re: Steroids and low supply

    I'm hoping things improve for me, but I'm not optimistic. When my lo nurses he notices how little milk he's getting and gets frustrated. If there's nothing there right away, he stops sucking. I try to encourage him to suck, to stimulate the milk. I'm getting very sad because I wanted our nursing relationship to end much differently and not at less than 12 months. I fought from day 1 to breastfeed: he spent his first week in the nicu so I had to pump to make my milk come in. He didn't latch well either so we spent our first few months working very hard to get it right.
    I still have enough milk that he can get some when he nurses, but it's not enough to sustain him. And it's only a matter of time before we run out of our freezer stash. I'm resigned now that it's not the kiss of death to give him formula, because I've fought so hard to breastfeed.
    I need some suggestions/advice on what to use to supplement my breast milk. I honestly don't know what to do, it never occured to me that this would happen to us.

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