February 2013 Moms

Low Afternoon/Evening Supply - Help!

I wrote a little while ago about how LO was screaming while nursing - well, that's continued and I'm convinced now that it because my supply is drastically dropping in the evening (I think TeacherClark suggested that was probably the case).  So here we are, a few weeks later, and the situation is driving me up the wall.  It hurts my heart to hear him scream and know he is not getting enough.  I try to keep him latched but after both sides are empty (and believe me, they are empty - I can't even pump or hand-express anything after he's done) and he's tried for a while to get more, he's done with nursing.  A few days have seen me ask DH to give him a couple more ounces in a bottle to top him off while I try to pump (and nothing comes out).

Here's where I am confused: my morning supply is huge.  I know, with a baby that STTN, that is normal.  As is it normal for my supply to drop in the evening after a day of nursing.  But it was never a problem before, I haven't really changed much in my daily routine, and now it seems that I'm dealing with two extremes.  I've been eating oatmeal in the mornings and increasing my water intake in case I was a little dehydrated from the heat wave, but it hasn't helped yet.  I don't really want to increase my overall supply (my breasts seriously hurt so much in the morning already), but I don't know if I can limit it just my afternoon supply either.

FTR, he is down to four feedings a day (on his demand, not my preference) and the last weighted feed I did with him a few days ago was about 7oz.  We just had a pedi appointment and he is still gaining well and on track with his previous gains.  And of course, I leave for a four-day trip without LO in just over a week, which I'm counting on messing up my supply (I will be pumping and dumping) and am scared I will come back to a baby that is fed up with me and prefers the bottle.

Any and all advice or suggestions are appreciated!!!  TIA! (And thanks for reading all of this!!!)

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Re: Low Afternoon/Evening Supply - Help!

  • I've been having some supply issues since I got mastitis, and Mother's Milk Tea really helps - BUT it is not a longterm thing for me. I have to drink it 15-30 minutes before I pump or nurse, or my body just seems to reabsorb the milk. This is totally not scientific, but that's been my experience. So, maybe if you drink some in the late afternoon, it'll give you that extra edge for the last feeding of the day, but not cause extra engorgement in the morning. Just a thought...
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  • image Teacher Clark:
    Have you tried upping your calories/ carbs? I would do that between midday and the afternoon. I notice that I have a much better supply when I eat more junk, probably not what you wanted to hear. Are you feeding from both sides in the morning? If not, since LO is STTN, I would pump the other side while you feed LO first thing in the morning to encourage your body to keep up producing. ETA: try making some yummy lactation cookies and snacking on those in the afternoon. It's a double whammy of junky goodness and galactogogues.

    I have been thinking that about upping my calories...I've been on WW for four weeks now but the screaming had started just before that and hasn't really changed.  I didn't think much of it at the time, just figured it was a weird phase or a growth spurt.  I might just have to use more of my "extra" points that I wasn't using before.

    I pump one side first thing in the morning, then he eats on the other side around 10/11 (whenever he wakes up), then on three-to-four-hour intervals from there (depending on how long he naps).  He used to always eat from just one side and be happy; now the late afternoon/evening feedings are both sides and he is still unhappy.

    I might make some of those lactation cookies...I was thinking of making my mom's oatmeal chocolate chip cookies too.  :-)  A bigger lunch might help as well.

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  • I was feeling the same way last week, good supply in the a.m. and crappy supply by the end of the day. So I went to wal-mart and bought fenugreek. I take 6-9 capsules a day and I've been taking them for 4days now. I noticed an increase by day 2. Better supply in the evenings and a faster letdown during all feedings. I didn't feel like E wasn't getting enough BM in total but I wasn't leaking at all anymore and I just didn't feel full except maybe sometimes first thing on the morning. Now I still don't leak but I do feel fuller throughout the day. It's worth a try. I spent under $5. for one bottle of 100 capsules. HTH and GL.
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  • Why are you pumping and dumping on your trip? Will you be in a hotel with a freezer? You can always freeze it. Or, If you don't... Fill the ice bucket and put the milk in there. I travel for work air travel and I travel with my pump and milk on my way home. No issues with security. I froze at the hotel and then brought home on a small cooler bag that came with my pump. I would say 90 of the milk was still frozen when I got home and I used it the next day.

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  • Thanks, ladies!  I'm going to try to up my calories first, but I'll keep the fenugeek and tea in mind if that doesn't work.

    TeacherClark: I'm in the San Francisco East Bay.  Just found out we'll be getting another heat wave while I am away.  Ugh...

    Seeca: I'm going to cheer camp and staying in a college dorm room.  No feasible way to keep milk cold for four days.  We have a great stash (~300oz) so I'm not concerned about dumping.  It sucks, to be sure, but it's what has to happen.  It's not worth it to me to buy a mini-fridge that I'll never use again for a few days of milk we don't actually need.

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