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Thread: Decrease in milk supply

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    15

    Default Decrease in milk supply

    Hello,

    It's me again... I think I will just let the shield problem slip for now... I think I have stopped producing milk!!!! or at least I am producing much much less...

    I had a mastitis some time ago... after about two weeks of green dipers (of course I had no idea what it all meant!!!!) I was treated with an antibiotic and ever since the breast that was affected started producing less and less... it was also taking forever to have a let down... now, not only the infected breast has these problems, my healthy breast is doing the very same thing (!!!)
    My baby keeps fussing and fussing during every feeding, as I pumped it took me good 5-10 minutes before a true let down, while I had no problems with it previously... I am also producing much much less milk... I can only get 1/2 to 1 oz. from the infected breast and hardly 2 oz from the healthy one (they are both healthy now, I had the infection 3 weeks ago)... while I could get much much more before... I am so afraid I will stop producing milk for good...
    Also, I thought I had an yeast infection, as my nipples are bright pink and I have some itching sensetion from time to time, but my doc said I had no reasons to worry. Could my pink nipples have something to do with the delayed let-down?

    What do I do to increase my milk supply? I have started pumping exclusively (as we use a nipple shield). Would that help?
    I am just very very anxious... we keep running into hard walls all the time...

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    1,064

    Default Re: Decrease in milk supply

    How old is your baby and what are his current nursing patterns? It is normal to have decrease in milk supply around three months (of course this time could vary from person to person). If it is the normal drop, it is not really that you are not producing a enough milk, just that your supply has evened out to just meet baby's needs. Your breasts would no longer feel so full and often you are able to pump less. Many women get anxious at this point and think they don't have enough milk, but they really do. They just had extra to start with.

    Another possibility (which would explain baby's fussiness) would be a growth spurt. Again it wouldn't be that you are producing less milk, just that baby suddenly is taking much more and so it seems like you don't have enough. If this is the case the best solution is to just put baby to the breast as frequently as possible, and the increased nursing will result in a boost in supply after a few days.

    I'm not sure about antibiotics or infection causing a decrease in supply. What medication did you take?

    Do you still have pink, itchy nipples? A yeast infection in the baby can cause fussiness due to upset stomach or sore mouth.

    As for pumping, generally a nursing baby is much more effective at removing milk from the breast, and is therefore better than a pump at increasing supply. However, sometimes a nipple shield can interfere with effective milk transfer. I still think it would be better to have the baby nurse first and then pump after the feeding if you feel you need more stimulation to make more milk. (You can visit the undersupply section of this board for more into on increasing milk supply). You may also want to visit an IBCLC to have the latch with nipple shield checked and see how much baby is taking at a feeding. She may also be able to help you wean from the shield (I didn't read back to your earlier posts, so if you have alread tried this sorry for duplicating advice.)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    869

    Default Re: Decrease in milk supply

    Quote Originally Posted by Gabriel's mom
    I had a mastitis some time ago... after about two weeks of green dipers (of course I had no idea what it all meant!!!!) I was treated with an antibiotic and ever since the breast that was affected started producing less and less... it was also taking forever to have a let down... now, not only the infected breast has these problems, my healthy breast is doing the very same thing (!!!)

    Also, I thought I had an yeast infection, as my nipples are bright pink and I have some itching sensetion from time to time, but my doc said I had no reasons to worry. Could my pink nipples have something to do with the delayed let-down?
    It sounds like a yeast infection/thrush. The antibotics you took could have caused it. Here's a remedy that helped me when I had thrush:

    http://www.drjaygordon.com/development/bf/thrush.asp

    The grapefruit seed extract is available at health food stores. I also added a cup of white vinegar to the wash and washed all my bras, tops, and towels daily. Also, any bottles or pacificiers need to be daily.

    Quote Originally Posted by llowe
    As for pumping, generally a nursing baby is much more effective at removing milk from the breast, and is therefore better than a pump at increasing supply. However, sometimes a nipple shield can interfere with effective milk transfer. I still think it would be better to have the baby nurse first and then pump after the feeding if you feel you need more stimulation to make more milk.
    I agree with the previous poster on this. How often are you nursing?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    29

    Default Re: Decrease in milk supply

    I too was/am in your position. Just when I thought I'd pull my hair out over the nipple shield, my son developed thrush. I first noticed it with pink, itchy and tender nipples. Then I noticed the white tongue coating in his mouth. He was also fussy and pushed away when it was time to nurse.

    I also has a drop in milk supply when I got so extremely upset and frustrated over the nipple shield. I didn't believe in the stress affecting milk until I calmed down! I just continued to pump after every feeding, took fenugreek and in a few days, I was back up to speed. My LC (the one who gave me the nipple shield with no warnings) told me that perhaps I might never be able to breastfeed fully but to congratulate myself on a good try. I decided to ignore her bad advice and push though, which I did. Now I only pump a few times a day and we are back to working on eliminating the shield.

    Just remember two things: Stress DOES affect milk supply and you WILL get through this!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    869

    Default Re: Decrease in milk supply

    I forgot to mention that thrush can cause a decrease in milk supply.

    I used a nipple shield for the first few weeks of breastfeeding. I have flat nipples, and it was the only way I could get my little one to latch at all. I would keep trying to slip the shield off after he was latched on a few minutes. It eventually started to work, and he learned how to latch on without the shield. Keep trying, things will get better.

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