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Thread: AF supply dip - Supplements not working

  1. #1
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    Unhappy AF supply dip - Supplements not working

    I'm at my wits end.

    I started taking calcium/magnesium after last AF to try and combat another dip, but here we are again. They don't seem to be working at all. I've had two pp af's and with both, I've noticed a dip from (what I guess is) ovulation through AF. So, I'm only really getting two good weeks out of the month.

    I'll throw one more wrench in your advice by saying I'm a working mom of a six month old. I went back to work at 3 mo. pp and I pump four times at work (every 2-2.5 hrs), yielding AT LEAST 20oz/day, which is what ds drinks at daycare. Let's just say I'm several ounces from meeting that. I'm going to have to start pumping before bed again just to try and get closer to what I need.

    I'm taking fenugreek (plenty), I'm eating oatmeal, I'm drinking my weight in water. I've tried MM+ in the past and may order more, but I never saw a huge increase. So, hit me with your best tips and tricks... I'm so tired of fighting my broken boobs! I want to nurse til at least a year, but at this rate.... well, I just don't know how to make it work. I WILL make it work because formula is NOT an option in my house, I just don't know how. HELP!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: AF supply dip - Supplements not working

    and

    As a working mom who also went back to work when my LO was 3 months old, a couple things from your post jump out at me. First of all, how long is your child at daycare? 20oz/day REALLY sounds like a LOT, if your child is at daycare 9 hours. As a general rule, a BF baby needs 1-1.5oz of milk for every hour he is away from his mother, so to me it really sounds like your child is being overfed, or perhaps a lot of milk is going to waste at daycare? Might be something for you to look into. Are the caregivers feeding him everytime he's fussy because they think he's hungry? Can you make smaller-portioned bottles?

    Also, at 6 months of age, I suspect you are thinking about starting solid foods with your child, or have you started them already? Once your child starts solids, you might find that he starts drinking less BM at daycare, so that might give you some relief.

    As for your supply dipping during AF... I had this EXACT problem when I was nursing/pumping at work. I have heard that the calcium/magnesium supplement can help, although it didn't work for me. Are you taking any other supplements, such as Fenugreek or Mother's Milk Tea? Eating oatmeal and drinking plenty of water? Those are some things you might consider trying, and NOT just when you are already experiencing a supply dip. I took the supplements all month long because I never knew when the hormones from AF were going to zap my supply.

    Hope this helps!!
    IRL all my friends call me Buff, Wife to CB since 10/11/2003

    Mom to DD - "MJ" born 9/2007 @ 8lbs 10oz, 21.5" She's 6 years old!
    My journey nursing MJ started HERE, but we got through it and she breastfed 19.5 months, self-weaned on 5/17/09


    Mom to my current nursling, DS - "ME" born 10/2009 @ 10lbs 1oz, 22.25" He's 4 years old! And yup, he's still nursing.

    Ask me about my successful VBAC! Click here for my birth story.



  3. #3
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    Default Re: AF supply dip - Supplements not working

    Thanks so much for your reply.

    I won't disagree that 20oz is a lot (my boobs can't argue either) and I know he drinks less on the weekends, but it's what works for us. When I was taking less in the beginning for him, he would be a screaming maniac by the end of the day, so 5 four oz bottles seem to be the magic number. He's in the 46th percentile for weight and 75th percentile for height, so I think it's working just fine.

    We started solids a couple of weeks ago, but so far only in the evenings. If my boobs don't get their act together, I guess I can start letting them feed him "lunch", too just to give me a couple of oz relief. I know milk is supposed to be his primary source of nutrition until a year though.

    And as far as supplements:
    I'm taking fenugreek (plenty), I'm eating oatmeal, I'm drinking my weight in water. I've tried MM+ in the past and may order more, but I never saw a huge increase.
    I'm doing this 24/7.

    I WISH I could just nurse more, but unfortunately I have to work. BF is such a rewarding experience, but why does it have to be such a science project?!

  4. #4
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    Default Re: AF supply dip - Supplements not working

    I have the same problem every month with AF. I started getting AF at 2 months pp and every month since. I notice a decrease around ovulation and when AF arrives. This last month I really made sure to take the calcium/mag every day and it helped a lot this time. A dietician also suggested to me to take a total B supplement to help even out the hormone swings for me and it does seem to help also. I seem to have pretty extreme hormonal cycles and the total B has helped if anything at least with my mood! I also found some granola with apple/cinamon and fenugreek of all things in it and I munched on that right before AF came and during so maybe that helped me a little too. Hope that helps a little!

