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Thread: Illness, and milk supply dropping since then

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2006

    Unhappy Illness, and milk supply dropping since then

    My baby was 2 weeks old yesterday, and here are my issues:

    1) I had quite severe mastitis for the past 10 days, and I've been taking antibiotics for 7 days now (another 7 to go).

    2) Five days ago, I started having fever; it would just come over me in a flash and last a few hours. It lasted 3 days: the 1st day it was 101.7, the 2nd 102.1, the 3rd 102.5. I also had heavier bleeding this past week. I thought it might be a side effect of the antibiotics or the mastitis, but after yesterday, I think I found the real cause: a big chunk of left-over placenta!!

    My nipples had been so sore and cracked and painful that for 3 days I stopped nursing and pumped. My supply was good; I would always have at least 25oz of milk stored in the fridge. One of my breasts took longer to heal from the mastitis though; it was so painful I could not even touch it. I started breastfeeding on the other side again, and kept pumping both sides for night feedings. But right around the time the fever started, my badly infected breast started producing less and less and less; I tried nursing on that side but the baby just gets so frustrated. At pumping, I'm lucky if I get even 2oz a day on that side!
    Now since yesterday, I feel like my other breast, my "remaining" breast, is also leaving us. The baby's been wanting to nurse A LOT and for much longer periods. At pumping, I get about 2-3 oz from it from each pumping, when it used to be 4-5 oz from each pumping. I just don't feel full anymore, and I haven't leaked (whereas I used to be soaked); I know this can be a sign of your body adjusting. But I'm just scared and devastated to think it will just keep decreasing until there's nothing left.

    Has there just been too much stress on my body?!
    Is it possible to keep just one breast "working"?
    What can I do? I want to keep nursing for a long time!

    Thanks for any input!


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006

    Default Re: Illness, and milk supply dropping since then

    I'm sorry you are so stressed out right now. Yes, illness and stress can both lead to decreased milk supply, but as milk supply works on supply and demand, this problem is very fixable. How are your little one's wet diapers doing? This is the very best indicator that he's getting enough.

    More freqent feeding/pumping is the very best way to increase supply and keep it up. I'd write more, but I have to get going; I'll try to pop in later. I'm sure you'll have other ladies chiming in with helpful advice in the meantime.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2006

    Default Re: Illness, and milk supply dropping since then

    Yes, it is definitely possible to feed from only one breast. However, it's very likely you can get the other one going again. As the PP stated, more frequent feeding/pumping is the best way to stimulate your supply, with baby nursing at the breast being the most effective. What are your baby's current nursing patterns? You may want to look at the Increasing Milk Supply forum on this sight for more in depth ideas. In general, though, nurse as often and as long as the baby is willing. Pumping after a feeding is also helpful. You may want to continue pumping for awhile even after the milk has stopped flowing. The increased stimulation will tell your body that more milk is needed.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2006

    Default Re: Illness, and milk supply dropping since then

    I had bad supply issues after a mild mastitis and it took about 2 weeks after my symptoms had completely cleared up for my supply to come back up. What I'm trying to say that even if it seems you're "drying up" now or later, keep on trying! Good luck!!

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