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Thread: Is my milk supply low? sorry so long!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    28

    Unhappy Is my milk supply low? sorry so long!

    I have such a feeling of heaviness and dull anxiety due to what happened this weekend. On Sat. night I sat down to nurse my daughter before she went down for the night and I didn't have any milk! I tried to hand express and it would only come to the surface and not spray out! My daughter was confused, upset and frustrated. I was panicing! I tried the other breast but same thing! I ended up giving her a bottle of frozen breast milk. Since last night I have been so sad and anxious at each feeding which I'm sure doesn't help things!
    This is our schedule that we have followed for the past month or more. By the way, my daugheter is almost 4 months old. I nurse and pump when she wakes any time between 6a and 7a. I send a bottle of breast milk for a "snack" to her daycare to be given between 8:30 and 9a. 2-3 times a week I find time to pump around that time at work. I nurse her at daycare at 11a and 2p. I nurse her at 5p and then again before bed. Up until last week she was getting up 1-2 times a night to nurse but now is sleeping until about 5-5:30 at which time I nurse and pump as well.
    Last night, after that happened, I decided that I needed to take some steps to get my milk supply up. So I pumped at 10p, I yeilded about 5 oz combined both breasts (pretty normal for me). She then woke at 11:30, for some reason, and I was able to nurse her then (letting down 3-4 times). Today, she has nursed on schedule but has nursed for 30-50 mins each time!!!
    I don't know if she isn't getting enough, if she is just doing that thing that babies do to get the supply up since she is getting bigger/older or what...
    Nursing went pretty well, except for the length of time, today. Just once or twice was she a little fussy until I let down. I don't know if she is getting inpatient with my let down.
    anyway, sorry so long I"m just real concerned. I am committed to breastfeeding and want to raise my daughter on breastmilk exclusively!!! Any thoughts, advice or support?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    683

    Default Re: Is my milk supply low? sorry so long!

    Can you tell us how old your baby is? Also, have you counted her wet diapers?

    Try not to panic! It would be rare, if not unheard of, for your milk supply to just suddenly be gone for no reason.

    Have you been taking any drugs, over the counter or prescription? If so, please tell us what ones. Have you been sick or are you dehydrated?

    After we get some more information from you we should be able to help more.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    28

    Default Re: Is my milk supply low? sorry so long!

    My daughter will be 4 months old on the 28th. I have been taking the mini birth control pill, since she was 6 weeks old. I had a cold about 2 weeks ago but nothing significant.
    Last night she nursed around 6:45p until 7:36 or so. She was a little fussy at first but then calmed and seemed to be eating. She then woke at 12a to nurse, that seemed to go fine. And then at 5a, at which time I pump one side and nurse her on the other. That seemed to go fine as well. Per her normal schedule I nursed and pumped again at 7a before we left for work/daycare. She didn't nurse very long at that time, probably because she was still full from the 5a feed.
    I haven't specifically counted her wet diapers but she is always wet when I change/check her diaper, even if its just a little bit (most of the time it is a lot). Her wets [I]might[I]have decreased slightly but nothing significant.
    I don't know if my let down reflex has slowed or she is just getting more inpatient because she's getting older... My milk supply has never been in overabundance (I don't leak very often or become engorged unless she sleeps through the night which she has been off and on since she was 3 months) but it has always seemed to meet her needs (she has been in the 90th percentile for her weight).
    I don't know if she is nursing longer because she's not getting enough or if she is just doing what I've read babies do from time to time as far as trying to up my supply because she is getting bigger and needs more.
    I just wish I could relax about it because I'm anxious at every feed and I know that it doesn't help.
    Oh, and I don't think I'm dehydrated. I drink about 1/2 - 1 gal. of water a day. And just to be completely honest (even though I am so ashamed) I have started smoking again about 2-4 cigarettes a day, I quit when I found out I was pregnant. OF COURSE, NEVER AROUND THE BABY THOUGH!!!!
    Thank you for your response.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    683

    Default Re: Is my milk supply low? sorry so long!

    I apologize for the delay in responding to you ---

    From what you are telling us, it sounds as if your milk supply is just fine. It's possible that your supply has just taken a bit longer to stabilize than the average nursing mom. Sometimes when a mother's milk supply stabilizes she mistakes it for a decrease in her supply. It's also possible that your baby is going through a growth spurt.

    Just continue to do what you are doing -- nurse as much as possible and try not to worry about things. The only true test of low milk supply is if baby stops gaining weight (usually indicated by a lack of wet diapers). You are correct about your let down as well -- stress can inhibit it. So just do your best to relax and trust in your body.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    43

    Default Re: Is my milk supply low? sorry so long!

    AEDs Mama,

    Fyi, the AAP now says that if a breastfeeding mom is smoking, she should try to stop or cut down, but her milk is still better for her baby than smoking and formula-feeding. Smoking right after feeding or expressing milk (rather than before) gives your body more time to get rid of the nicotine etc before it is time for the next feeding/pumping.

    I am glad you let us know about the cigarettes. We are not here to judge, just to share information and offer support to you to meet your breastfeeding goals. Maybe there is some way you can cut down, such as smoking a half cigarette instead of a whole one? Keeping the amounts low minimizes the amount that gets into your body and your milk. My understanding is that this is a HARD addiction to kick, but many people have done it and you can too, when the time is right for you!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    28

    Default Re: Is my milk supply low? sorry so long!

    Thank you for your responses. I am feeling better about it today because things have gone well. She nursed normally today. I felt fuller today as well. I think she is probably going through a growth spurt and my body is trying stablize. I have just always been, from day one, paranoid about having enough milk because I've had so many friends not be able to breastfeed due to low supply. I cherish this time with my baby. I never thought I would feel this way but I do. It is a big commitment but one that I never regret and like I said, cherish.
    Rest assured that I am trying to not smoke. I could give a lot of excuses such as going back to work is stressful... Also rest assured that I pay close attention to not smoking less than 95 mins. before I nurse as that is the half life of a cigarette (as stated on this site).
    Again, thank you for your responses and support!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    683

    Default Re: Is my milk supply low? sorry so long!

    AEDsMama -- Try not to let your friend's stories about low supply scare you. It is a very small percentage of the population that suffers from a true low milk supply. Nearly all milk supply issues are due to breastfeeding mismanagement, not because there's something physically wrong with the mother.

    I'm glad you are feeling better about things today!

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