Milk supply going down, getting harrassing messages for "giving up".

Ronda - posted on 01/14/2010 ( 35 moms have responded )

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My daughter is 6 1/2 months old and about a month ago my milk supply suddenly reduced...A LOT. I was unsure of what was going on at first and whenever i tried to feed my daughter she would whine and fuss through all of her feedings then just fall asleep. I assumed she just had gas or was just tired but after a while I started to worry about the way my breasts felt, usually they felt tight and full if I skipped or missed one feeding and it then started to take me 4 or 5 hours to even feel half full. So I started pumping like crazy and mixing her milk with formula. The pumping did not make it increase and my milk kept going down. Now I am down to only being able to feed her only once a day...and I have been pretty down about it. I had planned on doing this for as long as I could and when I am online about it I get harrassing messages saying "i only give the best for my child" or "only breastmilk for mine".

People get the feel that I just gave up and thats not the case. I have been taking fenugreek to try and get it back and it is taking forever and I would love to keep going. How do I cope with the negative feedback I get from people?!

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April - posted on 01/19/2010

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i do not believe that your supply went down as much as you think. the reason you don't feel "full" is because your supply is now regulated. when your daugher was much younger, your supply was still being established, so you actually had more milk than she needed



Also, pumping gives no indication of how much milk you are really producing. you could pump 1 ounce but actually have 6 ounces in there! Babies are much more efficient at extracting milk than a pump.



you were on the right track by pumping but got off that track a little with the supplementing. Everytime you supplement with anything that isn't breast milk, that is less milk your daughter is taking in. eventually your supply will go down a lot more if you continue to supplement (and this does not have to be formula. feeding solids or juice before a milk feed can do this too)

Amber - posted on 01/19/2010

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it is normal for ur supply to get lower around this age . It is tailored to your babies needs. You mixing ur milk with formula is actually contributing to u producing less milk because it is taking away for the amount of nursing your breasts are getting. ALSO just because ur breasts dont feel full before or during a feeding doesnt mean no milk is coming through . My breasts feel flat all the time when my daughter feeds( she is 8 mo) but as long as u hear your baby swallow she is getting plenty . Also if she is fussy at the breasts she might in deed be reacting to something ur eating if she is getting gassy. Like cows milk? if U eat or drink something she isnt liking and its coming through in the breast milk it might cause her to fuss.when u pump milk from ur breast it doesnt not in ANY way indicate your supply .So please dont use that as a ref on if your milk is still producing . Also if u started your baby on solids your supply will go down to just bcause u are replacing those feedings with solids . Just make sure u are feeding her at the breast and making sure she is satisfied with breastmilk before letting her eat solids. Solids are just for learning not nutrition and breastmilk should be the main SOURCE until age one .If ur heart is set on breastfeeding and u want to get away from formula .STOP mixing it and feed her on demand all day at the breas. Give a lot of skin to skin contact .Eat lots of oatmeal and go to whole foods store and get MOthers milk tea . and just relax without a shirt on in a dark room and nurse her all day:) it will sure help with your supply . good luck

Sarah - posted on 01/21/2010

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Try to let it roll off your back. I have a friend whose milk "dried up" after only a few months, and was really broken up about it. Her son has been on formula ever since and is doing better than some breastfed babies I've met! Try not to sweat it--there's more to mothering than nursing and I'm sure you're a great mom!
On a side note--have you seen a lactation consultant? A good one can work miracles!

Maggie - posted on 01/21/2010

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Tell the negative nellies to take a hike, really! I was only able to breast feed my daughter for 2 1/2 months. After i went back to work i lost about an ounce a week and i pumped at work. My girl is on formula and she is just fine. I felt bad at first but there is nothing i could do about it, she needed to eat and i didnt have it to give. Keep your chin up hun.

