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Thread: 5 Weeks PP - Drastic Decrease in Milk Supply - Please help!

  1. #1

    Default 5 Weeks PP - Drastic Decrease in Milk Supply - Please help!

    Hello!

    Despite having flat nipples and needing to use a nipple shield, breastfeeding was going very well for the first 4 weeks. I was actually overproducing and at times my milk would come in too fast for him. I started pumping for relief because my breasts were so full. (I also had a clogged duct I needed to work out, which is now okay.)

    Going into week 5, I feel like I just went through a massive hormonal shift and all of a sudden I'm not producing enough milk for him. It's devastating. He's sucking and sucking and nothing is coming out. Then he starts crying. And I squeezed my breast and tried to get some milk manually, and nothing comes. I decided to make a bottle from my stored milk and he ate another 2 ounces after my boobs had run dry.

    Has this happened to anyone before? Does anyone know why my milk supply would change so drastically overnight? I literally went from having too much, to not having enough in a flash. (On another note, I do believe he just completed a growth spurt and he was eating like a horse over the past few days. Did he just bleed me dry?)

    Other things going on with me that make me think I just went through a huge hormonal shift:

    -I had a migraine today
    -My skin is breaking out
    -My eyes are dry
    -I had postpartum hives that are now so much better today
    -I am now crying at the drop of a hat (I've hardly cried at all since having the baby)
    -And the drastic change in my milk supply

    I sent my husband out for Cheerios and Fenugreek, so I'm going to give that a shot. I'm just wondering if this is normal? Has anyone experienced this? Do you have any other advice? I feel so sad about it.

    We also bought formula just in case we get into a situation where he's starving and I can't produce. But I don't want to have to give it to him!

    I would appreciate your help! Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    Default Re: 5 Weeks PP - Drastic Decrease in Milk Supply - Please help!

    Have you started taking birth control pills or anything like that?

    Your baby could be having a growth spurt- that is completely normal behavior for a growth spurt.

    Are you still using the nipple shield? Are you still pumping? Did you pump when you gave him the bottle?
    Tracie

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

  3. #3

    Default Re: 5 Weeks PP - Drastic Decrease in Milk Supply - Please help!

    No, no birth control pills.

    Yes, we're still using the nipple shield.

    I'm not pumping regularly. When I was nursing him today and I ran out of my milk, my husband gave him a 2 ounce bottle to satiate him, and I went and pumped. I had read to pump after you feed to help keep the supply up? I only got an ounce. I used to get a lot more. Should I keep pumping after I feed him?

    He also used to nurse for about 40 minutes and then he'd be good for 4-5 hours. Now he's wanting to eat every 2 hours, and I'm thinking it's because he's not getting enough to be full.

    I'm guessing it's normal for my supply to go up and down, but shouldn't it mirror his needs? I just can't believe he was still so hungry and I couldn't produce anything for him. It's such a horrible feeling.

    Thanks for your help.

  4. #4

    Default Re: 5 Weeks PP - Drastic Decrease in Milk Supply - Please help!

    By the way - I love your babies' names. So cute.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: 5 Weeks PP - Drastic Decrease in Milk Supply - Please help!

    Thank you. I like their names too.

    How are his wet and dirty diapers?

    His job is to increase your milk supply, so even if he gets fussy while nursing, I wouldn't give him a bottle. I would just burp him and try the other side. And then switch back to the first side, if need be. I don't know if you need to pump after every feeding, that seems excessive to me, unless you have been giving him a bottle every time.

    I used a nipple shield with Lilah when she was tiny for the same reasons you're using it, and the lactation consultant told me to pump once in the morning and once at night in order to keep my milk supply up.

    Have you thought about trying to get off the shield?

    Also, 4 or 5 hours is a LONG time for a breastfed baby to go without eating. They usually only go about 2 or 4 hours. My first baby generally ate every 90 minutes... and for 45 minutes or more every time she ate.
    Tracie

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

  6. #6
    Join Date
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    Landof2toddlers, Oregon
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    Default Re: 5 Weeks PP - Drastic Decrease in Milk Supply - Please help!

    Breastfed babies almost always nurse every 2 hours or more often. If you can pump any milk after your baby has nursed you are doing more than most. Your breasts are not empty if you can pump. A baby is much more efficient at milk transfer than a pump unless there is something amiss with the baby (like tongue tie). Nothing you have posted sounds like low supply mama. Fussy baby means a million things and oh so rarely is that low supply. Also babies have three separate types of suck, "get me a let down now!", "ah lots of nice milk" and "I need comfort". The comfort suck is not designed to get milk from your breasts, it is designed to get them comfort.

    When your baby is fussy have you tried the Five S's - Swaddling, Side/stomach position, Swinging, Shushing, Sucking? Or wearing your baby and pacing the room/bouncing on an exercise ball while singing? Or white noise? Or Daddy holding baby over his arm on baby's stomach?

