22 answers

Breast Milk Not Coming Out

Hi, I am the mother of a 5 week old infant and we are having some difficulties with breastfeeding. I have noticed that the milk streams from both breasts are difficult to push out and they fizzle out right away if something does come out. What could be the reason for this? It's come down to the fact that I have to give my infant formula instead as nothing is coming out for him when he sucks. If I pump (I have an electric pump) I've noticed that I now how to put it on the highest level in order to get the milk streams to come out, anything less, which used to work, now does not draw anything out. Does anyone know why this is happening??? Thank you in advance.

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Featured Answers

I had a lot of trouble breast feeding at first and the doctor said i was stressing about it. also when i was pumping i would put a hot rag on my breast and massage them to stimulate the milk ducks for aa couple of minutes. it helped me a lot.

One thing I have heard is that it is easier for a baby to get the milk out then it is from pump. I would contact le leche. They have a lot of knowledge on breastfeeding. Good luck.

More Answers

Herbs will do the trick. More Milk Plus by Motherlove and take Nettles. Also, red raspberry leaves and brewers yeast. All of these are very good for you and baby and will increase your milk supply within 24 hours. Go to your local herb shop or if you live near a whole foods or Harry's. And drink lots of water. Water will increase it as well.

1 mom found this helpful

I had the same problem with my two kids. I found out that I did not have enough oxytocin in my body to produce breast milk. Did you also have a hard time in the delivery room with contracting and dialiating? If so then the Doctor or Midwife had to give you Potocin to make you contract and dialiate. If that is the case that is why you only produced for a short time frame. The only time that I did produce was right after the baby was born when I still had a bunch of potocin in my system from delivery. Which that only lasted for about 2 weeks and by then I was only producing about 1 oz in each breast if that. I was also having the same problem with the electric pump to where it had to be on the highest setting in order to get something to come out. Just be aware that if you have a second child your body will do the same with that child. I hope that I have helped you.

It usually takes some time for milk production to get to a good amount. I had to use the hospital grade breast pumps alot, and that too at high speeds for the milk production to get regular later on.

Stick with the breast feeding. It is okay to give the occassional bottle of milk formula, but try to encourage alot of breast feeding (with 2-3 hour gaps if possible).


What pump are you using. Sometimes it's the pump and not mom! Try taking all the pump parts apart washing them well (if there are valves, inspect for tears) and put it back together again.

Is baby nursing well at the breast? If so I would suspect the pump first, then look at the number of feedings/pumpings per day - a 5 week old sould be in the 8-10x per 24 hour range.

Feel free to PM me (I'm a lactation consultant) and I can try to troubleshoot more with you. There could be a lot of reasons for it.


Awhh sweetie, I have been there! First some breast (mine included) do not like pumps- if I want milk maually I have to hand express. Second of all bRm does not continue to stream after let down but does continue to come out when the baby sucks. A better way to measure wether your little one is getting enough is by how many diapers you are going through daily.
I know how difficult breastfeeding issues can be! I have been there too!
As I write this I am nursing my 3 week old- also my 5th child. I am a Doula whose knowledge and expertise go beyond just pregnancy and birth. I would love to have a "nursing date" with you and help you and your little one get things figured out.
Please e-mail me! ____@____.com ...M.

Make sure that you are drinking lots of water and try to get as much rest as you can with a five week old.

Also, your production may be less than it was when your milk first came in because your body adjusts to your baby's needs and he might not be drinking very much right now since he is so young. He probably only needs 2-3 ounces per feed at this age. Some new research is showing that exclusively breastfed babies don't gain as much weight at the beginning as formula fed or supplemented infants, but that they are fine and healthy and just gain weight at a slower rate.

You could have a clogged milk duct that is preventing the milk from flowing like it used to. You can look that up on line. I never had it, but I did have mastitis twice (infection) and clogged ducts can lead to that and it is bad.

Good Luck and breastfeed as long as you can. I stopped two months ago with my youngest, she was only 6 months old and I regret stopping so early. Even if you have to supplement it is good to still nurse as much as you can.

I had a lot of trouble breast feeding at first and the doctor said i was stressing about it. also when i was pumping i would put a hot rag on my breast and massage them to stimulate the milk ducks for aa couple of minutes. it helped me a lot.

I have had the same thing happen. I have breastfeed all 6 of my kids and it was different with each one! First thing is you need to be well hydrated this helps alot so drink drink drink don't slow down on pumping or breastfeeding the more you extract from the breast the more you will produce and I use to either masaged my breast before I pumped or feed my baby or what really works is heat so I would either get in the shower and then as soon as I got out with the towel on I would breastfeed or pump, OR I also used a heating pad it really works and it helps with comfort too! I hope this helped, ya know it is not always easy to breastfeed but if your persistant and not hard on yourself it will pay off! GOOD LUCK!!

