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How long before I'll stop producing milk? Help needed

(27 Posts)
VeryHungryLennipillar Sat 26-Sep-09 22:56:56

Am having a bf crisis. I never wanted it to end like this. Basically was away from 6pm weds until about 11pm Friday - so just over 48 hours and expressed as much as I could whilst away but as normally happens when I have to help DH at events my supply did drop off a bit on the second day. Wasn't really worried about it though. Got back and got DS in bed with me and he fed well at 2am and 5am this morning. He woke up full of cold, really bunged up and wasn't interested in bf until 12pm when he had a few sucks and gave up. I tried again at 3pm and again a few sucks and then not interested. At bedtime he was frustrated with not getting enough - my supply has severely dwindled today it seems and I gave in and gave him 5oz of ebm out of the freezer. I've just been in again to try and feed him and he's had a go but not the gushing feed I'm used to. I think this may be the end of the road if I'm not very careful. I think his cold, plus my period being due anytime plus teething is just adding up to a disinterested baby. My boobs have gone soft now and not at all like my normal bf boobs. I'm expressing but not really getting much at all - just a few drops. Nothing on the 9oz I was expressing yesterday. Surely nearly 9 months of breastfeeding can't be over in the space of 48 hours?

morocco Sat 26-Sep-09 23:00:04

stay calm! sounds like a bf strike - very common - keep perserving and keep offering the boob, especially when he's sleepy, maybe even asleep. your supply won't just drop off that easily - a few feeds and you'll be back on track. just keep on offering. lots of advice out there if you google bf strike

VeryHungryLennipillar Sat 26-Sep-09 23:05:19

Thank you smile off to google.

Dogwouldlikeanotherpup Sat 26-Sep-09 23:49:40

Message withdrawn

OmicronPersei8 Sun 27-Sep-09 00:26:41

DS had a bf strike earlier this year (like you due to a combination of reasons). I was beside myself for three days, kept offering boob but he wasn't interested. I hand expressed at his normal feed times - it dwindled off severely by day 3. Then suddenly he started again. We still have 1-2 bf a day, it was back to normal within a few days. He's 18mo now. Good luck.

Dogwouldlikeanotherpup Sun 27-Sep-09 10:00:28

Message withdrawn

Indith Sun 27-Sep-09 10:18:45

Hope it is going ok Lenni Even Dd hardly feeds when she is full of snot and it will be a cold day in hell when she stops feeding I think! Keep offering, your supply is so well established now that is will take a fair bit of time for you to stop producing entirely so try not to worry.

VeryHungryLennipillar Sun 27-Sep-09 13:49:25

We're getting by. I've not offered him anything other than bm or water today and he isn't complaining so must be getting something but still feel like I've got very empty boobs and there is no gushy letdown like normal. He's still very snotty and my period has actually started (usually he's ok again once it's started hmm). Can't say I'm past worrying though, feel very sad and confused about it. Thanks for your experience Omnicron that has really reassured me.

TheProvincialLady Sun 27-Sep-09 13:58:23

I think maybe the empty feeling boobs suggests that your DS is getting milk. After 9 months I don't think your boobs would just give up like that because of a relatively short break. My DS2 is also 9m and also has a snotty cold and is feeding very erratically.

VeryHungryLennipillar Sun 27-Sep-09 14:27:05

Thank you ProvincialLady - that is really reassuring. He is napping now and went off easily so he can't be starving. I hope this doesn't last much longer - I feel so guilty. I have serious sugar cravings which tends to suggest I am making milk <hoping>

VeryHungryLennipillar Sun 27-Sep-09 19:07:15

Still no letdown and a very dissatisfied, fussy, biting and grumpy baby at bedtime. Boobs still soft and expressing nothing at all, just the odd drop on nipple. Nothing but bm today though - surely he would be howling if he was getting nothing? He's trying now though - am getting him to make a good effort every 2-3 hours, maybe managing 5 mins on each side. I've always had a fast painful letdown so not feeling that is worrying me more than anything.

Anyone have any ideas how long I've got before I should see an improvement if he keeps trying?

VeryHungryLennipillar Sun 27-Sep-09 21:21:43

Bump - anyone out there who can help? Is no letdown a big issue? Am rapidly becoming a weepy hormonal mess about all this, need some support.

Indith Sun 27-Sep-09 21:23:35

Biting is pretty normal if he doesn't really want to feed for some reason (teething, cold etc). Remember that expressing shows diddly squat about how much milk you have and the stressing is probably hindering your efforts. As for letdown try not to worry, as you say if he wansn't getting anything and wanted it he would be letting you know about it. Letdown can become less noticable. I too have tended to have a fast, painful letdown but I do remember that with ds it went at some point and the last few months of feeding I never really felt as though there was milk there and the letdown was no longer noticable. Obviously, if he is fussing and biting there is something bothering him that means he isn't keen on feeding at the moment but try not to worry about your supply, it is normal for it settle further as he gets older and it is not going to go away in the space of a week, or even 2 weeks. Let him feed when he wants, offer during the day but don't stress, remember plenty of babies drop off naturally to just 2 or 3 feeds a day by this age anyway (ds for one) but it doesn't mean the end of feeding.

