58 answers

Milk Supply Depleting After Returning to Work

I have a 5 month old baby girl. I returned work when she was 3 months old. I was doing fine with pumping at work. Pumping every 3 hours & getting 17-19 ounces a day which would keep her satisfied throughout the next day while I am away from her & then I always breastfeed her when I am with her. But now... I'm still pumping every 3 hours but only getting 8-10 ounces a day which is not enough to keep her full throughout the day and when I try to nurse her she gets frustrated & fussy. So I've had to start supplementing her with formula. She's tolerating the formula fine but I would really like to breastfeed longer. The same thing happened with my first child as well and he stopped nursing at 5 1/2 - 6 months. I am drinking organic Mothers Milk tea & taking Fenugreek as a supplement to help increase my supply (our local lactation specialist recommended these) but does anyone have any other suggestions? Thanks!

1 mom found this helpful

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thanks to EVERYONE for their advice. I think my main problem was not drinking enough water. So I have been drinking 80+ ounces of water a day. I have also started having one non-alcoholic beer at night. AND I quit drinking soda. That alone has already started to help. I started taking the More Milk Plus today. I hope this helps even more. Again, Thank you all soo much!!!!

Featured Answers

Had the same problem and my grandmother (German) said to drink 1/2 a beer. Her thought was the yeast in the beer boosted milk production?? It worked for me when I went back to work and wanted to continue to breast feed. Good luck

1 mom found this helpful

I agree that drinking a lot of water (some people may consider it a ton of water) has been crucial for me. Most days I drink at least 80 ounces of water and I definitely see a decrease in production when I haven't drunk as much.

It has also been important for me to eat plenty of food and I try to eat lots of healthy snacks throughout the day so my body always has calories available.

Good luck, I hope the pumping works out for you!

1 mom found this helpful

The same thing happened to me - its much of the reason I ultimately gave up :( Actually I've heard stress is a BIG reason why mothers dry up. If this is true - I was under and intense amount of stress (my first baby and I went back to work almost right away.) Also I was not drinking enough water.
Hope that helps. Good luck :)

1 mom found this helpful

More Answers

The same thing happened to me - its much of the reason I ultimately gave up :( Actually I've heard stress is a BIG reason why mothers dry up. If this is true - I was under and intense amount of stress (my first baby and I went back to work almost right away.) Also I was not drinking enough water.
Hope that helps. Good luck :)

1 mom found this helpful

Since it is supply vs. demand, pump extra (like crazy) on evenings and weekends for a month or so to get your supply up and freeze the extra.

1 mom found this helpful

I'm a NICU nurse in New Zealand and I deal with this problem daily. Its very hard to keep a good supply, the recommdations we give are to drink at least 3-4 liters of water a day, regular expressing, adequate rest and a drug that is called Domperidone. It is an antiemetic (antinausea) drug with the side effect of increasing the milk supply. Many of our mothers use this with excellent results. We also recommend lots of brewers yeast or a half glass of Guiness before dinner. Good Luck and don't give up.

1 mom found this helpful

Had the same problem and my grandmother (German) said to drink 1/2 a beer. Her thought was the yeast in the beer boosted milk production?? It worked for me when I went back to work and wanted to continue to breast feed. Good luck

1 mom found this helpful

Well, I had two, nursed both, but was only able to nurse for 3 months. I didn't work until the second one was six months, but I imagine the same thing would have happened to me. You are working, taking care of two children, being supermom. Your body is telling you something. Go with the formula and relax. I'm 66....believe me the kids will be fine and you will enjoy reading and doing art and other things just as much. They have gotten the best of the benefit of nursing already and won't suffer. Granny V

P.S. My doctor, back in the dark ages, recommended beer, but I would say vanilla malt shakes would be best. The key is the malt.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi J.

I did not have enough milk with either of my two kids and my doctor nor the lactation specialist could not tell me why I was producing so little mike. I pumped like crazy, drank Mothers Milk tea and took copious amounts of Fenugreek - nothing made a difference! What I do know is that I was anemic through both pregnancies. Some time later I came across a web site that seemed to indicate that low iron may produce less milk. I can't remember the name of the web site and I don't know if this is true, but you may want to investigate it further. Hope this helps. - M.

