41 answers

Need to Produce More Milk!!!

I have a 6 month old daughter whom I'm breastfeeding. She is my 3rd child. I breastfed the first two with no problem. I work full-time 45 min. away from home and I try to pump at work as much as I can but I'm producing less and less each day. She takes formula at daycare and when she's home with her daddy. I don't mind her taking the formula but I don't want her strictly on formula. She takes my breatmilk in the evening and at nighttime. We have a hard time on weekends because she takes all my breast milk on Friday night and I have to give her formula on Saturday and Sunday because I'm not pruducing enough for her on the weekends. How can I produce more milk? Any suggestion would be greatly appreciated.

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I am strictly breastfeeding my 4 1/2 month old. I pump 2x a day at work. I give my dd fresh milk every day. What I pump today she will eat tomorrow and so on... I also eat oatmeal EVERY morning for breakfast. Also, the more you pump (even if you aren't getting anything out) the more you will produce. Good luck!

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when I breastfed my last child and I am a mother of 4 but understand the doctors had an excuse every time I tried to breastfeed my babies so when I had the last baby I was so strong about breastfeeding her she was born tongue tied and couldn't take a bottle I breast fed her 26 months only reason I quit was running out of milk but when I first started I ask my doctor what I could drink to produce more milk he said water,iced tea, or a small can of beer but that was 39 years ago so I don't know if the beer is still a good idea also I would suggest decaf tea good luck and I don't know if the pump has something to do with it also you didn't say how old you were age could have something to do with it

1 mom found this helpful

A lactation consultant told me to try Fenugreek and take 9 pills a day. She recommended 3 pills at each meal for 2 weeks. It really helped my milk supply. It is available at GNC. I hope this can help.

1 mom found this helpful

More Answers

don't pump as much and breastfeed more often and your milk will increase.

1 mom found this helpful

I went through a slow down between 6 & 7 months as well. I ended up pumping every 3-4 hours and breastfeeding the baby whenever possible. I know during the day that may not be possible depending on your employer, and you may be doing this already, but waking up an extra time during the night to pump really helped me (sucked sleepwise, but was worth it).

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Milk production is a matter of supply and demand and supplementing with formula can interfer with that process. Formula is more difficult for babies to digest, so it sits in their stomachs longer. And if your daughter is full on formula, then she's not going to need as much milk from you, which means that you'll produce less milk. So maybe start having daycare and daddy use more pumped milk and less formula (wean off the formula, so to speak). It would probably also be helpful to contact La Leche League or a Lactation Consultant... because I know there are things you can take to increase production (certain teas, fenugreek, etc.)
Also, make sure that you are getting enough calories and drinking enough water every day.

1 mom found this helpful

L.,

When I went back to work I started producing less milk also. I'd try to breastfeed my daughter before work, pump mid-morning and then again mid-afternoon at work, then feed her once we got home and again before bed, and sometime during the night again. There were busy days at work where I'd have to skip both pumpings and then I'd have problems producing the next day or so. I had more than enough while on maternity leave so I knew I was capeable of producing, but I just wasn't. I think fatigue and stress lower your bodies ability to produce also. I found if I pumped for 10-15 minutes a few extra times a day, even if I got nothing out, in a couple days I could tell a definite increase in supply. I still ended up giving up breastfeeding after about 6 months. I regret it. There were some people at work who gave me a hard time. The one who did the most was another woman who had a baby two months after me and decided not to breastfeed, said it was too hard, she didn't have the right nipples,not enough milk, etc. She'd see me going to pump and would roll her eyes and make some comment like "I can't believe your still doin that." I don't know if she was jealous/guilty or what but she definitley had some issue with it. It is hard but it's worth it to give your baby the best. Hang in there, I wish you the best of luck.

