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Thread: Supply issue- less milk being produced

  1. #1

    Default Supply issue- less milk being produced

    Hello,

    I wonder if someone can share their experiences or advice. Over the course of a few days my supply seems to have majorly dwindled. My LO is now 12 weeks old and has always been a real guzzler. To begin with she fed non stop, at the noob almost hourly. Over the past 4 weeks she was getting herself into a good routine and was doing big feeds ever 2 to 3 hours and twice during the night. This has suddenly stopped and she seems to be feeding less and wanting less. As a result my breasts are no longer full like they were and are instead extremely soft and floppy. Their really feels to be next to no milk in there. When I try to hand express only a drop or two comes out.

    Five days ago we were visiting friends in a city and my little girl slept a lot and when was woken to feed fed very little as we was too distracted by everything going on. She fed well once home but that wasn't until 7pm. Since that day my breasts have definitely become very empty feeling and looking. Could one day of little nursing have such a big impact on my supply?

    Another thing that I wondered is two weeks ago I got the contraceptive implant. I was wary about getting it but my doctor and health visitor reassured me it was a good choice for a breast feeding mum and would have no impact on my supply. I'm now wondering if it is indeed impacting ad I should get it taken out.

    I have been trying to feed on demand and have my little girl feed as much as possible. It doesn't seem to be increasing my milk or fullness. What else can I do? Should I get a pump?

    My little girl seems quite content most of the time, she just gets very fussy when feeding and seems to want more.

    Thanks xx:

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    20,799

    Default Re: Supply issue- less milk being produced

    Welcome to the forum!

    After you have been nursing for a while, it is normal to no longer feel full except on rare occasions. Most moms start out producing more milk than their babies need. This is nature's way of ensuring that the baby gets fed while mastering the tricky art of breastfeeding- when there's a lot of milk, it's really easy for baby to extract what she needs even if she's not yet a great nurser. When a mom makes more milk than her baby needs, she is going to feel full or engorged fairly often, and she may also leak a lot, feel strong letdowns, and be able to pump a lot of milk with ease.

    The overproduction phase is generally brief because making extra milk is a waste of energy and puts a mom at increased risk for nasty things like plugged ducts and mastitis. So after you've been nursing a while, your body "reads" the baby's demand and adjusts supply so that supply and demand are well-matched. Once the adjustment occurs, most moms feel "soft", "empty", or "floppy" almost all the time, and letdown sensation, leaking, and pump output often decline. Also, many babies act very fussy when the adjustment happens, because they have to work harder for meals.

    The adjustment period itself may be very brief. For some moms it really does happen overnight. Other moms find that the adjustment takes a lot longer, with oversupply lingering for weeks or even months.

    You had a day of lowered demand and your baby is right in the right age range for this adjustment to occur. So as long as your baby continues to produce sufficient wet and poopy diapers, and is being nursed on demand, I think you can call what you're experiencing normal. The only thing that worries me a little is the contraceptive implant. My understanding is that studies have shown that the implant does not impact supply. However, I also think that there is at least good anecdotal evidence that some women find that hormonal contraception- including supposedly "safe for breastfeeding" methods- does have a negative impact. So if you find that your baby isn't producing sufficient diaper output or isn't gaining weight the way she should I personally would consider trying a non-hormonal contraceptive instead of the implant. We're happy to provide reviews on breastfeeding-friendly choices!
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