Happy Mothers Breastfed Babies
Results 1 to 6 of 6

Thread: HELP - regular dramatic drop in milk 'supply'

  1. #1

    Default HELP - regular dramatic drop in milk 'supply'

    Hello all,
    My dd is just over 13 weeks and we've been struggling with milk supply ever since we've started exclusive breastfeeding at 3 weeks. Every two to three weeks or so I have a dramatic drop in supply, where I feel like it's almost dried up, and then I add yet another galagtogogue - to the point that now I'm taking almost everything under the sun at the same time. However, yet again, sure enough, another drop. Almost making me wonder if it's worth taking them at all.
    Anyway, please help because I MUST breastfeed exclusively. My dd is allergic to dairy, so I control her intake through my diet. We also live in West Africa. I was posted here for work, and there's no LLL here, or any meetings to be had.

    So here's the data:
    --baby's been gaining constantly around 25-27 grams a day (with a lot of effort from mom) though she's just under the 50th percentile, as we lost more than 10 percent at birth
    --She eats very often still, even at 3 months, sometimes every half hour, sometimes every 2 hours if I'm lucky, during the day. At night she dream-feeds every one and a half to 2 hours. When I had full breasts at night and no issue with supply she would even go for 3 hours on lucky nights though she would only take one breast.
    --I've been trying to give her bottle when she sometimes wants to feed straight after I pump, but she's refusing bottles (she took them up to 3 weeks because I was supplementing with formula from birth due to a complication which saw me in ICU for a few days).
    --Baby's not take bottle easily, which makes me scared to pump, because I don't know when she's going to want to feed next. I try to power pump once in the evening, but that's pretty much all the pumping action I see these days. I know you can increase supply by pumping, but I feel I can't pump because her feeding schedule is so erratic.
    --The times when she took a bottle (expressed milk), even when she was ravenous, the most she would take in one sitting is 70 ml, making me wonder if she has a small stomach, given that the norm is twice as much. I don't think she's ever had 150 in one sitting.
    --I think my dip in supply could be related with the lack of pumping at night, when my breasts became engorged, but she would only take one at a time, meaning the other would go for 6 hours without emptying. Even when she ate, she wouldn't empty them completely.
    --as I mentioned, I've tried all supplements under the sun. I'm now taking fenugreek by the buket load, domperidone, lactation biscuits with brewer's yeast, fennel tea, alcohol-free beer (3 or 4 a day - I don't even like beer). I also have a big supply of blessed thistle but every time I take it with fenugreek it seems like my supply is getting even lower. Can blessed thistle have the opposite effect?

    Anyway, I enjoy breastfeeding enormously, and have to do it exclusively because of her dairy allergy, so please help me continue the journey. At the moment I get really stressed out before every feed wondering if I will have enough milk to take the edge off her hunger. I haven't seen her milk-drunk in a week. I even weighed her before and after a feed and it was 30 grams difference - which is way too little for a meal. sure enough, 10 minutes later she wanted to feed again. My supply was absolutely fine 5 days ago, and now I barely scrape by, with empty breasts at every meal, they don't seem to 'fill up' despite her nursing so often. We don't have a latching problem, she enjoys breastfeeding.. I don't know what to do anymore.
    thank you all

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    24,912

    Default Re: HELP - regular dramatic drop in milk 'supply'

    Welcome to the forum!

    Can you tell us some more about your experience? It would be helpful to know exactly what you are experiencing when you see the "dramatic drop" in supply. What is the baby doing when this drop occurs? What are you feeling?

    It would also be helpful to know how you are assessing the baby's intake. Do you have a scale, and is it good to the 1/10th of an oz, or are you using a bathroom or kitchen scale?

    Finally, if you could post your baby's weight history, that would also be useful. The best format is something like this: baby's age in weeks/baby's weight in lbs or kg.

  3. #3

    Default Re: HELP - regular dramatic drop in milk 'supply'

    thank you so much.

    So the baby was given formula exclusively for the first week of her life - I was in ICU, and then the milk didn't come in early (or I didn't know it had). Anyway, by week 3 we were feeding exclusively. I was pumping after almost every meal and after the inital 11 percent drop in weight, she started picking it up again and by 15 days she had regained her birth weight. Ever since, she has been growing steadily, was 3,57 kg at birth and she was 5.70 the day before her 3 month birthday.
    I don' have the whole history as I've been weighing her on the go, sometimes every two days on an electronic special baby scale (the type where she lies on her back and being weighed). But overall she's been taking an average of about 200 g per week. I managed to make sure my drop in milk didn't affect her - through power pumping, or supplementing with expressed milk, or just taking lots of galactagogues, in a panic mode. Basically just as soon as I would see the down spiral I would spring into action so she doesn't feel it.

