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Low Breast Milk Supply

Hi all:
Any advice on how to increase breast milk production? I work full time and have to use a pump. My son does not latch on well and breastfeeding has been too painful from day 1. I do try to get him on me a couple of times a day to get that signal to my body but my milk production is REALLY low. I am lucky to get 1 ounce out of both breasts when pumping after 7 weeks.

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Thank you all for the advice. I have been taking fenugreek for a couple of days but didn't realize I needed a much higher dose than just 1 capsule per day. I also ordered More Milk Plus capsules and will take them as soon as they arrive.

I appreciate the overwhelming response and will take all of your suggestions into consideration. I do have a session with a LC set up...wish me luck.

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I would try to pump as much as possible and drink lots of water. the more you do it, the more milk will come, it may take a couple days to notice but it will come back.

There are milk enhancing teas (Mother's Milk) that you can get at local health food stores that may help if you drink a lot. There is also a supplement that you can get I think at any drugstore but definitely at a health food store called Fenugreek. I may have misspelled it but if you look at the ingredients in the tea you should see the name. I used it and it worked wonders for me.

I experienced the same thing when I went back to work. I found that drinking Mother's Milk tea and taking fenugreek helped a lot. You can find both at GNC or Vitamin Shoppe. The tea doesn't taste all that great (fyi) and you need to take 2 capsules of the fenugreek 2-3 times a day to see results (you will notice you will smell like maple syrup). These were both suggestions from a lactation consultant who was also a RN so they are safe. Good luck!

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While I know people who have exclusively pumped, you need to get your son to latch on well.

Can you contact a lactation consultant? Either from the hospital or an independent one?

Breastfeeding is not supposed to be painful and his sucking is essential to establishing your milk supply.

I have breastfed 5 children and I know it to be painful for about 2 weeks. What worked for me was Lanolin cream and a nipple shield until my nipples got used to breasfeeding? Nipple shields can be found in any baby stores, maybe even Target. Are you in contact with a lactation consultant from the hospital where you had your baby? They can be very helpful. To increase milk supply, I had to take Reglan for about 10 days but the best thing is nurse, nurse, nurse and drink, drink, drink...
Good luck,

I have nursed two babies, one girl and one boy, and hope to nurse number 3 when he/she arrives in July. Have you called your lactation consultant? I know that La Leche league online hans lots of info. It sounds like you might just have the latch on wrong and need to get him to latch right and then your supply should increase. Does his mouth cover the aereola (sp) of your nipple? If not, try to have him open wide, when he is hungry and first latching on, and then see how he does. Also, make sure that he isn't sucking in his bottom lip, if so then gently pull it out while he is latched on. Did you pump 4-6 ounces in the beginning when he was first born? Were you ever engorged? If not to either of these, you might just need to supplement and still continue to nurse and pump. It is totally up to you, but I have done both. My daughter didn't latch right and I wish that I had called lactation, but just didn't know to. Do not be afraid to ask for help and get him to not have to work so hard to eat. Let me know if you have any questions.

Several Natural or Health food places will normally carry a special tea that will boost breast milk. I used these for a few weeks and was surprised by the result(s).

With my first son, I had to completely pump everything. And my LC told me in order to keep my production high I needed to pump every 2-3 hours for 15 mins and at least once during the 12AM-6AM time frame. It was very hard, but I was able to produce tons of milk.
Good Luck,

Hi E.,

Call the La Leche League and your obstretical doc. D.

try placing a warm rag on your breast while you pump- sometimes that helps release the milk a little easier, so maybe if you're more relaxed (it "flows" easier) your body will begin to make more.....

I have a 12yo that I was only able to BF for 3months and a 3.5 yo that I bf a full yr. What type of pump are you using? You need a high end Medella or to rent one fronm the hospital to be truly successful. Is your son tongue tied? Both of my boys were and it created problems with latching on. Also are you getting plenty of H2O and protein? I found that if I pumped between feedings at night I was able to get enough milk. I actually had to throw some out. I recommend finding a lactation consultant. There are some that work outside of LaLeche. I know a Leche has a reputation of not being pump friendly.

Remember follow your instincts. Breast is best in most cases. Even before formula some women used wet nurses. I was very determined with my second child and I had a great deal of support from my husband. With my first work discouraged me form trying and it was very unfamiliar territory. My oldest son became very hungry and I felt it was best to stop and put him on formula. Please do not be hard on yourself if this just does not work out for you this time. At the same time if this is very important to you don't give up without exhausting all your resources.

Breast Wishes,
E. B.

Hello E..

For my most recent baby I had extremely low milk production as well. I was producing about one ounce (if that) at a time, too. Unfortunately, I had no choice but to switch to formula after 4 months of my baby not gaining nearly enough weight, and me feeding her quite often (she was in the negative range for weight- I didn't start out by pumping, so it took a while to find out that my production was low in the first place)!!! By the way, the medical explanation they gave me was that I was too stressed out to produce. Also, to give you an idea of how deprived she was, when she was four months old (when I started switching over to formula), I'd breastfeed her, then offer her formula, and she would have the full 8 oz bottle! This was horrible for me to find out that her weight issue was my fault, but thankfully she's SUPER-healthy now:)

I asked everyone I knew if they had any suggestions- most came AFTER I had to give up breastfeeding, here are some... So I have a few questions and also suggestions:

How often do you pump/breastfeed? When there is milk production issues, you should do it every 2 hours.

Do you also give him formula? That will definitely cause a big decrease in milk supply.

There are some vitamins/herbs that were suggested to me (that were too late for me to try) Fenugreek, and Goat's Rue. Goats Rue is actually used in cows and goats to up their milk supply w/o using chemicals (also some women who are not breastfeeding say it makes their breasts larger). These were suggested to me by someone from La Leche League (which I suggest you calling- they are very helpful about ANYTHING related to breastfeeding)

That's all I can think of right now. Let me know how these work out. I'm planning on breastfeeding again, and I don't want the same problem to happen to me again.

Hope this is helpful

Also, from what the person below has said, that DOES work- on some people- it did not work for me however, I drank and ate PLENTY when I was breastfeeding:(

Also, I breastfed my other two girls w/o any problems.


How long do you spend?

The trick to this is relaxing so that your milk can come in. It sounds like you aren't relaxing for one. I'd be surprised if you say that you spend more than ten minutes. It takes that long just to get settled. You could try reading a good book. If you have only been spending ten minutes then try adding five to each side every two or three days add five more. With a good book. You will be sore, but you need to "increase the need". Your body naturally produces more when more is "requested". Whith a baby that would happen more naturally, so you have to work at it.

It is important to drink at least eight glasses of water a day. Force the fluids. When you are nursing you need it and it will go down easily. After you reach a certain point you will find the milk starts spraying out.

I breast fed my little girl, and my doctor said to "drink milk to make milk." It worked! They also say that if you think about making milk and having the let down response, your hormones will naturally kick in to make more.
Good Luck and Stay Positive!