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Joanne - posted on 01/25/2010

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Melissa Cavaliere is right...that you have given your baby 6 1/2 months of breast milk is awesome! I fully breast fed my son for 2 weeks only and then started to pump and bottle feed because he bites the nipple which hurt ALOT! My pumping yielded about 4-5 oz each time (about 5 times a day) but all of a sudden, the supply dropped to about 2 oz a time, about 3 times a day. Now, at almost 2 months, I'm lucky if I get 1oz out...and I feel pretty frustrated about it. I, like you, also want to give "the best for my child" but ideals are just that...ideals so don't beat yourself up about it. I think you did a great job already...going up to 6 1/2 months! :) Don't worry about what other people say. Anyway, formula fed babies do well too...I've read that as long as babies have gotten their colostrum, they do well healthwise.

Libby - posted on 01/25/2010

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I have just started to have a similar thing happen due to my little man being sick and wanting to be fed constantly (9months).
The way I am getting through it is getting someone to take all three of my kids away for a walk to the park while I sit at home, drink lots of water and have some me time.
Might sound silly but as soon as I have a bit of head space and stop stressing it helps.
I definitely have smaller breasts now but as soon as he starts sucking I can see him glugging away and figure we are doing ok.
Don't forget to drink.
Good luck :)

[deleted account]

hey- sorry if I'm repeating anyone else. I sort of feel I'm in a similar situation, except, I'm thinking about differently. The more we breast feed, the more efficient our breasts become at making milk. Therefore, even though they're feeling less full, they actually don't need to be as full anymore. Also, with the pumping, I had the same idea to pump extra to get the amount back up, but you have to allow your breasts time to recover in between feeds. Make sure you're keeping your fluids up, and getting enough sleep. Finally, I assume your bub has started solids now? If not, breast feed and top up with a meal, around 6 months is the time when breast milk is no longer enough to satisfy your bub's appetite.

As for the people, they've obviously not been through the same situation before. No one can understand what something is like until they've been there too. If they're people who matter to you, try to tell them how you're feeling and that all you need from them is support- not advice. If they're people who don't matter to you, try as best you can to ignore them and their opinions.

You're doing great! Your baby will is blessed that you can feed them for so long already. She a mum/mom who loves her so much- you wouldn't be on here if you didn't.

ps. If you want extra supply for back up, the best time to pump is in the morning, your supply should be biggest then.

Heather - posted on 01/23/2010

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First, you did awesome for even doing for as long as you have and trying to continue! Only you know the whole situation and can know what is best you both so ignore those comments. Now are you on birth control? that can eliminate your supply. Are you taking any medications even ver the counter stuff like Clairitin? that can also lower or eliminate your supply. Are you dieting or working out a lot or even under stress? all those can also effect your milk. Take a good look at your lifestyle and try to figure out whats going on. Talk to LLL or lactation consultants for support and ideas on what to do! In the end only you know whats best!

Erin - posted on 01/23/2010

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Well I am in kinda the same situation. I took some medication to help with a head cold and that will dry up your milk supply wich i didn't know. Now I have been trying to cope with my mistake and feeling the same way. Something that has helped me is my pediatrition told me that sometimes your body decides what you can handle and what you can't. Even though my milk drying up was mostly my fault, this really helped me. because I couldn't pump any more than I was and taking them medication to help restore my supply wasn't working either.

Your baby got your breast milk for 6 1/2 months and that is awesome. Anything that your baby gets is great. So just don't listen to what everyone else is saying. You know what happened and you know that you didn't do it on purpose. Your baby will grow and be a healthy baby, because you will only do the best for her.

Lise - posted on 01/22/2010

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I'm sorry. It's really no one's business but yours what you do for your baby. Tell them that you've done the best you can!

If you want to try some other things (NOT trying to push them on you, but trying to offer the info if you want it):

Check out kellymom.com. I've heard the herbs work best in combination. Eating oatmeal REALLY helped me. I have a huge increase in my milk if I add another 10 oz cup of water in my day. For me, pumping between nursing was very difficult for me and didn't seem to help that much. Instead, I pump one side whenever she nurses on the other. That helped me a TON - more than other things suggested. If you don't pump when you give her formula, you will lose more milk. Depending on the pump you have, replacing parts (like the PIS needs the membranes replaced every couple months) may pull out a ton more milk.

