Happy Mothers Breastfed Babies
Results 1 to 10 of 10

Thread: Drastic supply drop over night - almost exclusively pumping

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Posts
    16

    Default Drastic supply drop over night - almost exclusively pumping

    My LO is 4 months old. He was born 5 weeks early. He has never been a strong nurser and even with months of visits with IBCLC he continues to have poor milk transfer. I am NOT looking for advice on getting him to exclusively nurse. I understand it is well intentioned but I promise you I have nearly destroyed our nursing relationship trying every piece of advice handed to me. Yes he had ties. Yes we had them revised. Please I am asking about a supply issue.

    Our routine is nurse 15/15 in each side, at which point he's pretty tired. Then I pump for 20 minutes and give him 2oz of expressed milk via paced feeding. This is done every 3 hours. This has kept up about a slow but steady weight gain.

    I pumped about 26 ounces a day. In the early months it was up to 34, but my supply regulated. 26 ounces a day without fail.

    Saturday I came down with bronchitis. Sickest I have been. 104.5 fever etc. I was put on Azythromycin and Tramadol for pain. I still managed to nurse / pump my usual 26 oz on Saturday. On Sunday I slept all day. I nursed in my sleep (awesome hubby), though I did miss one session, but pumped to catch up. My total for the day was 29oz - expected bc I missed s nursing session. I was not pumping AS frequently (only 5 times each day as opposed to my usual 7 or 8), but obviously still getting my usual amounts.

    Then Monday - it's like I dried up overnight. Baby was fighting for milk. I got 15 oz for the day. Overnight a drop of 11oz. Today - I don't think I'm going to make 15.

    I'm nursing baby more often. I've done nothing today but nurse / pump / repeat. Baby is showing signs of dehydration and has lost a few ounces (we have a hospital scale bc of his feeding issues). Only 5 wet diapers. Sunken Fontanelle. I have a hospital pump as well (Ameda Platinum). I'm power pumping while hubby bottles baby.

    I don't know what to do. I'm gulping mothers milk tea.

    Full disclosure - I know I'm not eating great (but I never have.... I would go a whole day and forget to eat and it would have no impact). I no longer have the fever but I do still feel run down.

    Does anyone have any advice? Insight? I didn't think it was possible to have such a great supply and literally the next day have almost half of it disappear.

    Oh. I have replace all pump parts. I also have a back up pum (spectra). So not a pump issue.
    Last edited by @llli*mrsb0427; December 22nd, 2015 at 05:49 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    10,754

    Default Re: Drastic supply drop over night - almost exclusively pump

    I didn't think it was possible to have such a great supply
    Well it is not really possible, unless something has happened to make such a drastic change. If it is not the pump, then I think an abrupt drop like that can only be contributed to illness or anti-galactagogue herbs or medications. I am unclear how you know so exactly how much you make each day exactly as it sounds like you are both pumping and nursing (?), so if baby took more via nursing that might mean less output via the pump(? sorry if I have that wrong.) But if you are sure there actually has been a drastic production drop, I think being you ill is the most likely suspect.

    What you eat is not all that likely to make a huge difference in milk production, although if you are undernourished, that might. Also, being even slightly dehydrated can be a big problem.

    To increase your production again there is really no shortcut. Frequent and effective milk removal, making sure you are adequately hydrated and nourished, and galactagogues.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Posts
    16

    Default Re: Drastic supply drop over night - almost exclusively pump

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*maddieb View Post
    I am unclear how you know so exactly how much you make each day exactly as it sounds like you are both pumping and nursing (?), so if baby took more via nursing that might mean less output via the pump
    I'm confused. I pump into bottles and add them up throughout the day. As I said, I pump 26oz a day usually and baby also nurses. I never claimed to know how much he gets via nursing. However, I also mentioned he has dehydration symptoms (fewer wet diapers, sunken Fontanelle, weight loss). Therefor it seems incredibly unlikely he's suddenly nursing SO well that my pumping output would drop from 26/day to 15/day, again,literally overnight. Today I'm at 11 for the day and looks like that will be it.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    24,794

    Default Re: Drastic supply drop over night - almost exclusively pump

    It really is weird that you'd go from excellent pump output- 26 oz is enough to feed baby on breastmilk alone, if you go by the standard that babies eat 19-30 oz per day- to less than half that overnight. Do you think it's possible that you got dehydrated or had mastitis in addition to the bronchitis? That might explain the dramatic decrease.

    If you want more milk, then MaddieB said it best: frequent and effective milk removal is where it's at. So increase your frequency of pumping and nursing, and pump for longer if you possibly can. That will do more for you than any herb or tea. I know that can be dispiriting advice- it sounds like we're saying "Nothing to it, just work 10x harder than you already are". But I know I would rather hear that than have someone say "try this miracle tea, it worked great for my sister's husband's uncle's cousin!"

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Posts
    16

    Default Re: Drastic supply drop over night - almost exclusively pump

    I'm definitely thinking dehydration may be a factor. I'm upping my fluid intake today - but now I've got a stomach virus.... Wheeee.

    Mastitis is an interesting possibility. Is it possible to get that with NO breast pain? I had fever / chill / flu symptoms. But again - could be the bronchitis. I've nursed / pumped 9 times today, which is about 1 or 2 more times than average. And I'm going to try to squeeze in one more session before going to bed. But I'm still down another 3oz from yesterday.

