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Losing my supply at 3 months!

Mar 08, 2012 - 15 comments
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Breastfeeding



So I have had a couple times since Morgan was born on December 13th where I thought my supply was dwindling but now I am fairly certain of it as it has been so low the last few days and my breasts are rarely engorged anymore when she goes to eat again.  I am worried that 1) she is not getting enough to eat, and 2)  that I am "drying up."

Morgan has been eating on-demand for several weeks now and it goes just fine most times as I never feel like I don't have anything to give her.  However, the last couple days, I just feel like not much is coming out because I have to switch sides before she seems satisfied (it used to satisfy her to only eat from one side) and because my breasts just feel almost saggy because they don't feel "full," even after about 2 or 3 hours since her last feeding.  

She eats typically every 2 to 3 hours, sometimes more frequently except at night where she usually sleeps from 8 p.m. to 2-3 a.m., then eats, then sleeps until 6 or 7 a.m. and eats again.  My breasts the last two nights have not been engorged when it's been time to feed her (though they feel somewhat full) and I'm worried it might be running out because usually I am waking up because milk has leaked out by then.

I bought some oatmeal (microwave kind) and the herbal supplement, Fenugreek, today and took two capsules (it recommends one or two per day).  These are the only two things I know of to increase my supply aside from trying to pump/feed Morgan more to give my breasts a clue that I need to produce more.  I am going to try pumping at least every 3 hours (even at night since I don't have to work) and see how it goes but if you have ANY other safe advice, please let me know as soon as you can!  Thank you all so much!

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by JennaRie, Mar 08, 2012
When my supply was low, it was because of low thyroid. I already had hypothyroidism, which is why I had it checked and found out that my dose needed to be raised, but even if you never had a thyroid problem in the past, pregnancy can cause it, so it's worth getting checked just in case! Also, watch for gas in your little one, I noticed my babies' gas issues went away when I stopped taking fenugreek. Hope you figure it out, I know how frustrating it is to deal with supply problems!

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by stacey10, Mar 08, 2012
you wont be engorged now as your breasts will be producing the right amount for your baby, if your really worried make sure you put baby to breast often and have plenty of water to drink

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by princessren88, Mar 09, 2012
Yeah it's true your breast won't always feel engorged and full that's more the beginning as your milk supply stabilizes. At the Breastfeeding class I took the lactation consultant said that your breasts won't feel engorged and uncomfortable forever if it was the case no one would want to Breastfeed it settles down and your breasts produce the amount you're baby drinks my son has been Breastfeeding for 2 months on demand and now sleeping 8 hours at night some nights and I no longer leak or feel as engorged as I did some night stretches that were 5-6 hours. Pretty sure it's normal. And feeding on both breasts is normal most feeding I give him both. But if you're worried weighing her once a week or so to see if she's gaining properly is the best way to know if she's getting enough milk.

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by Uuks, Mar 09, 2012
As your baby gets older, you will rarely feel engorged especially if your baby eats at a regular pace, your body will produce based on how often your breast gets 'emptied' either by your baby or by expressing milk. Once a week I  express milk for my son when we go to church so I can feed him from the bottle while we are out and wear anything I want to without thinking about accessibility of milk. Just like clockwork I get engorged every Monday because my body is trying to produce as much as I forced it to produce the day before but my son doesn't need to take that much milk all at once.

Drink crazy amounts of water, like ALOT and put your baby to breast more. Im sure your milk production will go up, if you start producing more than your baby needs then your breasts will get FULL and you can be reassured.

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by globetrot, Mar 09, 2012
I agree with Uuks- drink crazy amounts of water!  and try to relax about it if you can- stress just makes it worse.  It is a natural process.  You will be surprised when you pump how much breast milk you are actually making.  Hang in there!

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by ttcbaby3, Mar 09, 2012
Steel Cut Oats is what you need not the microwave kind of oatmeal.  Also ask your doctor for a prescription of Reglan, it is a medication for vomitting but it helps with supply.  I used it and it worked wonderful.  Also the Fenugreek is pretty good but I recommend the Reglan.

Also, I agree with what has been posted already, as your baby gets older your body knows what to produce so you no longer feel engorged.

Check with your doctor, some will allow you to come in and have her weighed, then feed her and have her weighed again after the meal to make sure she gets enough to eat.

Good Luck!

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by logigirl, Mar 09, 2012
fenugreek can take a while before you feel it. you will get that engorged feeling back again but it will be short lived once your body picks up to that supply amount.
i'm 8 months in and im NEVER engorged. I take fenugreek, eat oatmeal, drink mothers milk tea, and drink water like a fish. Some says are better than others.

