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Thread: Anxiety on weaning/loss of supply

  1. #1
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    Unhappy Anxiety on weaning/loss of supply

    I wrote a short time ago about my worries of diminishing supply while pumping and my thoughts about quitting pumping since I was not getting much.

    Well, I decided to stop pumping when I realized that I wasn't even getting enough milk to cover the bottom of the bottle. I have still been nursing my daughter (who will be 33 months old this month) and thought everything was fine. However, the last two days she has said to me...mommy, where's my milk?

    I know that she has been a lazy nurser but I did not think that my pumping (with hardly any milk coming out) had any effect on her supply.

    Now, I feel like too many crazy things have been happening. First the drop in milk supply. Then my period has been off...I have gotten it every month...it has just been late or irregular. I started to get flushed in the morning when I get out of bed..something I only had when I was pregnant and with gestational diabetes. I've had several symptoms including recently, very sore nipples when nursing, that have prompted me to take a pregnancy test that after 1 invalid test, came back negative. The only other thing I can think of is possibly diabetes since it does run in my family. I was also on Fenugreek for the first 2 years and stopped that a few months back...maybe that is causing this? I did read it is also used to stabilize blood sugar. I also have very dry hair too that started a few months ago

    I also noticed that the last of my daughter's breast milk stash that I have been defrosting from the deep freezer that I pumped last seems to be loaded with fat. I mean... most of it is huge globs of fat. It is really weird. She drinks it fine...it is just weird.

    So, I am not sure what is going on? Has anyone had anything similar happen?

    I feel like I am losing my mind. My anxiety is very high. I actually pulled out the pump and I am pumping now to see if I get anything and again, not even enough to cover the bottom of the bottle.

    My goal was to let her wean herself... now I feel like a bad mom because she is asking me where is her milk.

    Help!
    Jaime
    First time mommy to Lucy Madison, born 8/25/2010.

  2. #2
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    May 2006
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    Default Re: Anxiety on weaning/loss of supply

    Mama, please don't freak out! You have been so generous to nurse until 33 months. How many women make it that far? Not many!

    I noticed that my milk supply pretty much disappeared when my daughter, who just turned 3, dropped down to 1 nursing session a day. Even the short, minimal nursing sessions we had been doing up to that point maintained a better supply. If your child is still a pretty decent nurser and you're not pregnant, she should be able to maintain some small amount of milk.

    I think that I am becoming the "crazy thyroid lady" on the forum, but when I hear symptoms that include lowered supply, flushing, dry (or brittle) hair, anxiety, and irregular menstruation, I always think "Time to go get your thyroid function checked". Postpartum thyroiditis affects up to 5% of women, and IIRC up to 1% will become permanently hypothyroid. If it's not that, I still think you should go see your doc, and have him/her run some sort of basic work-up.

    Don't worry about the globs of fat in your stored milk. The milk you produce isn't pasteurized and homogenized, so some clumpiness is to be expected.
    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!"

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Anxiety on weaning/loss of supply

    You might be right momma. Thank you for your post. I had seen something on Dr. Oz about hypothyroidism and thought it sounded a lot like me. However, I shrugged it off because I felt like I was looking too much into everything. I do not think I had it before pregnancy if I do have it. I have health insurance now but it is not the best. We may be switching within the next few weeks...husband just started a new job. So, I may wait a week or so for the better coverage before going for tests. Thank you again. I wonder if any other moms on here have hypothyroidism...if they can give me any additional info.
    Jaime
    First time mommy to Lucy Madison, born 8/25/2010.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Anxiety on weaning/loss of supply

    If you do a google, you'll find page after page after page of symptoms which can indicate thyroid problems. Off the top of my head- dry skin, heart palpitations, weight gain, weight loss, swelling, hirsutism (excess hair growth), dry and/or brittle hair and nails, goiter, nodules on the thyroid, insomnia, visual changes including exopthalmia (protruding eyes), fatigue, exercise intolerance, heat intolerance, cold intolerance, agitation, night sweats, abdominal bloating, high blood pressure, constipation, diarrhea, slow heart rate, fast heart rate, irregular menstruation, scanty menses, extremely heavy menses, long cycles, appearance of fertile-quality cervical mucus for extended time periods surrounding ovulation, subfertility... The list goes on and on and on! Basically, a bum thyroid can affect just about every system in your body, though the specific symptoms you see will vary based on whether you are hypothyroid (not enough thryoid hormone) or hyperthyroid (too much), and on you as an individual- not all people will have all the listed symptoms.

    If you're hypo, the treatment is replacement thyroid hormone which is completely safe for breastfeeding. If you're hyper, the treatment may be a little more complicated and some of the medications are, AFAIK, not completely safe and may require you to wean.
    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
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    Default Re: Anxiety on weaning/loss of supply

    I thought thyroid too as I read your post (before I read your post, mommal, so I don't think you're crazy!). The screening test is a simple blood test.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Anxiety on weaning/loss of supply

    Well, I just put the paperwork in for our new health insurance today. I think if anything it might be hypo not hyper. We will see I guess. Also, diabetes does run in my family too and with having gestational diabetes I am trying to keep that in mind. But, when pregnant I just barely qualified as gestational (1 number out of 3 was elevated by 2 points) but they still treated me as gestational and I had an 8lb 7oz baby via c-section. Labor was fine but I guess I have a slightly smaller pelvis and she had a slightly larger head and she would not fit :P

    My concern is that we may have a 2nd child and if we do we plan on doing it within the next year or so... I just turned 34 and I really didn't want to have kids past 35.

    It may be a few weeks before I get to have my test done but I will reply back here with the outcome. Thanks again for caring everyone!!! <3 <3 <3
    Jaime
    First time mommy to Lucy Madison, born 8/25/2010.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Anxiety on weaning/loss of supply

    If you're planning on getting pregnant soon, all the more reason to get your thyroid checked out - thyroid abnormalities can affect fetal development.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Anxiety on weaning/loss of supply

    Low thyroid function in mom can cause pregnancy failure and also developmental delays and lowered IQ in the baby. If you suspect hypothyroidism, it's vital to get checked out before getting pregnant. It's a very simple test- they just draw a couple of vials of blood and get back to you within a week or two. If you're worried about the test results affecting your ability to get insured as you move from one plan to another, you may want to pay for it out of pocket (and off record). It should to cost about $100, if what I pay for lab work is any guide. But you can always ask for a figure before going in for the test. Thyroid replacement hormone is really cheap- I pay $2 per month with insurance, and $4 without.

    Another reason why I really encourage you- or anyone reading this post- to get the bloodwork done before pregnancy is that when you start taking thyroid replacement hormone, the adjustment period can be rough. Anxiety, sleep disturbances, palpitations, probably some other symptoms I'm forgetting right now. I had to stop taking my medication for about a week, and start again from a lower dose.

    Just FTR, the guidelines for diagnosing gestational diabetes using the 3 hour test call for a mom to have 2 measurements exceeding the cut-off. 1 measurement above the cut-off is NOT gestational diabetes, technically.

    In case you're thinking about having a VBAC, I think it's worth noting that babies born via c-section usually have bigger heads than those born vaginally, because their heads don't get compressed and molded during birth. If you had a VBAC with your next baby, that baby's head would probably measure smaller than your first baby's.
    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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