    How baby reacts: gets frustrated when there's no milk on the breast, (I know there's no milk because I would try to pump after and I would only get 5-10 ml. I react well to pumping, the most I ever pumped out of one breast has been 90 ml when supply going strong). So getting 15-20 ml out of two breasts for me is like supply has almost dried up. So baby gets frustrated, pulls on and off the breast, as if trying to provoke another let-down, more recently started to slap my breast or try to slap me (my face) whilst simultaneously grunting, kicks one of her legs as if to thump it down, I would imaging when she's older she's going to stamp her feet. She also tries to knead the breast. In the last few weeks if I try to give her expressed milk it's a whole battle, she won't take it, screams murder and cries in anger. So I am in a situation where I have nothing in my breast for another hour or more, and she won't take expressed milk. She sometimes takes a bottle off of the nanny, but not all the time, only when she's really hungry and not in my presence. I've had various infections (throat, ear) in the last month, and on a couple of occasions I took augumentin. The one-before last dip came right after that, so I thought maybe it's because of the antibiotic. Last week I had an ear infection, and I did not take antibiotics, specifically to avoid a dip, however, the dip came anyway. I also ate grilled aubergines, which I don't normally eat - on a couple of these dips, but I don't know if they are related. I would avoid them anyway. On my last dip I also had accute diarheea because of the brewer's yeast in some biscuits (think the dosage was off). The dip in milk happened the day after too much brewer's yeast/ear infection/eating aubergines. Writing this last sentence down I feel like a crazy woman nit picking into everything. But I just so want to get to the bottom of this so we can enjoy the journey. At the moment all I can think of is how am I going to feed her at the next meal. Will I have enough? Will she cry in frustration? I have to do some work from home and I can't even concentrate on that, my main worry is how am I going to have enough to feed her.

    As I was saying, although I weigh her every two or three days (during a dip, not all the time), I don't write it down, I just remember the last one. But the ones that are written down are from pediatrician visits:

    8 weeks - 4.8 kg
    10 weeks 2 days - 5.260 kg
    12 weeks 5 days - 5.7 kg

    one thing I forgot to mention is that during the last two dips in supply, her diaper output seemed ok in urine, but less pooping. I was told that's normal at this age. during the last dip she went 3 days without pooping, then when supply increased, she had a whopper explosive one which weighed 200 grams. Now since yesterday she's pooped but just a trace, v v little.

    After the last drop in supply I thought what can i do to make sure i avoid another dip, so I started power pumping. At first I tried twice a day, midday and evening, but had to change because baby wouldn't have enough to eat, yet I was having lots to freeze, so I left just one session at midday, when the nanny could tempt her with a bottle of expressed milk if she needed supplementing. I was always counting on the fact that I would get full supply at night, engorged breasts really. So I wasn't worried. However, when I started seeing that even at night for the first time since she was born my breasts are almost empty, I got panicked again and stopped power pumping. I still pump to empty breasts just once a day, instead of the power pumping, but don't go for long session.

    Thanks so much
    Last edited by @llli*worldwanderer; April 12th, 2017 at 07:23 AM. Reason: add info

  4. #4

    Default Re: HELP - regular dramatic drop in milk 'supply'

    After the last drop in supply I thought what can i do to make sure i avoid another dip, so I started power pumping. At first I tried twice a day, midday and evening, but had to change because baby wouldn't have enough to eat, yet I was having lots to freeze, so I left just one session at midday, when the nanny could tempt her with a bottle of expressed milk if she needed supplementing. I was always counting on the fact that I would get full supply at night, engorged breasts really. So I wasn't worried. However, when I started seeing that even at night for the first time since she was born my breasts are almost empty, I got panicked again and stopped power pumping. I still pump to empty breasts just once a day, instead of the power pumping, but don't go for long session.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    10,597

    Default Re: HELP - regular dramatic drop in milk 'supply'

    Hi world wanderer. Mommal has not been able to check on the forum as much lately due to busy life and probably missed your response, and I missed it too.

    Since it has been a couple of weeks, can you tell us what is going on now? Any changes from when you last posted? Thanks.

  6. #6

    Default Re: HELP - regular dramatic drop in milk 'supply'

    Hey, how's it going? You could try these, really effective to help milk supply https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01INPGC5A

Posting Permissions

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