24 answers

I'm Having Trouble with Decreased Milk Supply.

Hello Moms
I was breastfeeding and doing well until my milk supply just went belly up. I can't even get 1oz.I was pumping and feeding, but everytime I set down to breastfeed, I have to have a bottle as well. What can I do to increase my milk supply. My daughter will be 3 months old this weekend. My husband just think I should get over it, but this is something I strongly want to do for her. Is it too late to get my milk supply back up? She does latch on well and I try to breastfeed everyday or get what little I have everyday.Please help...

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Moms I just want to say thanks for all the encouraging words, it really does help.I am now taking Blessed Thistle and Fenugreek. They were recommened by my lactation specialist. I am alos going to try to beer. I've never had a beer before, but at this point I will try anything.I just started with the herbs two days ago so I very excited to see some results soon.I am also letting her nurse as mush as possible.This part is the hardest with me working fulltime now.I have my pump with me at work now and trying to get some that way as well but I have not had much luck with that. I hope to be writting back soon with some good news.Thanks again MOMs

Featured Answers

Honestly I don't know how to spell it but is a medication, you will need prescription for it, called "REGALINE" (thats how it sounds). I have to friends that used it and their milk production jumped immediately. I hope this works.

I second what everyone else has said. Also try to eat some oatmeal -- whole oats, the real thing, not instant. Perhaps make some homemade oatmeal cookies. But I have heard water, water, water, plus possibly dark beer, oatmeal, and the fenugreek all work wonders for some moms. Good luck -- don't give up yet!

More Answers

First, congrats on making it this long. Three months is quite and achievement. I bf'd for a year and had many supply ups and downs. I know it is hard, but stop supplementing. BFing is all about supply vs. demand so if you supplement with a bottle you are sending a mixed signal to your body - you are telling your body that it is producing adequately. It is a nasty slope, you don't produce enough so you supplement - you are telling your body that it is producing enough if not too much so then your supply drops even more

A couple of things you can do.
1. Get ready for some long bf sessions. I went on an antibiotic for a cold that sank my supply drastically. For about 4 or 5 days after I fed for almost an hour each feeding session and after the 4th day my supply started getting back to normal.
2. Extra feeding sessions. Feed twice as often.
3. I work full time so I could not avoid pumping, so, I pumped for twice as long. Even if nothing is coming out, still pump for another 10 minutes or so. This is helping your body get the supply vs. demand signal that it is not producing enough.
4. Pump after each feeding - again, even if you don't get anything.
5. Herbal supplements - the combination of blessed thistle and fenugreek help increase supply but can make your little one a bit gassy. You can find these at any health food store or in "Mother's Milk" tea (do a google search). I have been told that they only work if you use the two together.
6. Finally, lots of water, lots of sleep and try to relax.

Good Luck!

I have heard from others that its important to make sure you are eating and drinking enough water to keep you milk supply up. My info is based on a website www.babyfit.com They have a breastfeeding information area where they go into much more detail. You might check it out. Jess

OK so I have had the same trouble. The old faithful Lots of water. Have her nurse first every meal and then supplement. And some other things that really work: Fenugreek 3 caps 3 times a day, Brewers yeast 3 tabs 3 times a day and Reglan(RX) 10mg 3 times a day. I have a hormonal imbalance that is trying to dry me up. I am fighting the good fight with all three things above. I started having trouble at 3 months old and he is 8 months now. I started with the Fenugreek recommended by all the websites and doulas and lactation consultants --I had talked to 5 lactaion consultants by the time he was 5 months old!!! then at 7 months started the other 2 at the same time--so I really don't know which one is really helping. But it is working to the point some nights I have to get up and feed him because I am engorged and hurting!!! I began feeding and then pumping in between each feeding during the day. That helped for a while. The Fenugreek -if it is going to work for you, works pretty fast. I saw a difference within about 36 hours from starting it. All but the Reglan can be found at GNC or any health food store. I went to my OB and asked for the Reglan specifically and she complied without any problem. I felt really strongly about this as well and have not given up yet! Don't through in the towel --keep supplementing until you can regain your supply.

Feel free to email me with any other questions
J.