The baby is much more effective than any pump. If you can let the baby nurse on demand about 5 min each side and DONT use the pump at all... MAKE SURE YOU NURSE BOTH SIDES (don't forget ...don't wash w/ soap and water... use lanolin after nursing it wont hurt baby), the pain should subside quickly. take some days off work if you can, it is so worth it!! After the pain subsides, the endorphins will bond you to your Baby like nothing else.. it is the single most special experience I have had in my life... and I have been around 48 years! Nurse laying down with the baby and just relax.

By the way if it doesn't work out, don't be hard on yourself. Just use formula and put Hubby to the task often. If there is any way you can quit work for a year DO IT!!

Good luck and may God bless... don't forget to pray for the help you need!

I used Fenugreek (an herb) with lots of success while bfeeding my first daughter. You can find dosing info on the La Leche League website (I think), or you can google it.

I also found if I was tired, not drinking enough water or eating enough my milk production went down to do your best to take care of yourself so you can take care of your son.

Good luck! L.

About me: Stay home mom/writer to 2 girls, 8 and 2.

I know it's hard. You've probably been told to look at a picture of your son while breastfeeding; I also found it helpful to read my baby and parenting magazines while pumping - it distracted me from fretting about how little was coming out or how slow the pumping was but at the same time got me in a "mama mood." Try to nurse him in person more often if you can. Use Lansinoh or another nipple cream to help with the soreness. You will toughen up slowly but surely! I would nurse my son in the morning and use the hand pump that came with my Medela pump on the breast he wasn't on and could often get a good amount because he would stimulate my let-down. When you're nursing him, don't feel bad about watching TV or reading if you need distraction from the pain or boredom. I've read advice that you shouldn't watch TV because this is a time to commune with and make eye contact with your baby - well, mine was never interested in anything above my breast when he was nursing. It's far better to make it easier on yourself to offer the breast more than to create some sort of spiritual communication. Good luck!

There are milk enhancing teas (Mother's Milk) that you can get at local health food stores that may help if you drink a lot. There is also a supplement that you can get I think at any drugstore but definitely at a health food store called Fenugreek. I may have misspelled it but if you look at the ingredients in the tea you should see the name. I used it and it worked wonders for me.

Hi E.,
I know it can be very frustrating, but there is hope. Since you do have some milk still producing, try drinking some tea. Tea does help stimulate the production and is soothing as well. Try something like chamomille to help distress you after a long day at work. You can also try warm compresses to the breast to help the milk flow. Take a small washcloth and apply to each breast, with water as warm as you can stand from the faucet or microwave a wet washcloth about one minute and wrap in another cloth.
For the pain, have you tried using plain lanolin you can purchase from the drugstore, and rub on the nipples. You should squeeze each nipple and rub to the amount you can stand. This will help toughen up the nipples to where you can tolerate the baby latching more. The other thing is to let your new baby get used to latching. Try laying the baby in your arms with the breast exposed and just squeeze a small amount out and rub against the baby's mouth. This will expose the baby to the warm of the breast and milk. You can also try rubbing the baby's cheek before doing what is stated above; this will help to encourage the feeding process.
I hope all this works for you. I was introduced to this site by my daughter who is a young mother. I breastfed all five of my children with great success. The first one was the hardest, getting my breast prepared. I had good coaching from a nurse, where I was having my prenatal care and read on it a lot.

Hi E... the best advice I can give you is to pump every chance you can get & freeze it. the more you ask of your body the more it will produce. Do you have a good elecric double pump? If you are using a manual one I would invest in a good dual electric one well worth the investment I used mine for 3 kids. Keep trying to latch him on as much as possible too & when he's finished pump a little too i know yo'll be tired of pumping but you'll have a lot stored and you'll be producing enough for him as well..
hope this helps.. if all else fails contact your Dr or the Lactaid Specialist in your local hospital can be a great help..or your OBGYN too.
Good Luck..

Have you considered co-sleeping? This was a wonderful way to keep my supply going when I returned to work, as ds would nurse often during the night, but co-sleeping allowed me to get some sleep as well ;) If you aren't co-sleeping and decide to, please make sure to ensure that you are doing so safely. www.askdrsears.com is a great resource for learning how to share sleep with your son in a safe way. Another REALLY great resource for breastfeeding mamas is www.kellymom.com.

Good luck!

Hi E.,
My pediatrician told me to get an herb call Fenugreek. I had the same problem as you but the Fenugreek only got me up to about 2oz which wasn't enough. I was pumping and giving formula. After 8 weeks, I gave up and went to formula. Talk to your ped about Fenugreek and see what they say.


First congrats to you for even attempting to stick it out for 7 weeks, many give up after 2-3 days for less issues than you discussed. I haven't read all your other replies but a few ideas:
1. Make sure you have a quality breast pump (medela or ameda); until/unless they pass Maloney's bill in Congress unfortunately there is no standard by which pumps are measured before they go on the market as to quality issues.
2. While pumping try breast compressions (massage the breast tissue towards the nipple) which has been shown to increase supply and quantity pumped at each session almost 100%.
3. After pumping, try hand expressing the rest of the milk out; talk to a Lactation consultant if you don't know how...it's worth the cost of the visit and will save you in the money you don't have to spend on formula.
4. Make sure you're pumping at least every 3 hours when you're away from the baby.
5. Find out what's going on that it's still to painful. By now that should not be an issue unless you haven't dealt with the problem. Could be a lot of things so I'd definitely discuss with a LC.
6. Try Fenugreek or Mother's milk tea as has been suggested.
7. Try (easier said than done) not to stress over 1-6 or anything else since milk production can decrease under very stressful conditions even if you can't prove it in a study.
Hope this helps,

Have you tried to get in touch with a lactation consultant at the hospital?

It may be the pump you use.

I hope things work out for you. I breastfed two of my four and would have breastfed all of them had I known the benefits from the beginning.

Have you tried Mother's Milk tea? There's also a Mother's Milk tincture, and then I think you can also just take straight fenugreek in the form of pills. The Breastfeeding Center at 2141 K Street in DC carries many of these remedies but I'm sure you can find them in health food stores or online as well. I tried the tincture when I was breastfeeding and it worked pretty well for me though I wasn't as low as you when I starting using it. Good luck!


Hi E.,
my name is K. and I had the same problem with my second child. I tried herbs; Borage is a very effective herb as well as comfrey leaf. Also, Traditional Medicinals, a tea company, makes a great blend called "Mother's Milk". I used this blend and had so much milk that I had to use a water glass to catch the run-off from the breast not being nursed!
Good luck to you. Oh, don't forget to relax. Stress will dry you right up.

Hi, E.. The best thing that worked for me was the yogi tea for nursing mothers. It is organic and is caffein free. It also helps your baby digestion better and also relaxes you. You can find it in the organic section at farm fresh. it is less than $5. There is another one in there but this ones taste pretty good too. You can also go one www.yogitea.com and request free sample. But try the tea it really works. post back to let me know if it works for you

Get "The Nursing Mother's Companion". It's very informational and not super preachy like some other guides out there.