  5. #5
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    Default Re: AF supply dip - Supplements not working

    Thanks for the total B tip... I'll try anything at this point. I've never had PMS too bad and used to have pretty easy periods (3-5 days), but these first two pp have been super heavy. What dosage of the cal/mag do you take? I took an extra capsule of both this morning- maybe I'm just not taking enough. I'm going to try and gather the supplies for lactation cookies, too. I mean, it couldn't hurt!

  6. #6
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    Default Re: AF supply dip - Supplements not working

    It sounds like you are doing everything you can to increase your supply, and your supply sounds like it is great (I NEVER pumped 20oz in a day, even when my supply was at it's greatest), your DS is just a big eater. If you don't feel comfortable giving your DS a few ounces of formula a day to make up the difference in what you can't pump for him, have you considered taking Reglan or Domperidone to increase supply? Like you, I tried everything to pump enough milk for my DD, and just couldn't do it... only after taking Domperidone did my supply increase enough to pump enough for her. Be careful, though... often when you start taking something like Domperidone, it is difficult to wean off it and still keep your supply up. I had to keep taking it even after I wasn't pumping anymore, because my DD was still nursing and I was worried about my supply dropping too much. However, I had weaned myself down to a very low dose, and finally quit taking it when I found out I was pg this time.

    Anyway, the medications aren't the answer for everybody, but it's something you might look into.
    IRL all my friends call me Buff, Wife to CB since 10/11/2003

    Mom to DD - "MJ" born 9/2007 @ 8lbs 10oz, 21.5" She's 6 years old!
    My journey nursing MJ started HERE, but we got through it and she breastfed 19.5 months, self-weaned on 5/17/09


    Mom to my current nursling, DS - "ME" born 10/2009 @ 10lbs 1oz, 22.25" He's 4 years old! And yup, he's still nursing.

    Ask me about my successful VBAC! Click here for my birth story.



  7. #7
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    Default Re: AF supply dip - Supplements not working

    Thanks... I'll go there at a last resort. I have a freezer stash that I can dip into if I have to- I just don't want to have to, you know? I want my body to BEHAVE!

  8. #8
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    Default Re: AF supply dip - Supplements not working

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*mrsbagley View Post
    Thanks... I'll go there at a last resort. I have a freezer stash that I can dip into if I have to- I just don't want to have to, you know? I want my body to BEHAVE!
    To be perfectly honest, I truly feel your body IS behaving... pumping 20oz. a day is INCREDIBLE output, I'm jealous. You have to remember that a pump will never do as well as a baby at removing milk, so I personally think you are doing awesome. Don't feel bad about coming up a couple ounces short... I had to resign myself to the fact that I was doing the absolute best I could to provide as much milk as possible for my DD, and if I came up short, then so be it. I was comfortable knowing I was doing my best, and stressing out about it never made pumping any easier for me. I figured as long as the majority of her milk was BM, then I was doing a good thing. Again, you are doing awesome pumping the amount you are getting!!
    IRL all my friends call me Buff, Wife to CB since 10/11/2003

    Mom to DD - "MJ" born 9/2007 @ 8lbs 10oz, 21.5" She's 6 years old!
    My journey nursing MJ started HERE, but we got through it and she breastfed 19.5 months, self-weaned on 5/17/09


    Mom to my current nursling, DS - "ME" born 10/2009 @ 10lbs 1oz, 22.25" He's 4 years old! And yup, he's still nursing.

    Ask me about my successful VBAC! Click here for my birth story.



  9. #9
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    Default Re: AF supply dip - Supplements not working

    Aww thanks! You gave me a reality check that I AM asking a lot from my body. If I can pump 20oz- I wonder how much I actually make!

    I'm trying very hard not to stress, especially knowing I have a stash. I've been reminding myself that I haven't done anything different- still pumping and still nursing at the same times, so it must be hormones.

    Thanks again, ladies! I love this forum!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
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    Default Re: AF supply dip - Supplements not working

    All right.... I will totally second the first response you got... 20 ounces is a lot !!! My LO is at day care from ~ 8 am until 5 pm, and she has 3 bottles of 4-5 ounces.

    OK, you said, that 30 ounces is what your LO wants. Maybe he wants to suck, but maybe he doesn't really need the milk.

    I have found that day care providers are used to large volume of milk associated with formula... and don't quite realized that a baby fed on EBM doesn't need as much volume.

    Are you using a slow nipple? Make him work for the milk, make him suck !


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