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Thread: supply fluctuating is making me frustrated!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Tonawanda, NY
    Posts
    37

    Exclamation supply fluctuating is making me frustrated!

    I really feel like my supply has just plummeted! My daughter usually feeds for about 30-45 min at night and sleeps 5-6 hours at night and my breasts used to be engorged when I woke up in the night to feed her. I feed her on one side (which she would drain and pass out again) and I pump the other breast and it usually gives me 3oz. Lately she feeds 20-30min, is sleeping about 4-ish hours and my pumping is only yielding 1.5 to 2oz. During the day I feel like my breasts never quite fill enough for her. She feeds more often and for shorter periods. I know that sounds a lot like cluster feedings, but my breasts literally just feel empty! I know they are never truly empty, but it can't be good if she's only getting a slow drip, right?? What the heck?

    I feel the culprit may be the busy week I had. I had relatives visiting and whenever we went out of the house for any period of time, I took a bottle just in case I wasn't in a place to be able to nurse her. Also, my young siblings really enjoyed feeding their niece a bottle. Could missing a feeding a few times in a week really hurt my supply that much?? How can I bring it back up?? She's only 6 weeks old and I plan to nurse her another 46 weeks without having to give her formula. So now is not the time to lose my supply...
    Lisa & David Est. 9/3/11
    Madeline 12/31/13

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    NY
    Posts
    597

    Default Re: supply fluctuating is making me frustrated!

    Well, nothing your baby is doing sounds abnormal. Four hour stretches of sleep actually sounds dreamy to me! But it is normal for baby to change up feeding times, normal to want to nurse more frequently, and normal for your pumping on top of baby's usual eating to decrease over time.

    That said, if you did miss quite a few feeds recently, it is possible you may have a little dip in your supply. But it sounds like baby is taking care of that herself by asking to nurse more--more demand and more milk removal will get your supply back up to what it was before missing feeds (if there even is a real drop, that is!) so just keep nursing the baby!
    Apologies for the short responses! I'm usually responding one-handed on my smartphone!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    NY
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    292

    Default Re: supply fluctuating is making me frustrated!

    Maybe your supply is regulating (it could at 6 weeks) so your body is only making what your baby demands of it. That would make you feel soft, even empty.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,117

    Default Re: supply fluctuating is making me frustrated!

    with the PPs. This sounds like supply adjusting. Once supply and demand are roughly equivalent, you're going to feel "empty" pretty much all the time. Feeling full or engorged is something that only happens when you are making extra milk.

    That being said, I would recommend not skipping any more feedings. If you need tips on nursing in public, let us know.

    Also, just checking- your baby is 6 weeks old and a lot of moms start using contraception around that time. Are you, and if so, what kind are you using? Hormonal contraceptives can have a negative effect on supply for a lot of moms, and this can include the supposedly "safe for breastfeeding" methods like Mirena and the mini-pill.
    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
    Jan 2014
    Location
    NY
    Posts
    292

    Default Re: supply fluctuating is making me frustrated!

    What Mommal said. I started the minipill around the same time I noticed my supply decrease by some, but since I always had an oversupply, I welcomed the change. Most of the time it's fine, but once in a while I just can't pump as much as I need to.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Tonawanda, NY
    Posts
    37

    Default Re: supply fluctuating is making me frustrated!

    I'm ok with nursing in public and have before. I admit it's been more out of convenience since I was so busy lately that I've been giving her bottles. I think I need to work on time-management a little better to time my outings to her feedings instead of the other way around. I nurse on demand and for as long as she needs otherwise.

    I practice fertility awareness as a form of birth control -no hormones. (Best decision I ever made about my health!)
    Lisa & David Est. 9/3/11
    Madeline 12/31/13

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,117

    Default Re: supply fluctuating is making me frustrated!

    In that case, I wouldn't worry! Just nurse on demand, shelve the bottles, and enjoy your baby!

    FAM is a little more difficult during breastfeeding. For example, you can't count on LAM to work if you're incorporating bottles into your feeding strategy. And because you don't have a period to mark time, it can be a lot more difficult to recognize your fertility signs. I think that women who choose FAM as birth control usually do so only after a lot of thought and self-education, so I don't mean to sound lecture-y or anything... But I personally think it's not a bad idea to use a barrier method as your FAM back-up during the months before your body regains its fertility. That way you won't slip up, miss the subtle signs that your body is going to ovulate, and end up with a surprise pregnancy that tanks your milk supply before your nursling is ready to transition to solids.
    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
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Tonawanda, NY
    Posts
    37

    Default Re: supply fluctuating is making me frustrated!

    I used FAM to successfully avoid and later to help successfully achieve pregnancy after that! And I've read up on EBF while TTA. We haven't attempted sex yet since she was born, but when the time comes we do certainly plan to use a barrier method even while charting my fertility. I don't trust LAM enough to rely on it exclusively!
    Last edited by @llli*thelittlestone1231; February 10th, 2014 at 01:27 PM.
    Lisa & David Est. 9/3/11
    Madeline 12/31/13

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