1 mom found this helpful

It is wonderful you want to continue nursing. I believe the longer a baby is breast fed the better for health.
suggestion:
when at work, even after using the pump, massage and use the pump a little longer. Often when babies go through a growth spurt not enough milk is produced so the baby is fussy and the mom nurses more often, then the supply of milk increases.
At home, urge your baby to suckle even between feeds. This will stimulate more milk production.
I'm not sure about the fengreek. I read somewhere it is not good.
Try drinking some very dark stout beer. This, if I remember correctly,was suggested to me by Le Leachie Leage for Women (in Canada).
Try getting flaked nutritional yeast from the health food store. This is packed with B vitamins and some protein. I mix it with yogurt and really like it.
Drink more liquids. Even when you are not thristy , drink more fluids. Lots of time at work a person gets so busy they forget how long it's been since they last drank.
Eat alot of good food, proteins,milk products, balanced meanls, etc. Don't try to diet when you are breat feeding.
Also just the sound of my baby crying caused my milk to come in (recording?), also the sound of running water would do the same thing. Wash your breasts with warm water for a couple minutes before nursing/pumping, this may stimulate production.
Good Luck.

1 mom found this helpful

I am new at this site and this is my first post! I haven't seen if there are more posts connected to this. I hope it goes through and I can stay in touch with you on this. I am 21 weeks pregnant and want to breastfeed, but will also have to return to work soon after. I've heard that the magic cure is to drink 1 dark beer a night! Sounds bad but the alcohol is minimal. I know a lot of ladies who've said this works. Let me know if you try it.
Also, there is something about olive oil. It either boosts or diminishes the milk supply. I can't remember which but maybe you could look it up.

1 mom found this helpful

Try drinking non alcoholic beer, sounds crazy, but a lactation consultant told me that one when I was having problems. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

Hi J.,

I had the same issue with one of my breasts depleting the volume of milk I was used to it producing. It depleted only after a month of giving birth. I too am constantly drink Mother's Milk tea. I was told to really increase my fluid intake, do not exercise much, get lots of rest and pump as often as I can. I followed the advice, and it worked for me!

B.

1 mom found this helpful

I have much of the same advice as some of the other moms. I also took the fenugreek, and had to take more of it than the bottle says. It helped a little in the beginning, but then slowed down. I also was put on the prescription medication Reglan, which brought it up again immensely. It's frustrating, especially because they're drinking it from the bottle where it is so much easier to get, and you're trying to pump at work! The reglan really worked for me if you have a doctor that is willing to prescribe it, and I started freezing some of my milk because I was pumping more than my son drank, and then I saved it for later and for putting in cereal when he started that. Pretty soon you can start with the baby food which will help supplement, too...
Good luck and congratulations on the nursing! I nursed both of mine for over a year, and it's so awesome!

1 mom found this helpful

Hi J., I have two suggestions. First, drink LOTS of water. You need to stay hydrated. Second, try not to stress (as much as possible). Dehydration and stress can both reduce milk supply. Best of luck to you.

1 mom found this helpful

Your body knows the difference between suckling child and pump therefore your milk will reduce. The sensation you have when pumping is totally different to your child suckling.

We, as women, can multi task, but whilst you are at work pumping, you are probably noting what you need to be doing next!? There is always a degree of stress when in a work environment, Stress is said to be able to also stem milk flow.

Its lovely to breast feed, superbly gratifying-You have two probably gorgeous children and a great marriage you have breast fed which is better for your and your children, some times it shorter for some people than others but remember you are one of the lucky ones who did breast feed when so many other women are unable to.

Personally, have noted that girls also like to get off the breast sooner than boys!

1 mom found this helpful

i also had this problem with my second child. i pumped at both breaks. had a great support system at work.. my boss was also lactating... drink more fluids.. we think we do but going back to work can be exhausting and overwhelming. we get sidetracked.. if you can put in an extra pumping that will help considerably.. pumps have come a long way however they are not substitute for the real thing, so your milk will decrease. you are doing a wonderful thing for your baby. i also supplemented with formula and had breast when ever i was home. Don't feel guilty for that either. more pumping, more fluids... you can do it! :)

1 mom found this helpful

Drink a beer (not bud light etc) I promise it works

1 mom found this helpful

My body stopped responding to the pump at about six months so I had to stop pumping. I believe it was because of where I had to pump. It wasn't very comfortable or relaxing, and I always felt like I had to hurry up or I may be exposed. I just sent her to daycare with formula (Carnation Good Start; it's supposed to be closest to breast milk as far as taste and easy digestion)and allowed my supply to collect while away from her. By six months she was already eating baby food and drinking apple juice, so she didn't nurse as much anyway. We only nursed right before bed, and first thing in the morning, during the week and I was able to produce enough milk for those feedings during our absence and while sleeping. I nursed her until she was 12 months and two weeks, then I took my body back. (she was just too comfortable with my breast, and it didn't matter where we were. LOL!) Good luck with the transition.

