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Can Breast Milk dry up on its own even with feeding and pumping???

Posted by on Jan. 2, 2009 at 7:38 PM
  • 16 Replies

I have been breast feeding my daughter for 3 months now.... I do not suppliment formula or anything like that nor is she on any kind of rice cereal yet either... she only eats breast milk... The thing is that I used to produce a huge abundance of milk, like I could pump 4-6 oz out of one side and 3-4 oz out of the other at every feeding, now all of a sudden out of no where I am only pumping about 2-3 oz on each side... i have not changed anything my daughter is still eating the same and gaining weight, and if she does not eat or does not eat fully on one side I always pump the rest out.... what is going on???? am I drying up???????

Oh, I have changed my diet a little bit, but nothing drastic that I would think would dry up my milk or anything like that.. and I stay very well hydrated too.

by on Jan. 2, 2009 at 7:38 PM
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by on Jan. 2, 2009 at 7:40 PM

Google the La Leche League and call the woman who runs that group in your area. They rented me a hospital grade breast pump based on what I could afford. \

My LLL leader told me that if you buy a pump at the store, even a fancy expensive one, eventually you WILL DRY UP. Nursing and a hospital grade pump are the only things that keep you lactating. Have you tried getting your daughter to latch more? A LLL leader can help you with tips for that, too.

Good luck! Breastfeeding can be so hard, but it is really good for your baby. Congrats on keeping it up, even through the hard stuff.

by on Jan. 2, 2009 at 7:47 PM

I knew it! pumping does decrease your supply! anyway, also when you pump, you arnt able to get as much milk as your daughter can so even if you are only pumping 2-3 oz your daughter can still be getting more. rest assured if she is hungry just let her latch on again to have more. You sound like me im at 3 months also, and I though I was dryn up but it was the pump not expressing milk. I only pump when I need to, never more than that. I let my daughter do the rest! GL!

by on Jan. 2, 2009 at 7:50 PM

go to GNC and get organic mothers milk tea. drink 2-3 cups a day it helps promote and increase milk production. my sisters sil swears by it i am getting it when i have my baby cause i had a hard time breast feeding makinbg enought\

 twin girls  expecting baby

by on Jan. 2, 2009 at 7:50 PM

I dryed up even though i was pumping and feeding him as much as he wanted. I pumped as much as i could to, i dunno but yeah i dryed up i is possible.

by on Jan. 2, 2009 at 8:10 PM

I had trouble too when breastfeeding my dd - Mother's Tea helped some....I can't remember the name of it, but it is some herbal tea to help mothers who are breastfeeding.  What I used though, you won't like if you don't like black licorice becaues it smells and tastes like licorice - which to me is YUM!!!!  That helped some, but I still had trouble and couldn't do much past the third or fourth month..... I was supplementing though because she wasn't satisfied with what I had some days - she had a very healthy appetite.

by Silver Member on Jan. 2, 2009 at 8:16 PM
Pumping does NOT decrease supply!! Pump and nuse often. Also pumping does NOT determin supply. Baby is a lot better at getting milk out than a pump is.



by on Jan. 2, 2009 at 8:20 PM

What she said!

Quoting chairhead28:

Pumping does NOT decrease supply!! Pump and nuse often. Also pumping does NOT determin supply. Baby is a lot better at getting milk out than a pump is.

by on Jan. 2, 2009 at 8:53 PM

The thing about pumping and nursing is, there are two sides of the coin for breastfeeding success: one side is a good latch from the baby with strong suck that goes on for 10 minutes or more per feed (the baby's side of the coin), and the other is adequate stimulation to the mother to tell her brains that she has a vigorous, growing baby that needs this milk.  I swear to you that it takes 20 good ten minute or more nursing sessions to get that milk to come in, and once it is in, for about three weeks you have an abundant supply from the milk fairy; after THAT, though, your brain wises up and tailors the milk production SPECIFICALLY to supply and demand. 

The brain does figure out the difference between a baby nursing and even a hospital grade pump doing its job.  My suspicion is it has something to do with the WAY the baby suckles, or some unknown pheromone that is given off.  Either way, if you so much as skip ONE pumping session, your supply will start to dwindle slowly.  It doesn't take much.  Once it starts to go, just know that the days of super abundance are over, and now you have to let the baby get on there to increase that supply or it will dwindle.  The baby is the best regulator of supply, period.   I have seen many a mommy of a baby in the NICU sadly say their supply went away by pumping exclusively because their baby was unable to breastfeed.  But, you can pump everything you possibly can on top of the baby's nursing.  You cannot empty those breasts too much.  The brain will detect breast sinus emptying and its frequency, and it will try to compensate for you.  You can get your supply to increase by pumping every time after the baby has had her fill, and it takes about 18 hours for the breast to kick in and respond with more milk, but it has to be in concert with the baby doing the initial stimulus.  Even skin to skin with baby is a form of stimulus, so if you are hell bent on getting that milk supply up, get that naked baby flesh next to your mommy flesh with a sling for a couple of days, or take a "nursing holiday" and just be in bed naked with your baby for a day or two to get that stimulus your brain needs.    There are hundreds of cultures that put their babies in slings to be in contact with their mommies (and daddies, too) for literally the first year or two of life, and milk production problems are very rare, like VERY rare, unless there is physiologically some deficit in the first place.

So, take a nursing holiday, sling that baby next to you, and nurse EVERY TIME you get any rooting behavior.  Drink a lot of clear fluids.  SLEEP when your baby sleeps, as you only secrete growth hormone while sleeping, and GH is intimately tied to milk production and prolactin levels. 

And just love all over that baby, because they grow up WAY too quickly.

Good luck!  Let us know how it went.

Nurse Evie B

by on Jan. 2, 2009 at 9:37 PM

It is called supply and demand. If your breasts are getting stimulated effectively then there is no way your milk dries up. It is impossible to have milk ond day and have be gone the next. Our bodies do not work that way.  Every day you have different amounts of milk. One day you will have more than the next. Sometimes you daughter may eat more one day and then increase milk supply and then decrease her amounts due to her moods and needs. The main goal here is that she is gaining weight that is the only indicator of whether ones milk dries up. If she doesnt gain any weight during the week then perhaps you have a problem.

by on Jan. 2, 2009 at 9:40 PM

My doctor told me to drink a beer, it helps produce milk....Really I am serious.


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