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by Cycl3Chick, Mar 09, 2012
I never had that engorged feeling except with a newborn and when I had to wean.  My boobs were always soft and never felt like they filled with milk.  I would still get checked out with the doctor but I don't know if I would say those are signs of a low supply.  When the baby gets older he/she will not be satisfied until after they drain you on both sides so it sounds pretty normal to me!

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by SunWorshiper_26, Mar 09, 2012
The fenugreek take 3 capsules 4 times a day or try mother love brand "more milk plus" in capsule form (the liquid is awful tasting).

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by Kimberleigh2208, Mar 10, 2012
Well, so far I'm still able to feed her to what it seems like a "content" point but I have been pumping almost every 3 hours (except a couple times at night) and giving her bottles some of the times so I know how much she's getting.  Usually if I have to pump around 2 or 3 a.m. because she doesn't wake up for a feeding, I get around 6 or 7 1/2 oz. but now I'm maybe getting 3 or 4 oz. so I know it's running lower.  

I bought some actual steel cut oats (gross) and have taken 2 Fenugreek a day and been drinking a LOT of water so I hope it starts helping soon.  I know that some of you say that I shouldn't be "engorged" and maybe I'm not describing it correctly but up until this last week, if Morgan didn't nurse for 3 or 4 hours, my breasts would feel very full (only painful a little in the middle of the night) so I feel like that is engorged.  

Anyway, thanks for the tips so far -- keep them coming if you think of something else!  And yes, I think the Fenugreek causes a bit of gasiness for Morgan but she seems to be okay (not fussy) other than that.  I take her in to get her weighed every Tuesday at a nursing class at her doctor's office.  In the last 4 weeks, she's only gained about 6 ounces but she's still a good size baby on the growth charts.  We'll see what this Tuesday has in store and I'll update then!  

Thanks again!


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by JennaRie, Mar 10, 2012
I'm 4 months in and I am engorged just about every morning still, but maybe it's because I'm nursing twins and it's usually been 9 or 10 hours since I last nursed or pumped by the time I wake up. When I was waking up with soft breasts in the morning, the babies were extremely fussy in the evenings from hunger, so that was a big sign to me that my supply was dropping. Once I raised my thyroid dose, my breasts were full (sometimes painfully so) in the mornings again.

Do you have to pay for your nursing class?

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by Kimberleigh2208, Mar 10, 2012
JennaRie -- no, don't have to pay for it.  I guess it's not really a "class" but it's at the same time every week at the doctor's office in their breakroom and one of the nurses is in charge of it.  Not sure if she's certified as a lactation specialist but she's pretty knowledgeable and will answer questions while we're there or we can just talk to other moms going through the same thing we are, even if it's not a breastfeeding issue.  It's really nice to have and the hospital where I delivered has one too that's free.  Maybe check with your pediatrician and/or hospital to see if there is one if you're interested?  

Thanks again for your input and I'll update in a few days!

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by JennaRie, Mar 10, 2012
That sounds like a great resource! The hospital did tell me about a group that meets, but I don't remember if it's weekly or monthly, and I'm not sure if they do weigh-ins - that's what I'd be most interested in. I'm also curious about how many ounces they get from me when nursing. Do they ever weigh them before and after a feeding to find that out at your group?

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by Kimberleigh2208, Mar 10, 2012
Jenna -- Yes, though I have never done it (though I might this week), they often have moms weigh the baby before and after feedings.  I would bet whoever sponsors your meetings does them weekly too as it is pretty necessary to find out sooner than later if you're having BF issues or weight gain issues with the babies.  I hope you can attend one to try it out if you need it!


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by Kimberleigh2208, Mar 26, 2012
Okay, so with everything I've done (bought the steel cut oats -- gross!), I am now back to about normal and pumping between 5 1/2 and 7 1/2 ounces in my middle of the night feedings and Morgan is usually feeding at the breasts during the day and seems satisfied.  I took her to the nursing class to weigh her last week and she is doing just fine, gained about 8 ounces in 3 weeks so the nurse was satisfied -- and so was mommy!  I am drinking at least 64 ounces of water a day, eating steel cut oats about 4 or 5 days a week (just for breakfast), taking one or two Fenugreek supplements per day, and trying to eat a lot of fruits and vegetables.  Oh, and even though Morgan sleeps through the night most nights, I am back to pumping in the middle of the night and even leaked twice in one night when I waited too long between pumpings!  Though I am not thrilled about pumping in the middle of the night, I am only working very part-time hours right now so I can muddle my way through it without killing my waking hours since I can nap when Morgan sleeps most days if I really need to.

Thank you all for your support and advice!  I am going to keep this up as long as I can and I still have a really good frozen supply so I hope I make it through the 12 month goal!  Thanks again and take care!

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