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Thread: Temporary supply dip after dehydration - how long?

  1. #1

    Default Temporary supply dip after dehydration - how long?

    Hi. I'm currently nursing a 4 month old. I was recently hospitalized due to a stomach bug and severe dehydration, which made my BP plummet to very low levels. I was put on IV fluids for an extended period of time. While at the hospital, I was pumping every 3-4 hours to protect my supply. Naturally, being dehydrated, my milk supply dipped, but I'm concerned I'm not seeing my supply come back up. So my general question is: Does anyone know how long it might take for my supply to bounce back to pre-illness levels, if it will?

    A bit more info: Very suddenly, baby nurses from both sides at every feeding, when she was only feeding from 1 side at a time since she was a newborn. I spend about 6 hrs a day away from my baby, where she is given my expressed milk from the previous day. The rest of the time, baby nurses on demand. Haven't needed to supplement and don't plan to. At work, I used to pump about 4-6 oz daily, and now I'm barely getting 2oz. My fluid output peaked on 12/30-31, and was back to normal by 1/3.

    Thanks for any feedback!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: Temporary supply dip after dehydration - how long?

    Welcome to the forum!

    Your question is actually a really hard one to answer, because the answer is going to vary so widely from mom to mom. So instead of focusing on when you're going to get back to your previous supply level, I would focus on this question: do you actually need to return to making the same amount as you were before? It's totally normal to suddenly need to nurse on both sides, even though one used to be sufficient, and on-demand double-sided nursing is a great way to boost supply if there is a problem. Lower pumping output is normal after a bout of illness, and getting 2 oz per pump is actually a completely normal amount to pump at a single pump session. 4-6 oz is actually on the high side. If you find that you need more milk than you can bring ho e from the office, pump more often and you should get back to where you need to be.

    What do you think?

  3. #3

    Default Re: Temporary supply dip after dehydration - how long?

    @llli*mommal: Thanks. Yes, what you said makes sense. I don't think my baby is starving, even though she's feeding more often than usual. The last few days it took two pumping sessions to be able to supply her 3-oz morning bottle, but now I have nothing left to re-build my stash (which was depleted during my hospital stay). Note that the 4-6 oz pumping session replaces a feeding, it's not an additional pumping session at night. That volume is pretty typical for me, and was typical with my first baby, as well. And if this had been a gradual decline, I'd understand it was my body adjusting. But the sharp drop makes me think it is tied to the dehydration.

    I'm still curious if any nursing mammas out there have struggled with a temporary dip after suffering from fluid loss, and if their supply ever bounced back.

    Thanks for the advice. I'll see if I can squeeze in an additional pumping session, and I'll be patient and hope my normal supply returns, but I wont stress too much about it. Stress never helps.

    Update: It is about 9 days past the peak of my dehydration. I continued to nurse on demand, have been on a regular diet since day 3 and have been drinking an additional 2 cups of Mother's Milk tea daily. My supply seems to be borderline low/normal.

    So, in short: about 10 days after my illness, I'm hovering on the low end of normal.
    Last edited by @llli*paganigl; January 8th, 2016 at 10:25 AM. Reason: Update

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