Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Menstrual cycle and breastmilk supply

This is a repost from May 2011. Many Mummies find that when their "Aunt Flow" decides to visit that their Nummie supply seems to dip. But is this related to "that time of the month" or is it something else? Have no FEAR! Mummie is here!

Menstrual Cycle and Breastmilk Supply

A friend of mine (yes a fellow Mummie) asked me if I thought the early return of her menstrual cycle could lower her breastmilk supply. She has had struggles with breastfeeding previously and was afraid that the return of her cycle (shortly after her son was just born) would lower her supply yet again. I have to say that I was not aware that this could happen! You will never hear me say that I am an expert on breastfeeding.... because well I am not. I may have experienced  A LOT in my years of making Mummie's Nummies.... but that means that there is A TON of stuff I have not! So I decided to see what I could find.

Now we all know that our precious milk can dry up for many reasons, and the best way to help that is to nurse more often (or pump more often.) but what do you do when mother nature takes over and your evil "Aunt Flow" returns, only to disrupt your golden "Aunt Flow"? (Get it??? "GOLDEN AUNT FLOW!!!! hint hint liquid gold??? Oh please tell me you got it! I sounded so good in my head!)

Well have no fear Mummies! I have found some research for you! Sadly... the return of your cycle CAN slow your production.... but happily you can help reverse it!

I found this over at kellymom...

Some women experience a drop in milk supply from ovulation (mid-cycle) until the first day or two of the next menstrual period. A woman's blood calcium levels gradually decrease during this period of time, and for some women the drop in blood calcium causes a drop in milk supply. For women who have this problem, calcium/magnesium supplements may be helpful. This practice has also been reported to eliminate most uterine cramping and some premenstrual discomfort such as water retention.

The recommended calcium supplement dosage is between 500 mg calcium/250 mg magnesium and 1500 mg calcium/750 mg magnesium (the higher dosage is generally more effective). Calcium dosages this high should not be taken alone, but as a calcium/magnesium (or calcium/magnesium/zinc) combination. Otherwise the calcium will not be adequately absorbed into your body. The amount of supplement depends on the composition of your diet -- the more animal protein, the more calcium/magnesium needed. If you are a vegetarian or vegan, the lower dosage may work fine for you.

Start the supplement when you ovulate, and continue through the first few days of your menstrual period. If periods are irregular, then begin calcium/magnesium at 14 days after the beginning of your last menstrual cycle, or simply take the supplement every day.

So have no fear mummies, it is normal (phew!) but can be helped! If you notice your little Nummie Lover wanting more and more for a few days... try to make the connection. It might be more than just a growth spurt. This would be a great excuse to make some Lactation Cookies! Because they are just way too yummy!!!!

Hope that helps!


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