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Breastfeeding Moms Breastfeeding Moms

Milk Paranoia

Posted by on Jan. 31, 2013 at 10:26 AM
  • 8 Replies

Milk Paranoia

Not long ago, most of the mothers attending my monthly breastfeeding group had overabundant milk production.  Our meetings were full of their struggles.  At the breast, their babies choked, coughed, and pulled off crying.  Bouts of mastitis were common.  Their babies gained twice the average weight and displayed their “thunder thighs” as living proof.  Some regularly donated the 100-ounce (3 L) minimum required by one area milk bank.  Yet despite the obvious downsides of producing so much milk, not one of these mothers wanted to reduce her production to a level closer to her baby’s need.

One mother beamed as she described her overabundant production, clearly relishing this badge of honor.  She regaled the newcomers with tales of her overflowing freezer, her ability to squirt milk across the room, and the amazing volumes she could express at a sitting.  I toyed with the idea of buying her the tee shirt: “I make milk.  What’s your superpower?”   Others with obvious overproduction lacked her confidence.  They contacted me regularly with worries their milk would disappear.  After developing mastitis and seeing a decrease in her milk, one mother went into a panic, even though she still expressed more milk at work than her baby needed.  These mothers all made it clear they “felt better” making too much milk.  The very thought of reducing their milk production filled them with anxiety.

What was the root of this “milk paranoia?”  I chalked it up to the naysayers around them who make breastfeeding sound like an accident waiting to happen.  They share stories of mothers who wake one morning to discover their milk is gone.  They cast doubt on whether they have enough milk.  They criticize feeding patterns that differ from formula-feeding norms.  Is it any wonder so many mothers suffer from milk paranoia?  Or is even more remarkable that more don’t? 

by on Jan. 31, 2013 at 10:26 AM
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Replies (1-8):
SadieJames
by on Jan. 31, 2013 at 11:13 AM

I'm milk paranoid.  I'm a SAHM and I pump 2x a day to donate but I still worry about the "what if".

BridgetMc
by Bronze Member on Jan. 31, 2013 at 11:19 AM
This is something I never worried about. I nursed dd1 for 13 months and dd2 will be one year old on the 11th. Neither ever had a drop of formula. I pumped during the first few months with my first but it wa a waste since she never took a bottle so I've only pumped a handful of times during the engorgement phase with my second. I'm not sure why I don't worry about it but "drying up" has never been on my radar.
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gumeshoe
by on Jan. 31, 2013 at 11:26 AM

Because boobs aren't see thru with oz markings! :)

Pumping is indirect proof of baby getting enough. Just like men have children and strut around like they carried that child 9 months. Ok your swimmers swam and hit the mark once, calm down. :)

But my baby was doing boob kung fu way back when. So we did block feeding for a few days to calm it all down and we do just fine.


mamabens
by Miranda on Jan. 31, 2013 at 11:30 AM

Same here. My son was breastfed until 25 months & I only worried once but it was naysayers around me putting negative in my head. After trying fenugreek, that didn't work but  caused an allergic reaction on both of our backs.(that was horribly itchy) I thought what's the point in freaking out....baby is growing so stop worrying. I never worried about drying up though jsut the once about maybe not having enough.

Quoting BridgetMc:

This is something I never worried about. I nursed dd1 for 13 months and dd2 will be one year old on the 11th. Neither ever had a drop of formula. I pumped during the first few months with my first but it wa a waste since she never took a bottle so I've only pumped a handful of times during the engorgement phase with my second. I'm not sure why I don't worry about it but "drying up" has never been on my radar.


 BabyFruit Ticker


Baby_Avas_Momma
by Gold Member on Jan. 31, 2013 at 11:34 AM
1 mom liked this
I can honestly say I never doubted my supply. I did a little bit of research before she was born, but surprisingly never came across "low supply" issues in my readings. Up until I joined this group when she was about 7 months old, I didn't think low supply was a real thing lol.
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MommyO2-6631
by Leslie on Jan. 31, 2013 at 11:56 AM
1 mom liked this
Since we did the block feeding i sometimes do doubt that he's getting enough especielly if he has light diapers one day.... still making counts but lighter than usual. But i would take an occasional worry over oversupply and plugged ducts anyday!
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christineT79
by on Jan. 31, 2013 at 12:07 PM

I have an older family member that always tells me how "lucky" I am that I make milk & that I better take advantage of it now because I can wake up one day & be bone dry. That one always makes me laugh. It's funny how I hear so many older women say they couldnt breastfeed because they didnt produce milk. It's obvious that it's just bad information on how to breastfeed successfully. Knock on wood I've never had a supply issue.

eema.gray
by on Jan. 31, 2013 at 12:19 PM
2 moms liked this

Maybe it's the farm girl in me (I lived on a dairy farm until I was 8) but I have never, ever, not even once been paranoid about supply.  It is literally supply and demand, after all, and if baby nurses, there will be milk.

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