Okay, that being said - I would just tell people that you've tried things and your milk just keeps dropping. You've tried hard, and congrats for making it this long and trying! A lot of women never care to try.

Natalie - posted on 01/22/2010

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I wish you luck, my dear. I'm sorry that you have been attacked as that will definitely not help the situation. Try to keep your daughter in mind and know that you are doing everything you can. She had 6 1/2 months of your milk. If you have to supplement, you have to supplement. I've breastfed all three of my kids and haven't had problems, so I can't relate personally, but I have had family and friends who haven't been able to nurse as long as they would have liked. The time and love you give your daughter is more important than whether you continue to nurse beyond 6 months. That said, I hope you are successful in reestablishing your milk supply. Remember we aren't all nursing Nazis!

Lolita - posted on 01/22/2010

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If you have breastfed for 6 1/2 months, that's great! I was only able to go that long with my first child. Some babies may be ready to start solids at that time (my son may be starting at 5 months, lol!) Don't get down about this. You did very well and she got a lot of what she needed from you, and therefore will less likely be proned to lots of ear infections and such. Some things work for others, you know what worked for you and your baby.

Linda - posted on 01/22/2010

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Formula is not "poison" as I have recently read. Many women who intended to BF were unable because of medical reasons and/or personal reasons. It seems as though every mother is quick to judge and feel as though what works for them is what will work for everyone. You should commend yourself for doing it for 6 mos, that's a long time! You are not any less of a women or a bad mother for supplementing with formula- it is not your fault. As for any harassing messages- stick out your tongue and blow! I am an advocate for BF but am understanding of moms who have attempted! Good Luck!

Savannah - posted on 01/22/2010

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don't listen to them. with my son he just wouldn't eat breast milk at all so i had to switch him to formula. i got the same things said to me. i just ignored them.

Kelly - posted on 01/22/2010

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Honey, sometimes breastfeeding mothers can be just freakazoids when it comes to the "benefits" of breastmilk. If your child got the colostrum right after she was born, she's good, and even if she didn't, it's not THAT big of a deal. I breastfed for 9 months after only planning to go 6 weeks and stopping when I went back to work. The only reason I went that long was I liked the closeness I felt with my daughter during breastfeeding. Once I hit 6 months, it was like a someone turned down the nozzle, though. I tried Fenugreek (bleaaack!) and it didn't do anything. What worked for me was having 1 bottle of beer a day! I read about it online and it worked. Your body processes the alcohol, so there's no way your baby can get any and there is something about the barley and hops that makes your milk ducts go crazy. It helped me go another 3 months.

Once we switched to powdered formula, though, it was a heck of a lot more convenient.

BTW: my younger sister was only able to breastfeed her first daughter for 6 weeks before her milk dried up and with her second, her milk never came in. It happens. You've come a long way baby! Give yourself a break.

Erin - posted on 01/22/2010

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Harassing or negative feedback won't help at all, and I fee so sorry that you've received such unsupportive and unhelpful reactions. It sounds like you are doing everything in your power to continue breastfeeding, and whatever amount you are able to give to your lucky daughter is more and better than none at all. I applaud your efforts, for there are many moms who wouldn't have the patience or courage to persevere...many of my friends who've had children right around the time I did don't even breastfeed at all! I'm a big proponent of breastfeeding, and will continue to do so for my son until we both feel it's appropriate to stop-Good luck on your journey!