What pump are you using? I used a Medela Pump In Style with my first two and then used the Avent Isis with my third child (we were overseas and I didn't have the Medela with me). The Isis actually worked better - it's more comfortable and I got more milk. This is something I've heard from other people, too.

Then, the only way to get your body to make more is to pump/nurse more often. It's all supply and demand. If there's more demand, your body will supply more.

Your biggest problem is that you have latch-on issues. A baby can get far more from your breast than any pump. If you can manage it, have your baby nurse from one side while you pump the other. You'll be surprised how much more you get.

You might also try some of the nursing mother teas out there. They contain fenugreek - a spice that's been used for ages to stimulate milk production. Don't know if it really works, but it's worth a try. It tastes kind of anise-y.

pump, pump, pump- thru the pain- and drink drink drink plenty of fluids- which can be difficult with work and bathroom breaks- reduce stress when you can and sleep as much as you can- go to bed as soon as possible- no TV-take care of yourself and your body will provide.

Hi E.,

You could try taking brewers yeast supplements, which helps to increase milk production. I found this very helpful when my son was nursing. Good luck!

Water. Rest. Time with baby.

Google Jack Newman- he usually has good advice. I found that an herbal preparation- MOre Milk Plus was very helpful in boosting my supply- you can get it online at motherlove.com or you can call a local distributor (who's also a doula who can answer some questions for you)- her name is Sara Toombs and her number is: ###-###-####

I know it sounds counter intuitive, but pump more rather than less. And if possible get on a good schedule of pumping every hour and a half or two hours. Try not to skip any sessions. The more you pump or breast feed the more milk you will produce. You should also try some of the "Mother's Milk" tea which has fenugeek and some other herbs that are supposed to help increase supply. Also make sure you are drinking plenty of water and try increasing your water intake to see if that helps. Cut out all caffine as it can affect milk supply.

And probably most important of all, try not to stress out too much about it. The more stress you feel, the harder it is to pump.

I have a friend who also had a lot of trouble nursing, but figured out how to pump and was able to keep her daughter in breastmilk for a ridiculously long time (like a year and a half) just with pumping.

Okay, actually this is the most important, breastfeeding and pumping can be really really hard and so you have to cut yourself some slack. If you try the tea, increasing pumping as much as you can and increase water, etc. and it still doesn't work out, it is not your fault. It can be very emotional, but just hang in there and know that you are doing your best.

You might also check out the La Leche league website to see if they have other suggestions on increasing milk supply, but remember to take everything with a grain of salt, you have to do what is right for you.

Good luck!

Breastfeeding is painful until your nipples get toughened up, and it can make you tense, which makes the baby tense, and the whole experience only makes you feel guilty which makes you tense, etc. One of the tricks I used with new moms was to place a bottle nipple over their own to give the baby something to latch on to, babies have to learn to suck, and sometimes can't draw enough of the nipple into their mouth to get a good grip, especially if the breast is engorged. Once they got started the bottle nipple could be removed and the babies could latch on okay. You have to drink A LOT. Some babies do not switch well from breast to bottle no matter what brand nipple you use; it just feels different. The best pump I ever had was one EvenFlo made, not the electric one because that has a cyclic suction--the one I used you could pull up on it and keep a continuous suction as long as that let-down of milk lasted. Try nipple stimulation to trigger let-down before you pump. One old wives bit of advice was to drink a beer before nursing, something about the hops. You may need to just wean and bottle feed, it's okay. A lot of us are alive who were never breast fed.

Take the supplement Fenugreek, take enough that your pee and sweat smells like syrup. If you google the name with increasing milk supply you will find info on about how many pills to take.

Thats what I used and it really helped, that and keep pumping, stay on a schedule. And just remember in the end you are doing your best and dont be too hard on yourself. I know low milk supply can be really frustrating, good luck!

My experience is as a new Mom of a 3 1/2 month old baby boy. We used a lactation consultant's advice 1 week after the baby was born and it worked perfectly. The key is to be sure you are using a hospital grade pump until your milk supply is well established, after that then I recommend using a commerical pump. We rented a hospital grade pump for the first six weeks until I was "flowing". The other good tip was to pump for 15 - 20 mins after nursing/feedings (which occurred every 3 hours). Don't pay attention to how much milk you are producing, at this stage you are creating "demand". By 6 weeks I was good to go.

Hi E.,
I have a couple of suggestions.
1. Drink more water
2. take a warm/hot shower before you nurse or pump.
3. Get some lanolin for your nipples, it may help them be less sore because you'll produce more milk for the baby than for a pump.
4. Try some Mother's Tea. They have it at Whole foods.
5. Try to get a little extra rest, like a nap (I know it's really hard)
All of those things helped me increase my milk production. I hope they help you!

Try Goat's Rue. It tastes absolutely horrible but I noticed a difference within 12 hours. You can order it at Cottonbabies.com.

They have a medication that the hospital can prescribe to assist in your milk production. My best friend was having the same issue. HOwever, one of the side effects is depression. You may want to ask your doctor about it. I cant recall the name of it off the top of my head, but it helped her out a lot.

I also had problems breastfeeding. My son was a preemie and just didn't take to the breast after bottle feeding when he was tiny. We spent the first few weeks trying to get as much breast milk and formula in him as we could in the shortest time possible. Then, when he was able to I tried breastfeeding and he just couldn't adjust to working for his meal. I pumped for two months to try to boost his immune system, but I was never able pump enough to feed him breast milk exclusively. I had to supplement my milk with formula (I would add formula to his bottles of breast milk when I couldn't supply enough-which was 99% of the time.) After two months of pumping for longer and longer periods to get progressively smaller amounts of milk, I gave up and switched to formula. He thrived. He's hardly ever been sick (until he started PreK this year) and hasn't had any developmental problems (and is impressing his teacher with his pre-reading and math skills, in fact). Sometimes breastfeeding just doesn't work out. Thank goodness we have alternatives in this day and age.
I know this isn't the information you were looking for, but I know I agonized about when to quit pumping. I was so worried that I might not be doing the best thing for my son, that he might get sick more or something without the breast milk. After switching I found that I was much more relaxed and was able to enjoy being a mom more because I wasn't spending all my time hooked up to a machine, frustrated.

