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Thread: Growth spurt & LESS milk???!!!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    50

    Unhappy Growth spurt & LESS milk???!!!

    Mya is 6-1/2 weeks old and I thought she was going thru her 6 week growth spurt because she began nursing approximately every one and a half hours instead of every 2 - 3 hours, and sleeping more than her current "norm". This is what I expected and thought was normal. That was yesterday. Today she is nursing every one hour or less. I usually pump a little after each feeding to build up a good supply of EMB in the freezer for my dreaded return to work the week after next. But now there is nothing to pump. She just went from my left breast to my right, and got really fussy and stopped eating... that is, she kept going back to the breast only to pull of and cry. So, I squeezed my nipple to express a bit of milk to tempt her and there was nothing. My husband is now giving her a bottle that she is drinking happily and I am trying to express some milk using my Medela Pump in Style Advanced and after an initial few drips at max suction (maybe 1/8 of an oz) I am getting nothing. I have made approximately 5 attempts at pumping today and gotten just a total of 2 oz so far all together. Usually I am able to easily get 5 to 8 oz throughout the day.

    I feel totally empty and sore and have not *felt* a letdown all day. My dd is not dribbling milk as she normally does as she drinks, has not spit up once today, (usually spits up at least once or twice after every meal except middle of the night feedings) and is having slightly fewer wet diapers than usual... like, 4 to 6 so far today instead of 8 to 10. Her poops seem to be consistent with her current "norm" of 2 to 3 throughout the day. I know that a growth spurt will cause more frequent nursing to increase milk supply, but this seems to be causing the opposite effect of DECREASING my milk supply.

    I am not taking any medications, am well hydrated, and except for deeply dreading the return to work am not under any stress. Is it possible for a womans milk to just dry up? I'm trying not to worry, but I am still worrying. The only thing that is keeping me from really worrying, is that after she nurses she does seem satisfied as she drifts off to sleep - at least for the 30 minutes or so until she is hungry again.

    Is it possible that my milk is going dry? If so, why would it happen and is there anything I can do to reverse the process? I need help here, asap!

    Thank you very much in advance.
    Last edited by Bobindy1; May 6th, 2006 at 07:55 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    1,168

    Default Re: Growth spurt & LESS milk???!!!

    Your milk is not drying up. This all sounds like a classic growth spurt, combined with a sudden increase in your daughter's nursing efficiency -- which is also age-appropriate.

    When you give her a bottle of EBM, you are: tapping into your stash, which you may need when you go back to work; disrupting the supply/demand mechanism of your nursing relationship (which may in fact end up with your milk supply lower than her need); allowing your daughter to become accustomed to the faster flow and immediate gratification of an artificial nipple (which may account for her frustration at the breast when the milk doesn't immediately flow).

    Your breasts are always making milk. Every time she nurses, she will get something. Believe it! And just nurse, nurse, nurse. Every hour? Fine. It won't last forever -- and it does NOT signal a problem with your milk supply. All is well.

    I found my son's 6-week growth spurt to last longer than his 10-day or 3-week growth spurt. Those early ones were over in 12-24 hours, while the 6-week one went on several days. Don't panic if this is your daughter's pattern as well -- just settle in and nurse.

    --Rebecca

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    50

    Default Re: Growth spurt & LESS milk???!!!

    I guess what I didn't mention, was that DH gives DD a bottle of EMB every night to keep her used to the bottle. I pump instead of feeding at that time.. the DH's feeding the night before was when I first became aware of my low milk supply.. I couldn't get more than an ounce during a time when I normally get about 4 oz. He just gave her this one an hour earlier than usual.

    I don't mind at all, her nursing schedule... I'm just worried about my low supply and her fewer wet diapers.
    Last edited by Bobindy1; May 7th, 2006 at 08:05 AM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
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    30

    Default Re: Growth spurt & LESS milk???!!!

    I doubt also that your milk is drying up or for that matter is even low at all. Most likely it sounds as though you're feeling some pressure/a bit stressed about having enough EBM for your back-to-work stash. This can make it difficult to have a let down into the pump, when you want to. I've had this trouble in the past when pumping.....if I think about it too much/really want to have a let down, then it takes an extra long to have one or maybe I won't have one at all.

    Have you thought about pumping less often during the day to alleviate some of the stress that looking into nearly empty bottles after pumping is causing? Since DD was very young, I always got into the habit of doing a pumping session in the morning, when I am fullest. Seriously, my body has gotten so used to producing this extra milk (she is now 6 months old) that I pump approximately 12 ounces and yet still have plenty to feed her. Maybe just choose two times during the day to pump, be consistent every day with those times if possible and your body may likely get used to having that extra supply at about the same time each day. You may get what you need from a smaller number of pumping sessions because you are consistent with them.

    Best wishes to you and just try to be relaxed when pumping so that you can let down. Don't let the pumping cause unneccessary stress for you.....enjoy this time with your baby.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
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    15

    Unhappy Re: Growth spurt & LESS milk???!!!

    If anyone is still reading this post, I too am having a similiar problem BUT does anyone know if it can happen later. My little guy is almost 8 weeks old.
    He didn't gain any weight at the 6 week mark. Now he too is acting the same way as yours.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    51

    Default Re: Growth spurt & LESS milk???!!!



    To both of you ladies, I know how you feel. If I heard "just try and relax and get some sleep" one more time when I was where you guys are, I think I would have gone postal! My ds didn't gain any weigth for three weeks: not even a single ounce!!! I too was fretting about my return to work; even my Ped. teased me about "hoarding" my milk. I pumped about two times in the daytime and once in the middle of the night. I just wanted to have a good reserve because I expected to be unable to pump. As the dreaded day approach, I watched my evening pump session all but diminish (I too had dh provide a bottle of ebm while I pumped at night). My husband and I both became very worried. BUT! I just kept thinking if I wanted to do this badly enough, my body and mind wouldn't fail me. I am a firm believer of mind over matter (natural birth w/ pitosin for 14 houirs and nothing to numb me while they stitched me either). I started pumping in my little guys room and going down memory lane (oh if I could only spell reminise)trying to treasure the time that I had and that in a blink of an eye, it is gone. Sure enough the tears flowed, and luckily so did my milk.

    My guy has some seriously long growth spurts/cluster feedings every hour for six to 10 hours at a time for three to four weeks. I knew/know I have to let him nurse so my body "knows what it must do".

    My philosophy in my whole 20 weeks of motherhood - what did they do 100's of years ago: let a mother and child be and mother nature will make it all work out well (a bit of educated overseeing neverhurts though, have to keep the Doc employeed )

    My advise, treasure every single moment before returning to work, nurse as often as the baby wants and remember what a wonderful thing you are doing for your baby! Don't dread returning to work, think happy thoughts of the time you have had together. I mean heck, we who bf are such a minority and those who don't have no idea about the millions of wonderful moments we have had sustaining life!

    Here is what keeps me going: If adoptive moms can work hard enough to make their bodies provide milk to a baby they didn't carry, well . . . I better hang in there out of respect to those ladies alone!!!

    Keep up the good work ladies! Work will always be there, these early days will never be here again.
    Sorry if I went too deep - the latest growth spurt has provided me w/ about five hours of sleep in three days, I have to go down the deep and love thing or I'll want to quit!!!!!

    hang in there and don't submit to the pressure to go to the stinky formula - you have made it through the worst days, it truuuuuly does get easier and less stressful! - Di

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