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Thread: My menstrual cycle came...milk went???

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    36

    Default My menstrual cycle came...milk went???

    hi ladies,

    on my lo's 6 months b-day my menstrual cycle came.
    I noticed that about 2 weeks prior I was feeling really
    low energy. Sleeping lots, not able to focus. Then
    it came and on that same day I noticed my breasts
    were not producing milk. When baby latched it took a
    while for milk to come down and when it did it was not
    alot. I don't have a back up and I need to be away
    from baby next week. What should I do?
    Should I pump?
    Drink fenugreek?

    HELP!!!


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    1,437

    Default Re: My menstrual cycle came...milk went???

    Hi ,

    Many mothers find that their milk supplies decrease temporarily during their menstrual period. Increased nursing is usually all it takes to get things back up to speed again. Breast softening is not necessarily an indicator that your milk supply has decreased. How is baby's diaper output? How frequently is she nursing.

    Can you tell me more about your situation next week? How many days will you be away from your baby? Is there any possibility that you could bring your baby with you, or postpone your trip? How do you plan to express your milk while you are away? Who will be caring for baby, and how will they be feeding her?

    Sorry so many questions...just need as much info as you can give me to help you brainstorm possible solutions.

    Hang in there,

    Tiana

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    2,453

    Default Re: My menstrual cycle came...milk went???

    I also experience milk supply flucuations during my cycle.(I got my period back on DS's 6m b-day too!) For me I get a dip in supply about a 5-7 days before my period. I can always tell because DS nurses for a really long time and seems to get frustrated. (He's 19mo so he can express his frustration now by screaming "MOOOOOORE!!!" at my boob! ) For me it only lasts a couple of days and then comes back.

    When I was EPing for my daughter I had the same monthly supply a dip and (when I would remember to) I'd try to add an extra daily pumping session for a few days before I expected the low supply. That way I'd have a bit more of a stash built up JIC. If you're worried about having enough expressed milk for when you have to be away, adding some extra pumping sessions may help.

    Good luck!
    Katie
    Just one more fanatical cloth diaper convert...
    Mom to Morgan (01/10/04) and Zachary (07/12/06)
    What are M & Z up to now?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    36

    Default Re: My menstrual cycle came...milk went???

    I appreciate all the questions.
    She is nursing about every 3 hours.
    It actually seems like she is nursing more since when she is on
    the boob she doesn't seem to be satisfied like before.
    Funny thing is that we started her on solids on the same day it all began.
    6 month b-day.
    Since my supply has been low (since Wed.) I had to come home
    from school early on Thursday b/c she didnt have enough expressed
    milk and I just can't see supplementing with anything else just yet.

    Her diapers seem pretty normal. Her poop has changed obviously
    b/c of the solid food introduction but her wet diapers were normal
    maybe 1 less diaper since the low supply.
    I have to go to school 2 days next week and can't take her with me.
    I will be away from her for atleast 8 hours on those days so I need atleast 9 ounces.
    Today, I tried to pump every 10 minutes for about 30 minutes.
    I only got 3 ounces. I will try again tonight. (PUmping should help right?
    My husband will be taking care of her.

    My let down takes about 3-5 minutes when she is nursing or I am
    pumping and when it does let down I only get about 1oz.

    I am drinking a tea that is supposed to help with lactation. (fenugreek
    and something else)

    Should I keep trying to pump?

    Thanks
    Desiree

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    1,437

    Default Re: My menstrual cycle came...milk went???

    Thanks for answering all my questions.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dez0106 View Post
    I appreciate all the questions.
    She is nursing about every 3 hours.
    It actually seems like she is nursing more since when she is on
    the boob she doesn't seem to be satisfied like before.
    Funny thing is that we started her on solids on the same day it all began.
    6 month b-day.
    To keep up milk production once solids have been introduced, it is a good idea to always nurse first, then offer solids. At this age, solids are more about learning how to eat and enjoy food than they are about calories. Solids should be in addition to, not in place of, your milk. Here's a link with a lot of great info: http://www.llli.org/NB/NBsolids.html

    Since my supply has been low (since Wed.) I had to come home
    from school early on Thursday b/c she didnt have enough expressed
    milk and I just can't see supplementing with anything else just yet.
    Have you seen this link?: www.llli.org/FAQ/pumpwork.html

    It has a lot of great information on maximizing the amount of milk you are able to pump. What kind of pump are you using? How frequently will you be able to express your milk while you are at school? FWIW, there are a lot of mothers who don't have a significant stash of stored/frozen milk. They just pump what they can during the day, and use that the next day.

    Her diapers seem pretty normal. Her poop has changed obviously
    b/c of the solid food introduction but her wet diapers were normal
    maybe 1 less diaper since the low supply.
    That sounds pretty good. Offering the breast before solids should bring the number of wets back up to normal. Is the number of wets still within the normal range (5-6 really wet disposables/6-8 wet cloth)?

    I have to go to school 2 days next week and can't take her with me.
    I will be away from her for atleast 8 hours on those days so I need atleast 9 ounces.
    Thanks for clarifying! I had it in my head from your first post that you were going to be away from your baby for an entire week... a business trip or something like that.

    Today, I tried to pump every 10 minutes for about 30 minutes.
    I only got 3 ounces. I will try again tonight. (PUmping should help right?
    My husband will be taking care of her.
    Yes, pumping should help! When you are at school, the goal would be to be able to pump as often as baby would be nursing if the two of you were together. Since your husband will be caring for your daughter, might it be possible for him to bring your daughter to school during a break, so that you could nurse her? Babies are a lot more effective at removing milk from the breast than pumps are.

    My let down takes about 3-5 minutes when she is nursing or I am
    pumping and when it does let down I only get about 1oz.
    The link I posted above gives some good tips on triggering letdown. Many mothers find that they see an increase in milk supply if they pump for five minutes beyond when the milk stops flowing. This tells your body to make more milk. Some mothers report being able to get more milk by hand expressing after the milk stops flowing.

    I am drinking a tea that is supposed to help with lactation. (fenugreek
    and something else)

    Should I keep trying to pump?

    Thanks
    Desiree
    Some mothers have found lactation teas to be a help in maximizing milk supply. It would be a good idea to consult with an IBCLC or other supportive healthcare provider to make sure the tea you are drinking is right for you. Remember that breastfeeding works on the principle of supply and demand. The more baby nurses, the more milk you will make. Without consistantly frequent removal of milk from the breasts, the tea will not help.

    Continue practicing with your pump. Experiment with pump settings (highest setting doesn't necessarily mean the most milk), try some of the techniques mentioned in the pumping link above...really get used to using it, so that when you are at school this week, you will feel confident in your pumping skills.

    I wish you all the best! Keep us posted!

    Tiana

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    239

    Default Re: My menstrual cycle came...milk went???

    I have heard that diet can affect the premenstrual dip in supply; it may be worth looking into.
    Mama to DD#1 Exclusive pumper for 3 months before getting back to breast

    and

    DD#2 Straight from the tap since birth

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    1,437

    Default Re: My menstrual cycle came...milk went???

    Can you give us an update? How are things going for you today?

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