1 mom found this helpful

Mother's Milk tea & Fenugreek helped me tremendously! H2O will also be your best bet! Drink lots and lots of water all day long.

Pumping tips; Try to relax and meditate for a moment before pumping. Close your eyes and think of your baby. Have a picture of her so you can see her while pumping and actually trick your brain (& breasts) into thinking your are nursing her. Sounds silly but also visualize a waterfall or something of that sort rushing down your breasts.

All these things may sound silly BUT my lactation consultant was the best I've ever met and she would recommend these simulations to trick our bodies into thinking we were nursing instead of pumping. She would even tell us to gently stroke or tickle our breasts before pumping (the way our babies would while latching or nursing)I will admit I was hesitant but after a few tries I was very convinced.

Your daughter may be getting fussy while nursing b/c the milk is not coming out fast enough or she is too hunry. You can try a little breast milk out of the bottle first, then nurse her after a few ounces.

1 mom found this helpful

Make sure you are drinking enough water- at least 2 quarts a day up to 3. Some say a bottle of beer or hops tea will improve your milk supply. If your daughter is not wanting to nurse, is she being fed with a bottle? The milk comes so much easier with sucking on a bottle, I would recommend feeding it to her with a sippy cup or a cup if possible. My son stopped nursing once he started being given breast milk from bottles. If you can get her to nurse more, that should help stimulate your milk supply. Is it possible to go home to feed her at lunch? You might try pumping more often. Also, when you pump, it is important to let go of everything and relax. Stress can reduce your supply. Close your eyes and imagine yourself nursing your precious little girl, surrounded by white light. My sister used to pump at work, and to imagine herself surrounded by white light always brought on her milk to let down. I hope any of this is helpful!
M.
San Francisco

1 mom found this helpful

I am 31 with a 6mo old. I am still pumping at work and feeding him when I get home. I have noticed, like you, my production is down. I have been pumping more lately and have noticed my production has gone up. He is eating between 12-15 oz a day right now. And I am expressing enough to get him through the day. I also have been drinking 50-75 oz a water a day... 30 more than normal and think that might have helped some too. My lactation nurse said that the more pumping and water you do and drink should help increase the amount you produce.
Good Luck!

1 mom found this helpful

Hi J.,

Are you using a hospital grade pump and double or single pumping? I used a hospital grade pump for 6 months and then my friend loaned me her pump when she had finished using it and my milk supply was not as "generous" after using that pump for week or so.

I went back to the hospital grade double pumping and finished out the year with it.

You may also want to ensure your stress levels are not impacting your milk production. I brought a picture of my silly baby and looked at it while nursing to relax me and remind me why I was sitting in a room with a funky sounding machine and feeling a little bovine like. :-)

Good luck and just know that you are doing the best you can.

K.

1 mom found this helpful

Ive heard that when your milk decreases that soon its probably b/c of tiredness/stress- the body is taking care of itself first. So 2 things- you can cut back some and rest more for a few days snuggled up with your baby- let her feed as much as she wants for a few days- stay in bed together maybe over a weekend. And drink half your weight in ounces of water- so if you weigh 140, then 70 oz of water a day and continue with the herbs.
Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

I know this is a tough situation - I recently went through the same thing. I returned to work when my son was 3 months old. I pumped at work, but eventually my body started adjusting, and I am now only nursing in the early morning and bedtime. I found that when I was home with my son on the weekends, I didn't have enough milk to nurse him during the day - so I didn't fight it. Not sure if this helps, but I find that I am enjoying the freedom of using formula during the day, and still have the bonding time when I nurse him in the morning and evening. He is six months old today. :) Good luck, and I hope you find your happy medium.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi J.,
You need to pump more often or longer. I know its hard when you are working, but my breastpump was not as effective as my baby (for obvious reasons!) and the same thing was happening to me. The doctor said I needed to pump every 2 hours or less!
Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