I know Kellymom is a great resource and have also heard of fenugreek helping. But I wanted to ask -- have you been sick? Have you taken a decongestant? Sometimes those can "dry up" other things besides mucous. Best of luck.

When I nured my children I took Fenegrek, a herb used to increase milk supply. You can get it at a health food store. I bought it at GNC.
Also keep drinking water. It is easy to get dehydrared when nursing.
If I felt fatigued, I would drink more water and then I felt stronger and more awake.

Go to GNC and pick up some Mother's Milk. Start drinkning allot of water and try to feed even if it's fruitless. You'll start to notice an increase in a couple of days. I would do these steps until my milk supply was back in full swing. I went about a month without producing milk and got it back. Stay with it and don't let anyone sway you if this is what you want to do.

Find a local La Leche group & call them. They are really helpful.
Also, you are decreasing your milk supply by bottle feeding...you body will only produce what your baby needs! The female human body will produce exactly the amount needed for the suckling time the day before. In other words, if at 4pm on Tues youfed her for 30 mins, it will produce enough milk flow on Weds to last 30 mins. If you skipped a feed, it tells your body that milk was not needed and therefore dry up at that period. Try pumping in between feeds to get that supply back up and do not bottle feed your daughter in between...I know this is hard for a mother to do, especially if they even think for a second, that their baby is hungry, but nature designed it so that your baby sets the flow & she won't do that if she doesn't need it.

Also check ANY medications you might be taking, as some of these could decrease flow.

Good Luck!

Don't give up and call a lactation nurse! Many will even come to your home to help you! Drink a glass of water everytime you sit down to nurse or a beer it really works. I once read a book, I cann't remember the name but it was written in the 70's, it said drink a beer even if it's 10AM it relaxes you and helps with milk production.
You can do it!

Tayna,

Have you considered maybe that you could be very stressed out? When I was breastfeeding my son I found that when I was very stressed out for the very same reason you are my milk production decreased. Once I learned to calm down and drink a lot of water that seemed to help a lot. If you find that nothing else works you could breastfeed with the milk you do have and supplement with formula when you don't have enough breast milk. At least this way your baby will still be getting the breastmilk she needs, but isn't going hungry if you can't supply enough.

You absolutely can get your milk back up. First, nurse as much as humanly possible. Nothing beats babies sucking to encourage milk supply. Second, pump whenever you can and try to do it at the same times every day. It is all about supply and demand, if you demand it, you WILL supply it. Drink so much water that you get sick of it, and then drink some more. You have to stay hydrated to make enough milk and you really need to be eating a 3000 calorie diet so your milk is healthy. If all that fails, you can always ask for reglan to help. I would actually do that now while you are trying to get your milk back up. Your OB will have NO problem getting that for you. good Luck!

Have you talked to your dr. about this? There is breastfeeding organizations to help also. Try a small glass of beer to get going again.

Drink a beer, the yeast in it increases milk production. just don't get drunk!. also try hand pumping all the time, in the shower, after nursing. it will take a while for your body to increase the amount but once it gets going you will be fine! you can always check with La Leche group too! good luck

There is a natural supplement called phenugreek. You can get it pretty cheap at GNC.

Hi T.,

I am currently breastfeeding my fourth child and he's 5 months old. Breastfeeding is such an emotionally-charged experience and I've been on the roller coaster for a long time myself. I commend you for asking for help. So many women give up too soon.

In a real conversation, I would like to ask more questions to help you get to the source of the problem. The biggest question is what makes you think there is a problem exactly? Is your baby still hungry after feeding? When you say you pump and only get an ounce, is that after nursing or at the beginning of the feeding time?

My first word of advice is don't give up yet. It's not too late. Your husband, while well-meaning, may be encouraging you to stop because he wants you to be happy again. I can assure you if yous stop before you're ready, you will not be happy about it. If it is your desire to continue, make sure you get the support you need wherever you can get it.

You say that you "try to breastfeed everyday or get what little I have everyday". In order to get your supply up, you need to breastfeed frequently. Every 2 to 3 hours. If you're only offering to nurse infrequently, that can make the problem worse. It's a supply and demand game. If she's not demanding milk, your supply will decrease naturally.

I've been on many websites and read lots of books on this topic and my favorite is a book called The Ultimate Breastfeeding Book of Answers by Jack Newman. Chapter 5 is all about Not Enough Milk and he has some very practical advice.

