Monday, September 27, 2004


I am still breastfeeding my daughter. She and I are both pretty comfortable with it most of the time. However (and this may not be for the squeemish), during the few days leading up to and during menstruation, breastfeeding becomes excruciating and the amount produced from pumping plummets.

Knowing that I have periods while still breastfeeding my sister-in-law sent me this advice:

"For some women, the drop in milk supply and nipple tenderness associated with menstruation becomes more of a challenge. An effective treatment for these symptoms associated with the return of periods is to add a calcium/magnesium supplement to the diet upon ovulation and continue it through the second or third day of a period. The supplement should be 1500 calcium/750 magnesium but can be as low as 500 calcium/250 magnesium (the higher the dosage the more effective and quicker the results). It should be a combination pill. This much calcium should never be taken alone. If your cycles are not regular and you do not know when you ovulate, you can take the supplement the entire month until you begin to see a pattern to your flow. This type of supplement seems to work as it prevents the drop in blood calcium levels which occurs mid-cycle and continues through the second to third day of a period. It is this drop which is associated with the nipple tenderness and drop in milk supply as well as the uterine cramping so often experienced with menstruation. You only need to take one pill a day."

I have been taking the supplements as advised but my supply is still low. Nursing and pumping merely painful, rather than eye-popping, eye-watering painful. I guess that is an improvement.

Is this the best I can hope for until I no longer nurse or pump? Anyone out there have other advice?

1 comment:

The Mommy Blawger said...

How old is your daughter? And what is her reaction to your drop in milk supply? If she is getting sufficient nutrition from solids, you may just want to nurse her less on those days when you are menstruating; but babies will often want to nurse more when supply is low, which helps the supply but not the soreness.

I suggest drinking Mother's Milk or Fenugreek tea, and using lanolin ointment, which will help cut down on friction.

Of course, you could always wake her up every 4-6 hrs. at night to nurse, and reduce her solids, in the hopes that your periods would stop :)