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Thread: Milk supply issue with a toddler

  1. #1

    Default Milk supply issue with a toddler

    Hello. I'm new here and hoping that someone can help me with a milk supply question.

    I nursed my first child (a girl) until 36 months. My second (a boy) just turned 2 in June. We had a rough start to nursing due to a variety of issues, but we persevered. He has always nursed exclusively on one side, though I did pump and feed him from the "bad" side with a supplemental feeding system for the first 6 months.

    So for the last 18 months, he has been happily nursing from the "good" side. For the last year or so, he has only nursed about 3 times/day (morning, before nap, and before bedtime). This week, it seems that he has been less interested in nursing. I was wondering if my milk supply was a little low (it has never been very high with this kiddo), but I was able to express some in the shower the other night. I thought everything was fine. Well, before his nap this afternoon, he started to nurse, then stopped and cried that he wasn't getting any milk. The room was dim, so I can't be sure, but I didn't really see much milk when I tried to express some. He tried a little more, then went to bed. I went into the bathroom, and I couldn't really express any (though maybe because he had just nursed somewhat???).

    I guess I'm wondering if this is normal, and what I can do to boost supply two years into the process. I don't think either of us is interested in weaning right now! I'm not pregnant, and I'm in the middle of my cycle. I have too much stress, and drink too little water, but that's pretty consistent for my life over the last year. Do I just need to go on an oatmeal diet??? Is this the end of our nursing relationship?

    Thanks in advance for any help you can offer?

    PS-I'm in my mid-thirties.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    miles from nowhere

    Default Re: Milk supply issue with a toddler

    I was going to ask if you are pregnant, but you answered that already so I'll just ask if you're sure.

    Usually when you're nursing a toddler your body makes exactly as much as your child needs, so supply isn't really an issue even if you only nurse once or twice a day. I would think that if you suddenly aren't making milk there is maybe something physical happening with you. Are you on your period, did your period just return, have you been ill, any thyroid problems or hormonal changes?
    “We are not put on earth for ourselves, but are placed here for each other. If you are there always for others, then in time of need, someone will be there for you.”

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: Milk supply issue with a toddler

    with the PP.

    However, if your LO has been less interested lately, it's possible that he let your supply dwindle a bit and then was surprised when the milk wasn't there when he wanted it. If you think he's not ready to wean, and you're not, then just nurse him as often as possible, and your supply should jump back up. A bowl of oatmeal won't hurt and could help. And if you're really serious about increasing supply, doing some pumping to supplement your child's nursing is a good way to go.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Milk supply issue with a toddler

    Thanks so much for the replies! I was sitting here racking my brain about physical issues, and I did remember that I've been taking Nasonex spray regularly, and I did start it over the weekend. It's a steroid spray for rhinitis--it's like my nasal passages are just swollen all the time. But it doesn't have a decongestant (at least, not to my knowledge) so I don't think that would affect breastfeeding. But maybe I'll just cut it out and see what happens.

    I just had my period about 2 weeks ago, so even IF I were pregnant, it would be too soon to test. I think it's a very small likelihood.

    After posting, I also remembered that my ds has had a bit of a cold and been super crabby. I chalked a lot of crabbiness up to being two, but I am now wondering if he isn't getting his molars (in addition to his cold). His dentist said that one of them was bulging earlier this month, but I tried to check at lunch today and could not feel where one of them had broken through.

    I agree that he probably let the supply dwindle and wasn't happy about it after the fact. That's his personality. At 3-4 weeks of age, he vehemently refused to nurse from my right side, and no lactation specialists were able to figure out why.

    Hopefully we can restore things quickly. Man, I hate to think about dragging that pump out!

    Again, thanks so much for the replies. I should have sat down and thought about the Nasonex and teething before freaking out. I think I just got worried that I needed to actively do something to build up the supply.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Good ole ATX y'all!

    Default Re: Milk supply issue with a toddler

    I always see supply dip at ovulation and then again right before my period starts. Maybe that's what you are seeing?
    Jen - mom to 3
    DD who I FF
    I survived 10 painful mastitis infections and managed to nurse DS1 till he was 3 years and 7 months
    and now DS2 4 years now working on gentle weaning and

    "Pride is one of the seven deadly sins; but it can not be the pride of a mother in her children, for that is a compound of two cardinal virtues - faith and hope." Charles Dickens

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