Hey E., I had a terrible time with breastfeeding but I stuck it out and am so glad I did. We ended up nursing until my son was almost two which I never would have believed because I struggled so much for the first 4 or 5 months. In fact, the first 4 or 5 months were terrible for me--low milk supply, poor latch, unable to pump more than an ounce at one sitting at work. What worked for me, though may not be the best solution for you, of course, was a nipple shield. It is just a flexible piece of plastic that fits over your nipple--and they come in different sizes to suit the age of your baby--that helps your baby when he is still little and struggling to latch. This was a Godsend for me. It really helped me to get my milk supply back up quickly because it didn't hurt me to let him nurse frequently, which they need to do to increae milk supply. Of course, it is a little bit more hassle because you have to wash the shield and fumble with it before a feeding, but if you just wet it a little it will stick to your skin more easily (I even would use a little lanolin cream to stick it in place). We used the nipple shield until my son was about five months old and once he developed a stronger latch and had learned to feed more efficiently using the shield to help we were fine without it. It also helps a little bit psychologially because you can see milk pooling in the nipple reservoir when he pulls away from suckling and it helps you to realize that while your pumping supply may be low, when your baby is feeding himself your body does a much better job of providing milk. You can get the nipple shields at Babies R Us or any store like that. Just make sure that you use the size most comfortable for you and have a few on hand so you don't have to constantly wash one when you want to feed. they are only a few dollars each. Some people warn against using them saying that they will create nipple confusion, etc. I always found that when people gave baby advice in terms of "always" or "never" it isn't helpful because every baby is different. My son transitioned very easily from nipple shield to bare breast and if they are getting pumped milk they are already accustomed to a bottle anyway. Once he was older and had monster teeth I went back to teh nipple shield for a while because it protected my nipples from constant chapping and scabbing. Anyway, hang in there. It is tough but worth it--though I used to hate it when people said that to me when I was struggling to nurse. lol

First of all, what kind of pump do you have? Hospital grade pumps are the best (ie: Medela pump in style) versus the less expensive ones that you can get at a discount store. Second, remember that the pump usually doesn't reflect what your baby is getting when he latches on. There are a couple of things you can try. First, pump beyond the normal amount of time that you would normally pump. For example, if you pump until you are no longer letting down or empty, try increasing by 5 or 10 minutes. You may not get milk but you will stimulate your body that there is a need for more milk. Second, you may try taking an herbal supplement. The ones that I have seen recommended in the past are Fenugreek and Brewer's yeast. They are both available over the counter and I know that my lactation consultant recomended both. I took the Fenugreek and noticed a different smell to my milk but my babies never minded it. For the discomfort of nursing, have you tried purlan or lansinoh? Both are safe for baby (meaning you don't have to wipe them off before feeding) and you can actually use the lubrication that they provide to help make sure that the baby's lips are positioned correctly. Word of advise - they do stain the bra so it would be a good idea to wear nursing pads if you use them. Finally, always remember to let your nipples dry completely before putting your bra back on (decreases chaffing) and nursing pads that are completely fabric are best (keeps from trapping in moisture). Hope this helps!

Try to drink some Mother's Milk tea. Generally, that will give you an extra ounce at each feeding. Also, try to pump a little more often. The more your breasts are stimulated, the more they will produce. Make sure you are also drinking enough fluids. Also, not all pumps are created equal. Make sure you are at least using an upper level medela or a hospital grade. Hospital grade pumps are the best.

Hi E., I would increase the nursings as much as possible, the more you nurse the more milk you'll produce. Work on teaching him to latch on correctly too or check with a lactation consultant to help you teach him. One of my kids did that too and I kept taking him off until he would latch on correctly.

Sometime people just can't get much with pumps!
ALWAYS drink a glass of water after nursing, and some need lots of rest to breast fed. call a LeLache (sp?) lady to come help! It's real important to breast feed! Also, there is a mother's milk tea you can buy that will help your supply.

Try the supplement Fenugreek. You will have to take three pills three times a day for about three days and that should help with your supply. You can find that at any vitamine store. For latching on there are some products out there that can help you. Medela makes a product called a nipple shield. See it here: http://www.toysrus.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2901997
It goes over your nipple. The tip of it is hard so the baby will latch on to it better. I wouldn't rely on it though if you are going to nurse long term. Continually try to get him to latch on with out it.

I just read some of the other responses. I nursed my three for a bit more that a year. My first was painful for a long time but it went away and I was so glad to have continued with it. The pain lasted for at least 3 weeks if not longer. Pumping can't be all that comfortable either eh? Have you tried the Madela brest sheilds? They keep your bra off of your nipple so that it can heal and air out between feedings. I think that was what finally saved me. With my 2nd and 3rd the pain didn't last nearly as long. After you get over the sensitiviy nursing really is as easy as putting a nipple in their mouths. And you tend to produce much more when you nurse than when you pump.

Try drinking alot of water. The more water the more milk. My sister has 4 children she breastfed all of them until they were 1 or 2 or more. She told me that as I was nursing mine (now3yr. and 9mos). AND it REALLY works.
Dont forget to eat enough as well....I found that out. And rest as much as you can. :)

Hi E.,
I know there are many responses to read, but of the ones I have scanned, it seems that most people aren't addressing your pain issue - so I'll just respond to that! When I was breast feeding my son, most people told me to expect the pain to get better after about two weeks - that was NOT the case for me! My son was an AVID sucker, and/or I was extra sensitive, I don't know, but I had a lot of pain for almost three full months! I found it excruciating to breast feed, and so I pumped a lot just to give my nipples a break! Don't use too much lanolin; like a blister on your finger, you need to let the skin dry so it can heal and toughen up. I also bought fancy cups that were like a little dome with a hole in them so that nothing could actually contact my nipples. Then I just nursed as often as I could stand it, pumped very frequently (even if not much was coming out!) and after a few months I found I had finally reached the point where I could nurse all the time and I had a backlog of milk in the freezer!
Stick it out - it's important, and you will find it all falling into place eventually!

Fresh fruit like bananas and berries, as well as food containing fenugreek (curry powder and Van's Maple Fusion frozen waffles-Yum!) helped me to make enough milk to feed my twin girls. A friend of mine used a fenugreek supplement and it seemed to work well for her.
Hope this helps. Good luck!

Hi E.,
A few min with a postpartum doula and/or lactation support person would be a good idea. It might be something mechanical with his latch or with the pump you are using. I own my own company called Mothering Mommies, LLC. Please feel free to call ###-###-####. We would be happy to help keep you nursing your baby successfuly! There are some other ways to get it going as well if his latch is good and your pump is not the problem. Support from an experienced lactation person is where I would start!

Hey there,
Sesame seeds, lots of them, are supposed to help, though I have to say I haven't tried that one (I intended to, and my poor addled mommy-brain bought a whole truckload of sunflower seeds instead....!). "Mother's milk" tea is another remedy which did seem to help me, I know you can find it at Whole Foods and other stores like that. It's kind of liquorish-y and you have to drink 4 cups a day to make a difference, so if you don't like liquorish flavored stuff it can be a little rough. There are also prescriptions out there to help w/ production, so you may want to talk to you doctor. Hope that helps!

please call the GBMC Lactation Station for help and advice. The lactation consultants there are awesome and they have a lot of products to help increase supply. Just call the GBMC Hospital and ask for the Lactation Station. You can also make an appointment with one of them for one-on-one help and they will solve the issues with it hurting when you nurse him.