1 mom found this helpful

lactation cookies are great for increasing milk. The recipe is at http://www.recipezaar.com/192346

Also, Mother's milk tea is really good, more info on it can be found at http://www.tealand.com/MothersMilk.asp

Fenugreek does work well also. More info on it can be found at http://www.kellymom.com/herbal/milksupply/fenugreek.html

I have used all three before. The mothers milk tea and Fenugreek can be found usually at regular drug stores or grocery stores. Also remember to increase your water intake, and try to avoid caffene. I had to only pump for 11 months with my first child, and it is hard to keep up with demand when pumping, but when you are working you have no other choice. Try to pump at least every 3-4 hours while at work. And remember to get plenty of rest if possible.
Best of luck!

1 mom found this helpful

I had the same problem. One thing that really helped was taking Fenegreek tablets(you can get them at the local health food store) every day. I took 6/day, and it really ups your milk suply. Plus, it makes you smell like maple syrup! haha

1 mom found this helpful

You need to pump more at work

1 mom found this helpful

The only way to produce more is to feed more, even if she's not getting very much at one time, the act of her pulling will encourage you to have larger let-downs. Let her feed whenever you can, and you can pump while she's feeding (I couldn't have a let-down while pumping, so I would do it while feeding - used an Avent Isis and it worked wonderfully, I bagged 1 gallon in 2 months!)Good luck and happy feeding :}

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Hi L.,

I had the same problems too. I had to pump at work in a very stressful environment... and many times would pump for 30 minutes and only get an ounce or less. But somehow I made it and pumped for 15 months.

I had to get up overnight once to pump and then I'd pump for 20 minutes before my son got up in the morning. At the morning pump I would always get like 4 ounces or more which was awesome. Then I'd wake him up and let him nurse or sometimes I'd pump on one side while he'd nurse on the other side. I just used a rubber band to rig up my pump and then attached it to my bra connected and so it was hands free.

On the weekends, I would pump or nurse every 2 hours. The weekend and overnight pumping helped me build up my supply.

It's all about supply and demand and if you introduce formula rather than put the baby to breat than your body will begin to produce less.

I never had to give him formula thankfully.

1 mom found this helpful

Hello, when I was trying to breastfeed, I was producing like 2oz. a day and was devistated. I was so bound and determined to breastfeed, I was in tears. My mother told me that maybe I wasn't getting enough water. When I began to consume more water, I began to produce more milk. I understand it is hard to pump at work, have you considered the pumps that latch onto the breast and you can pump anywhere, even in public because the pump has tubes that are under your shirt. Good Luck!

1 mom found this helpful

There is an herbal supplement called Fenugreek that is supposed to help with milk production, there are a few women in my Mommy-and-Me group who swear by it. Also, have you tried upping your water intake? If you already drink 8 glasses a day, just adding 2 more can do wonders for your milk production. One last thing, don't stress over this, you are doing your best and just keep trying it will work out, the stress is not good for milk production. Good Luck!!!

1 mom found this helpful

Well, you know what they say about supply and demand. The more you pump, and especially the more you nurse her, the more milk you will produce. Just keep at it and your body will settle into the routine. Several things might be diminishing your supply, though. It sounds like stress might be one of them. Try to take it easy on yourself! It's a hormonal thing, and has a very real impact on milk production. When pumping, think about your daughter, imagine her in your arms. Maybe even have a picture of her in your wallet to focus on. That enhances the let-down and flow in general, like thinking of a lemon produces saliva in the mouth. Make sure, also, that with your busy schedule you are drinking enough water and other non-sugary fluids, and getting enough healthy foods to eat.

I've been going to La Leche League meetings for the last half of a year, and they've been tremendously helpful in preparing me for breastfeeding. They also have a library of books on nursing issues and helpful hints. You might want to connect up with your local league - they have Saturday meetings for working moms - and see what else they have to say. Of course, breastfeeding and the presence of children are welcome :)

Kudos for being so dedicated to giving your daughter such a healthy start! Don't give up. You will find the way that works best for you.

