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Thread: from oversupply to lack of milk within days???

  1. #1
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    Nov 2010
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    Default from oversupply to lack of milk within days???

    My baby is 9 1/2 weeks and my supply has suddenly dropped significantly. I think it is a combination of the supply regulating and maybe a growth spurt following illness on her side, but it seems supply has overregulated and i am suddenly suffering from undersupply? is this even possible from one day to the next?

    i had major oversupply/engorged breasts/OAL etc the first 8 weeks. a week ago baby fell ill with fever and slept most of the day, so she drank significantly less, but only for 2-3 days, then went back to normal. I also had fever for a couple of days after but milk supply was fine. I was getting worried as I didn't get any sleep and had fever but it seemed ok. On Sunday afternoon when i fed her it was still too much milk, I only needed one breast per feed (as I have done block feeding for the last weeks) and she was very full and content after the feed.

    On Sunday evening I had a glass of champagne for a celebratory dinner and after when I was going to do the evening feed I realised my breasts hadn't refilled at all. There was hardly any milk (maybe 80-100ml or so but definitely absolutely not enough to get her to sleep. she finally slept by about 1am or so after i kept switching from one breast to the next.

    yesterday i expressed 120ml in the morning from one breast which was quite easy and made me think there was no problem after all - but then she woke up early and wanted to feed again, i kept switching from breast to breast and it just wasn't enough, so i ended up giving her 40ml from what i had expressed and kept 80ml as a top up for the night. despite this top up and constantly feeding from both breasts, it was absolutely not enough and again she was up till after midnight, and fell asleep more from exhaustion than bc she wasn't hungry anymore.

    so this morning i expressed 190ml from one breast on two sessions (i know - makes you think there is no issue of supply but trust me!) and she slept well in the morning so the breasts should have had time to refill. I have already had to use 40ml as a top up again and only have 150ml as a top up for the night.

    I am getting very worried about my supply. it seems like except for the morning, the rest of the day there absolutely isn't enough milk. Is it possible to go from oversupply to a lack up supply in a matter of days when milk regulates? I am extremely tempted to buy formula to have an emergency supply in the house but also don't want to go down that route in case this is a growth spurt.

    i am trying constant feeding, eating and drinking a lot, resting etc but i still feel like supply dries up in the evening. what can i do? should i go to the doctor?

  2. #2
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    Jun 2009
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    Default Re: from oversupply to lack of milk within days???

    I think your baby is having a growth spurt and that your supply is regulating/adjusting to the block feeding. Perhaps try and have her nurse from both sides every time she nurses for a couple of days.

    It's really normal to have a huge oversupply at the beginning because your body doesn't know you didn't have twins. So it makes enough milk for two (or more) and then it starts to down regulate.

    How are your baby's diapers? Some of the fussiness/wanting to nurse may just be wanting to comfort nurse or needing to pass gas or something else. I would still nurse her every time she wants to, but try not to stress out too much.
    Tracie

    Mommy to
    Lilah 10/08 nursed 25 months
    Beatrix 01/11 nursed 30 months

  3. #3
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    Nov 2010
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    Default Re: from oversupply to lack of milk within days???

    Diapers are fine, still poos easily six times a day so very easily 10 wet diapers. But she acts very hungry and fussy, she has had growth spurts before but this one feels different. Esp at night i am sure there is nowhere near enough milk for her.

    Is it possible that when supply regulates down goes overboard and suddenly is too ? How long till it gears up again? It's been 48h and i still feel there's not enough milk!

  4. #4
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    Default Re: from oversupply to lack of milk within days???

    I'm not trying to minimize your concerns, please don't take what I'm about to say that way...

    I don't think you have a supply problem. I believe that you think you have a supply problem and that is how people end up down the road of formula supplementation and eventually sabatoging their breastfeeding efforts.

    If your daughter acts hungry, nurse her. If she continues to act hungry, switch sides and keep doing that until she is content. If that's not making her content, then try something else. Swaddle her. Bounce her up and down. Take her for a walk. I know it's really stressful when they are screaming and you feel like the one thing that should work is not working.

    Babies change all the time. I remember when my daughter was around 7 weeks old, she started screaming at me all the time. She would want to nurse and then pull off and just scream at me. I was freaking out. And then it passed in a week or two. I'm still not sure what happened. I suppose if I had stuffed her full of food from a bottle that maybe she would have passed out and stopped screaming. But that wouldn't have meant that not having enough food was the problem.
    Tracie

    Mommy to
    Lilah 10/08 nursed 25 months
    Beatrix 01/11 nursed 30 months

  5. #5
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    Nov 2010
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    Default Re: from oversupply to lack of milk within days???

    mmm, so I still think I did have a supply problem, albeit a temporary one. My breast were definitely empty due to illness and exhaustion and there wasn't enough milk to make baby happy for a day or two.

