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Thread: estrogen and milk supply

  1. #1

    Default estrogen and milk supply

    At my 6 week checkup my doctor prescribed Primarin estrogen cream to use for a week. Since using it, my milk supply has gone down. I stopped using it a week ago, but the supply is still low. So I have two questions. First, am I right in thinking that the estrogen reduced supply? Second, what can I do to get my supply back up? I nurse every 2-3 hours.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,271

    Default Re: estrogen and milk supply

    First, am I right in thinking that the estrogen reduced supply?
    It's possible. How do you know your supply is low? Often moms mistake the normal evening-out of supply, or frequent feeding, for low supply.

    Second, what can I do to get my supply back up? I nurse every 2-3 hours.
    - Nurse more frequently. Many babies nurse every 1.5 hours or even more frequently.
    - Pump after feeding. More stimulation will help increase supply.
    - Herbs: fenugreek, blessed thistle, and oatmeal are all used to increase supply.
    - Drugs: as a last resort, there are prescription drugs (Reglan and Domperidone) which can increase supply as a side-effect. Both have additional side-effects and are not right for every woman, so please discuss these drugs with your doctor or midwife before taking either one.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    10,440

    Default Re: estrogen and milk supply

    YES, the estrogen has probably played a part in submarining your supply. This is why they will not prescribe estrogen/progestin based BC to nursing mamas. Some mamas find just progestins alone can even wreck their supply. Why doctors do this stuff is beyond me.

    You can rebuild it, but it's gonna be work. Nurse as much as you can, even more often than you are already doing. If the baby won't cooperate, pump between feedings or just after nursing, to further stimulate your breasts to produce more milk. Try taking a galactuoguge (sorry, I know I didn't spell that right) such as fenugreek, More Milk, drinking Mother's Milk tea, eating more oatmeal, so forth. Your doctor can even prescribe medication to increase supply if needed (more information in the pertinent forum here).

    But, first make sure you really do have a low supply. If your baby is having adequate wets and stools suitable for your LO's age and seems satisfied by nursing, your supply is probably OK. It is normal for your body to even out supply at some point in early lactation, and suddenly, your breasts aren't as full-feeling, and it does make you wonder if you have enough milk. Pumping isn't a good measure of supply, as some mamas have enough and just can't pump, and no pump is as good at removing milk as a baby anyway.

    You can do it and
    Susan
    Mama to my all-natural boys: Ian, 9-4-04, 11.5 lbs; Colton, 11-7-06, 9 lbs, in the water; Logan, 12-8-08, 9 lbs; Gavin, 1-18-11, 9 lbs; and an angel 1-15-06
    18+ months and for Gavin, born with an incomplete cleft lip and incomplete posterior cleft palate
    Sealed for time and eternity, 7-7-93
    Always babywearing, cosleeping and cloth diapering. Living with oppositional defiant disorder and ADHD. Ask me about cloth diapering and sewing your own diapers!

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