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Thread: Sudden and dramatic drop in milk supply-trying not to panic!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
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    22

    Default Sudden and dramatic drop in milk supply-trying not to panic!

    My baby is 9.5 months and and I work full time and generally leave her three 4 oz bottles. Suddenly after the long weekend, in the last 2 days my breasts have not been feeling full at pump time and I'm only netting 8 ounces in the last 2 days (from 3 pump sessions). I've resorted to milk stored in the freezer to supplement, but I don't know what to do to cover this big gap and get my supply back. Any reassuring ideas? I don't believe it's my period-- I've had it back for almost 5 months and it seems to not have had an impact before (I am getting my period this week, though). I started taking shatavari yesterday and don't see an effect, I'm drinking Herblore nursing tea 3x/day and I will put back the morning pump after she nurses, so I'll be pumping 4x day. Any other ideas? I'm also worried that supplementing with frozen milk will perpetuate the problem. Stressed!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
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    2,207

    Default Re: Sudden and dramatic drop in milk supply-trying not to pa

    hi lbc, in my experience the effects of my period on supply are variable. Most of the time I don't see much of an effect but some months I do see a dramatic dip. So the fact that you're due for AF this week makes me think that this is most likely hormonal and your supply should recover within a few days of starting your period. In the meantime, no magic solutions but to pump more as you're doing. And if you don't see an improvement later in the week, then start thinking about things like whether you are having a pump malfunction (or you might want to go ahead and change out membranes/diaphragms and see if that helps).

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    20,637

    Default Re: Sudden and dramatic drop in milk supply-trying not to pa

    Good advice from the PP, as usual!
    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
    Oct 2012
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    22

    Default Re: Sudden and dramatic drop in milk supply-trying not to pa

    Thanks. No magic solutions....darn. Was half hoping there were some.

    To be clear, I actually started my period on Saturday, so I'm already 5 days in, so I would think that any hormonal impact would have subsided by now.

    Do people even just lose there supply and fail to get it back? I'm trying to gauge if I should be accepting what my body is doing or sticking with it and being hopeful while worrying about feeding my baby enough. I can cover a bit with freezer milk, but it grosses me out a little! It always smells a little off and I swear I can smell the plastic bag, but she accepts it.

    I had my pump evaluated today and it's functioning OK which I take to mean I don't need to change the diaphragm, but correct me if I'm wrong (and I recently changed membranes, so that's all set).

    Being a working mom is tough since pumping is enough of a distraction, but this on top of it.... oy.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
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    2,207

    Default Re: Sudden and dramatic drop in milk supply-trying not to pa

    It's not uncommon for moms to hit a "pump slump" around 8-10 months. So if you don't see an improvement in the next couple days that could be a possibility too. One thing to consider is to upgrade to a hospital-grade pump which you could rent for the next 2-3 months (at which point you'll be ready to pump wean). Some moms on here swear by their Medela Symphony. Even if the pump is functioning okay it's possible it's lost some of its power and that's why it's not quite doing the trick anymore. Sounds like there are no other new meds (hormonal birth control, over-the-counters) or anything like that? Also, has LO started sleeping longer stretches at night? That can impact daytime pump output as well.
    In terms of accepting what your body is doing - well, if you increase demand (either by pumping more, as you're doing, or getting a better pump), your supply should increase. And if you decrease demand your supply will decrease. So I would stick with it and see how you respond to the increased pumping sessions, consider another pump, see what happens as you get farther out from your period, and go from there. Yes, being a working, pumping mom is tough but you've already made it three-quarters of the way there! Just a couple more months of pumping to go!

    As for the freezer milk, as long as baby accepts it, it is fine. She won't drink if if there's something wrong with it. I know what you mean about it smelling off though!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
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    22

    Default Re: Sudden and dramatic drop in milk supply-trying not to pa

    Thanks- so helpful. "Pump slump" is so elusive! I want to know why this is happening so I know how to manage my expectations. No changes to demand that I can tell. Baby nurses 4x (7a, 7p, 10p DF, and 4 am) and gets 3 bottles while I'm away. She has had a cold so maybe she is nursing less actively during the 4x we are together...
    In any case, I'm definitely concerned that the tea and herbal support hasn't notably worked in the last 3 days, but sounds like I shouldn't worry yet that I'm over and out for good. I'll keep up the nursing tea, shatavari and pump after the morning feed and see what happens, supplementing with the freezer stash in the meantime.
    Thanks mamas!

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