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Thread: Please help, milk drying up, 6mth old

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    70

    Default Please help, milk drying up, 6mth old

    Forgive me for tearing up as I write this but this has became such a huge thing and I can't help but feel upset all the time because I am trying to continue feed her but my body won't let me. During the holidays I got sick with afever and flu like symtoms and then my 6mth old had low grade fevers for 2 days. Since then I have been struggling with my milk supply. One of my breasts it has pretty much gone completly, the other is very low. My baby is small (25%tile) and is not one of those very hungry babies like my son was that you can just keep putting to the breast all the time to increase supply that way. She will only eat if hungry and is only hungry around every 3 hours when she will have a quick feed from both sides. But now if I put her to the low side she gets frustratied as let down takes so long and the milk only lasts a minute or so. I have been taking 3 Fenugreek supplements 3 times a day but I don't see any or very little difference. My breasts suddenly feel very empty and soft. My husband is constantly saying she needs to eat more because she is waking up at least 4 times a night when before it was just twice and has been bugging me to give her formula. I don't think she is teething. I am having such emotional upset over this that I have given in and tried a bottle everyday but she is not interested in the bottle/formula and screams and cries so I put her to the breast and she cries some more because theres nothing there. I have a manual pump and I pumped the very low side yesterday and got just 1oz after not feeding for 3hrs, I put it straight into a nuby sippy cup and she played with the nipple but wouldn't drink it, I then put it in a bottle and she started screaming. When I am empty but she seems hungry the only thing that calms her down is her paci which I regret ever giving to her, my son never had one and he used only me for comfort. Please advice! I don't know what to do. We have a peds appointment on Tuesday, I am hoping my doctor be able to advise? I breastfed my son until 14mths old and very slowly weaned him, I wanted to do the same thing again. P.S I have had 2 periods already so its not that and the next one is not coming up for a couple of weeks, and she has been on solids for 6weeks, just a little homemade food per day but now she suddenly clamping her mouth shut for that too. Help...

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    95

    Default Re: Please help, milk drying up, 6mth old

    Hi momma

    I'm hoping this will bump you so some of the more experienced LLLers can advise, but I'll share what I've found.

    A pump is rarely anywhere near as efficient as a baby at extracting milk and so does not tell you how much milk you have.

    And teething can last for weeks before anything appears. The same symptoms can be for a growth spurt, learning something new or a cold coming on.

    If you are eager to increase you milk then I would suggest:

    Drinking more water
    Keep putting her to the breast as much as you can (if you can get her to comfort suck you rather than paci, then that will help)
    Take a deep breath and relax

    You can do it momma!
    Mum to Alexander, born 2nd April 2010

    Still at a year and when apart
    Part time cloth and

    Midna is our cat - it made sense at two in the morning whilst hunting for help!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    20,813

    Default Re: Please help, milk drying up, 6mth old

    Mama- giant hug to you. I can totally understand why you'd be crying over this- but I don't think you need to be as concerned about the situation as you clearly are.

    Having breasts that suddenly feel empty and soft is normal after 6 months of nursing. Most moms notice a diminishment of that "full" feeling as time goes on and their supplies decrease to meet their babies' demand very exactly. Feeling "full" generally indicates that you're making extra milk.

    So, how about the fussiness and increased night-waking? I don't think that necessarily indicates low supply either, because at 6 months those things could very easily be due to development or teething- and if she's not teething at 6 months I'm going to be pretty surprised. Teeth move around in the gums long before they start to become visible at the surface.

    But wait- you only pumped 1 oz! Well, believe it or not, that's not a bad sign either. Pumping is not a good gauge of milk supply, particularly if you are using a manual pump and don't pump regularly. Manual pumps are generally pretty poor at removing milk, and pumping is a learned skill.

    If you read all this and still don't believe me, here are some useful links on increasing supply and pumping:
    http://www.kellymom.com/bf/supply/low-supply.html
    http://www.kellymom.com/bf/pumping/p..._decrease.html

    Please let us know how things go at the pediatrician's. 6 months is the point when many moms are given terrible advice- being told flat-out lies like "Your milk is probably drying up" or "Your baby needs solids, so you should wean," or "Your baby is falling in percentiles, therefore something is wrong." If you hear anything like that, let us know- we may be able to help you troubleshoot.

    Hang in there and nurse as much as your LO will let you! It's going to be okay, Mama.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    70

    Unhappy Re: Please help, milk drying up, 6mth old

    Thanks for the replies. I am now in a place where one of my breasts is making enough milk thanks to the Fenugreek but my other breast is pretty much totally dried up and nopthing is making a difference. She will not even attempt to latch on to this breast unless she is virtually asleep and then she gets frustrated and comes off and on a few times and thrashing until she starts crying. On the few occassions where she has latched on on this side, let down doesn't come or takes forever and then she gets about 15 seconds of swallowing before its done and she goes on to nurse from the otherside for 5 minutes. Since she is now refusing to nurse from this side I have been pumping every 3 hours and each time for the last two days I have got just a few drops, not even 1/4 oz. I know I can continue to feed her on just one side but I don't want to do this, already I see a big difference in the size of my breasts and as I intend to feed her for at least another 6 months, I don't want to end up with completely uneven breasts. How can I get this breast to produce more? Do you think the pumping will eventually kick in?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Denver, Co.
    Posts
    1,164

    Default Re: Please help, milk drying up, 6mth old

    Mama, it's hard for me to type a lot on my phone. Maybe try posting on the breastfeeding your infant board. Also look up drjacknewman.com. He has a lot of good info sheets.

    Have you maybe tried getting your Lo to latch on the less favored breast in the warm bath?

    Maybe look up a supplement called more milk plus by mother love.

    s

    Christine
    Baby Girl Born 2/17/10 to her two mommies
    BF from day one. I looked up one day and realized I'm nursing a toddler!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Denver, Co.
    Posts
    1,164

    Default Re: Please help, milk drying up, 6mth old

    Bumpity, bump, bump!

    Christine
    Baby Girl Born 2/17/10 to her two mommies
    BF from day one. I looked up one day and realized I'm nursing a toddler!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    127

    Default Re: Please help, milk drying up, 6mth old

    How's her diaper output? If she is having enough wet diapers per day, you have nothing to worry about. Time on the breast is not an indication of milk supply. You could try the Mother's milk tea too. Hope it works out! I would just keep offering. Also, pumping everyday at the same time will help increase your supply. I know it's stressful but hugs to you!!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    127

    Default Re: Please help, milk drying up, 6mth old

    Do you feel any clogs in the breast that seems like it's dried up? I would pump more frequently than every 3 hrs. Even now when I'm away from my daughter, I'm pumping 2 and 1/2 hrs. There's something called power pumping --can't remember details but if you do a search, I don't think it will be difficult to find. Keep trying to get her latched at that breast --that's the best way to get the milk going!

  9. #9

    Default Re: Please help, milk drying up, 6mth old

    Hi there,

    Try power pumping on the problem breast. Pump for 20 minutes, pause for 10 minutes, pump for another 10 minutes, pause for another 10, then pump for another 10. I got good results when I did this twice a day, but it takes a few days and can take up to a week for the effects to show. I can usually only manage it once a day but it still helps but twice is best. The rest of the time, try to pump 6-8 20-minute sessions in 24 hours.

    Do you have a decent pump? It makes a huge difference. I hired one as I couldn't afford to buy.

    Once the supply improves, then you can nurse instead of some or all pumping sessions. Good luck! Your supply won't just dry up if you do these things. Keep hydrated and get as much rest as a 6 month old allows!

    Sending hugs.

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