Breanna - posted on 01/21/2010

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I had a very similar situation, my son around 7mo decided my milk sucked and food was better so my milk supply started going down and he wouldn't nurse so I just let him wean, I get harrased about it too but hey to me it is what worked. Fighting with him for every nurse wasn't working. You have to do what you feel is right and remember opinions are like a-holes... everyones got them :P

TNell - posted on 01/21/2010

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Regarding the people who are telling you negative things..remember that this child was given to YOU not them! You are doing your best for your child and if they have a problem tell them to go through your shoes first and then come complain! Also, when you are stressed or not getting enough sleep or water that can affect your supply as well. So when someone complains or accuses, take a deep breath and ask them for a glass of water or to watch your kid so you can take a much needed nap! If they are so concerned then they can be part of the solution! :) Good luck and remember that Jesus loves you and your baby always!

[deleted account]

I'm in the same situation. Except I could only breastfeed my son until two months... then I started working and my supply got so low. I quit so I could breastfeed him but then he wouldn't take me anymore. I don't know what to do either. I'm down to feeding him once a day too... I feel awful.

Christi - posted on 01/21/2010

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I would come up with some sarcastic comment. These people don't live your daily life and they only know what is going on it their lives. You have done a great job doing this for 6 1/2 months. This has given your baby a great start. As a mother you want to do what is best for your baby and if that means that you need to supplement go for it. Ultimately you are taking good care of her and that is what is most important. Do what you can and know that you are doing what is right.

I agree that some people just need to mind their own business.

My aunt was able to bf her first child until he was a year and she wasn't able to bf her second. Every situation is different.

Feel secure in your decision to take care of your baby.

Colleen - posted on 01/21/2010

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My GP advised me to get Eglonyl to increase the milk, but you have to keep on stimulating as well!! It works for me. Hope it helps you.

Heather - posted on 01/20/2010

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Don't listen to other people. I plan on breast-feeding as long as I can but I've noticed that my milk supply has gone down a bit since I started getting my period again. It's been okay though because my son has started eating solids so that meal helps make up for my smaller amount of milk. Do what's best for you and your child. Only you know what's going on.

Nikki - posted on 01/20/2010

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Sounds very much like what I wet through my first baby, than I found out that sometimes the baby knows what they want and so I started formulal, but with my twins they 1 now and I still breatfeed them. So everyone is different and every baby is different, u might not believe this but babies as well knows what they want and when so don't worried too much. Talk to your Dr.

Tannis - posted on 01/20/2010

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Ronda, it is so horrible that there are people out there who have nothing better to do than make your issues their concern. It can be tough having to deal with the negative comments but feel good and proud and amazing that you were able to provide your little angel with 6 1/2 months of your time, your love and your own milk. Our bodies are amazing for what they can do and provide. When the negativity comes and it pertains to our children, the "mother bear" tends to come out. It is none of their business what is going on in your life and they have no business making you feel like a "bad mother" for not being able to provide enough for your baby any more. You are not a "bad mother" and shouldn't feel like you have done anything wrong. Try to ignore them or come up with some great comebacks. A little sarcasm or bite back will usually go a long way in shutting them up. You have tried things to remedy the situation but it comes down to giving your baby what she needs. If making sure your child is cared for is causing these other women grief, then too bad for them. Think of something positive you have done for or given your daughter each time you hear something negative and celebrate your success every day.

Sarah - posted on 01/20/2010

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Same thing happened to me (my daughter is now 9 months) and I finally figured it out! If at all possible, you need to pump less and breastfeed more! When you breastfeed, your body has a natural 'let-down' in which really fills up the milk glads and Pushes it out (all most like your engorged). When you pump, your breasts don't do this.

I almost had No milk coming from my right side (I always fed on my left since it was fuller) but I pumped it 4 times a day and barely got 1/4 an ounce each time. Then she got sick and I thought she'd feel better if I breastfed her more and pumped less bottles. It took 3 days of exclusive breastfeeding and you'd think I never had a problem to begin with!