    I agree with you though that supplementing wasn't the solution - in the end I just spent two days on the sofa with my baby nursing her contiuously as she was asking for it and I made sure I ate a lot, and on the afternoon of the second day I was back to my lovely oversupply :-). I am very happy I can continue to breastfeed exclusively and that my baby never had a drop of formula in her life, but I still think I had a supply problem for a couple of days and it was very scary thinking this was it...

  6. #6
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    Default Re: from oversupply to lack of milk within days???

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*sanam2010 View Post
    mmm, so I still think I did have a supply problem, albeit a temporary one. My breast were definitely empty due to illness and exhaustion and there wasn't enough milk to make baby happy for a day or two.

    I agree with you though that supplementing wasn't the solution - in the end I just spent two days on the sofa with my baby nursing her contiuously as she was asking for it and I made sure I ate a lot, and on the afternoon of the second day I was back to my lovely oversupply :-). I am very happy I can continue to breastfeed exclusively and that my baby never had a drop of formula in her life, but I still think I had a supply problem for a couple of days and it was very scary thinking this was it...
    To me, if a supply problem only lasts a couple of days, it's not really a supply problem per se, it's a growth spurt, or an illness, etc. The fact that you quickly bounced back means that your body is great at making milk on demand for your baby. I only say this because I hope this experience will give you confidence in your body, rather than send you down the road of insecurity, worry, and obsession over supply.

    Women who truly have supply issues struggle to get their supply up for MONTHS. Whereas women with good supply (like you) can just sit down and nurse their baby for two days and then be right as rain. Just wanted to put things in perspective for you. To me, a "responsive" supply IS a good supply. Your supply responds quickly to your baby's cues. That's perfect!

    You don't need to have OS and engorgement, truly, to make enough milk for your baby. Even for women with persistent OS, that sense of "fullness" usually fades by three or four months PP. When that time comes, I don't want you to think that you don't have enough milk - that's normal!

    You're doing great!

    (ETA: Things like illness, not eating enough or not drinking enough fluids, exhaustion, mastitis or clogged ducts, CAN temporarily lower your supply, so it's good to take care of yourself and try not to let that happen. I just don't want you to think you have chronically low supply, or need to be worried about "losing your supply" overnight, because clearly that is NOT your problem. Just keep up the good work, nurse your baby, and try to enjoy being a mom. We see a lot of moms on this forum who suffer from self-doubt, and that becomes a slippery slope for some. )
    Last edited by @llli*joe.s.mom; December 20th, 2010 at 10:39 AM.


    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.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: from oversupply to lack of milk within days???

    Glad to hear things are going better for you! with joes.mom. Lilah was sick for a couple days once and didn't nurse very much over that weekend and I didn't pump. I went back to work and couldn't pump enough out for the next day. I FREAKED out. But it was back to normal by the end of that week.
    Tracie

    Mommy to
    Lilah 10/08 nursed 25 months
    Beatrix 01/11 nursed 30 months

  8. #8
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    Nov 2010
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    Default Re: from oversupply to lack of milk within days???

    so I have to tell you both the end of the story because it turns out you were absolutely right! It had nothing to do with my milk supply. She showed the same weird "hungry" behaviour again and I had my daughter checked by the doctor. It turns out she had a nasty chest infection (bronchiolitis) which made it hard for her to suck effectively and also made her want to nurse for comfort (she was actually happier when there was slow milk flow than when there was a lot of milk).

    So when I thought she couldn't sleep because she was hungry, she was actually breathing in a weird way and couldn't lie on her back because of her infection. Apparently the infection runs a much lighter course in exculsively breastfed babies so it is a very good thing I didn't start feeding her formula.

    I am still shocked how easily I could blame my milk supply rather than realising that my daughter was sick. She is back to herself now and I am happy we stuck to breastfeeding. Thanks for encouraging me to continue!

  9. #9
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    Default Re: from oversupply to lack of milk within days???

    Yay! Glad everything is back to normal and she is feeling better!
    Beth

    Exclusively pumped for Lance Oct 07
    Nursed until just before he turned 3 Levi Oct 09

    Do you have extra milk? Consider donating!
    http://www.hmbana.org/:

    "So I was welcomed by the consolations of human milk; but it was not my mother or my nurses who made any decision to fill their breasts, but you who through them gave me infant food, in accordance with your ordinance and the riches which are distributed deep in the natural order." -St Augustine

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