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Thread: Illness and Milk Supply

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    28

    Question Illness and Milk Supply

    Hi, I'm not sure if I'm posting this in the right place but here goes. I am nursing my 2-yr-old, who eats a good deal of solids. She has reduced breastfeeding quite a bit over the past few months, all on her own, yet I see that emotionally, she still needs to breastfeed when tired/sleepy.
    The thing is, I have been very ill the past few days, with a viral bug and high fever, 39 C. I have continued breastfeeding throughout but for the past 3 days, my daughter is not interested in feeding much during the day and at night, when she comes to the breast, she fusses and fusses, never gets content, wants to nurse all night. This is so much worse because I am sick and so tired, I just want her to go to sleep. Last night, it got so bad, I fed her as much as I could and when she said 'more milk', then 'cup of milk', I dragged myself out of bed to make her a cup of milk.
    Before this, I was unsure about initiating weaning and at times, it did look like she was heading in that direction, all on her own. So I had decided to take the cues from her. Now, I'm too tired, too ill to think to much about supplementing with milk that isn't my own.
    I guess, my question is, has anyone any thoughts on this, or has anyone experienced a drop in milk supply from being ill? My feeling is to just go with it and breastfeed the best I can but do what works well for the both of us. Anita

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    1,368

    Default Re: Illness and Milk Supply

    Moved for more replies!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    55

    Default Re: Illness and Milk Supply

    Anita, Bless you! Sounds like you've really been through it. Do you have someone who is helping you care for your little one to get some much needed rest?? Here's to hoping a helper will arrive if not already there.

    I experienced a similar situation a when my son was about 11 months old. Oh so very sick, with a nursing baby still quite dependent on my milk. For one day we could only get a let-down a couple times. My husband gave DS EMB for missed feedings. I of course freaked out that my supply would decrease terribly. Long story short -- after a couple recovery days and hugely stepped up feedings (way more than previously was normal) we got the supply back with a gusto!!! And boy was I glad b/c DS got a mild case of the same a week later and all that nursing I know helped him get better fast!!

    I so hope this helps. I was so thankful to see that my body responded to recovery so quickly and I surely hope yours does too.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    1,168

    Default Re: Illness and Milk Supply

    Oh, Anita, where was this post for 3 days that I didn't see it until now? Thanks to Kate for moving it.

    Yes, your gut instinct is correct, I think. Just muddle through while you are so ill, don't worry if your supply has dropped. Your DD can bring it back up with extra nursing when you are feeling better. Stay hydrated, but of course you should do that anyway with such a high fever.

    I was down with a truly vicious stomach virus when DS was 3 years old. I was so violently ill that I couldn't bear anyone to even touch me for about 24 hours. He continued nursing for a whole year after that episode. When the child is old enough to eat and drink other things, it's not the same crisis that is can be for the nursing mother of a young baby.

    Are you feeling better by now?

    --Rebecca

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    28

    Default Re: Illness and Milk Supply

    Thanks for your replies, yes, I'm better but have a bad sore throat and not much of a voice at the moment. We are still just going with the flow with breastfeeding but then, Erika seems to be nursing more contentedly now that I'm feeling better. She also isn't interested in cups of milk anymore so yea, I think just doing what works for both of us is the right thing. She is very spirited and an intense little person, she had a massive tantrum this morning, after we got home from sending my older one to school and she screamed for 45 mins! I'm not sure what triggered it, just a spillover of her feelings from all the stress around her I think...mommy being sick, my own feelings about being overwhelmed (our morning was a mad rush to get organised). Anyway, I'm so glad that she is still breastfeeding, it's one way to calm her down, comfort her, and just to re-connect, today, I was feeling too tired and ill and she didn't really care much for words. Cheers, Anita

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