1 mom found this helpful

when I breastfed my last child and I am a mother of 4 but understand the doctors had an excuse every time I tried to breastfeed my babies so when I had the last baby I was so strong about breastfeeding her she was born tongue tied and couldn't take a bottle I breast fed her 26 months only reason I quit was running out of milk but when I first started I ask my doctor what I could drink to produce more milk he said water,iced tea, or a small can of beer but that was 39 years ago so I don't know if the beer is still a good idea also I would suggest decaf tea good luck and I don't know if the pump has something to do with it also you didn't say how old you were age could have something to do with it

1 mom found this helpful

Hi L.,
Great job on realising how beneficial breastfeeding is! I am currently nursing my third son. He is 22 months old and shows no signs of being ready to give it up. I have donated milk in the past and these are some hints I was given to increase my supply. Of course more water, also oatmeal, fenugreek, mother's milk tea, more milk plus, and more pumping. I used an Avent Isis manual pump with great success. I was also given and electric pump by the National Milk Bank. I really preferred the manual. One thing to be aware of, especially this time of year with allergies. Lots of allergy medicine will decrease your supply. Benedryl and other antihistimines and decongestants dry up your secretions, all of them, including milk. It was something I hadn't concidered until talking to a Le Leche League representative. Call them. They are a wonderful resourse. Don't give up! You are giving a life changing gift to your baby!
D.

1 mom found this helpful

Are you taking any kind of medication? I know that when I was breastfeeding if I took medicine it would cause my milk supply to go down. I would have to drink lots of water to get it back where it needed to be. Also try nursing her every time you feed her on the weekends. Even if you aren't producing enough milk to fill her up, your body will take her trying to nurse as a cue and should start producing more milk. After trying to nurse let her have a bottle of formula if needed to satisfy her. If this doesn't work you could talk to your doctor or lactation consultant. I'm sure they have other ideas too.

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L.,

I was always told that breastfeeding is all about supply and demand. The more the demand the better the supply. I would pump everytime she has formula. Even if you do not get very much it will trigger your body to make more for the next feeding. All I can say is try to pump as often as you would be feeding her if you were with her all day. Hope this helps.

1 mom found this helpful

Are you drinking enough water during the day? Sometimes we don't realize that we are dehydrated and our milk supplies suffer. Nursing is usually a supply and demand issue, if you only nurse her when you are with her and she is given formula the other times,your body will eventually stop producing extra milk. I think the turnaround time for supply/demand is 48 hours, so are you engorged when you go back to work on Monday? Nurse and pump more and you will build back up your supply. You are doing great!

1 mom found this helpful

I am strictly breastfeeding my 4 1/2 month old. I pump 2x a day at work. I give my dd fresh milk every day. What I pump today she will eat tomorrow and so on... I also eat oatmeal EVERY morning for breakfast. Also, the more you pump (even if you aren't getting anything out) the more you will produce. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

Stop the formula! You will produce only the amount of milk that has been taken by the baby, therefore, she must be getting more formula than breastmilk for you to have so little. It is all supply and demand with breastfeeding. The sucking of the baby on the breast also helps produce the milk better than pumping will. You really cannot use formula if you want to keep up your milk supply. You can feed her from a bottle but it would be best to have it filled with pumped breast milk. Let her suck as much as she will too and it will increase your supply. Be sure you are having alot of fluids too, and getting enough rest and are not too stressed. Take a 50 mg B complex too every day that that will help. As you know breast milk is far more nutritious than formula too and will prevent so many diseases that formula will not.

Sincerely,
B. S. RN CCM. (former lactation consultant)

1 mom found this helpful

I agree with drinking more water. I am blessed not to have to pump much, but even with my 6 month old (3rd child also), my milk started to decrease. I drank large amounts of water for two days and I saw a definate increase in milk production.
I also asked my pediatrician and he told me about the fenugreek (however you spell that! He recommended 2 pills 3 times per day). I did not need to go purchase it because the increase in my water intake was the trick.
Good Luck!

1 mom found this helpful

Dawn C has great advice. The only thing I would think to add is to cosleep if possible and nurse on demand through the night. Start on a Friday so you aren't dragging the next day at work. If she eats more at night she will want less during the day and the formula may not even be necessary over time. This is called reverse cycling. You can find more info on that here:
http://www.kellymom.com/bf/normal/reverse-cycling.html

You are a great momma for wanting to give your daughter as much of the good stuff as possible. Keep up the good work!

