33 answers

Running Out of Milk

I am really torn up about this and I need some help. My son is 7 1/2 months old and has been strictly breastfed from birth. I always thought that I had plenty of milk, but I think I'm started to run out. I can feel my milk let down when he eats, but my husband and I have noticed that he has been extra fussy lately and doesn't seem to be nursing very long. I tried pumping but nothing seems to come out (expect for in the morning). Now I don't know what to do. I tried nursing him before bed tonight and he only ate for about 3 minutes on each side and was not satisfied afterwards so i had to give him a bottle with more milk for him to go to sleep. I'm not sure what to do, especially since I don't seem to be getting anywhere with pumping. Should I just stop? Or should I try just feeding him first thing in the morning and before bed? I would appreciate some help. The thought of not breastfeeding is really sad to me, but I also want to make sure that my son is full and satisfied.

1 mom found this helpful

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thanks everyone for your advice. For those of you wondering, my son does eat plenty of solids so he's not totally starving. He loves to eat. I would pump more and feed more, expect that I work part-time and don't have the time to do that. My son also sleeps 12 hours at night and there is no way that I'm going to interrupt either one of our sleep to feed him again. Yesterday I did some experimenting and feed him a bottle and waited until his next feeding to nurse him. I was counting down the minutes until I could feed him because my boobs were full. I guess I have enough milk after all. I went ahead and got some herbal supplement at Sunflower. It was a little pricey and tastes AWFUL but I'm hoping it will work. And if it doesn't - I appreciate everyone's encouraging words to help me be okay with not breastfeeding anymore. Cheers to breastfeeding!

Featured Answers

Have you tried Fenugreek? It is an herb you can get in pill form at wal-mart or walgreens or any herb store. It helps increase milk production. Follow the direction on the bottle. If you are taking enough you will smell like black licorice when you sweat :) It works for a lot of people.

Here are just some ideas if you are running out of milk...
You can get "More Milk Plus" from the health food store.
You can also get Malt mix - it's by the chocolate powder mix in the grocery store.
Or you can also get Brewer's yeast - (what they use to make beer, but you don't have to drink beer :) ). Good luck!

You don't say if you are exclusively breastfeeding. If so, that is probably the problem - babies are ready for solids at 5 or six months. If you are feeding him solids, then you may have to supplement breastfeeding with formula - it is not the end of the world (and this coming from the world's biggest proponent of breastfeeding). Good luck!

More Answers

I would call La Leche League and they can definitely give you some good suggestions to help your milk supply. It's so great that you still want to nurse your son...don't give up too quickly, you'll never get this time back with him!

1 mom found this helpful

He might be going through a growth spurt, and to keep your milk supply up to his needs, you need to spend a few days nursing often. I notice that you are working part-time, which could make this hard, but while you're home you can nurse more. With the one specific feeding you mentioned - 3 mins on each side - I'm not surprised he wasn't satisfied. The hindmilk, the fatty part, doesn't come down until you've nursed longer. If he is starting to get distracted and doesn't nurse long at a time, then have him nurse on that same side when he's hungry again to give him the hindmilk.

1 mom found this helpful

Same advice as far as stimulation goes- your body will make more the more you stimulate. I didn't make enough with my first the whole time, so this time I take fenugreek (3 capsules of the seed 3x/day), and make sure to feed him at least 6-10 times & pump twice in every 24 hour period. The fenugreek seed really helps me!!!! Hope this helps- breastfeeding is sooo good for them, in so many ways!!!!!!

I've just returned to work and my baby won't take a bottle while I'm working - which means she is extra hungry when I get home. The problem is I naturally produce less milk at night - when she is most hungry. One thing that has helped is to fill a medicine syringe with pumped milk (or formula if you don’t have pumped milk) and after the baby has latched on, slip the syringe into the side of their mouth and slowly push some extra milk into their mouth. It helps to build your supply because the baby is sucking.

H., first, try to relax and breastfeed in a quiet place and put your feet up. Sometimes, when we get busy in our day then try to feed we are still too wound up to relax. Try two products from the health food store (Vitamin Shoppe, GNC, etc.)that really worked for me when I went through this. Fenugreek is the first one. It is in a capsule form and you can take them as directed. Second is a tea you can drink a few times a day, called Mothers Milk. These are both natural products and shoud be safe for breastfeeding with the baby as they were prescribed to me by my doctor. They worked for me, but you might feel sore as the milk produces. I hope this helps you and best of luck!

Have you tried Fenugreek? It is an herb you can get in pill form at wal-mart or walgreens or any herb store. It helps increase milk production. Follow the direction on the bottle. If you are taking enough you will smell like black licorice when you sweat :) It works for a lot of people.

Just a thought, if you are using the pill for birth control that can decrease your milk supply. There is a pill (called a mini-pill) that should not do so, but my girlfriend's doctor put her back on the regular pill at around 5 months post-baby and that was the end of her breatfeeding.

He could be teething. That would make eating harder for him. He is ready for solids but I know how hard it is for a mom to stop breast feeding. I would keep trying to pump in the morning. Feed your son a little more during the day, even if it's only for about three minutes or so. That should start your supply back up. Good luck!!!

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