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Sudden decrease in milk suppy
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Sudden decrease in milk suppy

Hi Ladies,

Jazmine is almost 6 months old and nursing/pumping has been going very well..... until 2 days ago.  I work full time so I pump during the day w/ a hospital-grade pump and nurse Jazmine when I'm at home.  My typical milk production is probably close to about 32-40 ounces/day or about 1-2 ounces/hour (it varies throughout the day).  Anyways, my milk production rate at work was normal up until Wednesday but since then I have only been getting about 1/3 of what I normally make (we have a stash of milk in the deepfreeze that my husband is supplementing with and we have not yet introduced solids).  I have been sick w/ a cold all week and felt particularly bad on Thursday  - is this something that might potentially cause a decrease in milk supply?  I also had to manually pump the last 2 days and I know this isnt particularly efficient (w/ me anyway) but would it effect milk supply that fast?  Also, I have hand pumped in the past w/out this happening.  My other concern is I was sent on a 1 week conference 2 weeks ago (last week was my first week back) and couldnt take Jazmine so had to pump exclusively and didnt notice any reduction in milk supply then - is it possible my body is reducing my milk supply in response to me exclusively pumping 2 weeks ago? I was pumping 5 times in a 24h period for 15mins (dual pump) which is less than the number of pumping/nursing sessions I typically do during the same time.  Any thoughts?
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93532_tn?1349374050
Oh yes, with me I had a 24 hour turnaround on my supply. If i missed say a 2pm feeding, the next day at 2pm I would suffer. It was insane. I know some women do not notice as extreme or sudden of a reaction, but I have a unique situation anyway.

Also, your cold likely dehydrated you a little, which would also contribute. Your body wants to make sure you are taken care of before anything else.

Your supply will be forgiving. Just keep pumping as you regularly did and maybe add another one if you can and it should pick back up. You may also try adding a little oatmeal to your diet and maybe even a non-alcholic beer. I remember i drank one of my dh's one night and was floor at how it seemed to perk up my supply a little while later.

The manual pump is also a very likely culprit. In fact I would go as far as to blame that exclusively. Manual pumps and lesser quality electric pumps will only drain the breast and not stimulate the supply.
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Avatar_f_tn
Wow!  I didnt know milk supply could be effected that quickly - that is insane alright!

I know I have been dehydrated over the last 2 days so I think that coupled with my body trying to combat the cold along w/ manually pumping all added up.  Jazmine has also been sick this week so hasnt been nursing as efficiently when I am at home so I bet that also contributed to this.

Any idea how long it might take for the supply to pick back up again?  About a month ago Jazmines milk demand increased and I wasnt keeping up so I added an extra pumping session during the day and had to nurse Jazmine 3 times a night which was tough but we got things in order  after doing this for close to 1.5 weeks.   How long did it take for your supply to pick up again when you missed a feeding?  It seems that increasing supply is tough compared to decreasing it!
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171768_tn?1324233699
my supply dropped when sick too. dehydration, exhaustion, cold medications, and feeling cr@ppy in general all contribute. chances are you can bounce back as long as you keep pumping/nursing. to give a boost, if you can't add a pump, you may want to just pump a little longer for each session. it can make a huge difference in the long run.

also... have you had your period yet? perhaps primarily pumping 2 weeks ago somehow signaled to your body that you were weaning since it was less time on the pump. the hormonal changes with the menstrual cycle also effects supply.
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Avatar_f_tn
How much longer would you recommend I pump per session?  Usually at work I pump for about 13 mins and 15 mins at home (I typically will pump before I leave for work and sometimes before I go to bed but not always because I get lazy) - its such a  monotonous job so I do time it! The majority of my milk is removed by ~8 mins and I usually get a good let down near the end of the pumping so pump a few mins beyond that.

No period yet although I did notice more CM a few weeks ago so who knows - maybe AF is around the corner.

The one thing I am pleased about is I have been sick for over a week now with a few pretty rough days in there and even though Jazmine has been sick too, she has been NO WHERE near as sick as me - I contribute this to BF.  This is also the 4th time Ive come down w/ something since she was born (its ridiculous!  Pre-pregnancy I would get sick once a year and I didnt get sick at all while pregnant) but this is the 1st time Jazmine has been sick - again, I think this is because of the BF.
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171768_tn?1324233699
hmm... i guess i wouldn't pump too much more then, because you are still nursing. you don't want to create an oversupply. i would just keep doing what you're doing then... maybe a couple more minutes just to see if it has an impact. what i was taught and learned from experience, that while certain things impact supply quickly, many changes don't show for a week or two. for example, if you increase the number of pumps to increase supply, you may not notice that increase until doing it for a week or two. same thing with negative impacts. when i started to shorten pumps, i didn't notice an immediate drop because the majority of the milk is from the beginning. but, after a week or so the drop was noticable since with less stimulation, my body got the signal to produce less.

as for immunity- i noticed that too about dd- she definitely didn't get sick much in the beginning. and she was in daycare too.
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93532_tn?1349374050
Yeah, for the pumping I have no idea. I know the direct nursing is more effective at stimulating it so I guess that carries over into the rapid turnaround with the supply.

I would notice the same things with the kids. John and I would be beaten down with a cold but the nursing baby would barely get a sniffle.

Take care of yourself.
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