Increasing Milk Supply with 10 Month Old?

Updated on September 16, 2009
J.S. asks from Prospect Heights, IL
10 answers

I breastfed exclusively for the first 6 months of my daughter's life, then started working full time (she stayed home with dad) and started supplementing with formula. She's now 10.5 months, I'm back to just part-time work, and I'd like to increase my milk supply to breastfeed her a bit more often. I can breastfeed her one or two times a day and she'll actually latch and eat for a little while. But if I try any more than that she'll latch for a few seconds, and then when she realizes there's no milk she stops immediately. I don't know how to increase my supply if she won't suck more. And pumping has never worked for me (I've tried four pumps). She's still taking about 16 ounces of formula each day, and I'd really like to reduce that for health and financial reasons. Any suggestions? Oh, and she's eating solids at each meal and for snacks.

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answers from Chicago on

Both of my sons weaned themselves at about 10-11 months. I breastfed exclusively til 5 or 6 months, then started solids plus breastfeeding. Maybe it's time to start juice with some meals, if the pediatrician says it's ok. She'll be on regular milk around one year, I think.

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answers from Springfield on

I had similar problems and found that the Le Leche League really helped. They suggested a supplement called Fenugreek (I also double checked this with my Ob/Gyn). It really helped to boost my milk supply. You can purchase it at places like GNC. The only down side is that the pills are quite large and I hate to swallow horse pills. Good luck.



answers from Bloomington on

Hi Jamine!!

Pumping can be TEDIOUS!! BUT it DOES work. You need a good pump though. Medela is the best kind. You can rent them from medical supply stores in hospitals, get ones off ebay, or find a friend or ask around that would let you borrow. I have 5 kids and didnt figure out the whole pumping thing till my 3rd kid! I wish I had known sooner. Your right 10mo is a hard age to increase your milk supply but becuase our sweet babes are so smart if its not coming out like a "bottle" they just arent interested. You have to pick a cple times a day at the SAME time to pump EVERYDAY. Morning is a great one cuz your fullest then. Nurse however long your sweetie will let you and then DOUBLE pump for 20 mn. Doubling for 20 at the SAME times EVERYDAY is VERY important for 2FULL weeks! Think of it like your little one going through a growth spurt for a week but a pump isnt as efficeint as our babes so it will take 2 weeks!! If you commit to that for 2 full weeks IT WILL HAPPEN!! It will be frustrating you will want to give up and might even cry :) I know becuase I have been there!! If you call your OB I know they have a medication that you can also take to help increase your milk supply. 2 good times of day for me to pump are in the morning after the first feeding and then after the nursing session right before afternoon nap. But whenever you are wanting her to nurse more that is when you should set up your time to pump AFTER she eats. And then get some freezer breast storage milk bags and girl save EVERY DROP! That stuff is GOLD:) There are different theories about how long your milk is good for at room temp, in the fridge, and in the feezer. I have a magnet on my fridge, but if you google it you can come up with some good ideas. Some people do the 5/5/5 5 hrs fresh, 5 days fridge 5 months feezer. There are other variations. Anyway good luck!! I hope that helps some! My 5th was a preemie and in the NICU so I got LOTS of pumping practice! Let me know if I can give you anymore ideas. Hang in there, YOU CAN DO IT!!! :)


answers from Chicago on

The fenugreek is a great idea but be aware that it may change the taste of your milk. Your baby probably won't mind but I mention it because I have heard someone else say that and if it happens then at least you know why! The chances are slim, though, so I wouldn't EXPECT any problems.
Also, I recently started going to LLL meetings and I wish I had been going all along. There are so many little nursing things that I would have loved more expert help with. The women there are so great and supportive and they've experienced just about everything!
Good luck--you're gonna do it and do it just great.



answers from Chicago on

Talk to la leche league for more suggestions but:

fenu creek improves milk supply and you can get it at vitamin shoppe and dominicks etc.

be as stress-free as possible

don't eat the herb sage; it decreases milk

pump as often as possible including at work whenever you can

good luck



answers from Chicago on

It may not fit your situation completely, but the usual recipe for increasing the milk supply is to eat more, drink more, rest more, and nurse more.

Here are some other ideas...

Here's a forum about breastfeeding where you might find some good answers...

Best wishes,



answers from Chicago on

Your body will change your milk production with demand. It's really just that simple. Nurse more, and you will make more. Don't bother pumping. The baby is a better pump than the pump could ever aspire to be. She'll get what she needs. Just feed her when she wants to, and your body will do the rest. It's really that perfect of a system. Trust your body.



answers from Chicago on

Hi J.,
That is wonderful that you want to continue to nurse your daughter and nurse her more often. As a nurse-midwife and mother of two, who nursed her daughter 21 months, including during my second pregnancy up until 3 days to giving birth, More Milk Plus capsules worked very well to increase my milk supply when there was a need.

More milk plus capsules made by Motherlove. It contains Fenugreek, blessed thistle, nettle leaf and fennel seed. It works better than straight fenugreek and has less side effects. One sees results in 24-36 hours it is amazing. You can purchase it at Follow the directions on the bottle, then when your supply increases, continue taking one capsule two times per day for a few days then one per day. I have a 4 month old and drink Mother's Milk teas daily to help maintain my milk supply. It can be purchased at Whole Foods, but is expensive. I buy mine at You might be able to buy the More milk plus capsules from vitacost also. Best wishes. D.



answers from Nashville on

you can try taking fenugreek at least 4 times a day. It's in liquid form and you mix it with water (I always used juice though). You can get it at vitamin shops or whole foods. However I also just learned that wearing a bra with underwire will hinder your milk from "flowing" and coming down. But you just have to get her to do it more often. It's all about supply and demand. Right now the milk knows to come at the times you have been doing it while at work full time. I was put on a pumping schedule where I had to pump every 2-3 hours for a while. I know you have tried several pumps but have you tried Medela? They are a little expensive but they are what they use in hospitals. You may be able to go to the hospital you gave birth to your daughter and speak to the lactation people and rent a pump which is more economical. I know it's frustrating when you want nothing more than to nurse your child and cant supply enough. Part of the problem is being frustrated. That can hinder you too. I wish you the best of luck. I know what you're going through.