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How do I know if my supply is drying up?

(7 Posts)
Essie3 Tue 02-Sep-08 12:22:19

Sorry, a second question - the other is the strange breastfeeding behaviour.

How would I know if my supply was drying up? I'm really worried because it happened to a friend of mine, and I don't want it to happen to me!
Why does it happen, and can it be stopped?

I had a mega supply, but at 11 weeks now I'm worried that it's not as huge as it was. I'm not engorged in the morning, and yesterday and today I haven't had the painful letdown in the other breast when I'm feeding. Is that because he's not feeding properly, or is it because my supply is dwindling?

Or am I being paranoid?

cookinmama Tue 02-Sep-08 12:24:36

this tends to happen once feeding is established and you would then only be engorged if you missed a feed.

I think it is quite rare to dry up completely you may run low and the milk flow isn't as fast but generally you are always producing milk.

Essie3 Tue 02-Sep-08 12:29:29

Thanks, cookinmama. Does it sound normal for 11 weeks?

I don't quite understand what happened to my friend then. I want to keep feeding for (at least) 6 months, exclusively, so need to keep it coming! She wasn't keen on the feeding, so could that explain why she dried up?

bythepowerofgreyskull Tue 02-Sep-08 12:33:22

I agree with cookinmama

and also add that often people take these signs to mean they should supplement the feed without looking at the nappies/general health of the child..
the baby will let you know if he needs more..

fwiw lots of mums I know never got engorged full breasts and they fed well past 12 months..

good luck.. sounds like things are settling down nicely... if he starts to feed more in the next couple of weeks this is probably a growth spurt that tends to happen 13=14 weeks rather than yuo not producing enough.

cookinmama Tue 02-Sep-08 12:34:21

Sometimes I think people think that their milk has dried up if baby is going through a growth spurt and taking more than usual. I had a couple of evenings where I was running low (dd just didn't seem to be getting satisfied by feeding) when I then sat and thought about it, it was on days where I had been running about and not eating enough. So just make sure you don't do too much and you eat well.

PortAndLemon Tue 02-Sep-08 12:35:42

Sounds fairly normal for eleven weeks. How often (roughly) are you feeding at the moment?

It's hard to speculate on what happened to your friend. She might have never really got her supply well-established in the first place. She might have tried supplementing or topping-up with formula. She might have taken some over-the-counter medication that interfered with her supply. She might even have not really had supply issues but convinced herself she did. There are any number of possibilities.

Essie3 Tue 02-Sep-08 12:47:14

He's feeding every 3 hours (ish) during the day, but speeds up in the evenings (mind you, yesterday was odd - see the other post!). Then at night he goes longer (smilesmile) and wakes once for a feed between 9.30 and 7.30/8.

I was mainly concerned because I've got used to being a dripping leaking milk machine, and suddenly I'm not - I didn't feel I needed to express the past few days. But it is admittedly good to be able to feed without spraying the upholstery grin so if it's just all settling down, then I need to get used to it that's all!

Also I need to realise that I don't actually need 3 pints of ebm on backup. (Sorry, a strange obsession of mine!)

I did wonder, though, PortAndLemon, whether my friend just convinced herself, as she didn't enjoy bfing. I also wonder whether she was expressing more than feeding?? I express as well as feed, and DS gets a bottle about once/twice a week. At night when he's starving and sleepy so he won't realise it's easier than bfing wink and is grateful for it however it comes!

Sorry, a random long meditative post there!

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