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Thread: Supply drop, but no clogged duct?

  1. #1

    Default Supply drop, but no clogged duct?

    My son is three months old and I'm exclusively pumping. I had clogged ducts repeatedly in the first few weeks after his birth, which led me to start EP'ing (he would fall asleep at the breast and not empty them). My supply doesn't cover his feeding needs (despite trying all sorts of things like different flanges, power pumping, pumping every two hours, etc.) so we also supplement. I have been able to cut from a high of 10 pumps a day down to four without decreasing my supply, which is now anywhere from about 17-20 ounces/day. This was a process over about the last two months or so and my supply has stabilized pretty well.

    My issue is that I seem to be experiencing a dramatic drop in supply on my left side in the last 36 hours. My left side has always been the less productive of the two, but I've gone from pumping about 2 ounces per pump on that side to less than one ounce. I normally pump for about 30 minutes, but have tried pumping longer today with no success. My last pump only produced 10 mL on that side! I know that most people will immediately say I have a clogged duct and that would be my guess as well, but the weird thing is that I haven't (yet) experienced the rest of the symptoms that I usually get with a clogged duct. No lumps, no hardness, no pain. My breast is a little tender on that side, but not dramatically more than it usually is. My last five pumps have been like this now and I would think that I would have backed up enough milk to be in some serious pain if I had a clog. I'm obviously happy that I don't have the other symptoms, but am worried that I do actually have a clog and will wake up with mastitis.

    Has anyone heard about supply plummeting out of the blue like this? I've tried hot showers, hand expressing, compresses, massage, olive oil, lechithin, putting my son to my breast. You name it, I've done it. I don't know if I have a clog and no other symptoms (is that even possible?) or if my supply for some reason has dropped. I have firsthand experience with how clogs feel and how I've cleared them before and this just doesn't feel like one.

    To answer some other questions I saw in response to other threads:

    - I use a Medela PISA. I saw some posters talk about motor failure, but my right breast is still producing as it had been. I started off with a hospital grade pump for the first month. I didn't see a decrease in supply once I switched to the pump in style.
    - I alternate between different flanges, yellow things, and membranes so I don't think it's that because my last five pumps have been like this
    - I'm not on any hormones
    - I'm definitely not pregnant

    Please help!!
    Last edited by @llli*ampadre; October 16th, 2016 at 08:49 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
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    12

    Default Re: Supply drop, but no clogged duct?

    Maybe try taking some tylenol and leaning forward when you pump. They'll help if it is a clogged duct.

    I know you didnt mention wanting to boost your supply, but you have to supplement bc you're not meeting his needs. maybe instead of 4 pumps, go up to 6 a day. Also, look into taking herbal supplements. I found this shop on Etsy called Legendairy Milk. They helped me a ton. I went from pumping 50 oz to 70 oz. I've eped for almost 9 months now.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Supply drop, but no clogged duct?

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*hgmama View Post
    Maybe try taking some tylenol and leaning forward when you pump. They'll help if it is a clogged duct.

    I know you didnt mention wanting to boost your supply, but you have to supplement bc you're not meeting his needs. maybe instead of 4 pumps, go up to 6 a day. Also, look into taking herbal supplements. I found this shop on Etsy called Legendairy Milk. They helped me a ton. I went from pumping 50 oz to 70 oz. I've eped for almost 9 months now.


    Thanks. I'm actually pretty convinced now that it's not a clogged duct since it's been nearly two days of this now and my breast is still soft with no pain or lumps. It's like my milk supply just disappeared overnight (yes, I know this isn't actually possible for no reason).

    I was pumping much more over the summer with no increase in supply. I was at six pumps/day for at least a month and even increased from there topping out at 10 pumps for a while. In the end, I wasn't producing more milk so I decided to go the opposite way and see if I could cut pumps without losing supply. Adding pumps didn't do anything for me, but cutting them didn't either - which led me to the four pumps that I've been at for the last month.

    I just think it's weird that it seems to be an overnight problem with only one breast. This morning I pumped four and a half ounces out of right breast and less than one out of my right. I've added two additional pumps today so far with my left breast and still plan to do two extra, leaving me with eight pumps on that side today total. We'll see if that helps. So far it hasn't though.

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