I found pumping to be such a mental issue, and I got a lot more when I was reading mommy-blogs on the internet instead of staring at the piddly drops coming out of the machine. also when i ate indian food cooked with fenugreek i would get a lot so diet can have a big affect.

hello! my best advice it to keep trying with the breast feeding. you can call your local La Leche league (www.lalecheleague.com) and they will send someone to your house to help give you pointers. as far as the pump, i could never get any milk using the pump. so maybe, nurse when you can, and when you can't turn to formula? also, there are medications you can take to increase milk production. you'll have to talk to your Dr. there are also some herbs that are supposed to increase production. try doing a google search for "how to increase milk for nursing" or to that effect. sorry i don't have specifics, but i thought maybe my ideas could get you thinking about how to find out more specifics. good luck :)

I am sure you will get plenty of advice on this subject. I had a similar problem. I am still nursing at 10 months. Its doable. I read cover to cover the book "the Breastfeeding book" I think that is what it is called it by Dr Sears. Recommended by a midwife friend who also read it cover to cover. In the book it talks about how if you adopt children and want to nurse you can bring your milk in. So I thought if that is possible I can do this. So can you. I called a place called Best Beginnings and they were helpful. LActation Consultant. I took Fenugreek tabs (herb) and having been drinking the "mother's milk tea 3-5 times a day. It smells funny but, I do believe it works. I decided to stop drinking it because I was just tired of it and the next day when I had my morning pump I got a little less and then the next day a little less. I picked up the tea again and it came back. As much as it would be time consuming. Put the baby to the breast as often as you can. pump after each nursing. FOr at least 10 mins. This will help to stimulate the body to make more. THe first few months I spent all weekend attached to baby and the pump. Also, don't be afraid to supplement, just make sure you nurse first then supplement afterward with just enough to keep the baby healthy but wanting for more. Also, I have one breast that does not respond to the pump. I have figured out that if I manually squeeze the milk out of that side I will get more and it keeps the supply up. I hope all this helps. Remember it is doable. ReneeA

Hi! I've tried Mother's Milk (tea you can get at GNC) and also eating oatmeal and anything that has oatmeal in it. Drink alot of water of course and pump as often as you can. In returning to work, my supply has decreased as well, but I am not as low as you. Also, continue to nurse - no matter how painful. I know it hurts. Any stress you feel will affect your milk supply. My son is 4 months now and I think I will call it quits with breastmilk at 6 months. I doubt I can nurse him the entire first year (which I would love to do). Breastfeeding is not an easy thing - alot more to it than just putting your nipple in your baby's mouth. Its a technique for sure. GOOD LUCK! Hope your supply increases some way some how.

Mothers Milk organic tea is what I use to increase my supply for upcoming growth spurts. It tastes horrible so I recommend lots of honey. You can find it at most grocery stores in the organic section.

Try mother's milk! You can get the tea or capsules. It really works and it's all natural, if you live near Charlottesville, I know Rebecca's natural foods carries them. Whole foods might too, I would just call your local all natural store.

Good luck!!

Hi E.,

I'm sorry to hear about your difficulties with breastfeeding. I had many problems as well, and my son was not able to directly breastfeed because of a physical issue, so I turned to pumping exclusively. After doing my own research on this, I found that pumping is not anywhere close to as effective as direct breastfeeding. It does not empty the breast effectively because the motion is not the same as the baby's sucking. Most women find that they do not get enough pumping to feed their babies if they are doing it exclusively--your baby would get much more than an ounce if directly breastfeeding. I was only able to pump for about 5 months before my supply dried up. Your supply will continue to decrease over time because the pump is not signaling your body to produce more (or even the same amount you are currently producing since your breasts are not emptying), but right now, you might still have an adequate supply if you spend time working on it.

If possible, I would highly recommend hiring a lactation consultant that can help you to suck-train your son. If you can't hire someone, try the local hospitals; some have special breastfeeding clinics that could help. As long as there are no physical problems preventing a correct latch (such as a cleft palate, tongue tie, etc.), you will be able to train your son to latch on correctly by having him suck on your finger. You must make sure that his tongue is over his gums and curved around our finger (tongue position is usually the biggest problem). A lactation consultant can show you exactly how to do this and go over how often to do it. You also want to make sure that you are positioned correctly--not bending forward, making sure baby is belly-to-belly with you with his nose aligned to your nipple. Also wait until he has his mouth wide open before trying to get him on--if he doesn't open wide enough, his tongue will not position right and he will not take in enough of your breast to suck effectively. Sucking just on your nipple will not work--when you take him off, your nipple should still be round, not oval; if it's oval, the latch was not good.

Once you are able to get him to latch correctly, you need to have a "nursing weekend". Go to bed with the baby and do nothing else but feed him on demand. Have someone bring you lots of food and water, and literally stay in bed at least 2 days (3 is better if you can take off of work). By the end of the weekend, your supply will be back up. Then, make sure you are feeding him directly in the mornings and all of his feedings after you get home from work. That way, you should be able to keep your supply up despite having to pump during the day.

I hope this all helps. If you have any other questions, please feel free to contact me directly. Good luck!

K. R.

I would suggest taking some time off from work around a weekend and feed your son only by breast. He's probably getting confused being switched between breast and bottle. Also don't give him a pacifier. I realize this might be incovenient but it's more important than your job. You have a new job now.


i'm having the same problem. contact the breastfeeding center at 2141 k street, nw in Dc. there they can help you with some of these options:

1. rent a hospital grade breast pump. usually cost $2-$3/day

2. research has shown that pumping more often(even for 10 min) gives more milk than pumping for longer periods of time

3. spend the money to get an in-home consultation from a lactation consultant.

4. do research on "tongue-tie" i think my 3 wk old son has that issue and other mothers who've had problems nursing say that getting it clipped was an immediate improvement, some say their baby nursed immediately after the procedure

**i think seeking out a lactation consultant is the most important step.

good luck to you. and please know that you are not alone. i am going thru the same thing.

I also had a low milk supply. My son who was born early would not latch on either. I took fenugreek capsules and they helped some. You can get them from the health food store.

Hi E., congratulations on the baby!! I don't know what responses you have already received, but if you haven't already, how about consulting with a lactation consultant? They are available at every hospital and if for some reason not at a hospital near you, try the Family Services Agency, Inc. in Gaithersburg, MD. You can call ###-###-#### and ask to speak to the lactation consultant. She serves over 2,000 moms (1st time moms as well as returning moms!) a year at Shady Grove Hospital. Hope that helps!

You have gotten so much great advice. I just want to add something that I didn't see others mention but I only read through a few. I have 3 children. I nursed all of them for a year but my 3rd was very difficult. I was in pain the entire year. We dealt with thrush. It was discovered by my doctor when my baby was 2 months old and we could never get it under control. Just ask your doctor if that is a possibility for the pain. You don't want to wait. It makes nursing so much harder. Good luck and God bless,


I had the same problem. Have you been to a lactation consultant? I quickly found out that I have whats called insufficient glandular tissue which means I was never able to produce enough milk to feed my daughter. I had to start supplementing with formula.


I am a 34 yr old mother to 2 lovely boys. I had the joy of staying home with my first and had more breast milk than I knew what to do with. However, I went back to work when my second child was 6wks old and was quite surprised when I had trouble pumping. The best thing I can tell you is to drink LOTS of water. Hope things improve.

