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.

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