J.,
I breast fed all three of my children for a year and worked 12 hour shifts as a nurse. The best thing to try ( I am assuming you drink lots of water!!) is to buy this herb called "fenugreek". It is a supplement used in ancient times for birth control. The reason it worked is it stiumulated milk production. Of course you don't want to use it for birth control today, but it really works for increasing milk supply.You can find it at any health food store, but I found it at GNC.
The two things that I noticed is that it makes your milk kind of green tinged and sometimes smell like maple syrup!
It is highly recommended by lacation consultants. Being an OB nurse I was very interested in the latest tips on milk supply. Good luck

1 mom found this helpful

Try pumping every 2 hours to stimulate production. I used Mothers More Milk Plus to help as well. It has all kinds of herbs, including fenugreek which increases production. Be sure to drink lots of water too! Good Luck!

1 mom found this helpful

I had the same problem when I returned to work with my first. I used the Fenugreek and tried to pump more often. There is a prescription drug called Metoclopramide(Brand name Reglan) that can help also. I took one tablet and had a huge increase in milk production. Downside to the rx is it does cause some drowsiness. Not bad but you should take it at bedtime to make it easier on you. That is if you can get your doctor to write a rx for it. I had some from a previous stomach problem and my doc said it was ok for short term use only. After the first tablet I was back 60oz+ a day. I know this is a bit much but I was able to freeze all the extra and stoped pumping at 9months and had enough frozen to keep him on breast milk till 1 year. The other problem was not drinking as much while at work so I had to pay close attention to make sure I was drinking 80+oz a day. Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful

Not that it will help, but the same thing is happening to me. Except, I never could pump 17-19 oz/day! That is great! I'm interested to hear advice from Moms on this as well.

1 mom found this helpful

I am currently breastfeeding twins, they just turned two, and this is actually my last week of nursing.... but when I returned to work they were 11 months old and I was pumping like you... I started taking that Fenugreek - you can get it at Vitamin World, it works great... I also pumped every two hours instead of three... and I pumped for six months and was getting about 16 ounces each side. I only used two bottles of the fenugreek and then stopped but my milk supply stayed.
My second pump broke so I decided I wasn't gonna pump anymore... From there I would nurse as soon as I picked them up from daycare, then in the evenings a couple times, before bed and in the morning... and I still seem to be going strong... but since they are two now... and I'm gonna start traveling for work, I decided it was time. They also drink out of cups whole milk, juice, and water... at home or daycare.
I think we're all gonna miss the nursing.
Good Luck

1 mom found this helpful

Hi, J.,
I am a mother of three great kids. 5 year old girl, 2 year old girl and a 5 month old son. Running short of milk or something happening that would cause me to stop nursing is always a worry. Seems like I've been pregnant and nursing forever. But I wouldn't want it any other way. Giving your kids the best start possible is what it's all about and right now they need your milk. I would suggest taking more time away from work . They aren't little for long as you know and they will only need you for this for a short time.I pray you will consider it.
T.

1 mom found this helpful

J., First, relax...you are a great mom, doing the best that you can. I did the same as you, and when I saw that the supply was getting smaller, I was encouraged by the midwife, who was my doctor, to pump at work more frequently, drink more water, and to nurse exclusively when I was at home. Take a weekend and spend it with the baby, if she isn't hungry, pump the milk and freeze it for her for use during the week. She gets the milk faster from the bottle, and has to work harder to nurse, so that may be why she likes the bottle better. Anyway, it worked for me...and I have 3 boys who were breastfed until they were at least 1 year old. Good Luck...E.

1 mom found this helpful

It happened to me too. I did the Fungreek and a (small)glass of red wine at night during my last feeding. A few moms told me that their doctor told them to try it and that it was okay. This worked for me. I made enough to also donate to the milk bank. Reminder: Stress will put a damper on your milk supply...

1 mom found this helpful

i had the same problem when I was nursing my son. Breastea and the perscription Domperidone worked for me. I got the scrip from my OB and the tea from breastea.com. I wish you luck!

