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Thread: Period and Supply Drop

  1. #1

    Default Period and Supply Drop

    My period returned when my son was 4 months old. Now, the two weeks prior to my period starting, I have a huge dip in supply. The dip is noticeable when it starts, even though it starts out gradually, but the few days before my period, it is very low (I normally pump 3 ounces every two hours, and just now only pumped 1/2 an ounce total after 3 hours). I have tried fenugreek to increase my supply with no noticeable change. I also read online that a calcium/magnesium supplement will work. This cycle, I took 1000 calcium/500 magnesium for the first few weeks of my cycle, and then when I noticed a dip, I increased it to the maximum recommended amount of 1500/750. I have noticed no difference from prior months when I was not on the supplement.

    My son is 8 months old and I am trying to hold out through a year due to various medical procedures he needs. But I am rapidly depleting my freezer stash. I have enough to get through the next few days when my supply increases (after my period begins) but I'm not sure about the next few months, even with storing as much as I can for the first few weeks of my cycle when my supply is normal.

    Oh, and not only has my pumping output changed, but so has the consistency of the milk (it's thinner) and my breasts don't feel full like they do when everything is normal.

    Any suggestions would be very appreciated. I'm not sure what else to try.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,361

    Default Re: Period and Supply Drop

    Have you tried pumping more often? When a baby is nursing during a supply drop, he will increase his frequency, making up for having smaller meals by having more of them, thereby increasing mom's supply. If you're pumping every 2-3 hours, you may want to start pumping every 1-2 hours, and pumping after nursing even when you are with your baby.

    Noticing a different consistency to your milk says to me that the issue may not be how much milk you have but how much you can remove. For whatever reason, it sounds like you're not "reaching" the fatty hindmilk, and are only getting the watery foremilk. Pumping for a longer period of time or switching to a more powerful pump may help you reach the hindmilk.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Northern Cal.
    Posts
    4,983

    Default Re: Period and Supply Drop

    Just have to ask - are you sure you are not pregnant?

    ETA: Sorry, I reread your post and see that this has been going on for several months running. Still, it never hurts to take a test and be sure! Assuming you are not pregnant, I agree that it sounds like your pump may not be working as well as it should. Some women find the pump works less effectively over the months. Have you tried using breast compression while you are pumping? I find that helps me. Also, I pump until I get a second let-down, which helps get more hind-milk. Try longer pumping, and more frequent pumping. Nurse more often when you are home with your baby if possible.

    Good luck to you!
    Last edited by @llli*joe.s.mom; April 22nd, 2010 at 03:07 PM.


    You can call me JoMo!

    Mom to baby boy Joe, born 5/4/09 and breastfed for more than two and a half years, and baby girl Maggie, born 7/9/12.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Period and Supply Drop

    Thanks. I can try to pump more from home, but I already pump 4 times (sometimes up to 30 minutes) while I am at work and can not spare any more. After I am done pumping my breasts feel empty, so I'd be surprised if I'm not getting hind milk when I pump. But anything is possible. I sometimes actually start expressing by hand first, then pump to get the rest, and then express whatever I can after that as well. I actually have rug burn from so much compression

    I'll give your suggestions a try.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    52

    Default Re: Period and Supply Drop

    How are you taking the mag/cal supplements? Are you doing it throughout the day or at once?

    My mother has to take high amounts of calcium due to a thyroid condition (her life depends on it....who knew calcium was so important?).

    Anyway, she was told and found through research that your body is incapable of absorbing more than around 500mg at a time so if you are taking more than that at once it's essentially pointless.

    I was having the exact issue. I'd pump 14oz in my 12hr work day but around a wk before AF I was lucky to get 6oz all day.

    I take 500mg calcium 3x's a day WITH FOOD (it's very important to take vitamins with food) along with a 250mg magnesium with each calcium. While it didn't completely stop the decline it went down to about 9/10oz a day instead.

    Hope maybe that helps.

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