Hey E.,
I had the same problem!
You may be doing this already, but try to increase your intake of water and milk (soy or regular). Also, stay AWAY from any alcoholic beverages.

Hello E., There is a herb you can take that will increase your milk suppy. Not sure what the name is, but if you GOOGLE it, I'm sure you can find it. Also, your milk will not be as full without having the baby nurse directly. They have the most influence on you milk supply. What kind of pump do you have? That could make a difference too. You can rent the hospital grade pump ( MEDELA HARMONY) From a drug store usually. That one is just like the real thing. I used that and I got ALOT of milk out. Cost around 60 dollars a month. Also, you need to be pumping every two hours or so to build up o good supply. Another thing could be, are you taking any meds? Birth control? Good luck, B.

I have not read all the other responses (not enough time), so I don't know what they've suggested.

First, let me say that at 7 weeks, your body as adjusted your breastmilk supply, so you probably no longer have that full-breasted engorged feeling. That is normal. The more you nurse, the more milk your body will produce. You are right to try to get him to latch on to signal to your body to produce more milk. I think pumping doesn't send quite the same signal to your body as nursing does. I never felt like I produced as much milk when I pumped as I did when I nursed at the breast. I have tried both hospital grade pumps and home-use pumps, and I do think the hospital ones are stronger.

I nursed my son for 20 months, and experienced a decrease in my supply when my period started back when my son was about 9 months old. I first contacted the La Leche League and they suggested the herbal supplement Fenugreek. I tried the Fenugreek first and it wasn't enough of a boost. So I went to a breastfeeding clinic in my home state while home for the holidays and the M.D. there recommended I take 2000mg of calcium and 1000 mg of magnesium per day. That did the trick for me and I was able to nurse until he was 20 months.

I found I got didn't get enough help at the pediatrician's or at my OB's, but then again, breasfeeding isn't their specialty. Try contacting the lactation specialist at the hospital where you delivered, and/or the La Leche League for more assistance.

Hope this helps! Good luck!!

Try Fenugreek supplements. I tooke them and it helped my supply. Also, drink Mother's Milk Tea. That helps also. Both are available at GNC.

Good Luck!

Although I don't have any advice about the low milk supply, I did want to address your pain issue. My son is 8 weeks old and we too have had latch and pain issues from day 1. I have had to stop breastfeeding him several times over the last couple of months due to the pain. I too pump and then bottle feed him. As it turns out in my case, I have a yeast infection that is causing my nipple pain. I did not realize that there were other things that could cause my pain and kept thinking it was the latch issue, but there are different types of infections that can cause intense pain. I just wanted to bring this to your attention in case you were as unaware of this as I was. If your situation is similar to mine you might be able to resolve the pain issue and begin breastfeeding again. I know how frustrating it is when breastfeeding does not go smoothly, but I think it's great that your making the effort and working so hard to make it work for as long as you can. Let me know if you have any questions and good luck.

Oatmeal, fenugreek, blessed thistle, reglan, domperidone, Mother's Milk tea. If possible, rent a hospital grade pump.

Va Beach has a wonderful La Leche League. Try contacting them and they are always more than happy to help. I've met with all the leaders and they are all great women. Very non-judgmental and always happy to help.


The next meeting isn't until March, but if you give a call now, they can help either over the phone or in person.

First and foremost you must begin with getting enough sleep. Trust me I know having a new baby and working its the least of you are getting right now but it is a crucial key to milk production. As well along with that minimal stress in your world. Let things go just for now. Now the physical part. Eat healthy. Snack pretty much all day on good foods and keep a good pumping regiment throughout the day and also at night even though you have your child. The more he eats and you pump the more you will make. It is alot of work in the beginning but if you work it right you could have 60 bottles stored in the freezer in no time. I breast feed 4 children all for 12 months trust me it works :)

It is all about the law of suppy and demand. The more often you nurse, the more milk you will produce. Perhaps twice a day nursing is not enouhg to keep your production going. Or maybe because you work full time, your body is too tired to produce milk. Is there any way yu can add more feeding times? I admire you for your efforts to give your baby the best milk. AF

I know how you feel. I am a new mom of a wonderful 11 week old baby girl. I had low supply from the start. I read the above advice- it is good- here is my two cents, and what worked for me. First, please see a lactation consultant- they will watch a feeding and help you with latching, and they just provide the very best advice. I love the lactation center of greater washington (K and 21 st NW) the building is ALL valet parking, so that makes it easy- or they will even come to your home. Their website is breastfeedingcenter.org.
I used a hospital grade pump for 1 month, a Symphony by Medela- it was wonderful. I rented mine from Preston's in Arlington, $80/month.
Of course, good hydration, less stress is important.
The supplements are good, I still use one (more milk special blend) per the advice of my lactation consultant, but let them tell you which is best for your situation.


Well, you can try to pump every 2 to 3 hours for about 10-15 min each. I have been taking MotherLove More Milk Plus and More milk tea (both can be found at Whole Food Stores). I cam pump between 2.5 to 3 oz out of each breast. Also it help to have a hospital grade breast pump. My daughter is 7 weeks also and about 13lbs was born weighing 8lb 0.6 oz. Good luck


Have you seen a lactation consultant yet? They can work miracles.....we had latch issues with our first son and after seeing the LC we had 100% breastfeeding success. You should not still be having latching issues...that can definitely contribute to milk supply issues.

HOw often are you BFing? How often are you pumping? I work part-time and to maintain my supply on days I work, I will nurse him before work and after work, but I will pump every 4-5 hours while at work.....make sure to pump to ensure that you are getting good hind milk supply (the fatty stuff that comes later while pumping/BFing)...and for at least a few minutes after you are no longer expressing milk. Your body should respond to increased needs within 24 hours.

Good luck!

E.--my name is H. and I had the same problem, for many reasons. I tied two different herbal supplements: 1.Fenu Greek(pills @ whole foods or gnc)and 2.Mother's Milk(tea bags @ whole foods). I took 3 pills 3x/day and drank the tea--which also gave me more water per day!!--about 4 or 5 times a day. My milk supply almost instantly improved!! I put a little bit of honey in the tea and it was great! Thos two along w/ lots of water and pumping after each actual feeding(when I was @ home) worked for a while. I lost all my milk around 5 months, but at least I got my little boy those months!! A GREAT resource is the Lactation consultants w/ LaLeche group in Fairfax (on Rt29 or Rt50 right in the area of Fairfax w/ the weird intersection near Fair Oaks Mall and Rt66. If I can find the # I will send it on to you.Sorry--he's 9 mo now and eats just about everything I put near his mouth!! :) Hope this helps....please email again if you have more ??'s, I will be glad to help more if I can!! Take care,peace,H.:)

Try drinking Goya Malta drinks. You can find them in the International aisle at your grocery store. This drink is inexpensive and has a taste that you truly have to get used to, but , it works. I had the same problem and it helped me ALOT. Good Luck :)

Hi E.!
My best advice is a beer. It brings the milk right in. One beer won't hurt the baby but boy sometimes it hurts the breasts becaouse they swell. That was the advice my donctor gave me 19 years ago.