    Really hoping to see an increase - even slight - tomorrow. Of course with Christmas in 2 days - this timing is awful :-(


    Oh. And thank you for your response. :-)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Posts
    16

    Default Re: Drastic supply drop over night - almost exclusively pump

    Wanted to do a quick update. I pumped before bed and got a surprising 2.5oz. When I woke this morning (6 hours later) I nursed LO and pumped and got 5.5 oz... Which is almost back to normal.... And 2x what I got yesterday. I'm still pushing fluids, drinking my tea, but wanted to post here in case anyone else is going through this.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    24,794

    Default Re: Drastic supply drop over night - almost exclusively pump

    Mastitis is an interesting possibility. Is it possible to get that with NO breast pain?
    Yes. Lack of breast pain makes mastitis less likely, but does not completely rule it out.

    I've nursed / pumped 9 times today, which is about 1 or 2 more times than average.
    See? More pumping is the key! It's great that you made it happen, even with Xmas craziness upon us.

    I think one thing to keep in mind, since this is your long-term feeding plan, is that you should expect fluctuations in supply over time, even when you aren't sick. Getting 26 oz every day- that's unlikely to always be the case. Sometimes you're going to be up, some days a bit short... It's not always within your control.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    10,754

    Default Re: Drastic supply drop over night - almost exclusively pump

    I am aware you did not say you know what baby takes at the breast. But some moms actually do know because they do before and after nursing weight checks each time baby nurses. (Please note I am not suggesting this.)

    What I meant was, if you don't know what baby takes at the breast each time baby nurses, at least not in exact numbers, as is typical, then you don't know your actual milk production - at least not in exact numbers. You know how much you PUMP in exact numbers. What I mean is that knowing pump output is not the same as knowing how much you produce in exact numbers, unless you are exclusively pumping. So part of what you may be seeing when seeing pump output drop is baby improving with milk transfer. Maybe you know that is not the case, but I was throwing it out there as a possibility.

    I did not ignore your concerns that baby may not be getting enough, but on the other hand I tend to not panic over a temporary loss of a few ounces or signs of mild dehydration in an otherwise healthy and normally gaining baby this age, particularly when both mom and and perhaps baby have been/are ill and mom has, until becoming ill, clearly had no issue with milk production based on very high pump output numbers (high considering baby also nurses and presumably gets something at the breast.)

    You might want to read up on what is average weight gain starting around 3-4 months. It is typical for weight gain to start to slow down noticeably around there.
    Last edited by @llli*maddieb; December 23rd, 2015 at 01:20 PM.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Drastic supply drop over night - almost exclusively pump

    One other thought...

    Opioid pain medications like tramadol can inhibit the release of oxytocin, which is the hormone involved in the milk ejection reflex. Sometimes moms who are taking opioids after surgery see a sudden drop in the amount they can pump, not because their supply has decreased, but because they're having a hard time triggering a letdown.

    Could that be part of what happened to you, mrsb0427?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Posts
    16

    Default Re: Drastic supply drop over night - almost exclusively pump

    Hi Karen! Thank you SO much for posting. I apologize for the nearly month long absence I was actually popping back on the forum to update about my situation, in case other mothers search the forums and can learn from my situation.

    My thoughts are as follows:

    I think there is something to be said for Karen's suggestion. I definitely felt like I just wasn't reacting to the pump (which, let's be honest, isn't the easiest in the *best* of situations, haha). However, I was *exceptionally* dehydrated and ill on top of it. So I truly think that had a huge part of it. I think my body was basically shutting down any avenue that it might lose more fluid.

    I pushed fluids, slept a TON (I honestly just didn't even worry too much about pumping... I did it when I could, but rest was my first concern). I read the book that is recommended heavily on these forums (Making more milk, I think?). In that the author states that mothers who have laid the groundwork for a good supply early on, have a better chance of reinvigorating that supply if drops. So that put my mind at ease quite a bit! Supply was NEVER and issue... so I just kept reminding myself there was no reason it should turn into one.

    That being said, I did take some proactive measures. I started taking the MotherLove supplements (I found them at WholeFoods for like $20). I also was drinking a nursing tea 2 to 3 times a day. As soon as I started feeling better (about 2 or 3 days), I began pumping immediately after my son nursed - every time. That meant through the night etc. Even if it was only a 10 minute pumping session, I did it.

    My supply naturally rebounded at the point in time that I was feeling better (so I was only at "half capacity" for about 3 days, and then it slowly began creeping back up on it's own). After a few days of the above measures, I actually began producing an excess of like 35 ounces a day ON TOP Of nursing my son. Since he only needs about 12 ounces to supplement, I cut back on some of the pumping... and I'm now back to producing about 24oz on average. All in all it took about a week to get everything back to normal.

    I also noticed during this time that my little <5% peanut was starting to look like he was putting on weight. This was confirmed at his check up in early January... he had jumped to the 11th percentile.

    I'm thinking that producing a little more and thus cutting out some nursing sessions here and there made it easier for him to nurse. IE: more forceful letdown because the breast was fuller? More easily triggered? So I think he transferred more milk, more easily from the breast, and was still getting his 2oz topper after 6 of his meals as well. I also noticed his reflux seemed worse, and I am wondering if that can be attributed to over-supplementation. Just some thoughts I've had. So we've pulled back a little on the topper. As a new set of problems, I think he's gotten a little "spoiled" because he will nurse and then sort of give up once he has to work for it a little bit. Like he *knows* he's going to get that 2 ounces from the bottle, so he takes whats easy from the breast and then will wait for the easy top off.

    Except at night. He nurses like a champ when he's half asleep, haha.

    So anyway, I hope updating about my experience is helpful to some other momma out there! If you find yourself in this situation, just believe it will bounce back and then take care of yourself. You can't pour from an empty cup, after all. Oh, and I did not continue the supplements and tea once my supply rebounded. So it was really only a week of that regimen. So don't assume you'll be stuck taking expensive supplements for the rest of your nursing career if you start them

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •