8.5 mos - supplementing and irritability

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-21-2003
8.5 mos - supplementing and irritability
3
Tue, 04-20-2010 - 1:29pm

Hi - my daughter is 8.5 months old, and we breastfed exclusively for the first 6 months. There were a few times when my supply was a little low - most likely due to me not drinking enough water or taking an antidepressant.

At 6 months, when we started cereal, I began using formula to mix with the cereal, and supplementing for weekend overnight feedings - when my mom would keep my daughter overnight so that I could get some much needed rest. As you might guess, a little supplementing led to decreased supply, and more supplementing and less supply. Here I am now, taking Fenugreek at night to keep a supply at all - but even with that, she doesn't seem satisfied on breastmilk alone - and I end up giving her formula, too.

Lately, my mood has been awful. It's gotten worse (and I had not taken the antidepressants at all since she was about 3 months old) - and I find myself yelling and screaming at my toddler. It's a very strange feeling - I know in my head while I am doing it that I don't want to yell at her - but I feel like I am on a short fuse and things just start exploding inside of me when my toddler pushes my buttons.

While talking to a trusted girlfriend of mine, who breastfed both of her children, she said that with me producing less and less milk, and nursing less often, that my mood swings and irritability might be related to my hormones. Can anyone here shed some light for me?

My toddler would really appreciate having her mommy back. :)

Heather

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-10-2009
Tue, 04-20-2010 - 2:00pm

Would it be ok if we asked you a few questions?


How many times per day are you nursing directly?


How often do you pump? What kind of pump?


How much formula are you currently feeding?


Any health issues that might affect supply, like hormonal issues, PCOS, thyroid, anemia, breast surgeries?


Taking any hormonal birth control?


If you're having mood issues, it sounds like it might be a good idea to go back on the antidepressants. Do you have a concern about that?


How much fenugreek are you taking?


Is AF back?


Sorry to bombard you with questions but it will help us understand your situation a bit better.


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iVillage Member
Registered: 04-21-2003
Tue, 04-20-2010 - 2:38pm

Absolutely!

How many times per day are you nursing directly? I nurse approximately three times per day, but Olivia pulls off often.

How often do you pump? What kind of pump? My electric pump gave out a few months ago, so I don't pump at all.

How much formula are you currently feeding? 12-14 oz. per day - usually 4 oz for breakfast, 4 oz for dinner, and occasionally a 6 oz in the middle of the night.

Any health issues that might affect supply, like hormonal issues, PCOS, thyroid, anemia, breast surgeries? none

Taking any hormonal birth control? no

If you're having mood issues, it sounds like it might be a good idea to go back on the antidepressants. Do you have a concern about that? No, I started taking them again yesterday.

How much fenugreek are you taking? Usually just two pills at night, but today I have started taking them with meals because I know that the antidepressant will hinder what supply I still have.

Is AF back? Yes - I had it back within 6 weeks postpartum. Sigh - no break for me!

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-10-2009
Tue, 04-20-2010 - 6:56pm

Thanks for the quick reply.


The first thing I'd recommend is putting her to breast more often, preferably for every feeding. Of course, you'll need to still follow up with a bottle at this point but over time, you'll be able to decrease the amount of formula in the bottle.


Is there any way you can purchase or rent a pump and start pumping between nursing sessions to increase supply?


Taking two fenugreeks a day is unfortunately not going to make any difference. The recommended dosage (presuming the capsules are 580-610mg per capsule) is 6-12 capsules per day. Would it be possible to increase the dose?


Why do you think taking an antidepressant will impact your supply? I hadn't heard that before. What antidepressant are you taking?


With some hard work for a few weeks, you can definitely turn this around and get back to exclusive or almost-exclusive breastfeeding if that's your goal. Please take a spin through this and let us know what questions you might have?


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