1 mom found this helpful

I want to try and give you a little advice and want to give you some background on me first so you know where your advice is coming from. First of all I have four wonderful boys all of whom I have breastfed for at least a year the longest so far was 18mo. I was a labor and delivery nurse and I also went to the local Le Leche League meetings and almost became a certified leader until I got pregnant and got too busy to do it,, and I am also currently breastfeeding a 5 month old...So this is my advice... You are doing all of the normal things that we would tell women, taking Funugreek, mothers Milk tea, I am sure that you have increased your water intake to bunches and bunches. Stress can effect it as well as not getting enough rest. Decongestants are drying to the sinuses and also to your body if you are on these you need to be extra vigilant about drinking water. You need to make sure that you are not dieting and getting plenty of nutritional food. If you are pumping every three hours that is great...but how how often is your child eating at home? If it is more then that you should consider maybe pumping every 2- 2 1/2 hours and make sure that you are doing your best to fully empty your breasts. Emptying your breast has been shown to help the body know that it needs to make extra next time. I would encourage you to use a really good grade of pump too. Some pumps are actually designed by formula companies and don't really work correctly! Unfortunately, pumping is not a replacement for breastfeeding and the body doesn't get stimulated the same way and will eventually decrease in supply for some. I would encourage you to get some pictures of your baby and an article of clothing that smells like her and use those while you pump at work. Somtimes that helps trick the brain to aide in milk letdown. Lastly, I would encourage you to breastfeed your daughter right before you leave from work and right when you get home, and just as often as you and your baby can stand it right now. You want to encourage your body that your baby "needs" more and see if that helps bring up your milk supply. One last thing as I know that this response is long... I would encourage you not to get frusterated. Love on your baby as much as possible. These times go so quickly and you need to do what works best for you and your family. Praying that this helps some.

ps

I love some of the responses that the woman have given and I really agree with the fact that your baby might be getting fussy because she doesn't have to work so hard to drink a bottle. When she nurses your baby has to wait long enough to get your milk to let down and sometimes that is a few minutes.
I have done the sippy cup and it works great too.

1 mom found this helpful

visit kellymom.com first of all. there is an article there that saved my pumping/nursing career at four months old for my son. it's called "wakeful four month olds"

is your baby nursing at night? is your baby consuming breastmilk more when you're with her? We had to decrease the size of my son's bottles and that worked for us and i never ended up having to supplement. check out that article. it's worth a look.

i'll paste the link for you below

http://www.kellymom.com/parenting/sleep/4mo-sleep.html

1 mom found this helpful

In looking at your "little about me section," we're both living the American dream in regards to our 3-year-old sons and our 5-month-old daugthers and our wonderful husbands. :)

I am breastfeeding, but I am one of those fortunate mothers that has my babysitter right around the corner so that I can leave work and go and feed her when she gets hungry.....but regarding your situation, I feel so sorry for you. I have heard that the BREAST PUMP SHIELD can make a huge difference. Sometimes breast size and nipple size fluctuate while breastfeeding over time. I don't know if you've noticed this happening to you, but they say that most breast pumps accomodate smaller breasts and nipples as opposed to larger breasts and nipples. When doing the research for this, they really focus on the nipple size more than the breast size, though. There are different sized shields that you can order online for different pumps. And in the beginning of pumping, it doesn't matter because there's a larger milk supply; but as the baby gets bigger, the milk supply isn't as large. You would think that it would be the opposite of that, but I guess that's because we start giving them cereal and baby food. This is just a tidbit of information that I've heard about, and I thought that I would pass it on....

Good luck with all of it,
N. D.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi J.! I understand your situation completely as I, too, had a similar experience with my first 3 boys(I now have 8 children; 4 girls and 4 boys). In the case of my first son, I realized very early on that I'd have to supplement no matter what. He seemed to be growing at a record pace and he was always hungry after nursing. I tried everything in the book to try to produce more milk, using herbs, teas and pumping as often as possible, but nothing seemed to work. Against my doctor's advice, I began giving my baby formula and I don't regret it. It took only a few feedings before my son got used to the formula. I began each feeding with nursing and then handed my baby to my husband so he could give the bottle of formula to the baby. I worked out great and I was really happy for the help with the feedings. We ended up having to do this with the consequent sons, but to a lesser degree. The feeding time with my husband was the bonding time for both baby and father. By the way, our first son is now 14 years old, 6 ft. tall, and has a size 13 shoe. I went through a period of guilt, thinking I was inadequate in meeting my baby's needs. I later realized that it was just the make-up of my body. With our last child, a girl, I was able to breastfeed the longest of all the kids (nearly 11 months!) I was also a working mother (a teacher), living in Switzerland at the time, and able to bring my baby to work with me (for about 8 months), feeding her when necessary. The situation itself relieved some of my milk-producing anxieties and I was able to relax more. With working as you do, you are probably experiencing a decrease in production due to stress as well. There is no easy answer to what you're going through. Knowing that formula will still give babies everything they need to grow up healthily and strong was what helped me through the worst of the confusion about what my body was doing. I hope this has helped just a tad bit.

