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Thread: Decrease in milk- advice please!

  1. #1

    Default Decrease in milk- advice please!

    Hello,
    I would like some advice around milk production. Some background- I have a 7 1/2 month old girl. Healthy weight, started crawling recently, eating solid foods twice a day. I work three days a week so I pump at work and she takes the bottle at home with daddy. I work 12 hour days, I feed her right before leaving for work at 730 and then I pump at 9, 12, 3, 6, and 8 pm. I usually pump around 5-6 ounces in the morning and the rest are between 3-4 ounces. I get home by 9:30 pm and I nurse her right away. She goes to sleep and now only wakes up once during the night to nurse and then she's up around 6:30 am and she nurses. I've never had a milk supply issue- she is my third baby and I was a production cow with the other 2 for a couple of years with each.

    Yesterday was my "monday" so to speak- I came to work after being off for a week. I pumped 15 ounces for the entire day which is a bit lower than I usually pump. This morning I only pumped 3 1/2 ounces which is half of what I normally pump in the morning. We have a freezer full of milk so I'm not worried about having enough at home- but I'm worried that my supply is decreasing and I'm not sure what I can do to help. I have a great pump- double electric Medela, I hand massage during pumping and I pump between 15-20 minutes with each session.

    I don't take any medications on a regular basis. I recently started using Alaway eye drops for eye allergies but that's the only thing I take (other than prenatal vitamins).

    Any advice? I can't remember if a drop off in production is "normal" as baby gets older. Oh, and when I'm home with her she nurses every three hours, good suction, good focus, she's a great nurser actually.

    Thanks for your help!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    NY
    Posts
    623

    Default Re: Decrease in milk- advice please!

    A few thoughts:

    --Have you changed out your membranes recently? Every time I started to have difficulty pumping, replacing the white membranes often got me back on track!
    --Will baby nurse more often at night? Those long stretches at night with no nursing often have a negative affect on maintaining supply. I would even focus on trying to nurse more during the day, too, since you say she generally goes for 3 hour stretches. Removing milk from the breast is the best way to tell your body to make more milk!
    --How much milk is baby drinking in your absence? A good rule of thumb is 1-1.5 oz/hr of separation. So 15 ounces may actually be okay intake for a 12 hour separation, particularly if baby is given free rein to nurse plenty when together with mom!
    Apologies for the short responses! I'm usually responding one-handed on my smartphone!

  3. #3

    Default Re: Decrease in milk- advice please!

    Thank you for your response! I'll change out the membranes- good idea! Take last night for instance- she nursed when I got home from work close to 10 pm and she was wide awake so she nursed again at 11 and went to sleep. She woke up around 3:30 am and then again at 6:00 am and nursed both times. She nursed at 7:30 before I left for work and then I pumped at 0900. Seems like a lot when you see it all written down like that. She drinks less than I pump during the day- she'd rather nurse from the breast (of course! but it's usually 2-4 ounces every 3 hours and she eats food twice a day. After my last shift tomorrow I'll be home for a week with her and I let her nurse whenever she wants so I say it's every three hours but it's probably closer to every 2 1/2. I probably shouldn't stress too much- I know that's not helping. It's just weird, especially today- I feel like I'm hardly producing anything.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    2,214

    Default Re: Decrease in milk- advice please!

    Do you think your period might be on the way? Whenever I had an abrupt drop like that it turned out to be my period. Also any new hormonal birth control, or possibility of pregnancy? I think changing out the membranes is a good idea and encouraging lots of nursing as sonogirl suggested.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Decrease in milk- advice please!

    After doing some research I thought the same thing- maybe my period is coming back! With my other two girls it took at least a year before my period returned- though I can't remember how it affected my supply. Does supply return to normal after the cycle is over?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    rockford,il
    Posts
    711

    Default Re: Decrease in milk- advice please!

    Yes it's a temporary dip. Some moms find it helpful to supplement with calcium and magnesium.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    NY
    Posts
    623

    Default Re: Decrease in milk- advice please!

    My pumping supply actually never really came back up to what it was before my period came back; but mine came back at the year point, when pumping output often begins to naturally decrease, anyway. So I don't blame my period returning for the drop in my output. Most women I know experience dips for just a couple of days around their period and then pop right back up to normal.
    Apologies for the short responses! I'm usually responding one-handed on my smartphone!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    2,214

    Default Re: Decrease in milk- advice please!

    My supply bumps back up a few days into my period. And I don't always experience a drop.

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