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My lo is almost a year old and my milk supply is plumetting...

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She11ybeanz posted 7/18/2013 10:07 AM

I have had every obstacle known to man....fought my supply tooth and nail... pumped 5 times a day now and in the beginning would pump sometimes 7 times a day... (including every morning at 1am and 3am) just to keep my supply up... I dealt with milk blisters...3 months of repeated thrush...biting.....I took several supplements including Fenugreek, red raspberry, blessed thistle, and brewer's yeast! I choked down mother's milk herbal tea (actually swallowing herbs by accident once) gagging on how awful it was!!! I've eaten oatmeal twice a day for a year just because they "say" it helps with your milk supply! I work my every waking moment around my pumping schedule and pump before I go to sleep at night and when I wake up Every. Single. Day.

It has been SO much work! But, I know its worth it for my daughter. I am one of those women that every EVERY ounce of breastmilk is work to get. I do not have an over abundance of it.... but I'm still doing it.

What is frustrating me.....and this might be to all the guys..."earmuffs" I started my period today after a year and 10 months of not having one...and this week my milk supply has dropped significantly AGAIN... my daughter will be 1 on August 3rd... so in 16 days! My goal was to at least breastfeed a year....but my supply is maybe a 3rd of what it was a couple of months ago... and I even dropped to 2 sessions at work starting today instead of 3 because it just seems pointless.

Why am I beating myself up over this?? I just wish it would wait a couple of more weeks.....

Undefinabl3 posted 7/18/2013 10:20 AM

You have to know that stress is a huge issue for nursing mothers. You are stressing out big time.

Have you talked to your doctor about this? what about the LLL? I am sure if you called them they would also be able to help better.

TattoodChinaDoll posted 7/18/2013 10:21 AM

Supply tends to drop around and during your period. Supply comes from demand so if you drop a pumping, your supply will go down to match. Is she nursing at the breast at all? When you are with her, nurse her...even if it's 2 minutes a side. The chemicals that release from actual breast feeding (not pumping) might help.

However, even though its easier said than done, there is no need to feel bad. Obviously things don't always go the way we want to in life and that doesn't make us bad people/parents. You've done an awesome job so far. If you don't make it a year, remember you had 11 and a half months of success! The mommy wars suck...go back to work/stay at home, breast feed/formula feed, vaccines/no vaccines, tv/no's a pain in the ass and the only people who really suffer are the kids from having to put up with their crazy moms. I'm big on breast feeding (my almost 22 month old still nurses)...but you know what....I'm big on it for me. Not because other people told me to. One person will say you are a good mom. Another will disagree. What do you think of yourself? That is what matters.

DeadMumWalking posted 7/18/2013 10:52 AM

AFAIR you are also a runner, this can also affect supply.

One other thought - is there *any* chance you are pregnant? Because your milk supply will also drop (and not pick up again) at some point during pregnancy.

Otherwise, are you feeding on demand? Or pumping at frequent intervals when you are away from Piper? **That can also cause supply to drop....

Finally though - DON'T beat yourself up. 'Milestone' numbers in your head are targets, NOT set in stone. You are doing GREAT to bf your baby for such a long time. We have NO idea how/when/why babies don't want/need bf. If Piper is eating a lot of solid food, she might not feel the need to bf for nutrition. Also, she might or might not want bf (sucking) for comfort or security.

In any case, you are being a GREAT MUM for putting Piper first, don't get ocd over numbers!!

ETA: ** Rather - NOT doing that.....

((((Shelly & Piper))))

[This message edited by DeadMumWalking at 10:53 AM, July 18th (Thursday)]

JanaGreen posted 7/18/2013 11:03 AM

You've done AWESOME so far. Amazing. And I know how frustrating it is to have low supply - I honestly think I have insufficient glandular tissue and none of the "usual" methods helped much - a good pumping session for me was 3 oz total from 20 minutes double pumping. So my daughter also got formula.

You're doing amazing. It doesn't have to be all or nothing. Do what you can, and don't stress about the rest. And seriously - kudos. To BF that long, with supply issues, and drinking that nasty tea! - you are incredible.

JanetS posted 7/18/2013 11:28 AM

I was unable to breastfeed my 3 for more than a few months each. They are all absolutely fine. The best benefit is in the first few month's, and you've been able to go way beyond that.

Don't stress over it. Keep trying because clearly you'd like to keep this going longer...but don't feel guilt or failure, for neither applies.

She11ybeanz posted 7/18/2013 12:10 PM

is there *any* chance you are pregnant?


I haven't had sex in one year and 2 months... not possible... (and I was pregnant the last time)

TattoodChinaDoll posted 7/18/2013 12:22 PM

^^^ Not that you're counting, right?

She11ybeanz posted 7/18/2013 12:46 PM

^^^ Not that you're counting, right?

