Flow/supply issues at 8 months (xpost June 2015) — The Bump

Flow/supply issues at 8 months (xpost June 2015)

I noticed for about the past week that the flow on my left side has gotten really slow.  I notice that it's taking forever to pump it.  Also, my nipple now hurts like fire bc LO is pulling at it when we nurse on that side, I'm guessing also because of the slow flow.  I've nursed all weekend so I don't have pumping stats to confirm anything, but I'm getting worried that my supply is also taking a hit.  The left used to be my big producer and now I'm lucky to get 3-4oz first thing in the morning, after almost 30 minutes, when I used to easily get 5-6oz in 15-20 minutes just two weeks ago.

I'm not sure how to proceed here?  Should I see a doctor to rule out infection on that side?  I don't feel a clogged duct or anything.  This is probably a stupid question, but what doctor do you even call for breastfeeding issues?  My obgyn?  The lactation consultant/nurse at the pediatrician?  I'd really like to get to the bottom of this and correct it if at all possible.  I hate to think we were smooth sailing on breastfeeding for 8 months and then it all goes to shit in two weeks.

I've done some online research but I don't see a blister or feel a clog and I know I'm not pregnant (just had my period last week).  Thought some of you might have some thoughts?  LO hates being spoon fed so I don't see her weaning on her own anytime soon unfortunately, and my freezer stash, while large, isn't enough to get us through more than a month or so.
Me: 37 DH: 37
Married 5-31-14
DD1 born 6-21-15
DD2 born 6-11-17
DS born 9-5-18

Re: Flow/supply issues at 8 months (xpost June 2015)

  • I had a low supply period that freaked me out, and it was more pronounced on my "good producer" side. It happened right after my son was sick and then I got sick. It took about a week to get back to normal. I upped liquids, oatmeal and took some Milk Plus, and of course nursed on demand as much as possible (even offered when he didn't ask). Not sure what did it but my supply recovered completely.
  • Thanks, I hope that's all it is.  I left a message with the nurse at my obgyn just to be safe.  
    Me: 37 DH: 37
    Married 5-31-14
    DD1 born 6-21-15
    DD2 born 6-11-17
    DS born 9-5-18

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  • It's common to have a dip in supply during your period. Make sure you're drinking plenty of water, eating enough calories, and nurse, nurse, nurse. Your supply should rebound with a little time. Eating oatmeal always helped my supply too. 

    You can try massaging that breast in a downward motion while nursing or pumping to try and speed up the flow. 

    Lactation Consultants are your best resource for bf'ing issues. 
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  • klirwin82klirwin82
    500 Love Its 500 Comments First Answer First Anniversary
    edited February 2016
    I was having the same issue, slow let-down and less yield and recovered from it by (a) drinking tons of water, like 90 -100 oz daily plus red Powerade every morning, (b) pumping to empty if LO didn't finish (like if I came home full from work and he wasn't super hungry when nursing) and (c) not stressing about it. I started to add 1oz of formula to LO's bottles (total 5oz) and it helped so much because I stopped freaking out every pumping session about how much I was getting vs how much I had left in my freezer. The psychological benefit was huge, now I'm back to not needing to supplement (but I still do because I want LO to get acclimated to the taste in case supply dips again). Seems like most of my supply dip was caused by my obsessing about it, perpetual negative feedback cycle. If you're not wanting to do any formula then the first 2 tips are good but for me just knowing that I had a little extra leeway in what I needed to pump was a game changer.

    ETA: for the first month of the dip I did everything like drinking more water, pumping after feedings, power pumping on the commute, taking thrice daily cocktail of every herbal galactagogue available, ordering domperidone (never ended up taking it for fear my supply would crash when I ran out) and waking up extra times at night to pump. This all helped slightly (like maybe an extra 0.5oz per session) but it meant I was thinking about this almost every hour of every day. Literally losing sleep over it. Adding the formula gave me the mental solace that actually allowed my supply to go back to where it had been while I was on maternity leave. I just really can't overstate the impact, at least for me, that stress was having on my supply.
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