1 mom found this helpful

I got this from an email alias that I am on at my job, hope it helps you:

- Increase the time baby is spent at the breast. It is all about supply and demand.

- Drink enough water.

- Get more rest. (Sleep when the baby sleeps! The laundry will wait another day.)

- Try not to worry. Stress is a big supply buster.

- Pump or nurse more often throughout the day.

- Pump for another 5-15 minutes after each feeding. Even if you don't produce any milk during these pumping sessions, the pump sessions tell your body that you need to make more milk. Pumping after nursing may be better than pumping before nursing because your baby will increase production better than the pump will. In addition, you will get a faster let down, making your baby more interested in nursing.

- Read tips at http://www.kellymom.com/bf/supply/low-supply.html.

- Take supplements, such as More Milk Plus Alcohol Free and Fenugreek capsules.

- Eat oatmeal.

- Drink Gatorade or Roma.

- If supplementing, nurse the baby first and supplement only if needed.

1 mom found this helpful

How many times a day does that mean you're pumping to get the 8-10oz? I just returned to work, when my son turned 7 months old, and also feel that my supply is decreasing...
for every time I pump, I get 3-5 oz. So 2 pumps a day would be 6-10oz and 3 pumps would be 9-15oz...
I think you're doing great!
-W.

1 mom found this helpful

This happened with my first child also as I went back to work part time. With my second I was determined not to let it happen!! One thing I learned is that the recommended dose of fenugreek is NOT enough. My midwife friend said that it requires about 3 capsules 3x a day. This helped me as maybe a day or two later I had the full breast feeling and could pump quite a bit more. Look into increasing your fenugreek dose if you haven't already.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi there. I'm a long term breast feeder...My daughter is 4 and its only for comfort for her now and mostly at night, but the milk's still there. So, I worked until she was 2, and did the pump for most of the time. Here's my advise: I started to get frustrated with the time it took to pump and found in the pediatrician's advise book, the manual --express-- or as I joked with my dear husband -- the milk cow way. Anyway, it was a lot faster, efficient than the pump. I used just a tad olive or canola oil. Took me about 5 minutes to express one medela bottle, and I'm small breasted. Another thing I would recommend, is that you eat oatmeal for breakfast with a little brown sugar (I used natural oats). Like fenugreek, it is a galactagog --stimulates milk. What do they feed cows for their milk supply? You got it - oats. With a 3 year old, its probably hard to have slow down time with your little one, but your calorie intake and overall relaxation is what will help your milk supply. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

Hi J..
My daughter is 5.5 months. I'm back at work, pumping, all the same story. One recommendation is to nurse through the night. My daughter sleeps in a co-sleeper next to my bed and sometimes snuggled right next to me. She nurses at least 3 or 4 times a night, including the feeding when I put her down and the first in the morning. Night time feeding has kept up my milk supply and kept my DD satisfied. She has also just started to eat some solid food...oatmeal and bananas.

If your daughter is growing, gaining weight, etc. with the amount of milk you make for her, then that may be enough. I went through these same changes with my first daughter and never supplemented with formula. She was a chunky, healthy kid and I nursed her for 14 months. I think the kep was night nursing to make up for the time I was away at work.

Good luck! I hope you continue to nurse; it's a wonderful gift.

1 mom found this helpful

I have breastfed 4 babies. Just a few tips that helped me. 1)Try eating creamy rich ice cream. I don't know if it is the fat or sugar but it seems to help milk production. 2)Pump more often. It is not how long you pump it is how often that stimulates more milk production. 3)Try to pump with a picture of your baby, sounds of your baby, or the smell of your baby(a good smell, not a diaper). Remember to drink enough fluids and keep relaxed. You have done more than most women have done regarding breastfeeding, bravo for you. I pray God will help you through this bump in the road. God Bless.
A little about me:
I am a 35 year old women, married to a great guy(Pastor), mother of 4 children(3 boys-1 girl), 25 years diabetic(pump user), and a diet pepsi addict.

