Breastfeeding

period causing milk to "dry up"

Hello, so I'll get straight to the point. Since December, my 2nd period since DD was born 9/1/12, my milk supply has decreased 2 weeks before my cycle starts. In December I reached out to a VET of breastfeeding and she suggested that I pump/nurse as frequently as possible and to try fenugreek. I did and BAM my milk supply increased within a 24hr pd. Well now its the end of January and my milk supply has dipped WAYYYY low and I'm still nursing and using the fenugreek. 

Last week DD went to her pedi and he was a bit concerned because DD weighed in at 12.5lbs which put her in the 10th percentile. He told me to start her on cereal to increase her weight, which we will try it out tonight.

I REALLLLLY do not want DD to go on formula, but I don't think she will like once a month having decreased milk to 2 weeks, and its pretty stressful for me.

Are there any suggestions out there on what I should do? 

Re: period causing milk to "dry up"

  • My son is small - 25th percentile in height at his 4 month checkup and down to 20th at 6 month. His pediatrician suggested holding off on solid foods until he was six months to ensure that he got the maximum amount of calorie dense breastmilk as opposed to cereal or purees.

    Check out Kellymom.com for a recommendation for use of a calcium/magnesium supplement during the second half of your menstrual cycle.

  • Has your daughter always been in a lower percentile? Some babies are just smaller than others, and by itself, that's not necessarily a bad thing. If your daughter used to be in the 80th percentile and is now suddenly in the 10th percentile, that might indicate that she's not getting enough to eat or some other problem. But if she has always been near the 10th percentile and is gaining weight at a healthy rate, then it could be that she's just small. 

    I would contact a lactation consultant. It's not unusual for there to be a temporary dip in your supply, but if it's lasting for two weeks, you should probably contact someone who is an expert in breastfeeding - and most pediatricians aren't breastfeeding experts.

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  • Also, someone please correct me if I'm wrong, but since rice cereal isn't rich in calories or nutrients, I think that it could possibly have the opposite effect - especially if you give it to her before she nurses. Her tummy might feel full, but it would just be "filler" that's unlikely to help her gain any weight. If you do give rice cereal, I'd do it immediately after a good nursing session so that you're "topping her off" with extra calories instead of replacing calorie-dense breastmilk with rice cereal. But honestly, I'm not so sure about your pediatrician's suggestion.
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  • How is her weight gain. Percentiles simply say how many babies are bigger and smaller than your LO.  But so long as your LO is staying on a growth curve then the percentile is irrelevant. 
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  • What helped me during my cycle was: Take Fenugreek 3 pills, 3 times a day.& take Magnesium/Calcium/Zinc pills. 1 pill, 3 times a day. I also added an extra pumping session before bed. Hope this helps you!! I thought I hated my period before, but I really do now!!! Such a stressful time for a BFing mother..

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  • As far as her weight I think she was in the 50th percentile and then dipped down at her 3 month check up to 20th percentile, then to 10th percentile at her 4 month appt. I'm not well versed in the whole weight/percentile thing. 

    I did call my Lac. Consultant so I'm waiting back to see what she has got to say. Last month I do remember going through this for 2 months with low supply. I did go buy some Ca/Mg/Zinc supplements and some Woodchuck cider to maybe drink a half a bottle tonight. Until it goes up I had to buy some formula cause my boobs are producing nothing but powder right no w. Thanks for the suggestions

  • image aishabyron:

     I did go buy some Ca/Mg/Zinc supplements and some Woodchuck cider to maybe drink a half a bottle tonight. 

    Woodchuck cider is not going to help your supply.

    From KellyMom -

     Alcohol does not increase milk production. In fact, babies nurse more frequently but take in less milk in the 3-4 hours after mom has had a drink, and one study showed a 23% decrease in milk volume with one drink (Mennella & Beauchamp 1991, 1993; Mennella 1997, 1999).

     http://kellymom.com/bf/can-i-breastfeed/lifestyle/alcohol/

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