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MommaTron

milk supply issues while on Whole30?

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Hello! I am new to this whole paleo thing and started my first Whole30 on Sept. 1st. I made it to the 15th before I had to quit because my milk supply tanked. I'm still nursing my (almost) 15 month old and she still nurses 4-6 times a day. I'm not sure what I was doing wrong. Maybe I wasn't eating enough? I have always had a hard time getting enough calories and stopped tracking when I started the Whole30.

Should I continue to track calories to make sure I'm getting enough? Should I snack to add more calories if I'm not getting enough during meals? Should I try adding a mother's milk supplement?

I really want to do this but I'm not willing to damage my nursing relationship to do it. HELP!!

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It is imperative to get enough calories. If your supply suffers, you aren't getting enough. It's hard to get enough calories on W30 if you don't make an effort. Make sure you are getting enough protein and fat in your meals - I really had to increase what I was eating at first before I was eating enough, which surprised me. You shouldn't have to snack to do it, but if you are hungry, eat something that has protein and fat with a little veg or fruit (like a hard boiled egg with some carrot sticks or a Larabar).

Can you post some sample meals or what you ate in an entire day so people can give you more direct feedback?

The other thing that immediately affects supply for most people is hydration, so be sure to drink lots of water.

Good luck!

Jen

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What makes you think your supply has dropped? If it has, it means you really aren't eating enough - or drinking enough too.

And, as breastfeeding mothers only need an extra 250kcal per day, how are you finding it difficult to get enough calories? You could easily get 250kcal from adding fat to your meals.

But yes, it'd be interesting to hear what you're eating :-)

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Had you also changed your activity level in any way? Any other medical issues? First Whole30? Maybe your body is just going through a major change which can, in my experience, cause some stress which might affect your supply. My son is three weeks old and, so far, I've got waaaaaay more milk this time which I attribute to more fat and, most importantly, more protein (last time I ate bread, bread, bread and drank milk...pre-Paleo days...ugh!)

I did the Whole30 while pregnant and had to track calories to make sure I was getting enough. I also had to eat what felt like huge amounts at times, and snack more, to maintain my weight and not lose too much.

Good for you for trying to find the balance so you can keep nursing! Good luck!

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I am having supply issues also. I noticed my pumping output dropping a bit after the first two weeks and last week I really struggled. My W30 ends on the 30th and I feel fabulous, so I don't want to quit, but I'm worried about my supply. I used to have borderline oversupply. I could to pump enough for my daughter to take to daycare in one or two pumping sessions at work. Now I'm having to pump three times at work, plus once at home after she's gone to bed and once really early in the morning just to get enough. I've even added fenugreek.

One thing - I KNOW I have lost weight. I haven't weighed myself, but I did have to get fitted for a bridesmaid dress and they measured me two sizes smaller than what I usually wear. Combine that with the fact that my clothes are hanging off of me, and it's pretty obvious. I didn't intend to lose so much so fast. Isn't milk production linked to body fat in a way? I'm worried that I've messed up now. :( This stinks. I really want to make it to a year.

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If you had oversupply at one point, m(e), chances are very good you can get back to full supply. You need to start eating more NOW. Concentrate on fat - have more avocado and coconut products. Also work on staying hydrated. When you are home with your daughter, let her nurse as much as she wants/you can handle - especially if you are home weekends and can let her nurse a lot. And keep the additional pumping sessions for a bit even when your supply picks up. You need good nutrition and consistent demand to keep your supply strong.

Another trick you may try is using a manual pump to see if you get more. Some women respond better to a manual pump. It's tricky to use one all the time (hard on your wrists!) but if you do get more you could use it for one of your sessions as a boost.

Good luck - and try not to worry about it too much. Unfortunately, stress can do a number on milk production and it can become a vicious cycle.

Jen

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Thanks Jen! I was very relieved that I pumped almost 1.5 oz more at work yesterday - that still leaves me a few ounces short (thus needing to pump at home,) but at least it's an increase! Baby has been teething and cranky, so I've let her sleep in our bed for a few nights. She's been comfort nursing a bit in the night, so maybe that helped too.

I think we're going to be okay. It just had me worried all the sudden!

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I'm having this issue too. I thought it was my daughter self weaning!!! I never thought that my new way of eating would cause issues. Thanks for all the tips, I will make sure to eat a little more and drink lots of water.

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(m)eat to live, how old is your baby? It can be a natural drop/increase in supply sometimes and your milk will change over time as well. I nursed my son until he was 20 months and my milk was all over the place during that time. I'd would also urge anyone with questions to contact their local La Leche League (or Australian Breastfeeding Association here in Oz). They'll have heaps of info and can help you out!

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I also experienced a drop in supply early in my Whole30 when I used to have oversupply and I discussed it with my lactation consultant. She said that inflammation can cause oversupply and that by eliminating inflammation-causing foods my levels of inflammation should be dropping and that my supply will regulate to a more normal level. I just thought I'd pass that on!

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Mine is an IBCLC (international board certified) and has been simply amazing! Not all LC's are created equal but the IBCLC are the best. There are many individuals who work as lactation specialists (in hospitals and dr. offices even) without this credential, which means there is no way to be sure of their training. Here is info about IBCLC: http://americas.iblce.org/what-is-an-ibclc and here is a site where you can locate one: http://www.lowmilksupply.org/lc.shtml#listing

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