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Thread: Breastmilk has decreased to almost nothing

  1. #1

    Default Breastmilk has decreased to almost nothing

    My daughter is almost 3 months old and up until the past week breast feeding has been fine. I was able to breast feed and within 30 minutes pump 4-6 ounces. I knew my baby was getting plenty of food. Here in the last week I manage to pump 1-2 ounces if I'm lucky. I breast feed her for 10 minutes on both breasts and after she screams and wants more. I make her a 4 ounce bottle and after she drinks it she does fine. I have also noticed a very different taste in my breast milk. I have tasted my milk before and it was sweet, no bitterness. Earlier when she ate she had this foul look on her face and let the milk drain out of her mouth. So I tasted it again, it tasted like sour milk. And was very bitter. My diet hasn't changed. I have been starting to worry. I had my period May 15, and haven't gotten another one. I dont know what to think or what to do. Why has my milk decreased so much? Why doesn't she like it anymore?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,382

    Default Re: Breastmilk has decreased to almost nothing

    Welcome to the forum!

    A lot of moms find that around the 3 month mark, their milk goes from being very abundant to being just enough for the baby's needs. This is natural.

    Most moms start out making more milk than their babies need because Mother Nature is cautious; she wants to make sure milk is super-abundant as the baby figures out the tricky art of nursing. When a mom is making too much milk, she's likely to feel full engorged fairly often, to pump a lot of milk without much trouble (hint: 4-6 oz is a lot of milk), to feel strong letdowns (if she is a mom who experiences that sensation), and to leak a lot.

    The overproduction stage doesn't last because it's not desirable to make too much milk when you don't have to. Making extra milk puts you at increased risk of plugged ducts and mastitis, and it's a waste of your body's energy. So after a few weeks or months, your body adjusts to produce only what is needed. At that point, you are likely to rarely if ever feel full or engorged, to leak less or not at all, to feel weaker letdowns or no letdowns, and to see pump output decline. Your baby may also be quite fussy when your supply adjusts because all of a sudden she has to change her nursing style, and be a bit more assertive at the breast in order to get it to deliver her preferred flow speed.

    So, how do you know what's going on, supply adjustment or low supply? Well, the first thing to do is to feed on demand, during both day and night, and not supplement with bottles. As you do that, pay careful attention to the baby's diaper output. As long as diaper output remains normal, you have enough milk. If it falls below the adequate level, then you may have a problem and you should see your child's pediatrician and a lactation consultant.

    In addition to the suggestion above, I think that if I were you, I would also take a pregnancy test and/or review my birth control choices. You had a period a month ago but nothing since- that could indicate that you're pregnant again and pregnancy can cause supply to disappear. Hormonal birth control can also have a negative impact on supply, and if you're using a hormonal contraceptive now might be a good time to think about using a different method.

    Some questions for you:
    - How much have you been supplementing? (How many oz per day? How many times per day?)
    - What is in the supplemental bottles- breastmilk or formula?
    - Are you nursing on demand or on a schedule?
    - Is the baby sleeping long stretches at night?
    - Can you describe the taste of your milk some more? Was it salty, was it sour, or was it actually bitter?
    - Are you taking any medications or supplements?
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    5,941

    Default Re: Breastmilk has decreased to almost nothing

    Was the milk that tasted off freshly expressed or coming out of storage?

    I agree with mommal. Milk production does not disappear overnight unless something pretty drastic happens hormonally to make that happen. But it is VERY common for mothers to think their milk production inadequate at about this age. In My Child Won't Eat, Pediatrician Carlos Gonzalez calls this phenomenon the "crisis at 3 months." It is a "crisis" because it so often leads to baby being unnecessarily supplemented, and in short order the supplements indeed do cause baby to nurse less than baby needs to, and that causes real milk production issues, and a consequent rapid end to the breast feeding relationship.

    Mommal has good questions.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Breastmilk has decreased to almost nothing

    Are you drinking enough water? A lot of our breastmilk relies on us being well hydrated

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