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Thread: Milk dried up suddenly

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Posts
    11

    Default Milk dried up suddenly

    My baby is 5.5 months old and is exclusively breastfed thus far.

    I'm away from work for 10 hours each day and from 11 weeks until now I've pumped twice a day. I pump for 20 minutes each time and on most days managed to get 11 to 12 ounces. I remember getting 12 ounces even 10 days ago. There has been a sudden drop in supply since then. In the course of the last work week it dropped to 7. I've been pumping at home this weekend tryin to increase it and now I get no more than 2 ounces in 20 minutes. We're surviving thanks to the small stash I have but at this rate that will be gone in no time.

    I have been trying to nurse my baby as frequently as possible this weekend. We already co sleep. I'm not pregnant, I've not started any contraceptives, not unusually stressed. I've stared eating oatmeal for breakfast everyday. My original plan was to breastfeeding until 1 year but now even 6 months seems like a distant dream.

    I'm pumping as I type this and I've got less than an ounce in 15 minutes. I'm surprised at this sudden drop. I plan to pump thrice at work going fwd, but I vacant do more than that. That itself means 1.5 hours away from work.

    Is this the end of breastfeeding for me? Any help is appreciated. I'm all the more surprised cause I started off with a case of oversupply.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Posts
    11

    Default Re: Milk dried up suddenly

    More details, I use a medela pump in style. I don't think it is an issue with the pump.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    1,709

    Default Re: Milk dried up suddenly

    Could you be starting your period? If so, it is a temporary dip.

    If you do find you are having trouble keeping up with pumping, there is no reason that you would need to stop breastfeeding while you are with your baby. Likely it will be possible to find a solution so that you can pump enough, but even if not, plenty of people supplement somewhat with formula while at work, but breastfeed on demand while at home.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,349

    Default Re: Milk dried up suddenly

    I think the likely culprit is your pumping intervals. You're gone 10 hours and you're only pumping twice. Can you add a session during the workday?
    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!"

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    5,900

    Default Re: Milk dried up suddenly

    Why do you not think it's the pump? That is the first thing I think of when pump output drops off suddenly. Pumps are machines and like any machine they break or malfunction. I suggest look around locally for a place you can get your pump tested. Troubleshoot the pump-change the membranes, check the connections...

    Some Medela pump in styles were recalled a few years ago because they were not working right, causing inadequate output and loss of production. So pump malfunction is very real. Seriously, It could be the pump.

    Assuming your pump is in good shape, Adding a pump session is a good idea. Also, nurse your baby lots and lots when you are together. If you truly have low production, what about galactagogues as well?

    It can be hard to maintain milk production when back at work, especially with such long separations,. But as pp notes, there is lots you can do. It need not be the end of breastfeeding.

    You are not on hormone based birth control, right?
    no chance you are pregnant?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Central VA
    Posts
    176

    Default Re: Milk dried up suddenly

    Yeah, with a sudden drop in supply, I'd be looking at the pump. I just had a PISA replaced under warranty--it lost suction. First things first, though, change those white membranes!
    Mum to DS (04/07)
    EPing for former 28 weeker (03/12)

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Posts
    11

    Default Re: Milk dried up suddenly

    Thank you for the responses. As always this forum is invaluable.

    Yes, I'm going to do my best to add another pumping session while at work. At least for 15 min if not for 20. That is probably the reason my supply went down. Just surprised at how sudden it was.

    I have changed the white membrane. I don't suspect it's the pump cause it's not like I was feeling full after pumping. I was feeling empty after the pumping sessions. Nonetheless, I'll have it examined. I did buy additional warranty for it too. Do you know where I can go for this?

    This could be my periods on its way but a 12 day steady decline?!

    I am taking oatmeal for breakfast everyday. I try to nurse him when I can, but he loses interest very soon. Maybe it's the slow flow. He was never a great nurser to begin with. He nurses best when he is asleep or when he's just woken up and I'm around only for a few of those times.

    Finally, my son will be getting formula for the first time tomorrow for 1 feeding. Well, it is what it is. Hopefully this is temporary and I can build my supply back.

    A related question, he is 5.5 months old now. Should I consider starting solids now as another possible supplement apart from formula?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,349

    Default Re: Milk dried up suddenly

    Sorry that formula has to be part of the equation right now, mama. You're doing a wonderful job and you should be so proud! A little formula to tide you over while you get the pump situation sorted- not a big deal, in the grand scheme of things.

    When supplementing such a young baby, I would choose formula over solids. Yes, formula is processed in a factory and made by big evil multinational corporations... But it's also a lot closer in composition to breastmilk than solids. It's really difficult to feed a baby balanced nutrition using solids. But it's easy with formula. Until the first birthday, a baby's primary source of nutrition is supposed to be breastmilk or formula, with solids complementing but not replacing breastmilk/formula in the baby's diet. Start solids if you want and your baby is showing signs of readiness (able to sit unsupported, has lost tongue-thrust reflex, has a good pincer grasp, etc.), but use them for fun. Baby should be getting small tastes at first- maybe a teaspoon or two at a time- and should be encouraged to taste and touch and explore. Eating is secondary, and not really necessary at this point.
    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!"

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Posts
    11

    Default Re: Milk dried up suddenly

    My mother tried to feed him 2ounces of enfamil ready to feed today and as luck would have it, he refused. He cried and spat and after 45 minutes of trying he had taken less than an ounce. I'm worried about what I'm going to do. Does anybody have experience with a baby that refuses formula. It looks like he just hates the taste of it.

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