37 answers

Milk Supply Going Down

I have a 5 month old daughter that I have breast fed since she was born. I went back to work 2.5 months ago, so I pump 3 times a day for 20 minutes each to get milk for her while I'm at work. It seems that this week my milk supply has been cut in half. I am doing everything the same but I am just not getting the amount of milk I used to. Between my 3 pumping sessions I would get 17-20oz, she eats 15oz a day in the time that I am gone, but this week I am lucky to get 10oz. I thought that maybe I was getting dehydrated but I have been drinking 3-4 bottles of water in between pumping and I have gotten anymore milk. Has anyone else seen a diminish of supply like this, is there anything I can do to get my supply back? We have started my daughter on rice cereal, but only once a day and only 1tbsp.

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

I had the same problem when I went back to work a few months ago, and saw a lactation consultant. She recommended Fenugreek, which is an herbal remedy, as well as Mother's Milk tea, both of which you can get at nutrition stores. The tea tastes like black licorice, which I didn't love, so I put milk and sugar in it, and it was much better that way.

I've also had two other friends with supply problems, and they also use the Fenugreek and Tea. I think it works differently on everyone, because they can take just a few capsules/day and it doubles their supply, while I had to take 9-12 capsules of Fenugreek/day just to keep my same supply, however I had supply problems from day one, so maybe that's the difference.

Hang in there, I can empathize with all of the extra work pumping requires. Best of luck.


1 mom found this helpful

Just to get just 4 oz I used to drink 8 -10 oz water or any fluid. I remember samolina used to help increase the milk supply.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi B.,
I hope that you are doing well.

I am a mom of 9 month old twins & have been pumping since they were born. Have you tried More Milk Plus by Motherlove Herval Company? It is a 100% Vegetarian Herbal Supplement which contains Fenugreek (a key to increasing milk supply). It's available on-line at motherlove.com and The Pump Station (locations in Santa Monica & Hollywood). It's a bit pricey, however it really helps to increase milk supply.

I also found that eating a lot of protein & drinking plenty of water & juice helped as well.

Take Care,

1 mom found this helpful

More Answers

when i had my first child i got a kidney infection about 3 months after he was born. i called the lactation nurse at the hospital and she told me to go to the health store like gnc... and get an herd called fenugreek and brewers yeast and take it as it says on the bottle i did and my milk was back in full swing about 24 hours later. good luck and let me know how it goes.

2 moms found this helpful

Its hard to say but some moms find that during there cycle they do produce less milk. A lactation consultant at my job takes an herb during her cycle to avoid the dip. But unless there was a change in birth control then the baby around 5 months old may decide she is going to wait for mommy. You may notice lots of nursing in the evening and throughout the night. Then on weekends more normal patterns every 3 hours. Either way your body matches what she is requesting. As she is getting older you have the option of doing pace bottle feeding which is bottle feeding 1 oz at a time trying to stimulate the slow flow of the breast as well as introducing the solids which it sound like you have. So I guess its not a clear answer and it also depends on your nursing goals as far as herbs teas etc.

Also the type of pump matters. Usually if they are made by the bottle companies avent, evenflo, gerber etc....The motor dies slowly. Good pumps dont have to be expensive...Names like madela, nurture III, and ameda are great.

2 moms found this helpful


Right around 5 months is where it seems like if you are going to have supply problems, that is when you have them. I've heard it is when your milk supply switches from hormonally driven to supply & demand driven. I don't know what type of pump you are using, but you'd do best if you have a reasonably new pump that is at least as good as a Medela Pump In Style. It is best to double pump with some sort of a hands free system (I have an Easy Expressions Halter that I got off ebay but the Easy Expressions Bustier seems to be easier to find). I belong to a yahoo group called PumpMoms. I'd highly recommend that you join. You will get all sorts of tips and advice. Some things that may help you: making sure you are eating a fairly balanced diet with enough protein and fat, eating oatmeal, drinking plenty of water, pumping more (more sessions or longer sessions or both), double pumping, their are herbs, medications and all sorts of other things you can try. You should also look over your pump to make sure you aren't having an equipment failure. If you do have a Medela Pump In Style there are white membranes that attach to the yellow valves that attach to the horns. If you haven't replaced those, you should. They wear out and it reduces the suction. If I can help, email me ____@____.com. I pumped for my older son until he was 16 months old and I'm still pumping for my younger son and he's 7 months old. I've done LOTS of pumping.


