98 answers

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.

1 mom found this helpful

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

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.

Featured Answers

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!

More Answers

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.

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