1 mom found this helpful

The nurse told me to drink lots of water and let the water in the shower hit my breasts and to kind of massage them.

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Hi L.-
There are a number of things you can do--you can pump more frequently at work (every 2-3 hours), go to your local health food store and get an herb called Fenugreek(the liquid tincture form is best), which helps with milk production. Also, if you don't already have one, an electric breastpump which you can double pump with is ideal for both time and milk production. You need to make sure you are getting the nutrition you need and drinking plenty of water. This situation in itself sounds stressful to you, so I think you need to work out something with your honey to watch the kids while you go do something relaxing (get your hair done, nails, massage, etc.) go have some mommy time because milk production can be seriously affected by your stress level. So whatever you can do to be able to lower your stress can work wonders for you in so many ways. You can also get online and get in touch with the La Leche League nearest to you and just to further build your support system can help you. You are doing a wonderful thing for your baby, and sometimes it is a lot of work, but it is worth it! Keep up the great job!

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L.,
Hello. I used a wonderful natural product called More Milk Plus Capsules (it was the only way I was able to produce anything really - that's another story), you could maybe find them at a health food store, but I got mine from this website:

http://www.naturallullabies.com/breastfeeding-products.htm

I also tried Reglan (Dr. prescribed) and it helped a little, but not much. So, I would recommend the natural supplement route. Best of luck to you.
~ J.

1 mom found this helpful

Congrats on still breastfeeding. Just drink plenty of fluids especially water and keep breastfeeding and pumping. This will slowly start the flow to come back. Since you've been back at work your feeding habits are less, so the body produces less. While your working keep a 48oz bottle and try to drink as much as possible. Good Luck

1 mom found this helpful

A product called More Milk Plus, you can get at natural food stores or online. It works! Expensive kinda..but works. And of course drink lots of water and nurse as much as possible!

1 mom found this helpful

A lactation consultant told me to try Fenugreek and take 9 pills a day. She recommended 3 pills at each meal for 2 weeks. It really helped my milk supply. It is available at GNC. I hope this can help.

1 mom found this helpful

L.,
I'm wondering how long you pump and if you are using a double electric good quality pump. That can really make a difference. My oldest child was in the Nicu for months and I pumped for him but I've never had to pump at work. I know that has to be difficult. I always pumped for at least 10 minutes. If you need to increase milk you might want to pump longer even if you aren't getting milk out it's a supply and demand thing and you're body will try to keep up if you "demand" more. Also the times you are nursing after your baby finishes go ahead and pump. Any missed feedings on the weekend you should be pumping also. Good luck and good for you that you are trying so hard to provide breast milk for your baby!

1 mom found this helpful

You've had lots of good advice and I would say definitely try anything suggested that you feel comfortable with. The lactation consultant at my hostpital really helped me. She reminded me that breastfeeding is very "mental". I don't remember exactly how she put it but basically she told me to try and go to a happy place while feeding or pumping. It may sound a little hokey but it really helped when I would relax and just try to imagine having lots of milk. Its hard but try not to stress out about your milk production. Stay hydrated, breast feed and pump as much as possible but don't forget the mental aspect, too! Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful

The best way to produce more milk is to pump more. You might try pumping after each breast feeding session, and make sure to pump every 2-3 hours at work, as well as on the weekends. If you increase your pumping, your body will react and start producing more milk. You should probably pump for roughly 15 minutes each time. I pumped for 20-30 each session. I wound up with so much extra breast milk after my son turned 15 months old, I gave it to my sister for her newborn. My niece wound up with roughly 3 months of breastmilk from my leftover stash. Good luck.

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It sounds like you are doing the best you can under the circumstances.

1 mom found this helpful

some mothers can nurse morning, nights, and weekends and their milk supply will stay up - but some cannot.

Do you have a good pump? Can you rent one from your hospital? Here they are surprisingly cheap considering the cost of buying. Ofter a quality pump will be more effective - it will take less time to pump, you will get more milk, and it will signal your body to continue producing milk.

