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Thread: Milk disappeared within hours...is that even possible!

  1. #1

    Default Milk disappeared within hours...is that even possible!

    Please help! My son is almost 3 months. Did not have a problem until now. I don't feel let down and enforgement anymore, it just stopped. My baby also is losing weight so obviously my milk supply dropped. When I pump I can hardly do 2 ounces, it could be 6 before. I don't know what to do. What is the reason of such a sudden drop?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Milk disappeared within hours...is that even possible!

    Hi tatianak. I am so sorry you are having this concern.

    One thing for sure about milk production- there is no way normal milk production simply disappears within hours. Even if you were taking a powerful anti-galactagogue, this would not be at all likely to happen.

    Pumping 2 ounces or even less can be entirely normal - and in any case, what a mom pumps is a very poor reflection of milk production. Some moms do not respond well to pumping. Pumps malfunction. And most people way overestimate what is normal pump output.

    The most common reason milk production reduces below what baby needs is if the milk has not been removed from the breasts frequently enough or effectively enough for some time. In other words, usually it is a situation that happens gradually, although it can feel dramatic sometimes.

    Also, it is common and normal for moms with normal milk production to start feeling "empty" sometime after about 6 weeks of age. Most moms tend to start feeling this way around 3-4 months. Not feeling letdown also goes away over time and in fact many moms never feel letdown at all. And feeling engorged is not normal at all and basically indicates a problem- either that baby is not nursing often or well enough or mom makes too much milk.

    Of course, a 3 month old baby not gaining normally- or literally losing weight...that is not at all normal and indicates a very serious problem somewhere. But of course your baby would not lose weight unless your milk production has been much too low for some time or, if for some other reason, baby is not getting enough to eat- for example, if baby is not able to extract milk normally or is not nursing often enough. Also weight loss or very poor gain would possibly indicate illness.

    Can you give a history of your baby's weight checks? Please note when different scales were used. What has baby's poops and pees been like? What about other growth parameters? At what point was it discovered baby is losing weight and what has your baby's doctor said?

    Can you also explain how many times a day baby nurses, and if baby is getting any regular bottles and if you are pumping as a typical thing?

    This is a good article on low milk production: http://kellymom.com/hot-topics/low-supply/

    And one on not pumping enough: http://kellymom.com/hot-topics/pumping_decrease/
    Last edited by @llli*maddieb; August 3rd, 2017 at 09:20 PM.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Milk disappeared within hours...is that even possible!

    Thank you for such a prompt answer. Engorgement feeling could be only at night when my baby started sleeping longer, so I started pumping.
    He barely gained weight within 2 weeks and that was at the pediatrician's office, she did not pay attention to that and said that the scales were just reading low...but I just see his tummy is so skinny...and feel that something is not right...
    His chart:
    Birth 6,13 lbs
    One week 8,2 lbs
    One month one week 10,8 lbs
    Two months one week 12,13 lbs
    Two months three weeks 12,5 lbs
    All the measurements were done at the pediatrician's office, same scale.
    I'm getting 4-5 wet diapers a day, sometimes even more like 6-7, one solid per day, although he can now skip a day and go without pooping.
    I feed him on demand, the last week he could spend like 40 minutes at one breast and 20 at the other. Total number of feedings is like 12 or more, basically every 1,5 hour.
    I did not give him bottles until yesterday. Occasionally when I needed to rest his dad could give him a bottle, but last time we did it was more than a month ago and maybe like once a day.
    As I mentioned, I started pumping like every 4 hours when I noticed something is not right, basically yesterday and once in a while at night when he started sleeping longer.
    Last edited by @llli*tatianak; August 4th, 2017 at 07:26 AM.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Milk disappeared within hours...is that even possible!

    Birth 6,13 lbs
    One week 8,2 lbs
    One month one week 10,8 lbs
    Two months one week 12,13 lbs
    Two months three weeks 12,5 lbs
    So gain from birth up until two months and one week (so, lets call it 10 weeks to simplify things) was very fast, well above average- not slow! Unless I am misunderstanding something, your baby gained 6 pounds in 2 and a half months! That is average gain of 9.5 ounces a week, which is well above the average gain for that period of 6-8 ounces per week. Fast gain like this is not in any way a problem and it is common when a mom has overproduction.

    But when a baby gains very rapidly early on, the inevitable slowdown in weight gain rate (when it comes, usually around 3-4 months) can be quite dramatic. However, not so dramatic that baby would lose weight. More on that in a moment. But going forward it is important to understand your baby is probably not going to keep gaining 9 ounces a week or anything like it. Average gain after 3-4 months is more like 4-5 ounces per week.

    Ok so let's look at the two weight checks - one at two months one week and the next at two months three weeks. First, can you tell me why baby was at the doctor getting weighed twice in two weeks? This is not typical, is it?

    To put this in perspective, imagine a different scenario where baby was not weighed at two months 1 week and instead was weighed only at one month and one week and then the two months 3 week mark. In that case, your baby's overall gain in 1.5 months was almost 2 pounds and that would look entirely normal (although slower than the gain from birth to one month) So I am still not convinced there is a problem here at all, although of course any time a baby actually loses weight, that deserves serious attention.

    First, even with the same scale, scale error is possible. In fact all the weights seem wonky as baby seemed to gain unusually fast to begin with. Does your doctor use a medical grade, digital infant scale?

    Maybe you can find out if the scale was recalibrated between those two weight checks. Or, could the person doing the weight check simply have made a mistake at either of those checks? Yes this happens! Was baby in a dry diaper or naked at both checks? Was there any unit conversions needed? Was the person weighing baby rushed, distracted, or new? Did YOU see the numbers both times? Often the number that is written down is not the number on the scale, simply because people make mistakes. It happens.