Good luck

I would say to keep putting him on both breasts even if he's not getting enough (feed him first). If you're consistent, the milk will come. However, if you rely solely on the pump, your supply will only continue to drop... it's just not the same.

What has helped me speed up my milk supply was copious amounts of full fat yogurt, and astralagus tea. It's always worked for me with a day or two.


Glad to hear you are sticking with it even though it can be tough at times-it is truly the best thing for your baby boy!
I worked and pumped too with my first one-not fun, but I did it for 9 months. The recommendations are that you make sure you are comfortable and will not be bothered. Drink lots of water and make sure you are eating right. When I had some issues, I would bring a picture of my little boy and think about nursing him and that usually got the milk flowing.
Have you read any lactation books? There really are some great ones out there that might help you-both with the latching on and with the production.
Good luck!

I had the same problem: I pumped for 12 months and my milk supply would go up and down. I ended up taking this herbal medicine called MORE MILK PLUS and I ordered it online from Jaye Simpson. Her email address is ____@____.com and her website is https://breastfeedingnetwork.net/. Trust me I had tried everything to increase my supply and it didn't work, but when I tried MORE MILK PLUS I was producing enough for my daughter and even putting some in the freezer for later. Also Jaye Simpson recommends things that you should do to help increase production. She is also great to answer any questions that you have. Good luck!

Unfortunately, breast milk production is all about supply and demand. The beast way to produce more milk is to nurse or express more often. A pump will never milk you as efficiently as a hungry child, so it's important to have the best pump you can possible have. Hopefully, you have a high power electric pump that milks both breasts at once. If not, see if you can upgrade.

Next, try to meet with a lactation consultant and see if you can work together on your son's poor latch. If you don't know how to contact one, look up your local chapter of La Leche League online and they can help you.

Another thing to try is taking an herbal supplement called fenugreek. It can be brewed as a tea or taken in pill form, and it is believed to stimulate milk production.

For my first couple of weeks nursing, I had low milk supply and these things helped me. I was on leave from work for 16 weeks, so I had some time to work things out, but for a month, I nursed every 2-3 hours then immediately hooked up to my pump and pumped for an extra 10 minutes to increase the demand for milk. It was grueling and discouraging, but I nursed my son for 19 months and feel it is the best thing I could have done for him.

Congratulations to you for making the effort in spite of the difficulties!! Keep it up.

2 ideas.........
1-pump first and then nurse you child. He is the best pump, and that way he is fully empting your breast to trigger your body to make more.
2- on the weekend, or when you are home nurse every two hours. it is very exausting... you will feel like a cow, but it tells your body to make more. Babies hit times when thier needs change...and you will see this as then natually wanting to constantly nurse... you will have this more often when you always have to pump.
3- make sure when you pump you get it all....I would have a second let down. so the "skinny" would come out right away...then a few minutes of pumping nothing... then the second let don of the "dessert" the high fat milk. I also needed to relax, and think of my children to let my milk come down. I took a pickure of my son on my beast and looked down at the picture when I pumped.
I worked shift work, and had to pump for over 24 hours straight...then would have a day and a half with my child and back to pumping for another 24 hours. it is hard work , But YOU CAN DO IT!!!!

Congratulations on you new baby boy! I have a 5 week old boy myself. I have found an organic tea called Mother's Milk to be helpful in milk production. This is my second child and I used it with my daughter who I nursed for 22 months! The tea is by Traditional Medicinals and I find it at a Vitamin Shop. It has really increased my milk supply expecially when I needed to store up milk to leave my daughter for a week. I hope this helps!

Congrats on the new little one!! I'm jealous, mine are growing like weeds!! (12 y/o , 3y/o & 1 y/o).

Anyway, milk production, I'd say to keep at the pump, maybe try a schedule/routine and do it for like 15-20 minutes everytime. My youngest took to one side in particular and just doesn't want to give it up, he's going on 18 months, and as much as i love the time with him close, I'm ready to have my breasts back to myself (not to mention how uneven I am..LOL) But over all, just keep pumping, your body will produce what is "required". The less you nurse or pump, your body "thinks" that "X" amount of milk is enough so thats all it willl produce. So pump, pump and pump. Its a pain, i know but worth it. maybe even try a warm compress too just before you pump, my sons hands have always been warm to the touch, so when he grabs ahold of me, before he latches, I can feel the milk on its way.

I hope this helped!! Good luck!!

I am a grandmother, but remember this so well. 25 years ago my doctor told me to help encourage breast milk flow and taste, dietary effects, and digestiblity of milk it helped to drink a no alcohol or low alcohol beer. One a day, preferably after the supper feeding. That way it is absorbed with the food. Something about the yeast in the beer or ale, not the alcohol. Check with your doctor if you are unsure. Also, good nutrition is imperative and reduce spices.:)
Congrats on the lil boy :) I am expecting a new grandbaby in May.

I would suggest supplementing with formula and over-pumping for a few days. Make sure you are really draining each side.P umping is a pain, but it might get you to a point where you can do 1 or 2 good breastfeeding sessions, like first thing in the morning or before bed at night.

I highly highly recommend a lactation consultant to help with latch. A real consultant, not just like the nurses you may have encountered at the hospital, can do an amazing job of getting the latch and position to feel correct. I just met with my consultant for one hour to help with my second child who is 2 weeks old - It was $75 and made all the difference in overcoming pain. And I had nursed for a year with my first child - the first month or two are really tough no matter what.

Keep pumping! It's all about supply and demand! You also need to take care of you. When my supply dipped I would make sure to get a little extra sleep, extra water and extra protein. I actually drank a couple of ENSURES and that usually helped. I also supplemented with Fennugreek Herb from time to time, which also seemed to help. Are you able to relax when you pump? Sometimes if you are nervous your milk will not let down, do you feel it drop? You can also gently massage the top of your chest down towards your nipple and that should help.

I experienced the same thing when I went back to work. I found that drinking Mother's Milk tea and taking fenugreek helped a lot. You can find both at GNC or Vitamin Shoppe. The tea doesn't taste all that great (fyi) and you need to take 2 capsules of the fenugreek 2-3 times a day to see results (you will notice you will smell like maple syrup). These were both suggestions from a lactation consultant who was also a RN so they are safe. Good luck!

I hated pumping and found that if I pumped while watching t.v. or reading or doing anything to distract me from pumping helped. (Imagine... somehow, watching my nipples being stretched through a tube wasn't supporting the process?? Go figure!!) Also- drink tons and tons of water. And always- lactation consultants can be amazing. have you tried La Leche League? http://www.lllofmd-de-dc.org/index.shtml They can be a bit over-dedicated to nursing- (and by that I mean, don't feel guilty if it doesn't work or if you have to pump instead of nursing straight out etc.) but they know great tips!!!!!!!

