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Where has my milk gone? Away from EBF DD 4mo for 30 hours

(10 Posts)
TootieMaroo Mon 06-Jun-11 18:16:19

I was away overnight from my 4mo DD and fed her at 7:30am before I left on Saturday morning and didn't return until 1pm on Sunday. While I was away, I hand expressed small amounts a few times and none during the night. When I woke up at 8am on Sunday morning, my breast were enormously engorged and painful but I was taking the train home so wasn't able to express any. I fed my DD when I arrived home at 1pm then went on to express 12 ounces (!) of milk before the engorgement went away. Since then, each time I've fed my DD, I haven't felt a letdown of milk which is usually quite strong. She keeps pulling off the breast and clamping down on my nipple with her gums. I've tried switching between breasts during each feed and she doesn't seem satisfied. When I woke up this morning, there were sags in the fabric of my nursing bra which usually aren't there and my breasts are softer than usual. Any ideas as to what I can do to increase my supply? It breaks my heart to think my DD is going hungry sad

TruthSweet Mon 06-Jun-11 18:41:50

Feed, feed, feed, feed, feed at every squeak, hint or chance that your DD will latch on. That will help your supply bounce back and help your DD from being hungry.

If she pulls at your breast try switching sides frequently or using breast compressions to encourage milk flow.

Skin to skin time/lazy day in bed with baby can also help bring back supply.

Don't drink lots of excess water but drink to thirst as unfortunately it's an old wives tale that drinking loads more water than you need will make more milk, it can even have a slightly negative effect if you deliberately drink litres more than you need.

Incidentally, all nursing breasts go 'soft' with the passage of time. Feeling full isn't an indication of having milk but an indication of too much milk so as your body learns how much baby needs it adjusts down to make the right amount of milk (making excess milk is a waste of precious bodily resources). This downwards adjustment may just have happened coincidentally at the same time as you being away or it is just a temporary dip in supply that is making you feel like you don't have much milk.

HTH

japhrimel Mon 06-Jun-11 21:41:45

Ditto to all TruthSweet said. Just feed and feed and try not to worry.

TootieMaroo Mon 06-Jun-11 23:04:22

Thanks for the advice, TruthSweet, I won't say no to a day in bed cuddling with my baby! smile I've been expressing a bit since she went to bed and there seems to be a little milk coming out, which is better than earlier today when I tried. I'm trying not to get to worried about it, japhrimel, and it's really helpful to read both of your responses as it gives me hope that all is not lost! It can feel that way sometimes, though, so I really do appreciate the support.

(And thank you both for being so lovely. This was my first post after lurking for about six months and I'm a bit shy.) blush

AngelDog Mon 06-Jun-11 23:18:23

I agree with all the above. Truth knows what she's talking about. smile

The amount you can express isn't an accurate reflection of the amount available, so don't fret about that.

Welcome to MN! smile

NotQuiteCockney Tue 07-Jun-11 06:50:56

And if you are fretting and stressed (understandably!), it can delay let-down. A babymoon should sort this out.

TruthSweet Tue 07-Jun-11 09:29:27

Well, welcome to MN TootieMaroo!

As AngelDog says the amount you can express isn't indicative of amount baby can get though I am envy at 12oz! Most I have ever got was 200ml (7oz) by hand when DD3 was ill in hospital, had not fed in ages so full as heck and all 4 of the pumps they brought me were broken hmm.

A lazy day sounds like a lovely way to spend today. Take up a good book (or 2), some drinks/snacks and cuddle and snuggle baby all day, perhaps with a spot of mning toogrin.

Try not to fall into the cycle of expressing then feeding baby from a bottle/cup as then you know what she's taken. Trust her to feed when she's hungry. It's very tempting when you've had a dip (whether percieved or real) in supply to check baby is getting enough milk by bottle feeding. If she is having wet nappies and they are clear/light coloured not dark or dry then she will be fine. It might take her a bit longer to get what she wants but the more time she spends feeding the quicker your supply will bounce back.

Good luck and keep us updated smile

TootieMaroo Tue 07-Jun-11 18:59:46

Just an update of our progress today. I fed her once in the night around 3:30am and had a letdown. I was so happy, I cried! Since then, she's fed in small amounts during the day (no letdowns) but still doing the clamping down and pulling off. I just had a letdown with her evening feed, which was great! I've been expressing after every feed just to keep the stimulation up, although I've not even had a full ounce cumulatively. sad

Thanks for the love, Angeldog and NotQuiteCockney, and please don't envy the 12oz, TruthSweet - my DH said that I looked as if I had a botched boob job! It sounds like you've had your fair share of pain so please accept my sympathies in exchange for your kindness and advice. smile

Back to cuddling my gorgeous DD and praying to the milky boob gods... grin

AngelDog Tue 07-Jun-11 20:58:11

Great to hear some progress. smile

TruthSweet Tue 07-Jun-11 21:22:45

Tootie - could it be that you aren't feeling the letdowns rather than they have disappeared especially if you can't pump afterwards. What does the milk look like? Grey, blue, white, yellow, ivory?

Have you noticed your DD's suckling pattern change during a feed? If she wasn't getting any milk she would be 'suck, suck, suck, suck, suck, suck.....' where as if she is getting milk her suck pattern might be something like 'suck, suck, pause, repeat', 'suck, pause, repeat' or 'suck, suck, suck, pause, repeat'. Each quick pause is a mouthful of milk being swallowed.

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