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Thread: sudden decrease in milk supply

  1. #1

    Default sudden decrease in milk supply

    Hi! My son is just about 6 months old and the 2 days my son has been extrememely fussy when I try breast feeding him. He usually gets fussy the first minute or 2 because my milk doesn't come out fast enough for him, he wants it NOW. But the last 2 days he has been really upset and I couldn't figure out why, so I just made him a bottle and he sucked it down quick, no issues. So I pumped and realized that my supply decreased a lot. I only could pump 2 1/2 oz between both breasts. Is there anything I can do? I have been drinking "mothers milk" tea and drinking a lot of water, but it isn't really helping, and i am running out of breast milk supply in the freezer. Does anyone know WHY this could be happening? Any help would be GREAT!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    TX
    Posts
    2,197

    Default Re: sudden decrease in milk supply

    Has your period returned yet? If not, it could be imminent. Frequently, there is a supply drop near the beginning of a cycle. It should pick up in a few days. A couple of other possibilities: he could be going through a growth spurt, needing more milk, and your body hasn't quite caught up with him yet; could you be pregnant? The things you are doing are good for increasing supply. More nursing sessions will help, too, especially if they are really relaxing, snuggly, skin-to-skin ones.
    Teal

    25 May 96 and 14 January 08 and 27 February 2012

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    20,621

    Default Re: sudden decrease in milk supply

    If:
    - You are nursing on demand
    - You have not been supplementing with formula
    - You are not pregnant or on a new form of hormonal birth control (including the Mirena IUD)
    - The baby is producing adequate wet diapers in a 24-hour period
    Then the fussiness you are observing is probably due to something other than supply issues. At 6 months, teething, colds, and ear infections are common causes of fussing at the breast.

    The pumping output you describe is pretty normal. 2.5 oz is a normal yield for a mom of a 6 month old who has not been pumping regularly. Many babies drink only that amount at the breast- something which can surprise a mom who expects that a breastfed baby will be eating an amount equivalent to that taken in by formula-fed infants the same age. Also, the baby is better at extracting milk from the breast than the pump is, so what you pump is probably less than the baby can get. Another reason why pumping isn't a good gauge of supply is that all moms respond differently to the pump depending on a) how often they pump, b) what sort of pump they are using, c) when they pump, d) how long ago it was they last nursed, and e) how precisely their milk supply meets the baby's demand. Many moms who pump during the newborn stage get accustomed to seeing a large volume of milk, and are surprised when they pump later in the baby's life and see much less output. But that's normal. Most moms start out producing excess milk- it's nature's way of ensuring that the baby gets fed while he masters the art of nursing. As time goes on, however, supply shrinks to meet demand very precisely, without a lot of extra. This is a more efficient use of the body's energy and reduces the risk that mom will come down with plugged ducts or mastitis.

    I strongly suggest taking a look at the following link: http://www.kellymom.com/bf/pumping/p..._decrease.html It can help you assess whether or not there really is a problem, and can help you troubleshoot the issue if there is one.
    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

    Default Re: sudden decrease in milk supply

    Thank you ladies! Well, I am not sure actually if I am pregnant...the thought never occurred to me. Hmmm...maybe I should make sure that is not the case before anything else. I did start my period again in January but haven't had one since, it is only the beginning of March so I wasn't really worried because my cycle before I got pregnant, was longer than the "normal" 28 days. It maybe my period, I guess I will take a pregnancy test to make sure that is not the case.

    Also, my son, for the last couple months gets fussy at the start of his feedings because the milk doesn't start coming out right away. And he had come to love the bottle because it does do that. He is mainly breastfed, but gets bottles when I am not home to feed him, and we are finding that he much rather the bottle. Because of this fussiness at the beginning of almost every feeding until the milk starts flowing (I can feel when the milk "drops" and starts flowing) I have been contemplating just switching to formula, which I do not want to do because I know he is getting the best nutrition from the breast, but it gets frustrating for both of us.

    Thank you for your advice, I will check out that link.

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