    The best way to see a supply dip is to see a drop in wet diapers.

    I know this is hard, but your body was designed to feed your baby, a hormonal shift is common at that time, for some women the tears finally stop, for others they start
    Last edited by @llli*durhamgrrl; March 13th, 2011 at 04:30 PM.
    proud but exhausted working mammy to two high needs babies

    • my surprise baby: the one and only D-Man born 3 weeks late (5/5/08) at 9 lbs 14 oz and 21.5 inches, and
    • the shock H-Girl born about a week late (10/7/09) at 8lbs 15oz and 20.75 inches.


    If I am here I am covered in baby (probably two) and fighting for control of the keyboard.

    Family beds are awesome

    Wondering if you have PPD? Take the screening and see your doctor. You deserve to feel better.

  7. #7

    Default Re: 5 Weeks PP - Drastic Decrease in Milk Supply - Please help!

    You know, I haven't been counting his diapers, and I guess I should. He has had several wet and poopy diapers today. We're guessing six or seven and it's 5:30pm. He's grown quite a bit over the last few days - I think he's coming out of a massive growth spurt - so I think he's still getting enough nutrition.

    He was back to his birth weight 5 days post-partum, so they said we didn't have to wake him to feed anymore. So, I started letting him sleep and he would do so for 4-5 hours, one night during his 4th week he even went 7 hours. The longer he fed, the longer he slept, and during his 4th week, sometimes he'd eat for almost an hour. He weighed 8lbs 2oz at birth, got down to 7lbs 8oz by the time we left the hospital and was back to his birth weight 5 days postpartum. The doctor was shocked that he was back to his birth weight in 5 days, but said that since he was born through natural birth it was okay because they "thrive" better. I don't know. We're guessing he weighs about 10 pounds now and he's 5w 1d old.

    He definitely looks healthy and has turned into a bit of a chunk over the last few days. He's starting to get little rolls and his cheeks are filling out. I just wonder if that growth spurt bled me dry!

    Do you think I should be waking him up to eat? The other night, when I still had lots of milk, my boobs woke me up before he did. They were so full and achy. He was sort of stirring, so I went ahead and put him on my boob and he ate. I didn't want to overfeed him though. Why is this so hard?? :/

    Given that he's been so frustrated today, I'd be surprised if he still sleeps in long stretches. I don't think he's eating as much as he had been over the last few days.

    I was hoping to try to get off the nipple shield soon. I actually tried without it today and he got so frustrated. And this has been an especially frustrating day, so I went back to the shield. I still feel like my nipples don't really stick out far enough. Any tips? How were you able to get off of the shield?

    He did have tongue tie (forgot to mention that) and we got it clipped when he was 2.5 weeks old. I haven't really noticed a change in his sucking since then.

    I do think he's been comfort sucking a bit. I just don't know why he pulls himself off and starts crying? And I don't know why my milk is running out after 10 minutes? It seems to come in very fast - sometimes too fast for baby - and then it's all gone so quickly. We do use the 5 S's, but I've just been thinking he's hungry, so I should try some of those again when he's crying. Thanks for the reminder. He's also been letting out much bigger burps lately, so maybe he starts crying because he's trying to work something out?

    Could having a migraine effect milk supply?

    Thanks again. I've been a crying mess today. I have my postpartum check-up tomorrow, so I'm going to talk to my doctor as well.

  8. #8
    Join Date
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    Location
    Landof2toddlers, Oregon
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    Default Re: 5 Weeks PP - Drastic Decrease in Milk Supply - Please help!

    Hrmm - OALD (over active let down) and OS (over supply) possibly? Lots of great information here.

    So that would be the opposite of low supply (you are going to be able to donate that formula to the food bank )
    proud but exhausted working mammy to two high needs babies

    • my surprise baby: the one and only D-Man born 3 weeks late (5/5/08) at 9 lbs 14 oz and 21.5 inches, and
    • the shock H-Girl born about a week late (10/7/09) at 8lbs 15oz and 20.75 inches.


    If I am here I am covered in baby (probably two) and fighting for control of the keyboard.

    Family beds are awesome

    Wondering if you have PPD? Take the screening and see your doctor. You deserve to feel better.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    2,552

    Default Re: 5 Weeks PP - Drastic Decrease in Milk Supply - Please help!

    Yup, sounds like oversupply/overactive letdown to me, especially in the last couple paragraphs of what you wrote.
    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

  10. #10
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    Default Re: 5 Weeks PP - Drastic Decrease in Milk Supply - Please help!

    The way I got off the nipple shield was to just do it. We stopped using pacifiers so that she wouldn't be attached to rubber nipples and I think we were also giving her a bottle of pumped milk a day at that point. We stopped that too. Then I would start nursing her with the shield, then take her off and try to get the nipple in her mouth. It took me a little bit of time to get the confidence to do it. For some reason I was able to get her off the shield on the right side in about a day. On the left side it took me a couple days.
    Tracie

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

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