When Aunt Flow Gets in the Way of Breastfeeding

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What did you think about the eclipse? I have mixed feelings. Half of me thought, WOW how cool and rare, the other half was too stressed out about my kids going blind. Kind of glad it’s over and we can move past hunting down the special glasses and having to keep up with them being recalled.

Pumping Mom

I have been an exclusively pumping mom for about three months now. It is going AMAZING. I typically pump anywhere between 6-8 ounces every 3-4 hours. Olive, now almost 5 months old is always fully satisfied with what I provide her and many times she doesn’t finish the bottle.

Suddenly this week, I have had a shift in pumping. This shift is my period. Yep, good ole Aunt Flow is back and stronger than ever.

As we all know Aunt Flow loves to get in the way of beach trips, honeymoons, and not to mention your sweet husband’s birthday. But it’s no joke when she comes in the middle of breastfeeding.

My Cycle

This menstrual cycle has been rough. It has been super heavy, full of cravings and bloating, along with very painful cramping. For those not aware, I also had a tubal ligation, so that could be the reasoning behind some of these feminine changes.

My milk supply over these past four days has been terrible. My supply has dropped by about half, I’m only pumping around 4 ounces.

I have upped my galactagogues and maintained my somewhat healthy diet. I am still in such shock that my supply has dropped like it has. It is breaking my heart when my little girl cries because I haven’t pumped enough for her. Thankfully, I have a huge freeze stash. I am having to use about 10 ounces of frozen milk a day, which isn’t a problem but this situation is taking a major toll on me mentally.

Some things to know when your period returns while pumping:

• No, this doesn’t happen to everyone.
• If you physically breastfeed you will delay your period longer.
• Your milk might taste different.
• You might not have a letdown.
• The drop in supply isn’t permanent.

What to do:

• Continue/start taking galactagogues.
• Check out my tips on increasing your milk supply.
• Pump the same amount if not more.
• Don’t be hard on yourself, this isn’t something you could control.
• Take calcium and magnesium leading up to your period and during your cycle.

Getting your period back SUCKS, but there not much you can do about it. Just know that if your supply is decreasing there is nothing wrong with you and it’s not at all your fault.

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12 Comments

  1. robin rue

    I bottle fed from day one, so I had no idea that monthly periods affected breastfeeding. You learn something new every day.

    23 . Aug . 2017
  2. Cassie

    I had no idea your period could have an affect on breastfeeding! But I’m not a mother just yet! Sounds like these are some good suggestions for getting through it

    23 . Aug . 2017
  3. Nancy Johnson Horn

    This has some great advice and tips in it. I am not a new mother, but I know of some people who could benefit from this.

    23 . Aug . 2017
  4. Terri Steffes

    You know, in my diary from 30 years back, I talk about this. I didn’t know what was causing it but there it is, in black and white. I bet it was this. Wish I had known then what it was.

    23 . Aug . 2017
  5. Marcie

    I’m reading this while chowing down on a lactation cookie. It sucks when periods get in the way of feeding your child.

    23 . Aug . 2017
  6. Charlotte

    This is interesting as I haven’t heard of this before. I am currently breastfeeding a 4 week old and considering pumping so this is something to consider!

    24 . Aug . 2017
  7. AnnMarie John

    It’s natural and we shouldn’t feel guilty about this. But it is a struggle when you get your period and you’re breastfeeding. It’s good that you were able to freeze some bags of milk, that’s definitely going to help. I also appreciate the tips!

    24 . Aug . 2017
  8. StylishGeek

    Thanks for sharing your tips and advice. I will pass it along any friends of mine who are nursing. So helpful!

    24 . Aug . 2017
  9. Cindy Ingalls

    I wasn’t aware having your period could affect breastfeeding, but it does make sense. Your hormones play a huge role in every part of your body. Good to know there are things you can do to help ease any issues.

    24 . Aug . 2017
  10. Mei

    These are all great info and recommendation. I do not have kids yet, but hoping I can use this information once I start having one. Thank you

    25 . Aug . 2017
  11. Pam

    Great information. This would have been so helpful when I was breastfeeding my littles- I know how bad hormones can be! Thanks for the post!

    25 . Aug . 2017
  12. Heather

    Your baby is ADORABLE! I intended on breastfeeding with both my girls but couldn’t.

    25 . Aug . 2017

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