Drink lots of water!!!


There are several things you can do to help increase your milk production. When I went back to work my milk started to slow down also and I had been pumping since almost birth. I noticed that when I went back to work I was stressed with guilt/ work duties/ House duties and just tring to stay with the program. I was not getting enought sleep or water. This is what was recammended to me and it worked. Start pumping every 2 hours at work & durning the night for at least 2 weeks to get your milk back up. The more often you pump or have the baby feed the more your body will produce. After you feed the baby pump for another 5 or 10 minutes(do this after each feeding for a while. This is going to help your body to produce more milk. You can also use some supplements. I used Fenugreek and it really did help. You can find these in the your local health food store or on line. it is inexpensive and it did help. I would usally get a whole lot more milk when I took the fenugreek. You can for the first week take it 3 times a day to give your body a jump start. You will notice your urine will start to smell a little like Maple. It's not horrible. Also, Increase your Water in take and avoid any caffine and it will decrease your milk.

I hope this helps. If you want more help or someone to talk to since I have been there. I would be more than happy to help and talk. Best of luck to you and I will pray for you. This is an amazing time in your life.

1. Drink More Water
2. Get some sleep - When you can:)
3. Pump every 2 hours ( after you feed the baby and in between feedings) This will really help your body to produce more.
4. Try the Fenugreek. Also take your Prenatal vitamins.
5.Don't drink any caffine

Mother of a 16 month old little girl.

Don't give up! The first 6-7 weeks is just the start of milk production and the nursing relationship. I worked when my son was born and and fully breast-fed him by expressing and nursing him when I was home. Here is what I did that worked!
First, I pumped before my son nursed in the morning. That is when you are the fullest and it's easy to pump close to 4 oz! Then nurse your child nurses, your body will automatically create more milk tomorrow to adjust to the demand.
Then when you pump later in the day, you will not be as worried because you already have some done.
Also - where are you pumping? Make sure you have a picture of your baby or a good mothering magazine like "Mothering" (it's the best!!!! - get it at whole foods). Your breasts will let down easier. AND DRINK WATER or juice during or after always.
I went to a meting of La Leche League once and a wonderful loving woman showed us how to manually express. I then pumped one breast while hand expressing the other. I love those days of milk splattering everywhere.
This is such a special time - you will be able to help many people in similar situations as you stick with this and see the miracles. THANKS FOR ASKING FOR HELP! That's always the first step. You are not alone! Good job mama!! Don't give up - N.

The one thing that helped me a lot was : make sure you drink 8 glasses of water per day. This made a big difference between my first 2 and my 3rd child. However, I really think that sometimes some women just don't produce enough despite their best efforts. But every effort you make is worth it. Even a small amount of breast milk is good .. . I ended up with 3 very healthy mostly formula-fed babies and they are now in their pre-teens and doing great. Don't sweat it if nursing work out.

First you need to get your son's latch corrected. Breastfeeding can be painful for the first few weeks but after that there should be nothing to it and nursing should not be hurting you. See if there is a La Leche League group in your area and have them help you with your latch. This alone should help your supply.

Second, put your son to breast as often as possible when you are at home, every hour to two hours ideally, as often as he will let you.

Third, there are many supplements you can try to help boost your supply: Fenugreek, Mother's Milk Tea, and foods like Oatmeal. Check out the website www.kellymom.com for more information on boosting supply.

Fourth, the amount of milk you are able to pump is not really an accurate gauge as to how much milk you actually produce. I know for me I pump significantly less than what I know my son gets when he nurses. A trick for me is to pump one side while my son is latched onto the other, particularly when I do it for that first morning feeding.

The most important thing right now is to get his latch corrected. The pain of a bad latch can be hindering your supply just by itself.

I had the exact same problem - my daughter had problems latching on because she was sooo tiny.... I would pump and after about week 6 the same thing happened to me, all the sudden i was only pumping like 1oz if that each. I went from having stored frozen breast milk to not being able to pump enough. I was told that I needed to pump more frequently (like every 2 hours) and that should help. I do have to admit that I did get frustrated with it and gave up but that was the advice I did receive when I spoke with the lactation consultant from the hospital about it. Good Luck!

I would try to pump as much as possible and drink lots of water. the more you do it, the more milk will come, it may take a couple days to notice but it will come back.


I know your frustration. I have 3 and breast feeding for all was a challenge. My first didn't latch well, I was so stressed and we only nursed for 3 months. My 2nd latched well, but I was sick after delivery so we only nursed for 2 months. My third latched like a champ, I was relaxed and we really enjoyed that Mommy and me time. However, in all 3 very different situations my milk supply was the same. Two lactation consults helped me understand that some women just don't have a large milk supply. Maybe you're one of them. I stopped nursing my 4.5 month old last week. Don't stress about it. Whatever breast milk your baby gets is bonus and whatever amount of formula he receives is nutrition. Good luck.

I was told I would not be able to bf my son, but I did until he was 4 years old. What helped me was a Traditional Medicinal tea, available at safeway or wherever tea is sold, called Mother's Milk. You should also drink fenugreek or take fenugreek. I would also contact the La Leche League in your town. Huge help.

And drink as much fluid as you can. Water. Lots of water. My milk was so low, I could never pump and get anything, but he could get it out without a problem.

Good luck. J.

My first child had latch issues that made me miserable until I read a little secret in a book. As you bring baby to your breast, make sure that your nipple is pointing toward the roof of his mouth, not the back of his mouth. That will ensure that he has more of the bottom part of your aureola in his mouth. For us, it provided virtually instant relief, and the blisters and sores were gone in days.

If this helps, then I strongly suggest that you take a weekend to just stay in bed with your baby and nurse, nurse, nurse! It will give your breasts the stimulation they need, even if he's not getting a lot. I too had a lower milk supply, and this helped. If it's possible, I'd even say take a week off work to focus on baby nursing as often as possible. Not easy to set that much time aside, but if nursing is important, it may be worth it to try.

Another thing that helped us was nursing on demand. Some folks will say it doesn't matter, but nursing more frequently, even every hour, will stimulate your milk production. But you need to start doing this soon. These early weeks are the time when your breast are developing their milk-making structures, and that stops after a while.

Fenugreek can help, but you have to take a lot more than the bottle says. If you're taking enough, you will smell like maple syrup. (2-4 capsules, 3 times a day!) Fenugreek with Blessed Thistle (Cnicus Benedictus--which I think is different from "blessed milk thistle) is supposed to be even more effective.

Some women find that eating alfalfa helps. One friend had to give up her organic multivitamin because the smidge of alfalfa in it had her about to burst. Eating lots of oatmeal can help, too, as long as it's not instant. Cookies are great.

You might want to evaluate your diet for things that can inhibit milk production -- peppermint, oregano, sage, parsley, spearmint, thyme.

When you do pump, try to pump the breast that is not in use while baby nurses on the other side, then let baby finish off the pumped breast. That will take advantage of the baby-stimulated letdown, and simulate increased demand when you are nursing.

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