10 answers

Reduced Milk Supply from Period Returning????

Hi moms!!
Hoping someone can answer my question on reduced milk supply. My period recently returned..overjoyed to see that :-(
My milk supply seemed lower a few days before it arrived and still seems low. I was only able to pump about one ounce from one breast after about 5 hours of not nursing! Is this normal? or should I increase pumping and taking Fenugreek. My son has a short frenulum..tounge tied,..and we had it clippped..but because its soo short they said he would require surgery on it to breastfeed alone. We supplement with formula, becuase I don't want to put him under for this...so we already have a constant milk supply issue. Lately it is really low and didn't know if it could be due to my period returning???
Thanks for any coments or suggestions!!

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

My son was 5 months old when AF returned and my milk supply decreased. I got fantastic advice from all the mom's and we survived yet another nursing trial...I feel like my nursing adventure is becoming a movie plot. All these issues stem from him having a short frenulum..so short it was clipped but requires surgery to BF with no issues according to the Dr. I will not put him under anesthesia just for BF..to big of a risk for me.
So we deal with our issues as they come, and they constantly come. We are still nursing 5-6 times a day and he get's his bottle 2 times a day and eats food 3 times a day..and I watch him grow like 5 chins that he could hide a small village under!!
Even though I can't nurse him without supplementing with formula or breastmilk, we still nurse and he gets the benifits and thats good enough for me.
Thanks to all the moms who said "oh I've had the same thing happen to me" I was very glad to hear this was normal. And thanks to the moms with great advice on nursing thru the 16 day period from hell!!!

More Answers

I am a mother of three and I am currently breastfeeding my 6 month old. From my experience, it sounds that the reason your period has returned is because of the supplement of formula. Also, the supplementation of formula given to your baby will slow down your milk production because your body is adjusting to how often your baby feeds from the breast. If you are not able to offer your baby the breast more often, you need to increase your milk supply by using a breast pump. Pump your milk during times when your baby would normally feed from you and whenever you feel your milk "let down." Store the milk in the freezer or frig if not needed immediatley. Just keep pumping, that's the only way your body will know that more milk is needed. You should eat healthy meals and do not skip meals this can also slow your milk production. I breastfed my first child for 15 months and my second for 13 months and plan to keep breastfeeding my youngest until 12 months. I did not have a period the whole time I breastfed my children and could not conceive until I stopped the breastfeeding. Lucky me, right. As for the fenugreek, I have read that it helps, but I have never tried it. Consult with your physician first. I hope this was of some help to you.

1 mom found this helpful

When my period returned my milk supply decreased also. If you pump and nurse more often your milk supply should increase again. It is all about supply and demand. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

Nursing more frequently helps. Also drinking lots of water. Pumping helps increase the milk supply, but nursing the baby worked better for me. Try, this sounds silly, but recording your baby's cry. It helps the natural process. I remember just being in the grocery store and hearing a baby cry. Oh, boy. I still feel some residual effects as I hear a baby cry. My sister-in-law has had 5 kids. She is currently nursing now. She always told me lots of water and rest. Plus stressing about this will make milk production slow. Just relax, and it will come. Your body is going through so much right now, the worst thing you can do is stress.

1 mom found this helpful

I have a dip in my milk supply every month with my period. I eat oatmeal and take fenugreek starting the day I notice the dip and continue for a few days. The dip in my milk supply has been lessened because of this and I recover to regular supply much more quickly. HTH

1 mom found this helpful

Hi there,
I too agree with the above Mom. I know how frustrating and scary it is to see your supply go down. My first daughter had no problems at all and I had more than enough supply for her. My second daughter unfortunately was born premature and on her second day was diagnosed with jaundice. She was frankly too sleepy to nurse adequately and I went home with a baby that eventually had to be supplemented. No matter how many times I nursed and pumped (every two hours), she would not suck strong enough to sustain a decent supply. My period arrived after two months and then my supply completely dried up. I felt very bad at first, but then realized that it was not my fault. Like you should realize the same. We do our very best with our children and sometimes things don't work out the way we really want them too. Don't beat yourself up if you have to switch to complete bottle feeds. Good luck to you...:)

1 mom found this helpful

There could be a lot of reasons for your lessened milk supply. If you child was tongue tied (I had one but not as severe), then perhaps your baby's nursing wasn't enough to get your milk to come in more. Also, if you were supplementing with formula, your baby may not be nursing as much from you (regardless of the time given to nurse) as the bottle may be the easier.

Typically milk production is based on demand. The more demand, the more milk.


You may just not be a milk producer. My sister-in-law couldn't nurse her children beyond the first month because her milk supply would dwindle to nothing. My pediatrician brother (her husband) wouldn't believe it was the way her body was programmed (it seemed a inconceivable medical issue). She usually lost milk production in one breast totally by the second week. By the time their third child came along, my brother was convinced of the reality of their situation, and my sister-in-law was ready to switch to the bottle by 6 weeks. Her attitude: at least she got to nurse for a short while giving the baby the best dietary start.

While it does seem coincidental with your period, it may be worth speaking to your OB about it. Try to pump every 2 hours (unless it's feeding time)for 5 minutes on each breast to see if you can get more milk to come in. I would give it a week or two, if you can, to see if your body produces more milk. Also, make sure you're eating and drinking (especially the latter) to increase your odds of producing milk.

I hope this helps.

1 mom found this helpful

As someone mentioned it's a supply and demand situation.
My period returned at two months and i was still doing the exclusive breastfeeding, and i did that for eight months, and while i was about six months into breast feeding i found out i was pregnant, isnt that funny, so my breast was dripping for 21/2years non stop, so i think you can hang in there by pumping regularly.

Whatever the reason for the reduced supply feel great about yourself that you made it this far. Even the first few weeks of mothers milk can have positive effects on your child. For my first son I was young and relied on Mom's advice to go with formula from day one. My son had constant ear infections and would get ill easily. With a few yrs experience and my second son. I breast fed as long as I could, which was only 10 wks before I had to start supplimenting to return to work. My milk supply dropped off fast and I had to switch completely to formula. My second son has rarely been to the doctor for anything but checkups. He has been raised in a near similar environment(his father smoked) and has not had the ear infection issues of my first son. If you cant continue the breast feeding know that you still gave your child a great start!


Yes, my milk supply dipped every month once my period returned. It seemed a week before I would be struggling to make enough for the day care drop off and sometimes had to dip into the frozen supplies.

Try increasing the frequency of pumping and if you aren't using a hospital grade pump consider renting one. You might also add one more pumping a day every day to try to build up a supply in the freezer for when things just aren't working. Considering your situation you might want to sit down with a lactation consultant and get some extra tips from her.

I also found that stress, dehydration, and dieting all took a toll on my milk production. See if you can reduce any of those factors and if the problem goes away.

Good luck! I made it through the first year, but it was a real struggle some days. Try not to stress and remember that every meal he gets is doing him good - even if you can't breast feed exclusively you are doing wonderful things for him with what you can do.

It could be any number of things, but as another mom mentioned, some women just have supply issues. My ped. told me that some women's supply drops drastically for no known reason around the time the baby is 3-4 months. You didn't mention how old your's was, but this is also often when your period returns. I had supply issues with my first and again with my almost 4 month old, and am currently struggling to keep him at 50% breast milk. Good luck with your supply, feel free to message me if you want to commiserate :)

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