Hope you have a good night x

VeryHungryLennipillar Sun 27-Sep-09 21:29:13

Thank you Indith - I know I am working myself up. I need to calm down. I feel very useless all of a sudden after 9 months of being permanently attached to my little milk monster. It's such a sea change.

Indith Mon 28-Sep-09 18:57:13

How is it going today?

VeryHungryLennipillar Mon 28-Sep-09 20:09:02

Better but still not great. I'm not sure if it's worth carrying on or if I'm just being selfish. He went to bed nicely though and seemed to get plenty of milk so that's reassured me a little. Still not gushy milk, just slow and steady. Am past emotional about it now though which is good. Think the lower stress levels are helping. Unfortunately DD has had a nightmare day with humdinger tantrums and moaning non stop so every feed today has been interrupted. Would I regret giving up now? I want to get to 12mo ideally, I don't want to have to do formula and bottles.

Indith Mon 28-Sep-09 20:23:28

Just take it one day at a time, when does he usually feed? If you were to stop bf and give bottles instead would he actually have them? For instance today dd has had milk at 5am, after lunch, a small feed in the afternoon when she bashed her head and then bedtime, is part of what is going on just that he doesn't want it because he isn't hungry? In which case I doubt bottles would make much difference.

Anyway only you know how you would feel. Glad you are not as stressed about it. One day at a time and see what happens. FWIW by 12 months ds was only having 1 feed a day in the afternoon, not a strike, not me replacing them, just a totally natural drop off.

VeryHungryLennipillar Mon 28-Sep-09 21:10:16

That's what I want to happen. He's feeding first thing 6/7am, before his nap at 10am, and then not until 2/3pm nap, again around 5pm, at bedtime (7pm) and usually 2 feeds in the night, sometimes just one. So 6/7 feeds a day. That's quite a lot isn't it?? For a 9mo on 4 meals a day hmm

Pannacotta Mon 28-Sep-09 21:14:29

It sounds to me more that its an issue of him having a cold than anything to do with your supply.
After 9 months of breastfeeding your supply woudl be well up to a break of 48 hours prob even without any expressing.
I fed DS1 for 2 years and am feeding DS2 who is 2.4 and both went through stages of feeding more/less.

I found that after about 6 months my boobs felt more or less like normal and I couldnt feel let down, but I know there was nothing wrong with my supply.

I'd just go with what your DS wants for now and not worry too much about the theory.


VeryHungryLennipillar Mon 28-Sep-09 21:25:18

Thank you - I have noticed the letdown feeling takes longer and longer to come as time has gone on. Perhaps it just won't come back. Really reassuring to hear you think I could manage 48hrs without expressing, that has taken away a huge portion of guilt.. the 'perhaps I should have expressed more often, for longer, not gone away in the first place' part.

Pannacotta Mon 28-Sep-09 21:37:47

By the time a baby is a year old most mothers can go away minus baby for a whole weekend and pick up breastfeeding again so am sure that at 9 months a short break and expressing is more than enough!

Give yourself a pat on the back and not a hard time!

winnybella Mon 28-Sep-09 21:38:40

My DD is 7 months old and my now my breasts feel normal, not full and dripping milk like they were few months before. Its totally normal. I wonder if you could tell by his belly? When I feed DD and she feeds for a bit, her tummy becomes all round and hard iyswim.
Your supply couldn't be affected. But, and I may be wrong, 6-7 feeds a day with 4 meals does seem a lot...Maybe he's eating more at mealtime, so is not so hungry during all bfs? DD is on 3 meals a day and gets 3-4 bfs a day. She still feeds during the night, though, but not sure how much as just tend to fall asleep with her latched on.

Indith Thu 01-Oct-09 17:40:11

How are you Lenni my dear?

VeryHungryLennipillar Fri 02-Oct-09 18:59:43

OK, thank you for asking, nice to be checked on - more or less back on track - just seems to be a different track to before. He's now only feeding morning (a bit fussy then), lunchtime and a couple of feeds before bed plus one in the night. Is a bit odd, but I think this is probably what all the fussing and refusing was about. Just a change. I'm giving him formula or ebm (when I can find time/inclination to express) in a cup at lunchtime as he won't settle for a bf, too distracted. Sometimes, like today, he wants to be bf straight after he's had his cup. So am only doing 4/5 feeds a day myself now. Seem to have milk again though which is the main thing. smile

millimummy Fri 02-Oct-09 19:39:47

There are some things you could do to help your supply if you are worried about it. Fennel tea does help.

Jack Newman has some suggestions too which I shall find and post for you in a moment.

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