    I'm getting 4-5 wet diapers a day, sometimes even more like 6-7, one solid per day, although he can now skip a day and go without pooping.
    All normal

    I feed him on demand, the last week he could spend like 40 minutes at one breast and 20 at the other. Total number of feedings is like 12 or more, basically every 1,5 hour.
    This all sounds good. How long a stretch is baby going at night without nursing?

    did not give him bottles until yesterday. Occasionally when I needed to rest his dad could give him a bottle, but last time we did it was more than a month ago and maybe like once a day.
    OK that is all fine.

    As I mentioned, I started pumping like every 4 hours when I noticed something is not right, basically yesterday and once in a while at night when he started sleeping longer.
    Noticed what was not right? Do you mean you felt full?

    If that is the case, I would suggest, see if baby will nurse if offered, yes even if it means waking baby. Nursing on cue does not mean only baby's 'cues" need to be followed. When you start feeling a little full, that is your body telling you it is time to nurse as well. Moms also can just feel like nursing without a physical cue and it is always fine to offer to nurse. If baby won't nurse, then pumping or hand expression to the point you feel comfortable is appropriate.

    Basically, everything sounds normal and in fact, overall very good with weight gain. It certainly is a mystery why baby would lose weight over those two weeks. It sounds like doctor is unconcerned and actually blamed the scales, and this is actually what I suspect is the problem as well- but of course you would want reassurance. When do you go back for another weight check?

    As far as baby looking "skinny" - has he grown in height a lot?
    Last edited by @llli*maddieb; August 4th, 2017 at 09:24 AM.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Milk disappeared within hours...is that even possible!

    Thank you so very much! I already feel much better and very relieved.
    We had to go twice this month, first for his usual two month visit and second to follow up a rash the doctor noticed during the first time. They weight him on every visit.
    I do not know what scales they are using, it's digital though. Nurses were different, they take measurement in diapers and yes, he could be in a wet diaper. So many aspects with scales...you are right, for such a tiny weight this all matters...I am not even able to answer all the questions. I saw the number myself, the girl did not seem distracted and I saw her in the office before so she's definitely not new...I will pay more attention to weighing sessions next time. Our next visit is at 4 months.
    The longest he can go without nursing is 6 hours, but that's more an exception than a rule, it happened only once. Usually it is like 4-5 hours without nursing.
    I started pumping when I noticed absence of let down and leaking, I wanted to stimulate maybe... plus there was a redness and swelling in a left breast and slight fever.
    My major concern was my son's weight, my inability to pump as much as I used to and no leaking and no let down feeling. Also the baby was fussy at the breast so I figured he's not getting the flow he used to get. I think I overreacted as well...
    I feed him now, I feel the let down, all night he was breastfeeding without a problem... thank you so very much for your attention to my concern! I am so glad I found this forum.
    Last edited by @llli*tatianak; August 4th, 2017 at 10:40 AM.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Milk disappeared within hours...is that even possible!

    I am glad you are feeling better! How is the rash doing?
    The longest he can go without nursing is 6 hours, but that's more an exception than a rule, it happened only once. Usually it is like 4-5 hours without nursing.
    Ok I was checking how long baby took between sessions because sometimes, babies start sleeping long stretches (more then 4 hours or so) as a regular thing, and this can be not so great for milk production as well as put you at risk for other issues. Of course eventually baby wills sleep longetr stretches like that and it is perfecntly normal and ok, but in some cases when it starts early, it can cause problems.

    I want to be very clear- how long a baby can "go" without nursing is not in any way a good measure that baby is getting enough milk. Babies generally must nurse frequently night and day for most of the first year, and many babies nurse this way beyond a year. It is entirely normal and not a problem. Basically, problems are caused when baby nurses too little, not too much! Frequent nursing is neither an indication of, nor a cause of, breastfeeding problems. Infrequent nursing is a cause of breastfeeding problems.

    plus there was a redness and swelling in a left breast and slight fever.
    It sounds like you may have had a touch of mastitis. Mastitis and/or plugged ducts are often a direct result of not frequent enough nursing. So that is what I mean about how longer stretches can cause additional problems. Pumping in that case was exactly the right thing to do, if it happens again you could see if encouraging baby to nurse more often helps enough that you do not have to pump. Also as long as you are giving baby any bottles, you will need to pump to "make up" for those missed times at the breast.

    Be careful, mastitis tends to seem to go away and then arise again. If you come down with mastitis that you cannot manage on your own with rest and frequent milk removal, talk to your doctor about taking oral antibiotics. You absolutely can and should continue to nurse baby frequently if you have mastitis or are being treated for mastitis.

    My major concern was my son's weight, my inability to pump as much as I used to and no leaking and no let down feeling. Also the baby was fussy at the breast so I figured he's not getting the flow he used to get. I think I overreacted as well...
    That weird blip with gain is certainly a legitimate reason for concern or at least a reason to make sure there is no problem. But the other things you report are almost always entirely normal and not indicating a problem.
    Last edited by @llli*maddieb; August 4th, 2017 at 07:18 PM.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Milk disappeared within hours...is that even possible!

    Rash is all gone, doctor said it might be an allergy.
    I want to thank you for all advice, this is all really helpful. Once again I'm so glad I found your forum. Being nervous is not good for milk production either and I don't want to give up since breast milk is the best nutrition for my little one.
    I appreciate your help. We're now nursing without any issues. I hope his weight is ok, will check during the next visit.

  8. #8
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Milk disappeared within hours...is that even possible!

    Great all sounds good! Please keep us updated. Are you worried about the allergy thing at all? Often moms are told to eliminate something from their diet and usually this is entirely unnecessary.

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