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EBF - can milk supply dry up? I'm really bothered mine is

(5 Posts)
pomegranate15 Tue 19-Jan-16 20:55:39

I keep reading it's impossible for supply to dry up but I'm becoming certain mine is and worrying about it. Does anyone have this experience or can offer advice? I'm eating lots of oats in the morning, drinking gallons of water and just ordered some mother's milk tea to arrive tomorrow.

Some background (sorry for long post):

We're in the 4th month and LO has been distracted and therefore not feeding as well. She's also teething and finding feeding painful (we're using all the remedies but nothing works brilliantly) so she's stopped latching properly and feeds by pulling on my nipple. She sobs if I try to get her to latch well and refuses.

Two weeks ago I noticed my supply go right down so I pumped the following week (managed to do 100ml per day over 2 sittings, v low for me) and stuck her on boob as much as possible over the next week.

Then last week she became ill and ended up in hospital for a few days and fed poorly again. I became engorged, the manual pump at the hospital didn't work and suddenly my supply seems much much worse. Baby is crying and fussing on boob, let down taking forever, she drinks for a minute or two - then nothing so I'm swapping boobs constantly and she seems like she's getting v little as the amount on time on each boob diminishes rapidly.

Now I'm pumping for half an hour and lucky to get 20-30ml.

I used to have an abundant supply, fast let down - milk spraying everywhere, so I'm shocked that I seem to have so little now.

Nappies are fluctuating - last night: good and heavy, daytime: fairly dry.

Weight - she was (luckily?) weighed once a week over 3 weeks: by HV when I first noticed a poss supply issue, then by paediatrician a week later, then at hospital. (I normally only weigh her every 4 weeks.) The weight gain:

- HV: she had slowed right down and gone from 50th to 25th percentile
- Paediatrician: put on only an ounce in a week
- Hospital (after we'd worked hard at feeding for the week): a third of a kilo gain in a week(!)

Now however I can tell she's thinning out again. She's sobbing in her sleep quite a bit, initially I thought this was due to being unsettled after hospital experience (lots of injections, cannula, lumber puncture, poor thing) but now I'm wondering if it's because she's hungry.

She's dairy and egg intolerant so the paediatrician said I'd need to give her Neocate if she's to go on formula which I hear tastes disgusting. I want to continue to EBF and I'm worried sick I might not be able to.

Thanks for any advice. I'm feeling desperate!

cookiefiend Tue 19-Jan-16 21:27:22

I had a very different issue to you-poor supply to start with and was prescribed domperidone. It worked, but I recently re-read the guidance on it and it says is is most effective in cases where there has been a good supply which has dwindled for some reason such as the child being unwell and not feeding. Can you get that prescribed by your gp? Some are unhappy to prescribe it it as it is not it's primary purpose. If you can print down an NHS fact sheet on it that may help. You will be able to regain supply buy you may need to express quite a bit. Hope it all works out.

KK1981 Tue 19-Jan-16 21:51:06

I had a similar experience when my DS was 4 months old. I had a bout of food poisoning which caused supply to stop overnight. It came back but I'm not sure to the same extent. Then a combination of teething and dropping a night feed meant that DS wasn't on the breast as much. Got to the stage where he would latch and start screaming. I was suspicious of weight loss and brought him to be weighed which confirmed it.

I started giving him bottles of expressed milk to get his weight up and pumped every time he fed. I was actually shocked at how little I was pumping when I started. Barely enough to feed a newborn! I took fenugreek and made lactation cookies with Brewers yeast. I upped my fluid intake and fed him as long as he would feed at the breast before giving him a bottle. He developed a preference for the flow from the bottle so I eventually gave him a couple of ounces in a bottle first then finished the feed at the breast. So he got the satisfied feeling at the breast. I gradually phased out the bottle and fed him exclusively from the breast until a few weeks ago when I returned to work.

The process took about 3 weeks and was extremely time consuming,family members wanted me to give up but it was important to me to keep breastfeeding, much more so than I would have thought. I know your confidence has probably taken a battering cause mine did but you can and will get things back on track. I had no issues up to that point and always had great supply.

Good luck!

pomegranate15 Wed 20-Jan-16 21:12:44

Thanks so much both. And congrats KK1981 on going through that!

I had the mother's milk tea today and did plenty of skin to skin and pumped. Gotta keep on keeping on... appreciate your advice. Hope to see an improvement soon, it's quite demoralising. If not I'll contact the doc for Domperidone. Funnily enough I had some in the cupboard but it had gone out of date over a year ago...

Fingers crossed!

CaptainWarbeck Fri 22-Jan-16 02:12:22

How much you express is not an indication of how much milk you're producing when baby sucks. Some women can't express but breastfeed absolutely fine. A baby is the best thing to get milk from the breast and is very efficient by this age.

Mine was very fussy at the breast at 4 months too, he was easily distracted and faffed a lot. As long as they're producing a normal amount of wet nappies and are happy babies and developing normally I really wouldn't worry so much smile

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