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Can milk supply run out? (Long rambling post warning!)

(16 Posts)
Fatbag Mon 04-Aug-08 20:30:47

DD is 11 weeks and over 14lbs (which is quite big I think) - she has been feeding really well and regularly with 3hr gaps most of the day then more in the evening, I have started a dream feed at 10.30. She can last as long as 5 hrs occaisionally. I have been feeding on demand, but my supply seems to be diminishing. She fed today every 2hrs or less today and feel like I have nothing left. I think I have thrush in my nipples - tho' there is no sign in her mouth - I am treating us both. I have lost a lot of weight this last week and we have been a lot busier (I have a DD who is 4.5yrs). With my first, my supply did completely dry up when I went back to work - I couldn't seem to produce enough even for a morning and evening feed (DD2 was 8 months) and i am concerned that being busy and tired is stopping me producing enough. Is this possible? How do I increase supply?

Sorry for long explanation, don't know what's relevant and what's not.

BouncingTurtle Mon 04-Aug-08 21:18:07

I think it is more likely your supply is established, and so you are producing exactly what she needs. There is a growth spurt at around 12 weeks which could explain why she is feeding more frequently.
Tiredness and weightloss are hard on you but are unlikely to affect your supply. As long as you continue to demand feed you will produce milk. Even if you stopped bfing right now you would still produce milk for several days, or even longer!
What makes you think you have thrush? Have you seen your GP. If you have thrush you are doing the right thing in treating the both of you.
Babies do get more efficient as well at feedin as they grow older as well.
Hopefully someone else will come along to correct or confirm the above!

chipmonkey Mon 04-Aug-08 21:21:19

Fatbag, why do you feel your supply has diminished? Your breasts will feel softer as time goes on, and babies who are going through a growth spurt will go through phases where they seem to be constantly feeding. Trust your body, she didn't get to be 14lb by you not having enough milk!
FWIW, I expressed in work with all of mine and I do think it helped to maintain a supply. But I know others who bf just morning and evening and they also managed to maintain a supply.

thisisyesterday Mon 04-Aug-08 21:21:54

once your supply settles down it's totally normal not to feel "full" any more.

if you didn't have neough milk your dd would let you know about it, trust me! lol
it's more likely that she's going through a growth spurt, and wants more milk.

this is a GOOD thing, because the more she feeds the more milk you will make.

why do you think you have thrush? do you have pain?

expressing isn't a sign of how much milk you are making. some people can't hardly express anything at all, but still exclusively feed their babies.

Normal normal normal!

Just feed when she wants fed and AFAIK as long as there are plenty wet nappies and she continues to gain weight then the frequent feeding is normal. It will probably pass in a few days, but it's important that you go with it and let her feed while she wants to because that will help to keep your supply closely tied to her demand.

Never a bad time to call one of the BF helplines for some "live" reassurance

Dawnie6577 Mon 04-Aug-08 21:46:23

The 12 week growth spurt was, if I remember correctly, pretty tough for me and DS, he was just constantly hungry. It lasted about 3 or 4 days I think.

I think the 3 month mark growth spurt is when a lot of mums give up breastfeeding as they feel they don't have enough.

But I agree with what others have put - this is totally normal and I am sure you will see this when he is next weighed!

Also, I think my DS has been thirstier lately with the heat, I am feeding him more regularly and trying to remember to drink more myself blush.

Hope this helps to reassure.

Fatbag Mon 04-Aug-08 21:46:41

Thanks for support - wish I'd known about MN first time round!
In answer to questions:
Boobs are much much softer and she has been sucking really hard - sort of pulling at the nipple and stretching as she isn't getting what she wants, also i barely need breast pads, which is odd as I was drowning in milk just last week. Nipples def. suffering from this treatment! Also let-down, which used to cause milk to jet across the room, seems now to just be an internal feeling.

As for thrush, have had shooting, needle like pains deep in breast for about a week, then nipples itchy and spongey and pink (it all happened when weather got hot and I got very sweaty and damp (couldn't get my usual pads and used the Johnson's ones which were soft but not breathable I think) + on holiday not always able to change pads often enough) - doctor had a (very quick) look and prescribed Nystatin - not sure its making much difference, and as i said no sign in DD - so maybe its not thrush - what else might it be? Had probs early on with cracked nipples, but its different from that.

Dawnie6577 Mon 04-Aug-08 21:52:52

from what you've written, was exactly the same for how my son was during growth spurts (hmm the nipple pulling and stretching, i remember those!) ... i'd give it a few days and continue to feed on demand and let your supply build up.
don't know about thrush, sorry ...

cafebistro Mon 04-Aug-08 21:54:51

Sorry you're having a bad time...My dd is 5 months now and my boobs very rarely feel full anymore i think this is totally normal, even when you think you have no milk you often have. I would say its probably a growth spurt and to just feed more frequently for the next few days and then hopefully things will calm down and the feeds will become less frequent.
Maybe get her weighed to ease the worry...but you're doing great.wink

NotQuiteCockney Mon 04-Aug-08 21:57:55

I'd maybe go see a BFC re: the pains. Do they happen only when feeding? Maybe try to let your nipples 'breathe' more often?

Your supply should be fine. If you'd stopped making milk, she wouldn't just be sucking hard, she'd be unsettled and pissed off!

The reduction in leaking is normal - there are muscles that keep the milk in, and they get stronger over time. I leaked a lot less with DS2 than with DS1.

chipmonkey Mon 04-Aug-08 23:18:57

reduction in leakage definitely normal! Apparently from other threads Fluconazole ( sp?) is the thing to take for boob thrush.

thisisyesterday Mon 04-Aug-08 23:34:33

nipple pulling and fussing could be a sign of thrush, even if there is no whiteness.

fluconazole is the best thing for thrush, but not all GP's will porescribe it.
I actually got on ok with a strong canesten (stronger than over the counter) and nystatin for ds.

Fatbag Tue 05-Aug-08 11:21:11

Have got Nystatin cream for me and drops for DD. Giving it 5 days and then will try and go back and ask about fluconazole, thought we had daktarin gel last time for DD1 and have heard miconozole is recommended.

DD feeding okayish last night and today, but looks like she has a cold now (aaaargh) so having a bit of difficulty breathing. The amount of pee and poo today indicates she is getting what she needs, I think. Nipples still hurt though.

Attempt to air boobs, but have builders around so a bit difficult to walk around with top off!

chipmonkey Tue 05-Aug-08 14:14:51

Fatbag, flucanozole is taken orally so deals with the problem from within. Should be more effective.

VictorianSqualor Tue 05-Aug-08 14:24:50

Don't just ask for fluc.
Print this out and tell them it's what you need.

Fatbag Tue 05-Aug-08 16:57:59

VS I did try last time, but wasn't actually sure what the Dr was saying so gave up and just took the script. Will try and see lady Dr too. Thanks for leaflet - will print out and wave at whoever i see.

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