2 moms found this helpful

HI B.,

I HAVE A 15 MONTH OLD BABY GIRL AND I STILL B/FEED HER SHE HAS BEEN A 100% B/FEED BABY. When my milk supply was going down I used FENUGREK it works really good and it helps get your milk supply right back up. I will also tell you my mothers secret on how you can really getting b/milk supply back up. All you got to do is drink as much a su can take of this home recipes.

1. Latin (MEXICAN)hot chocolote (LA ABUELITA)the ones that come in tablets.

put 3 cups of milk in to a pot to low-heat ones it hot add a 1/2 of the chocolate tablet to the hot milk and sugar as you like move it back in forth for about 10 min on low-heat. Drink as much as you want 6-8oz 3 time a day is good. You can have it with bread cookies ext. let me tell you it works 100% you can make up to 4oz or b/milk per breast.

2. Oatmeal with milk (AVENA CALIENTE)

Put 3 cups of milk in a pot in med-heat about 10 min or so or until it gets hot. Then add the 2 cups of org oatmeal then add sugar as you like. move it back an forth until it boils just a little. let it cool down not much and drink it 3 to 4 time a day. 6-8oz is good

NOTE: you can also put this recipes together and you will get milk like there is no tomorrow.

Well I hope this work let me know and good luck.
you can always e-mail me if you have any questions. ____@____.com

M. P

2 moms found this helpful

Dear B.,
More advice to add to all the others....
Often when moms pump at work, their mind is busy with thoughts of work and all the other responsiblities related to family needs. Try to focus and think about your baby when pumping. Stay off the phone and computer! Look at a photo of her or close your eyes and imagine she's at the breast. Take an item of clothing she has worn and hold it close to your face (nose). Your brain will pick up on her scent even if you don't notice it. It's not just a physical response but an emotional connection too. I used these techniques when I was working as an LC in the NICU with moms who needed to pump for months before they could nurse and these simple changes can really make a difference. Good luck

2 moms found this helpful

Does your baby sleep though the night? I had a "supply" issue when I was pumping full time at work when my son was four months old but it ended up not being a supply issue at all. Is your baby nursing a lot (or at all) during the night?

I'm going to post a link to an article I discovered on kellymom.com and it was a total life saver for me. It just saved my sanity because I would have been devastated to stop breastfeeding at only four months old. I hope this helps you and answers some questions for you.... Also, on kellymom.com you might want to read over some of the articles about delaying solid foods. Those were also very informative.

good luck!


anyway, i wanted to add... about the article... if you find that this might be your problem, we had to make our baby's bottles smaller during the day. we slowly decreased them about a half ounce at a time. it caused some issues with our child care at the time but it was worth the struggle. my pumping output was decreased in half (like how you describe) but my son was getting his milk mainly at night instead of day time since he stopped sleeping through the night. and that was such a huge relief because it wasn't a supply issue at all! Just a timing issue!!! feel free to email me if you want ... ____@____.com

2 moms found this helpful

have you been to the dr? there may be some illness causing low milk. have you tried pumping more? I know it sounds crazy, but I had a friend who had a problem with milk supply, and her dr told her to drink one beer a day. i guess the yeast in the beer helps produce more milk.

1 mom found this helpful

There is a tea that can help with your milk supply. It's called Mother's Milk tea. You can get it at Whole Foods or Wild Oats. They may have it at Ralphs. I've never checked. You can also take Fenugreek. It's an herb that is used to promote lactation. I did all of these things to keep my supply up.

1 mom found this helpful

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