It is not too late to change the amount of milk, your body should respond to increased demand.

1 mom found this helpful

I, too had problems with milk production. It seemed that the pump did not keep production up as well as nursing. Some things that helped........ When pumping, leave it on for a while even if nothing is coming out. Also, try massaging from the outer areas of your breast towards your nipple. Sometimes it takes several minutes to have let down (longer than with nursing). I also pumped at the same time every night - about 1.5 hours after my baby went down for the night I would pump. At first, I only got about a half ounce. After several nights of religious pumping (maybe a week) I was getting 3 ounces. Let your baby nurse on the weekends at the times that you would normally pump at work and the times that you would normally nurse her at home. If you are not consistantly stimulating your breasts, your body will get the signal to dry up. I did a little accupuncture for my milk production and anxiety (my brother died while I was pregnant) and that seemed to help some. One other thing to try is to visit a health food store and ask about natural supplements. My OB gave me some perscription medicine to up my production. It worked, but I couldn't stay awake. I had to stop because I had a 2 yr. old, 4 yr. old and a baby. There was no way for me to function on that medication. Good luck! I hope you find something that works for you.

1 mom found this helpful

When I had my youngest son I did not produce enough milk for him and my lactation consultant told me to drink more fluids to increase my milk production.

She said I could also try an herb called Fenugreek. I did both at the same time and my milk production came up. You might also try pumping more often. The LC also told me your body produces milk based on demand. If you pump more often your body responds by making more milk.

You can call the Lactation Specialist at your hospital or if you have a local La Leche group they might be able to offer suggestions.

1 mom found this helpful

definitely increase the water, but your dr can also give you a perscription. i don't remember the name of it, but i took it two different times with my first child. got me right back into production. it is actually some type of nasaeu med, but it also increases the production.

1 mom found this helpful

nurse her as much as possible before giving her a bottle, at least 10-15mins on each breast. and don't give her a full feeding in the bottle...she'll want more sooner, and you can nurse her more often...which leads to increased milk production

1 mom found this helpful

I had this problem when I was breastfeeding my third child. I use to take a picture of him with me to work so that when I went to pump I could look at him and it really seemed to help my milk "let" down. I could pump two full bottles while I was at work. When I got home in the evenings I would pump on one side while I breast fed him on the other. If your child wakes up in the middle of the night try to pump an extra bottle as well. I know that it will be harder to do since you will be half asleep, but I use to keep my pump ready to go so if he woke up I could get make an extra bottle while I was up! Also, make sure that you are drinking plenty of water, it really does help! I also went to the local health food store and they recommended Mother's Milk Tea, it also came in a pill form (it is an herbal supplement used to promote lactation). Try to relax, the more you stress about it the less milk you will produce.
Hope this helps, best of luck to you!

1 mom found this helpful

I would have to agree with all of the other suggestions. All of these suggestions are helpful. I would add that when you pump at work make sure it's scheduled, meaning the same times everyday. Keeping a consistent pumping schedule was crucial for keeping my milk supply up. Also, as a last resort you can talk to your doctor about prescribing Reglan. It helps with increasing your milk supply. Try Fenugreek first b/c it's more natural but if all else fails call the doc. One other thing and I think someone else already mentioned it but let the baby breastfeed more often, that will help also. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

Make sure you're drinking lots and lots of water each day, and not coffee, tea or sodas. Remember, caffeine is a diuretic, flushing your system of its fluids. Water, water, water!!!

1 mom found this helpful

My sister seemed to have the same problem, she tried everything but the one thing that finally helped. . . she pumped more frequently and ate smaller meals between pumping. She said that once she got her body onto that schedule, she had soo much milk she didn't know what to do with it. She wound up pumping solely for the full first year. Apparently someone told her that she needed to pump about every 2-3 hours, because that's how our bodies are made, to produce enough for when the infant needs it about every 2-3 hours. That seemed to do the trick for her.
Just thought I'd share. I know how frustrated she did get in the process of trying to figure it out.

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