Hmmmm??? Me???

tushnurse posted 7/18/2013 13:00 PM

Dont fret over this. You have essentially made it to the one year mark. Your baby has had the benefit of it this long. Consider yourself lucky.

I am a HUGE proponent for Breastfeeding. However when it came time for me to give it a go guess what?!?! I am unable to produce milk, and my boobies are such a shape that my wee ones couldn't latch on. I tried pumping, I tried all the tricks. With the first kiddo I was devastated, but with the second well. When I knew it wasn't going to work, I figured that was that, and ordered a big pizza, and drank some beer, and man was that good!!!

Remember, formula babies are weaned off to milk at 12 months. So Job Well Done!!!
Time for some whole Milk for you wee one.

timeforchange posted 7/18/2013 14:05 PM

It is summer and hot... Are you drinking enough? If you are not consuming enough liquid your supply will drop.

However having said that you have done brilliantly to get this far.

I breastfed DS 1 for 10 months he weaned himself & it broke my heart. But he was ready to move on.

DS 2 would still be breadtfeeding now if I had not weaned him. I fed him every day until he was 2.5 and it took several more months to wean him!!!

5 pumpings A day is a lot.

Even feeding her twice a day for 5 minutes would still be an amazing achievement. Maybe your body is adjusting to her getting older?

Whatever happens now... you have given her a wonderful start.

Give yourself a pat on your back

purplejacket4 posted 7/18/2013 14:06 PM

Congrats on breast feeding your child so long!!! You have given her a much healthier body and immune system.

But it's ok to stop now if you need to. At this point breast feeding is more about bonding than nutrition. Since she's just two weeks from one it should be fine to start whole cow's milk.

Trust me. I am a doctor.

She11ybeanz posted 7/18/2013 15:09 PM

Thank you....I have been beating myself up over this.... but I'm STILL pumping and she will continue to get what I pump through the weaning process which I am going to drag out for a couple of months past her birthday... but I've noticed she doesn't have the same urgency that she used to when she nurses or drinks her bottles. She is much more interested in what mommy is having for dinner!

k94ever posted 7/18/2013 17:25 PM

Shelly, it sounds like your body and Piper are telling you it's time to let this go.

Sometimes we really need to listen to what our bodies are telling us and not what we are telling our bodies.


cmego posted 7/18/2013 18:27 PM

My first child...I felt like a cow. There was milk everywhere. I could literally pump out 14 oz of milk. I was freezing milk, it was nuts. My dd was also a "hoover", she latched on quickly and never let go. I nursed for 13 months..and drying those puppies up! ugh!

I have to tell this story...I had tried to lower my feedings down over the final month to just one in the morning. Weaning her and myself...or so I thought. So, the day came for the last feeding and I still remember it, it was so sweet.

The next 2 or 3 days were torture. The pain was terrible. The doctor suggested I put frozen whole cabbage leaves in my bra to relieve the pain. It did help and I was changing them frequently. Well, at bedtime I put new ones in and went to sleep. I slept through the night.

My ex and I were laying there in bed the next morning, just woken up by a crying baby. My ex suddenly said, " you smell Chinese food??" hot, engorged boobs cooked the cabbage overnight and the entire bedroom smelled of chinese food!

OK...back on topic. When my son came along, I assumed nursing would be easy again. WRONG. Totally different experience. He couldn't latch properly, weak suck, tired, you name it. I was pumping IN the hospital trying to get breast milk in him. I tried for 3 months...attempt to nurse him, then pump out, then feed him...while recovering from a c-section and a 2 year old running around. My supply was low. It was hell. I developed mastitis and gave up. I felt horrible.

But in the end, we were both happier. I wasn't fighting with my son, and had more time for him and my 2 year old!

So, I think you've done amazing. You will look back and pat yourself on the back. I am very proud to have made it 3 months during that hell

musiclovingmom posted 7/18/2013 18:59 PM

I understand how you feel. My daughter was 10 mos old when I dried up. I was devastated. I cried and cried because she no longer needed me to ensure her survival (any adult would do). I was heartbroken.
My older son did not grow at all between 6 and 9 months. Blood tests showed that he was anemic. Since I am chronically anemic, the dr suggested a switch to formula. I was heartbroken. I cried because I was not capable of feeding him properly and his growth suffered as a result.
That being said, both of them are happy and healthy. My daughter starts kindergarten in just less than a month and my son is just shy of his second birthday. My baby is now 3 months old, nurses at will and is bigger than either of my older children were at that age. I am already dreading that 6 month mark where he will start solids, but I know that even though I might not have nursed as long as I wanted, my children are happy, healthy and we have a wonderful bond. Congratulations on making it this far! Give yourself an enthusiastic pat on the back.

UnexpectedSong posted 7/18/2013 19:55 PM

From a die-hard lactivist... You done great. Congratulations Mama. It's ok to wean from nursing. You are even still pumping. You fought a good fight. It's ok to relax a bit now.

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