If you found any of this helpful, please don't hesitate to email me back and I would be happy to continue helping you improve your breastfeeding experience for your sake and your daughter's.

S.

Honestly I don't know how to spell it but is a medication, you will need prescription for it, called "REGALINE" (thats how it sounds). I have to friends that used it and their milk production jumped immediately. I hope this works.

I agree, stop supplementing. The more you nurse, the more you produce. Go to www.kellymom.com. I will email you Spartanburg's La Leche League Leader's email address if you would like some professional advice, if you would like-she is a close friend of mine...

T.....call your ob there is some kind of prescription they can give you to increase or your supply OR you can go the herbal route...I think it is called thistle milk...but I forget, just google or search for increasing your supply while breastfeeding....I tried this and it worked for me.

Hi T., I fed my baby for 16 months. I got sick when he was about 6 weeks and almost lost my milk. The only way and the best way is to quit giving her a bottle after she nurses. Second is to quit pumping. You are never going to get yourmilk up withthe pump. I strictly pumped with my first and it was a daily struggle to get enough for 1 of his 5 bottles. He was thirsty. My second I only pumped once during the day at work and nursedhim the rest of the time. You may want to take a day and jsut spend it nursing her all day. forget about everyhting else and just feed your baby. she may want to nurse every 15 minutes until she gets it back to the level she wants. Also she will always get more out than the pump. So the more often you can nurse her is the best way. giving her a bottle is causing your milk to drop. Anohter thing you can do isdrink a beer at night. It does not have to be a real beer. get an alchohol free one and you will have a ton of milk the next day. Antoher thing that worked for me is Fenugreek you can get from GNC. That is what kept me going wwith my first one. A ton of it too.
Let meknow how it goes. Also, if you have a fear of feeding her in public, you need to get over it. This is your baby and if that is the way you wnat to feed her, others understand. You can find places to go and put your back to the crowd or cover the baby with a blanket. You are doing great. and I hope you can keep it going. It was the most conveniwent thing for me since sliced bread!!!!

It is definitely not too late to increase supply. Here is a good information site about breastfeeding - http://www.kellymom.com/bf/supply/low-supply.html
Also, try contacting Jennifer Jacobs, the LLL leader here in Spartanburg - ____@____.com
Something that helped me with my low supply was fenugreek - it is an herb. My baby was gaining very slowly, and so I started on fenugreek and she started gaining again. I stopped taking it when she was 9 months old, and my supply immediately and dramatically decreased, so I know it was actually working.
Don't give up! Breastmilk is the best food you can give your baby :) Even if it is just a little bit. Good luck! And definitely contact Jennifer - she is a big help and is very encouraging!

Check with your doctor to make sure you aren't having any health issues also. Different medicines can affect milk supply.

Stressing out can affect milk supply. Pick a comfy chair, dim the lights, and put on some quieting music to destress yourself.

One thing no one has mentioned yet--caffeine affected my milk supply.

Good luck and congratulations!

I had the same problem when I starting going back to work when my son was about 3 months also. I just went to a herbal product store. They have a pill called Fenageek. I think that how its spelled and I worked wonders!! I hope that helps!!

I second what everyone else has said. Also try to eat some oatmeal -- whole oats, the real thing, not instant. Perhaps make some homemade oatmeal cookies. But I have heard water, water, water, plus possibly dark beer, oatmeal, and the fenugreek all work wonders for some moms. Good luck -- don't give up yet!

My daughter's pediatrician recommended that I take Alfalfa supplements...up to three a day, but work up to three SLOWLY...its just like any other type of fiber, so too much at first you'll regret! But it worked for me

When I was nursing my son, my milk supply slowly decreased. I ended up taking an herbal supplement called Fenugreek, which was recommended by my doctor's office. It makes you smell like maple syrup all the time, but it worked for me. Your doctor can also give you a prescription for a medication that can help (I don't remember what it was, but I chose to try the herbal remedy first). When you are nursing, if you continue to let your daughter nurse, even when the milk is gone, that is supposed to help your body know that it needs to produce more milk. Otherwise, your body thinks it's producing exactly how much you need. Good luck. :)

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