Emma - posted on 01/20/2010

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The first thing to do is not to get stressed over this you are doing all that you can as a breastfeeder you have enough problems to deal with than negative feed back,yes every mother is differant and as a couple of people have said the milk supply changes over time,with my eldest child while i was feeding her i was over producing i i had a freezer full at home and when i went back to work for a while i was having to throw milk away and was leaking everywere as well,she was a constant feeder and still inbetween more was comming away i felt like an over productive cow,then along came number two 13 months later i had to give up work but i could not express in between feeds despite going up to a huge hh size bra,only when she latched on and stoked my breast did i feel the let down of the milk on occassion i had a bit of leakage usually when i was getting out of the bath,with my youngest now 5 i fed him till he was 22 months and his method of dealing with the saggy bags was to bang on them when he latched on all were succesful feeds and yes some were fussy feeds,also dont forget breast milk comes in two forms the fore and the hind i found the fussy feeds were not hunger feeds but thurst the fore milk quenches the thurst and it could be that your little one is getting the hind milk to and does not want it at that time,also i would like to say there is nothing at all wrong with mixed feeds i have had times due to me being ill or just too tired when i have had to give formula between feeds giving a baby solids or formula does not interfear at all with your milk flow in any way this is something i have been assured by mid wives especially as despite my overproduction with my eldest after having her and her first feed straight after birth i was not producing at all and the mid wife in the hospital gave her formula and gave me plenty of milk and water to drink within 2 hours i was gushing.but the main thing is i would tell any one breastfeeding is not the be all and end all if you have problems relax dont stress drink plenty of fluids and by all means if you think it will help take suplements if any one is negative towards you so what if they are mother earth (even she has problems)you are you and nothing is more impotant than the love and the bond between a mother and child,if you love you child dont feel you are letting them down by not fitting the bow who does.Ihope you find your answer and what ever it is do it quilt free

Kendra - posted on 01/20/2010

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My son will be 6 mnths on the 25th. The exact same thing happend to me two weeks ago. I cannot keep up with his feedings, even after my doctor prescribed pills to help me. I only make enough to feed him 1-2 a day. I had to introduce formula to him, sadly. But I still nurse him before bed, and when he wakes up. At first, I felt like I had no one to blame but myself. I thought I wasn't eating/drinking enough. But after talking to my doctor, I know that it happen's. I wish more people would understand that. I know that my son is still getting the benifit's from his 1-2 feedings during a day and we both look forward to them. Its hard still, as I wanted to continue as long as possible for him. I know where your coming from

Casey - posted on 01/20/2010

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What great breastfeeding advice, though! Especially from Amber & April! I hope you use it & that it helps! Good luck!

Francesca - posted on 01/19/2010

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I think its a little weird that you are getting more breastfeeding advice and not on how to deal with the negativity, since that is what you asked for...



She has heard all the advice before, hence the negativity she is facing.



Does anyone have some creative ways to combat negativity or brighten a day?



Fun Fact, I once was told I was practically killing my baby since I took her outside before she was 30 days old. So I handed her my business card with all my contact information and that she should call Children's Aid right away :) It helped me blow off steam. Not really productive in the grand scheme of things, but totally worth it to see the look on her face.

[deleted account]

Some people just don't understand that things happen that are beyond our control, and they say only breastmilk for their baby...well I hope for their baby's sake they don't have the same problem as you, b/c theirs would starve...truth be told they want to down on you about this, but if they were in the same situation they would be doing the same thing, b/c no person in their right mind is going to let their baby starve b/c they will only feed them breastmilk! I dare someone to say that they would!

[deleted account]

Just one thing to mention...at around 5 or 6 months, your breasts will naturally stop feeling so engorged, but there's still plenty of milk. I had terrible engorgement--painful, my-boobs-are-like-basketballs engorgement!--and suddenly at 5 1/2 months, it stopped, but I still had plenty of milk. So just be aware that's not necessarily a sign that your milk is gone, especially if you can still pump milk. Babies also get much faster at nursing around that age--my little guy can now empty both sides in under ten minutes! When I noticed the decrease in engorgement, I spoke to my doctor, and she said that, as long as Ben still seemed happy through the day and was gaining weight at a reasonable rate, it was all good.



