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Thread: Minipill and Supply

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
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    Default Minipill and Supply

    I have some questions about the minipill - does anyone have experience with this pill possibly affecting supply?

    I started the minipill two weeks ago, and almost simultaneously I felt as though my 8-week-old son was on a growth spurt. However, our latch was off and I was having searing pain with feeding so I switched to pumped breast milk until I was able to see a lactation consultant who was able to fix our latch.

    In the two days I was pumping only, I was only able to get 0.75 ounces every pumping session - each session three hours apart. I had to use all my stashed milk in my freezer in order to make sure my son got enough milk . I'm now trying to pump every day to get my stash back where it was. I used to be able to get 2 ounces an hour after my son ate and 5 ounces if it was instead of a feeding, but now I can BARELY squeeze out 1.5 ounces between 5 pumping sessions in a 12 hour period.


    I've been on fenugreek for four days now with still yet no change in supply, as well as pumping several times a day in addition to feeding my son 10-12 times a day and still no increase in supply. I am so frustrated. I know my son is getting enough milk, but I miss the ability to pump that small extra amount of milk for my stash \ just in case I have another pain mishap. Four days of pumping and I only have 3.5 ounces to show for it. Can I attribute this drop in supply to the minipill? Will it come back when I stop it (which I have decided to do)?

  2. #2
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    Jun 2009
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    Default Re: Minipill and Supply

    First I would caution against gaging milk production via pump output.

    Many moms find they are able to pump more in the early weeks than they can later. This is due to the normal rise and fall of milk production-from possibly more than baby needs when production peaks somewhere at around 3-6 weeks, to enough for baby but not much extra as production evens out. I suspect this may be part of what happens with you because your previous output sounds higher than typical.

    Also, pumps malfunction.

    but now I can BARELY squeeze out 1.5 ounces between 5 pumping sessions in a 12 hour period.
    But is this while your baby is also nursing? Or is this when baby is not nursing? It takesenergy to produce milk, so biologuically, your body is going to want to make enough milk-not more than enough.

    OK, minipill. IF the minipill has harmed/is harming your production then yes, going off it will help bring production back to normal. The anecdotal evidence suggests some mothers do see a reduction in milk production after going on the minipill, although what research there is does not come to that conclusion.

    If you want a personal opinion, I would not put anything into my body that upsets a normal hormonal balance while nursing. But that is me. Some moms find their methods of birth control limited for whatever reason and in those cases, the minipill is probably the least potentially troublesome of the hormonal bc options. But in part, that is because it can be so easily stopped if it is found to be causing issues.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Minipill and Supply

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*lllmeg View Post
    First I would caution against gaging milk production via pump output.

    Many moms find they are able to pump more in the early weeks than they can later. This is due to the normal rise and fall of milk production-from possibly more than baby needs when production peaks somewhere at around 3-6 weeks, to enough for baby but not much extra as production evens out. I suspect this may be part of what happens with you because your previous output sounds higher than typical.

    Also, pumps malfunction.

    But is this while your baby is also nursing? Or is this when baby is not nursing? It takesenergy to produce milk, so biologuically, your body is going to want to make enough milk-not more than enough.

    OK, minipill. IF the minipill has harmed/is harming your production then yes, going off it will help bring production back to normal. The anecdotal evidence suggests some mothers do see a reduction in milk production after going on the minipill, although what research there is does not come to that conclusion.

    If you want a personal opinion, I would not put anything into my body that upsets a normal hormonal balance while nursing. But that is me. Some moms find their methods of birth control limited for whatever reason and in those cases, the minipill is probably the least potentially troublesome of the hormonal bc options. But in part, that is because it can be so easily stopped if it is found to be causing issues.

    I know that gaging by milk pumping is not good.... but I didn't know that pumping becomes harder as the weeks go by. Would there be that much of a difference in just two weeks?

    Yes the 1.5 ounces is with feeding my son. The days I was exclusively pumping I was only getting about six ounces in one day. I really need pumping to work because I am going back to work and need to be able to supply my husband for when I'm back at work. What do I need to check for in my pump to make sure its not my pumps fault?

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Minipill and Supply

    Would there be that much of a difference in just two weeks?
    I think production can level off quickly, yes..BUT

    Of course there is no way to know for sure if this is simply normal drop off or not. In your case you had an unusual situation-some serious issues with latch and needing to pump instead of nurse-(And that is fine now, right?) Those issues also may have decreased your production, now that I think about it. Plus the minipill. So, there were other factors.

    I guess my point was to reassure you that if you are making enough milk for your baby to grow normally and get enough milk via nursing, then you do not have a low milk supply problem. You just have a 'no extra milk' problem.

    As far as building a stash for your return to work, I would first suggest troubleshoot your pump - type of pump matters, age of pump matters, and even good, new pumps wear out, starting with the membrains which must be changed out frequently. Also proper flange fit, and the size you need can change, is vital. Call the manufacturer or look to thier website for troubleshooting tips...There is some way to test suction as well, I think.

    then read up on ways to increase pump output-kellymom has good ideas. http://kellymom.com/bf/pumpingmoms/p...ping_decrease/ I would suggest not to overpump-choose a time of day and pump once or twice. You may find there is a time of day you can express more milk.

    Remember you only absolutley need enough milk for the first day back and emergencies, because you will pump at work-and assuming your pump is working for you, you should have better output during separations. When back at work, make sure baby is fed in a breastfeeding supportive way. http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...astfedbaby.pdf and not overfed http://kellymom.com/bf/pumpingmoms/pumping/milkcalc/

    You can try galactagogues -many moms find them helpful. but milk production is driven by frequent and effective milk removal. An 8 week old baby will still be nursing very frequently for some time-At least 8-10 times and often more often per day. When you are back at work and pumping part tme, be aware that that alone can in some cases lower milk production, even if your pump works well and you do everything 'right.' So watch out for other things that can harm milk production-over feeding with bottles, sceduling feeds, not nursing overnight, encouraging long sleep stretches with sleep training or pacifiers, and too early intro of solids or water or anything besides breastmilk.

    Anyone else have ideas for Deedles253?

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Minipill and Supply

    I think that in this situation, you stop the minipill. Best case scenario: supply immediately bounces up to where you want it to be and you choose a different birth control method. Worst case scenario: nothing changes.

    What make/model of pump are you using? And how does pumping feel?
    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!"

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Minipill and Supply

    Thank you so much for your very thorough help! I am now off the minipill, and will start to pump once a day... I do know that I make the most right after I wake up so I'll start pumping then.

    My pump is a Medela pump in style... it's new (besides the two months I"ve used it). Pumping feels ok... doesn't hurt. I do often question if I have the right size flange. I know the medium one doesn't work, and the large size one sucks up the entire nipple/areola area into the neck of the flange... is that normal?

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Minipill and Supply

    The entire areola? That sounds like a flange which is too large- unless you have teeny-tiny areolae, that is.
    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!"

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Minipill and Supply

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*mommal View Post
    The entire areola? That sounds like a flange which is too large- unless you have teeny-tiny areolae, that is.

    Yes... almost the entire areola. And this is with the medium shield even... it fills up the entire tubing... nipple, areola, and some breast tissue. Even though I have size G breasts, I guess I have small, flat nipples.... do you think getting a smaller flange size will help get more milk out? Has anyone tried the super shields? I'm thinking of trying those out instead...

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Minipill and Supply

    I think the smaller size sounds like it is worth a try.
    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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