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Thread: Extreme Fluctuations in Milk Supply - HELP!

  1. #1

    Unhappy Extreme Fluctuations in Milk Supply - HELP!

    My daughter will be 4 weeks old tomorrow. She was born weighing 6 pounds, 9 ounces since she was born 3 weeks early, but now she weighs 7 pounds, 13 ounces.

    At the beginning of my breastfeeding journey with her, I had an oversupply...my daughter was having plenty of wet and dirty diapers, but her stools were green rather than the normal yellow color.

    Then when she was 2 weeks old, I got a severe case of mastitis - 104 degree fever, nausea, dizziness, severe fatigue, cold sweats, sore body, etc.

    My lactation consultant immediately prescribed me an antibiotic, which cleared that issue right up!

    3 days later, my husband was rushed to the hospital from work for an emergency appendectomy, which resulted in him having to stay home for a week. So then I had to take care of him, my 19 month old son, and my 2 week old daughter. Not to mention, I'm getting practically NO sleep at night because my girl is awake very frequently to eat, and napping during the daytime is almost impossible with a toddler running around and a house to maintain.

    Anyway, for the last 48 hours, my daughter has been eating very sporadically. Sometimes every hour, sometimes every 2 hours, sometimes every hour and a half...always followed by a wet and dirty diaper.

    My lactation consultant thought (yesterday) that my daughter was just going through a growth spurt and told me to feed on demand, then pump immediately afterwards for 2 minutes past my last drop of milk.

    In 36 hours, I've only managed to pump about a half an ounce of milk, and my lactation consultant is beginning to talk about potentially needing to supplement my daughter after feedings until my supply is back to normal.

    I'm very nervous about potentially needing to supplement her because my husband and I are in no financial place to be buying formula, as we're in the process of purchasing a house, and I've heard so many horror stories about mothers supplementing and never being able to get their little ones back to the breast for feedings.

    My daughter has a weight check this evening, and depending on that number, my lactation consultant will make a decision about what to do about my supply/potentially supplementing.

    I've done a lot of research on how to increase my supply, and I've tried oatmeal, lots of water, fiber, etc. My only concern is increasing my supply TOO much and having an oversupply yet again.

    Any and all advice would be absolutely fantastic. I'm trying not to stress out, but that's way easier said than done in this situation.

    Thank you in advance!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    24,794

    Default Re: Extreme Fluctuations in Milk Supply - HELP!

    Welcome to the forum!

    It sounds like your lactation consultant may have pulled the trigger early when it comes to concern about your milk supply. A baby who is producing sufficient wet/poop diapers is getting enough to eat, regardless of how much the mom can pump after nursing. It's completely normal to pump little or no milk after a good nursing session, particularly if mom is not very experienced with pumping or is using a weak pump (e.g., a manual pump, a well-used electric pump, or a cheap single electric pump).

    If you have a non-reassuring weight check this evening, here is what I would do:
    1. Discuss your baby's wet/poop diaper output. As long as that is normal and the baby is not losing weight, your LC should probably be okay with you simply continuing to nurse, which should quickly increase your supply, and doing another weight check in a few days to make sure everything is back on track.
    2. Use pumping to increase supply. Make sure you have the right tools for the job: a good double electric pump and correctly fitted shields.
    3. Don't rely too heavily on oatmeal, fiber, water, etc. Pumping and nursing are the best and fastest roads to increased supply. It would be great if all we needed to do in order to guarantee great supply was to eat a bowl of oatmeal, but as with most things in life, hard work is what gets results!
    4. Do not freak out about "sporadic" eating. That is a completely normal eating pattern for a young baby. Many babies start out with a predictable frequency, and then change things up when they reach a few weeks old and are suddenly more alert.
    5. Call in your helpers. The mom of a 2 week old baby should be recoup erasing from birth and focusing on her new baby. She shouldn't have to take care of a sick husband and run after a toddler. So now is the time to call in your friends and family and ask them to do things like watch your toddler, scrub a toilet, make a meal, walk the dog, bring your husband the remote- whatever needs doing!

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