when milk supply suddenly dropped

What to do When Milk Supply Suddenly Dropped

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You think you have your breastfeeding game going strong and you have got the hang of it. You have no more sore nipples; the baby is gaining an appropriate amount of weight and sleeping properly without waking up for feeds in the middle of the night. You are feeling like your old self again. Then there comes the bad news. Your milk supply suddenly dropped, and you felt like nothing is going your way. You may feel like there is something wrong with you but fear not. This is not uncommon for nursing mothers.

Many factors can cause a once huge supply of milk to drop suddenly. Some reasons include; you being away from the baby for a long stretch of time without pumping, the return of your menstrual cycle, stress, an illness you have had recently and some medications you are taking. Whatever the reason, if you want to re-establish your milk supply, follow these simple tips to help you get there.

#1.   Pay attention to yourself and get enough rest and sleep

Sleeping properly is very important for you. Try to choose a sleep setting that allows you and your baby to have a maximum amount of sleep. Swaddle them to make them warm and comfortable to yield the maximum amount of rest for both of you.

#2.   Increase your water intake

Being hydrated is very important for a nursing mother as most of the breast milk is made up of water. So, every time you feed or pump replenish your water intake. This can be done by placing a small water bottle near you and taking it wherever you go. Set reminders to let you know to drink water after every hour and make sure you drink at least half of your body weight in water. Make sure not to get overhydrated because it can affect your supply negatively.

#3.   Steer clear of stress

It is difficult to be stressful, especially when you have a baby to take care of, not to mention when milk supply suddenly dropped. It will make your stress levels even higher. Going to the spa and getting a relaxing massage can help in decreasing your stress levels. If you’ve noticed a sudden decrease in your milk supply, then try to eliminate all the extra stress.

#4.   There are certain foods that can impact your supply negatively.

One of these food items is Mint. It has been observed that consuming mint can cause a decrease in milk supply, though it is still debated how much mint. Though artificial mint flavors seem fine but don’t consume actual mint or mint extracts in high amount. For some women, Fenugreek can also be the culprit behind this. Fenugreek is thought to be helpful in increasing your supply, and it’s often the first thing most moms think of when they struggle with their supply. Though it is helpful for some moms. However, for some, it can have the opposite effect, especially women who have thyroid problems. Fenugreek can manipulate the dynamic of thyroid hormone your body uses, which can affect women who suffer from hypothyroidism and make it worse, which will result in decreased milk supply. It usually takes about 24-72 hours for fenugreek to work its magic in increasing your supply. So, if you feel like it’s not helping or affecting your supply negatively, stop using it. Parsley is another herb that is thought to negatively impact your supply. So, don’t eat too much.

#5.   Breast milk works on supply and demand process.

So, if you miss a feeding or a pumping session, then you are telling your body to stop producing more milk. Now, missing one session probably won’t cause much damage, but it is important to pump or nurse according to the baby’s demand to maintain your milk supply accordingly. If your baby gets a bottle instead of nursing due to some reason, then pump later to avoid this problem. If you are facing decreased milk supply, then you should increase your pumping and nursing sessions. This will stimulate your breasts to produce more milk and thus you will be able to regain your supply.

#6.   If your baby takes a pacifier, then stop giving them one for some time.

Stop giving your baby pacifiers. If they have an urge to suck, let them accomplish it through breasts. This extra stimulation will help you in increasing your supply.

#7.   Eat foods known to increase your milk production.

Foods that can help include; fennel and sesame seeds, nuts, green papaya, carrots, oatmeal, garlic, and ginger. These foods will help you increase your milk production.

#8.   If your supply has started to decrease after introducing solids to your baby, then try to cut back on solids and increase your nursing sessions

Breast milk should be the primary source of the baby’s nutrition until at least 12 months of age. Offer breast milk first and then offer solid foods after a short while. Practice baby-led weaning. It is a natural transition towards eating more solids without hurting milk supply.

#9.  Book an appointment with your doctor

If this problem has become serious and you are facing a lot of trouble during feeding sessions, then book an appointment with your doctor and ask them if you need any prescription medication. There are certain medications that can increase the levels of prolactin (milk producing hormone) which will aid you in increasing your dwindling supply.

#10.   Massage your breast and place a hot compress on them before feeding or pumping.

This allows you to have a good let down and gets the milk to flow.

So, try these remedies to get your supply when your milk suddenly dropped and stop worrying. You won’t get anywhere if you keep getting stressed about it. In fact, it will do more harm than good. Also, get help from your partner and confide with him about what you are feeling. This will reduce your stress and help you in the process of re-lactation and get you towards your merry way to a consistent breast milk supply.

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