I had the same problem. I had a graco breast pump that was not working for me. I went out and bought the Medela one and pumped every 3 hours on the dot at least 15 minutes on each breast. It started to produce about 4 to 5 ounces each breast. I also put it on the high setting. My son didnt want to latch on at all. He is now 4 months and still getting the pumped breast milk. Hope everything goes well for you.

This may not be ur problem but for the short period of time I tried breastfeeding I found that sometimes if I took a damp cloth and gently scrubed the nipple it would make the milk come faster, my doctor also told me to grab from the top and message the breast all around to push the milk to the nipple.

Sounds like your milk is drying out. You should try to pump as often as possible to keep your supply up. My doctor told me there was a prescription & an herbal remedy that had the same effect of increasing your milk supply. I chose the herbal first and it worked. The name of the herb is Fenugreek and you can get it at most vitamin stores. I purchased my bottle from Mia's Health on Vineville by Moe's. The salesperson knew exactly what I was talking about when I asked for it by name.
Good luck! I highly encourage breastfeeding as long as possible.

Have you been drinking enough water?
Try to increase the water - at least a glass every time you nurse. Also try increasing feeding frequency instead of lentgh.
Good luck

take a hot damp towel and massage your breast with it before nursing and pumping this made a world of differance for me. Sometimes your breast will get used to the high setting on the pump so turn it down little by little and be patient.

Good luck

Hi E.,

I had the same problem! But I didn't have an electric pump- I had a hand pump. I saw a lactation consultant and she told me it was probably because of the underwire bra I was wearing. That type of bra, she said, confines the breast and keeps the milk ducts from being free to become full as milk is produced. I was skeptical. I went home took the bra off and 2-3 hours later my breasts became full. I pumped out plenty of milk for my baby. Most importantly, don't give up with the breastfeeding! Good luck!

Hi E., My experience was similar except it was for one side. The thing that fixed it was I fed my baby more often and started on that side. The more often you feed the more milk you will make. You really should not be pumping this early. And just enjoy this time with your baby. It is precious and I just stopped breastfeeding youngesta 17 months. Another thing you can try is an herb called Fenugreek. I took 2 capsules twice a day for about a week and I had more milk that my baby could drink. I hope this helps

The most efficient pump in the world is your baby. The amount you can get from a pump, even from a good one like Medela or Ameda is no comparison. Those silly battery operated ones form the drug store are useless and they hurt! They're usually manufactured by formula companies, so what's in it for them to make pumping pleasant or effective. Is your baby wetting enough diapers and making enough bowel movements? If so, he's getting enough. If you can't tell, have the doctor weigh him. As you can see from the volume of responses, this is a pretty common concern. It's usually nothing to worry about. In addition to drinking enough fluids, make sure you get enough to eat when you're nursing.

Hello E., are you taking in enough fluid? Try and drink a tall glass of water before and after nursing and also make sure you are eating some very wholesome meals. Please hold off on the formula and talk to some experts, if where you had your baby doesn’t have one please call WellStar breastfeeding center at ###-###-####. or call La Leche GA at ###-###-####. Good luck and pls let me know if you need further guidance. ____@____.com

One thing I have heard is that it is easier for a baby to get the milk out then it is from pump. I would contact le leche. They have a lot of knowledge on breastfeeding. Good luck.

Sounds like your milk supply is drying up. I'd suggest talking to your ob gyn or a lactation consultant at the hospital where you delivered. There are things they can do to help :)

Good luck!
A. C

The amount of milk you see from hand expression or pumping says little or nothing about the amount of milk your baby is getting. The best measure of that is output. You want to see a minimum of 8-12 wet diapers and 1-3 poopy diapers in 24 hours. If you are supplementing with formula and not pumping every time, your body is getting the message that you need less milk. I suggest you talk with a lactation consultant (I will happily recommend a few) or a La Leche League leader (a volunteer lactation consultant. You can quickly increase your milk supply by nursing more frequently (as you probably did in the first couple of weeks) for a while and pumping in between. Basically, you want to send your body the message that you need more milk. Frequency is a critical factor for increasing milk supply - better to pump 6 times a day for 10 minutes than twice for 30 minutes. feel free to contact me, if I can help.

I will probably be repeating what other mom's have written but I would drink more fluids, Mother's Milk tea, and there are tonics that you can take that are specifically for increase in milk. Alfalfa is an herb that works well to increase milk as well.The tonics and tea have been very successful for many women I know. And of course, La Leche. Don't give up! (and don't worry about the pumping, I had to practically engorge myself or pump on one side while nursing on the other to get ANY milk in a bottle, and I have a lot of milk, still leaking with my 1.5 year old!)

Drink LOTS of water! Try pumping/nursing more often as well. Dehydration will cause milk production to decrease, and nursing more often will also help increase your milk supply. I have breast fed both of my boys and while it can be difficult at first, once you get in the groove, it is SOOOO much easier and healthier for you and your baby.

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