That said, if you're trying to improve your supply and aren't having luck with the Fenugreek (although you may have to take a LOT--a friend of mine who used it was on twelve tablets a day) you can look into a prescription medication called Motillium. Domperidone is the medicinal ingredient in it, it's perfectly safe to use while breastfeeding, and it can have a dramatic effect on increasing supply. Many moms don't know about it, but I know several moms who've used it and had great results.

Francesca - posted on 01/19/2010

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Honey, people love to judge and are all too often cruel and harsh about it.

I am sorry you have been treated this way. Never EVER feel you have to explain any choice, reason, or rational for the tough calls you have to make to anyone. Ever. They don't deserve the time you will waste on saying it. You have to do what you think is best for your baby. And only you know what that is. And no one has the right to say boo to it.

Thank you for posting. I think that this is a sobering reminder to all moms here that we need to be supportive. How can we expect to show our children by example if we are petty over something like this?

Melissa - posted on 01/18/2010

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First of all, you have been able to give her 6 1/2 months already, which is wonderful and a blessing. All that you need to worry your head about is your family, and the health of your baby girl- everybody seems so convinced that all you have to do is think milk and it will be perfect, while scorning us who encounter problems. At about 2 months, my Jimmy did the same thing and I had to supplement with formula. I cried too, and felt like I screwed up somehow. I started pumping like mad, and now we are back in service with a daily schedule of goats rue tincture (herblore.com has best prices I found), a guiness beer, and my rx prenatal. I read that fenugreek is only viable when you let it build up in your system over a while, but DO NOT stop or decrease your dose, as it can make you stop producing suddenly. Goat's rue seems to help, with gas as the only side affect. It also helps build up your glands. good luck, and don't get down

Melanie - posted on 01/14/2010

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Oh, I'm so sorry! This has to be so hard from you and hearing negative comments is not helpful. That is not fair to you at all! Unless they have been in the exact same situation as you they cannot understand, but regardless, you are having a problem nursing and it is not your fault. My milk supply did exactly the same thing. First at 3 months, I went from donating milk to only producing a little extra to freeze. Then right about 5-6 months it dropped down even lower. I have never felt so terrible in my life! I cried and cried and didn't know what to do! He would get so upset, but I hung in there. First of all, my mother is a midwife and she recommend a prescription. I saw results within 2 days! I tried the Fenugreek, but no luck there. I do drink the Mother's Milk tea every single day, about 4 times a day. I swear it has helped, but nothing significant. Everything that I read said it is normal for your milk supply to slow down, but I felt empty! All the time! Luckily I was able to pull through, mostly because I had a freezer full of milk, but now that milk is almost gone. Now he's old enough to eat food, so that helps. You just do what you have to do. We should all be here to support you and help you through a very, very emotional time. I'm sorry you have had so many negative comments, but I've come to realize that on these websites you will have the good and the bad. People have lots of different opinions and different views. We can't possibly all agree with each other, and that is what makes us all different. We can however do what is best for our child, and that is to be a loving parent who does everything possible. That sounds just like you! Give yourself credit for nursing as long as you did and for still hanging in there as much as you can! When you see a comment that you don't agree with, or is negative, just ignore it. Don't even read it! Just keep on going! Lots of other people will be able to help you and support you. I'm sure some people don't mean it as negative, but personally if I don't agree with something I just keep it to myself. It's not worth upsetting anyone. Remember you can always contact a lactation consultant, or even call your doctor for help. Someone should always be there for you! Also, I've read about different foods you can that help, like oatmeal, and drinking a beer. This has also helped me a little bit so you can always give it a try. Good luck!

Tiffanie - posted on 01/14/2010

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Some people just dont understand your situation. Just try your best and if you cant make more milk, dont worry about what some other woman says she is not you! Your situation is unique to yourself. Dont let others put you down as long asd you are doing your best. Ignore them or dont ask them their opinion. Just speak to your doctor or friends.

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