1 mom found this helpful

My first question is are YOU getting enough liquids and protein? When you work, often you are so busy that you don't drink adequate fluids, or eat properly. Second, is what is your level of fatigue? I went back to work at 6 weeks with my older son, managed to be off almost 6 month with my second. If you are doing much more than working and taking care of yourself and children, you are probably doing too much. Have help with housework, cooking and shopping?
Secondly, call a lactation consultant (your local hospital may have one) or even better, call a La Leche League leader (listed in the phone book or look at their web site)
Good luck,
C.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi J.,
I had a similar experience with my first child. I took the fenugreek supplements with great success, but I found I had to take far more than they said on the bottle. I seems to recall (it's been 8 years now!) that the bottle suggested about 3 pills a day. I took 5 pills 3x a day, on the advice of a lactation consultant, and I took them only on the days I needed to pump. Not sure how much you're taking, but you might consider discussing the dose with a lactation consultant. You can find them at Day One in San Francisco, and they might be able to advise you over the phone. Good luck!
K.

1 mom found this helpful

J.,

First off, congratulations on sticking with breast feeding even after your return to work. I totally understand what you are going through. I experienced the same situation when my son was 4 months and I had to return to work. My pumping at work fluctuates between 10 oz to 20 oz depending on several things (how stressed I am, how much water or food I've eaten, how much sleep I've had, etc.). Because I noticed that my milk supply wasn't enough for my son, I started feeding solids at 4.5 months. My son just turned 5 months and he really enjoys eating. I have noticed in the last few days that his milk intake has decreased. Though my milk production still fluctuates, I do feel like he is satisfied (his weight gain is proof). If I can, I plan to breast feed until he is 8 months old. BTW, several people have told me to eat a lot of broth-type soups to increase milk supply. Try that and see if it helps. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

Are you getting a let down reflex as you pump? Try taking a picture of your daughter to look at while pumping. If you could have a audio sound of her crying or "talking" to help the connection along that could be good too. (phone video?) Let your feelings actually connect to her. Doing a visualization of you breastfeeding or any of the above ideas. Visualize abundant milk flowing like a big waterfall! Really use the mind/body connection to your advandage! As you know formula is fast and easy for her and it often happens that your milk supply can back off when there is a supplement given. I have always recommended eating cashew nuts to help out the milk supply-maybe a bit before pumping and whole (not quick) oatmeal for breakfast seems to helpout the milk supply too.Add in some extra feeding sessions when you can and the demand will be up causing the supply to catch up soonGgood luck with this it is soo worth the effort!

1 mom found this helpful

When my son was a baby, I was under a lot of stress after finding out my father was going to pass away from cancer, and I nearly lost my milk supply altogether. I tried "More Milk Plus" drops from Whole Foods (not the pills, or tea, definitely the drops), and within 24 hours, my supply was back up again. That, along with lots of fluids, eating right, and getting enough rest will really help. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

I took MotherLove's More Milk Plus (has fenugreek and other herbs) and Goat's Rue capsules daily, and then More Milk Special Blend alone when I discovered it, as it includes Goat's Rue. The latter is a liquid, the former two available as liquid or caps; the liquid was easiest for me to take with a bit of water as the taste is pretty sharp. I still saw my milk supply go down over months of pumping (I almost never matched what my son took while I was gone), but the supplements were very obviously and quickly helpful. Also, after a while his demand dropped off and I was able to relax more about it. These supplements are expensive, but they definitely helped me. Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful

I am a mom of three year old twins and a ten month old baby. I breast fed the twins for a year and the baby is still being breast fed and I will continue for another two months at least. For all three I have exclusively pumped and given a bottle due to convience and ease especially with the twins. This might sound wierd, but what I found helped especially with supply for the twins, was to take a picutre of them with me if I had to pump while being a way from them. They were premature so for 6 1/2 weeks I had to pump while they were in the hospital. OS at night and when I was not by their side, I would have their picture with me and it was amazing what it would do. The Intensive Care Nursery nurses suggested it to me help keep my supply up enough for two. It really did work for me. Sounds wierd, but works. Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful

My boss said her doctor recommended beer, and I've heard that from others as well. You only need to drink maybe half a cup? I only tried it sporadically because a couple of times, my son seemed kind of fussy while trying to get him to go to bed after nursing him. Not sure if there was a correlation and didn't have time to test it further because my milk came back. But not sure if it was the beer or just me not stressing about it as much. I found that the more you think about the lack of supply the more it affects the flow too. Hope this helps and good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

if you like alittle spice this should do the trick. the s.e. asian women i married into, and i as well, all use black pepper as a natural way to increase milk production. we just made simple soups with a ton of black pepper in it and make sure you drink the pepper to. it is actually a digestive aid, so no fears. it should make you gush. also drink alot more water. stress and dehydration are major causes of milk loss. alot of oily foods will slow you down. wish i remember all the tips, but diet can affect it. ask a dietition. luckily baby is near starting foods, but hope you guys can keep breast feeding for along time.

1 mom found this helpful

hi,
try drinking more water and eating, this helped me out when my supply lowered at about the same time and same situation. It is hard i know,good luck and take care of yourself. Some of us are not that lucky to get out of work and stay at home, which is ok, do not let people or yourself make you feel bad. sometimes we need to listen to our body, it may just be time to stop(even though i know you do not want to, it is hard, but it is a beuatiful thing you made it this far-pumping and all)

1 mom found this helpful

I agree that drinking a lot of water (some people may consider it a ton of water) has been crucial for me. Most days I drink at least 80 ounces of water and I definitely see a decrease in production when I haven't drunk as much.

It has also been important for me to eat plenty of food and I try to eat lots of healthy snacks throughout the day so my body always has calories available.

Good luck, I hope the pumping works out for you!

1 mom found this helpful

Possibly cosleeping or nursing at night. I know that when I began working more as my son was about that age, my milk supply actually adjusted so that I produced more milk at night and less during the day. I still had to pump or nurse him during hte day or I would have been uncomfortable, but because he drank a lot at night (which I was fine with) that kept my milk supply up overall. I'm a huge advocate of calling hte La Leche League for ideas - my experience was that they had MORE information that I wanted and LOTS of ideas.

1 mom found this helpful

That happened to me. My doctor told me it was because my hormone levels were getting lower and your body starts to regulate and to eat more food.(Like i didn't eat enough anyway) i stopped nursing after 7 months because i had nothing left! My breasts were flat flat. =( I had to switch my daughter to formula which was hard because she didn't eat as much. Maybe checking your hormone levels to see if thats maybe the solution. I know birthcontrol has something to do with it as well.

1 mom found this helpful

I was also experiencing milk depletion because my baby was a 28 week old preemie and I had to strictly pump for 3 months and noticed the supply going down. When I went back to work I found it hard to pump every 3 hours due to the work loads. Lactation also recommended Fenugreek and teas but I did not notice too much of an increase. So the alternative was to get a prescription of Reglan which is a medicine for reflux but also stimluates increase in breast milk supply. The Neonatologist assured me it was safe for the baby and sure enough after 5 days my supply went back to it's original amount, 4 oz every 3 hours! Make sure to consult with lactation again if you choose to try it, but Reglan definitely worked for me!

1 mom found this helpful

hello J., When i pump i don't get much either. But if I nurse on one side and then pump on the other, I can get almost 5 oz at a time. I don't don't know if you have tried that or not. after I have pumped if the baby is still fussy I can put her to that breast and she can still get some out. its amazing what our bodies can do

1 mom found this helpful

I'm having the same problem but with more drastic circumstances - I returned to work after only two months of breastfeeding and am only getting 4oz in an 8hr period! I have to use a manual hand pump because there is NO electric outlets in the bathrooms at my work and I do not get regular breaks so I can only get to pump for a few minutes and only about three times max in a work day. I am already depressed because I have had to put my baby in daycare and now I cannot even produce enough to feed him even once! I drink plenty of fluids throughout the day and no results. Any info would be great.

Required Fields

Our records show that we already have a Mamapedia or Mamasource account created for you under the email address you entered.

Please enter your Mamapedia or Mamasource password to continue signing in.

Required Fields

, you’re almost done...

Since this is the first time you are logging in to Mamapedia with Facebook Connect, please provide the following information so you can participate in the Mamapedia community.

As a member, you’ll receive optional email newsletters and community updates sent to you from Mamapedia, and your email address will never be shared with third parties.

By clicking "Continue to Mamapedia", I agree to the Mamapedia Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.