15 answers

Preparing for Breastfeeding of Second Child After Low Supply with First

I am 28 weeks pregnant with my second child and had a terrible time breastfeeding my first. I had low supply, he didn't latch well, we had to give him a bottle in the hospital due to low blood sugar, I've had a reduction... The list goes on and on! I've worked with lacation consultants in the past and will be talking to them again but I'm looking for personal experience with breastfeeding another child after having similar problems with a previous child.

I'm hoping to start pumping in my last week of pregnancy to see if I can force my milk in early assuming my OB gives me permission. I know nipple stimulation can induce labor so I won't try this without my doctor's approval. All of the literature I can find on inducing lactation has to do with mothers who have "taken a break" from nursing and want to re-establish their supply or adoptive mothers who haven't given birth. I can't seem to find any information about inducing lactation *before* giving birth.

Anyone with some experience in this area? I would love to know I'm not alone. I would hate to give up and just bottle feed if there's a possible solution to making breastfeeding easier the second time around.

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

We are 12 days pot partum and nursing is going amazingly well! I decided to just wait and see what happened and a lot of your advice was right. It seems my breasts figured out what to do and our second little boys is a much better nurser. He latched from the start and seems to really like to breastfeed regardless of the flat nipples (which are getting a little less flat each day).

Thank you for your responses and help!

Featured Answers

I had a lot of trouble breastfeeding my first as well, but not a bit of trouble with the second. I've heard similar stories from several friends, so my advice: try to relax and not worry about it. If you have trouble when the baby's born, address it then.

More Answers


I would suggest contacting La Leche League. www.llli.org The women leaders should be able to help you and answer all your questions and concerns.

Good luck,
L. M

1 mom found this helpful

I had a terrible time nursing my first son but I nursed my second child w/o any problems and the only thing I did differently was drink mother's milk tea it worked wonders and I highly suggest it.

Please don't feel like going to formula and bottle is "giving up"! Breast feeding is not for everyone. I tried with my first, and I had the same problems as you. Poor latch-on, nipples kept going flat, and I was starving my son to death. The lactation specialist tried to help me, but it didn't work. I was totally stressed out, the baby was crying, I was crying, it was horrible. He was so thin, I am shocked when I look at his christening photo, his legs are so skinny. If I hadn't switched to formula, he would have died. I am not joking. It was the best thing I ever did - he began to thrive immediately and I have never regretted it. Give yourself a break - you are NOT a bad mother if you use formula. The doctors and nurses are pushing breastfeeding too much, to the point where women are feeling guilty if it doesn't work for them. The most important thing is whether the baby is thriving or not. Please, please, please don't wait too long to switch to formula and bottle. You won't regret it. Just my 2 cents from someone who's been there twice!

Hi! I only had one, 7 years ago but I had LOTS of milk for him. I was worried about it and my midwife had me take some Mother's Milk tea before he came. We had big trouble with the actual breastfeeding, but I had loads of milk. After not being able to get rid of a yeast problem, I pumped and he used that milk for over 2 months!

I had a lot of trouble breastfeeding my first as well, but not a bit of trouble with the second. I've heard similar stories from several friends, so my advice: try to relax and not worry about it. If you have trouble when the baby's born, address it then.


I had a much easier time with my second child. More milk, and just easier all around.

I would not recommend pumping to get your milk supply up, unless it is recommended by an expert. I had to pump to get my milk to come in faster with my first child (he had jaundice and that is what they had me do). The pumping seemed to negatively effect supply and demand, and I believe it contributed to the nursing problems I had (the fattier milk comes in at the end of a nursing session based on supply and demand).

Good luck!

You are not alone in dealing with low supply with breast reduction. It can be very challenging for your new baby to get all the milk that he/she needs from your supply. It is great that you are already thinking about this issue now. Commitment to breastfeeding is what will make it possible for you to continue on, however difficult it may be. There are many herbs that are helpful in supply: fenugreek, milk thistle, & shatavri (an ayruvedic herb). Prescription wise it is best to get your hands on Domperidone. It is important to get it before you give birth because you must get it from outside the US & it can take a couple weeks to come in. Of course this means that insurance won't pay for it, but it really works. There are other Rx that are used is this country but they have more side effects & aren't as good at increasing supply.

It will not help to stimulate your breasts more in pregnancy it try and "induce" lactation before birth. With the help of a lactation consultant, having your baby get a good latch will be much better and more effective stimulator than a pump could ever be. The reason I recommend starting on herbs and Rx is because of the breast reduction you have had. It is likely that you will have supply issues again & you want to have all of the "tricks" ready for once you have giving birth. Do not start taking these herbs until after you have given birth.

Also even if after you do all of these things & you still need to supplement with outside breastmilk or formula, that does not mean that you need to give a bottle. There are many benefits to your baby getting its nutrition at the breast, even if the baby is not drinking breastmilk from your breast. There is a device that will allow you to nurse your baby even if you have no milk, it is called a lactation supplementer (a good one is the Lact-Aid). It is basically a tube that has milk/formula at one end & goes right next to your nipple so that when your baby latches on the tub is in her mouth & when she sucks she gets any breastmilk that you may have & whatever is being supplemented at the same time. It sounds cumbersome at first but once you get the hang of it, it is just part of the routine.

Please feel free to contact me off list if you would like to discuss any of these things more. ____@____.com

You have lots of options. You are not alone. Many women have supply issues. Women who have had breast reduction surgery almost always have supply issues, but you can overcome. The fact that you had milk with your first child is great. It means that the surgery did not damage all of your milk ducts & that means that you can increase your milk supply, perhaps not to produce everything that your baby needs but you can get closer, and supplement if needed. I honor your path & that you are willing to do all that you can so that you & your baby can get the benefits of nursing.

Good luck

I, too, was worried, to the point I got a prescription for Domperidone. Although I did not have a reduction, I had very low supply for my 1st, with poor latch (so I had to supplement with Formula, which was fine, and eventually use the Domperidone drug to increase my milk). But, I stressed for nothing. When my 2nd baby was first given the breast in the hospital, man, did she ever latch and I had absolutely no problem with supply (no drugs required!). I also pumped in the hospital and the first few days at home to be sure my milk came in (and did it ever!). I could not get over how different one breastfeeding experience could be versus another. My 2nd was a totally different baby and nursing was a breeze!

1 / 3
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.